Carly’s life hasn’t been the greatest. Her parent’s died in a freak car accident, her older brother/guardian, Chuck, is a deadbeat, and she’s not only starving herself, but clinically depressed and maybe suicidal. Will Carly ever be able to escape this horrid life of hers?
Wrote this as one of my assignments in Creative Writing. Comment! Let me know what you think. :)
The car swerves off the road and smacks into a tree. The passengers lay still, lifeless. The teenage boy in the back seat screams as he pleads for his parents to wake up.
That boy was my older brother. That was when he was still nice to me. I was seven years old when my parents died in a tragic car accident. Now I’m ten years old and I live in a dump, alone.
My older brother, Chuck, was assigned as my guardian from a social worker. However, what the social worker didn’t know was how irresponsible and rebellious Chuck became after our parents’ deaths.
He started drinking and doing drugs. He stopped coming home at night. After a while it became a whole week of not seeing him, a whole month, and now every two months. He’s always out with his slutty girlfriend and drinking with his friends. The only time he’s home is to make sure I’m still alive and not starving.
Isn’t he just the greatest brother? He’s the only family I have left. And I’m usually worrying whether or not he’s dead while he’s not home. I’ve resorted to television as my only form of communication. I haven’t gone to school since my parents’ death, so I don’t talk to anybody.
I’m very lonely, and sad, all the time. I’m always sad. I barely remember when there was a time that I was happy. The only time I can think of was when my parents were still alive. Chuck was in the car with them when they died. I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like to see them die right in front of his own eyes. No wonder he’s always so distant and cold to everyone and everything.
I didn’t handle my parents’ deaths too well either. I was in shock for two weeks. I didn’t eat, sleep, or talk. I was surprised I even breathed during that time. All that ran through my mind in those two most horrible weeks of my life was that I never got to say goodbye to them.
I never said goodbye to my parents. Sure, when they left to go with Chuck, to somewhere I don’t even remember, but not a forever goodbye. I never thought that day when I said, “See you later.” that that’d be the last time I’d say anything to them.
I’m so lonely without them. Especially since Chuck’s never home anymore. I miss them all. Why was I born into this life? Who decided for my parents to die and leave me with a deadbeat older brother?
I sigh out loud. I hate thinking about my past, present, and future. Actually, more like my whole life. That’s why I escape to the lake. I have the most beautiful lake nearby my apartment. It’s always so peaceful there.
I get up off the couch and search the house for paper. I find a blue piece of paper and decide to fold it into a boat. I want to see if it’ll float in the lake the next time I go. It’s funny how it’s blue. Blue means sad, just like me. I put the boat to the side and plop down onto the couch just as SpongeBob comes on.
He slams the door open. I don’t even take my eyes off the fuzzy television screen; I know who it is. SpongeBob Squarepants’ laugh fills the awkward room as he stares at me, his eyes drilling holes into my skull.
“What’re you doing?” he asks me, his words a slur.
“SpongeBob’s on.” I tell him, smiling.
I love SpongeBob.
“Yes, there is plenty of food still in the house.”
What I haven’t told him is that I haven’t eaten in practically a week, so that’s why there’s still food.
He stomps around the living room, walks into the kitchenette, and rips open the fridge; the door’s hinges almost falling off. He closes the door and walks into my bedroom. He stays in there for an hour, doing God knows what. When he finally gets out he plops down onto the couch next to me.
“Get off. I want to sleep.” He demands.
I turn the television off and go outside. Before I leave, I take my blue paper boat I made earlier and grab a pen. I stuff the pen into my jeans pocket and hold the boat like a fragile baby.
I walk down the road and keep going until I get to the lake, the beautiful lake. It’s freezing out, snow surrounding the shore, but I don’t care. I’m already sick. I take the pen out and write three little words on my blue paper boat.
I stay for a while, before my reflection in the lake shows my purple lips and red nose. When I get back, I welcome the warmth of my apartment. That is until I see Chuck awake with a cigarette in his hand. But this time it’s bigger. I’ve only seen a big cigarette a couple of other times in my life, and it smells horrible. I cough from the smoke, drawing attention to myself. I regret ever coming back.
I walk into my room, my eyes on the floor, as his eyes follow me around the room. I close my door lightly and look for a hiding place that’ll be gentle to my boat. When I put it in an old shoebox in the back of my closet, my door slams open.
“Where did you go?”
“You didn’t meet a boy, did you?”
“No. Why would I?”
Who does he think I am? A slut like his girlfriend? Not in this life.
He turns to leave.
“Wait,” I say, “I need to tell you something.”
He sighs and turns around slowly.
“Can I have a hug?” my voice quivers, scared to know what the answer is.
He gives me a quizzical look, but shrugs and opens his arms wide. I gasp and run into them, almost knocking him down. He stumbles a little, but holds his balance. He reeks of smoke, but I don’t care.
The hug feels really nice until he lifts my chin and looks at me.
“What are you crying?” he asks, bored like he doesn’t even care.
I didn’t even know I was crying. I wipe my eyes and look up at him.
“I’m sad. Very, very sad, and lonely. I wish you didn’t always leave me. I miss you when you’re gone. I miss Mommy and Daddy too.”
At that last sentence, he freezes. I know our parent’s tragic accident affected him too, he just doesn’t show it often. But now he is and it’s scaring me.
He pushes me away, out of his comforting arms, and starts shaking in anger.
“Don’t you ever say that to me again. You know just as much as I do that they’re never coming back. They’re dead. Dead, Carly.” His voice is stern, yet shaking like his body.
“I… I’m sorry, Chuck.” I say sullenly.
He storms out of my room and slams the front door. I wonder if this will be the last time I see him.
I sigh and crawl into bed, dreading another night’s worth of nightmares.
I wake up the next day to the bright sun shining through my window blinding me. If I had any nightmares, I don’t remember them, and I thank myself for that. I hate nightmares.
Especially the one where I wake up and realize I’m all alone. But I can never escape from this one. There’s only one way, and I’m scared of what might happen if it don’t succeed.
I watch cartoons until dusk starts to set in. I’ve been dizzy and light-headed all day. I guess that’s my body telling me that it needs nutrition. I open the fridge and look around. I haven’t eaten in a while. I don’t know what I should eat.
I grab an apple and a knife, then start peeling it, nervous. I’ve never peeled an apple before. I’m about halfway done when the knife slips and I cut the skin between my thumb and pointer finger. I drop the apple and knife on the counter. The apple rolls onto the floor.
I whimper in pain as I scatter around the room, looking for I don’t know what. I just want the pain to go away and to stop bleeding. I end up back in the kitchen and rinse my hand under warm water. It soothes the pain a little bit.
I dry my hands and pick up the apple. I throw it out and put the knife in the sink. There goes that idea of food. Maybe I shouldn’t eat. Eating is dangerous.
I sit in front of the television again and doze off to Dexter’s Laboratory. I awake the next morning, panting. I sigh and get up, deciding to go to the lake. I go into my closet looking for a certain shoebox when I stumble upon lipstick.
I shakily take it out of the closet and open it up. It’s a bright red, the wax smudged and over-used. It was my mommy’s lipstick that she used to wear everyday. I forgot it was here. I stole it before everything we owned as a family was taken from us after our parents died.
I take it into the bathroom and wipe the soot off the mirror. I carefully apply the lipstick to my face. I study myself in the mirror and gasp. I look just like my mommy. I start to silently cry.
I walk back into my room and grab my blue little boat. I walk outside, towards my lake. I settle down on the shore and let my boat try to float across the water. It does and I smile, tears still flowing freely down my cheeks.
I step carefully into the freezing cold water, shivering. Farther and farther I go, following my blue little boat.
A little girl, that’s what I am. That’s all I’ll ever be. To him it doesn’t matter. He’s left me again, my big brother. Now that he’s gone, I have no one.
I wear my light blue sweatshirt and short black leggings. My pale white skin blends in with the fog surrounding me. My dark red lips and ocean blue eyes pop out as I look into my reflection in the calm water.
I step father in, letting my fingertips pet the top of the freezing water. Farther and farther I walk through the lake, my legs becoming numb. Farther until I am gone as well.
Goodbye big brother. I will miss you.
Carly’s blue little boat still floats freely across the water. Three words are scribbled on the side. Barely legible, it reads, “I miss you”.
2010 (c) Jennifer Gioia