Dear Andrew Kiavan,
Lately I haven't had a really smooth life. In The Last Thing I Remember, Charlie doesn't remember the previous year of his life. It brought back memories of how I found out my life had pretty much crashed. Him not remembering what happened was me when I found out that my dad was gay. I couldn't understand why my parents were getting a divorce. I just remember that they didn't love each other like they used to. I found out that he was gay from a fight that happened between my mom and my sister. As the memories flooded into Charlie's head, memories flooded into mine. As he put two and two together, so did I; we were just on two different subjects.
When Charlie and Alex went to talk, I remembered how my friend and I were two completely different people, and how we've changed since I told her about my dad. When Alex was talking about everything being a lie, I saw that I thought the same thing at first. I was hesitant to tell about my dad, and during fights, I wanted to just leave the place we were, so I wouldn't have to deal with Missy. I couldn't stay mad at her, just like you can tell that Alex wasn't completely mad at Charlie because he got into the car with him, and he trusted him with a secret of how things used to be, knowing that they won't tell everyone they know.
When Charlie is running away, and escaping from everything that only he knows he didn't do, I thought of running away from my parents. Not literally running away, but setting myself free with something that has nothing to do with touchy subjects at home. I felt as if I could majestically turn into a bird and fly away from everything that could hurt. Charlie just really couldn't do that with his life. Wherever he turned, people were after him, and they wouldn't leave him alone. Him finding out that he killed Alex, me finding out that I caused problems when I told my cousin about my dad, it was just a reason to find a way out.
Throughout the book, he's always escaping one thing, the police. Throughout my life, I've been escaping help. Emotions will arise as you hold them in, and you will snap. I don't think that will ever happen to Charlie, but it has happened to me. I feel like I can run away from my fears of everyone finding out, and everyone telling each other, but it just doesn't work that way. It has already happened once, just like everyone was told about what Charlie did, and it crushed me, just as it crushed Charlie.
In the end, I guess this book taught me that I can't run away forever. As I think of it, I can tell that it has helped me get over a few problems that have been bottled inside of me for a very long time. Seeing Charlie go through his rough spots made me think, I'm like a Charlie West, dealing with problems the best I can, but needing help. It was me in a book.
Riley Kay Sternhagen