Anthony sighed as he sat down in the greenroom. Finally, finally there was a break. The actors had been working all morning, going over lines and reviewing choreography and such. Not a single camera had been turned on, much to the distaste of the camera crew. However, when the Director reassured them that they were indeed getting paid, they let up a little. A few other actors made their way in, talking to one another. Anthony smiled and waved at Katie, the girl who played Cindy Lou Who, as she entered the room. She smiled back, but didn't really pay attention to him. He couldn't blame her; she was with her friends. And ever since that tabloid came out, they were both kinda wary around each other.
Luckily, he had something to do while he was in here. A letter from Sadie had arrived yesterday, but he was so busy and tired, that he couldn't find the time to open it. He'd brought it with him, determined to read it here. He opened the envelope, but could already tell something wasn't right. Whenever the two used to send letters to each other, they'd always do something on the front. A picture, an inside joke, a saying, whatever. Just something. There was obviously something wrong; Sadie wouldn't be in such a hurry to forget that.
"Hey kid!" the Cat exclaimed, appearing next to him on the couch. "Whatca got there?"
"Yeah JoJo!" Horton called out, taking a seat next to him. "Who's the letter from?"
"Oh?" Anthony said, looking down. "I-It's from Sadie…"
"WOAH!" the Cat exclaimed. "JoJo! TRY to contain your excitement here! You don't need to go bouncing off the walls here!" Anthony made a face at him, while Horton couldn't help but laugh. The Cat smiled. "Seriously kid, what's up? I thought she was like your one true love or something? Show some enthusiasm!"
Anthony smiled. "A-Alright." We haven't written in so long… she probably forgot. No big deal, I'm sure that everything's alright.
The Cat paused for a sec, as a moment of silence took over. "Well? Are you gonna read it aloud, or what?"
"Cat," Horton interrupted. "He doesn't have to. He hasn't even read it yet, give him a chance here."
Pouting, the Cat sprawled out on the floor. "Fine… he can keep his privacy. But he's gonna have to make that up." Anthony rolled his eyes, and unfolded the letter. He cringed, upon seeing her handwriting. It wasn't her usual handwriting; it was rushed, and sloppy. The random blots of ink across the page also gave way to the hastiness that the letter was written in. Biting his lip, he started reading.
I'm writing to tell you something very important. I knew that I promised I'd tell you everything about me… but I just couldn't. It's impossible for you to know everything about me, and still like me without seeing me as a freak. So I'm telling you now.
Nothing is right in Springfield JoJo. Nothing has been right for a long time, and you leaving just made it worse. Nothing has been right… and I'm so sick of it. I'm sick of everything. Of the stares in the hallways, of the fights at home, of not having any place to go. I can't escape, and I couldn't escape for the longest time. But now I can. Now everything's going to be better.
To put it frankly Anthony, I'm running away.
I'm sorry that I didn't tell you about any of this earlier, but… how could I have? You would have freaked out, as you are probably doing right now. Don't worry for me Anthony. This isn't an impulsive decision, like so many other things that I've done are. I've been planning this out for far longer than I'm comfortable with telling you. I know what I'm doing, and I know how I'll do it. I have a bunch of money with me, so I'll be able to eat and such. I have a route and I have a destination all planned out.
Let's face the facts here Ant. You and I both know that I'm always at my happiest when I'm with you. It's just natural. You bring out the best in me. You're the one who got me to ease up on the cutting. You remember that day? I remember it perfectly, and how you said, "I'm you." You helped me a lot by saying that, and I still can't say sorry enough for hurting you. So, I'm headed where I'm the happiest. I'm sorry for lying to you last night, on IM, but it was necessary for me to know. You've helped me so much without even realizing it… but it wasn't enough. You did everything you could, but I'm just incurable. I'll always be who I am, and I don't know if I can fix that. It wasn't enough, but I appreciate your efforts. They've kept me afloat for far longer than I expected.
God, this is starting to sound like a suicide note. Don't worry, I'm not killing myself. I'm not hurting myself in anyway. I just need to escape. I'll be in touch with you soon, and I'll keep sending letters to let you know that I'm alright and where I am and what's going on.
Thank you, so much.
P.S. Do me a favor, and don't change your address. It'll make things a whole lot easier.
Anthony was shaking by the time he finished the letter. He couldn't believe it. He read it over again, to make sure he wasn't reading anything wrong. "Oh God." He whispered, nearly dropping the letter. "Oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God!"
The letter slipped through his hands, and floated down onto the floor next to the Cat. He grabbed it immediately, and started reading it. Anthony was in his mind enough to process that this way happening, and grabbed it away. "Hey!" the Cat exclaimed. "I was reading that!"
"No!" Anthony yelled. "You… you can't! It's…" he looked to the now crumpled letter in his hands, and suddenly feeling defeated, slumped down onto the couch, tossing the paper towards the Cat. "Here." He said, his voice on the brink of breaking. "I…" his head dropped into his hands, as he shook it. "She didn't…. she couldn't…"
"JoJo?" Horton questioned, moving a bit closer. He didn't know what the heck was wrong, but one of his best friends was hurt, badly. "What happened? Is she alright?" Anthony shook his head, trying to hold back tears. "What happened, JoJo?" Anthony tried to explain, and tried to get something out, but nothing was happening. The Cat, having just finished the letter, looked up at Horton, shaking his head. He handed Horton the letter, sitting himself up.
"Kid?" the Cat whispered. Anthony glanced over at him, still saying nothing. "If this Sadie girl is anything like you said she was, I can guarantee you that you're going to see her again… from what she said in the letter, it seems like she had this pretty well planned out." Anthony let a couple of tears fall, shaking his head.
"I can't… she… oh God…" Anthony put his head back into his hands, now full out crying but trying to control himself. "She's gone. She's not safe anymore. I have absolutely no idea where she is!"
Horton let the letter fall to the ground, putting his arms around Anthony. He didn't resist, there was no need to. "She's going to be fine, Anthony." Horton reassured him. "She's got everything figured out, she knows what to do!"
Anthony shook his head, resting it on Horton's chest. "I can't… but she…" he sighed, giving up with words, and just letting the tears come freely. "She's gone."
It was at this moment that the Director came into the greenroom. "Alright, places people, and-" She stopped, noticing the group on the couch, and the Cat's wild gestures saying "NO, GO BACK! EMOTIONAL ISSUES HERE!" The rest of the room cleared out, going to find tech and costume crew, or just trying to escape the awkwardness. The Director made her way over to the couch, kneeling in front of Anthony. "Ant?" He flinched. That was just what Sadie called him. He couldn't help himself, everything pointed to Sadie, and how much trouble she was in. The Director continued speaking. "Is everything alright?"
Anthony shook his head, and the Cat handed her the letter. She read through it, gasping at points throughout. "She… ran away?" Anthony nodded, his composure slowly coming back to him. "When did you find out about this?"
"Rachel." The Cat said in a, 'so freakin obvious' tone. "If he had read it any time before right now, do you really think he'd have been at work this morning, or acted the way he did throughout rehearsal?"
The Director glared at him. "Thank you, Cat." The Cat took the letter again, as the director kept speaking. "This was that girl?" Anthony nodded, brushing away tears. "Who lived in Massachusetts?" he nodded again, and the director's eyes widened. "She's going to go from Massachusetts to HERE?"
"Rachel." Horton said in a stern tone. "Watch it…"
The Director sighed. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." She apologized, sounding completely sincere. "I just…" she sighed, shaking her head.
"Sadie cut?" the Cat asked aloud. Anthony looked over to him, silently questioning his question. "6th paragraph, she talks about how you helped her with cutting… or, rather stopping cutting." He nodded, memories of that day flashing back to him.
"Anthony, I'm sick. Why are you even here?"
"I just wanted to make sure you're alright." He replied, sitting down on the ground. "You look fine."
Sadie smiled from her position on her step stool. "I can't help it, I got an epic idea while I was asleep, and I just HAD to sketch it out!" She was standing on the very edge of her step stool, reaching out and drawing on the wall. "You know I can't resist when an idea pops into my head."
Anthony smiled. "No… no you can't." Sadie turned to face him, and that's when he noticed. "Sadie… you have blood on your jeans."
Sadie looked down, and upon seeing the blood, turned away from him. "So?" she asked, her tone completely changed.
"Sadie!" Anthony said, exasperated. "You said you wouldn't do that anymore!"
"I can't help it Ant!" Sadie yelled. "I don't know why I do it! I just do!" Anthony didn't say anything. Sadie moved off of the step stool and onto the bed, sitting down. He got up and moved next to her, wrapping her up in a hug. Sadie hugged him back, holding back tears.
"Does it hurt?" Anthony asked, his voice barely above a whisper.
"A little." Sadie whispered back. They both pulled away, and Sadie made a snap decision. She stood up, and unbuttoned her pants, slowly pulling them down. Anthony looked on in confusion. "Sadie, what are you-" He was cut off as Sadie sat back down, her cuts to her thighs now clearly revealed. Anthony couldn't help but stare for a while. There had to be at least 10 cuts on each leg, which was more than he had ever seen on her. They looked to each other, their eyes meeting.
In the moment, Anthony also stood, unbuttoning his pants, and pulling them down to where Sadie had hers. "Anthony…" Sadie warily started. "What are you doing?"
He sat back down. "What do you use?"
"What do you mean?"
"To cut yourself." Anthony clarified. "What do you use?" Sadie looked around for a moment, before finding her number one tool. She took it, and held up the razor blade. Anthony looked at it, nodding. "That's it?" Sadie nodded. "Alright… cut me."
"What?" Sadie exclaimed. "No! I can't do that to you!"
"I want you to!" Anthony explained. "I want to know what it feels like. I want to know what you feel."
Sadie hesitated, but leaned over, hovering above his leg. Then, suddenly, she turned away. "No… I can' t do it to someone else."
Anthony grabbed her hands. "Sadie…" she looked into his eyes, silently urging him to go on. "I'm not someone else… I'm you." Sadie froze for a moment, and then nodded, resuming her position. She pushed the razor against his skin, just so it broke it, then slid it across his leg. Anthony winced, grabbing onto the bed sheets. Sadie looked up at him, putting the razor blade down. Anthony relaxed, looking at the cut on his leg. She looked with him.
"I'm sorry." She whispered.
Anthony looked over to her. "No… it's alright. I asked for it, didn't I?" Sadie nodded, still looking down at the blood.
"Does it hurt?" she whispered.
Anthony looked to her again, meeting her eyes. "A little." He whispered back.
"Yeah… she cut." Anthony said. "I t-think she still does… just less. I don't know for sure."
The director looked to Horton and the Cat, frowning. "Anthony, I know this is probably the worst day of your life now, and you don't want to work, but-"
"No." he interrupted. "I will. I want to."
The director wasn't the only one who looked surprised at that statement. "You WANT to work?" the Cat exclaimed. "WHY?"
Anthony swallowed a lump in his throat before answering. "As long as I'm acting, I'm not me. As long as I'm not me, I can forget about this. For a while, at least." The three adults looked between each other, each shrugging. "Alright." The director said. "Places for top in 5." With that, she walked out of the room, trying to regain her normal state of mind.
"Are you sure you're alright, Anthony?" Horton asked, also standing.
Anthony nodded, forcing a smile. "I'll be fine. Work comes first."
The Cat looked on at this in surprise. "You, my friend, have a horrible outlook on life if 'Work comes first'." He promptly disappeared, leaving the letter on the floor. Anthony picked it up, reading it over one last time, before placing it back in the envelope, and putting that into his pocket. Looking up, he saw Horton's worried face. "Horton, I'll be fine. I promise. I wouldn't lie to you."
"Call me Kevin."
"My name… it's Kevin." He clarified. "Like, yours is Anthony… mine's Kevin. Kevin Chamberlin." Kevin looked down at Anthony, smiling. "Alright, Anthony?"
There was a pause, then Anthony smiled. "Alright, Kevin. I'll be right out." Horton nodded, leaving the room. Anthony watched him go, then sat back down on the couch, feeling distraught. Sadie… God, why would you do this? He picked up the letter, reading it over again. Maybe it will really work out for the better… maybe everything will turn out alright. She can take care of herself… she's strong, she's smart, she's perfect. Well, not perfect, but good enough for me. Better than good enough… but not perfect.
Anthony took the letter into his dressing room, placing it in his bag before turning towards the door. Taking a deep breath, he whispered, "Just be safe Sadie… send a letter soon." And with that, Anthony opened the door and went to face his cast mates.
DUN, DUN, DUN!
Much thanks again, to everyone still reading. This is the semi-dark turn I was telling you about… and at this point, I'm still figuring out her route, and what's happening. So, if there's lack in updating, just know that I'm still working out kinks and things like that. Next chapter will probably start with Anthony, then go to Sadie, and every chapter after that, I'm hoping to start with a letter to set the scene, as she gets closer and closer to Hollywood.
The idea for the cutting scene was taken from a play called 'Gruesome Playground Injuries', which is, in my opinion, a phenomenal play. If anyone reading this is in the Minneapolis area, check it out at the Mixed Blood Theater. You'll see the original scene, it's pretty shocking and real. It's… life.
But, enough about that. Reviews are love, updating coming soon, Seussical Bloopers will be updated soon as well! Thanks so much!
Peace, Love, and Seuss forever!
P.S. Going through a rough period right now, which may hinder my ability to write. So, there's another reason why I might not update as much as I want to. I promise that I'm fine, don't worry about me. Thanks to everyone reading, again. See you soon!