Hello Friend

by Cyril Dela Cruz

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Inspired by Stephan Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

August 20, 2010

Hello Friend,

You don’t know my name or even who I am. But he told me you were a good listener, and it doesn’t matter if you know me or not. You’ll still listen to what I want to say. You seem like a cool person. I never saw you try to beat up that one guy when he deserved it most. By the way, please don’t write back wondering if I’m some kind of freak or stalker. When I write you letters, I will change names. Not that I don’t trust you or anything. Believe me.

I need to believe there are people like you out in the world. People who don’t need to cheat on a final or steal someone’s lover. Someone who is actually good inside and out. I just want at least one person to hear me out, and I believe you are the best fit for the job.

My life is scattered with drama, drama, and more drama. You could write a daytime soap opera about it. Even though I hate daytime soap operas. I’d rather watch YouTube videos load on a dial-up connection. I blame my Aunt Maddie for the start of it all.

I was walking home on my last day of my freshman year. A red truck passed me coming from the direction of my house…or maybe it was a burgundy truck; I really don’t remember much about the color. I didn’t think much of it at the time. Then I saw my little brother Andy on the sidewalk in front of our house crying. I ran up to him. My neighbor was patting him on the head saying everything was going to be alright.

“What’s the matter with Andy?”

My neighbor turned to me with a sad face and looked out into the street. There was our dog Butch. Dead. When me and Andy finally walked into the house, Mom was cooking dinner while Dad sat on the couch watching TV, a beer in hand. We told them about Butch, but they didn’t seem to care.

Dad said “We’ll have to throw away the dog food we just bought then.” Mom just continued to chop up the carrots.
Mom and Dad were always distant towards each other. I never saw them hug or hold hands. They slept in the same bed if that counts for anything. You would think a couple married for 20 years with three kids would have some sort of emotion towards each other. My big sister Jenny told me Dad never really loved Mom, but he liked what she gave him at first. At the time I didn’t know what that meant. I do now. I guess Jenny was an expert at those things. She always had her door closed, and I remember hearing noises through my bedroom wall at night. I wonder if her current boyfriend only likes what she gives ‘cause he isn’t the only one she gives it to.

Aunt Maddie is my Dad’s sister. We didn’t know she was a lesbian until two days ago when Mom packed her things and left the house. I had just come home from walking our new dog, Kermit. I named him Kermit because he jumped a lot like a frog, and Kermit the Frog was my favorite Muppet. Andy wanted to name him Luke Skywalker, but I said no. Anyways, when I came home I saw Mom’s suitcases downstairs. She was yelling at Dad.

“Your sister cares about me more than you ever have. She’s always loved me, and you never did!”

Again, Dad was sitting on the couch with a beer in hand. He stood up and looked at Mom. He didn’t look too sad about what she had to say. He shrugged his shoulders and went to the fridge. Then he grabbed another beer, sat down, and continued to watch The Brady Bunch on the television. Mom grabbed her things and stomped passed me. She didn’t bother to say anything and headed out the door. I guess she didn’t notice me. Good thing Andy was at soccer practice or else he might have had to see the shrink after watching Butch die and coping with the separation of our parents.

Jenny came home from Brad’s house…or maybe it was Chad’s. She told me Mom had been dating Dad’s sister for years now. Turns out Aunt Maddie was in love with Mom the whole time she was with Dad. Mom would go to her for comfort when she and Dad fought., and I guess the close comfort turned into something more. Jenny said she overheard Mom and Aunt Maddy talking the night Butch got killed. Butch had gotten out of our backyard through a hole in the fence. Turns out Aunt Maddy had just came from our house to pick up Mom, but Mom hadn’t wanted to leave us kids. Aunt Maddy was so mad she drove off angry and hit our dog. What a bitch. I guess Mom changed her mind and wanted to leave “us kids” after all.

I don’t know why Mom would want to leave us. Maybe because of the time Andy and me decided to put worms in Jenny’s lunch box before she left for school. Mom found it before Jenny did. I was the one that got in trouble though since Andy was only one at the time, and I was seven. I guess I shouldn’t say ‘Andy and me’ since all Andy knew how to do at the time was drool.

Mom has been gone for two nights now. She called my cell phone to let me know she loves me. At first I thought that meant I was her favorite, but then she told me to pass my phone to Jenny and Andy, and she told them the same thing. Dad hasn’t shown much emotion since Mom left with his sister, but I did notice he changed the channel from sports to The Travel Channel. The Travel Channel was my Mom’s favorite network to watch. Maybe that’s Dad’s way of saying he misses Mom.

Well, it’s getting late, and I have to teach a swimming class tomorrow at the community center. I wrote this letter to you because I have no one else to talk to. I’m probably going to write more later. But goodnight for now.

Love Always,
Jamie