***Trigger Warning: Read At Your Own Pace. Viewer Discretion Advised***
It all started when Christina opened the bottle, feeling a rush of guilt overcome her as she poured yet another glass. She leaned her head back and put the glass to her lips to taste the bittersweet liquid as it flowed down her tongue, to the back of her mouth, and then emptying into her stomach.
The liquid is how it is described, bittersweet. Bitter, when you first start to drink it, for it causes a sting to your tongue that you have to wait for to disappear. Sweet, for after the stinging settles and you endure more than your share number of stings, it ceases leaving all consciousness and sensibility behind.
Christina can still feel the sting.
With another full glass in hand, she makes her way from the kitchen to the bathroom of her small, one bedroom apartment. Christina stands in front of the mirror, examining herself for tonight’s evening. She places her dark, brown hair over her shoulder, strings it down her back, and reveals a face staring back at her. It’s not a confident woman she sees, it’s a scared teenage girl within the mirror.
“That’s not me,” she muttered to herself, as she lowers and shakes her head to get the image from appearing again. When she looks back up to the mirror, the image of the teenage girl is gone, displaying herself this time.
“This isn’t me either,” she says a little louder. “None of these are me,” she almost yells taking another sip, but before swallowing, spits it at the mirror, and bashes the glass into it.
With the help of the wall, she goes back to the kitchen to pour another glass, just to come back to the disputable mirror that exposes streams of mascara covering her face in the midst of a memory haunting her subconscious.
“I didn’t want it,” she admits to the mirror as she reminisces the sound of a heavy breath on the back of her neck. “I said no.” After taking another sip, she drops her head again and closes her eyes, trying push out the constant reminder of the incident. When it fails to retire, her eyes glare over the broken pieces of glass lying on the floor, until she spots the largest piece. Full of resentment, Christina bends down to grab the triangular shape and takes another sip. With the memory roaring strong inside her mind, she begins the process. Slit. Goes the first horizontal line, for the heavy breath on her neck. Slit. Goes the second line, for the yelling of no. Slit. Goes the third line, for the smell of the bad cologne. Slit. Goes the fourth line, for no one rescuing her. After four slits, she welcomes the pain to overcome her memory. “It’s not enough,” she mutters to herself when the burn subsides, “I still hear it. I still hear myself.” She then turns to the broken mirror, “I still see her.” Finishing the rest of the glass, to which she feels no more sting, she prepares to begin again.
However, her procedure was interrupted by the ring of her cellphone from the kitchen. Christina attempts to wipe off her running mascara, gather herself and the glass, and go toward the resonant sound.
Stepping out of the bathroom doorway, using the wall for support, she watches as the light starts to dim and the ring echo. She could feel her sluggish body tumbling down, until she reached the ground, no longer able to feel anything. She thought she heard a knock on the door while she was struggling to regain consciousness, but then her world went black.
Christina awakens to find her self connected to monitors in a white room. Her skimpy, red dress has been replaced with a loose, white, dotted gown that doesn’t appeal to her shape. She looks around the room to see a familiar blonde with blue eyes sitting in the chair next to her bed. “You’re finally awake,” he says smiling and relieved.
“Jeremy?” Christina struggles to sit up to get a better look at him.
“Ow,” she lets out as she touches her head. “My head.”
“Don’t get up too fast. The nurse said it’s better if you took things slow.” Jeremy tells her. “She said you hit your head very hard.”
Christina thinks trying to process all of this. “What are you doing here? And how’d I even get here?”
“I found you.” Jeremy answers. “You were unconscious on your apartment floor. I didn’t know what to do so I called the ambulance and they rushed you here. They said you had alcohol poisoning.”
She was going to tell him a way that he could’ve helped her without her being taken to a stupid hospital, but she decided to not disclose that type of information to him.
“They pumped your stomach and wrapped up your arm.” He continues referring to the white arm band around her wrist where her cuts should be.
Christina looks at the arm band and tugs at the sleeve trying to conceal it, looking away from Jeremy. “How’s dad?”
“In a meeting as usual. He sends his regards.” Jeremy shames.
“I see nothing has changed,” Christina acknowledges, still avoiding his eyes. “You still haven’t told me what you are doing here?”
“I’m here looking for you.” Jeremy tells her. “I’ve been searching for you ever since you left home. I finally got some word of you after these few years and this is how I found you… on your apartment floor. I thought you went back to your dorm, but I heard you stopped attending classes.” This is when his voice turned into sobs. “Christina, why did you leave home? Did I do something wrong? I searched for every reason why you could have wanted to leave but I couldn’t find one. So it had to have been because me. And then I found you on the ground like that and your eyes rolling back. I couldn’t tell if you were dead or alive. Christina that was so scary and I was so worried. And I didn’t even know how to help you. I couldn’t do anything for you. You could have killed yourself and you are acting like everything is fine!”
Hearing her kid brother plead and cry made tears well up in her eyes. She never meant to hurt anyone, especially her little brother. She just had to get away, not from him. But from Him. She grabs him close, hugging him tight like mom used to do. “It wasn’t you.” She said through her tears. “It wasn’t you. I’m sorry, Jeremy, I am sorry.”
After the incident at the hospital, Jeremy suggested that Christina receive some help to combat her addiction and sort out her emotions. She didn’t accept it right away, for she denied ever having a problem, but thinking about what she put her brother through, she felt guilty and went through with a program that was recommended to her. That’s when Christina realized she had a problem. The first few days were strenuous, adjusting to no alcoholic beverages and psychological appointments, where she had to sit in a room and relive the memories she tried hard to repress.
However, she persevered through it all to never go back to the dark place her kid brother rescued her from and in 90 days time, she completed the treatment and was on remission.
Her brother was the only one to greet her upon her completion, but he was enough. “You did it big sis,” he hugged her tight, elated that she was done and well. “Only with your help, Jeremy. I could do it,” she assured.
To her surprise, some of her old college friends had asked about her and wanted to meet to catch up. That’s why we see Christina in front of the bathroom mirror of the restaurant. “You can do this. You are in control,” she tells herself. “You are strong. You are beautiful. You are yourself.”
After giving herself a confidence boost, she leaves the bathroom and makes way to locate her associates. “Christina is that you?” one of them asked as she got up to hug her. “You look fantastic. I see you’re a blonde now.”
“I’ve always been blonde,” Christina says plainly as she sits down. She didn’t blame them for not knowing who she really was, because at some point she didn’t know either.
Within twenty minutes a waiter came by with a bottle of wine, pouring it into everyone’s glass. When he came to her’s, she just held out her hand and shook her head. “Christina, you aren’t drinking?” her former colleague asked, shocked. “No, thank you,” she said, while she thought of her training words to resist the urge to drink. As her old peers talked and sipped on their drinks, all Christina could smell was that bittersweet liquid; It smelled like poison.
Title Image’s Vodka Bottle Clutter: “ABSOLUTE VODKA” by Black le
Christina’s Long Hair: “Nightcrawler-Sunny” by Nightcrawler Sims
Christina’s Red Dress: “Strappy V Bralet Dress” by Black Lily
Christina’s Eye Makeup: “Kuroi.Eyeliner” by decayclownsims
Christina’s Running Mascara: “Make up set N2, smeared mascara” by MRS.Cloe
Christina’s Patient Outfit: “Get to Work Patient Outfit” by kirkwoodproductions
Christina’s Hospital Bed Frame: “IKEA MALM Bedroom” by Veranka
Christina’s Hospital Bed: “IKEA HEMNES Bedroom & Mattresses for Bed Frames” by Veranka
Christina’s Out of Rehab Hairstyle: “Newsea Hair YU090f Retexture” by Simsta
Christina’s Dinner Hairstyle: “Skysims Hair 242 Retexture” by Simsta
Christina’s Dinner Dress: “17 Long Sleeve Dresses” by Dani Paradise
Wine Glass Clutter: “Glass and Glass rack” by Tamamaro
Christina: “Christina Milian” by carnivorelama44
Christina’s Apartment: “One Bedroom Studio Flat” by tttrauma
The Hospital Room: “Simple Adult Hospital” by iRacheal
The Rehab: “Hawthorne Recovery Center” by jlkiss14
The Restaurant: “Lettre Rouge Restaurant” by aaguiar94