Bipolarity

16 year old Sophia Brooks has just lost her father. She's in therapy for depression and doesn't talk to her mom anymore since her dad's death. But when she leaves her notebook in class after having an emotional breakdown everything changes. Her boyfriend Derek distances himself from her and a mysterious boy dubbing himself "A.Q." writes back to her in her journal. Will Sophia get over her depression? Will she find out A.Q.'s true identity? Will love blossom between the two?

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5. Entry Five

Entry Four

September 20, 2013

                Hey, I got your card and I wanted to thank you for it but I still find you to be a weirdo. First and foremost you obtained information from Nick who I had no idea you were tied to. If I’d known you had affiliations with him I wouldn’t have even bothered writing you this letter. It’s just creepy to give a girl you barely know roses after she’s attempted suicide. Cute and warming but dear God is it ever creepy. I hardly know you and you hardly know me so why would you ever consider writing to me in my journal no less? Well actually it’s yours now. My therapist said you might as well keep it since I’ve purchased a new one and no, you can’t have it. You already took the first one so there that’s all yours now. Are you happy? You can write a whole bunch of journalistic irrelevant shit in there and keep it for yourself.

                So let me get to the gritty of all of this:

                I don’t want to get to know you.

                I don’t want to become close to you.

                As a matter of fact I don’t even want to be that acquaintance that passes by you in the hallways (I doubt I’ll ever see your elusive butt anyway but still…) and feigns interest and says an overly and annoyingly jubilant “hi” to appear friendlier than I really am. I’m not that person and I suspect I will never ever be that person and furthermore if you think you can magically erase all of my problems and fix me up like clockwork than you’re suspecting the wrong things out of me buddy, let me tell you. There’s no fixing here and anyway that’s more my therapist’s styling of things not yours. Capisco? Because you see I think we’ll understand each other if I clarify that I really, really, really would rather be left alone with my grief and depression and cutting and my one hundred and one fucked up issues.

P.S. I wouldn’t mind meeting up with Amaya but I’m not sure about you … you freak me out.

                September 21, 2013

                Meet Amaya after school by my locker: 1441. You should know where that is so I won’t bother providing you with directions. You can’t meet me yet. I’m like the devil, remember? So we’re going to hold off on this little meeting.

 

                September 22, 2013

                So I meet Amaya after school. She’s there right by A.Q.’s locker but A.Q. is nowhere to be seen and when she greets me she pulls me into one of those tight hugs that some people do when they haven’t seen you forever. She’s erratic and rambling about how she knew I cut because she used to too and how he stopped because A.Q. basically ‘saved’ her one day. I can’t help but notice how odd she is, she’s bouncing up and down on her tiptoes and asking to see my scars. And I hesitantly show them to her because I’ve never shown to anybody well, except for Derek, but he’s been in and out of my mind like ghosts fading in and out for a few days now. There are times where I wake up and my pillows are soaked in my tears. It’s pitiful.

                I learn that Amaya is really smart but that her mom died to a heroin overdose. And I learn that she keeps a journal and had a social worker who used to come in and check up on her a lot. I learned that now she lives with a really nice foster family and they’re a bunch of really rich white people. I learn that they give her everything: she gets clothes from Forever 21 and H&M and at first she totally abstained, she told me, from taking any of the bags of clothes they’d buy for her. She told them that her mom would be too strung out to even dress her sometimes when she went through withdrawals. She said she’d have to clothe herself oftentimes.

                She told me how she told them she’d found her mom dead in the bathtub with the water running. How her mom used to have sex with guys to try and score some heroin or some crack. Anything for the next fix, she’d told me and it had broken my heart the way it had probably sent her current foster family into tears. She told me she admired me because she wouldn’t know what to do if she lost her dad. I asked her what happened to him she said he’s fine he’s remarried and how she has step siblings and he works as a security guard for Macy’s. She says he gets to visit her from time to time and how they watch movies like War of the Worlds and the Avengers on his flat screen TV. I asked her if he knew about her mom and she said duh of course and we just sat there studying for our History test because we had this test coming up in a few days and generally bullshitting.

                When I get home I take my box of sharp things out and stare at them. I’d recently compiled a new shoebox since mom had taken to ritualistically tossing out the other one. Every day I’d see something gone from it: a razor blade or the blade from a pencil sharpener. I stared at the scissors and sewing needles and razor blades and the Swiss army knife that had belonged to you and I thought of you and your smile and the darkness of your hair when it was wound in tight plaits and how you loved to wear it that way. I thought of how you hated run on sentences in writing and how you were such a gifted one and how you made up wondrous stories out of your head, just sitting there daydreaming.

                Then I thought of A.Q. and how my old notebook would be waiting for me in the library and I didn’t cut.

                September 23, 2013

                I’m barely into the semester when Mom tells me I need to go get evaluated by PESS. I’m scared shitless but I agree to go. She said the teacher found my old notebook and saw my writings and was scared for me and so they suggested that I not come back. They thought I was suicidal. The other kids in my class pointed and laughed and ridiculed and shunned me and ostracized me with their eyes and their finger pointing and their stupid ass comments. They said I needed to die and that this time they hoped I never came back and I tried again and I’m so fucking sorry but I had to. This time I slipped into the bathtub with the warm water trickling into the tub, pooling around my toes and knobby knees; blood running coral pink into the liquid surrounding me.

                I slipped under.

                Mom pulled me out and she screamed and screamed and hollered into my ears until it rang. She was like why would I do this again and why couldn’t I just work with her and how she was trying and she wouldn’t lose me. Then she toweled me off and rang the water out of my coiled curls until they sprung back into place and she applied Band-Aids and ointment on my wrist until the salve burned my fresh cuts. I’d made four jagged lines on my wrist and it almost spelled out your name until she’d unlocked the door with a pin and found me and that’s when she’d almost fainted.

                September 24, 2013

                Life is tenuous.

                One minute you’re alive and healthy and the next you’re gone. Dad and you went that way—suddenly and without any indication. The sadness is pervasive. That’s what comes next. I’m remembering your smile and the pooling and spilling of your dark hair over your broad shoulders. I’m thinking of the way you used to sit cross legged with me on your bed and how we’d converse until the early morning, until the sun breached through the line of clouds.

                Mom is driving me to see Marilyn. She’s eerily quiet and she bites her lip every now and then. She takes off today to stay with me and “make sure” I “don’t try anything again.” She discards all of the razors and scissors and hides the kitchen knives and pens and pencils and any other sharpened potential death weapon away from me. She gets rid of my old shoeboxes and does this all in front of me. She does it around twelve am where she shakes me awake and has me standing at the foot of my bed as she rummages around in my closet for my shoeboxes and Swiss army knife. I’m screaming at her and trying to wrench the boxes out of her grip and I’m crying and sobbing, really and she’s saying she’s doing this to help me.

                The sadness is pervasive.

                She cradles me in her arms and drops the boxes and all I can hear is the haphazard clattering of cardboard striking against wood floor. I’m barefoot and cold and she envelopes me in maternal warmth and it’s the first time in a long time that she’s hugged me. She feels foreign and welcome all at once, like a long lost relative whose just dissolved that barrier and intruded on your personal space after ten years. It feels awkward but eventually my hands slip into hers and she pulls me up and I sniffle as she throws everything away—all of my hurt and pain are in those boxes and all of you and dad are in them too.

                So now we’re driving and there’s this impenetrable silence that surrounds us and neither of us wants to open up the box of five year anger and sadness and grief and every other messy and ugly emotion locked inside. It is Pandora and we dare not tamper with it. Instead I murmur a quick goodbye and Mom just nods and says she’ll be in her car and probably pick up some Taco Bell on her way back to retrieve me from therapy. When I walk in everything is the same as it always was: pallid cream walls, a nice Berber carpet that’s probably soft under bare feet. I shuffle in my Chinese slippers and take a seat timidly, same as I always do. Today will be no different.

                Marilyn greets me with a warm smile and a clipboard and sheaf of blank loose leaf and pen in her hands. I like Marilyn because she’ll try and help me and actually shut up and listen whereas the other counselors used to try and tell me why I was grieving and why I started cutting. I already knew why and didn’t need an explanation. I recalled the memory of dad screaming when his hair—dark and fine started clogging the drain in clumps, or when I accidentally found your discarded needles in your bedroom with the smell of pot stinking and permeating every fiber in the carpet of your room.  I didn’t need an explanation for those things because they just were and all Marilyn did was tell me to sit with my feelings because she knew it was the only place where I could cry and let everything out and so I did.

                I tell her how my mom discarded everything and it made me feel empty because that was my way of release. I kept everything bottled up and underneath this false pretense that I was “fine” and “okay” when I was really snapping and breaking like splintering wood under the weight of the grief. Everything held weight and meaning. That pervasive sadness clung to me like glue. At work I found it increasingly hard to prepare the food and smile at the customers and ring up their totals. My mind would wander. My managers would yell at me. There was one time where I burned the fries because I was thinking about you and how you’d started your first job in fast food. How you’d come home one day smiling brightly because you’d gotten promoted. I felt tears sliding down my cheeks and asked to take an early break and I cried and sobbed into my hands and pressed the heels of my palms to my eyes.

                Nothing wills away that hurt. 

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