Autumn- Chapter 2

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My parents drive me to the secluded prison that is supposed to be my home for the next month. We meet the Folsoms,  the owners of the cabin. Their home, which is the main house for the compound, is about a mile away. There's at least a mile between mine and the other couple of cabins.

We drive up to my cabin, which is surprisingly nice. I was expecting one dark room with log walls and a wood stove to keep me warm. It's actually an attractive little house. It does have log walls, but inside they are painted off white so that it's bright an cheery. There's a living area with a huge gas fireplace, a kitchen, a dining area, a bedroom, and a bathroom that looks like it was recently remodeled. The house is surrounded by a deck that wraps around three sides. The view from this deck is stunning. There's a huge lake in the distance, and the trees are all sporting leaves of vibrant fall colors.

"This is beautiful," my mom says.

"It is," I grudgingly admit.

We get all my luggage unpacked. I see that there's a TV with a DVD player. No bluray. I can deal, I guess. The owner says that they have a pretty big movie collection at the main house and I can check out as many films as I like.

There's no Hulu or Netflix, though. Those things require the internet.

I've arranged to get two meals a day. Lunch and dinner. They will be dropped off at my cabin at 12 and 6. I'm on my own for breakfast or any snacks. My parents will drive me into town later today to pick up the groceries I need. After that, all I have to do is ask, and the cabin owners will take me to get what I want.

After the cabin owner leaves, I turn to my folks, "It's kind of like summer camp, except I'm the only fucking camper."

"One week," my dad says with a bit of an edge to his tone. "You promised."

"Yeah. I know."

I hug my mom and dad goodbye after we get back from our grocery shopping trip. My mom starts to cry, and I do my very best to put on a positive face. She's the main reason I agreed to this.

Exactly at 6:00 PM there's a knock at my door. I open it. A teenage boy is standing there. "Room service?" I ask.

He gives me a look. "Here's your dinner. Enjoy."

He hands me flat basket. Inside are several dishes covered with the same metal domes hotels use for room service. Hey, my joke wasn't that ridiculous.

I lift the biggest dome. There's a chicken breast with a creamy sauce, rice pilaf, and broccoli. I lift one of the two other domes. There's a large piece of pumpkin pie. Nice. The third dome has a salad underneath. With tomatoes. I hate tomatoes so I make a mental note to tell someone to omit them in the future. I'd call down to the main house, but there's no landline in the cabin. I guess I should be thankful I have electricity.

After I eat dinner (which was really good, except for the salad), I start to feel antsy. It takes me a while to figure out that I'm missing my phone. Not that I have a phone to miss. Mine was smashed and we decided not to replace it until I get home.

It's crazy how attached you can get to a little rectangle. I want to text my friends. I want to play all my stupid game apps.

Mostly, I want to check social media. I want to see what my fans are saying about my breakdown. They'd all been super supportive, but as the rumors swelled, were they still behind me?

My biggest fear right now is that nothing will ever be the same. There will be Shawn Mendes before his breakdown and Shawn Mendes after. Two different people; two different lives.

I have therapy tomorrow. Maybe I should tell my therapist that this is bugging me. He or she will probably want to start with how I got to this point, though. I'm dreading that. I know that when I go through all the things that contributed to my current fucked up mental state, it's going to dredge up a bunch of painful emotions.

I decide to go sit out on my deck and enjoy the night air. It's pretty chilly, so I grab a coat and beanie. I let myself out the sliding glass door in the living room and find a wooden chair with a footrest. I sit down and lean back, propping up my feet. At first I am startled by how quiet it is. I change my mind about that the longer I sit outside. It's really pretty noisy.

The wind is whistling through the trees. I can hear the branches hitting other branches as they sway. Every so often I hear an owl. Something is walking close enough to the cabin that I can hear the crunching of leaves. I really hope it's not a bear. Do bears climb up on decks and eat people? I decide that the headline "Pop Star Shawn Mendes Eaten by Bear" is better than the recent headlines about me.

I look up at the sky and see hundreds, maybe thousands, of stars. The moon is not out, so it's pretty dark. I like that.

I hear the leaves crunching again and I decide I'm not up for dealing with a wild animal. I go back in the cabin and lock the door.

I wish I'd picked out a movie when I was at the main house earlier. That would kill some time.

The clock on the wall says it is 8:35. It's so early, but I have nothing better to do, so I strip off my clothes, put on a t-shirt and flannel pants, and climb into bed. The bed is not bad, I realize as I adjust into a comfortable position. It's a bit softer than I am used to, but it feels good. As I start to drift off to sleep I decide I can probably make it through one week.

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