Day 11: Good Luck Charlie!

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 Dear Vodka

If today was anything, it sure was full of surprises! I was head-over-heels when I called Chloe and she told me that she’d met this super cute guy named Finn. I immediately started imagining what he looked like and what their children would look like if they ever decided to procreate. Seriously, Charlie!? Okay, that was just weird! 

She told me all about her cousins, Elias and Greta. Hearing her voice made me happy. I can’t wait to see her again. Truth is, I don’t know whether I’ll see her again considering how much she is enjoying herself over there. In the short time that I’ve known Chloe, I’ve learnt that once  she becomes comfortable in a place, she becomes attached, especially when there’s a guy involved. When I spoke to her, it sounded as though she wanted to set up camp and stay there forever. We each agreed to keep in contact at least every second day since school is starting soon. 

Argh! Thinking about going to a new school where I have to make the effort to be nice to everyone all over again makes me feel kind of bleh! Teenagers are so meh…I mean look at me! Don’t I bore you with my endless rants and complaints? I know I do. Therefore, to kick start my improved attitude, I’ve started this new routine where I wake up a bit earlier to do yoga each morning so that I can calm my thoughts. I’d then have a good solid breakfast and proceed with the rest of the day. I realised that when I don’t eat breakfast in the morning, I become as cranky and pessimistic as ever. I found the problem; it’s now time to implement a solution!

From now onward, you’ll have a front row seat to the new Charlie. I’ve simply decided that being bitter about everything only makes my life more miserable and deprived. I can’t live like that forever. I want to be happy for goodness sake!

I have me first group therapy session tomorrow and school starts on Monday. I don’t want to think about it too much. I guess I’ll hope for the best and stay optimistic. I seriously want to change. Maybe then Mum would open up to me and we could have an actual relationship. Dad said that he’d drive me to group therapy tomorrow. I haven’t seen him in a while but he promised to make it up to me by teaching me how to drive. There goes the neighbourhood!I’m so excited!Wish me luck then!

XOX

Charlie

Day Ten: Therapy Time!

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Dear Vodka

My shrink found out that I wasn’t taking my antidepressants and guess what? She didn’t even freak out! I was totally surprised but then again, shrinks are supposed to be all rational and calm. I, however, burst into a fit of laughter when she recommended – or rather ordered- me to attend a support group. Is she insane? Me? In a support group? The world must be going to shit! Never! I can’t do it! I refuse to do it!

After calming me down, however, she convinced me that it was either the drugs or the group. I guess I’ll be attending group therapy soon. Mum wasn’t upset with me at all when she heard that I’d ditched the drugs. She simply smiled an said “whatever makes you happy, darling.” I know that I’m a handful at most times but this is so not like her. Today was just not my day. I felt totally out of it. I felt like I had all this anger inside of me that needed to come out. Immediately. So, I went for a jog on the beach. I could feel the cool air brushing against my cheeks as the waves crashed against the rocks. With every deep intake of breath, I listened as the seagulls flew above me, making those terrible gawking sounds. I appreciated it nevertheless.

Thomas called me when I got back home. Gran Lilith was out as usual. He wanted to come over but I wasn’t feeling up for it. I said ‘yes’ anyway. I figured that it was no use pushing away the one person who truly cared about me. We just strolled on the beach, mouths stuffed with strawberry ice-cream, listening to the calm sounds of the ocean, as the water kissed the sand and pulled back each time as though it was being sent away but promised to return. I told him about the group therapy idea and he offered to tag along for my first session. This is why I adore Thomas so much. Sure, he’s my brother and I’m obligated to love him but he’s so gentle and understanding. I refused his offer though. This was something I needed to do on my own. I’d gotten myself into this mess in the first place and I needed to conquer my demons by myself. 

I thought I saw Chloe when we were walking but then I remembered that she was off in Germany. I’d better call her. To be honest, I kind of miss her. She was the first friend I made here and I don’t want to lose her. In time, I hope we’ll grow closer…

XOX

Charlie

 

Day Nine: Facing My Demons

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Dear Vodka

My day started off with a rigorous cardio workout and a relaxing jog on the beach before I met up with Aiden for kickboxing classes. Yeah, I know. There’s a lot that people don’t know about me but I prefer it that way. Mystery captivates the mind. Everyone thinks that Aiden and I are an item but we’re not. We agreed to be strictly friends that day we went for a bike ride. It’s less complicated that way.

Either way, Aiden is not the subject of today’s entry. Lydia is. We agreed to meet up at the beach down by the multi-coloured sheds but she changed her mind at the last minute. She wanted to meet up at Bean Therapy instead. I was hesitant. Bean Therapy is my happy place. A place I go to with friends. I didn’t want the memory of our meeting to linger around there after. I obliged nonetheless. Lydia gets what Lydia wants.

I have to admit, Vodka, she still looks as gorgeous as ever. Okay, maybe that was an understatement. The first glimpse of her made my heart race and my breath quicken. I watched as the sunlight played with the jet black strands of her long silky hair, making them appear navy blue. She still had those same soft features- playful black eyes, small nose and smooth deep pink lips. She wore a black velvet crop top with the silver choker that had a sun token hanging from it. It was the one I gave to her last Easter after we separated. I bought it before everything fell apart. Before I knew that my heart would be shattered by the intense love I had for this single amazing human being who I would’ve walked through fire for.

Was I seriously going through with this? Yes. It had to be done. I’ve always believed in talking things through. Over coffee, preferably. Lydia knows that too. Must’ve been why she wanted to come here instead.

Being the bright spark of life that she is, I couldn’t find it within myself to stay angry at her. We caught up on our old memories together; how life has changed since then. I wanted to say so much more than that. I wanted to yell at her. To tell her how much she messed me up. She was a tornado dressed as a drizzle of rain after a long drought. I wanted to tell her how loving her was selfish, that we should’ve never let it go so far. I needed to tell her all these things and more. But I couldn’t. Some part of me regrets not telling her. One thing was for sure though, Lydia could never know about my depression and anxiety. Ever. I needed her to think that I was strong. She had to, like she always has. I don’t want people to think that she’s the antagonist. She never was. After all, it takes two to tango! At that time in my life with she was exactly what I needed. No one can deny that. You can’t dismiss relationships and burn bridges because things don’t work out. It doesn’t work like that. I’m wiser for it now.

Before we left the coffee shop, she reached for my hand and drew me in closer. Her scent was enough to make me lightheaded. It was the anxiety. I could feel it coming on. I hate being so weak. So dependent. So undecided and fragile. The truth is, everyone is  behind closed doors. They’re just to scared to admit it. I pulled away from her before it could go any further. I didn’t want her pity kisses.

I haven’t taken my antidepressants in two days. No wonder I’ve been feeling so off. I figured I’d wean myself off them. Miranda, my shrink, and my Mum don’t need to know. What happened last year really threw me off the wagon but I refuse to be dependent on drugs to keep me sane.

After all, sanity is overrated!

XOX

Charlie

Day Eight: Just Tattoo of Us

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Dear Vodka

Today is the day! The day that Thomas and I finally got the marks that would intertwine our souls forever. Forever. Okay, that’s a bit too dramatic! But all teenagers are after all. I don’t want to be like all teenagers, however. Vodka, I think I might be bipolar. Yeah. That’s it. Don’t tell my Mum I said that. She’d probably drag me to the shrink to get drugged up on some pills!

 Anyway…Thomas and I arrived at the tattoo parlour around 10. I couldn’t contain my anticipatory joy, as some might say. I was stoked, as I would say! First minute in and I was inwardly screaming for my Gran Lilith. At least Thomas was there to hold my hand, even though he looked pretty pale himself. It was great fun though. One thing more ticked off my wish list. We went for smoothies at Kauai afterwards to cool off. Literally. I looked like a cooked tomato and Thomas looked like, well, Thomas.

We hung out at the beach at Gran’s. She wasn’t home when we arrived. Probably out with Bridget, her bestie. Whenever Gran Lilith and Bridget are together, they’re like two school girls brooding over the latest gossip and guys. All I can ever do is laugh. They remind me of how Emily and I were. It gives me hope that some things last forever. Okay, okay. I’m getting a bit sentimental now but it’s true.

Thomas and I raided Gran’s secret drawer that contained a variety of sweets. She didn’t know that we knew. All of the packets were opened already, so we each took one of each kind. I ditched the jelly beans for another sour worm. Jelly beans are an abomination. Truly. Unless it’s sour jelly beans of course, then I might consider it.

I called Chloe when Thomas left. Her phone went to voicemail but she called me back. She told me that she saw Aiden snogging some redhead at a mall. I wasn’t bothered. Truly. I’d like to be friends with Aiden only, even if there was a speck of connection before. Chloe scoffed when I told her this. It doesn’t matter either way, I have my own issues. Lydia is visiting tomorrow. We’re meeting at the beach down by the coloured sheds. No one ever goes there. It’s my secret hideaway.

My shrink called today. I said I’d come on Thursday. I’ll need the talk after tomorrow. Who knows what will happen?!

Ciao for now. I feel a bit weird. Must be the nerves. Wish me luck!

XOX

Charlie

The music within a library.

What a brilliant week but it’s coming to an end!!!

It’s almost too awful to contemplate but the tickets are booked and my father’s mind is made up. Back to the homestead for us all.

Finn.

Beautiful, deep, hilarious Finn has made Germany feel like a romantic French holiday in some romantic French village somewhere. I’ve been so happy and had such an appetite this past week. I’ve been that happy! After Portugal and freaking out about Noah and the assignment from hell which I will complete by myself, with or without his help, I am relieved and relaxed and rejuvenated.

I sent a postcard to my two pen pals from last year whom I had met at the embassy. A chic brother and sister duo. I remember feeling like magnolia against their wonderfully full lives. I was happy they got in touch so quickly. I posted my card on Monday and got a box delivered back to me on Wednesday filled with a Hogwarts t shirt, gummies, chocolates, a TB disk filled with their favourite music and movies and a Jane Austen quote mug. It was amazing and delightful. I was more than a little surprised. I had my cousins and Finn help me choose a few albums to send back and two t shirts. I was too overwhelmed to think straight. The postal service back home is so poopy I couldn’t risk trying to do it from back home. They tried sending two gift boxes home but it didn’t reach me.

Mother dragged me into the bathroom this week for a quick weigh in. Impromptu so as to catch me out. Luckily I’d packed my ankle and wrist weights. So quickly I slipped them on under my jeans and one under my bangles so I could add three kilos. It meant I was only 2kg under weight but I blamed that on being up at the crack of dawn and not stopping until the end of the day. She might not have bought it but who knows. She might have.

Cousin Greta’s birthday party was rather quaint. If that is a good way to put it. It was a normal 16th birthday party. My world and theirs are so far apart. Perhaps it’s because my mother is partially British? I had a 16th birthday bash in a club! Now perhaps I realise more than ever what a waste of money that whole thing was. Her party was perfectly fine. Relaxing. Elias, Finn and I set up a make shift cinema with a large white sheet outside. We grabbed all the bean bags around the house and put out the picnic blankets and watched two of the movies from the TB disk.

I have to smile at this memory forever emblazoned into my brain. I won’t forget how wonderful and simple the evening was and like I’ve said. I’m hungry all the time now. It’s strange because Finn doesn’t stop eating and our heads are never far apart because we are always listening to music on his iPod.

Best Summer ever!!!

Day Seven: Magnum opus

Dear Vodka

Everyone makes mistakes, some more than others. For a long time, I thought that my mistakes made me unlovable and worthless. I was wrong. I soon learned that making mistakes is part of being human and that being human is all I ever need to be.

If it weren’t for Lydia, I don’t think I’d ever learnt that. She allowed me to discover myself. For a long time, I thought that I needed another person to complete me and I thought that she was that person. At first we were just friends but our friendship developed into something more. I bared my soul to her. Foolhardy. That’s what I suppose we were, and happy. Truly, it was like a fool’s paradise. So much so, that it was laughable and we did. We laughed. A lot! We shared so many things with one another. We took turns daring each other to do crazy, sometimes dangerous things.

Lydia was Lydia. Everyone loved her and everyone wanted to be around her. I knew that I’d found a jewel. I shared something with her that no one else did. It made me feel special and wanted.

Then, I fell in love with her.

I tried distancing myself from her but I couldn’t. I was obsessed. Being without her caused me physical pain.

We gate-crashed a senior high school party one night. It was Lydia’s dare to me. We must’ve had too much punch that night because I can still feel the searing headache I woke up to whenever I think of that night. Lydia was passed out on the couch next to me and the party had died down. I called Thomas. I knew that Thomas would come get me with no questions asked. When we got to Lydia’s house, no one there had missed us. We were safe. Our secret was safe. It seemed more like my secret because Lydia remembered nothing.

Everything that happened the night before came crashing into my mind like a tsunami: the taste of Lydia’s lips on mine as the alcohol swam through our veins; the gentle movements of her hands as our bodies moved rhythmically to the music…I struggled to explain it to her but she seemed unfazed by it. By us. She breezily suggested we make it official right there. I was confused. I thought she knew. So I agreed. Like an idiot, I agreed.

Those few months were amazing. Being with her was like being on an adventure every day, until I found out about her fling and the fact that she was straight. Her excuse: “I didn’t want you to feel bad about yourself.”

Outcome: 413 doses of antidepressants, 22 anxiety attacks and a weekly visit to the shrink! Thanks, Lydia. I guess you were my “magnum opus” of mistakes!

XOX

Charlie

Day Six: Books and Bands

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Dear Vodka

I couldn’t think of anything better than spending a Sunday afternoon reading Sense and Sensibility, with the hum of The Japanese House playing in the background, sipping on a macchiato.

I do love my job, albeit it is a temporary position as an attendant at a bookstore. I started working at Maud’s a month before I moved. It’s only ten minutes away from Gran’s and the pay is good since I’m the only attendant besides Meredith, who works during the week. I only work there on weekends, Sundays mostly.

Most of our regulars were locals. We’d have the odd tourist every now and then but it was quiet most of the time. The best thing about being a bookworm working in a bookstore was that you got to read the books for free and before everyone else. Well, that was against store policy but Catherine, the store owner didn’t seem to notice and if she did, she hasn’t said anything yet.

The store opened at ten but I usually arrived at seven o make sure that everything was in place. And besides, Gran was a faithful churchgoer, dragging me to the Cross whenever she could. I tried to explain to her that you could be a good person and Christian even if you didn’t attend church regularly. She said that that was a whole load of new age hodgepodge. She left me to be.

I haven’t spoken to Chloe or Aiden in a while but, to be honest, I’d rather not. I still had her to deal with. Maybe Gran’s right. Maybe a little prayer wouldn’t do too much harm.

But who really knows? We’re all just roaming around pretending that we know what we’re doing in this world. Either way, it was time for some damage control. I went down to the piercing clinic after work and got a rook in my right ear. Mum and Gran wouldn’t be too pleased but then again they probably wouldn’t even notice. Thomas and I are getting matching tattoos on Tuesday. I can’t wait!

XOX

Charlie