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12:00 pm, Tuesday, March 11
She seems very detached from reality.
Not saying anything.
Staring into space.
“Please help me”
“I see you”
Looking at me.
Mouths words…. Can’t make them out.
I’m not crazy?
She thinks I’m crazy. They all do. They think I’m insane. I don’t know why. Why I have to go see her. Twice a week. I don’t want to go. They think I’m crazy. Crazy. I’m not crazy.
Every day is the same for Samantha. Wake up at 5:30, go to school, and be home by 2:30. Every single day. She is trapped. School is more like a jail than a learning facility for her. And she’s all alone. Every day. All alone.
No one would wish for this.
Everyday she goes to bed at a set time, in her room with the cool white painted walls and the flowered bedspread.
When she wakes up in the morning, every day she shuffles into the bathroom to brush her teeth and take a short shower before school. Every day she goes to school at 7:30. Every day.
Today, she has a math test, she remembered. And she was supposed to read a chapter for English class. Damn it. Oh well, it doesn’t matter anyways. She got dressed in a red tee shirt that says “Not Listening” and a pair of jeans and she walked down the stairs, the never ending stairs, and out of the house to get on the school bus.
When she got to school she walked straight down the hall to her first class, P.E, changes to her gym clothes, and then sat outside the gym for 10 minutes until the other kids got there. She never says a word to anyone in her class. And every day is the same.
It’s Tuesday. I have to go see her today. I hate her. But it doesn’t matter. She doesn’t believe me. She wouldn’t. Her fancy degree and her fancy shoes in her fancy office… she couldn’t understand.
She sees her friend Sarah down the hall.
“Hey” she says with a sigh.
“Why so cheery today?” Sarah is always so sarcastic. But she’s her only real friend.
“I get to go see Dr. Smith today.”
“Ooh… sounds like a party. Mind if I come?”
“Ha ha. I swear the woman is way crazier than I could possibly be. I mean… She just sits there and stares at me over those tiny little glasses…. It’s practically disgusting. “
“Aww I know. Poor baby. Life goes on.”
“Gee thanks, I thought I’d die.”
“I thought you might. Count on me to make you feel better!” Sarah smiled and sat down on the floor next to her.
Maybe today will be different.
Mr. Jones walked down the hall, followed by the rest of the class.
“Who’s ready to play some kickball?” he is so enthusiastic. It’s actually kind of sad. Samantha has never played kickball before today.
She felt a shiver down her spine as she walked into the gym behind everyone else. Sarah had to go to English already. It seems like hours since she left. The gym was brightly lit by fluorescent lights that buzzed loudly since they weren’t yet warmed up.
“What the hell was that?” she said louder than she meant to.
“What was what, freak?” replied john, a boy in her class.
But what was it?
She remembered kickball once they started playing it. John kicked first, and then ran to one of the bases, that was merely a plastic square on the ground. It was a stupid game.
What is that?
Then everything went white.
“Where am I?” her voice sounded groggy, and unfamiliar. She heard strange voices she couldn’t see the origin of. She blinked several times and tried to sit up, but something was holding her down. She pulled harder. Why am I so weak? She couldn’t sit up however hard she tried. She looked around the room. It had buzzing fluorescent lights on the ceiling… lights that reminded her of something but she couldn’t remember what. “Hello?” she called out, her voice still not sounding like her own. She heard someone breathing; it took her awhile to realize it was herself. “Hello?” Still no answer. But then she heard the hurried footsteps coming from a still unknown origin.
“How are you Darlin’?” The voice was that of the school nurse. She spoke in a Southern drawl. Samantha was in the Nurse’s office at school… the baby blue walls and royal blue cots comforted her… they were something familiar.
“I want to go home”
“Well you should! School has been over for 3 hours and we just could not manage to wake you up or contact your parents! If it’s alright with you I’ll give you a ride home. It’s after hours so its okay.”
“Thank you.” She sat up and saw her book bag and shoes sitting neatly next to her cot.
The silence in the nurse’s car was deafening. Samantha didn’t want to say anything for fear of awkwardness.
“What happened today?” the nurse shattered the silence. Samantha was grateful.
“I don’t know.”
“I’ve been seeing things”
“What sort of things?” said Dr. Smith, looking rather shocked at the silence between them finally being broken.
“I don’t know.”
“Well what do they look like? People?”
“Forget it.” Samantha was frustrated. Why do I even bother? She doesn’t get it.
So the silence continues.
12:30 pm, Thursday, March 12
Samantha still seems detached.
“I been seeing things”
Doesn’t know what.
Her increased detachment from reality could be based on an even higher psychological level than what I’ve thought.
Must look back at past logs to try to define.
When Samantha woke up the next morning she knew it would be different. She could change it if she wanted to. She didn’t know how she knew, but she did. At school that day she saw a new face. He was in her Creative Writing class and she could already tell he was amazing. She wanted to talk to him so badly but felt afraid of him somehow. Sarah could do it. Of course Sarah could do it. She gathered her wits and walked over to him as soon as the bell rang.
“Hi” she tried to sound confident.
“Hey” he sounded a little freaked out.
“Don’t look so freaked. I’m Samantha.”
“I’m Mat. And I’m not freaked.” He was wearing a black hoodie and jeans, mismatched chucks. I think I like this kid.
“So how are you liking the wonderful world of Stillwater, Oklahoma?” she was trying much, much too hard.
“Not much to do around here is there?”
“Nah… it’s pretty much dull. So where’d you move from?”
“New York City.”
“Greatest city in the world. But this is a huge step down from there. Why did you move here? Of all the exciting places. Parent’s businesses take you here?”
“Look, I have to go.” He walked quickly down the hall, away from her.
“Why does this keep happening?” people started to stare at her. They were still staring when she hit the floor.
When she woke up this time there were people all around her bed, and she still couldn’t get up. The buzzing lights, the white walls, all the same.
“Where am I?” one of the people, a woman, turned around and stared at her, looking rather shocked.
“What?” she spoke quickly and unsure of herself.
“Where am I?” the rest of the people looked at her now.
“You’re in Shady Side Mental Hospital. What can you remember?” this time it was a man speaking.
“What?” her voice was once again strange sounding to her.
“Do you know your name?”
“Good. Now we’re gonna give you a shot to keep you with us. It’ll only hurt for a minute.” She felt a sharp prick in her arm, just below her elbow, followed by an intense awareness.
“What’s going on? Why am I here?”
“You’ve been with us for three years now” this was another man speaking. They were all dressed in lab coats but the woman who first spoke. “Don’t you remember?”
“No. I was… at school. Now I’m not. I don’t like it here. I want to go home.”
“Okay darling. I’ll take you home.” The woman was crying. Who is she? The voices all seemed loud and foreign to her. She blinked, and the painful awareness started to fade. She stared around the room for what seemed like hours, and then slowly her eyes closed. “What’s going on, Doctor? Why is she sleeping?”
“I don’t know… the drug should have kept her awake.”
She could only barely hear them now.
Then they were gone.
She woke up at home in her bed. The familiar room. Her sister was sitting in a chair next to her, reading. When Samantha sat up, she looked up.
“What happened today? You passed out on the floor of the hallway! Everybody was freaking out and yelling all around you but you didn’t even move. You’ve been out for 4 hours now.” Nicole was 19, but she was talking the way a 5 year old would. She had been held back in kindergarten because their parents felt that she should spend another year developing her creative skills. Her parents were dead now. Car crash.
“Well I don’t think so. It was a nightmare! I was going down the hall and there was this huge crowd of people all gathered in the hall! I went to see and there you were, sprawled on the ground! I had to push through like 50 people just to get to you. I signed you out at the office. I can do that.” Nicole was laughing.
“What is your problem?”
“Ugh fine. You take a nap, and a couple of aspirin, and we’ll talk when you feel better.” She walked out of the room and shut the door behind her.
When she woke up, she was afraid.
Samantha really liked Mat. They had a connection, she could feel it. Or could she? She didn’t know what she was feeling. Never did. He hurt her so many times in her dreams, she couldn’t tell what was real or imaginary.
I see you, you bitch! I see you everyday, every second. I’m always here. I see you when you’re rocking back and forth on the floor singing to yourself, and I see you now. You bitch, WAKE UP BITCH! Wake up! I see you now! Do you need me to go on? I see you when you bite into your knees and cry as you watch the blood and tears swirl together in a mess, running down your legs, into your clothes, the blood is everywhere, and you stink with it. WAKE UP BITCH.
She didn’t understand anything. Nothing anyone said to her made any sense. Nothing registered in her mind… nothing seemed familiar. Something was going to happen, she could feel it. Something bad. She couldn’t tell Dr. Smith. She didn’t want to be in an institution. Maybe I already am. NO. Don’t talk that way. You live in Stillwater, Oklahoma. You have a sister named Nicole and no parents anymore. What were their names? She shivered as the realization that she didn’t know her late parent’s names hit her.
“Oh… SHIT” the entire class stared.
“Samantha! Do you need to go to the office?” it was the voice of the Science teacher, Mr. Carlson.
“I think maybe-“ she stood up.
She couldn’t see them anymore.
They were gone again.
The people weren’t in the strange room anymore. She wondered where they had gone. She stared at the ceiling and waited for everything to come back in to focus. The buzzing of the lights, the yellow toned light in the room. It was all familiar. But where is here? There were no nearing footsteps, and she could see through the little window on the heavy door that the hallway was dark. She discovered that she could move her head from side to side, she could look around. She looked to the right, about five feet or so away there was a table against the wall. The wall looked soft. The table was metal, and on wheels, on it there was a variety or syringes and chemicals. There was also a notebook and a pen. She looked to the left. There was a machine very close to the bed. It was making a steady beeping sound. My heart rate? Looking past the machine she saw another soft wall. There was nothing else on that side of the room. She tried to look straight ahead, but found that she couldn’t get her head far enough up to see her restraints. She was strapped down at her ankles, shins, knees, thighs, stomach, and shoulders all by thick straps that went across the width of the bed. She glanced at the window in the door to her room, and did a double take. A silhouette of a person’s head looking through the window was there. She closed her eyes, and opened them again and looked back. She then saw that this wasn’t a person. People don’t have glowing red eyes. She screamed involuntarily.
The face was gone.
The machine beeped faster.
When she woke up again she was in her room. All the lights were off, and her door was closed. She never slept with the door closed. No light came through the window. She heard a raspy, hard breathing that she realized was her own. Somewhere downstairs, someone was watching television.
“Nicole?” no one answered. “NICOLE???” still no answer. She sat up and walked over to the door to her bedroom. She touched the handle, and it wouldn’t turn. “NICOLE!!!” she banged on the door and screamed. She threw herself at the door, over and over again. She screamed and scratched at it until it was covered with her blood and deep scratch marks she hadn’t realized her fingernails could make. After what seemed like hours she gave up and slumped down with her back to the door and cried. “Nicole?” Still there was no reply to her desperate call. She stood up again, and walked to the window. She cupped her hands around her face and pressed it to the window. She couldn’t see anything at all. Not even the light of a solitary streetlamp. She screamed again, and was suddenly taken over by an uncontrollable bout of rage. She slammed her head against the window, shattering it. She discovered it had been boarded over from the outside, and threw herself against it. She had to get out of the house. She broke through the heavy plywood and jumped off the roof and was gone.
If only...I could last til winter