by K Fiore
A girl dealing with loss, grief, and the journey of a lesson she has to learn
|June 9 Wed
Did you know that Martin Luther (you know, the guy who disagreed with the catholic church, wrote the ninety-five theses, and accidentally started his own branch of Christianity) ate a spoonful of his own fecal matter every day for health reasons? Well, now you do. Man, people did crazy shit back then. Or ate it, in Martin's case. I always say, if you don't know where to start, turn to a useless history fact. There are tons of them, and most of them are more worth hearing than the typical introduction. I've never had a journal and I'm not a "dear diary" type girl, so don't expect me to start with that. Ever. They told me journaling would help and then gave me this cheap looking notebook. I think they're full of crap, but I guess I'll still try it out. Not for myself, but for mom. I can almost feel her cautiously eyeing me from behind and it's making writing a bit uncomfortable. As soon as I got in the car she offered to buy me a better journal. "They have pretty ones at Barnes and Noble. We could go pick one out now!" I declined, because firstly I don't want to journal anyway, and secondly if I'm going to be journaling it doesn't really matter if it's inside an overpriced booklet from an overpriced bookstore or a 25¢ notebook from Walmart. It'll be the same thing either way. And I doubt I'll be writing very much. I don't know what they expect me to write about. My name is Emmeline. I have two paternal units. Just like all human beings. Only mine are still together which I guess isn't as common these days. And I have a 10 year old demon sister named Cherrie. I know our names are weird. It's because my parents are weird. I was named after Emmeline Pankhurst, a leader of the British suffrage movement. Mom's a big feminist. And Cherrie? Yeah, I couldn't tell you why that's even a thing. And don't ask Cherrie about it either because she'll probably beat you up. She hates that name about as much as she hates not being the center of attention (which is more than you can imagine). I have a pet rabbit too, but he's not really mine. He belongs to my best friend, Calla. At least he used to. She's dead. And it's my fault.
June 13 Tue
I suppose you're wondering how my friend died and why it was my fault. I meant to keep writing but I had to stop. I can't talk about it and I don't want to. I don't want to write about it either but I feel like I should. Like maybe I owe it to Calla. I've been thinking about how to write this all week but I haven't come up with anything. I don't know why they said journaling would help because this is just making me feel worse. My palms are sweaty and I'm sick to my stomach. I had to lock the door to my room because I'm afraid of what I'd look like if someone was to barge in. Which happens often at my house. Okay. I'll just be straight about this and get it over with as quick as possible. Calla and I really like this one band. I'm not going to tell you what it is because I can't listen to their songs anymore. But I was searching around on YouTube and I found this unreleased song and it was great and I wanted to tell Calla about it so I pulled out my phone and texted her to look it up NOW. I didn't know she was driving. And I didn't know she would try to look up the song while she was driving. I didn't know that she wouldn't see the car coming as she turned into the parking lot of the grocery store, or that she would panic and accidentally push the gas instead of the brakes and skid on the wet road and slam into the right side of that car or that when they removed her crumpled body from the broken shards of glass and metal and plastic that it would be too late or that oddly enough her phone would survive with a few cracks and on the screen would be the song I told her to listen to.
June 14 Wed
Calla's family asked me to speak at her funeral. I didn't want to because I didn't deserve to. But, as they say, funerals are more for the living than they are for the dead. I barely remember what I said, but I know it didn't do Calla's life any justice. I could barely look at Calla's family because all I could think about was how we were all there because of me. They tried to assure me over and over that it wasn't my fault, but it was. It is. Calla's 15 year old brother, Dusty, looked even grimmer than usual. But what hurt most of all was seeing her 11 year old twin sisters, Pansy and Petunia, who were usually cheerfully covered in paint and glitter from their daily art endeavors, crying their eyes out. After that, everything was kind of a blur. I buried myself in my school work, finished the rest of the semester, and started what will probably be the most long and lonely summer of my life. Last month mom made me start going to therapy. I go every Wednesday, and it's a total waste of time. At first they were acting like I was in denial, and I wasn't. I just didn't want to talk or think about it. I don't need to go to therapy. The best therapy for me is running, which I can do on my own. I only go to therapy for mom. If I keep acting like it helps, then soon she'll probably assume that I'm better and let me end my sessions. I know that as time goes on, these feelings will fade. But being responsible for the death of your best friend isn't really something you ever recover from.
June 16 Fri
I'm not going to write any more about what happened. Doing so is pointless. The only reason I'm even writing now is for something to do. I'm home alone and therefore utterly bored because my dad is at work and my mom took Cherrie to her dance recital rehearsal. I have to go to the actual recital tomorrow and I'm not looking forward to it. Just imagine being packed in an auditorium with overly excited moms, bored dads and brothers, confused grandparents, and whining children squeezed into sequined costumes with masks of heavy makeup. I am not a fan. Cherrie, however, has a differing opinion on the situation. Dance recital day is probably one of her top three favorite days of the year. She honestly believes she's the star of the entire show. Mom put me in dance class when I was a kid too, only I didn't like it as much as Cherrie. Okay, that's probably an understatement. I hated it. I quit after a year. I was terrible at dancing and the other demons, I mean children, made fun of me for my red hair. One girl got it in her head that gingers really don't have souls, and she spread it around to the rest of the class. Half of them avoided me and the other half laughed at me. It was actually a really lame thing to make fun of someone about. Cherrie is as fiery orange and freckled as me and I don't see anyone teasing her. Likely because they're too busy going at her about her name. I would feel bad, but I don't. Probably because I have no soul.
June 17 Sat
The dance recital went as described yesterday. Well, for the most part. I saw a girl from my English class, Veronica. We didn't talk that much at school, but we were friendly, I guess. She came up to me and I could tell by the look on her face that she wanted to talk about Calla, but I guess she decided against it. I don't know what facial expression I was making, but it probably wasn't pretty. Anyway, we just stood there in awkward silence for a minute and then she asked if I wanted to come to her sleepover party tomorrow. I didn't really, but I glanced over at mom and she nodded a little too encouragingly. So I said yes, and that's the story of how I now have plans for tomorrow. I like going to parties, but I always went to them with Calla. That way if it was lame or we didn't know anyone, we had each other as backup. This will be my first party without her. It kind of makes me sad. But I'm not going to whine in here. It makes me look weak, and I assure you, I'm not. Besides, that's what they want me to do. Vent my feelings. And doing so would just be letting them win.
June 19 Mon
What a mess. As it turns out, I don't know Veronica very well at all. I thought it was just going to be a casual get together with movies and food, but I found I was wrong about 0.5 seconds after my arrival. I got there a bit late because I don't like to be the first one at these things. The house was jam packed with loud music and people from school, only all of them were holding drinks and being loud and incoherent. Veronica greeted me with a hug that involved alcohol being spilled on me from the cup she was holding clumsily and then she giggled and said, "I tried to act like it was just a sleepover because your mom was right there. Isn't this so much better?" She giggled again and stumbled off. I wasn't sure if I should be amused or annoyed so I sat down and observed everyone a bit. My first party-party. I started thinking about how Calla never got to experience something like this and never would. It was my fault, but still, here I was, doing it without her. I guess I looked a bit down because this guy named Travis came over, poured me a shot of vodka, and then handed it to me without a word. I held on to it for a while, kept thinking, and then threw it back. I thought maybe it would make me stop thinking. I wish I had been right. It tasted horrible, like stale medicine or something. After a while, I only felt slightly dizzy but not really any different, so I went to the kitchen and took some more shots. I don't actually remember how many anymore. I thought maybe I would find myself dancing and laughing with the rest of the people at the party and forgetting about everything else. But the alcohol only made things worse. I suddenly felt as shocked and sad as I had right after it happened. I stumbled outside and broke down. I woke up this morning on one of the couches on Veronica's patio. And I was parched and sore. After that I had to go home and act like it had been a great "sleepover" with a few "friends" when mom asked. I've decided not to drink again. Or at least not for a while.