The Girls 2

Estal Academy is back! A new year, new students, new friendships.

With all the problems in their lives, can the three girls stick together?

*Contains triggers and emotional subjects people may find distressing/upsetting

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22. 22

22

Suki

Mrs Abbott told me I could spend a few days in the dorm instead of attending my lessons. She couldn’t let me go to lessons knowing what I’ve been through the past few days.

I rolled over in the covers. My phone started ringing, and I shot up. Who could it be? Is Dan out of prison? Is he going to come after me? No caller ID, but I decided to pick it up. “Hello?” I stuttered down the phone as I reached for the bottle of vodka underneath my bed.

“Suki, it’s me,” I heard my mum’s fragile voice reply.

I took another swig of the clear liquid. “Nice of you to drop a call, mum,” I snapped.

“Honey, I saw the news. Why didn’t you tell me about any of this? We could’ve sorted it for you!”

“No you couldn’t,” I laughed as I shook my head, “you’ve been too busy with Kaito. Your whole life has been about him-”

“Suki…”

“No! No mum, you’re not going to interrupt me this time! You’re going to let me talk!” I shouted, tapping my fingernails against the bottle, “you’ve called and called, but you never left a message asking how I am! No doubt you were calling to talk about the trial, you were calling to tell me about Kaito and how much shit he’s in. You don’t care that I needed help, that people have been calling me a terrorist and have been beating me up, you probably don’t even care that I was groomed!”

There was silence for a minute, until my mum broke it. “Suki, I do care about you. I’m sorry that you feel that way. I love you baby, and I care about everything. At the end of this year, I want you to come back. We are going back to Japan.”

“No way,” I snapped. “I have friends, and I have a life. I’m not running away because it suits you.”

And with that, I hung up the phone. I cried into the bottle and took more sips. I couldn’t breathe, and my chest rose and fell quickly. My reality was becoming a blur, and I blinked and suddenly a figure was stood in the doorway. “Lena?”

Lena walked into the room and closed the door. “Oh Suki,” she said as she started tearing up. “What has he done to you? He’s made you rely on… well, on this shit? Vodka?”

I shrugged my shoulders as she took the bottle from my clutch. “I’m a mess Lena, and I don’t want to be here anymore. I keep getting flashbacks of what he did to me… what THEY did to me. I can’t stand being alive anymore, I don’t even want to look at myself in the mirror.”

Lena sat down on the bed beside me. “I’m going to get you help Suki. You’re suffering. But it is okay not to be okay, and it’s even more okay to admit how you’re feeling. We are going to help you through this.”

I nodded as she wrapped an arm around me and pulled me in for a hug. “Thank you Lena.”

***

The next day, I was sat in a room with a woman from rehab. She is called Kim, and she’s going to help me get better. She sat down and looked at me. I thought she was going to judge me, but instead she said, “you’ve got PTSD. This is why you’re having flashbacks and why you’re still relying on the alcohol to numb any pain you’re going through. It’s your way of coping with it now. What we are going to do, Suki, is run you through a rehab programme to get you clean again. You’re going to stay in your normal school environment, but together with the school we are going to help you overcome this trauma. We will help you get clean, but you’ve got to be fully committed. There will be tough days, and there will be good days. Are you ready?”

I smiled at Kim and nodded. “I’m ready.”

“Your friends are going to help us look out for you. They’re going to monitor behaviour, watch how you’re improving in your life. This is going to work,” she smiled as she handed me a form, “please just print your name, sign and date it for me. All of the information is here, and you can decide if you want this help.”

I read through all of the information that Kim handed me. I skimmed through it, knowing about the confidentiality and the policies, knowing what I was letting myself into, and I printed, signed and dated, and handed the paper back to Kim.

“You’ve made the best choice. You’ve got an amazing support network of friends. Lena, Lewis, Amber and Laine… they’ve all got your back.”

“Lewis?” I laughed, “I was such a bitch to him the last time we spoke. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want to be my friend anymore.”

Kim shook her head and smiled. “Suki, Lewis came with Lena yesterday to ask for my help. He still cares about you, very much.”

***

I arrived back at school to find Lewis sat in the library. I sat down next to him. My hair was dripping wet as it had been pouring it down as I walked back to Estal. “Lewis, I owe you an apology,” I cried.

“Hey, it’s okay Suks,” he smiled as he wiped the tears and the rain from my face. He pushed strands of my dripping hair behind my ears. “You didn’t mean it, I know.”

“I was still horrible to you, and you were always just looking out for me,” I replied.

He cupped my head in his hands and he leaned forwards. I knew this moment was coming. We leaned in, and our lips locked. For ages, I’ve known Lewis liked me. I never wanted to admit it out loud, because if I had been wrong, I didn’t want to ruin our friendship. He was there for me when I heard about Kaito, he was concerned about me when I was with Dan, he was the only one I wanted to talk to about the truth. He’s always been there for me, and I’ve learnt that I need to appreciate what I have in my life, because I’ve hit rock bottom, and now the only way is up. After we kissed, he wrapped his arm around me and pulled me in for a warm embrace. “I’ve always loved you Suks.”

I smiled into his chest. “I’ve always loved you too.”

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