“Monsters are real. Ghosts are too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win” – Stephen King
Disney rarely explains how the villain became so, well, so villainy! The tale is always told from the perspective of the innocent, good-natured teen, who sweeps us up in their catching, show stopping tune, complete with adorable woodland creatures and general good-natured innocence. Not once have I seen a Disney princess throw a temper tantrum because they were feeling a bit hormonal that day or their boss was being a bit of a dick! But, like most little girls who grew up on the sugary syrup of ‘far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells and a prince in disguise‘ I thoroughly believed, that I was the heroine of my story. Unbeknown to me, somewhere along the path, I’d transformed into the villain.
Unaware of my slow decent to the dark side, I sunk lower in my seat, the weather beaten recliner letting out a groan in protest to the shift of weight, as I drank in the setting sun greedily. “It’s so nice here” I exhaled peacefully, lifting my feet onto the stone ledge in front. “It really is!” Blonde responded, her head tilted back to capture the remains of the day. We sat in silence together, both content on watching the evenings light bounce off the canyons walls opposite, the burnt amber filtering down to charcoal in the ravines gaping mouth; a smile forever frozen in an eternal yawn.
Unusually, it had been a relatively drama free day as we twisted our way around the Grand Canyon national park, singing along to the radio as we drifted from one view point to the next. Blonde and I had soundtracked the drive in perfect vocal harmony, producing an acoustic somewhat similar to how alley cats might sound late at night. Alaska had grown tired of the beautiful harmonies, disturbing the music with a scream for quiet. Blonde and I, ever fearful of the next bump in the road that might break the peace, fought for the preservation of the moment, rebutting Alaska at always ruining the happiness. He sliced the air, turning the words back on me “that’s you’re role!” leaving my skin raw at the cut. We clambered out the car bickering, and then posed for pictures like the best of friends.
All was forgotten once the road led us to the lodge, the stone and timber frame retained all of it’s original 1920’s charm, providing an oasis for our storms. Whilst Blonde and I watched the red rocks bath in a purple rinse as the night’s sky blotted to ink. “Here, take one of these before I drop em!” Alaska announced his return from the bar, leaning down to pass me a crystal cut glass filled with swirling amber. “Yes! A cherry!” Blonde leant forward, snatching her reward from one of the remaining glasses Alaska was placing on the wall. “Can I have yours too?” she added, leaning toward my drink. “No you can not!” I mocked seriousness, jokingly appalled at her suggestion. “I’ve got pizza” Geo beamed, appearing behind Alaska.
Just for a moment, as the Old Fashioned’s warmed our stomachs and the days heat left the air, we stilled in quiet contentment, each lost in their thoughts. With the stars winking into life across the cosmos above, my thoughts, as always, drifted to my mother. ‘I’m doing ok aren’t I? I’ve got this whole adult thing down right? I’m good now?’ I asked silently, hoping for a whisper on the wind and hearing none.
Had it not been for the mosquitoes who sniffed me out as soon as the sun blinked it’s final goodnight over the cusp of the horizon, I’d have stayed there all night! Reluctantly we left the historic beauty of the old lodge in search of more affordable accommodation that didn’t require booking two years in advance. Blonde offered to drive, negotiating half of her cocktail in exchange for my cherry.
The dark roads twisted downwards with no sign of life outside of our car. I sat hunched in the passenger seat, the knot that had started as a twinge in one shoulder had worked it’s way across my back, knitting a crochet blanket of pain that ached in spasms no amount of whisky could ease. Unable to coach out the hitch myself, Alaska’s warm hands reached over from the back seat to the rescue. “Your shoulders are fucked!” he announced as I twisted in discomfort at his accusing thumbs. “Ohhh, I want a massage” Blonde moaned from the drivers seat. “Ouchhhhhh! It’s not pleasurable!” I declared letting out a groan of pain “no, don’t stop! I can’t sit up straight!” I added as Alaska tried to pull his arms away. As if on cue, Geo’s hands appeared on Blonde’s shoulders.
“We’re on Route 66 again” I nodded at the sign overhead the next day “I kind of get why they call it the mother road, you keep coming back to it!”. We’d spent most of the morning visiting more view points of the Grand Canyon, taking in the sights from every angle. With only a few hours left driving for the day, I switched in for the graveyard shift.
“SHIT!!” I yelled alarmed, startling the rest of the cars inhabitants who were close to sleep. “The petrol light is on! I don’t know how long it’s been on!” I panicked, aware the gas stations on this stretch of road were few and far between. It wasn’t the first time this had happened, in fact it seemed whenever Blonde and I switched seats, she’d fail to alert me to the fact the gas was low and I’d fail to check. After nearly three months together I impulsively wanted to scream she’d put me in this position on purpose, thankfully logic won out on this occasion but the pull of the dark cloak tightened around my neck regardless.
“How far to a gas station?” Alaska asked leaning forward to look at the gage. “I don’t know! How would I know! The light could have been on for the last half an hour!” I despaired, convinced we were going to have to free-wheel it to the hard shoulder and walk 50 miles to a station, probably getting picked up by chainsaw murders and turned into wax figure attractions on the side of the road.
“Sugar! According to your phone, the next gas station is 72 miles this way and 40 back the way we came, but it looks like we can’t turn around for another 30 miles any way” Blonde instructed staring at the screen. “Ummm how many miles does a car run on empty for?” I enquired. “About 20 or 30” Geo answered.
“Right, well we’ve got 72 miles! We’re not going to make 72 miles!” I repeated. “Just turn off everything electric” Alaska stated. “How will that help? That’s the battery, not the gas!” I was pretty sure I knew at least that much about cars. “The gas charges up the battery though” Geo explained.
As the day grew old and the light faded, so did our hopes. We drove in silence, with no headlights, sweat bubbling and breaking across our brows as we all missed the air conditioner. “Don’t!” Alaska snapped as I lowered my window for some much needed air, the stench from the boys unwashed t-shirts poisoning the environment more than necessary. “It’ll slow the car down” he added as I reluctantly buzzed the window back up. With knuckles white on the steering wheel, my shoulders screaming from the tension and sweat pouring down my neck, I free-wheeled when possible, all of us leaning forward to help the cars momentum down hills, finally, on some miracle, our puttering little car huffed his way, 72 miles later into the gas station.
“That ones cheaper” Blonde insisted cheerfully, pointing to another gas station across the road as I pulled up at the pump, the car giving one final breath, all it’s energy exhausted on the last turn of its wheel. Hanging off the steering wheel, relief and pain washing down my back in equal measures as sweat dripped from my chin, I slowly turned my head “I. Am.Going. To. This.One!” I quipped. “But this will cost us more” she chimed. I let out a sigh “Do. Not. Give. A. Fuck!” I breathed heavily at each work “I don’t think the car will even make it across the road!” I unbuckled my seat belt, too tired to fight. Alaska appeared as I pumped the gas, his hands working at my shoulders”yeah, I’m going to start calling you Quasimodo”.
“My hair’s going to burn” Blonde squinted at the sun, a hand placed on her head as we stepped out of the car at the Hover Dam the next day. “Here, you can wear my hat” Geo rode in to the rescue, passing the hat from his head, Alaska shot me a look with a raised eyebrow, I passed a quizzical one back. “Oh, I left me sunglasses in the car” Blonde realised, already half way up the climb to the viewing platform. “Here” Geo lifted his own from his face, once again offered with a smile. Alaska pulled my arm to hang back as the others moved ahead “She’s taking advantage of him!”. I stared at him, my head tilted “I know, I’m not sure she realises though” I offered, frowning at the pair in front.
“It’s not on, he’s so puppy dog in love with her and she’s just taking when she’s not even interested!” Alaska complained, concern caught in the crumple of his forehead. “Have you said anything to him?” I enquired, sweat starting to roll as the Nevada heat pounded down on our stair climb. “No! He wouldn’t listen any way!” Alaska snapped, picking up pace and racing ahead of me, clearly done with the conversation.
The wind whipped the heat away at the top of the dam, resulting in goose pimpled skin which the sun continued to burn. The others paused for pictures but sensing an opportunity for both exercise and solitude, I set out on a one woman competition to reach the other side of the dam before anyone else. Hair torn free from my ponytail, danced around my face as the ghost of my mother kept pace with my march. How I longed to speak to her, tell her of the adventures, the frustrations. She’d be so proud of how mature I was being. My mind flitted back to Geo and Blonde, yeah, I was way more mature than everyone else! Alaska was right, Geo held his arms open and Blonde took whatever she wanted, never giving anything back. It annoyed me, and that in turn, the fact that I cared annoyed me. My mother always gave the best advice, but then, she also knew when to hold her tongue…something I hadn’t quite mastered.
I don’t like seeing people taken advantage of. We’d all had those crushes in high school where you’d do anything to make the person happy, helplessly falling into some shitty friend role, grateful for any attention lavished your way. And worse, when you sit on the other side of that fence, mildly aware that your friend likes you but you’ve no intention of ever acting on it. Still, it’s nice to know there is always someone to turn to if you need a pick me up or help moving house or heavy boxes to lift. I lent across the edge of the rail trying to comprehend the curving drop beneath me, a lifetime of relationships playing on loop in my mind. Blonde and Geo were dots in the distance, Alaska lots in the haze of the summer beyond. ‘How is this all new to you?!‘ I asked staring in their direction “what did you do in high school! I’m sooooooo much more mature than you guys!‘ I told myself ostentatiously.
“I thought you weren’t interested in Geo?” I asked Blonde just as soon as we were alone later that day. “I’m not, we’re just friends” she fired back quickly. “Hmmm” I responded, my eyes on the path in front. “What?!” she turned to look at my face, intuitively picking up something in my voice. “Does he know that, though?” I replied. “Yeah….”Blonde started. “Ok, well just be careful, you know, don’t be ‘that girl‘ is all” I warned.
“What girl? I don’t understand?” Blonde looked confused. “It’s obvious he likes you, just don’t lead him on” I tried to advise. “I’m not leading him on, I’m not doing anything” she defended, annoyance creeping in. “Well…he gives you shoulder massages, hugs, you wear his hat, sunglasses…” I listed. “But I don’t ask for that stuff, he just gives it to me” Blonde adjusted said sunglasses on her nose.
“Well yeah, you might not directly ask but you hint, knowing full well he’ll give them to you” I tried. “Alaska gives you shoulder massages and hugs too!” she had me there, I wasn’t quite sure how to explain that Alaska and I were in a relationship, not a relationship I fully understood but certainly not one I wanted to try and explain to her.
I sounded like a hypocrite ‘well you see, Alaska and I are sleeping together and are kind of boyfriend and girlfriend even though he only apparently likes my personality and finds me mildly physically repulsive which hurts my feelings and makes me feel pretty insecure but maybe he’s right and I am hideous? I’m not sure I want a relationship with him at all but I’m kind of in it now and it’s not like anyone else wants to fall in love with me….so you see, it’s entirely different than Geo wanting be your boyfriend and you pretending not to notice!‘ I answered internally before deciding that wouldn’t do.
“Errr it’s different with Alaska and me, we both know how it is, we’re just…good mates” I tried and failed. “I’m sure Alaska fancies you though, and you accept the shoulder massages, I don’t see how it’s different” Blonde answered logically. “Umm, yeah. I’m just saying don’t be ‘that girl’, I think you should just be clear with him if you’re not interested, just don’t leads him on. It’s not a nice place to be for either person” my point had got lost in the confusion of Alaska, I should have just come out and been honest with her, but that would have meant being honest with myself and nobody wants to do that!
We pulled into Vegas late afternoon, each of our faces pressed up against the windows as the famous strip loomed in front. We had managed to secure accommodation with a professional 23 year old poker player from the East coast. “Shall we go and walk the strip tonight, just to get a feel for the place? We’ve got a couple more days for big nights out”. It was decided.
Blonde and I marched ahead, leaving the boys to chat. “I sort of wish we were here without the guys now” Blonde announced as we strode into the crowd “I want to go out, just us and get chatted up and meet people” Blonde whispered even though the boys were too far back with the host to hear. “Yeah, I know what you mean, it would be nice to let our hair down and see who we meet, I mean, we are in Vegas after all!” I agreed.
Our comradely didn’t last long. As soon as we got back to the hosts house, Blonde decided she and Geo would share the very comfortable looking double bed, leaving Alaska and I to an airbed on the floor. “Ugghhhhhh!!!!” I erupted as soon as the bedroom door closed. “Why does this always happen! Why does SHE get the bed. EVERY TIME! It’s so unfair! I’m the one who never gets to sleep because she’s always getting up or banging around. I just want a good nights sleep! Just for once!” I moaned to Alaska.
“Doesn’t matter, at least we’re not all sharing a room for a night!” Alaska tried to sooth, arms out in an approach to hug me. I was too riled up to be appeased “No!” I battered his arms away, ducking out of reach to the other side of the bed “She’s so selfish!”. “Well don’t take it out on me!” he snapped, picking up a pillow and throwing it at me aggressively. “Hey!” I yelled at his gesture, slamming the pillow to the ground in response. We descended into whispered bickering, my frustration relocated to his lack of support for my cause, his annoyance at me turning on him. With backs turned, his breathing quickly fell into a low rhythm as sleep descended.Why do boys always find it so easy to fall asleep after a fight?!
I laid there, staring at the dull glow of a street light creeping in from the edge of the blind. ‘Why can’t he and I get on?! Is it me? It must be me! Other people don’t have these fights! I don’t even know how I cause them. I used to be so happy, I mean sure, I’d get a bit moody time to time but I had whole relationships that didn’t have one raised voice. And now I can’t stop snapping! We’re suppose to be in the rose tinted glasses, can’t keep our hand off each other stage but I’m not sure I even like him half the time. Ugghhhhhh it’s me! I’m awful! I’m an awful person. I create these fights all the time, I don’t even know how I’m doing it!” I rolled over and watched his chest rise and fall. With an arm resting on my forehead I sighed and stared at the ceiling.
‘I’m unloveable. That’s it! I’m unloveable! Everything ever loveable about me died with my mother. That’s why Bridezilla deleted our friendship just after mums death. And why my ex wouldn’t sit in the front row with me at the funeral. And why all those boys since disappeared after a few dates. People have just been putting up with me ever since because they’re good people and feel sorry for me, not because they like me. I’m horrible. I’m making everyone on this trip have an awful time. It’s because I’m fat and ugly and mean. I’m going to end up alone. With cats. I don’t even like cats but I’m going to be 50 and really super fat and surrounded by 10,000 cats and I’ll have to invite door to door sales people into my house just so I have someone other than Mr Whiskerface to talk to! And all because I’m this horrible, moody shithead who no one is ever going to love again!’ and so those dark thoughts found me, sneaking in during the twilight hours, twisting in my mind. Tears slipped silently out of scrunched eyes as I rolled over and clung to Alaska’s sleeping body, unfulfilled comfort as he lifted heavy limbs to embrace me.
We sneaked into one of the hotel pools the next day. Roman statues stood on pillars in the centre of the tiled pool. Models in bikini’s stretched golden limbs across beach-beds and screams of rich babies squawked from the shallows. “I’m going for a walk!” Geo cut bluntly, disappearing from view behind the marble statues.
“What’s up with him?” I asked, my eyes following Geo’s retreat. “He says he’s flying back to his Grandparents tomorrow morning” Blonde replied glumly. “Why?!” I turned to Blonde, her expression lost behind sunglasses “I told him I just wanted to be friends”. I paused, guilty from the conversation I’d initiated “But he already knows that, you told him so” I turned to see Alaska climb into the water, escaping. “He won’t go, he’s just being dramatic” I dismissed hopefully. “He booked a flight earlier…” Blonde added to my surprise.
“But why? You told him ages ago you just wanted to be friends” I was impressed she’d finally been clear with him but hadn’t anticipated the consequences. “Yeah…but I think he thought there was still a chance. It was so awkward this morning…anyway, he leaves tomorrow. First thing, said he’s tired of the road-trip” Blonde explained, an edge to her voice. I liked having Geo around, he was smart and unassuming, bringing some much needed balance to the fiery personalities of the rest of us. Despite the constant drama, we’d become a little family – a dysfunctional one at best but the only family I felt I had. Alaska reappeared, flopping down on the bed next to me, shaking his wet hair across our legs “Oiiii” I yelled as the cold water dripped “don’t!” he only laughed, “you should get in the water, it’s really nice” he smiled.
I clambered back onto the bed, self-consciously pulling on a t-shirt, quickly trying to hide my ever growing body. Blonde turned her head at my return “I just feel so bad…” she began. I sighed, settling down next to her. I’d been supportive, I’d listened, but she’d been saying the same thing for hours and my patience was wearing thin. “It’s so hard when someone likes you and you don’t feel the same way…”she frowned at the pool. I stayed silent. “He just likes me sooo much, I feel sooo bad…”. Alaska rolled his eyes at me from the edge of the pool and flipped backwards into the water.
I was starting to think Blonde was enjoying this “do you think he’ll be ok? He really likes me and..” I couldn’t take any more, interrupting with “well you can’t blame him for being annoyed” the words slipped from my mouth before I could catch them. “What do you mean!” Blonde fired. “Well if you weren’t interested, why did you keep messaging him and asking him to come on the trip? When he finally agreed to come, you spent the whole time hugging him, wearing his stuff and getting back massages! You’ve never actually been clear with him until today, you have kind of led him on so it’s no wonder he’s upset” I spoke sharply.
“No I haven’t! I’m not!” Blonde snapped, hurt by the bluntness of my words “I wanted him to come because we’re friends. It’s the same as you and Alaska! You knew Alaska had feelings for you and you still encouraged him to come. And he gives you shoulder massages and stuff” she had a point and once again I couldn’t explain why it was different.
The mood hadn’t improved by the evening, Geo retreated for an early night, Alaska took the host out to dinner, I caught up on messages and Blonde popped out to the store.
“What time is it?” I asked Alaska at his return. “Nearly midnight” came the response, surprised to see me still awake. “What! I thought it was about 8! I’ve been waiting for Blonde to get back, she went to the store about four hours ago! I was going to go pick some stuff up myself! What the hell!” the truth was I’d wanted some time to myself that didn’t hold any risk of being disturbed by the other three. An opportunity to cry, or scream or laugh like a crazy person in the safety of the bubble the car provided. I was feeling trapped and needed an escape. I wanted to wander the aisle of the supermarket alone, stare at all the foreign American foods, advertised by cartoon characters long since banned on packaging in England. I wanted some freedom, but Blonde hadn’t returned.
“Where is she!” I snapped, my blood spiking – it boiled so quickly those days, all the irritations eating away like fire ants under my skin. “Dunno” Alaska shook his shoulders non-pulsed. “No, seriously, she went out hours ago. What if she’s in a supermarket car-park on the phone or something. It’s Vegas and we’re out on the edges, it’s dangerous! She could be getting attacked! She could be being raped and murdered in a Walmart carpark right this second!” my concern overrode my frustration as I reached for my phone and typed out a message ‘Where are you??’.
Her reply beeped through a moment later ‘Just walking around the strip, back soon’.
I dropped the phone on the bed and turned to Alaska “WHAT THE ROYAL FUCK! Oh my god! I’m going to fucking kill her! She said she was popping to the store. I’ve been sitting here all night and she’s just taken the car for her own agenda again! How many times! No seriously, how many times have we had this argument about her taking the car and not telling anyone! Fuck, I’m so sick of her! Agghhhhhhhhhh” I was out of words, three months worth of bile biting at the back of my throat, ready to erupt like a volcano.
“Calm down, she’s a dick, you know this. Why do you let her get to you so much. So she’s a selfish cow, if she gets murdered in a car park it’s not your problem” Alaska smiled, placing his hands on my shoulders. “Not funny!” I stared at him, slumping down on the air mattress, pushing two fingers either side of my temples “AGGGHHHHHHHHHH! This is such hard work! I feel like I’m responsible for her, like I have to be her mother or some sort of social guide, it’s exhausting! I’m so fed up with this whole thing!” a rush of emotions gathered at the back of my eyes as I fought the urge to burst into tears, swallowing the feelings past the lump in my throat.
Alaska dragged his hand over his mouth “you know why she’s gone to the strip don’t you?” he asked, raising a knowing eyebrow. I stared at him for a second “because she was hoping to get attention from guys?” I asked, already knowing the answer. He smile showed his agreement “with Geo leaving tomorrow she wants validation, she’s such an attention seeker!” he offered, I wasn’t sure that was entirely fair, I’d probably have behaved the same if Alaska decided to up and leave the next day, she certainly hadn’t been getting any support from me all day but hey, if I could survive on my own, why couldn’t she! “You know what, she’s been a nightmare all day! I’m not having this” a flash of anger propelled me into momentum as I reached for my phone.
“Seriously, this is not on! We’ve had this exact fight before about you taking the car! You said you were heading out to grab a few things, you’ve been gone hours! It’s Vegas, it’s not safe for a girl to be out on her own like that. It’s not fair for you to take the car for that long. You are so incredibly selfish! You have to learn to communicate! I’m so fed up with you acting so stupidly! You can’t just put your priority above everyone else’s and presume things all the time. There are other people on this roadtrip! You’re fucking out of order!” I bashed out the message and hit send, reading it back to Alaska for his thoughts “am I being unfair?” I asked, “no, you’re just being honest, it’s good, you never say what you think, it’s good you’re finally speaking truthfully” he encouraged, feeding my flames.
Her reply came through quickly “I thought that we weren’t going out tonight. I can come back and get you. It’s unfair that you yell like this Bec. I was trying to leave you to do your thing. I just got the impression that you didn’t want to go out. I’ll head back now”. It wouldn’t have mattered what she’d said, I was on fire and wanted the world to burn with me.
“It’s not unfair that I yell. It’s a text message, there are no raised voices! Read your first message, you didn’t communicate anything to me other than you were going to the store to grab a few things! Look at your behaviour! Stay out on the strip, I’m not dealing with you when you come back. Once again you’ve fucked up by acting selfish, only thinking of yourself and not communicating anything. You act incredibly stupid at times and then expect everyone else to look after you. Sort your shit out, I’ve had enough of you acting like this. You didn’t tell me, you didn’t tell anyone that you were going to the strip, you just went off and did what you want to do. I was worried about you because Vegas isn’t that safe. But as it turns out you just didn’t think as usual and did what you wanted to do without ever considering anyone else”. “You’re still not being fully honest, you’re holding back, say what you really think!” Alaska encouraged after I read my reply.
“Actually I went to Walmart initially to try and find some Jurassic Park Lego for Geo to cheer him up. I couldn’t find it then went to another one and it wasn’t there. I was just dealing with shit and wanted a walk. So I went along the strip where there are heaps of people. I figured that was a bit safer than a dark street. It’s been a rough day and I had no one to talk to about it so I wanted a walk. And at the same time you could have come into my room and told me you were sending messages, I just went by what Alaska told me. Sorry you were concerned. You just get so annoyed when I try to talk to you. Every time. So I tried to leave you alone and deal with this. Alaska said we would go out tomorrow so I thought I was doing the right thing. Apparently not”. In retrospect Blonde was being entirely fair but in the moment all I saw was bait, losing myself in the energy of aggression.
“You got yourself into the situation with Geo and then spent the day asking the same stupid questions ‘why do I feel so bad’ ‘how long will I feel like this’ ‘does my face look bad’ and crying about it like a child! You made your bed, lie in it, take responsibility and stop behaving like a brat! Nobody wanted to deal with that today, it’s always poor Blonde and having to talk you through things. If you wanted to talk you could have come and talk about it, I’m not going to keep asking, you’re upset every other day about something or other!
The point still stands, you said you were going to grab a few things but decided to take the car for the whole evening, go to the strip and not communicate anything to anyone. Once again you behaved selfishly, didn’t think anything through and put your prerogative above everyone else’s” I was losing steam but determined to make my point stick at any cost.
“You know that’s unfair to say” the phone glowed.
“Go back and read the messages. You fucked up. Again” I snarled.
“I don’t mention how often you’re upset. It just happened this came up. I can’t help that I was upset. Read what you said. Why do you think I don’t want to talk about it. Because you throw it back in my face. And that’s not fair. That’s not what friends do.” neither of us wanted to back down, I could feel the anger coming through Blonde’s messages, adding kindling to mine.
“Really, want to go into how friends behave? Look in the mirror! You are so, so selfish. Id’ rather you didn’t talk to me about it, I have never thrown anything in your face until this conversation, instead everyday I’m listening to your stuff and helping you with it. It’s draining and completely one sided. Yes I vent about Alaska occasionally but I never put my problems on to you or ask for your help. The point is, you put yourself above everyone else again tonight, you messed up and once again refuse to take any responsibility for it. We went through all this at Geo’s grandparents house and yet you didn’t take any of it in” I spun back, Alaska checking my words were fair and just and not telling me the truth.
I heard the car pull in to the driveway a short while later, I rolled over on the mattress trying to shut the entire world out whilst I fed on the anger I’d spent two years brewing. Alaska, despite agreeing and dictating parts of the messages, slipped out the room to sit on the couch with the host whilst Blonde read out the messages for agreement on how cruel I was.
It was only later, much, much later when the trip was long gone did I look back at the messages. In the cold light of day, when the embers of anger had long burnt out did I realise just how nasty I’d become. It’s a bitter pill to swallow when you discover you’re not the hero any more. It turns out, I wasn’t all that mature either. Worst of all, I wasn’t so sure my mother would have been proud of who I’d become, and this was only the start of things…