Day 15: Wishbone. Funny Bone. Backbone.

penned by: Julia Smith

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Dear Vodka

It’s been great living under the same roof as Mum and Dad again. Thomas and I keep on pranking Mum and Dad but they’ve gotten us back after we accidentally broke late Aunt Rita’s glass vase that she bestowed upon Mum in her will. Mum was pretty upset but Thomas promised that we would cook dinner for the next week.

I slapped Thomas the moment Mum was out of the room. Thomas is a great cook. The only thing I know how to do is make waffles and all those basic breakfast-y stuff. I always end up burning the food. I can’t help it. So, out of anger, I told Thomas that, since he came up with the brilliant idea, he’d be doing it all by himself. I felt bad afterwards and bought him the entire Game of Thrones collection from my savings. It was an impulsive buy but I hated seeing Thomas upset. He wasn’t upset per say but I felt guilty for being so nasty.

I woke up to Ellie’s face.

I thought I was dreaming but then I smelt Thomas’s famous Belgian waffles from the kitchen and I knew that that meant I was late because Thomas only wakes up when I leave for school. I blushed like a burnt tomato when I saw Theo in the kitchen. I was still in my PJ’s as I made my way through the kitchen into Thomas’s room to use his en suite shower. I heard Thomas, Theo and Ellie burst out laughing as I ran half-naked into the room, straight into the shower. Okay. Confession time: when I say ‘PJ’s’ I mean knickers and a t-shirt. I felt so embarrassed but after a searing hot shower with the linger of berry shower gel still on me, I got over the worst of it and I laughed about it afterwards. 

Any way…Theo dropped us off at school and I bumped into Aiden as I made my way to my locker. He greeted me briefly and slipped a note into my hand. I wanted to reach for him but he was out of sight in a flash. It was kind of strange. I spent the rest of the day going from class to class, each one presenting more homework than the former. At the end of the day, I’d acquired five sets of homework! Something good came out of my day, however, when I acquainted myself with Tanner, a boy in my Literature class with extremely sleek blonde hair and ocean blue eyes, and Kennedy, a girl in my Geography class who looks Brazillian. Turns out her mother is actually Brazillian and her father Canadian. That’s an interesting combination. We had lunch together. Tanner is quite the adrenaline junkie. Kennedy is class president and enjoys playing the piano.

I looked back on the day and felt quite blessed. Gran Lilith called me earlier. She said that she’s going on a cruise ship to the Caribbean Islands with Bridget on Friday. I promised to come around tomorrow to fetch Lava. Gran Lilith says that she’s got a surprise for me when I come. I wonder what it is. Knowing Gran Lilith, it’s probably something Mum won’t approve of.

Oh well, ciao for now!

XOX

Charlie

 

 

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To the only Chloe who matters

from: Finn Schmidt
to: Chloe Vollenhoven
date: 26 August 2017 at 00.12
subject: fwd, fwd, re:

Hi Chloe,

Oh my God! I finally saw that email you sent. I am sorry. We are still enjoying the last of our Summer vacations but that’s not your fault.

Where shall I begin? I’ve been away with my friends and your cousin to Spain. Boys only. This made me want to talk to you everyday. Once I imagined that you were talking to someone down at this little private beach but she wasn’t you. I felt dissapointed. Is that how you say it?? My English isn’t good.
Help me when I fail you.

How are your father and mother? I think about your last few emails all the day. I think I can hear your voice when I read them. This makes me smile.

How is my little friend Jack? Tell him I’ve got a few new collectable toys for him. You told me not to post it so I won’t. When I have saved up enough money for a ticket, I will visit you in person.

Did that make you smile Chloe? Did I make you smile? The beautiful smile that lifts at the corners of your mouth and makes your eyes close? How I wish to see you now.

Like I said before… I saw your email from that awful boy. I won’t say a bad word so that you will have to read it. I hate boys like him. He sounds like a selfish boy with no kindness in his heart. I can only assume from this that he is a handsome boy. Why else would a girl like you want to be with a boy like that?
Good for him if he has a girlfriend Chloe. She obviously does not know his true self yet. Feel sorry for her. Don’t feel jealousy. That boy doesn’t deserve you.

Sorry.
I am feeling rage. Is that right? I am feeling rage?
If you help me with my English I can get full points on my exams next semester.

Wish you would come to Germany to stay. It would be good to have you here all the time.

Talk soon.
Finn heart Chloe. Something like that. 😉

xxx

PS new music playlist as long as my (you know what) waiting for you in our special loscation.
PSS now I know I’ve made you smile, definitely.
PPSS I am smiling too. So hard my face hurts and I can’t stop.

xxx

Please send my best to your father, mother and Jack and your friend who works at the book store… Also starts with a C. I forget… I’m so bad with names.

xxx wish these were real xxx

G.R Email / Dearest Chloe

Dearest Chloe,
It’s been months since we last spoke and i must apologise for my behaviour. There is nothing i could do that would explain how i could have walked away from someone like you but i did.
It wasn’t me. You have to know that.
But I had to put you out of my head. There wasn’t a choice to be honest. No. To be honest of course I had a choice. But then i’m a Rockerfella heir and there’s nothing more to say about that. As much as I hate it.
I’m well. I’m enjoying New York city. It’s been overwhelming but i cope. School is completely different but there wasn’t much of a culture shock when my family is such a well known group here. So that’s strange.
If you wonder why i’ve not replied to any of your emails or why social media is a black hole i can only tell you that i deleted everything the day they put me on a plane out of there. Then of course i couldn’t see it. I wanted to be with you, but now i’m here in this life… you wouldn’t like it. This world i live in isn’t you. We’re too different you and i.
So here goes…
I’m only writing to tell you that i’ll be back in the area for my father’s birthday. So you might run into me and i don’t want to shock you in anyway. Anyway someone as pretty as you would have a string of guys already so perhaps you and well and truly over me by now.
Perhaps we’ll see one another but I doubt it.

Kindly, Gabrial.

PS. i’ll bringing my girlfriend along.
;-)ciao

Day 14: Senior Year at a new school

Written by Julia Smith

Dear Vodka

First week at a new school was … can I say? I was the shiny new toy in the preschool game room that everyone wanted to play with. Despite the fact that my nerves were shot, I felt really positive and ready to take on this new journey. Theo offered to pick me up along with Ellie whom he regularly dropped off at school every day before he went to university. It made me feel a load better knowing that Ellie would be at my side. I called Chloe before I left just to check in. I told her all about Theo and Ellie. She promised to see me soon. I can’t wait to see her. For now, though, my new friends were doing a pretty good job at keeping me happy. What more could I ask for? Life is great. I asked Ellie if we could look for Aiden. The moment I said his name, her coffee went from near-ingestion to on-the-floor-in-a-nice-brown-puddle-of-shock! I was confused until she started interrogating me about how I knew ‘The Aiden Clark.’ What? Apparently, Aiden is super popular and no one infiltrates his group but his close friends, which is three guys named Matt, Jonah and Connor. Who knew? Oh well, he’ll probably act as if I don’t exist if he bumps into me at school. Ellie warned me to stay away from him. It’s not because he’s some bad boy or anything; she just said that whoever gets close to Aiden ends up either going mental or dead. Okay. Hold the phone. Seriously? That’s a bit much! However, Ellie told me that Aiden’s parents both died in a fatal car crash of which he was the only survivor. Also, his best friend was treated for mirror-touch synaesthesia and because Aiden played lacrosse and got injured all the time, his best friend could feel his pain. It eventually drove him crazy. Literally. I couldn’t stop thinking about Aiden. He must feel pretty crap about what people say about him. Why didn’t he tell me any of this? I think I know why. Aiden didn’t know that we were going to be attending the same school. That would mean that he didn’t mind having me around. I suppose Matt, Jonah and Connor are really special if they’re around him all the time. I still think, however, that just because those horrible things happened to his parents and his best friend, it doesn’t make Aiden a bad person. It simply means that he has been very unfortunate. I’ll understand if he doesn’t want to be around me anymore. It will break my heart a bit too. Ciao for now! XOX

Charlie

Me and my big mouth

This hasn’t been the easiest week for me.

It’s been freezing cold again and with most of my body fat gone my teeth are rattling most of the day. I’ve started getting strange looks and whispers but I don’t care much. Gossip all you want. Only means I’m THAT important.

Mom and dad have been at me all week. I’ve had two counselling sessions and been for a full body work up this week. If someone tells me I need to eat just one more time I think I’ll stop eating just to spite them. I just don’t see the point in putting all that into my body. Mom made me watch To The Bone on Netflix. I rolled my eyes a lot. Why does everyone seem to think I have anorexia? Why does my lifestyle need to be labelled? So I’m very conscientious of a number of calories I put in my body. It doesn’t mean I have or will ever be anorexic.

I tried explaining that to my counsellor who then told me ‘If that is how you feel Chloe, then you need to tell me. It’s the only way we are going to be able to get to the bottom of this.’

Sometimes I just want to look him in the face and ask him if he’s happy to have ruined my life? I was such a normal happy human being before he walked in all beautiful and confused. I gave him my virginity and he tossed me aside like I was meaningless. Am I meaningless? Is this what I’m trying to achieve? Meaning?

I tried finding Noah – which I did. He just appeared, said: Chloe and then pulled his half of the science project out of a folder. So I gave him my full report. He casually weighed it in his hands before cocking his eyebrow at the fact that I’d had the grace to credit him for my work. After a good ten minutes, we both handed each project back but he said I could do whatever I wanted with his. I don’t know if he was angry because I’d done our assignment by myself but then he should have answered one of my many emails or messages. Noah can grow up and talk to me whenever he feels like it again. I’m not going to grovel at another mans’ feet again.

But maybe just one mans.

Dad has been by my side this whole week. He has stopped running with me in the morning. We’ve been having breakfast every morning. Just the two of us. He watches my every bite and it makes me want to throw up just so we can stop this charade but I know that is going to destroy our fragile relationship. He just said that he thought we were making progress. He asked me if there was anything I needed him to do.

I said: Please dad, don’t give up on me.

Then he folded me into his arms.

Day 13: Sunday Lunch with the Familià

Dear Vodka

I woke up extra early this morning and sneaked into Mum and Dad’s room. The sun was just rising and I convinced Mum to walk down to the beach with me in her sleepy state. Dad was already up, fixing a pipe under the kitchen sink. Dad has his own plumbing business. He would always joke about me taking over the business and Mum would cover my ears, whispering into them that princesses don’t do such things. I wonder if she still thinks I’m her princess.

Mum was okay with me inviting Theo and Ellie over for lunch. In fact, she drove straight to the supermarket after I asked. She looked excited. She looked alive and healthy. She looked like my Mum. We sat on the beach in complete silence at first. After about two minutes, Mum burst into tears. I noticed the few grey streaks in her long strawberry blonde hair. I noticed the veins in her hands as she put her hand in mine and kissed it over and over again, repeating the word ‘sorry.’ I began to cry too. I embraced Mum and I could feel the bones in her back through her clothes. She’d lost a lot of weight ever since I moved out. We sat on the beach for quite a while, pouring our hearts out; allowing our tears to fall onto the sand and watching as it made splotches in the sand. It was therapeutic.

I now know why Mum’s been so distant all these years. Mum had quite the life as a teenager before she met Dad. She was a wild flower, partying day and night. She was rebellious. She lived in the moment, too afraid to think of what the future would bring. When Mum turned sixteen her dad died of a heart attack. It was sudden and it completely tore her apart. He was her favourite person. She blamed herself for not spending enough time with him. For abandoning her relationship with him because she wanted to be a teenager and ‘live life.’ She slipped into depression.

When I was born, Mum still had that hurt inside of her and she resented bringing me into this world ever since. As a result, she suffered from postnatal depression. She was afraid that I’d turn out like her. She said that I reminded her so much of herself and she couldn’t bear to watch me grow up into the person she was. That’s why she pulled away.

I was shocked. All these years I’ve been my mother’s biggest fear. All these years I’ve resented her for something she had no control over. Mum asked for my forgiveness but I simply embraced her and said ‘sorry.’ We walked back to the house which was one road away from the beach. Thomas and I helped Dad prepare lunch while Mum made dessert. In our household, Dad’s the cook. The only thing Mum’s good at in the kitchen is making dessert. For the first time, I felt like I belonged. I felt a sense of home in my own home.

Theo and Ellie arrived just as we were finishing up. Theo helped me set the table while Ellie entertained Thomas with her talk about electrical engineering. Apparently, Ellie wants to study electrical engineering in England. It came as a complete shock to Thomas who is studying industrial engineering in England. I reckon they’ll get along well even though Ellie’s my age. Theo is three years older than me but age doesn’t matter in our family really. Mum is eight years younger than Dad anyway.

Lunch was delicious and the conversation was pleasant. It was like heaven having my family and friends all in one place. Mum was extra happy and open. She told us about how she met Dad while Dad shot carrots at Mum, telling her that she was embarrassing him. Mum simply laughed and continued with the story. After lunch, we played a game of Scrabble and I won. Obviously!

Ellie, Thomas and Theo and I took a walk on the beach whilst Mum and Dad tidied up in the kitchen, reminiscing over their younger years. It just happens to be my luck that Ellie attends the same school as me. Yippee! Theo studies Applied Chemistry at the local university. They live like ten minutes away from Mum and Dad’s. Guess I’m moving back in!

XOX

Charlie

Day 12: A Little Bit of Sunshine

Dear Vodka

No one likes to wake up early on the weekend, especially when it’s your last weekend before school starts. However, if I was going to keep up my yoga routine, I’d have to make the sacrifice. Plus, today was my first group therapy session. I felt kind of anxious but also really excited. I was silently praying as my dad (Paul) drove me to the youth centre three blocks away from our house that it wasn’t going to be anything like it was in the movies. Little did I know that the universe has a funny way of making things happen!

A refreshment station was set up at the entrance of the meeting room. I poured myself a glass of mango juice since there was still some time left before the session started. If there was one thing I valued, it was being punctual.  As I turned, someone bumped into me. I looked down at my jeans, which was completely drenched in juice. I looked up in horror at the person standing in front of me. It wasn’t just any person, might I add. It was a gorgeous being with the softest-looking head of shoulder-length medium-brown curls. The sunlight creeping in through the windows above shone on his tan skin, emphasising the strong curve of his jaw. The sunlight made his eyes appear almost cat-like. They were a beautiful green, almost olive. I quickly apologised, realising that I must have been staring at him for a bit too long. I couldn’t help but stumble over my words as I apologised. He quickly put me out of my misery when he introduced himself as Theo. I was about to introduce myself when a girl who looked related to Theo came running in our direction. She was beautiful, with her dark hair set against her olive skin. She is just about my height. If it weren’t for her big round brown eyes, I’d say she looks exactly like Pocahontas.

The session was complete poppycock. The only thing that made it bearable was Theo, who sat across from me. He kept on glancing my way, making weird faces. I couldn’t contain my laughter and at one point, I burst out into laughter. The coordinator then realised that there was a new member in the group and I was forced to introduce myself. I soon learnt that the girl was indeed Theo’s sister. Her name is Ellie. Even her name is beautiful. Geez! I might just fall in love with her but not in that way. She just has this radiance about herself. Like a ray of sunshine in the dark. I couldn’t understand what they were doing at group therapy but I soon learnt that their mom, who just happened to be a therapist, thought that it would be healthy for them.

They invited me over for Sunday lunch next week. I figured I’d return the favour and invite them over for lunch tomorrow. Fingers crossed. I hope I can figure things out with Mum before then.

I guess you could say that I had a positively successful day today. I feel so happy. So content and fulfilled. This is the start of all things great, Vodka!

XOX

Charlie