8 To Be Treated Normally... (Charlotte)

I grab a red apple from the fridge, clutching tightly at the pen and notebook in my other hand.

I grab a knife from the counter and stab it in the fruit, it's juice dribbling down my hand. I sigh. Not hard enough. I never liked the soft kinds. They don't taste like anything that much, plus they're just a mush in my mouth. The ones that crunches in your teeth are way better. Unfortunately, the rest of my family doesn't agree with that. I don't know why they like the soft ones. I'd be lucky to find a solid one once a month.

"Why am I thinking about apples, again?" I mutter, reaching out for lemons instead.

"There's no way I'm letting you eat lemons. Not after last time." Emily says, out of the blue, shocking me with her sudden voice. I didn't even realize she was standing behind me.

"What-?" But before I could say any further, she snatches them from my hand.

"Hey!" I yell, as she takes off with them. "Give them back! There's nothing else to eat anyway!"

She frowns, "There's toast. Egg. Cereal. You can even make pancakes. Or heat the leftovers from yesterday."

She throws them inside the bin.

"What are you doing!" I say, "You'll get in trouble for wasting food, you know."

"Well, it's better than you eating them!" She huffs, "Do you have any idea how hard it was for Jason and I to get you to quit this habit?"

I roll my eyes.

Yes, I know.

I used to be addicted to eating tart things. And since lemons were by far the bitterest and sourest, I liked to eat them. I mean, sure, my throat did ache a lot after that and my voice would get all squeaky as well as continues coughing. But I say it was worth it. And anyway, it's not my fault that I don't have a sweet-tooth.

It's been months since I've forced myself to stop. But…God, it's just so tempting!

"Fff-fine." I say through gritted teeth. "Whatever. I'm not even hungry anymore."

Emma shakes her head, "Why are you acting so childish today? Usually I'm the one who's getting scolded by you!"

I sigh. I don't know what's gotten in to me either. Why the hell am I fighting about eating something that's definitely harmful for me? That doesn't even sound like me.

"You're right, Em." I say, heartedly, "I don't know why I'm fighting with you especially since I owe you one for doing all my chores."

This headache messed up wit my head, no doubt.

She smiles with fakery, tucking her curly ginger locks behind her hair. "Yeah, you're right. You do owe me something."

I'm used to her annoying personality by now.

"Sure. I'll make it up to you." I turn back to the kitchen counter, "Hey, did you make some coffee for me?"

"Uh yeah." She hands me my mug, then says gleefully, "This is the last thing I'm doing for you today. Now, if you excuse me, I'm going to go watch my favorite tv show."

"Until dad comes?" I ask.

"Until dad comes." She confirms, throwing herself on the couch.

I sit down next to her, taking small sips of my warm drink.

I frown to myself. Why do I feel like I have forgotten something? Something important.

Maybe I have kept some sort of reminder in my phone's notes?

I take my mobile out, remerging through the notes.

Nothing.

But why-?

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The phone buzzes in my hand as someone texts me.

"Who is it?" Emma asks, but not really caring.

"It's Sara." I reply. "Also, mind your own business."

"Whatever."

Sara is my childhood friend. The only friend I can trust. We know everything about each other, that no one else does. In fact, she even knows how much I love to write. She encourages me to take part in those online competitions. But, typical as I am, I always hesitate.

Before I can check what she texted me, I get a call from her.

"Hey Sara." I say, sitting straighter. "What's up?"

"What's up! What's up?! Is that all you have to say for yourself?" She repeats my words, and the tone in her voice shows that she isn't happy. And everyone in town knows that if Sara Hudson ever gets mad, you better brace yourself.

"What's wrong? What...what happened?" I ask standing up, somewhat concerned for her and scared for myself.

"What is it now?" Emma mutters, under her breath.

"You're asking me?!" She screeches so loud on the other end that she pierces me ears. "After all we planned, don't tell me this will end like this again! I mean you promised me the day before!"

It felt like someone switched on a light bulb in my head as I gasp, remembering why I had this lingering feeling that I was forgetting something.

We had panned to go out shopping today. And I completely forgot! Like I usually do…

"Oh my god, Sarah, I'm so so sorry!" I plead, "I mean it just slipped out of my mind! I didn't mean to, I swear!"

"What! So, you're not on your way here this minute?" She exclaims.

Darn it.

"I-I am!" I race upstairs, ��I'm heading towards the bus station this very moment!"

"Don't lie to me, Charlie!" She rages, "Just say it. You forgot and now you're rushing to change your clothes."

I gulp. "Yeah…I'm sorry. I just…I don't know."

There's silence and for a second, I think that she ended the call but then again, I can still here her breathing.

"Charlie, what's wrong?" Her voice is calm now, "Don't you remember our plan for today? We were supposed to go to that new mall, downtown with the other girls. Today was- "

"The grand opening." I interrupt, grabbing a blue blouse from my closet. "I remember now."

She sighs, "Was it…was it a headache again?"

Sara had known about my darn suffering for a long time now.

It all happened when I had this fever and I felt woozy with my head throbbing all over. We were in class, the two of us. I remember her talking and a second later, my legs gave up on me and I collapsed. Fainted.

The next thing I know, I'm in my house with Dad, Jason and Emma by my side, explaining to me what happened.

The worst part, the whole school talked about what happened to me for months. Making me feel so… different. Abnormal. But Sara was there to support me the whole time.

The thing I'm grateful for about her is that she doesn't mention it that much. So, the way she 'sympathetically' said it now makes me a little annoyed.

"No. I over-slept that's all." I answer, not even trying to hide the irritation in my tone.

"We…can always cancel and go some other time." She offers, lowly.

"Look, I told you I'm fine. No need to freaking cancel!" I fume. "I'll be there in ten minutes. Think you can handle that?"

And suddenly, the tables have turned with me being the one angry at her.

"Charlotte…"

But before she could finish, I hang up the call, agitated.

I fall on the bed and take a deep breath.

I yelled at her.

Damn it, I did it again.

She was only just concerned for her selfish idiotic friend.

And even after all that I've put her through I still sometimes treat her harshly.

But it's only because of that tone. That pitiful sympathy.

I don't want it. I never asked for it, did i?

Then why must people feel sorry for me?

I'm happy with what I have. I don't give a shit about my illness.

But why am I known as the 'sick' friend then?

Why can't I be known as a plain and simple girl?

I want to walk around and breathe in the fresh air without having to worry about stupid people talking behind my back. And it's not just the headaches. They feel sorry about us being mother-less.

"Poor girl. Managing her life without her mother."

"Isn't Eddison Quin his father? I heard he's too busy to take care of them. She has all the responsibility."

"Some guts she has, especially since she's also ill, you know."

"Oh, how I feel sorry for her."

Will you shut up already?

I'm fine. I'm happy. I don't care if I'm a sick kid or that I'm a half-orphan. I'm glad with my life, so why the hell are you judging it for me?

God…

What does one have to do to be treated normally these days?

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