I’m throwing up while Millie makes sure my hair stays out of my face. It feels like I’m living in Alexander’s bathroom since I threw my almost three years of sobriety away.
I have regretted a lot of things in my life, but this is by far my biggest regret. I hate not knowing what I did after I drank. I hate the hangover. I hate not being able to sleep, I hate that I’m sweating like crazy and I hate that I’m still craving the taste.
Put a bottle in front of me right now and I will drink it to the last drop, I’m sure of that. That’s probably why they won’t leave me alone. They actually took shifts watching me and I know I should be grateful, but I hate it!
″Do you really don’t have anything better to do?″ I groan. ″Like getting ready for finals or prepare for your trip through Europe?″
″Nope, getting my best friend sober still trumps that.″
″Sure, put your spot at UCLA at risk by tanking your final exams. Also who cares about seeing Vatican City? Biking through Amsterdam? Visiting the Louvre? Climb the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral? Who cares about all that if you can spend your time babysitting a drunk?''
There is a knock on the door and I see Tyler standing in the doorway.
''Great, another one who should be studying instead of wasting there time on me.''
''Good morning, sunshine!'' Tyler says sarcastic and he exchanges a look with Millie.
''The bedroom is one door further, go have fun. I already feel nauseous enough without the two of you pining after each other.''
''Samantha!'' Millie groans.
''What? You said you felt stupid for not telling him that you liked him. Tyler can say that he just wants to have fun, but he is an idiot! He never knows what is best for him, why do you think he works his way through the cheer squad?''
''Shut up, Sam!'' Tyler snaps.
''Why? It's the truth. Those girls don't interest you one bit, they are just for fun. It intimidates you when a girl is actually smart and sees right through your bullshit! Newsflash, Tyler. That girl is Millie and you definitely don't deserve her, but you two still make sense.''
I wipe the sweat of my face and I feel my stomach turn for the millions time. That was a bad sign!
''Not that she deserves you either, but that is probably my selfish ego speaking. It's like she would be dating my brother and nobody would be good enough for my brother, but who am I to say you can't date my best friend? That would be pretty hypocr...''
I'm not quick enough this time, but Tyler is. He basically pushes my face inside the toilet, while I throw up.
''Well, you were not lying about feeling nauseous, but a little heads up would be appreciated,'' Tyler chuckles.
''Any more wishes, princess?''
I can see Tyler rolling his eyes at me in the mirror, before he presses a kiss on my head.
''We love you too, idiot. Now, please move!''
I start laughing when Tyler starts throwing up and I see Millie's disgusted face. The door opens again and I see Alexander looking at the sight in front of him. He looks tired and then I realise they look all very tired.
Of course they are tired, they have been taking care of you!
I curse myself for putting them through this and for still wanting to drink. Drinking wouldn't solve anything, because the outcome was always the same. At the bottom of a bottle there was only regret and sorrow.
I remove a foil and check if the dye needs more time. Having rainbow coloured hair was fun and I didn't mind that it made me stand out. I felt strong and confident, ready to take on anything.
With everything that happened, the last thing I wanted was to stand out. People saw me at my absolute worst and they judged me based on that. They didn't know about my past. They didn't know how hard I worked on myself. They saw the video, the pictures and they made up their mind up about me.
I was damaged goods. An attention seeker party girl. A slut and a whore, but that was not the worst part. The worst part was that people were actually avoiding me. Even girls from the track team suddenly pretended that they didn't saw me.
It made me feel like crap, but also angry. Those girls knew me and I considered most of them friends. Friends that I would have invited to my birthday, but I didn't fell like celebrating anymore. What was there to celebrate?
Tyler lost his his scholarship because of his fight with Leroy and without it, he couldn't afford going to Stanford. There was still an investigation going on about who was responsible for spreading those pictures and the movie. I was back in the YCF program, because of everything what happened.
I needed structure and a safe place to process everything. What happened at school. Losing my sobriety. Feeling guilty for Tyler losing his scholarship. I felt was feeling so many things and I was triggered all the time.
I had nothing to celebrate.
''Sammy, what are you doing?''
Emma walks into my room and she jumps on my bed.
''You look like an alien!''
I smile and I show Emma the picture.
''The colours were fading, so I decided to dye my hair in the colour of the woman on the picture. What do you think, Em?''
Emma looks at the picture and she smiles.
''It's pretty and I want to help!''
I check the foil and I nod.
''Grab an old shirt of mine and then we go to the bathroom. You can help me remove the foils and then rinse my hair out, okay?''
''Yes!'' Emma walks to my closet and she grabs a shirt, before she follows me into the bathroom.
I help her into my shirt, because I don't want her covered in hair dye. Emma was enthusiastic, especially when it came to any type of painting. Give her a paper of a canvas and she was happy, but she was also messy. I had to reprimanded her many times for also painting on the floor, the walls or the table.
The thing was that I couldn't really get mad at her. She said she couldn't help that the canvas in her mind was bigger then the one in front of her. She was really taken after aunt Laurel more and more.
When I was thrown through a second floor window, my aunt didn't just wanted to replace the window. She gave the entire. upstairs hallway a makeover. Simply because her vision went further then fixing the window.
''Did something bad happened, Sammy?''
''Why do you ask me that?'' I ask surprised.
''Because you look like u used too,'' Emma says in sad tone. ''You would always come back like this if you had a fight with mommy. With creepy red eyes and like not all of you was there. I don't know how to say it right.''
Just when I thought I couldn't feel worse.
''Truth time?'' I ask and Emma nods.
''Okay. When I was younger and feeling nervous, mom would give me a magic pill or a magic drink. It would make all the bad feelings go away and it did. For a while I would feel invincible, happy and relaxed.''
I remove a foil and I put it in the plastic bag, before I continue.
''The thing is that I got used to feeling so great, but I needed those magic pills or drinks for that. So I kept taking them, but the bad feelings would always come back. That's why you saw me with those creepy red eyes and like I was really there, because I wasn't. Those magic pills and drinks made my mind foggy.''
''When I went to that fancy school, it only got worse. Everybody there was taking those magic pills and drinks. It was almost impossible for me to go a day without them, but I didn't realise that those magic pills and drinks were making me sick, Emma. I had to go to the hospital a few times when I got really sick and still I couldn't stop.''
Emma looks at me with worried eyes and she hold up the plastic bag for me.
''Well, when I was in the hospital I met a nurse who was really worried about me. She told me that I had to change my life if I wanted to stay alive, because those magic pills and drinks would kill me. That's why I went to that center, to get better and I got better.''
I smile when Emma pulls a foil out of my hair and I sigh.
''I got better because I wanted to live and so I could take care of you, but I'm not cured. I still think about taking those magic pills or drinks. I still want to take them, Emma. Last week all those bad feelings came back and I took a magic drink.''
''But you said that could kill you!''
''I know, lovey. It made a big mistake and that is why I look like I used too. That is the truth, but I don't want you to worry. I have help and I'm already feeling a lot better.''
Emma still looks worried and for a while we don't say anything. She keeps removing the foils and I wait for her to process what I just told her.
''Sammy, do you still have help when you go away to college?''
Five years old and she is worried about me!
It was a good question, but I couldn't answer it. I told Gabriel that I wasn't going to college next year, but I was reconsidering it now. Going somewhere far away would mean a fresh start, but that didn't answer Emma's question.
Was I going to have the help that I needed?