Authors: Whitney Cannavina
“What did I say about calling me that? I’m Jeremy to you. Don’t ever call me Mr. Morris. I’m no longer your teacher so there’s no need for the formalities. As I said before, you’re going home but not to your family because I’m your family now. You’re going home with me. I finally got your room set up so you’ll be comfortable. It’s exactly like the room you used to have in your parent’s home.”
I knew it was too good to be true that he couldn’t mean that I was going home to my family. It was a lie to say I’m going home because I’m not going to my home. I’m just being moved to a different hell hole. I want to scream and cry but before I can pull away from Jeremy, I feel a sting in my neck. As I pull back to look at Jeremy and ask what he just did, I notice in his hand a syringe and I realize that even though I’m getting out of here, I won’t be conscious enough to try and get away. He sure has thought of everything.
I disentangle myself from his hold and step back feeling my legs wobble as my head becomes fuzzy and I start to feel sleepy. I try and pinch myself to keep me awake so I have a fighting chance to escape but it’s of no use. I keep falling further and further into darkness. Before I know what’s happening, I start to stumble back and fall onto the thin mattress in this dreadful room. I’m mumbling incoherently trying to beg him to just let me go but I don’t think he can understand me and if he does he doesn’t care. My eyes try to pull me under by closing but I use all my strength to open them back up again. Every time I open them Jeremy gets closer and closer. I try to scoot back but I don’t think I even moved from the spot I fell. Jeremy says something to me but I don’t think I heard him right.
“Oh my precious Sierra. Once I get you home and you wake, I promise that I’ll be gentle with you for your first time. I’ll take care of you. I love you Sierra. Now sleep while I take you home.” That’s the last thing I remember before falling into a deep sleep.
When I fall into the dark abyss of sleep I dream of the first time I met Forrest. He was so scrawny and had clothes that were too big for him hanging loose off his body. His hair was too long, down to his shoulders and dark brown almost black, he had cuts and bruises all over him from playing hard and from the fights he would get into. He had a crooked smile with a missing tooth. Not missing because he got hit in a fight, but just missing because of them falling out to make room for his new adult teeth. He had a broken nose at one time so it was slightly crooked and his eyes were the most beautiful green eyes I have ever seen mixed with blue specks.
It was Forrest’s first day at his new school and the day my brother stood up for him against some bullies. My brother Damon invited him over to our house after school and since his foster parents lived several doors down from us it wasn’t hard for him to find a way to come over because he could just walk. I was mesmerized from the moment he walked into our house looking scared but with the body language of someone who was ready to fight anybody that tried to come near him. How my brother broke through his barrier without getting punched I have no idea.
At the time I was only five but I looked up to my brother and always wanted to play with him. Sometimes he would let me hang out and play but most days he wanted it to be just his friends without his annoying little sister hanging around. That day for some reason he let me join him and Forrest out back. Forrest didn’t seem to mind and kept letting me win at all the games which annoyed Damon to no end. I think my brother understood that he and Forrest were going to become best friends and that Forrest needed as many close friends as possible so he didn’t say anything after that day to me about joining them. We became known as the three musketeers because whenever Forrest was around we three were always together.
That first time I met Forrest was when I realized there would be nobody else for me. I don’t know how I knew when I was so little that I would eventually love him but I did. I saw it in his eyes when I stared into them after he first walked into the kitchen where I was sitting coloring a picture of a flower. It was like looking into his soul. I didn’t need him to tell me he was hurting or that he’d been hurt badly. I knew. I could see the pain and anger hidden in the depths of his emerald green eyes. I may not be able to understand the pain he feels but I do understand him in a way that I don’t think anybody else could. It’s just like I knew he could understand me like nobody else could. Forrest had never shown any interest in me beyond friendship and I’m not sure he ever would since he had been like an older brother to me. Hell, I’m not even sure if he has feelings beyond brotherly for me but since that first day I knew he would be an important part of my life in more ways than one.
When we met that day, he treated me as his own little sister playing ref between me and Damon whenever we argued. He suggested I get to pick what we play and so I did. Hide and seek was my favorite game and that’s what we did everyday he came over. I was first to find them and Forrest made sure to make it easy for me. After tagging him first it was his turn to find me and Damon. The whole time he smiled at me as if this was the best game ever, never showing that he was too old for silly games like this or that I was getting on his nerves. We played a few rounds that afternoon before we were called inside to eat dinner. I remember Forrest feeling unsure of how to act because he kept saying thank you for every little thing that was put in front of him. He fidgeted the whole time with his baggy clothes and kept sliding his hands through his hair making it look messy and unkempt. That day became the best day of my life because I gained a new best friend and protector.
My dream continued giving me little snippets of our time together. The next was when he first got in trouble at school for beating up a kid who picked on him and Damon. That day he snuck out of his room from his foster parents house to come down to ours and apologize to my parents for getting Damon in trouble and to let them know it wasn’t Damon’s fault. They were both suspended for fighting along with the other student but according to Forrest, Damon didn’t do anything he just happened to be standing there while Forrest was fighting with the student who bullied them. I have never seen Forrest look as guilty and afraid as I did in that moment. I could tell that he wanted my parent’s approval of him so he wouldn’t lose his best friend but he knew that it was a possibility that they would ask him to never come around again and I believe that scared him more than he was willing to admit. My parents knew what had happened though and they understood why he did it even if they didn’t approve of his methods. They just accepted his apology, hugged him and thanked him for sticking up for my brother. His face turned from fear of losing his best friend to relief that they didn’t tell him to leave and never come back.
The next memory that replayed was of when he brought one of his girlfriends, or flavor of the week as we call them, to our house. This was a few years later when he was sixteen and I was eleven. He tended to have all the girls chasing him because of his bad boy status and devastating good looks. He had morphed from a scrawny disheveled boy to a stud. He was bigger in more ways than one. He got taller and broader with muscles only gained by working out hard and he was looking more like a man than a lanky boy. By this time my parents were fostering him and his temper and fighting had nearly ceased to exist. There were times where he still got into fights but it was few and far between. Seeing a counselor weekly and working out his frustrations helped him a lot on channeling his anger into something else instead of someone else.
When he brought this girl over we were all surprised by just how rude she was. Sure she was beautiful in that plastic sort of way. You could tell that she bleached her hair to get the platinum blonde she was sporting and her face was made up with so much make up on it that I’m sure that if you washed it off you wouldn’t have recognized her. Her tan was definitely sprayed on because it had an orange tint to it. She was the all American Barbie with an attitude of a high society debutant. She stuck her nose up at us probably due to the fact that we weren’t rich but just average. She was probably dating Forrest just to piss off her parents by dating a bad boy instead of a rich preppy socialite. She should have been trying to get to know the person behind that persona he shows everybody instead of using him. That’s what all the girls wanted him for.
Forrest was the perfect boyfriend to rebel against your parents because of his record at the school of always being in trouble. There were rumors he was even arrested and had killed somebody with his bare hands which made him even more desirable to all the girls. What they didn’t know is that none of that was true. He was never arrested, he has never killed a person and the only trouble he’s gotten into is detention a handful of times and was suspended twice from school for fighting. He had good grades, never missed a day of school unless it was due to his suspension and was always helping others when they were being bullied or because they were less fortunate. Since many of the students were scared of him all it took was for him to give an angry look and most bullies did not want to mess with an assumed killer.
When he brought this girl home, she was just one of many that I was jealous of but she was also the only one who seemed to think that she could treat me and Damon however she chose without Forrest saying something. Because I was always with my brother and him, it was no different when they had girls over. The girls they brought over always understood that I was going to be around regardless what they wanted but this girl didn’t think that applied to her. When we went to go hang out in my brothers’ room, I followed behind as usual but his girlfriend stopped me and said that no little brats were aloud. Forrest told her it was ok and she didn’t like it. Things turned into a heated argument between them where he stuck up for me and she walked out the front door and out of our lives like a bad memory. I felt a little bad that he had to argue with her over me being around but I didn’t think she was good enough for him anyways so that guilt only lasted for a moment. He was way too good for someone like her. Forrest just put his arm around me and smiled at me as if it wasn’t a problem. I knew from that day forward that nobody would get between our friendships.
The last memory I had before falling into complete darkness was of only a few months ago during my summer break. By this time I’ve known for several years that I was in love with Forrest Levine. I have been writing in my diary every day since I learned how to write and as the years passed by they became less about what I ate that day and the clothes I wore and more about my blossoming friendship with Forrest. I don’t know when it happened but I realized not long after that day the Barbie girl walked out that I was in love with him. Since that day my diary became more about my love for him than anything else. I have several diaries in a box hidden in my closet so my brother doesn’t see and read them. I planned to take them and show them to Forrest in the future after I professed my love for him. I wanted him to know the depths of my feelings and that they were genuine. I would only give them to him to read if he reciprocated those feelings. No need to scare him with my obsession if he didn’t feel the same.
A few months ago I was at a friends’ house for the weekend and I happened to leave my diary sitting out on my bed after writing my last entry. Normally I put it away in my desk drawer or in my back pack when I’m done so nobody would read it but for some reason I must have forgotten to do just that. When I came home the following Sunday I noticed it was no longer sitting on my bed. I had no idea who would have taken it but whoever took it would hopefully not read it and just put it away somewhere. There are some very personal things in there that nobody is supposed to know.
Since my brother and Forrest still live at home I went looking for them first to see if they had seen it. I doubt they would have read it but I wouldn’t put it past them to check and see if I was writing about doing inappropriate things and god forbid a boy. Forrest’s room was right next to mine in our two story house so he was my first stop. I knock on the door and when I hear him yell to come in I turn the knob and peek through. Of course he had to be shirtless in his basketball shorts laying in his bed typing on his laptop. He’s taking some online classes so that he can work at the mechanics shop full time to pay for everything he needs and to save money for his own place to move into.
When I step into his room, I shut the door and walk over to his desk, grabbing his chair, turning it around so I can face him. When I plop down on the chair, I sit and wait for him to finish what he is doing before I speak.
“What’s up baby girl?” That’s his nick name for me since I’m the baby girl of the family. He’s called me that since the first day we met and hardly ever calls me by my first name, only when he gets exasperated with me.
“So I was wondering if you’ve been in my bedroom this weekend because I’m missing something very important and very private. I thought maybe you might have seen it or know where it’s at?” I question. I hope he doesn’t have it because it would be so embarrassing if he read it. I don’t use his name when I write about him but if he read it then he may figure it out based on some of my entries. Now that would be embarrassing because it’s too early for him to know my feelings and too early for me to feel comfortable saying them without at least figuring out how I want to say it and if I’m ready for possible rejection.
“What is it that you’re missing and maybe I could tell you?” He doesn’t look at me when he speaks and it makes me feel a little better because I don’t want him to notice how red my face is when I tell him it’s my diary. If he’s read it then he will know why I’m blushing.
“Um. Well…It’s my diary. I left it on my bed and when I went to write in it today it wasn’t there. It’s about half the size of a spiral notebook with fall leaves decorating it. It has some things in there that I don’t want people reading about.” God this is embarrassing. I hope he doesn’t ask me to elaborate on what it is I don’t want people to read.