Back To Square One

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Chapter 9

Later that week, Dr. Trammel, having heard everything thathad happened, was really concerned as I was clearly not dealing with all the stress very well. He upped my meds and urged me to keep busy with positive things, and to find a dance studio as soon as possible; especially after I totally lost it with my mom when I found out she had moved on, and in with her lawyer. I tried to reason with Dr. Trammel that he had actually got all he wanted from me.I saw my mom and visited my brother and father’s grave all in the space of one day. He should actually be congratulating me right now, not upping my meds.

I was a walking time bomb. The stronger meds he gave me stood untouched in my kitchen with the rest of my medication. I was totally unhinged and I didn’t care one bit.

You just had to look at me sideways and I would lose it. The kids at school stopped talking when I got close and moved out of my way in the halls. I lost my cool with maybe one or two of them over the course of the week, making them even more wary of me. The only person not letting up was Kimberly, and I was really getting to breaking point with her.

What was pushing my buttons even more was the fact that Brandon was avoiding me, now joining Kimberly’s war but forming his own army against me. If I so much as looked in his direction he would tossa snide comment my way, making sure I heard and that it hurt me.

One day, about two weeks after Mrs. Gillen told us how she knew my parents, I totally lost it at school. I was angry, tired, on edge and irritated with Brandon for cancelling another tutoring session with me.When I cornered him in the hallway between classes, I pulled him aside and flew into him.

“What is your freaking problem, Brandon? One moment I’m good enough to tutor you so you can keep playing your precious rugby, and the next you treat me like I am some sort of fungus that will infect you. If you don’t want me to tutor you anymore, fine, I won’t! But just say so then, as I have better stuff to do. I thought we were friends! But clearly I was mistaken, just like every other part of my life.” I shouted this at him for the entire world to hear.

By this time, a crowd had gathered around us. Looking around at them,Brandon took a deep breath and then he also let off steam.

“Samantha, will you stop stalking me? No, I don’t need any more tutoring. Not from you, at least. I will manage on my own. We are NOT friends and have NEVER been friends!” By then, his mates and Kimberly were there to watch us blowing up at each other.

“I will never be friends with someone like YOU!” he said, with utter disgust in his voice. “I mean, look at you. Kimberly’s nickname of ‘Orphan’ is correct. You look like one. You dress like a sad and lonely freak; your family is screwed up either cheating on each other or killing each other. And I will not associate myself with someone like you.

“I kicked Kimberly out of my life when she cheated on me, then tried to get me to raise my best friend’s kid as my own. I will not be associated with another cheater’s offspring. Your dad couldn’t keep it in his pants, Kimberly couldn’t keep hers on, and you are the result of two cheaters messing around. So you are just as bad as they are. So leave me alone and never come near me again!”

As his speech came to an end, tears were streaming down my face. All the hurt, all the anger, everything from the last three years poured out in fresh tears in front of everyone,for them allto laugh at,and to agree with him.

Kimberly was also laughing even though he had just paid her a backhanded compliment as well. Really losing it this time, I shouted at the top of my lungs: “I AM NOTHING LIKE MY FREAKING PARENTS!”

As I stormed away I could hear Kimberly laughing. “I can’t believe she thought she stood a chance with him,” I heard her whispering.

I reached breaking point at that stage. I really wasn’t thinking clearly anymore and I no longer cared. I turned back to Kimberly and came to a stop right in front of her. “What?” she asked me with a raised eyebrow and a cocky expression on her face.

Taking a deep breath and looking her in the eyes, I asked her, with venom dripping from my lips: “Have you got something to say to me, Little Miss Not So Perfect?” My eyes dared her to say something, anything, because I was ready to wreak havoc on her too.

Her eyes got a bit bigger, but clearly feeling she had the upper hand she smirked at me again. “I cannot believe you actually thought he would fall in love with someone like you!” she said, tossing her hair over her shoulders. “I mean, like he said, just look at you. People are repulsed by you!”

I didn’t say one word after that. I took one step away from her, drew my hand into a fist and pulled it back as far as I could. Before she, or anyone else for that matter, realised what was happening I let go of the tension in my arm.It was like releasing a spring that was tightly coiled to its maximum, and I landed a solid punch right in the middle of her face. I felt her nose move out of position under my hand just before she dropped to her knees, screaming.

“You bitch!” she shrieked, holding her face, blood pouring from between her fingers.

I saw Brandon’s expression as he realised what he had said to me in front of everybody, and what I had just done to Kimberly in front of everyone.

An overwhelming hysteria bubbled up in me.

“Explain that to your therapist next time you see him, you witch!” I shouted at her, and then spun around to face the crowd.

“Anyone else have something to say about me?” I yelled again and then turned on my heel and ran for the car park, the tears having started up again. I drove home like a crazy person with everything churning through my mind, and my tears showing no sign of letting up. Arriving at my little house and looking around at the mess that was not just the house but my life as well, I completely lost it. I started throwing anything and everything I could get my hands on, not caring what it was, screaming and shouting and crying my heart out.

Every plate, cup, glass, saucer, everything went flying through my kitchen and into the living room. The few pots and pans I owned didn’t have to wait long to follow. I was totally out of control and did not care one bit. ‘I am nothing like my mother and father!’ I kept repeating that in my head and screaming it at the top of my lungs.

After about two hours I calmed down enough to sit on the couch and think about my life, about what Brandon said to me, and what I did to Kimberly. It did bring a little smile to my face when I remembered the look of horror on her face as my fist connected with her nose, but that happiness didn’t last very long.

What if everything that was said was true? What if I’m just as bad as my parents and will also end up cheating and hurting people, or worse, killing someone out of anger just like my mom? Look at what I did to Kimberly without a thought.

I’m not a good person and yet I did try to become one. I went to all the therapy sessions, drank the meds, and danced to help me calm down. But once one of those support structures goes away I lose my mind, and I’m back at square one again. I cannot live my life like this anymore. People will be afraid to talk to me; they already are, and afraid I will lose it and take it out on them.

And yes, some of them do deserve it, but Kimberly never lifted a hand to me. I could just as easily have taken her on with words, but no, I chose to lift my arm and punch the daylights out of her. Like that would solve any of my problems. And Brandon, that poor guy, must think I’m a total loon.

Well, maybe he is right, maybe I am a total loon. I mean, in what lifetime did I ever think he would be my friend, never mind fall in love with me? I did try to warn myself not to fall in love with him again. And I didn’t listen to myself. I thought I was better, that I was okay, and able to do this on my own. But I clearly have no clue how to do any of this alone.

Poor Mr.and Mrs. Gillen, my parents ruined their lives. Yes, they got Brandon out of it. But did they really want to be together? I can just imagine how Brandon must feel, more like an accident than the amazing person he is. I get why he is so mad at me. It’s my own fault. And it’s entirely my parents’ fault for ruining so many lives, including their own.

I barely moved off the couch for the next three days. I hardly ate or drank anything. I didn’t go to school or answer my phone. I just sat there staring at the wall, thinking. My phone rang constantly. I checked once and saw my aunt’s name pop up but I didn’t answer even her calls. Eventually the battery died and I was finally left in peace.

On day four I decided what to do. I would never be able to fix anything that had happened. I would never be happy, my brother would never live his life thanks to my mom, and my dad would never have to face the shame he caused our family.

It was all on me. I was the one who had to face it, had to listen to the whispers and endure the nightmares each night, waking up in a cold sweat. It was all on me and I finally realised that I would never be able to handle all of this on my own and still live a normal life.

So, I got off the couch, spring-cleaned the house and emptied out the trash and everything I had destroyed, took a shower, got dressed in my finest clothing and did my makeup and hair.

Looking at myself in the mirror, I thought I looked really good if you took into account the fact that I hadn’t eaten or slept properly in four days. The bags under my eyes were still visible even though I applied a thick layer of makeup. I fetched a piece of paper and a pen out of my school bag and started writing down my peace offering to the world.

Once I was finished I placed my note on my kitchen table and then poured myself a glass of water. I gathered the sleeping pills the doctor had given me for when the nightmares became too bad, as well as my new depression medication that I hadn’t been taking, and headed back to the bedroom.

As I approached the bed I thought how calm I felt, how rationally I was handling this situation, and how pleased the world would be with my decision. How what I was doing was the first decentthing I had done for this world.

After making myself comfortable on my bed, I took out all the depression meds and the two sleeping pills.

I started swallowing the depression meds four at a time, and then I took the two sleeping pills, swallowed them and replaced the water glass with both bottles back on the nightstand.

I wanted anyone who was looking to see the empty bottle of depression meds and that I had also swallowed sleeping pills. I didn’t want anyone having to wonder what I took.

I lay down on the bed, made sure I looked presentable, closed my eyes and waited for all the pain and sadness to go away.

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