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Authors: Jennifer Jamelli

Checked again

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CheckedAgain

JenniferJamelli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book is awork of fiction. Characters, places, and events are either products of theauthor’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any likeness to actual people(living or dead) or events is entirely coincidental.

Checked Again.Copyright © 2014 by Jennifer Jamelli.

Edited byKaylene Osborn. Cover design by Ravven.

Printed byCreateSpace.

All rightsreserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any capacity withoutwritten permission.

ISBN-13:978-1499733822

ISBN-10:1499733828

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dedication…again(um, if I don’t repeat it three times, it won’t count…)

Withoutthese people, I never would have been able to

writethis book…

1.)Max and Derek

2.)My family

3.)The creators of Zoloft

 

 

 

 

Chapter1

twodays later

 

 

{INMY HEAD RADIO, DIO sings the refrain of“Rainbow in the Dark.”}

 

Rainbowof Recovery

Redcarnations andother flowers on my windowsill.

Noyellowroses, but that makes sense because only one person has everbothered to ask me about my favorite flowers…and he isn’t talking to me becauseI’m as insane as his mother was.

Thatupsets me more than the fact that I havepinksplotches all over mystill swollen face.

ButI’m trying not to think about him, so I’m wearing brand newgreenpajamas instead of one of the still folded, him-smelling pairs at home on myhamper.

AndI’m currently covered up by thepurplebedspread I slept under as achild since my family has moved me from my house to my parents’ house to makesure I don’t scrub myself away or something.

SoI’m sitting on my old bed, staring at theorangeleaves on the tree Iused to think murderers hid in when I was little.

Iguess it might look like I’m watching forblueskies ahead, but thatwould be futile.

 

Hmm…probablygonna have to tweak that a bit for class. Might be a tad less inspirationalthan Dr. Emery prefers.

Newpaper.

 

Rainbowof Recovery

Redcarnations onmy windowsill

Yellowroses

Pinkswollen face

Greenpajamas

Purplechildhoodbedspread

Orangeleaves outside

Blueskies ahead

 

Perfect.Done. Ready for my stupid poetry portfolio. Should blend in with all of thesuckful poems the other students normally “share” in class.

Notebookclosed. Enough for now.

Almostnoon. I have to at least pretend to fall asleep before Mom comes in withanother six thousand calories ofsorry your crazy pills gave you an allergyattackcomfort food.

TVon. Gordon Ramsay and aHell’s Kitchenmarathon. Mmm…hot and angry whitenoise for an entire afternoon. Doesn’t get much better. Well…unless you have alive person holding you in his arms as he whispers recipes while you drift offto sleep.

ButI don’t. And I won’t.

Sleep.

 

 

6:00P.M. EYES OPEN.WOW. A six hour nap. Maybe my body really does need thisweek of recovery. Or maybe I’m just exhausted from my routine schedule at myparents’ house. Or…perhaps I just have no real reason to be awake. No purpose…

{Evanescencefades in with“BringMe to Life.”}

Nopurpose but to write stupid poems, read, and sit. Sit and stare. At thetelevision. At the tree outside. At all of the flowers sitting on mywindowsill. Well…almost all of them. I try not to look at the basket of lilies,the arrangement from Dr. Gabriel…the one with the card that I’m pretty sure hewrote himself…and if he wrote the card, that means he touched the card…whichmeans he has essentially sent me his germs.

Ikeep hoping that his little basket of diseases will die so that Mom will thenthrow it out…throw the basket out, the lilies out, the little open card justsitting amongst the flowers out out OUT.

DearCalista,

Sosorry to hear about your hospital visit. Anything you need is just a phone callaway. Transportation, help with gathering school work, company—you name it. Youknow how to reach me.

-ElijahGabriel

 

ElijahGabriel—quite a holy-sounding name for such a sleaze.

Unfortunately,his flowers look just as alive as do the classic arrangement from Melanie andthe carnations posing as smiley faces from Mandy. Hmm…maybe I should try tofeed his flowers some of my leftover medicine.

Oh…butI don’t have any leftover medicine. After I left the hospital, I noticed thatmy remaining pills were no longer in my purse. I don’t know who took them, butI suspect it was Mom…especially since I overheard her whispering frantically toMelanie during one of my last days in the hospital…saying something about acertain doctor’s disappearance…worrying about me doing something drastic andcrazy…

Shehasn’t said anything to me, but it’s pretty obvious that she’s put me on somesort of unofficial suicide watch…a watch that comes with almost round the clockpseudo-wardens in my room.

Thisis totally unnecessary. When I was in elementary school, I remember hearingsomeone say that those who commit suicide will probably go straight to hell. Idon’t know if this was just an assumption…or a story…or some sort ofsuperstition. It doesn’t matter. I’ve been sufficiently warned…sufficientlyterrorized by the thought of suicide. This suicide watch is pointless. 

Ican vaguely hear the doorbell ringing. Must be time for the changing of theguards. Nothing fancy, I’m sure. Mom is probably telling one of my sisters thatI’m still alive but practically starving (since I slept through my6,000-calorie lunch). I’m sure Mandy or Melanie (whoever is scheduled next towatch me) is promising to try to feed me a good dinner. Mom is most likelyreviewing all of the contents of the fridge (condiments and salad dressingsincluded) as she gathers her purse and her clipboard for tonight’s neighborhoodwatch meeting. Yes, my mother spends an hour every week trying to get one stepahead of the murderers. Tonight, she is just dropping off some notes and comingback home, though. I did tell her that she should stay for the wholemeeting…and that she should stop being so concerned about me…but she wouldn’thear of it. I’m really starting to worry about her…to worry about her worryingabout me. It can’t be good for her. It can’t—

Ihear the front door close. Guard change completed. Like I said, not too fancy.Not quite as sophisticated as the shift changes in front of the Tomb of theUnknown Soldier.

Andnow in charge is…Mandy. I can hear her pointy heels clicking up the stairs. Hasto be her. Melanie hasn’t worn heels since…well…before Abby? Since shortlyafter she became a partner at her firm? Since—

Notime to do the math now. Mandy has arrived. She walks straight in since my dooris open. It’s always open. I guess it’s virtually impossible to stab yourselfwith a butter knife or to jump out of the bedroom window when the door is ajar.

“Hey,Callie.”

Mandylooks beautiful. Short red dress. High makeup—heavy eyeliner, thick lashes, andglossy lips. Ready for Thirsty Thursday.

Wait.She’s still going to Thirsty Thursday tonight? She’s driving back home tonight?In the dark? By herself? I can’t stand all of these extra trips back and forthto Pittsburgh just because—

“Chill,Callie.” Mandy is now standing right beside my bed. Reading my mind. “I’m notgoing home tonight. I’m going out with Josh later. Here. In Pittsburgh.”

“Oh.Great. Whatever works.” I try to sound casual, not overly concerned.

Thelook on Mandy’s face tells me that she’s not buying my supposed to be flippantremark. She seems to be quite aware of the fact that “whatever” never reallyworks for me. She doesn’t verbally call me out on it, though. Instead, shebegins acting as Mom’s puppet.

“Hey—I’mgonna go grab us some food. What are you in the mood for?”

Wellplayed, Mandy.

Casual…conversational…twosisters just grabbing a bite. Not gonna work, though.

“I’mreally not hungry, Mandy.”

“Sorry,”I add as I see her scrunchy, frustrated eyebrows. She’s not cut out for thiswarden stuff.

Shepushes on, though. “Well, how about I just bring up a few things? Maybe you’ll,um, get hungry soon.” She trips a little on her words before clumsily adding,“I’m starving, and I know you haven’t eaten in—”

“Okay.That’s fine. Just bring up some stuff.” She’s just going to keep trying if Idon’t agree. And she looks so discouraged already.

“Really?Okay.” Relief washes over her perfectly made-up face as she stands up and headsout of my bedroom.

Sheleaves the door open. Of course.

Ido a little nail picking.{And a little more listening to Evanescence.}Lessthan three minutes later, heels are clicking back up the wooden stairs.

Click.Click. Click.

I’msure she’s leaving little tiny circle imprints on the stairs. Dad will bePISSED. Or he would be pissed...normally. And normally, Mandy would’ve takenthe time to remove her shoes before stepping past the foyer, before stepping onany portion of the hardwood floors—just like we had to do when we were in highschool. I guess normal rules aren’t applying right now with this whole suicidewatch and warden thing.

Atleast Dad will know it wasn’t me. When he sees those tiny little indentations,he should easily remember that I’ve only been wearing the black pair ofIsotoner slippers Mom gave me. And he should also recall that I’ve been understrict orders to pretty much stay in bed all week—for what that’s worth.

{DavidBowie—in hot, tight pants—steps in with“Rebel Rebel.”}

Mandy’sback. She’s now at my old desk, sorting through a tray full of rolls, salami,turkey, white American cheese, yellow American cheese, tomatoes, oregano, etc.Stuff to make hoagies. Hoagies like we used to make on snow days when we werekids.

She’spulling out all the stops. Maybe she really is secretly cut out for this wardencrap. Her sneaky thoughtfulness is pretty effective.

“Okay.Salami, three pieces of white American cheese, two tomatoes, and someoregano…right?” She’s already starting to fix a sandwich for me.

“Yes,that’s right.” Well, it was right. That is how I used to eat my hoagies. Backbefore I realized that each piece of cheese adds almost one hundred calories tomy meal.

“Here,Callie.” She hands me “my” hoagie and gets to work on her own. Making hoagiesin her tight red dress. Like she works in some sort of upscale deli.

Sheworks quickly. I’m guessing I have about forty-five seconds until she startsnonchalantly checking to see if I’m eating. She’s now adding her cheese. One.Two. Three. Four slices.Dear God.How does this girl manage to fit inher teeny tiny clothes? She’s gotta be at least five pounds lighter than me,and I haven’t put four pieces of cheese (or even three) on a sandwich foralmost a decade.

Aboutsix more seconds…

She’sdone with her hoagie creation. It’s huge. I don’t think she’s going to be ableto open her mouth wide enough to eat it.

Threeseconds. Two. One. Here it comes.

“C’mon,Callie. Take a bite. Eat.”

Thisfeels more than vaguely familiar…feels like nachos and—

STOP.

Andwarm hands on mine and—

CALLIE!

Mandyis staring at me. Confused. Concerned. Hopeful?

Oh—theeating thing. If I don’t have anything, her report for Mom will look dreadful.And then Mandy will be upset…and then she might be demoted from a shiftsupervisor warden to—well, I don’t even know what.

Okay,Mandy. One bite. For you.

Pickup hoagie. Raise to mouth. One. Two. Three. Strategic bite—not too large that Iam taking in more than one hundred calories…not too small that I’ll risk Mandynot getting credit for it.

Shelooks relieved again…for now.

Okay…timefor a distraction. I swallow my bite so I can talk. “So…you’ve been visitingJosh a lot recently. How are you managing to stay with him while stillmaintaining your ‘Daddy’s little chaste girl’ image?” I tease her, casually (Ihope) putting down my hoagie.{David Bowie continues to sing.}

“Well,”Mandy starts as she slides onto the foot of my bed, holding her mammothsandwich. She crosses her feet and pulls her dress further down, further downher thighs. Can’t be comfortable. She continues. “Josh’s school has a branchof” (insert three Greek letters said very quickly—didn’t quite catch them),“and they are really close with the girls in my sorority, so I just pretendthat I’m staying with them.”

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