Wrong Turn

January 5, 2012
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I could feel the buzz intensify with each drink, bringing me higher and higher, but I knew how to handle it. Maneuvering my way around my dizziness and nonsensical thoughts, like a plane avoiding storm clouds, I laughed out loud. Swayed to the pulse of the music. Had more booze. Laughed even louder.
Didn’t realize I’d passed out until I woke up on the floor the next morning with a killer headache and the urge to vomit. I located the bathroom just in time. When I was through, I wandered around a bit, gave myself a tour. Whose place was this again?
I found my ride home, laying in bed with some redheaded chick. There goes another boyfriend. I don’t bother waking him up, just grab the keys to his beamer and leave.
On the way home I stop at a gas station to clean up in the washroom. I got my make-up out of my bag and checked my iPhone. I found two new messages, one from my boyfriend, oops, EX-boyfriend *delete* and one from my dad wondering where I am and telling me to take the dog for a walk whenever I get home. Ha, not likely.
My parents just don’t get me. They say I should be at home, helping out around the house or connecting with my little sister. Yeah, like I actually want to hang out with some snotty nosed nine year old. And why can’t we just get a maid? It’s not like we can’t afford one.
I finish my look, surveying the girl in the mirror: bleach blond hair with brown roots, black eyeliner, mascara, dark eye shadow, lip gloss, all over top of carefully applied concealer. Perfect, except...I lean in closer. Those pesky circles under my eyes are getting worse. I sigh and cover them up. Perfect.
I park the car a block away from my house. We only really have neighbors on one side of our house, but they watch me enough. On the other side is just an empty house. A girl the same age as me lived there before.
Her name was Lizzy. We were best friends, mainly because she lived next door. She was really pretty but acted like she was afraid of the world. We hung out at school, although there were a lot of days where she showed up really late or not at all. We hung out at home, mainly mine because she never wanted to be at her house. One day, when we were about twelve, she didn`t come to school. She didn`t come the next day either. I finally went over to her house and found it empty. Nobody would explain it to me, only saying she had gone away.
I dig my keys out of my purse to get inside the house, then I go up a couple flights of stairs to my room on the third floor to change into some fresh clothes and brush my teeth.I go back downstairs to the kitchen. On the kitchen table I found a peanut butter sandwich with a note next to it. The note was from my sister, letting me know she and my parents were out shopping, and explaining how she made the sandwich thinking I might be hungry when I got back. I ignore the sandwich, grab a protein shake from the fridge and drink the whole thing, along with a couple ibuprofens for my head. Soon I feel like getting out of here. Not like anyone will notice.
I head to the garage and get into my car, cranking up the music. As I drive past Lizzy’s old house, I start to think of my family and friends. What things would be like if Lizzy was still around. What I would be like.
When I finally come back to the real world, I realize that I`ve taken a wrong turn and am now in the worst part of town. Damn. To make matters worse, my hot pink Mercedes sticks out like a sore thumb. People sleep on the sidewalk next to their shopping carts while others dig through dumpsters. Disgusting. I almost pity them all.
I’ve never been to this area before and quickly realize that I don’t know my way back home. I locate a normal looking cafe and pull up in front of it. Then I realize I have to leave my car, out here in the open, where anyone could just walk up and touch it. Argh! I jump out of the car and slam the door behind me. Marching to the front of the line at the counter, I ask for directions on how to get to my neighbourhood. The girl at the counter looks pissed and tells me that if I want something, I have to wait in line like everyone else.
I leave the cafe and start to head back to my car when I hear someone call my name.
I spin around, and and see a teenage girl. Skin and bones, she reeks of BO. Her hair’s greasy and scraggly. Her eyes are sunken in with dark circles around them. Her face is sagging. Her lips are cracked and dry with wrinkles around them. I almost doubted who it was until she smiled at me, and even with rotting, yellow teeth, I’d never forget that smile.
“...Lizzy?” I whisper. She nods in relief.
“Wow! I barely recognized you!” She exclaims, coming in for a hug. I take a step back.
“What happened to you?” I try. She giggles, but it comes out as more of a harsh cough and hurts to hear. She moves me to a nearby bench and tells me pieces her story, of moving from foster home to foster home, never happy.
“Eventually I got sick of it. I ran away, to here,”
She started out drinking to keep herself from ever going back, then cocaine, then eventually she moved on to harder drugs.
“I’ve never been happier,” she said matter of factly.
She really did seem happier these days, much happier than I remember her being. There was something off about it though. I started to get angry, and she noticed.
“Hey, you okay?” She asked.
“No, I am not okay! You just sit in front of me, make me listen to your stupid life story, like I need to hear it or something, and I don’t! Got it? I could have had friends, you know, could have been someone people actually cared about, but I hung out with YOU instead! My life is perfect now that you’re out of it, and I don’t need you to screw things up again!”
People are watching. I stomp furiously back to my car. Elizabeth remains sitting on the bench, looking like she wants to cry. She can cry and shoot up all she wants and I’ll never care.
Suddenly she’s beside the car.
“You can just follow that road to get back to your house,” she says, pointing. I nod and quickly drive away.

My hands are shaking almost too hard to hold on to the wheel. The road is blurred by tears. I’m angry and sad, but most of all I’m scared, scared because as I was listening to Elizabeth and watching her, I didn’t really see her there. I only saw myself. Did I really want to escape badly enough to risk ending up like her?

I mull this over the whole way home. There’s a party tonight. I don’t think I’ll go. I walk into my house and say hi. My sister smiles and says hi back. I let her put on a fashion show for me in my room, then hand over some old clothes I was hanging onto. Revealing for me but definately not for her. We end up watching a movie and falling asleep together. I feel different. Happy, but not the same kind of happy I normally feel. This is genuine, and it feels good.

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brokedownandlonely said...
Jan. 24, 2012 at 9:51 pm
great article i would like to read more wen i get a chance
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