DEAR LUCAS (A LETTER TO AN OLD FRIEND REGARDING A FAVOUR I OWED HIM)
“Where do I start?”
“Wherever you like.”
So unhelpful. The only thing making me more uncomfortable than the stupid brown leather sofa was his irritating stare. He kept trying to make eye contact; that wasn’t going to happen.
“I was bullied a lot a kid.” I answered pathetically; apologetically.
Although this was true, it barely scratched the surface. But honestly, how are you supposed to open up to some random with the world’s worst toupee and squintiest eyes; in a room that smelt like mouldy tobacco. The painting on the wall was crooked by about half an inch. The painting was of a flower garden; it was pretty enough, but the colours almost exactly matched the wallpaper: a truly ancient-looking brownish pink. Ew. If I wasn’t already depressed this room would induce it. I’d been in here five minutes and all I could think about was leaving. I stared at the door. It was a dark cherry brown, glossy, new. It was nicely framed with fancy wood; I forget what the style is called. You were going to be pissed if I just left though; so I stayed.
I wanted to puke.
“Okay, good. Now let’s expand on that. How did the bullying affect you?”
- Other than the loneliness, depression, and horribly low self-esteem? He was so dense.
We were silent for a minute and 13 seconds.
“I don’t know, I guess I lost a lot of confidence.” No shit Sherlock.
It wasn’t working. get away from me.
“Sofie, it’s okay to be nervous, but you have to go deeper. When did you first start having panic attacks?”
“I was twelve” lie: I was seven.
He moved. He fucking got up and sat beside me. If he touched me I swear to god he was going to lose a hand. I was not okay. You know how I get when I’m not okay.
“I’m not okay”
“Why not?” What?
“You. I don’t trust you.”
Was he stupid? You don’t just trust everyone. Hoe was this a foreign concept to him?
My cheeks felt swollen, my throat closed, my chest felt bound: I couldn’t breathe. All I could think was: Oh god, not here, not now.
And I did it. I let it out.
I ranted. No, I screamed. I yelled. I listed off everything: every trauma, every tragedy, everyone who left.
The car crash, my best friend dying, my absent birth mother, my drug addicted sister, the way I was beaten on the school bus every day for four years, my abusive ex-boyfriend. How I hadn’t eaten in twenty six hours, because I had slept twenty-four of them because getting out of bed was harder than grade eleven functions, which I failed twice.
I shrieked them all.
“Good, that’s good.” He sounded so patronizing. “What else?” his face still held the same stupid overly friendly smile. He was humiliatingly calm.
But I would not cry. I. Would. Not. Cry.
“When I was eight I tried to kill myself. The doctor wouldn’t let me make paper snowflakes, I hated him. I wouldn’t go back. I won’t go back.” I said this bluntly, my last attempt at shocking him.
“Eight is so young. Why did you want to die?” No reaction.
Wasn’t he fucking listening? Was he even in the room? I was so done - so completely done.
I’m sorry Lucas, but I left.