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?


4. Entry Four

September 17, 2013

                There’s a get well card from A.Q. Mom is sitting by my bed and holding my hand and I’m letting her. And we’re talking and she’s tearfully asking me why I did it. And I said it was because I wanted to be with you and dad and she said she didn’t understand and I said it wasn’t supposed to be understandable. Mom picks up the card by my bedside table and asks who A.Q. is and I say it’s some guy that Nick knows. She said Nick was in the waiting room and I want to cry because no one was supposed to know and suddenly everyone knows. She said she found my shoebox and she’s like oh Sophia and she’s hugging me and crying and petting my hair softly like I’m some innocent little rabbit. It’s soothing and weird because we haven’t been so demonstrative in years.

                So anyway she reads A.Q.’s card out loud and it says: “I do the same thing to cope. When I found out from Nick I was shocked. Congrats on getting the job at Mickey D’s. I’m convinced we should meet soon. We need to talk. Shit’s hit the fan. This was fun but now it’s serious. There’s a reason I gave you your notebook. Clearly you’re very fragile. But I won’t treat you that way because you’re also tough because you’re still here. You went across the street instead of down it,” mom balked at that and stared at me until tears welled up in her eyes. He’d written a fucking smiley face next to that, the prick. I just shrug and she continues reading.

                “My name’s Aidan but that’s as much as I’m giving you Miss Brooks. Also look to your left,” I do—there’s a bouquet of white roses to my immediate left. He must like you mom says and I shake my head and say he’s just a nuisance. She says he’s an oddly disrespectful but charming one however. She’s not sure if I should meet him and neither am I but I do love the roses. I ask one of the nurses to keep it in a jar with fresh water and I ask to change it but they say I’ve lost too much blood.

                Eventually I get to eat solids and that’s when Devin and Nick come in. Nick is visibly furious and he’s holding my phone and he sits on the edge of the bed. I ask him what’s wrong and we cycle through the text messages Derek had sent me. We send Devin out of the room after we reassure him that I’ll be okay and I even kiss the little nine year old boy’s hand because how could you resist his gorgeousness. Nick is fuming mad and he says how Derek double crossed me and led me on and found another girl. I don’t want to believe it but there it is in text:

                 “I hope you’re okay. Look I don’t think this is working. I found someone else. There’s no other way to put it. But hey, we had a good run right? Please don’t respond. It’s better if you don’t. You’ll find someone who deserves you more than I ever did.” My heart breaks and I try to rip the IVs out of my arm. Nick smashes the nurse’s button and he says it’s for my own good and he tries to hold me down as I scream I want out because how the fuck could Derek do this to me. After everything I’ve lost … after losing Dad … after losing you … now he’s gone too … now he’s gone …

September 18, 2013

                They transfer me to another room: 346. Mom has to travel another set of stairs to see me. I feel bad. But I was bitter and angry and I felt betrayed and if you know what losing a boyfriend of four years feels like than you’ll know that I felt like the hot insides of my heart were all scooped into a jar and tossed into the ocean. Descriptive but that’s how I felt. Life didn’t get magically better for me. This doesn’t mean I came out and reached some epitome about how I felt. It didn’t mean that I stopped cutting, it just meant that I cut less. I was certainly still triggered. It didn’t mean that all those mean bitchy ass people who needed lives to focus on suddenly stopped calling me a “bitch” and a “freak of nature” and a “psychotic whore of a girl.” That last one never ceased to cause me to laugh bitterly because where would I find the time to whore myself around without a car?

                No, they still call me a “bitch” and a “freak of nature” and all that and after my medical leave is up I return to work. After my stitches heal I get them painfully removed by a precarious doctor who makes me more nervous than he should. He tells me to hold still but I fidget as his hand wavers and he’s got the look of someone fresh out of medical school with his dimples and easy nervous smile. He reminds me of what Devin will look like in another ten or twelve years and I think he’ll be cutely irresistible. But I don’t want the doctor. I don’t want anyone. Even if I lusted after my doctor that’d be stupid because he did six years of schooling which makes him twenty six and he must have some girl that missed him all those months and all those pairs of 365 days he spent poring over books and voluminous walls of writing and charts of the human anatomy and looked over the pathology of different medical conditions.

                Dad was a doctor, remember? Duh, you would. He was our father. He was our dad. Remember how he’d take us to the park and get us ice cream and he said we could get any flavors we liked? How we always got the same thing? You vanilla and me the vanilla and chocolate swirl and remember how we’d hold races to see who could finish it off fastest cone and all? How I’d complain about the sun slowing me down with its treacherous heat? I miss that. I miss you. I’ll never ever, ever stop missing you and dad. I know when mom hugs me tightly as I’m wheeled out of the hospital to the car that she won’t stop missing the old me either or you two. She always says a prayer for you guys before bed. I know that because I sometimes pass by her room that she used to share with dad. She’ll kneel in her dainty nightgown, hands clasped, her head bowed reverently and she’ll say a prayer to release you guys into the world, into God’s care. I’d never been as religious as her. She still reads and keeps a copy of the Holy Bible on her nightstand for example. Yes I’m sis I’ve grown nosier; don’t you know that increases with age? But anyway I’ve never been that religious but I’d like to believe you’re in heaven partying it up with dad and having metaphorical discussions about Plato or with Plato and having arguments over the Aristotelian school of thought. You loved philosophy and God did it love you back. We miss you so much. Oh fuck girl …

September 19, 2013

                So you’re out of the hospital. I wanted to visit you but Nick was like nah man that would be like trespassing so I didn’t. But I was really considering it because damn if I hadn’t been in your same position too girl. I’d been hooked up to IVs and whatnot. Bled out, had to get stitches and pints of blood transfusions from students and faculty members and random bums down the road who I passed but never spared a dollar. One time this guy I finally gave a five dollar bill that I was sure used it for liquor actually shuffled his ass in and donated me a pint of his blood and the motherfucker was a match. How crazy is that? You do one act of kindness and some people pay you back tenfold. He didn’t even have to. It was five dollars but he said it was enough to get him food off the dollar menu at your Mickey D’s you work at now. You might see him. Tell him I said ‘hey mate.’

                Sometimes I wonder what happened to that guy … he helped save my life after all. You always wonder about people who do that sort of charitable selfless kinda thing you know? You’ll wonder. It’ll prick at the back of your mind like someone pricking a needle into your skin. I write you know. Short stories and poems and stuff, nothing fancy, but I write. I like to do it. Helps me cope, that and snapping rubber bands on my wrist and applying band aids like I have cuts when I don’t. I don’t cut anymore. Can’t after losing my dad and having to help my mom around the house, I needed to buy my own car and pay it off myself. My mom lost herself in her grief. All she does is shop and bake, shop and bake. Does your mom do that? Did she stop talking to you too?  It’s bullshit what they say in some therapy sessions, that grief can make you become closer. Bullshit because it made my mom and I really distant. We don’t even buy each other Christmas gifts.

                We just sit in abject silence while Nat King Cole plays and I help her silently decorate the Christmas tree. Sometimes I want to shake her and just say he’s gone I’m trying to help provide for us give me a fucking thank you. Sometimes she just looks at me like I should’ve been the one to pass away from cancer. I swear to God. Sometimes I do get mad at her and I just start cooking and working like mad for weeks on end and I get all jittery like I’ve taken shots of caffeine or espresso or some shit. I tell her how fucking horrible she is and how she stopped parenting me for about five years of my life. I started working at fifteen and now I’m nineteen and about to graduate and this is the repayment I get: silence. It’d make anyone mad.

                Sometimes I’m nice to her and make her soufflés and roasted chicken with rosemary because she loves that shit. I learned to cook from my dad. My dad was a chef so … that’s how he and I bonded. My mom sucks at cooking; she’s absolute shit at it. I curse a lot in my writing. My teachers say I write like how I talk and I could write a nonfiction novel one day, you know an autobiography, but I don’t know. It’s be really depressing so I refrain from going that route, I just journal like you. So anyway I make her all this shit four course meals cause I used to watch dad as he applied the seasonings and cook with this placid look on his face. I’d help mix the batter for cakes and puddings and shit. I’d help preheat the ovens to 375 degrees or whatever. Cooking puts me in this zone where I forget everything, forget dad dying, forget mom being this cold aloof bitch and it’s just me pounding the shit out of this chicken, tenderizing it really, so you can’t pound “the shit” out of it otherwise it’d be inedible mush but you get my point.

                I’m not even sure why I’m taking up all this un-wasted space in your notebook but anyway I guess I needed to good healthy rant. I suppose it doesn’t matter who you vent to as long as you feel a tad lighter after it right?

                P.S. Amaya says we should meet up soon. I told her after you and I meet up. It’ll happen soon I can feel it. Yeah I’m a weirdo. You’ll learn soon enough Miss Brooks.


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