My mom hates not being able to ground me. It works so well for my sisters. They think its punishment to not be able to go out with friends. For me I’m usually in my room anyway, and if my mom takes Viros away I just sit down with a pen and paper and write. I even enjoy doing homework sometimes! But if my mom took everything out of my room, I’d sit at my chair by the window (or sit on the floor if she took my chair away) and watch the traffic and people down below. And I’d daydream. So that wouldn’t be a punishment either, cuz no one can take away my daydreams.
On this particular Valentine’s evening my mom was REALLY hating the fact that she can’t ground me and I could hear her talking to my sisters about me ‘lying’ that I was sick!
Like I said, I did not lie about being sick! Rodney assumed I was sick. Everybody did. And its no big deal right? This is not something normal girls get grounded over. Maybe I just wanted to leave the dance early even if I ‘wasn’t’ sick.
But something else is bothering my mom. She doesn’t know it yet. She thinks it’s my ‘behaviour’, but when she gets emotional over something small like this it always means she’s upset about something else. Usually it’s something about herself, anything from a frustrating client at work to feeling inadequate as a mom. I really don’t know but whatever it is I’m getting the brunt of it.
So after my mom forced me off the computer I went to the kitchen. Everyone was looking unhappy. Now I could tell they had decided on a punishment for me but before anyone could say anything I started to cry. Not sobbing or anything, but for some reason I couldn’t take a breath and my eyes got all hot. I never cry so this was a surprise to everyone, especially to me. I think it is because the weather is so cold all the time like winter will never END and I was just being emotional… (okay fine, it was because DC hadn’t contacted me all day). So since everyone was kind of surprised and not sure what to do I went into the bathroom and locked the door. I sat down on the toilet lid and imagined DC, just the way I want him to be, in my room with me. He’d hold me in his arms until I relaxed, because that’s all I really want, someone close, that can be my best friend, who understands me. And DC wouldn’t have to say anything, we just have to be together, in the same room, even if we are both doing something different.
Then a knock on the door interrupts my thoughts.
“Sweetheart?” It’s my mom. She’s changed her tone.
“I’m fine.” I say. I feel like I have control again, but I’m surprised at how lonely I felt all of a sudden, like depressed. It came like a wave and then passed, but now I’m seeing something I never realized was there; an underlying current of loneliness. Has it always been there? But I don’t have time to reflect on it because my mom is all worried. I get up and open the door for her. My sisters are standing there too, wide eyed. They’re probably excited to see some drama in my boring life. I’m not going to tell them that I’m sad because my only real friend, who is not really ‘here’, hasn’t contacted me in so many hours. I already know what their response will be so why bother? They will tell me I need real friends. It’s my fault for getting emotional in front of my family so I humour them by letting them sit me down in the living room and give me advice, talk about their concerns, etc. I don’t say much and just agree with everything they say. Yes I should get out more, not close myself off so much, open up to other people, not be so guarded.
So then I suggested we go swimming, because at that point all I wanted to do was crawl into a hot tub and feel warm and safe. We don’t have a bath tub. Weird isn’t it? But this building was made for offices, not a home. We have a shower, and without a dad it’s kind of hard to get motivated to install a bath tub, not to mention pay for one.
So of course Vanessa thinks swimming is a great idea. I know she has exams to study for during reading week and she’s going to do everything she can to procrastinate. If she fails any of her exams she can blame my emotional breakdown. So it’s settled. My sisters go off to get their swimming stuff and I go to get mine. My mom just remains on the couch with a concerned look on her face that reminds me of a plaque on my grandma’s wall in her living room that says “don’t just sit there, worry!”
So I go back to Viros because I’m working on that fake Valentine’s story that I decided I like after all and it will be one of my stories, and I have to save it as a file. Then I notice DC is on line! He has written:
DC -Haven’t heard from you.
My fingers are a bit shaky from relief I guess (I never noticed till that moment how much I rely on DC) so it takes me a minute to hammer out:
ME -What do you mean?
-You’re the one who disappeared!
DC -I sent you an e-mail.
So I check my e-mail. Because I didn’t actually check it the last few days and there is a message! I skim the message quickly. Grounded from the computer and phone, parents found questionable internet history on cell phone, he’s sure his friend did that when he borrowed the phone at school. No messenger on school computers, again. Can’t go to public library when grounded… etc.
(here’s our conversation, below)
DC -You still there?
ME -Yeah, just reading.
-Sorry I didn’t think to check my e-mail. I don’t usually check that address remember?
-Its overloaded with spam.
DC -I was wondering why I never got a reply. Not that I could check till today.
ME -Sorry. I thought you’d disappeared.
DC -Yeah, It was bad timing to get grounded.
-How was the ball? You’re back already?
My sisters start calling for me to hurry up because the pool is going to close.
-I really did want to hear all about it. Tell me about it!
ME -I can’t. I’m supposed to go swimming with my sisters.
DC -Swimming? Now?
ME -Yeah. Long story. But I’m glad we got reconnected.
DC -Me too.
ME -We’ll talk tonight. Bye.
ME -2 hours?
DC -Can’t you stay…?
ME -Stay on line tonight? Sure.
DC -No, like skip swimming?
ME -I don’t think I can…
DC -I missed you.
So I pause because that’s such a sweet thing to say. DC not a mushy person, and his telling me he missed me is exactly what I need to hear. It feels just like stepping into that hot tub of hot water I was craving earlier. But considering all that has happened just moments ago with my family I know I can’t skip out on swimming to stay on the computer.
ME -I missed you too.
There is no reply and my sister is coming down the hall.
ME -(H) C U in 2hrs SIR. DCstory.doc
So I’ll decipher that for you. The H is a hug. See you in two hours S.I.R. – Someone In Room. And the .doc file is the story I just finished typing up about DC coming to the dance which I’m sending to him on impulse so he’ll have something to read while I’m away, and also so I can share something personal with him – although at this point I haven’t thought it all through but there’s no time to re-think. I close Viros just as Vanessa enters my room. She gives me a disapproving look and crosses her arms in front of her.
“Hey, I’m closing the laptop, aren’t you supposed to be proud of me?” I say.
“Come on, the pool is going to close by the time you’re ready!” Vanessa starts rifling through my drawers and locates my swim suit.
So for the next half hour I throw all my nervous energy into swimming and water volleyball, not an actual game, just passing the ball around. Usually I’m not so energetic about sporty things, so if Vanessa and Janessa were a bit more insightful they would realize that something is not right with me. The enthusiasm works though. I am able to distract myself from the knowledge that I sent DC that story file, which is a little embarassing and I probably shouldn’t have sent. But when we get into the hot tub for the last 5 minutes of swimming I remember the story again, in full detail. I sent DC a story that has us kissing in the end! There’s nothing I can do, its too late. I get really nervous and the hot water doesn’t help. Something about the combination of hot water and sickly nervousness makes me run to the washroom. After I’m done I feel only a little bit better so I get changed. Now I’m really cold; really, really cold. The good thing is Vanessa and Janessa are in such a great mood they don’t notice ‘my’ mood. The drive home is horribly slow and the walk up the stairs agonizing. I go straight to Viros, except she’s not on my desk. I look on the shelves and in a few drawers, thinking my mom was cleaning up and stashed it away. I’m trying not to think of any other possibilities.
“Mom!” I yell, panic rising.
I look for my mom and find her in the washroom, saying something muffled from behind the door. I collapse against the door.
“Mom, where is Viros?” This drama is too much for me. The suspense is killing me cuz I have to know what DC thought of the story. Then I have to apologize to him and say “Can we pretend I never wrote it and that you never read it?”. The toilet flushes, for like the longest time. “Mom! Mom…” I bang on the door.
“YES?” My mom opens the door and I fall at her feet (cuz I was leaning too much on the door).
“Where is Viros?”
“Well I decided that…” and that’s when I stop listening, because I know she’s taken Viros and I won’t be able to message DC tonight. I know having a meltdown won’t get me Viros back but only make my mom keep Viros longer, so I walk away to my room and start formulating a plan… (a plan which I will have to tell you about in my next blog because this one is getting too long, and I have all reading week to write so I might as well pace myself)