As you may remember, last week was a lighter serving, and I stated that this week will follow the same trope. As a kind gesture (and also finals…), I have decided to post this entree two days earlier than I originally intended to, and once again the content will be work done in my English Honours class.
While last week was a half-page analysis on Bohemian Rhapsody (by Queen), what I am about to share is a break from the usual mould. This time I present a short story centred around character dialogue, based on a clip from an old show called Saved by the Bell. While I know nothing about the show in proper, our teacher played a 20-second clip on mute, with absolutely no context either than the fact that the characters names were Zach and Jessie. Our assignment was to write what might have happened. Before we proceed, I advise you watch the clip with no volume on.
If you haven’t watched this show or snippet prior to now, what were your thoughts? Is this a sitcom, where this character is deviating from her ordeals and is being saved by a potential lover? Is this more dramatic, with darker themes of self-abuse and addiction crossing with more heroic attitudes such as compassion? No matter what you thought, I decided to make my own interpretation. And let’s cut right to the chase.
I took it completely out of context to make something far darker (and what I thought was more interesting) than I should have.
Once again, I have never watched this show and can give no indication to its quality or my knowledge of these characters and their backgrounds. I advise you to read this without any context of Saved by the Bell, and instead look to be surprised. Also for the record, I was not aware that she was taking caffeine pills.
Let us begin.
‘Come on Zach, I just need another dose and I’ll be fine!’ My beloved sister Jessie was just like a fallen angel. Top of the line in smarts, looks, and popularity. Now, well…
‘Are you even listening? The doctor said I’m depressed, and I need it, so get out!’
‘Jess, get a grip! Mom and Dad are frightened as you know, and these pills are going to put you down!’ I refuted with an inflamed temper, trying to end her self-inflicting pain.
‘It’s been three months now, Zach. Three damn months! These pills are going to save me, just you watch! You’ve always been the perfect peachy boy of the family, but you’re really just a ruthless bastard!’ screamed Jessie, with any sense of logic she had idle and hiding from her temper.
‘Jessie, listen to yourself. The meds are killing you; what you need is rest,’ I stated with an elevated calm. ‘See? We don’t need to yell or make things worse. Just stay cool.’
‘You’re fucking ridiculous, did you know that? I feel like an emotional time bomb, and nobody even cares!’ Tears now rushed down her cheeks, leaving stains of make-up that failed to keep her integrity in check. Then, at a moment’s notice, my sister began to storm towards her door.
‘You can’t leave, Jess. Not until you stop this madness and sit down,’ I asserted as I began to become unnerved. ‘Don’t make things worse than they already are, for both my sake and your own.’
‘Stop antagonizing me, Zach! You’re not Mom or Dad, so get out!’ Jessie was full of rage and sorrow once again, and her ability to argue was faltering as she became fed up.
‘Admit it, Jess, you can’t go on like this. I’ll make sure to see it that way, if you don’t give up,’ I told her with a scent of intimidation. As I prepared for another response, I snuck my hand down into my pocket.
‘Zach, don’t even try to pretend that I’m an animal or that you care about me,’ Jessie began to tell as she bawled her dazed brown eyes out. ‘When we were young, you always went too far with yourself. Everyone loved you and hated me, and while I worked hard towards my dreams, you simply get them like a spoiled brat. You always controlled me, even now you’re’
‘Hush, Jess. You’re only stressing yourself out and now everything will be fine. You just need rest, even though I doubt you’ll be seeing the family again. I’m sure you’ll be tucked to where you deserve to be, but what can I say?’
I dropped the syringe into Jessie’s lap and looked back at my fallen sister with a grin of fulfillment.
It was an admission of the dark truth of love.
I hope you enjoyed this small snippet from the vault of my writings. I will admit that the twist feels slightly odd, but my goal with this assignment was to paint a very grey picture that has no truth. As school is almost out, things will be back on course for next weekend. Until then, I hope to make something even better than before.