“Hey monkey how are you tonight?”, Lucas say’s to his daughter London on the phone.
“I am fine Dad leave me alone, you are always on my back, I am fine”, London stated defensively.
London hung up the phone as Lucas sat at his kitchen table in Vermont. He worries about London all the time. He dedicated his life to raising her, but she always kept her distance from him since her Mom left. Lucas sat with his elbows on the table and his face buried in his hands while he sobbed. He did not know how to reach London because she was void in his relationship. She seemed unhappy, reclusive and always alone, even in New York.
High school was awkward for London. No prom, no cheerleading, football games or sleepovers with girlfriends. She never brought anyone home. A young, beautiful, talented and creative spirit but no one, no boyfriends or girlfriends. Her grades were excellent but her focus was New York.
As a child she typically would change 2-3 times a day and she never wore a matching outfit that her mother bought. Instead she would mix up the shirts, pants and shoes so they looked unique, different or edgy. She like to have her appearance standout but not herself personally. She avoided relationships. She would sketch for hours, alone in her room. She really didn’t get close to anyone in high school keeping to herself most of the time. Alone in her room, listening to music, sketching and designing outfits, imagining that she would show at Fashion Week in New York. Ever since London was a child she was obsessed with how she looked, her thick red hair and how her body looked in clothes.
London is a freshmen in college and she is living in the dorms in Greenwich Village. She is grateful to be accepted to the school of fashion design at Parsons in New York. The school is very competitive and only accepts 40 undergraduates a year. She was proud of her accomplishment and relentless about leaving home, high school and Vermont.
Classes were amazing, she loved being there, learning about fashion from the best designers in the industry. It was November only one day before the Thanksgiving Holiday. London had no plan of going home to Vermont for the holiday. She was staying in the dorms she told her father Lucas. Classes and labs on campus were unforgettable, but London dreaded the nights. She lays awake for hours on her bed. Starring at the ceiling, empty with no feeling, she would toss and turn. She would pinch her stomach compulsively but felt nothing. She would do this over and over as she cried laying alone. The imagines took over her thoughts and she would loose control. She cries silently, “I can’t feel my hair.” A reoccurring scene haunts her while she tries to sleep. London kept repeating, I want to die, I am going to die. An image of her high school teacher controlled her brain and body.
A tall muscular quarter back build with tightly filled under armor shorts was her gym teacher. He was cocky and egocentric, constantly flirting with the cheerleaders in class. While she lays awake in bed, London’s thoughts speed as she remembers him requiring her to stay after class until everyone was gone. She remembers being pushed up against the door, slamming her body onto the health office floor. He pulled the door shut, locked it, while the room went dark.
Sweating, heart racing, London’s thoughts were jumbled as she tries to sleep. She begins to panic because she can’t feel her chest moving. The emptiness is numbing, making it impossible to breath, to feel, to gain control of the horrible thoughts. London tries to fall asleep in her room but instead lays awake, cold, empty, hopeless and alone.
The ringtone on her cell woke London. She was startled by the ring as she felt as though she never slept. It must have been morning since the sun was shining through her dorm window, she thought.
“Hey?” London answered her cell.
“London, its Elizabeth, Aunt Liz, I miss you sweet pea.”
“Auntie, I miss you too, its been so long since I have seen you.” “Sacramento seems so far from New York, I am afraid I will never see you,” London sulked.
“London look out the window of your dorm room,” Liz said.
London made her way to the window, opened the blind and looked down to the street. A long back Limo was parked in front and standing outside was Auntie Liz. London powered off her cell ran down stairs and threw her arms around Liz. She sobbed and sobbed as she held tightly onto Liz.
As Liz held London tight, she looked deep into her green eye. She said,
“London, I cant imagine how you must hurt.”
“You have every reason to be angry, this must be unbearable, sweat pea.”
“I am here, we are going to work through this my love, we will together.
London sobbed as she held Liz and whispered,
“You have no idea how comforting it is to hear you say that Auntie.” “I need your help, I really need you right now.!”
“I am here London, this will get better sweet pea, Liz said. Your pain is horrible and we will figure out how to make the pain go away, forever.”