Thursday, 25 August 2016

A Step Too Far - Chapter 6

Stephanie hadn’t seen Annie in over a year, and part of her was almost glad she hadn’t.  Annie would never judge her for the mistakes she made, but she judged herself, and confronting Annie - who had helped her so much in the past - just seemed unbearable now.  At 17 and far more famous and successful than Annie was, she shouldn’t need her help any more!  But she did.

Life was so much easier, so much simpler when Annie was around.  She didn’t really understand that, until she wasn’t around any more.  Fame came quickly after the national championships four years back.  First some music videos and YouTube clips, then TV appearances, now she was in demand the world over, her impossible dream was a reality, but not at all as she’d always imagined it.  She called Annie every day when she first started travelling.  Then she called less, and Annie kept calling to no response.   Then as the months passed, she tried less and less and their last conversation a month ago was more like a Twitter status update than a conversation.  Annie was cheerful as ever and wanting to talk, Stephanie wanted to pop a few pills and nurse a migraine away.  “Going great, yeah really busy, need to sleep for my show tomorrow.  Goodnight.”

Fame had its price, the haters, alcohol, sex, drugs and the rest were part and parcel of the role.  While she was at home with her dad, with Annie to talk to and be there for her, it seemed too easy, so simple to deal with it all.  The haters didn’t bother her, she would never dream of ending up like her dad was all those years ago!  People tried manipulating her and taking advantage of her, but her dad had a keen mind for business affairs and Annie somehow saw right through anyone who didn’t mean well.  It was the dream life for those few years.  Fame, fans, fortune, friends, family, travel and of course dance, the thing she’d loved since before she could do anything that resembled it.

Annie always said she’d miss her when she goes, but she should go and live her dream and they’d always be best friends and see each other again soon.  Her dad was sad to see her go, but knew she would grow up one day, it was just to be sooner rather than later.  Neither would hold her back from achieving her goals in life… Part of her now wished they did.

The first time she tried Ecstasy - some six months ago - she knew Annie would never have allowed it, but she needed something to give her energy to keep going, and all her new friends seemed to think it was fine.  She wasn’t dependent on Annie anymore, and even she could be wrong!  She was always sweet, and clever, but Annie clearly hadn’t grown up as quickly as her, she was too innocent, not worldly like her.  Annie’s goodie goodie attitude and lifestyle wasn’t suited to the real world, when people had to work, and stay up late, and keep up with their even more energetic friends.

Her trip back home was supposed to be brief.  A couple of interviews, a show at her old school for some positive publicity, say “Hi” to dad… And hope to somehow avoid being alone with Annie.  Now Stephanie lay in the bathroom at her high-school crush’s house, covered in vomit, mind reeling, heart racing.  She didn’t know what she had taken exactly.  Definitely a lot of alcohol, definitely Ecstasy, probably meth, possibly something else.  One of her friends was throwing up in the bath next to her, and at least two creepy guys were hoping to get into her pants when she came out, if they didn’t get impatient and come in to find her there first.  She couldn’t believe she got herself into this situation.  Or maybe she did it on purpose.  The only thing she really knew was the last time she felt fear like this, she was 10 years old and sobbing on the floor.  With what was left of her coordination, she sent Annie a text, “Joe’s house.  Help me.”

1 comment:

  1. Woohoo, cannot wait for other chapters to be posted. I am hooked on your stories and can definitely relate to the character of the best friend Annie.