Happy-Go-Lucky

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?

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8. The Eye of The Storm

Six weeks had passed since my arrival back home. To say the very least, it had been a very eventful period for all of us. Jason had left within two weeks to start his internship in China, Dad was currently on a one-week conference in London and I had started going to the office with mum. Anything was better than sitting at home, moping or feeling useless. Nora was due back home on tomorrow's flight, from Heathrow, with Dad. She had had to finish packing up the rest of my stuff for me and I knew that she had not been happy about that, at all. To be honest, I feared the wrath of my elder sister more than anything else. She had always been the perfect sibling to me, even when her life had gone down in shambles, she had remained the epitome of strength and determination in my eyes. Nora was also the only one my mum really trusted and whose advice she mulled over in times of difficulty. I knew that her opinion of my London life would be very straightforward, no-nonsense, contemptible but honest. I couldn't admit it to myself, much less to my mum, but what I was really scared of was that she would make my mum see through her pity and worry for me and get on my case in a Nora-like fashion.  

At dinner, mum could sense my uneasiness and, as a mother would, guessed that it had something to do with Nora's arrival. "Why?" she asked, "Why would you be on edge so much at your sister's arrival? Aren't you girls best friends?"  We hadn't spoken to one another since February. Whatever attempt I had made to mend the relationship between us after I had come clean to my parents had been met by disgust and anger from her. I could not blame her, our last text exchange had mirrored exactly my current home situation. 

"Hey, I'm that book you gave me for Christmas last year. It's really good! I miss you, sis. I'm so sorry that you had to go pick up the rest of my stuff. If I had had more time, I would have packed everything myself. You don't deserve this. xx"

"STOP BEING SUCH A LITTLE HYPOCRITE. YOU'RE VERY HAPPY LIVING YOUR LIFE IN YOUR COSY LITTLE ROOM AFTER MUM AND DAD TOOK CARE OF YOUR MISTAKES. YOU DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE, YOU'RE A LIAR AND A HYPOCRITE!"

" I'm sorry you feel this way about me right now. I understand how you would and I can't blame you. I always took responsibility for my actions, I am working at mum's office and trying to make things right here. I just wanted to say I missed you and that I was looking forward to seeing you. That's all. Goodnight Nor...xx"

"DON'T YOU DARE TAKE ME FOR AN IDIOT. IF MUM AND DAD CAN'T, I CAN SEE RIGHT THROUGH YOU. YOU ARE A COLD AND CALCULATING BITCH AND YOU HAVE EVERYTHING GIVEN TO YOU TOO EASILY. I DON'T BELIEVE A WORD YOU SAY AND I HAVE NO OUNCE OF PITY OR UNDERSTANDING FOR YOU. DO YOU KNOW WHY? BECAUSE YOU NEVER, NEVER, ASKED FOR OUR HELP WHEN YOU COULD HAVE DONE SO. RIGHT NOW, I AM ASHAMED TO CALL YOU MY SISTER AND I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU."

As I had stared at my phone screen, indeed very comfortable in my king-sized bed, tears of shame escaped my eyes and and traced their way to my lips. They tasted as bitter as those words beaming up at me.  I remembered us as kids, sitting in the car, on our way back home from school. I had looked up at Nora and chirped out "Nora! Had we not been sisters, and you had seen me in the school yard one day, would we still have been best friends?". I had been about eight years old and Nora, ten. She turned to face me and replied, cheekily, that there was no way in hell we would have. Tears had welled up and my lower lip had started to wobble as she quickly tried to reassure me, "Soph, we're best friends now, and that's not just because we're sisters. That's because you and me, we have a special bond and we'll always be this close.", she had smiled to me warmly and my face had tensed down now knowing that this was one person who would always have my back. 

The next morning, my mum had given me the car keys and off we were to the airport. Both of us nervous at what awaited us, one out of a lack of knowledge, the other at the acquirement of too much knowledge. 

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