Emmaline’s Story 12

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 Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 12

Inner Sanctum Actress

Pasithea by http://yungvermeer.tumblr.com/tagged/mypainting/

Pasithea  © http://yungvermeer.tumblr.com/tagged/mypainting/

Breakfast was fairly uneventful, for a change. I didn’t have a meltdown. I was refreshed yet exhausted. I recognized the irony of the paradox, but didn’t fully understand it.

Last night was the only time I’d ever confided in anyone and I slept better than I could recall in recent memory, yet I was profoundly tired.

I suppose, carrying everyone’s world up a mountain can have that effect after my first night of rest.

Conversely, psych guy was wide awake and ready for me, with his hair combed in place, wearing a suit without a single wrinkle, and eyes bright and alert. He greeted me with a beaming smile, “Good morning, Nyx.”

“’Morning,” I mumbled and plopped into my usual seat wondering,

Why do I always feel like I’ve been sent to the principal’s office?

“Well, it looks like sleep was not a friend to you last night,” he jabbed, tossing my own words back at me.

“On the contrary,” I quipped resuming yesterday’s calm demeanor, “Aergia dropped by for a visit and I’m still recovering from the night’s effects.

“Aergia,” he repeated, obviously rifling through his repertoire of Greek mythology.

“Yes, I said, “We enjoyed a long, lazy, girls night of chit chat. It’s so rare when our attentions are not pulled in other directions by obligations and commitments,” I prattled on, emphasizing ‘commitments.’ She is an ever present fixture, if not exactly vigilant,” I explained.

“Oh, lazy, sloth, Aergia. Got it.”

“Perhaps not entirely,” I countered, “She’s a spirit, one of several who guard my son’s domain. Aeriga is spirit and a goddess. Do you know what that means?”

Psych guy shook his head, speculating about what I would come up with next.

“Spirits, by definition, affect other souls with like qualities,” I explained, “Aergia is the spirit of laziness. She is infectious in that way. I’m just recuperating from a night of supremely indulgent laziness.”

“What sort of home does your son have? He must be very rich,” he stated petulantly, “to require that much security.”

“It’s a deep, dark, rocky, cave,” I said, with a mother’s tolerance.

“A cave,” he replied, “A cave that Aergia guards. What exactly does she guard, pray tell? Does he expect looters to steal his stash of rocks?”

“I would imagine, much the same things you do,” I shot back at him.

“I see,” he said thoughtfully, scratching his chin, “How so?”

“She, among others, guards his home and his well-being. He resides in a dark cave next to his twin brother, Thánatos, in the underworld.”

“He does,” his voice was a mixture of appreciation and incredulity.

I didn’t even slow down. Trying out my imitation of a purely maternal voice, I continued, “He does not see the changing of days, the rising or setting sun, or even the moon,” I frowned slightly for effect, “His peace lies in tranquility, the quiet; his own and that which surrounds him. His home has not as much as gates that may awaken him with creaking.”

“Really, a deep, dark cave in the underworld, where he brought his wife to live, next door to his brother,” He challenged me, “Who is Thánatos?”

“He is god of death.”

“You must be very proud,” he smiled derisively as he shot his dig at me.

“Well, admittedly, it’s not every mother’s dream but,”

“Hypnos lives with his wife, Pasithea,” he repeated, testing my knowledge and trying to figure out how to best me, “in the underworld with his twin brother, death,” he interrupted.

“Do you expect that I am uneducated about my own family? Do you think me unfit?”

Our eyes locked in a battle of wits and wills as tense silence filled the room.

Just to annoy him further, I continued, “As I was saying, it’s actually quite lovely. The River Lethe runs through it, and Pasithea has such a sweet countenance. She’s the deity of hallucination and relaxation. She’s so good to Hypnos and good for him,” I sighed clasping my hands over my bosom and smiling like an oblivious mother, brimming with ignorant joy, then caught myself thinking,

Cripes, I just made myself want to hurl!

“And what does all this mean to you, Emmaline?”

His question startled me back to reality and I stumbled, “You asked!”

“Good! Very good, Emmaline! I did ask, Emmaline. What did I ask?”

“You asked me who I am,” I shot at him, suddenly realizing I’d let him get away with addressing me by my real name, “But I still don’t know this Emmaline you speak of,” I added, attempting to put things to rights, “Perhaps you will tell me about her one day?”

“I believe you will discover her,” he explained kindly, “and you will be a better mother to her than she has known in the past.”

I turned a confused face to him while attempting to hide startled eyes, but he imparted nothing more.

Instead, he finished with his usual, “Come again tomorrow at noon. Good day, Emmaline.”

I opened the door to leave, took a step, and found myself face-to-face with the lost girl I had noticed yesterday. Again, she looked much healthier than I had witnessed while being admitted. I couldn’t help myself. I touched her shoulder gently, smiled, and said, “Way to go, girl.”

She smiled back, quietly saying, “Thanks,” and stood waiting.

“Emmaline,” I introduced myself, extending my hand.

“Maya,” she said taking it.

We shook once and I turned away as she opened psych guy’s door.

By Wildfire8470

Wildfire8470

© June 14, 2015 – 04:09 AM – All Rights reserved

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Emmaline’s Story 11

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Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 11

Confessions in the Night

Danica-Confessions in the Dark

 

Marie, Danica, and I sat in our circle after goon made rounds. The three of us added to our list of B and goons’ schedules and deviances from them. As it happened, goon was fairly regimented about sticking to her routine. Big B wasn’t quite that methodical. I expected that.

 

What woman in love does the expected things all the time? Probably not many. 

 

I asked and answered my own question in my head, not even realizing I had slipped into my own thoughts; thoughts about the staff, the girls’ respective wellness, and what I would say to Danica tonight.

 

Eventually I heard Marie and then saw her waving her hand in front of my face, “Emmaline, come baaack.”

 

“Oh. Oops. Sorry,” I said, chagrined.

 

“Where did you go,” she queried.

 

Even in the darkness, I looked away and lied, “I was visiting my happy place.”

 

“Wow,” she countered, “If that’s your happy place, I’d hate to know where your hell is.”

 

I forced a smile and replied, “We’re in it. At least my sisters are with me.”

 

Danica touched my hand and slipped her finger through mine. It was small, yet a really huge, gesture that no one but us noticed. I knew then, that she was not just my sister on the inside. She was my family for life.

 

Later, we arranged our beds backwards so we could whisper to each other after Marie fell asleep. With pillows at the foot of our beds, we reached to circle our fingers and Danica asked haltingly,

 

“You-told me to ask. Remember?”

 

“Yea, I know,” I said, “I mean, its okay, I remember.”

 

“So what happened to you, Em?”

 

I thought for a long minute and replied, “Whew, ummm, where do I start?’

 

“Anywhere, I think,” Danica replied, “I mean, for me, it’s not really about the order of when things happened. It’s that they did happen.”

 

Danica fell silent and I found myself thinking that my first summarization of her had been exact:  Astute, fearless, and sharply pointed.

 

“Okay,” I said, “But after I tell you, then you have tell me.”

 

“I will,” she assured me, loosely shaking our looped fingers, “I promise.”

 

“Well let’s see,” I began, “I used to be the white sheep. I did everything that was asked and expected of me, to the best of my ability, for all my life,” then paused, realizing I couldn’t hear Danica breathing.

 

“You still awake, sis?”

 

“Of course,” she whispered, “I’m just concentrating. Go on,” she pressed.

 

“Around my fifteenth year, I broke.”

 

Danica sighed heavy-heartedly, “That’s horrible. You were a worn out work horse at fifteen.”

 

“Yeah, no shit,” I responded, continuing, “I was a good daughter and the daughter who could never be good enough. You know?”

 

“Yes, I think so,” she said.

 

“I tried every way I knew to gain my parents approval but even when they tossed me a compliment, it was delivered with a backhanded slap.”

 

“Wow,” Danica whispered.

 

“You know,” I said, imitating my parents, “This was great, but you missed this, this, and that, and you should have done it the way I would have.”

 

Danica squeezed my finger and I continued, “There was never just ‘Wow, this was great’ or ‘What a good job.’ It was always accompanied by a list of demerits,” I huffed, in deferred pain.

 

“You okay,” Danica asked, “Do you want to take a break?”

 

I tore myself from my stream of consciousness and said, “Nah. I’m okay for now. You?”

 

“I’m good but my heart hurts for you,” she lamented.

 

“You know, for the first time, mine kind of doesn’t,” I admitted, feeling slightly confused.

 

“It sounds like you’ve been carrying everyone’s world up a mountain for a very long time,” Danica surmised, “It must be a relief to finally stop, sit down, and talk to someone about it.”

 

Again, I thought, Astute, sharply pointed, and fearless. For a girl I would have mistaken for ten or twelve, she has bewildering maturity that surprises me at every turn. I wondered at the burdens on her tiny shoulders.

 

“I think so, sis. Do you want to take turns? I could stop and you can tell me some now.”

 

I followed the trail of her eyes to the window in the door.

 

She explained, “It’s getting near to second rounds. Quick, tell me one more thing before we remake our beds right side up!”

 

“Okay,” I laughed, “I had a brother.”

 

“Is he good looking,” she snickered.

 

“Ewww, and um, ewww!  He’s married with children now.”

 

Danica clutched her heart pretending I’d just fatally wounded her. It was all I could do not to collapse into peals of laughter. She looked toward the window and I knew we had cut it close. We tucked our pillows back at the head of our beds and feigned sleep until I actually did fall asleep.

 

Unaccompanied by any ugly thoughts or troubling memories, I fell into a deep and dreamless sleep for the first time I could recall. I woke at five a.m. rounds to B’s voice saying the same thing she said every morning, “Arms up.”

 

I lay there not budging with my limbs feeling weighted, as if they were too heavy to move.

 

Residual effects of carrying worlds and holding my breath forever, I decided.

 

B lifted my wrist and I fell directly back to sleep. I could only hope they thought I was being intentionally uncooperative.

 

An hour later, I woke with a start, and psych guys words ringing in my ears, “I want answers to those questions tomorrow at eleven a.m. sharp.”

 

There wasn’t enough time after breakfast. I needed to pick Danica’s brain now.

 

Why didn’t I remember to ask her last night? I kicked myself as I tiptoed to her bed and laid a gentle hand on her shoulder. Slowly, she turned weary eyes to me and I touched my finger to hers, mouthing “I’m sorry!”

 

She rolled toward me and scooted back, giving me the edge of the bed to sit on.

 

“I forgot about psych guy and our early meeting,” I whispered, “I need to ask you about Nyx.”

 

“Oh yea,” her whisper was barely perceptible; “You didn’t tell me what happened.”

 

“I’ll tell you everything later today. I need to know what the significance of Nyx is. What made you choose her?”

 

“Well, I was never any good at history, but I liked Nyx. She’s a Greek primordial goddess of the night. She’s only seen in glimpses. Nyx lives in shadows, which reminds me of me, and she’s really powerful and exquisitely beautiful, like I wish I was,” she confided, yawning.

 

“Okay. Why did glimpses and living in shadows remind you of you?”

 

Danica hesitated, opening her mouth as if to answer and then closing it.

 

“It’s okay, sis,” I whispered, cupping my hands around her ear, “I told you things last night and will tell you more, I promise.”

 

“Okay,” she conceded, sitting up in bed, “In my family, I am one of five children. I’m number three. I’m kind of opposite of you, Em’. Whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent, I’m unnoticed. I identify with existing in shadows, possibly powerful, but altogether powerless. Some say Nyx watched creation happen. She watched, standing on the edge. That’s me. I’m in the shadows or on the edge, but never really in the picture.”

 

My heart ached and I swallowed my tears, “Danica, you are so much more beautiful and powerful than you’ve received credit for, even from yourself, but how would you know that? You have existed in the shadows. No one ever bothered to show or tell you.”

 

I stood and she gently pulled me back down, “They say she was a shrew but I don’t buy it. Besides, if she was I think she was justified.”

 

I hugged her quickly and tucked her back into bed as Marie began to stir. I crawled back into my own bed and slept until breakfast time.

By Wildfire8470

Wildfire8470

 

 

 

 

 

 

© June 14, 2015 – 04:09 AM
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Emmaline’s Story 8

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Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 8

Crazy Parfait With A Wrench

 

CrazyParfait With A Side Of Wrench

 

By the time I returned from the bathroom, Danica and Marie had remade the beds, mine included. B and goon had returned to their posts and we gathered for a group hug. I thanked them for taking care of the mess goon had made of mine. For a change, we all settled in with grins on our faces and slept straight through until rounds.

It had been quite a night and I knew that goon and B would be scrutinizing every move I made. The trick was to outlast them; to wait until they no longer suspected that I was up to something, and then attack when they were no longer expecting it.

I was the last one to the breakfast table and the girls smiled up at me. We talked amicably over lukewarm French toast while watching Helen try not to gag on sugarless syrup.

She explained,

“I’ve been diabetic for a long time, but could never get used to sugarless food.”

I winced visibly and offered her my condolences,

“It’s bad enough to have to tolerate this shit hole with barely edible food. If I was you, I wouldn’t make it,” I said, peering at my breakfast with revulsion.

Helen grinned, stabbing a square with her fork as a man entered the community room. We looked to each other and shrugged. None of us had seen him before.

He stopped next to big B and called for Marie. I watched the stranger intently as Marie approached him. He spoke to her briefly but her face was ashen upon her return.

“Who was that,” I asked, trying to sound unconcerned.

“In-house psych guy,” she said nervously.

“What did he want,” I queried further.

“Twelve-thirty meeting – the inner sanctum,” she replied.

I sat back from my rubbery French Toast and pondered her answer.

In-house Psychiatrist? What the hell am I going to do about this? I need a distraction; a diversion that will pull his focus away from the four of us. Apparently goon and big B called in the all-seeing, all-knowing eye last night. Well, I guess he’ll have to eat crazy parfait too.

I just knew this would throw a wrench into the works, so I cautioned the girls, whispering, “If he prescribes anything for you, pretend to accept it but don’t take anything!”

They nodded their agreement.

I leaned forward and touched everyone’s fingers to mine indicating that we meet tonight.

Psych guy returned a moment later and called my name as he scanned the room.

“Emmaline Mason,” he said loudly, “Emmaline?”

Without as much as turning around or a glance up, I raised my hand and answered stiffly, “Present!”

“In my office at one-thirty,” He ordered stiffly.

I leapt from my seat into full salute, standing at attention in mock-soldier style, I shot back, “Yes, sir!”

He shot a wry grin at me replying, “At ease, soldier.”

In that moment of exchange, I wanted to convey to him, I’m going to make your job as miserable as I possibly can, you talking head!

In the next, he conveyed, Bring it! It’s on!

I knew I had my work cut out for me. In truth, I was worried our plans would be shot to hell, but I also knew my sisters wouldn’t give me up. I picked up my tray and dumped my rubber toast in the garbage to goon’s dismay,

“That’s all,” she asked, as she check-marked a list of foods I’d declined to eat.

“Yep,” I replied with disdain, “Rubber disagrees with my digestion.”

I left goon sputtering and stepped outside, moving to the furthest table; the one where I had recruited Marie, I sat waiting pensively.

Marie emerged from psych guy’s office and made her way around the long table to join me. Before I could say a word, she whispered, “Name, rank, serial number and dog-tags, mother’s maiden name, father’s middle name, bank account numbers and what will your epitaph say?”

I turned stricken eyes to her and she smiled, snickering under her breath,

“The expected nuisances, nothing more.”

I was relieved to find he hadn’t asked about war games and sighed heavily.

I headed toward the inner sanctum with trepidation and rebellious angst. I approached the office, stopped, and glanced inside.

“Psych guy noted my presence and said, “Good afternoon. Emmaline?”

I took a seat in a chair that had cushions. Already, I knew I would probably be coming here a lot. At the very least, I wanted to be comfortable while psych guy busied himself with prying questions and attempted diagnoses.

“So Emmaline,” he began.

“Emmaline,” I asked, cutting him off sharply.

“You are Emmaline Mason. Correct?”

“No,” I said straight-faced.

“No? Well, who are you,” he asked.

“I am Hippolyta, Amazonian Queen,” I said with gusto, while adopting a more regal posture.

“Well hello, Hippolyta,” he rallied enthusiastically, “You’ve come a long way. It’s good of you to join me. I am honored to have you in my office today!”

I know what you’re doing asshole, and it won’t work!

I sat silently, leaving the first move up to him. He smiled politely across the desk pretending to believe me. I diverted my eyes to focus on the wall just past his right ear as we sized each other up.

I realized he was wondering how long it would take to break me, and both of us knew I would try to break out of here before I’d let that happen.

I’ve got more stamina than you do Mr. Wrench with a Prescription pad!

“So where’s your magic girdle,” he inquired with feigned innocence.

I turned to bore holes through his forehead, saying, “Plebeians confiscated it. I will see it returned or my father will destroy them,” and screwed my face into a look of disgust.

“Ohhhh… your father,” he said, already forming his next question, “Who is he?”

“You do not know Ares, the god of war,” I asked indignantly.

“Oh yes, of course, Ares. God of war… and he’s your dad,” he shot the question back semi-conspiratorially.

“Enough,” I shouted with my arm extended with a hand up to block his face, “I will hear no more of your placating nonsense. All the land knows of my father!”

“You’re right,” he said, stifling a yawn, “So how is old pop these days?”

“He is presently in route to storm the gates, kill the plebeians, and return the girdle that signifies my authority as queen,” I said, in a tone of underlying threat.

“I see,” he said flatly, “and he’s coming from?”

I rolled my eyes and spat, “Dolt! He comes from Mount Olympus and will arrive in a fortnight! Father will stop at nothing to indemnify my honor!”

Psych guy groaned softly, raking his fingers through his hair, “Okay, Emmaline, ahem, I mean Hippolyta, our time is up today. I want to see you again tomorrow.”

“Not if father gets here first,” I countered.

“Well yes, of course,” he replied, “I’d hate to interrupt a war for the queen’s honor but, barring that, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I opened the door to go and psych guy said softly, “Good day, Emmaline.”

I ignored him and made a beeline for the restroom. Having caught Marie’s eye, she entered just behind me.

“So,” she questioned, “What did you talk about?”

I couldn’t suppress a wicked smile and simply said, “We had a little talk about Greek mythology.”

“Huh?” Marie looked entirely confused but relieved as well, though she had spread the word to Danica and Helen in case I needed help. All of us were exhausted from waiting and worrying.

“It’s fine. It’s okay. I’m leading him a merry chase down the primrose path and all ‘round Robin Hood’s barn,” I giggled.

When lights out finally arrived, we gathered long enough for me to explain that it’s best to lay low and not try anything until we figure out why psych guy had suddenly arrived on the scene, and to give goon and big B time to forget the preceding night.

 

By Wildfire8470
Wildfire8470
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Emmaline’s Story 3

Featured

Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 3

My Informant and the Junk-Food Gods

Danica, Hellena, Emm

At five a.m. the door banged open and fluorescent light flooded the previously darkened room. All three of us groaned. That’s when I knew my voice had returned. I elected to keep silent. Nurse Belinda entered, joined by rent-a-goon, for morning rounds. I turned to face the wall wondering if I would ever know a full night of sleep again.

 

“Arms up,” Nurse Belinda ordered.

 

With eyes still closed I raised my arm swiftly, nearly clocking her. The goon instantly stepped between us and I dropped my arm. She glared down at me saying, “Don’t even think about it, missy.

 

Missy? Missy? Is that the best you’ve got, you eighth grade-dropout? 

 

Big B took my wrist to show me what was expected. She took my pulse and checked my blood pressure while goon watched carefully, spoiling for a fight. Moments later, the two filed out and the room went dark again. From a corner bed, I heard a whisper,

 

“Hey! Pssst! Hey! New girl!”

 

I remained silent. Nonetheless, the voice persisted,

 

“Make it easy on you. Don’t start shit with Big B.” I tugged at the uncomfortable pillow longing for silence but the emphatic voice went on insistently, “Big Belinda and Nadine, the guard, are lovers. Na will make your life miserable if you start up with big B. By the way, welcome to hell.”

 

Breaking my silence for the first time, I whispered, “Thanks, I think.”

 

I snuggled into the blanket, closed my eyes, and drifted back to sleep drawing comfort from having won an ally and potential friend. Precisely at seven a.m., I listened to what could only be a herd of Buffalo stampeding through the halls. I lay there shocked, thinking, Chaotic disorder in a place that’s all about control? Surreal.

 

The girl in the bed across the room got up and headed for the door, then paused to toss over her shoulder, “Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.”

 

I sat up in bed rubbing my eyes and then looked around taking in my surroundings. “Not what you expected. Huh?” It was the voice from the corner bed.

 

“It’s ahhh,” I stumbled, grappling for words to sum up my estimation, “It’s… No. It’s not,” I replied, with adjectives failing me altogether.

 

“I know. I got here three days ago. I’m Danica.”

 

“Hi, Danica, I’m Emmaline. Call me Emma,” I responded with a halfhearted smile.

 

“Okay Emma. Its weird right,” Danica queried.

 

I knew the feeling intimately but wasn’t ready to talk and deal. I tried not to wince, “What’s weird?”

 

“That we weren’t supposed to be alive today.”

 

I realized that Danica may appear to be a shy mouse, but she was actually sharply pointed and fearless. I closed my eyes as images of the preceding week assaulted me.

 

 

“Yea,” I murmured, “It’s weird.”

 

“Where did you matriculate from,” Danica asked hesitantly, “I mean, how did you end up here?”

 

“How did you,” I countered sharply.

 

“Okay. That’s one for the psychiatrist,” Danica backed off.

 

Feeling slightly ashamed of having rebuffed my first and only ally, I forced a small smile and evaded the topic, “I traded one hell for another. Didn’t you?”

 

“Yea, sure enough,” Danica laughed softly as we stood and approached the door. I estimated she was about my age. Probably a year or two younger, I surmised. Her dirty-blonde hair was short, cropped close to her face with bangs. It was flattering, but gave her a childlike appearance. She was a little taller than I and as thin as a rail. I doubted she had ever eaten an entire meal. Had I seen Danica from a distance, I would have mistaken her for a kid.

 

Maybe she is just a kid. Too young to feel fear? I wondered but felt certain that by virtue of being here, she had definitely known fear.

 

She stopped me in the doorway saying, “Show no fear and stick close. I’ll be your informant.”

 

I wondered why I would need one. What could possibly be worse than last night?

 

Danica cautioned me to avoid the food-cart stampede running from smoke-break to breakfast. We parked it at the end of the long table to wait until the other patients were seated with meals. Big B and goon doled out trays that were made specifically for patients on special diets, one of whom chose a seat directly across from of us.Through lowered eyelids, she said a soft hello.

 

“Hi,” we replied in unison.

 

She eyed the empty spaces in front us and asked, “Not eating?”

 

“I wish,” Danica grumbled.

 

“I’m diabetic,” she explained, “They force me to eat this cra… food,” She amended her language.

 

“We’re going to have to teach you some driving words,” I smiled.

 

Just then, Danica grabbed my hand and hauled me out of my seat, “C’mon. The mob is gone.”

 

“Wait here,” I instructed the young woman, “We’ll be right back.”

 

I searched the picked-over food cart for anything resembling a caffeinated beverage while Danica picked up a tray eyeing me warily.

 

Not finding a cup of coffee or even a soda, I moved to search the opposite side of the cart, rummaging frantically, pushing aside trays, juice drinks, and small milk cartons.

 

Danica stood behind me, waiting patiently, already knowing what I was searching for. With nothing left to search, I turned frenzied eyes to her.

 

“They don’t have it,” she sighed, shaking her head dejectedly.

 

But,” I began half hysterically. “Shhh,” She cut me off, “Na and B are watching us.” She shoved a tray into my hands and guided me back to our seats. I sat down trying to collect myself but failed. I was at my wits end, “But they allow smoking for shit’s sake! No caffeine,” I blurted, questioning her and any junk-food god that would listen.

 

“Nope,” she replied, “This might be a good time to take up smoking.”

 

The woman across the table groaned, as did I. I lowered my voice and whispered menacingly, “I was admitted late last night. I didn’t sleep until some ungodly hour of the morning. I was rudely awakened at five a.m. I’m not going to make it through the next hour, let alone the rest of the day!”

 

“I know,” Danica replied, “Today’s going to be a bitch. Same thing happened to me.”

 

That’s when I felt three sharp taps on my shoulder. Big B stood behind me armed with paper and pencil. She shoved a form into my hands, ordering, “Fill this out and return it to the front desk.”

 

Danica issued, sheepishly, “Oops. I forgot.”

 

“Good going, informant,” I groused.

 

The form requested names and phone numbers for people I was willing to see. To me, it seemed like the final “screw you.” I was done. I walked with steadfast assurance, in a bee-line to the front desk, crumpled the form into a ball, and aimed for the trash can.

 

I made the first basket of my life with an adamant “No way in hell!”

 

Returning to the table in a fit of anger, I shoved my tray away and stomped to a door that opened onto a large porch with an expanse of lawn beyond. I needed air and freedom. I needed a way out.

 

The porch was cool cement against my still bare feet and I made my way beyond it to warm grass and sunshine. I stood in the middle of the lawn soaking in the morning sun and looking around. Finally I could breath and started to wonder why patients didn’t just leave in the night. It was certainly solitary enough, open and unsupervised enough. That’s when I noticed it.

 
 

By Wildfire8470
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