June 12th – Daniel Humphrey, father of Tatiana Humphrey, uncle of Arielle Lambert, and New York Times bestselling author, is hosting a talk and book signing today at the local Barnes & Noble. If you’re a fan of his books (or just friends with Tatiana or Arielle and want to support them), you should head on over to the bookstore at 2 PM today to hear him speak.
@vikkirose @effyeahleofashionista @mathemmatics @young-grasshopper @expiredsunshine @buds-over-studs
emma, you asked for a hear to heart, and a heart to heart you shall have. there's a lot of crying...
I attempt to stuff my hands in my nonexistent pocket as I walk up Lexington. I clutch Cessa’s notebook tightly to my chest now, knowing how much it meant to her. She said I could look at it if I wanted to, but when? I feel like it’s something to be done carefully, since everything around her lately seems to be going.... /not/ her way. I walk into Barnes and Noble and again, do my routine search for someone I know. I really wasn’t going to see Dan, although I think he’s a fine author, I’m going mainly to be seen. We are, after all, Upper East Siders. We’ll be that way til the day we die.
“Candace!” I hear two voices sound behind me in unison. I turn on my stiletto heel to see Anastasia and Delilah standing by the table where, I’m assuming, Mr Dan Humphrey would be sitting later.
“Hey ladies.” I say, sauntering over to them with a wink. Delilah rubs her eyes and groans. “Still feeling hungover?” I ask her, concerned but slightly amused. I give her a shy smirk and she shakes her head, with a little nod at the end.
“Kind of. But mainly just tired.” She says to me, laughing slightly. I mean, it’s no secret she likes to have a good time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she had had a few drinks /last/ night.
“Sure, sure...” I trail off, suggesting she was telling us an untruth. She jokingly punches me in the arm and I laugh a little. I look to Ana, who’s actually looking at one of his books. I tap her on the shoulder.
“Yeah?” She says, looking up hesitantly.
“You like his work?” I ask, eyebrow raised in that way only one of us could pull off. She shrugs.
“I guess.” She sets the book down and folds her arms casually. “I picked it up when it came out, originally just to entertain myself and support Arielle and Tatiana, but it’s actually kind of interesting. Plus, it’s cool one of their generation was actually successful. Well, most of them were successful, but Dan’s kind of famous, y’know?”
Delilah and I nod and make sounds of agreement. I see Alana over their heads, in the psychology section, and I roll my eyes.
“I gotta go. See you guys tomorrow?” I walk away, a questioning look on my face. They nod, say bye and I walk up to Alana, through the maze of bookshelves.
“Studying?” I ask her quietly, she jumps slightly and laughs.
“Not at all.” She says defensively, setting the book back. I hold up my right hand confusedly.
“Wait, you don’t even take psychology, do you?” I sigh as she looks at her shoes with a tiny smile.
“It’s pretty cool stuff.” She says, looking back up at me, and I have to agree with her. I’ve been fascinated with memory, emotions and just how the brain functions in general for my whole life. And that’s when I have an odd thought. My whole life... which could have ended in senior year. I suddenly feel very sick to my stomach, the same feeling washes over me, not gently, but like a tempest. Huge throbs of anxiety and I look up at Alana with a blank face.
“I have to go... Um, sorry, I just... I have to leave now.” I say to her, and picking back up Cessa’s book, I walk quickly into one of the bathroom stalls, locking it. Then the tears come. In little streams, they drop one by one onto my grey skirt and I sob until my throat is hoarse. Why does it still upset me? Why can’t I just... stop worrying? I’m not suicidal anymore, not that I know of at least. I need a job. I majored in journalism. I’ve been over this countless times, but I still haven’t done anything. I need a job at Vogue. Not yet, Candace, not yet... I have to start small and not set my standards so high. I laugh, remembering all those times I was scared I was never going to try. Like five minutes ago. But I can try... That’s what Dr McNeil said, “It never hurts to try.” She also said I had nothing more left to lose, right after I attempted suicide. What a nice lady, I say to myself, sarcastically.
I let out a shuddering sigh and open the stall, glad to see the bathroom is empty still. I rinse my face and reapply my makeup, rushing back out. I get my book signed, say bye to everyone and say a thanks to Dan. Once again, I clutch Cecca’s book to my chest with one arm, hailing a cab with the other.
I tell him the directions and pay him once we’ve arrived. I get out and walk up to her floor, then knock on her door. She opens it in rag & bone jeans and an oversized sweatshirt with lace detail.
“Hey Cess!” I say beaming. She lets me in and flops on the couch. I kick off my shoes and pull my legs under my bum, sitting on top of them. She reaches for her book and I lift it up gingerly.
“Ah-ah-ah. I haven’t looked yet.” I say in a theatrical voice.
“I’m going to go make tea while you do.” She says, walking to her kitchen. So I open the book, surprised to see she’s.... really, really, good. Not just good, though. Everything flows so beautifully and has such character I have to yell at her from the living room.
“These freaking rock!” I say excitedly. She peeks her head out, grinning.
“Really?” She asks earnestly, and I nod, setting it on the table when I’m through. We sit and talk about the comments on Gossip Girl for a while, but nothing too heavy. I decide it’s time I found out what happened that night, so I take a deep breath and ask her the question.
“What actually... happened, Cessa?” I quietly. She licks her lips and shakes her head, her eyes brimming with tears.
“I was in the bathroom, you know, sick. I had too much to drink. And then someone came in, and they said no one would hear me... If I screamed, I guess. They took my ankle, and pulled me out of the stall,” She stops for a second, to catch her breath and let out a few shaking sobs. “And then they stuck a syringe in me. And everything went black.”
I gulp and move to sit next her, putting my arm around her. She winces for a second and then relaxes. Well, as much as someone can relax when they’re retelling their story about a possible r*pe.
“What happened when you woke up....?” I ask carefully, and see her shrug.
“There was water, and lots of blood and..” She stops and starts crying again, so I hug her. It’s worth risking a tear stain on my Anglomania blouse.
“It’s okay, Cessa.... I know, I saw.” I stroke her hair until she calms down. I can’t see her like this, it’s making me feel horrible. Originally, I was going to confide in her, but I’d say right now her issues are bigger than mine.
“Did you see what her looked like?” I ask assertively.
“Sp-spiky hair.” Seh sniffles and grabs a Kleenex. “I don’t remember. I keep having nightmares. They just... don’t stop. Ever.” She raises her voice, exasperated, and I feel my face fall. I was no use. I didn’t know the first thing about this kind of stuff, other than what I saw in movies. I brush away a teensy tear from my eye and look back to her.
“Today we can watch movies and make sundaes and paint our nails, okay? You’re still the same Cessa. Whatever he did to you, you can’t let it change who you are, hmm?” I say, holding both of her shoulders. She nods, sniffles again, and then the kettle starts whistling. We both get up and I put Sabrina on her huge flatscreen. I march into the kitchen and try to smile at her.
“You, go sit down. I don’t mind missing the beginning. I’ll bring in the sundae stuff.” She hands me my tea and carries hers into the living room. I wait for her to get settled, under a blanket and then I open her freezer, getting the ice cream. My mind is surprisingly blank as I make the sundaes, but I know one thing. Whatever she’s going through right now, I’m probably never going to understand it, but she’s not going to go through it alone.