By Cheryl Lee Latter
A small, yet interesting, observation – Laura’s bedroom has two distinct spaces within it.
For the Laura who looks outwards into the world, her desk is her base. This is the Laura of fluffy pink bathrobes, chocolate bunnies, and dutifully done homework.
It is this desk that Hawk searched on the day of her death, while Leland watched from the bed. (Even this minor detail of Leland’s presence fuels my observation).
This is Laura putting on her face for the world, filling in her fake diary (let’s ignore the fact she had little packet of cocaine blatantly stuck in that particular diary, which makes no sense at all), and leaving the desk open for the world, and parents to see, with nothing to hide.
The other Laura has secrets to keep, and her refuge is her bed. Even early diary entries described her bed as a place to hide things, such as the cigarettes Maddy gave her when she was 12, that she hid in a hollow bedpost.
Other things were hidden there over the years, as drugs and sex became a part of her young life.
Although the pain of Laura’s existence is that nowhere was completely safe, like us all, her bed was a place of rest and dreams, leaving her mind free to explore vast worlds and realms, where she could be anyone and do anything, where she can fly from the real world and her problems.
This is the Laura of silk stockings, sex, smoking, drugs, late night phone calls, and tapes for Doctor Jacoby.
This Laura hides from the world, leaving her open to dreams of the red room, darkness, and dead Annie in her bed.
Laura’s bedroom is somewhere she is safe to spend time with her true self, to reflect, to recharge, to rebuild.
The two Lauras cohabit as one, covering for each other, one looking in and one looking out, but neither of them whole.
It is the sad reality of Laura’s life that the more she tried to protect her innocence and goodness, the more she lost herself in a dark world that was seeping into day to day life and taking over everything.
In the end, there was nothing left that was really hers, not even her own bedroom.