Short Story: Never Give Charlie an Inch

Monday 5th December 2007 9:30pm

As hotels come, this falls short of being worthy of its oh-so coveted 5-star accreditation; although my complaints are unwarranted, the hotel serves its purpose.

I am satisfied.

First day here and they allow me to ease in in peace. But, of course, peace eludes me as the incessant scratching at the door of my room has begun again. Charlie wants to come in. He always finds me, no matter where I go. Every night he makes his habitual appearances, tempting me to let him come into my room and cause some havoc. But everything is different now. I’m here. Which means he soon won’t be. I mute every desire I have to let him in, to succumb to his will, by drowning out the rhythmic scratching with some television. Casualty. Brilliant.

Friday 10th December 2007 10:11pm

I have begun participating in hotel activities, such as inter-room golf tournaments, but I’ve been having a difficulty opening up and reaching out to the other people staying at the hotel. I tend to prefer solitude. The hotel staff told me that’s fine and it is to be expected in my first few days here. They said I should pace myself and not do anything that I’m not ready to do, but they do encourage it. I’m finding it difficult to see the promised benefits, but I need to get over Charlie and they assure me that they know what they’re doing.

Charlie is here now, of course, right on queue. He’s lingering in the hallway and his rhythmic scratching has risen to a persistent tapping on the door. He has never been so ignored in our entire time together. The frustration is welling up inside of him, I know, I can sense it.

Thursday 16th December 2007 8:45pm

I have been quite nervous about starting the poolside activities; my anxiety has been growing as I was unaware of what effects it would have on my body. When the water first met my skin it was cold and piercing, but as it began to travel around my body I grew accustomed to the feeling. They say it’s necessary, if I want to get everything I can out of the hotel and leave without worry of Charlie making any unexpected appearances. So I trust that this is for my good.

Charlie has begun banging aggressively on the door now and I’m finding it hard to breathe. This separation is agony, but I must be strong. I must overcome. The staff say I’m coping better than most, but I’m beginning to detect a tone of insincerity from them, as if all our conversations were scripted and they have been continually rehearsing all their lines in their heads. They play their role well. But I mustn’t be fooled into believing their fake friendly facades. They do not genuinely care, they just have a job to do. The most they seek to gain from my trust is some new information to gossip about with the other staff. I am far too conscious of this fact.

I’m having a little difficulty writing right now, I’m shaking uncontrollably and these migraines have been drilling through my skull all afternoon. But I’m going to take a shower now; I’m drenched in sweat and hopefully the sound of the water cascading over my body will drown out Charlie’s banging. Then I will attempt to sleep. Hopefully, again, my efforts will not be in vain like the past few sleepless nights.

Thursday 23rd December 2007 3:16am

Bang. Bang. Bang. All I hear is bang. Bang. Bang. I’m at my wits end. I thought rocking back and forth would soothe me, distract me, but after a few hours of this I realised this was foolish. But I have no other solution. I haven’t left my room for a few days now and I can’t distinguish between Charlie’s banging and the staff’s. They know something’s up. The fear of leaving my room consumes me because I know now that if I open the door, even just an inch, I will fall back into Charlie’s arms and allow his powdery embrace to stimulate my senses. He’s my confidence boost, my energiser, and my pain reliever. I never feel more alive than I do when he’s in my system. I know the buzz only last a few minutes, but I need it. I need him now. I’m not coping.

Three grams. That’s all I need. That’s all I’m going to take. I hope my nose can bare it.