A/N: No more masturbation.


January 19, 1993

Dear friend,

Patrick replied to my letter! I'll copy it into this letter so you can read it.

Dear Charlie,

I've heard about what you and Sam did, and I'm happy for you both. In fact, she even says you're boyfriend and girlfriend now! And that's great for everybody involved. I'll start answering your questions now, though. Yes, I am enjoying college a lot. There's so much more to do, and the people here are just- amazing! They're very accepting, and there are even some gay guys here, too. My classes aren't easy, but I'm enjoying them a lot more than I enjoyed shop class. But I haven't gotten to do any impressions of my professors yet, but I think people think I'm funny. And I'm called Patrick, not Nothing, or Patty.

Am I still smoking pot? What kind of question is that, Charlie? I am. But like you, I'm not smoking as much. It turns out I don't really have to get too stoned or drunk to have sex here. It's great. I wouldn't say it's betterā€¦ because I'm not with our group. But it is nice, and I'm already making new friends. A friend of mine, Joey, showed me this really great spot where you can see most of the city. At night, it's almost like coming out of the tunnel, but I don't think anything in the world could top that.

There are a few good places to eat, and some fantastic record shops, but there is no Rocky Horror, unfortunately. It would have been really fun to do that again. But maybe I could talk my friends into starting up a club where we screen it and perform it like we did back in Pittsburgh. That's about it though, Charlie. Ask Sam for my phone number next time you talk to her. It'd be good to hear your voice.

Love,

Patrick.

P.S. Don't worry about bringing up divorce, my Mom wasn't too nice.

So Sam and I are boyfriend and girlfriend! That makes me very happy. And I'm really glad that Patrick is happy, and doing well at college. Don't you think it's good that he doesn't have to even be stoned or drunk when he's having sex? I think that it's good. But I feel bad for not writing to Sam, or calling her at college. She did say that we could do all of that before she left, and I was out of hospital. But I'll tell you about something that happened at school that made me sad.

Firstly, I've started running track instead of doing art. I wasn't that good anyway. And secondly, they teacher put my picture up in the classroom. And people destroyed it. They flung paint over and wrote horrible things about me on it. When I saw I didn't scream or shout at the teachers or fight the kids.

I cried. Because it was a drawing of Sam in the back of her tuck as it came out of the tunnel towards downtown with all the lights. And I really liked that picture. I wanted to show it to Sam. But they wouldn't let me take it home because they anted to have something to display. But I don't understand why they chose my picture because it wasn't that good. There were others that had better pictures, but they liked mine. And now it is ruined. And Sam won't ever see it.

I have it here now. My picture that is. It is still ruined but at least it is home now. I could always try to draw another one. Then I could write Sam a letter and send it with it. I think she would like that. And I would hope that she liked it enough to stick it on her dorm room wall, even if her new friends thought it wasn't very good. So I think I will do that. I will spend the next few days after school drawing my picture for Sam again.

But I should stop talking about Sam. It makes me miss her more.

My Mom was talking to my Dad about Dave again. He's going to be charged with rape, several actually.

"That Dave kid is going to be charged, did you know?" asked my Mom.

"No," said my Dad. "What's he being charged with?" I think my Dad had forgotten about it since the last time it was mentioned. He doesn't care much for things that don't affect him, or his family. Unless it's about sports. He cares about sports.

"Three rapes,' my Mom said. "Apparently, all of the girls are going to testify against him in court, and one of them," my Mom had leaned in closer to Dad. "Was from nearly three years ago. He'll probably be inside for thirty years or more. I hope they give him life, though." My Mom moved back to her normal sitting position.

"He'll get what's coming to him, don't worry," said my Dad, and he was quite calm, even though he seems to have been on edge recently. "The other inmates don't like people that prey on women, especially if they're underageā€¦" He trailed off mysteriously, and I got orange juice from the fridge.

My sister sent home some photographs for Mom. She had been a lot happier since I started school again; my Mom, that is. As happy as she can be anyway. In a way, I think she enjoys just having Dad and I to look after. There are less arguments and my sister keeps in touch more than my brother ever has. So that makes her happier, too.

But Dad seems weird. I guess he wants to do what great Uncle Phil did to the man that beat Grandma and Aunt Rebecca and him to Aunt Helen. But he can't. Because she died. And I think he thinks about how it could have been different. And how if he and Mom didn't go and get drunk and play board games with friends then she wouldn't have been at our house when they weren't and maybe I wouldn't be so messed up.

And that makes me sad. Because my Dad is blaming himself. And he shouldn't because it isn't his fault. Just sometimes things happen to people. And sometimes those things are good. And sometimes they are bad. And bad things happened to me. And bad things happened to Sam. And bad things happened to Dad and to Aunt Rebecca and Grandma. But that doesn't mean we will all do bad things. But some people will, and my Dad didn't and Aunt Rebecca didn't and Grandma didn't. But Aunt Helen did. And I think now what I am most scared of isn't doing bad things, but Sam doing bad things.

That really scares me. What if she turns into my Aunt Helen and does what her Dad's friend did to her because it is in her head and has been for years. I remember when my sister said that Sam was a "blow queen" when she was a sophomore. And I'm a sophomore now and I wonder if there is a girl like Sam in my grade. One that has low self-esteem and a reputation and is known as the "blow queen."

If there is, I'm not sure I would like to meet her. But Sam turned out fine so far. And I really shouldn't be talking about her like that. But this is the only way I can sort out my thoughts. But most of all I just really hope Sam is okay and doesn't want to those things to children. And I hope the "blow queen" is okay and is only doing it because she likes it.

And most of all, I hope my Dad is okay, because I love him.

Love always,

Charlie


A/N: Again, thanks for the reviews! Got some good things coming in the next few letters...