Chapter Four

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The morning came a little too quickly. The last time I checked my phone it was after one, so I probably went to bed around two and woke up at six. How many hours do doctors recommend again?


Or was it eight?

Compared to most college students my horrible sleeping patterns aren't that bad, I'm sure. I've gotten used to staying up late and waking up early for classes and work. I'm slowly becoming a New Yorker. I drink coffee daily. I sit on the subway and make eye contact with strangers. I stopped giving all of my cash to the homeless drunks on the street.Well, I wouldn't say stopped, but I was giving almost as much as I was making, so it wasn't working out well for me.

I can't say the same for Tessa, the poor girl gives half of her tip earnings away on the walk home. Not that I don't care or help, I just prefer to give coffee or muffins when I can, not money to feed addictions. I think I may be slightly jaded by Richard Young and his overdose. I understand Tessa's attachment with the hope that comes from handing a homeless man a five dollar bill. She truly believes they will buy food with it. I'm not so sure, but I think she has the better idea here. My friend and roommate has a personal connection with the homeless. Tessa's dad, who wasn't around for most of her life, ended up being a homeless man before his death less than a year ago. It was really hard for her and I think helping these strangers heals a small part of her. I won't take that away from her.

For every dollar she gives, she's awarded with a smile, a thank you. Tessa's the kind of person who tries to pull the best out of everyone. She gives more of herself than she should and she expects people to be kind, even when they never will be.

She gets a fraction of satisfaction when she's thanked, or when she sees the homeless spend her money on food. I also think she sees her small mission as some kind of parallel to her failed relationship with Hardin and her father. Maybe she couldn't help them, but she can help these people.

I know it's naïve, but she's my best friend and this is one of the only things that she's actually involved in lately. She doesn't sleep. Her gray eyes are swollen ninety percent of the time. She's struggling with getting over a catastrophic breakup, the death of her father, moving to a new place, and not getting accepted into NYU.

That's a lot for one person to carry on their back. I would take the weight from her if I could. I've tried, but she has to climb out of this herself. In the long run, she'll be better for it.

When I met Tessa a year ago she was so different. Her shell was the same, a beautiful blond with pretty eyes, a soft voice, and a high GPA. The first time I talked to her, I felt like I had met the female version of myself. Better looking and bigger boobs, but otherwise the same.

We immediately bonded over being the first two in the lecture room our first day of college. Tessa and I got closer as her relationship with Hardin, my mom's then fiancé, (now husband)'s- estranged son developed. Yikes, that sounds like an episode of Maury waiting to happen.

All jokes aside, I watched as she fell in love with him and he fell harder. I watched them rip each other apart and then stitch each wound back together. I watched them become one another's everything then nothing, and everything again.

I had trouble picking sides during the war. It wasn't without causality. It was just too complicated and messy, so now I'm taking a note from Bella Swan and staying Switzerland.

Yikes, I reference Twilight.

I need caffeine.


When I walk into the kitchen Tessa is sitting at the small table with her phone in her hand. The small box from yesterday is torn into chunks of cardboard and a book with the words Wuthering Heights on the binding is mixed into the pile of trash.

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