The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

to go to Rocky Horror. And we were talking about things that seemed important at the time. And we were looking up that hill. And then Patrick started running after the sunset. And Sam immediately followed him. And I saw them in silhouette. Running after the sun. Then, I started running. And everything was as good as it could be.

That night, Patrick decided to play Frank 'n Furter one last time. He was so happy to put on the costume, and everyone was happy he decided to do it. It was quite moving actually. He gave the best show I ever saw him give. Maybe I was biased, but I don't care. It was the show I'll always remember. Especially his last song.

The song is called "I'm Going Home." In the movie, Tim Curry, who plays the character, cries during that song. But Patrick was smiling. And it felt just right.

I even persuaded my sister to come to the show with her boyfriend. I have been trying to get her to come since I started going, but she never would. But this time she did. And since she and her boyfriend never saw the show before, they were technically "virgins," which meant they would have to do all these embarrassing things before the show started to get "initiated." I decided not to tell my sister this, and she and her boyfriend had to go on stage and try to dance the Time Warp.

Whoever lost the dance contest had to pretend he or she was having sex with a large stuffed Gumby doll, so I quickly showed my sister and her boyfriend how to dance the Time Warp, so they wouldn't lose the contest. It was fun watching my sister dance the Time Warp on stage, but I don't think I could have handled her pretending to have sex with a large stuffed Gumby.

I asked my sister if she wanted to come to Craig's for the party afterward, but she said that one of her friends was having a party, so she was going to that. That was okay with me because at least she came to the show. And before she left, she hugged me again. Two in one day! I really do love my sister. Especially when she's nice.

The party at Craig's was great. Craig and Peter bought champagne to congratulate all the people who were graduating. And we danced. And we talked. And I saw Mary Elizabeth kissing Peter and looking happy. And I saw Sam kissing Craig and looking happy. And I saw Patrick and Alice not even care that they weren't kissing anybody because they were too excited talking about their futures.

So, I just sat there with a bottle of champagne near the CD player, and I changed the songs to fit the mood of what I saw. I was lucky, too, because Craig has an excellent collection. When people looked a little tired, I played something fun. When they looked like they wanted to talk, I played something soft. It was a great way to sit alone at a party and still feel a part of things.

After the party, everyone thanked me because they said it was the perfect music. Craig said that I should be a deejay to make money while I was still in school just like he does modeling. I thought that was a good idea. Maybe I could save up a lot of money, so I would be able to go to college even if something like the Rotary Club or Moose Lodge didn't come through.

My brother said recently on the phone that if he makes it to the pros, I don't have to worry about my college money at all. He said he'd take care of it. I can't wait to see my brother. He's coming home for my sister's graduation, which is so nice.

Love always,


June 9, 1992

Dear friend,

It is now prom night. And I am sitting in my room. Yesterday was difficult because I didn't know anybody since all my friends and my sister were no longer in school.

The worst was lunchtime because it reminded me of when everyone was angry with me for Mary Elizabeth. I couldn't even eat my sandwich, and my mom made my favorite because I think she knew how sad I would be with everyone gone.

The halls seemed different. And the juniors were acting different because they are now the seniors. They even had T-shirts made. I don't know who plans these things.

All I can think about is the fact that Sam is leaving in two weeks to go to Penn State. And Mary Elizabeth is going to be busy with her guy. And my sister is going to be busy with hers. And Alice and I aren't that close. I know Patrick will be around, but I'm afraid that maybe since he isn't sad, he won't want to spend time with me. I know that's wrong in my head, but it feels that way sometimes. So, then the only person I would have to talk to would be my psychiatrist, and I don't like the idea of that right now because he keeps asking me questions about when I was younger, and they're starting to get weird.

I'm just lucky that I have so much schoolwork and don't have a lot of time to think.

All I hope is that tonight is great for the people whom it's supposed to be great for. My sister's boyfriend showed up in his Buick, and he was wearing a white "tails" coat over a black suit, which looked wrong for some reason. His "cumberbunn" (I don't know how to spell this) matched my sister's dress, which was powder blue and low-cut. It reminded me of those magazines. I have to stop spinning out like this. Okay.

All I hope is that my sister feels beautiful, and her new guy makes her feel beautiful. I hope that Craig doesn't make Sam feel that her prom isn't special just because he's older. I hope the same for Mary Elizabeth with Peter. I hope Brad and Patrick decide to make up and dance in front of the whole school. And that Alice is secretly a lesbian and in love with Brad's girlfriend Nancy (and vice versa), so nobody feels left out. I hope the deejay is as good as everyone said I was last Friday. And I hope everyone's pictures turn out great and never become old photographs and nobody gets in a car accident.

That is what I really hope.

Love always,


June 10, 1992

Dear friend,

I just got home from school, and my sister is still asleep from the after-prom party the school organized. I called over to Patrick and Sam's, but they're still asleep, too. Patrick and Sam have a cordless phone which always runs out of batteries, and Sam's mom sounded like a mom in the Peanuts cartoons. Wah Wah ... Wuh.

I had two finals today. One in biology, which I think I got a perfect in. The other in Bill's class. The final was about The Great Gatsby. The only thing hard about it was the fact that he had me read the book so long ago, and it was difficult to remember.

After I handed in the final, I asked Bill if he wanted me to write an essay about The Fountainhead, since I told him that I had finished it, and he hadn't told me to do anything. He said that it wouldn't be fair to have me write another essay when I have so many finals this week. Instead, he invited me over to his town house to spend Saturday afternoon with his girlfriend and him, which sounds like fun.

So, on Friday, I will go to Rocky Horror. Then, on Saturday, I will go over to Bill's town house. Then, on Sunday, I will watch everyone graduate and spend time with my brother and all the family because of my sister. Then, I'll probably go to Sam and Patrick's to celebrate their graduating. Then, I'll have two more days of school, which doesn't make sense because all my finals will be over. But they have some activities planned. At least that's what I've heard.

The reason I am thinking so far in advance is because school is terribly lonely. I think I've said that before, but it's getting harder every day. I have two finals tomorrow. History and typing. Then, on Friday, I have finals in all my other classes like gym and shop. I don't know if there will be actual finals in these classes. Especially shop. I think Mr. Callahan will just play some of his old records for us. He did that when we were supposed to have a midterm, too, but it won't be the same without Patrick lip-synching. Incidentally, I got a perfect on my math final last week.

Love always,


June 13, 1992

Dear friend,

I just got home from Bill's house. I would have written to you about last night this morning, but I had to go to Bill's.

Last night, Craig and Sam broke up.

It was very sad to watch. In the past few days, I have heard a lot about the prom, and thanks to those twenty-four-hour film places, I have seen what everyone looked like. Sam looked beautiful. Patrick looked handsome. Mary Elizabeth, Alice, Mary Elizabeth's boyfriend all looked great, too. The only thing is that Alice wore white stick deodorant with a strapless dress, and it showed. I don't think that kind of thing matters, but supposedly Alice was paranoid about it all night. Craig looked handsome as well, but he wore a suit instead of a tux. That's not why they broke up.

Actually, the prom was supposed to be very nice. The limo was really great, and the limo driver got everyone stoned, which made the very expensive food taste even better. His name was Billy. The prom's music came from this really bad cover band called The Gypsies of the Allegheny, but the drummer was good, so everyone had a nice time dancing. Patrick and Brad didn't even look at each other, but Sam said Patrick was really okay about it.

After the prom, my sister and her boyfriend went to the after-prom party the school organized. It was at this popular dance club downtown. She said that it was really fun with everyone all dressed up and dancing to good music played by a deejay instead of The Gypsies of the Allegheny. They even had a comedian who did impersonations. The only thing was that once you went in, you couldn't leave and come back. I guess the parents thought that it would keep the kids out of trouble. But nobody seemed to mind. They were having too much fun, and enough people smuggled in liquor anyway.

After the party, it was about seven o'clock in the morning and everyone went to the Big Boy for pancakes or bacon.

I asked Patrick how he liked the after-prom party, and he said that it was a lot of fun. He said that Craig had rented a hotel suite for all of them, but only Craig and Sam went. Actually, Sam wanted to go to the after-prom party the school organized, too, but Craig got really angry because he already paid for the hotel suite. That's not why they broke up.

It happened yesterday at Craig's house after Rocky Horror. Like I said, Mary Elizabeth's boyfriend, Peter, is good friends with Craig, and he kind of stepped into the middle of things. I guess he really likes Mary Elizabeth a lot and has grown to like Sam quite a bit because he's the one who brought it up. Nobody even suspected.

Basically, Craig had been cheating on Sam ever since they started going out. And when I say cheat, I don't mean he got drunk once and fooled around with one girl and felt bad about it. There were several girls. Several times. Drunk and sober. And I guess he never felt bad.

The reason Peter didn't say anything at first was the fact that he didn't know anybody. And he didn't know Sam. He just thought she was this dumb high school girl because that's what Craig always told him.

Anyway, after he got to know Sam, Peter kept telling Craig that Craig had to tell her the truth because she wasn't just some dumb high school girl. Craig kept promising he would, but he never did it. There was always some excuse. Craig called them "reasons."

"I don't want to ruin the prom for her."

"I don't want to ruin graduation for her."

"I don't want to ruin the show for her."

Then, finally, Craig said there was no point telling her anything at all. She was about to go away to college anyway. She would find a new guy. He was always "safe" about other girls. There was nothing to worry about in that way. And why not just let Sam remember the whole experience in a good way? Because he really liked Sam and didn't want to hurt her feelings.

Peter went along with this logic even though he thought it was wrong. At least that's what he said. But then after the show yesterday, Craig told him that he fooled around with yet another girl the afternoon of the prom. That's when Peter told Craig that if Craig didn't say something to Sam, he would. Well, Craig didn't say anything, and Peter still didn't think it was his business, but then he overheard Sam at the party. She was talking to Mary Elizabeth about how Craig might be "the one" and how she was trying to think of ways to keep it going long-distance while she was at school. Letters. Phone calls. Vacations. And breaks. That was it for Peter.

He went up to Craig and said, "You tell her something now, or I tell her everything."

So, Craig pulled Sam into his bedroom. They were in there for a while. Then, Sam walked from the bedroom straight out the front door, silently sobbing. Craig didn't run after her. That was probably the worst part. Not that he should have tried to get back together with her, but I think he should have run after her anyway.

All I know is that Sam was devastated. Mary Elizabeth and Alice went after her to make sure she was okay. I would have gone, too, but Patrick grabbed my arm to stay. He wanted to know what was going on, I guess, or maybe he figured Sam would be better off with female company.

I'm glad that we stayed, though, because I think our presence prevented a pretty violent fight between Craig and Peter. Because we were there, all they really did was scream at each other. That's where I heard most of the details I'm writing to you about.

Craig would say, "Fuck you, Peter! Fuck you!"

And Peter would say, "Don't blame me that you fucked around on her since the beginning! The afternoon of her prom!? You're just a bastard! You hear me?! A fucking bastard!"

Things like that.

When it looked like things were going to get violent, Patrick stepped between the two and, with my help, got Peter out of the apartment. When we got outside, the girls were gone. So, Patrick and I got into Patrick's car and drove Peter home. He was still seething, so he "vented" about Craig. That's where I heard the rest of the details I'm writing to you about. Finally, we dropped Peter off, and he made us promise to make sure Mary Elizabeth didn't think he was cheating on her because he wasn't. He just didn't want to be found "guilty by association" with that "prick."

We promised, and he went into his apartment building.

Patrick and I weren't sure how much Craig actually told Sam. We both hoped he gave her a "soft" version of the truth. Enough to make her stay away. But not enough to make her doubt everything about everything. Maybe it's better to know the whole truth. I honestly don't know.

So, we just made a pact that we wouldn't tell her unless we found out that Craig made it sound like "nothing big," and Sam was ready to forgive him. I hope it doesn't come to that. I hope Craig told her enough to make her stay away.

We drove around to all the places where we thought we might find the girls, but we couldn't find them. Patrick figured they were probably just driving around, trying to let Sam "cool off a bit."

So, Patrick dropped me at home. He said he'd call me tomorrow when he heard anything.

I remember going to sleep last night, and I realized something. Something that I think is important. I realized that throughout the course of the evening, I wasn't happy about Craig and Sam breaking up. Not at all.

I never once thought that it would mean Sam might start liking me. All I cared about was the fact that Sam got really hurt. And I guess I realized at that moment that I really did love her. Because there was nothing to gain, and that didn't matter.

It was hard walking up the steps to Bill's town house that afternoon because I didn't receive a phone call all morning from Patrick. And I was so worried about Sam. I called on the phone, but nobody was there.

Bill looks different without a suit. He was wearing his old graduate school T-shirt. Which was Brown. The school. Not the color. His girlfriend was wearing sandals and a nice flowered dress. She even had hair under her arms. No kidding! They looked very happy together. And I was glad for Bill.

Their house didn't have a lot of furniture in it, but it was very comfortable. They had a lot of books, which I spent about a half an hour asking them about. There was also a picture of Bill and his girlfriend when they were at Brown together in graduate school. Bill had very long hair then.

Bill's girlfriend made lunch while Bill made the salad. I just sat in the kitchen, drinking a ginger ale, and watching them. The lunch was a spaghetti dish of some sort because Bill's girlfriend doesn't eat meat. Bill doesn't eat meat either now. The salad did have imitation bacon bits, though, because bacon is the only thing they both miss.

They had a really nice collection of jazz records, and they kept playing them all through lunch. After a while, they broke open a bottle of white wine and gave me another ginger ale. Then, we started talking.

Bill asked me about The Fountainhead, and I told him, making sure that I was a filter.

Then, he asked me about how I liked my first year of high school, and I told him, making sure that I included all the stories in which I "participated."

Then, he asked me about girls, and I told him how I really loved Sam, and how I wondered what the lady who wrote The Fountainhead would say about how I came to realize that I loved her.

After I finished, Bill got very quiet. He cleared his throat.

"Charlie ... I want to thank you."

"Why?" I said.

"Because it has been a wonderful experience teaching you."

"Oh ... I'm glad." I didn't know what else to say.

Then, Bill took this really long pause, and his voice sounded like my dad when he wants to have a big talk.

"Charlie," he said. "Do you know why I gave you all that extra work?"

I shook my head no. That look on his face. It made me quiet.

"Charlie, do you know how smart you are?"

I just shook my head no again. He was talking for real. It was strange.

"Charlie, you're one of the most gifted people I've ever known. And I don't mean in terms of my other students. I mean in terms of anyone I've ever met. That's why I gave you the extra work. I was wondering if you were aware of that?"

"I guess so. I don't know." I felt really strange. I didn't know where this was coming from. I just wrote some essays.

"Charlie. Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm not trying to make you feel uncomfortable. I just want you to know that you're very special... and the only reason I'm telling you is that I don't know if anyone else ever has."

I looked up at him. And then I didn't feel strange. I felt like I wanted to cry. He was being so nice to me, and the way his girlfriend looked, I knew that this meant a lot to him. And I didn't know why it did.

"So, when the school year ends, and I'm not your teacher anymore, I want you to know that if you ever need anything, or want to know about more books, or want to show me anything you write, or anything, you can always come to me as a friend. I do consider you a f
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