In this chapter, we follow Leslie’s mother, Sophie, as she returns to her hotel room with Nicolas on that very same Saturday night.
Sophie dropped her phone on the bed and stared at it. She was thinking about the words her brain had just absorbed from its bright screen; digesting them. She bent down and reached for the red laces wrapped around her toned calves to undo the knots. Doing this always left her feeling dirty; the kind of shame that you have to scrub off for hours in the shower. Digging through her daughter’s blog and social medias weren’t her proudest moments, but that was just the way things were ever since Leslie’s…
She couldn’t bring herself to speak the word, let alone think it. A tragedy, was the word she’d rather use. They used to be so close, so bright together. But ever since the tragedy struck their family, she looked at her daughter differently. Leslie felt different, she was different. She had always been different but Sophie could now see all that was wrong about her. She used to only see her as her baby girl but the tragedy had opened her eyes and she could barely cover it up anymore.
Leslie’s stay at the rehab center had cleansed her and Sophie thought she could have had her baby girl back. But it was only temporary. A year for a year; now she was falling apart again. Something in her was broken and it would always keep breaking as long as she lived and no amount of cleansing would suffice. Leslie was broken and nothing was the same. They weren’t friends anymore, they weren’t the same as they used to be, much as they tried to pretend. Something had died in Leslie and with it went their bond.
Sophie still had hope, hope that somehow everything would fall back into place. And that was truly why she dug through her daughter’s online bubbles, not only to see if she was breaking down again but seeking signs of her getting better. She had hope that Leslie could go back to being who she was, her friend. She kept looking for progress, for sparks in all the darkness that oozed from her daughter’s mind. She desperately sought proof, clues, hints, that Leslie could be normal again, in one piece inside, and that they could be friends again. Sophie still had faith that things could be okay, even when all she could find was darkness and helplessly witness what was left of her daughter fading away.