[Cheerless #6] CheerSoaked: A Tale Of Two Freaks

The Final CheerJerker

"This is the final boarding call for Flight Two-Eighty-Three to LaGuardia Airport. All passengers must board the plane at this time."

"So that's what happened."

My head nodded slowly. "Yep."

Sabrina did not nod. She shook her head, instead. "Wow. So, that failed."

"Hugely."

"Seriously, the Bee Gees?! Toothpaste, and- Libby, I must admit, I'm kind of disappointed!"

"I was working with what little resources were available to-"

"But you could have at least went with something less... disco!" She gave a small, disbelieving laugh. "And you thought that was going to break you out of Swords Academy?"

"Hey, I'd like to see you escape from The Gulag That Fashion Forgot! It's not as easy as it doesn't look, you know!"

"Okay, okay," she giggled. "But you have got to let me tell Roxie that story, she'll wet her pants!"

"Don't you dare," I said with a glower. "I tell only those I'm intimate with."

"So, yeah, everybody."

"GOD, shut UP!"

When I caught the look on her face, I couldn't help but laugh along with her as I stood up and shouldered my carry-on, even though she was endeavouring to sully my already-spotty reputation.

"I despise you," I giggled, taking out my ticket. "With every atom of every cell, seriously."

"Love you, too, Loobyloo."

"And could you not call me Loobyloo?" I snapped. "It is not funny, and also what my mother calls me, and I'd rather not think about my mother when I'm about to- to-"

"To?" she asked.

There were people everywhere. Sure, nobody was left in this particular area (having already boarded my flight), but the receptionist and security guards were still staring at us expectantly, waiting to see if we'd be getting on the plane or not. What Sabrina had said caught up to me; I was scared of being outed. Was I? Sure.

Not scared enough.

I definitely heard the dumpy woman at the desk gasp loudly; I wondered if she'd ever seen two women say goodbye in such a manner. Probably not; I'd marked her for the kind who doesn't get out much. Meanwhile, that was all the thought I could spare for some frumpy lady while I was pressing so deeply into my lover that I thought I might fall through and into her soul. The thing that made it sweetest? We had already done so much crying that day that we didn't have any tears left; all we had was love.

As the extremely-flustered woman checked my ticket, I turned back to her. "Don't wait two months to write me."

"Write?" she said incredulously. "Why waste paper when you can... pop?"

And just like that, my eyes lit up. "You can, can't you? I mean, duh, I've seen you do it a million-"

"And I'll do it again," she said, nodding slightly in the direction of the woman. Right - confidential information. "I'll try to call ahead to make sure you're alone in the apartment, though."

"Good, good." The last thing I needed was to have a 'witches are real, and not just on Charmed' conversation with my father. "I... oh, God, I'm so glad this isn't going to be so impossibly horrible as I thought it would!"

"Yeah," she sighed, half-smiling, half-frowning. "Gonna miss having you around on a regular basis."

"Yeah, but - but... yeah." I swallowed, wanting reassurance rather than commiseration. "But we'll survive, right?"

"Miss," the lady tried to interrupt, nodding to the gentleman closing the door behind me.

"Shit!" I yelped, darting through it. "Thank you!" I said to her.

As another door closed between me and the airport, I was brought back with vivid clarity to warmer-dressed Sabrina on the other side of the room, bidding me a miserable farewell as tears slid down her morose features. She was much closer now, but she was still crying and waving - even as she grinned at me and left me with a final thought.

"The Libby Chessler I know can survive anything."

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

"So that took forever," said Ophelia as I climbed over her into the window seat, stowing my bag under my "flotation device" and plopping down wearily. "Didn't realise I got on so early, or I'd have grabbed a bite to- Libby?"

"Don't worry about it," I sniffled.

"Oh..." She frowned uncertainly. "You... wanna talk about it, or do you maybe need some Libby-time?"

"Libby-time," I choked out. "Libby-time in the lavatory, maybe even."

"That bad, huh?"

"Ever been stabbed in the face with an ice pick, set on fire, then thrown into a bathtub full of lemon juice?"

Her eyeliner-heavy eyes blinked a few times. "Uhhh... not since last All Hallows?"

"Yeah, well, I'd take that."

An impatient "tuh!". "Libby Gabby, you're going to be seeing her very soon, I'm sure. Don't pass a stone."

My eyebrows twitched as rage began to overtake my misery. "Ophelia, I swear to GOD-"

"Sorry," she said, reflexively protecting her face. "Damn, I guess you really were serious about nobody using that."

"As a triple-bypass." Then I slumped back into my seat, wriggling when I felt how hard and uncomfortable the backrest was. "Urgh, I want off this plane - I wanna go back to Westbridge, back to my old life!"

"You mean, pom-poms and Porshes?"

"Like I ever had a- I mean, no, not that crap." I glanced out the tiny, round window at the wing of the plane; the mid-morning sun was glinting off the metal and into my eyes, making me wipe them even more furiously. "I just want to be living in my house with that gorgon of a mother, and drifting through high school, and eating at The Slicery, and pining after Harvey, and- and-"

Ophelia snorted. "But then you and Sabrina would be at each other's throats instead of all snuggly-wuggly."

That thought should have been horrible - and for a moment, it was. The smile that spread over my face was such a curious sensation. "Yeah, we would have. Ahh, the good old days."

"You miss that, too, don't you? Bickering with Sabrina."

My entire perception of our past slowly came into focus through my new rose-tinted lenses; I'd caught a glimpse in the heat of our confessions in Prom The Second, but only now was it all bumped up to digitally-remastered DVD clarity. Every day for the first month, when I kept seeing her and wondering how anybody so tacky and uncool and strange could exist - me liking what I saw, even though I refused to admit it. The next few years, with us trading insults, sometimes going out of our way to snipe at each other no matter if we were on opposite sides of campus or not - flirting. Maybe love at first sight is more than a myth; it simply disguises itself in different forms until you're ready to come to grips with your own feelings.

"I do." Ophelia was shaking her head, but smirking exasperatedly. "What?"

"Yeah, I can tell now I never had a chance. If you miss fighting with her, it must be the real thing."

I laughed. "I thought 'The Real Thing' was Coca-Cola."

Punching me in the arm was the nicest punishment she could have given me for that one. "Bimbo."

"Ophie?"

Before I could elaborate, my face was mashing into her bosom and her forearms were pressing into the back of my head. "I know. It's okay."

I couldn't help but open wide the floodgates and let all my grief, joy and sadness pour out all over her Poe t-shirt. What she'd helped me understand, how I'd see Sabrina again soon and that we'd always been retarded for each other - it had helped me so much that I could never express my gratitude. Yet I needed a release. Too much drama had anally assaulted me over the past couple weeks.

"C'mon, be brave," she was saying - she had been talking all along, though I was way too overcome to register the words. Now, suddenly and powerfully, I realised I wasn't the only one crying. "Summer is a few months away, a-and then- then we could go back, and see your Sabrina again, right?"

"My Sabrina?" I gasped, sitting upright. No one had ever put it that way outside my own mind. "M-mine?"

"I think you've got her sewn up," she affirmed blearily.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Perhaps this isn't the most usual place to end the Libby Chessler story, but this is where the curtain closes - with me falling asleep, nestled in the arms of a bisexual Wiccan goth girl on a plane back to my father's apartment in Chelsea, prepared to finish my classes, dole out plates of putanesca and scream for the alternative band I had lead to an initial contract. My bad. Maybe I'll write a follow-up memoir later in life, but for now I don't see what else there is to chronicle. We got to all the juicy stuff.

So, what do you think? Am I insane? Probably right about that, but I am who I am - or who I've become after a year or two of various tortures. Did I trade up or down? Pom-poms for purple hair dye, Jill and Cee Cee for Adymm and Ophelia, Mr Kraft for Mr Scapelli... Westbridge for West Village. You be the judge.

No matter what, though, I am adamant on one thing; Sabrina. Maybe you don't agree that we were meant to be from birth, and maybe you think we let some weirdness turn into the worst idea of the century, and to that I say... screw your stupid ass! Where do you get off telling me I picked the wrong lifemate?! I am motherfucking LIBBY CHESSLER, or did you so quickly forget that part?!

Ahem. So, yes. Anyone who was offended by that... deserves to be, but I apologise, anyway. I'm just that nice.

The rest of you see, though, don't you? Every moment of discovery and strife through these teenage years of mine has led up to the undeniable truth that me without Sabrina is like a cappuccino without foam - bold and delicious, but also flat and uninteresting. Having her in my life gives it form and meaning, breathes life and colour and flavour onto my otherwise unadorned existence.

How about that? Cheerless to Cheerful in two years flat - and all because of a stubborn blonde optimist with supernatural powers. You never know where life will take you, I suppose - or to whom it will take you.

Gotta go. Until we meet again, dear readers.

Liberty G Chessler

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