Diamond Girl - By Kathleen Hewtson

Chapter 1

I came here to the guest house to hide from the sounds of the rats; they scare me. It hasn’t helped much because now I can hear the horrible plunk, splash sounds they make when they go into the pool. Maybe they are thirsty; even the toilet bowls have dried up. There is no water, no electricity and no heat, for them … or me.

I am so cold and so frightened. I think I am going to die and I don’t want to die. I don’t know how to save myself and this time no one else is going to come and save me. No one alive cares about me.

My name is Carolyn - it’s a derivative of Carolina. When I was born my father bought his first football team to celebrate his first child. He paid half a billion dollars for the team and he told the stunned sports and financial worlds that it wasn’t worth ‘one hair on my little girl’s head, not that she has any hair yet'. I imagine that they all laughed sycophantically and went home and shook their heads in disgust. I get a lot of that. It's how people always react to my family’s name and to their money.

Seven eight years ago a reporter from Page Six followed me into the bathroom at a club - I don’t know which one - and she stared at me while I stared at myself in the mirror. I didn’t know what she wanted, I didn’t know what to say, I never know what to say to anyone. It's one of the things people like to say about me. Finally, because her gaze made me so uncomfortable, I laughed a little and asked her if she thought I should get Botox for my forehead. I was nineteen. She took it seriously. I think that is so creepy. Why would anyone take a question like that seriously, take me seriously for that matter. After the reporter gave my stupid question a lot more thought than it deserved, she said, “I think you can wait for a year or two, so, hey, what else are you up to, Carey?” I felt grateful to her for telling me I didn’t need Botox yet, I wanted to reward her, give her something personal she could use in her article on me, but there’s not too much about me personally that is interesting or at least there wasn’t then.

I shyly revealed that I liked Doritos. She nodded, smiling, pleased, and the funniest or worst thing about the whole meaningless encounter was that the next day I read a story about myself. “Carey Kelleher is a real live girl just like the rest of us and she confided in this writer exclusively that she likes to sneak a Nacho Cheese Dorito now and then.”

I’m so tired but I think if I could get up one more time, I would reach for my cell phone and dial a number. It’s one I haven’t called in so long. Mother, Mom, Mama … help me.

Is that what I would say if I could stand up and make it over to the dresser? My cell phone is the last line with who I was, both literally and figuratively. When I left treatment in July, they - they being my parents - told me through intermediaries not to contact them unless I was going to return. Our family lawyer, Herbert, once Uncle Herbert, now only Herbert, sternly informed me that “all monies will cease immediately. You must understand, Carolyn, that your parents are united in this decision.”

I laughed in his face. I told him that was a switch, them being united and then I told him to tell them I said to go fuck themselves and their money.

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. I don’t think I’ll be very aware of it by then; I don’t think I’ll be alive for it. But whatever … what am I missing anyway, another party, another scene, another load of paparazzi?

“Carolyn, Carey, look over here … Hey, Carey.”

I wouldn’t be afraid to die if I just had some idea of what it’s like. Even though I’ve met so many people, every kind of person, I’ve never met a dead person. Can I go to heaven and everyone there will want me again, or is it like now, where nobody wants me and it’s getting too dark to see? I’m not sure what’s real and what isn’t. Will I spin out into