Today is a new day and I have mixed emotions. I am ecstatic to know that I am going to be moving to the ginger house with Keisha. However, I have learned that for reasons beyond my control or understanding, Richard and I are not going to be twins in Objectives. They have paired me up with Buster Lumplin.
“Haha nigga. You got to go through Objectives with Buster,” Derek Lowry teases me.
“Nigga. I would be pissed as hell. You already did Book 4a with Richard. How the hell they going to tell you that you got to run that shit again?” Louis asks.
“I Know Bling (Louis). It’s bullshit!” I say, while kicking the smoking table.
“Aye girl. You ready to be my twin?” Buster interrupts.
“Hell naw nigga. I am livid. I just finished my fucking two hour TRs. They can’t make me do Book 4a again. This is complete horse shit. You better fly through it, or I’m going to drag you through it,” I threaten.
“Damn girl. You don’t have to be mad at me,” Buster replies. “It ain’t my fault.”
Buster has a Virginian accent. He sounds like a country boy. He wears baggy jeans and Polo shirts. He tries very hard to fit in with this group, but none of the guys are having him. Because he still has that cell phone, they attempt to be cordial. At least to his face.
“Wait, so you have to do book 4a all over again Liz?” Hayden asks.
“That’s what they are telling me. It’s bullshit. I freaking attested the book. I am supposed to be starting Objectives. The thing that pisses me off the most is that they know I lounged around for three weeks waiting to get into sauna. I am already behind in my fucking program. This hiccup will set me back a week. I am not fucking sitting through two hour TRs again. I will call my dad and be out of here like last year,” I suggest. I throw my hand up and make a peace sign indicating, “Peace out.”
“Two minutes,” Stormy calls out. We all head down for roll call.
After roll, I reluctantly hop onto the van to get across the street. When we arrive, Makayla has chairs paired up for us to all do our 20 minute morning TRs. Eyes closed goes by easily. Eyes open proves to be more difficult staring at Buster’s face. He twists and contorts his face at me, as if trying to provoke my laughter. I want to punch him for it. Justice and Misty are engaged in TRs next to us. Justice rolls her eyes at me. This causes me to almost laugh.
After TRs, Makayla pairs Buster and I together. Justice and Misty are also paired up and will be twins through Objectives.
“Makayla, this is crap. Not only have I already completed Book 4a, but I ran all of these drills in Book 1 and I helped new Book 1 students drill these TRs 100 times,” I protest.
“I don’t want to hear it. Buster is your twin and you should want to help him through. Being twins means that you help each other through,” she replies.
“Well, that’s funny because I helped my twin through and you separated us. Richard was my twin,” I respond.
My tone is hostile. Makayla has no control over the condition I have found myself in. It wasn’t her decision to separate Richard and I. Still, I am rude and condescending towards her. In the end, I am forced to get Buster through Book 4a. We complete the reading and drill TR1-TR4. He tries to have fun with it, but I am so angry and annoyed that I don’t allow for any fun to be had.
Finally, we are excused for lunch. There is nothing worse than Narconon’s hot dog lunches. We almost consistently run out of hot dog buns. The hot dogs themselves are questionable. Narconon always ends up running out of the bags of chips served with the hot dogs. So, you are forced to eat a bunless hot dog with some salad scraps and fruit from the bottom of the bowl. Today is not my day.
“Dude, please tell me that there are some more fucking potato chips somewhere?” I ask Dominic in a whiny tone.
“Girl, you know I saved some just for you,” he replies before pulling out a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.
“Awe. My favorite! Thanks boo,” I say while grabbing for the chips.
“Of course,” he winks. “I’m going to have to revoke your chip eating privileges and get you into my boot camp workout class soon though.”
“Boot camp? You are nuts Dom. I don’t know if I can survive your boot camp,” I reply.
“Don’t worry. I’ll go real easy on you,” he says. He is wearing a big shit eating grin and there is a hint of sexual innuendo to his statement. We laugh and I make my way to the lunchroom.
When I am having an off day, I plug my earbuds in and drown out the noise of the students around me. I love Keisha. She has figured this out and won’t even attempt to bother me. She smiles in my direction when she sees that I am plugged in and she chooses to sit at another table. Vinny too Skinny, however, opts to sit at the same table I am at. I am sitting all the way in on the bench near the window. There is a student between us, as he sits on the aisle side of the bench. He mouths something in my direction as he sits down, but my music is up and I don’t hear him.
Despite the fact I have my earbuds in, students attempt to talk to me. It is rather annoying. It’s similar to when you are reading on an airplane and the person next to you wants to talk and asks you a million questions. Paying no mind to the fact that you are trying to read. I surrender and inevitably am forced to remove my ear buds and engage conversation with the students at the table. The lunch room is thinning out and I excuse myself from the table to smoke a cigarette.
“That’s right. Get off this table bitch,” Vinny mumbles under his breath.
I toss my backpack over my shoulder and as I make my way passed Vinny, I jab his back with my elbow. Once my elbow makes contact with his back, I dig in before apologizing for tripping.
“Oops, sorry,” I say in a sarcastic whisper.
“Assault! You all saw it. Liz hit me! Assault!” Vinny screams out excitedly.
He jumps up from the table and runs over to the interns looking for them to validate his claims. He makes his way around the tables looking for students who have witnessed this assault.
“I didn’t see nothing,” Rome says smugly.
“Assault? She’s not even 5 foot nigga. Oh and not to mention, she’s a she,” Brian says.
I make my way outside. A huge smile crosses my face. No one is going to fucking narc me out over this stupid bitch made nigga. I light a cigarette and chill with Keisha and the boys.
“Yo, what happened?” Derek asks.
“Nothing man. I tripped on the bench and my elbow inadvertently made contact with Vinny’s back. Couldn’t be helped,” I smile. Everyone laughs.
“Liz, come with me,” Curtis Maxwell instructs.
A collective, “Oooo” sound is made by the group. Much like the sound a group of children would make when a student is sent to the principal’s office.
“Liz Brown,” Devon Lex says my name in a disappointed fashion. “I thought I wasn’t going to be seeing you in my office. Tell me what happened.”
“There’s not much to tell. I tripped on the bench and fell into Vinny’s back. I apologized, but before I could explain that I tripped, he screamed assault and made a much bigger deal out of it,” I claim.
“Well, I have an intern willing to go on record saying that he saw you purposefully hit Vinny,” Devon explains.
“Well, much like a car accident with six witnesses all claiming to see different things, your intern has this wrong. You know how the benches get kicked out from under the table. My backpack is heavy. I flung it over my shoulder, my shoe hit the bench. I was unbalanced because of the weight of my bag and I tripped into Vinny. You put us on a no comm. and yet he was sitting at my table. I was there first. He is going out of his way to cause trouble,” I elaborate.
“You expect me to believe that this was an accident?” Devon asks.
“Frankly I don’t give a shit what you believe. You weren’t there. I have no reason to lie to you. I tripped. End of story,” I respond.
“Liz, listen. Vinny wants to file assault charges. Now, if you intentionally hit him, I am required to call the police and file a report. That is assault. You do understand that right?” He asks.
“Of course I understand, but it was an accident. What kind of a man wants to actually press assault charges on a female who is half his size and barely made contact with an accidental elbow bump?” I ask.
“I know. Liz, you and Vinny are not that different,” he begins to say.
“What? What the fuck? Don’t you ever fucking compare me to that antisocial fucktard!” I interrupt in a scream. My heart is pumping. My blood is boiling.
“Calm down, what I am trying to say is that you both come from similar abuse and backgrounds,” he begins to explain. “He was bullied and abused.”
“Well I am sorry for him, but we are nothing alike and I resent you saying so,” I confess. “Is he going to press charges or what?
“No. I have calmed him down, but you need to stay away from him. First yesterday’s blowup and now this. The common denominator is you and your anger,” he claims.
“No! Fuck that! The common denominator is him and his incessant bullbait. You keep him the fuck away from me. He sat at my fucking table. He should be written up for violating the no comm. Send his ass to Nevada or Colorado (Other Narconon locations),” I suggest.
Devon dismisses me from the ethics office. I can tell that he doesn’t like me and in this moment I am not happy with him. How dare he compare me to Vinny too Skinny! I can’t wait to move to the ginger house. I storm over to my room and pack up the rest of my shit, so that I am completely ready to go when they advise me it’s time. I plug my earbuds in and scream with Linkin Park again…
Today’s Theme Song- Papercut- Linkin Park
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**DISCLAIMER: This is my personal experience at a Narconon Rehabilitation Center. This is not an expose or journalistic documentation. It is not meant to bash the program in any way, or suggest that it is the only rehab facility that works for recovery. I have been clean and sober since 09-27-13 and attribute much of that success to this program. All of the names in this series have been changed to protect the identity of my friends and sober family’s privacy! Thank you for reading!**