Based on the screenplay, DOWN WENT ALICE, by Kristen SkeetTweet
It’s not something you get used to: the surprise on your own mother’s face every time she looks at you – her confusion. Like she’d thought you were just part of some horrible nightmare she’d had the night before and should have been gone by morning light.
Still. I loved her.
I loved her as much she loves her fans, as much as they loved her, as much as she loved him.
Alfie fucking Evans.
The bane of my inconvenient existence.
It’s because of Alfie she invited men like Chuck Wall into her life. They filled the void Alfie left when he bolted from her life after he found out about my pending arrival.
There had been many of them over the years. The best of which was Jett - beautiful Jett who loves me as if I were his own daughter and still pays more attention to me than Stephen, my actual father, ever has or will, and the worst being Chuck.
Record producer by day, deviant drug addict and pusher by night, Chuck Wall kept Sara high for years. It destroyed her but he didn’t care. He didn’t care about her at all. Sara was the most famous rock star in the world. Being seen with her was great for his career. As long as he kept her in the drugs she kept him around, and he’d done a fine job of making sure she kept him around. She’d become little more than his drug whore by the time I was 15. Cocaine, pills, heroin…you name it. Chuck had them all and Sara used them all and she did whatever he asked to get her hands on it.
It was disgusting.
It broke my heart.
Sara would never have been mistaken for mother of the year but there was at time - a time before Chuck - when she tried, in her own way. Like that time Jett hollered at me for trampling mud into the house. Sara grabbed my hand ran outside to dirty up her feet and danced around the house, her tongue jammed out at Jett as she danced.
That was a great day.
There were no great days after Jett left.
The nightmare hadn’t begun until Chuck moved in though. I was five. That nightmare lasted over a decade.
Why hadn’t she seen how awful he was? For all her faults, Sara deserved better.
I deserved better.
Chuck wandered into my bedroom the night before my 15th birthday. I was practicing guitar. He was dressed only in boxer shorts, as usual. It was kind of a uniform for him. I can’t imagine Jett ever having walked around the house like that, certainly not while I was around. That night Chuck’s shorts were slung so low I could almost see it. He’d had been high on something, of course. His speech was exaggerated and slow.
“Excited for your party tomorrow?”
Apparently, the party the following night was a celebration in my honor of my birthday. The charade was ridiculous. Had they really wanted to do something for me they would have canceled the fucking partying for one night and let me get some sleep for a change.
“15 already, hmm?” he’d said. “Where does the time go?”
Up your nose with the blow, I’d thought and then laughed. That could be a lyric.
While pondering the next line of my new song, my eyes drifted to the patch of hair on his belly that disappeared under his waistband. I’d looked away, disgusted, when I realized where I was staring but his slow smile told me he hadn’t missed it.
“You look older than 15.”
I set the guitar aside long enough to light a cigarette.
“Your mother know you smoke?”
“What about your father?”
“My father knows very little about me.”
“That make you sad?”
“Tough little Alice…”
I jammed the cigarette between my lips and started playing again.
“You’re very talented,” he’d said. “No surprise there, considering your parents.”
I ignored him.
“Maybe you and I can make an album together,” he’d said. “I’m a hit maker, Alice.”
“You’re a creep,” I’d said, fighting to remain calm against a rage that was more powerful than anything emotion I’d ever experienced. “And a fraud. And everybody knows it.”
He’d rubbed his disgusting belly and smirked, again. It was the arrogant smirk of a man who knew his place in Sara’s life and in that house was solid. Sara was so strongly under the hold of the drugs Chuck provided her she would do anything to keep him around. She would ignore anything to keep him around. I didn’t understand that smirk that day. I wish like hell I had.
Chuck crossed the room to my bed and bowed to speak quietly into my ear. “Not everybody, love.”
I stared down hard at my bedspread and begged silently for him to just get the hell out of my room.
“If you want something stronger than a cigarette tomorrow night, find me,” he’d continued, when he got no reaction from me. “It’s your special day, after all.”
As soon as he was gone I ran into my bathroom and threw up. I splashed cold water on my face and stared at my reflection. My face was too pale and gaunt. I’d always held an uncanny resemblance to Sara and, thanks to Chuck, I’d started to resemble the drug-addicted version she’d become of late, also thanks to Chuck.
It was then I decided, one way or another, Chuck Wall would be out of my life, and soon.
If only I’d known.