Sophie DeChazal just finished three years of university life. However, she returns home with a debt of nearly £10,000 and no degree in hand. As her once close-knit family adjusts to the news and tries to understand what happens, Sophie attempts to justify her behaviour. The story takes us through those three years of self-discovery and self-mutilation.
How did a responsible straight-A student with great hopes for the future turn into a savage party animal, devoid of principles or morals?


1. In the End, it's only the Beginning

I walked into Heathrow Airport with my brother. As he piled up our massive stack of luggage in front of  check-in counter, I stood behind, idly looking at my surroundings. "So, this is where it's going to end", I thought to myself, "right where it all started." The only difference was that three years ago, I was checking into London, not out. That thought left a bitter taste in my mouth that stung my eyes, and they teared up. My brother, Jason, beckoned me forth so the officer could confirm that the angry-looking 18-yr old girl staring at him from the passport was indeed a younger version of the 21-year old mess that stood in front of him. He nodded, lugged our suitcases through, and that was it: I was officially on my way out of London, UK. 

However, the 50 kgs of luggage my brother and I were bringing back to Mauritius did not compare to the weight of baggage I was dragging around on my shoulders. I wasn't on my way back from three years of university with a degree in hand, I was being dragged back home in shame by my younger sibling. 

"It's just two weeks, mum and dad want to know what's going on, then you can come back", my brother had reassured me two days before my impromptu uprooting back to the motherland. I knew better, I realised  that my time was up and I now had to go back and face the consequences of my actions. It started to go wrong about 18 months ago but the list of shame was longer than I dared to admit.

After my brother had hung up, I had looked around my room and stared at its state. The dirtiness and mess I lived in was a physical reflection of my emotional condition. My spare mattress lay on the floor, made sticky by alcohol stains, piled up with an array of clean and dirty clothes that ranged from every shade of black. Although my flatshare had both, a washing machine and a dryer at the end of the corridor, the thought of doing something to clean up my room recoiled me as much as any stranger curiously peeking into my private space.  I did occasionally clean and I would have made Martha Stewart beam up with pride at my efforts. However, I still entertained more than I could cope with, so the need to impress with an eclectic room was put aside and the grubbiness took over. 

Once again, I couldn't be bothered to clean up, the automatic excuse of my mind being too worked up popped up as readily as my pet dog would have eaten his treat. I grabbed any visible pound notes I could find, stashed that and my debit cards into my handbag and went over to my dusty mirror to apply my make up. "I'm too anxious, there is no point in being rational, a night out will help me clear my mind and do me good", I convinced myself whilst going through my contact list to find out who of my friends would be free to join me...




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