(Image courtesy of Megan Hackbarth)
Los Altos High School

Creative Essay: Dear Charlie, life is just a dream

The aim of the letters for “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is to represent and discuss the story in a meaningful way, particularly the life of the 15-year-old protagonist named Charlie, who experiences a mental illness.

Through the course of Charlie’s first year of high school, he narrates his experiences through a series of letters he writes to an anonymous person. Charlie describes his relationships with his family and friends along with the guilt and concerns he feels for others. Through the letters, Charlie is shown to be shy and reaching out for help.

From the epistolary of letters, Charlie is reaching out to an anonymous person, “I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand,” Chbosky wrote. Charlie goes through deep hardships with family, friends and his repressed memories. In his letters, Charlie has shown growth and self-healing. Writing gives Charlie the ability to take control and make himself feel comfortable.

I wrote three (fictional) letters to Charlie to honor Charlie’s character from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky and the importance of writing to self-heal and self-discover. The second letter (out of three) is below. The last letter will be posted shortly after.

Letter Number Two

Dear Charlie,

Do you ever feel like doing something, but you know that in a few days you would give up? That’s me, for every damn thing in my life. Anyways, that was off-topic. I want to hear your thoughts on a short story I wrote for fun. Well you know, go figure. Kind of deep. I guess I was kind of inspired. I didn’t finish it. I will keep you updated.

“Just a Dream”

My hair stood on end, a cold shiver raced down my spine and a lump came to my throat. Where am I? The green forest trees seem endless. No creatures. No bird calls. Just deadly nothingness.

My vision faltered slightly and I blinked my eyes to clear them. My contacts were still glued stuck to my pupil. The wind blew gently, the trees swaying with its touch. It stood before me and suddenly my anger came rushing back.

It’s funny how I used to be the prey and it was the predator. Now it’s the other way around. Every instinct in my body told me to walk away, to forget. But I didn’t.

I lunged forward, my hands desperately searching for something to grab. My hands made contact with its’ hair, and my fingers tangled in it. Its’ sweet perfume stung my nostrils and its’ ear-splitting scream made me whimper.

My skin peeled open. My flesh was exposed to the wet ground. I imagined the infested bugs biting my flesh. Death lurked in every decision. Every choice was a lose-lose situation. Every direction led back to hell. Every grew dark. Every thing was a lie. Every second, I wanted to give in to the pain.

Dark muddy water was sloshing up and down. I clenched my chapped lips. They were burning in the freezing water. Aches and pains formed in my stomach. I swallowed too much seawater. Tears from my eyes kept coming out. Endless.

I woke up to my dog’s drool on my face.

 

Interesting. I wrote this a while ago. I guess I was feeling emotional. Should I try to publish this for some money? Is it worth a shot? Where do I publish this to? I wonder how it feels to be rich and talented.

I actually find this quite humorous. Even though this story is very brutal and vivid, it made me smile. I enjoyed writing this piece. I’m glad some of my friends liked it. Yay.

Today is a good day. I hope you are having a good day. I also read a quote that said, “Smile even though you are sad.” Just wondering, do you agree with this quote? I don’t. There is nothing wrong showing your sad emotions. Why do people get uncomfortable when they see an emotional person? That’s why I cry in the shower. So, no one can see and hear how I feel.

We need more people to advocate for mental health. Thank you for listening to me and not censoring me. Let me know what you think.

 

With love,

Your friend