Title: All of This and Nothing
Author: Nace M.
Summary: An alternate-universe Alex POV
Notes: This one's for all the Donor's.
When Dr. Thompson said she had a surprise for us I thought, well I can't remember exactly what I thought. Other than a little sci-fi scenario of the old bag ripping the skin off her face and showing us she's really a demon sent from the underworld to feed on helpless troubled kids. I soon regretted that little slip of imagination. Brought back too many unwanted memories. I also remember thinking that the word surprise didn't quite fit in with the dreary surroundings. That and I don't think its wise to spring change on some people who have no real grasp on sanity. Might make them go all crazy.
Anyway. Back to the surprise, which turned out to be nothing, just a bunch of notebooks for us to write in.
Now I can write about just how much I hate this place instead of sitting quietly on my bed and stewing about it for hours. I can bitch and moan that I have no place being here and practice my English skills at the same time. Oh thank you Dr. Thompson for this wonderful opportunity.
The look on her face when she passed them out was priceless. She seemed so proud of herself for coming up with the idea, probably thinks it will cause a real breakthrough in our treatment. She wants everyone to write out their feelings and maybe it will help us get a better understanding of ourselves and why we are in here in the first place.
She called them journals.
"Now I want you all to take good care of these," she said as she handed them out. "A person's journal can be a very treasured thing, a gateway to the workings of the inner-you."
I had to fight off laughing at the false sincerity in her voice. She could have been an actress, this woman. Her daily performance with us was definitely Oscar-worthy. It didn't take a world class detective to know that she could have cared less about us. I just assumed she was bored and wanted to try something new with the young head cases.
Now, when I think of a journal. Something leather-bound with a brass nameplate and your initials engraved into it comes to mind. Something like a dear friend of mine used to have. I look at my journal and see exactly what I said it was. A notebook. A ninety-eight cent, black and white composition book you can buy at any Wal-Mart. Journal seems to fancy a word.
She told us she wouldn't read them unless we wanted her too, which I think is a lie. She strikes me as the type who used to sneak into her older sister's room and read her diary. Don't ask me why I think this. Call it a gut feeling.
So in case she does read mine without permission.
Hi Dr. Thompson. Thought I'd humor you and write in this damn thing. I know you don't like how I never talk in-group no matter how much you try to get me too. But writing is much more solitary don't you think? Or is that another one of your concerns about me? That I am such the loner. Well sorry, but the company you keep isn't exactly making me want to spring for any lifetime friendships. I already have those thank-you.
I wonder how they're doing.
I'm not going to say anything about them Dr. Thompson. I won't give you the satisfaction.
I hate you.
I hate this stupid notebook, sorry, I hate this stupid 'journal.' I hate this lumpy bed and sleepwear you always keep me in. Why can't I wear normal clothes? You trust me enough to use a pen instead of a crayon like everyone else. I won't hang myself with a belt or wear a shirt that might incite hysteria from some other patient.
Oh well, guess I'm just lashing out at the world huh? I bet you'll scribble down a few notes about a possible violent streak welling inside me and up my meds without telling me. I'll let you in on a little secret.
I don't take them. Ever. Not a single pill since the day I was admitted.
You know why?
I flush them down the toilet everyday after lights out.
So here's were I'm trusting you Dr. Thompson. Don't ask me why, but I'm willing to give it a whirl. If I'm suddenly checked for pill stashing in the near future I'll know I can't ever trust a single word that comes out of your mouth, not that I do now, and that patient confidentiality are mere words to you.
Speaking of checks, they should be coming up soon. Think I'll stop writing. I don't want to let the orderly see that I'm actually doing something requested of me.
Ed had another one of his episodes today. He seems like such a nice kid too. He might be the only one in here I truly feel bad for. He was talking about his mother, and I could see just how hard it was for him to do so. Dr. Thompson did her tender-eyed concerned thing but he didn't even look at her. He started to talk about how his mom forgot his birthday for the third year in a row, and then he started to cry. He didn't stop during the whole meeting and when Julie tried to tell him it was over he just snapped. He jumped on her and started shouting that she was such an unfit wench and that he should choke her memory back into her. Julie was freaked and Dr. Thompson kind of stood there like a deer caught in the headlights. I tried to pull him off her, shouting at him that it wasn't his mom and that he was really hurting Julie. He didn't hear me and yelled his mother's name over and over again when a few male nurses managed to wrestle him off.
I really do feel sorry for Ed. He wouldn't even be in here if his mom had acknowledged his existence at least once in his teenaged life.
Julie though, she does deserve to be in here. She's a nice girl and all, but is literally skin and bones. Anorexia. She likes to talk about weird things too. Like how there's a little troll in her head that tells her to burn things. I think she's only joking when she says stuff like that though, because she has such a sparkle in her eye when she does. The kind where you have a joke only you get. We get along fine. I get along fine with everyone.
I thinks its partly because they all know I don't belong in here. That I'm really sane but I just hang out with them because I'm such a nice guy.
See that Dr. Thompson? They know it, why don't you?
She tried to get me to talk in-group again today.
"Alex?" She asked. "I was wondering if you'd like to share with us today."
I ignored her like I always do, and watched Ed cry.
The other kids in my ward are Belinda; she's a paranoid schizophrenic. I usually stay away from her because she always asks me about why I'm in here. Everyone knows and think there's no truth to it. They all think its funny. But Belinda, she was a huge sci-fi nut before she lost her mind. So she's always hounding me about details of my knowing that aliens exist. She wants to know why they're here, what purpose do the serve, what planet they're from etc.
I humored her at first, told her I was from Roswell and some friends of mine were in the crash. But then she started to get really creepy and twitchy on me. I keep my mouth shut now. I learned my lesson after she offered to dissect me to see if contact with beings from space altered my human body. I thought it was a joke, but the look in her hazel eyes told me she was completely serious, and she leaned closer and tried to grab me.
I stay away from her now.
Mark is just your all around messed up kid. Manic depressive, suicidal, angst ridden teenager. He has scars the size of pencils on his forearms. I don't talk to him either.
Scott is an obsessive compulsive. He just sits around the TV room or the nursing station counting things, and spends about an hour daily in the shower. Big germ freak too. If you touch him he'll squeal like you poured battery acid on him.
It's not a big group. I guess I should be glad, but I can't imagine any sort of happy feeling in this place. I haven't smiled a day since I've been here, and if I have its because I was seeing through the good doctor's bravado and thought it was hilarious.
You see that Dr. Thompson? I guess I still have a sense of humor after all. Time to make another little note.
Okay, so I have to admit writing in this thing isn't quite so bad as I thought it would be. It actually does help to write stuff down. I don't think the doctor's read it yet, and she hasn't asked us to read anything in-group. I'm glad, because I think what I'm about to write would send Belinda after me with a scalpel and dinner tray.
I Alex Whitman am about to confess the true nature to my alleged psychosis.
It's easily explained.
No I didn't get abducted and taken to a spaceship. No I wasn't experimented on, nor did I receive probes of any kind. No I don't have every episode of the X-files on tape, though sometimes Mark calls me Mulder cause he thinks it bugs me. It doesn't help that I'm from Roswell either. People expect you to have aliens on the brain.
But not in any sort of insane way.
I don't babble about little green men. I don't think we're being invaded by the saucer people.
I simply know the truth.
Aliens are real.
They were my friends.
We had some good times; we had some bad times.
Then the bad times got worse.
You see the government knew aliens existed too. But they have to keep that kind of thing away from the general public for various reasons of national security.
*Cough* Bullshit. *Cough*
Anyone who stumbles on to the secret is dealt with accordingly.
If you're of age.
You're taken care of.
But if you're a minor like my other human friends and I. (I won't say their names, I still don't trust you Dr. Thompson.) You're labeled another "troubled" teen and sent away.
We'd gotten through the first wave of trouble by the skin (no pun intended girls) of our teeth. I myself exposed the Agent posing as a guidance counselor. At the time we thought it was over. That we could all breathe easy. We thought we had sent them running with their tails between their legs.
And while I was still really trying to accept the fact that these three (not saying their names either, so don't ask) were "not of this earth" as one of them called it. Another one showed up, bringing her older, even more (if there was such a thing) alien "daddy" along with her. The FBI was watching the whole time. They knew everything. Had a list with all our names on it. In short, daddy went around killing FBI agents left and right, kidnapped one of us humans to lure the head FBI guy to him. Dark haired alien good heart couldn't have that (he loved my friend), and gave chase, got caught, sent to a torture chamber, his alien buds got him out, led the FBI hunters on quite a chase. We humans got caught in the middle. They grabbed us, interrogated us, found out what we knew and sent us packing. I haven't seen home in a year and a half and don't know what happened to anyone after they separated us. I imagine my two dear friends are in a cozy institution like me. I shudder at the thought of that. I never had many problems till I came here. I wouldn't wish any of them onto anybody, especially those two.
I don't know what became of the aliens and frankly I don't care. My life, my friends' lives are gone because of them.
Now I'm crying.
I know I did this to myself Dr. Thompson, I can hear your falsetto voice asking me how I feel about all these memories and how is it that I cope with the fact that I'm the only one who knows aliens exist. I can see the laughter in your eyes as you say alien.
It's not a joke.
I hate you.
I'm not crazy.
So, today the good doctor finally asked the question I knew was coming since she gave us these things.
"Would anyone like to read what they've written in their journals?"
Everyone looked around at each other in a collective 'oh yeah' we have those things.
I was beginning to think that I was the only one writing in his, but the scraping of the chairs against the tan linoleum floor as everyone got up and filed out to fetch theirs, told me I wasn't.
Mark and I were the only ones who didn't move. I figured she'd read it if she wanted too. That and if I did anything that the doctor asked of me she'd probably die from a shock induced massive coronary. Not that it would be a bad thing. (Just kidding Dr. Thompson...maybe.) She asked Mark again if he'd like to read from his journal and he told her to go to hell.
The angry flush that crept into her cheeks made me smile. For a second, I thought she was going to retaliate.
Not very professional Dr.
The second Ed. Julie, Belinda, and Scott came back in the flush was gone and she plastered on one of her fake smiles.
Another stellar performance Dr. Thompson. Bravo.
Julie was the first to read. She basically talked about her life before it became an after school special. She was popular, had a lot of friends, a vocabulary full of 'like' and 'as if.' The right car, the right look, the right clothes. She said popularity makes you do stupid things sometimes and to keep a trim figure she began to starve herself. Irony of the poor girl's illness was that it ended her social standings. Her so-called friends didn't want to have anything to do with someone with problems. She got so depressed and fragile at the rejection she talked about killing herself. Her parents flipped and sent her in here.
Dr. Thompson smiled and commended Julie for being brave enough to read her thoughts and feelings aloud. I thought I saw teeth marks on her notebook, sometimes she'll chew on anything as long as it isn't real food.
Scott was next, but I didn't really listen to him. I drowned his whiny high-pitched voice, by singing "Get off of my cloud" by the Rolling Stones in my head.
I don't like Scott.
I know he's an obsessive-compulsive and he can't help himself. But the guy is just so overly anal retentive it's not funny. I can't help it he bugs me.
He needs an enema.
Ed, of course, talked about his mother. It's kind of a broken record deal with him, but I feel bad for the guy every time. On a small scale I guess I could relate. My home life was no where near as bad as his was, but it wasn't 'little house on the prairie' either.
I can see your eyes widening Doc. Was that me talking about my home life?
Enjoy the little morsel. That's all you get.
Belinda went on and on about how the squirrels try to gnaw at her feet while she's sleeping.
She was sitting next to me, which I usually avoided letting that happen. I looked at her as she read.
She hadn't written a single letter, let alone a sentence. It was mostly a bunch of scribbles.
God, I hate this place.
Dr. Thompson didn't ask Mark to participate again, and she knew better than to even bother asking me, though I figure she knows I do write.
Towards the end of the session Belinda leaned close to me and whispered a bunch of nonsense in my ear.
"Squirrels and alien, squirrels and aliens," she said. "Like writing desks and redwood trees."
She lifted her hand and crossed her fingers.
"They're like this."
Tomorrow I'm making sure I don't get stuck sitting next to her.
We got a new patient today. A girl. Her name's Chelsea. She's...well I don't know exactly. She just kind of stood there wide-eyed and nervous like most new comers do. Her head snapping left and right, keeping watch on everyone. She's afraid that any second one of us will jump up and attack her with a pair of scissors. We don't have scissors; we aren't allowed 'sharps' as the staff calls them.
I wanted to welcome her, but its best I stay away for a few days. She'd need two or three days to adjust so I'll talk to her then. As I sat and looked at her, I had the weirdest feeling that she reminded me of somebody. I had to avert my eyes when the realization dawned on me.
She kind of resembled the fourth alien. The other girl. (Look! More talk of aliens, are you laughing now doctor?)
Her blonde hair was short and curly and her pale blue eyes looked as if they carved from the sea.
Well, the hair and the eyes were the only resemblance really. Facially she had her own look going for her. I hope she's not like the other girl.
I don't want Chelsea to be another girl who comes into my already wacky life (that's not an admission of insanity Doctor), and throw an even bigger monkey wrench into the works. Trying to tell my girlfriend that she was destined to be with another.
That's right Dr. Thompson, I had a girlfriend. And no we weren't intimate. I've been around you long enough to know how your mind works. How you subtly sneak in questions involving intimacy with the others. You pervert.
She was the most beautiful, kind, and caring being I had ever met. But I'm not going to say anything more about her. I don't want to and you don't need to know anything besides one little detail that'll keep your opinion of me sound.
She was an alien.
I talked to Chelsea today.
Everyone was in the TV room. Ed was sitting on the bigger of the two couches watching some daytime soap I never pay attention too. Mark sat on the same couch as Ed, stoic as always. Belinda was dancing around the room to a song only she could hear, and Scott sat at one of the tables incessantly rubbing his hands and mumbling 'unclean' repeatedly.
Julie sat next to me playing with a lock of her auburn hair.
I was reading "Girl, Interrupted." I can't believe I found it in the library. A book about being in a mental hospital, in a mental hospital.
I think I can identify with Susanna. What with her wrist banging and borderline personality, and me and my silence and belief in beings that aren't supposed to exist. Okay, now that I read the sentence it doesn't seem like I can relate, but I still think I do.
Anyway, talking to Chelsea.
She was standing by the foosball table, still keeping her distance from the rest of us, staring quietly at the little plastic men.
Julie must have seen me staring because she nudged me and told me to go say hi.
Julie and Ed are the only people I really get along with in here, but I wouldn't really call them friends.
I want a friend.
I miss mine so badly. (Hey look, more emotion shown. Boy that list about me just keeps growing eh Dr. T?)
I threw the book on the table and wandered over to introduce myself.
"You play?" I asked as I approached.
Her eyes darted up quickly, and took a minute to assess me. One never can be too careful about someone in the loony bin.
"There's no ball," she replied, fiddling with one of the handles.
"That's because Mark tried to kill himself by swallowing it," I said.
Her face turned to shock for a moment, and the only sound she could muster was an 'oh.'
As in "oh my god you have to be kidding," or "oh my god you're not kidding."
We were quiet for awhile just standing there and looking at each other. The only sounds that filled the room were the squawking of Ed's soap and Belinda's constant humming.
"So..." she said trying to be casual.
I knew what she was going to ask.
Why are you in here?
Every newcomer asks that around, when they still feel as if they need to find their place. We usually know about a newbie before they're admitted.
Got a big mouth on you Dr. Thompson.
"Why are you in here?" She asked after fumbling for the words.
Some patients' think it's insult to be asked that question, but not me. I'm curious like that too.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," I said.
She looked confused.
"Self-delusionary psychosis, with extreme extraterrestrial tendencies, or at least that's what Dr. Thompson once told me when I asked her."
"What does that mean?" Chelsea asked.
"It means he thinks aliens are real," Julie shouted from the couch.
I expected her to laugh or say "seriously, what's the real reason."
She just smiled and said. "We all have our things."
I just might like this girl.
That's all I can think right now is that it's pretty damn unbelievable.
Well I know it can believable, it happened to me and most likely to my other friends who knew. But still, I didn't know they did it to just anyone who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Okay, I know I haven't been writing these past few days, but that's only because I've been spending a lot of time talking to Chelsea. I learned the little stuff you learn when you talk to people. Pizza is her favorite food, purple is her favorite color, and she likes old noir movies like Chinatown. She likes to read as much as I do and she admits to being a computer geek before she was sent away. She's so different from anyone I've ever met in here.
She has a sense of humor.
She has my sense of humor.
Wry, dry, and witty just like my friends always told me mine was. We get along great. She's quiet in-group like me, has a general distrust of Dr. Thompson like me, and has learned to stay away from Belinda like me.
She gets along with Julie and Ed, but doesn't talk to Mark or Scott.
Dr. Thompson tried to get her to talk in-group a few times, but she declined. Said she was still adjusting and wasn't quite comfortable enough to speak yet. I knew she'd never say a word to Dr. Thompson. When you know you're sane it feels like talking to a bunch of psycho's will make you seem like you're not.
She's exactly like me.
Which, when you think about it can be kind of creepy. When I talk to her its like I'm talking to myself without Dr. Thompson asking "Alex? Who are speaking too?" She thinks I'm speaking to the 'aliens' when I talk to myself.
Alex, to star command. Do you read, over? Land the mother ship right on Doc Thompson's gargantuan forehead.
(I won't be surprised if your hair is done a little more down tomorrow Dr.)
I usually don't talk to myself. Not when I can think anyone of the staff can hear me.
Back to the unbelievable.
It's been three days since I've written anything, that was on her second day, so that makes it her fifth day here. She learned she could trust me right away. I could feel the same way about her. She didn't seem insane. She didn't mumble nonsense, or have a real problem with anything. Matter of act, she was very calm when she got used to everyone. She didn't seem like she belonged here at all.
I said she was like me.
I just didn't know how right I was.
Chelsea and I were out in the garden. We have a little garden area in our ward so every once in awhile we can get some fresh air instead of the stale hospital junk we breathe twenty-three hours a day. It's just a little patch of grass in-between the buildings with a few scattered flowers and a bush. There's a stone bench to sit on too, which we were seated on.
She told me I had pretty eyes, which is such a girly comment. A guy can't have pretty eyes, or he can but you're not supposed to actually say anything about it.
I smiled anyway, and hoped I didn't blush. It reminded me of the girls, my girls. My two best friends. I miss them.
The sun was out, and there was a slight breeze. It would have been much more quaint if not for the fourteen-foot reinforced fence with razor wire. Sometimes birds would land on it and you'd feel like you had company. But sometimes they'd get caught in the razor wire...it wasn't pretty.
We were talking, and I finally asked her why she was in here. I hadn't before because I really wasn't sure if I wanted to know. It might have ruined my image of her; finding out she was going to slip into a completely different personality any day now like "The Three Faces of Eve," or something.
I knew she was sane, I knew she didn't belong here. Just like I don't belong here.
She looked at me with teary eyes when I asked her, and I couldn't help it. I put my arm around her and she leaned into me. It felt nice. I think I can safely call her a friend, because this is what friends do for each other. Its what I've always done for mine.
You see that Dr. Thompson? I have a friend. Say it with me now, friend. That's all we're going to be too, I know that inter-patient romances are frowned upon, though for some reason I don't think you'd mind too much.
A few months ago she was out shopping with her mother in New York. She's from New York, which is kind of cool. Anyway, they were at Macy's or some place like it and she was in the dressing room trying on a pair of pants. She heard someone acting all frantic in the next room over, like they were trying to hide from someone but knew they going to get caught. So she, being the curious little cat peeked her head out from behind the door just in time to see a woman dragged out of the stall, kicking and screaming something about the CIA and international secrets by men in black suits.
Men in Black, ha.
She saw this poor woman get two bullets to the head executioner style. Unfortunately for Chelsea she also heard every word the screaming lady said before she was silenced. She had no idea what any of it meant, but she heard it. That was good enough for them. She was taken by the same men, blindfolded, grilled in endless hours of questioning, slapped with some false records and a mental condition and sent away.
It was the same damn thing that happened to me. Different circumstances yes, same goddamn thing.
I'm still kind of surprised these government agencies have enough conscious not to just kill us.
She cried as she told me she didn't belong here. That she wasn't crazy. (Sound familiar Dr.?) I believed her. She's as sane as one of the staff or me. I knew there was something about her when I first saw her. She doesn't belong like I don't belong.
She saw something she wasn't supposed to see.
She knows something she's not supposed to know.
So what does that mean?
That's means she's crazy and has to be locked up.
Just like me.
She's just like me.
I walked into the TV room today hearing a strange unfamiliar sound. The sound of muffled laughter and the clicking of little plastic men kicking a little plastic ball. Then it hit me; we got a new foosball.
Let's see I've been here about a year and a half, and I think this is the first pleasant surprise I've seen.
Julie was jumping up down with more energy than I've ever seen her frail little body use as she kept her eyes concentrated downward. She was playing Ed, who had something on his face I didn't recognize. He was smiling. I stood there for a minute just watching as he jumped like Julie flailing his arms between the poles, keeping his men moving. It seemed like everything wrong in his life had simply disappeared. His mother, that fact that he was in an institution, his uncontrollable rage he sometimes got. It was all gone as he pumped his fist in the air when he scored a goal.
See that Dr. Thompson? Prozac be damned. A little foos is all the world needs.
I notice Mark wasn't in the room which, as anyone could guess was a good thing. No need to ruin Ed and Julie's fun with an episode of game related self-destruction. Belinda was lying on the floor over by the window bathing in a sunbeam. It could have been cute, if it wasn't for that fact that she was sitting there actually meowing and batting her hands around.
Man that girl's scary sometimes.
Scott sat on one of the couches mumbling to himself and doing a crossword puzzle. Guy's a wiz with those things but freaks every time the newsprint gets on his fingers.
Chelsea sat on the other couch, curled up with a book. I watched as she brushed one of her blonde ringlets from her face, and noticed the way her bottom lip kind of pouted when she concentrated, and not for the first time I thought she cute. Even in the dull white and gray pajama like apparel they keep us in. (Is that an eyebrow I see arching Doctor?)
I sat down next to her and she looked up from her book and smiled at me. I really like how she smiles. It's refreshing.
"Morning," she said closing her book and tossing it on the table.
"Morning," I said in kind, and for some reason unbeknownst to me, guess I couldn't help myself, I leaned over and kissed her cheek. (I count two eyebrows now Doc)
She did this little "bow your head and giggle while your cheeks flush" thing that I thought was adorable. Then stared at me with those crystal blue eyes I believed were carved from the sea and took my hand. I couldn't help the mile wide grin I felt stretch across my face.
We sat like that for what felt like that longest time, staring and each other smiling, it made me feel so...hell I don't know exactly. But it's been so long since anything even resembling affection had come into my life, I just let myself feel whatever.
I still froze when she suddenly leaned in closer until her lips were level with my ear and whispered "you up for it?"
Oh I was up. Suddenly I was very up.
Until she nodded in the direction of Ed's victory dance around the foosball table.
I laughed with my own embarrassment when I realized what she meant.
Foosball, she was talking about foosball.
She hopped up from the couch with her hand still in mine, and pulled me towards Ed and Julie and the newly reinstated foosball table.
"How about a team effort?" I suggested as we came up to them.
"Teams?" Julie asked looking at me with a questioning twitch of her brow.
"Yeah," I said smoothly. I can be real smooth sometimes. Ha ha ha ha. (Making fun of myself Doc, I can see you scribbling more about that down.) "Chelsea and I versus you and Ed, what do you say?"
"I say," she replied throwing her hands to her hips, flaunting herself with mock competitiveness. "You're going down."
Chelsea and I looked at each other scrunching up our noses in disagreement.
"Nah," we said in unison.
So we played. Chelsea, Julie, Ed, and I. It reminded me of when my old friends and I would play cards for pennies. And how they'd tackle me and tickle me when I beat them too badly, which was often. But you wouldn't find any of us complaining. We played for hours; only stopping when it was lunchtime but going right back at it the second we were finished.
It was then that my ears picked up on the second unfamiliar sound of the day.
Not the bitter resentful kind I usually chuckle out when I think Dr. Thompson is being, well herself. What can I say? The woman just makes me laugh.
This was different.
It actually seemed happy. And it was coming from me, coming out of my mouth.
I was still in this place; I was still surrounded by crazy people and dreary pale walls that looked the same day in and day out. None of it mattered as we played, I was having fun, and I kept laughing.
It was amazing.
I looked to Chelsea and realized something that scared me and excited me all at the same time.
I do like this girl.
(Make that another note Dr.)
Chelsea is gone.
I can't think let alone write right now. My hand is shaking so bad I know the pen can't handle the stress my hand is putting on it. I know it won't hold up. I think I can hear it snapping already, I think can see the molecules separating and the clear plastic turning white as it cracks. The words aren't going to make any sense; they look like scribbles already.
But I don't care.
I heard noises.
Footsteps, muffled screams, I heard her shout my name.
I know I didn't imagine it.
I know you had something to do with this Dr. Thompson.
And the fact that my door was locked? You think I'm not going to blame you?
Stuff like this doesn't just happen for the hell of it doctor.
I know because I was sent here under that same pretense. Everything happens for a reason. I knew something I wasn't supposed too, she knew something she wasn't supposed too.
You saw something between us didn't you? Something you didn't like? Come on doctor, I thought you would have enjoyed the mating ritual of two nutty teenagers. You get a kick out of everyone else's sexual fantasies and farces.
It's your fault.
I hate you.
I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you I hate you. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you I hate you. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you I hate you. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you I hate you. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you I hate you. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you I hate you. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you I hate you. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you I hate you. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you I hate you. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you I hate you.
I can't write anymore.
The silence everyone held as I walked into the room for daily group was almost deafening. They all stared at me probably expecting some Jerry Maguire-esque flip out. Julie and Ed were holding their breath too; they let it out in a whoosh when I sat down.
Julie stared at me for a long time, her emerald green eyes laced with concern. I could feel them on the side of my face while I kept my gaze on the floor. It was a nice gesture, but I was too far-gone to care at that moment. She tried to say something to me and reached out to touch me but I shrugged her off before she ever-made contact.
Ed sat in his chair fiddling with his thumbs, every now and then looking to me, then back to him thumbs. It looked like he wanted to say something, but thought better of it.
Scott didn't look at me at all, and Mark kept tapping away at the end of his chair. I got nothing from the two, which really, is all you ever get from them.
Belinda fidgeted and talked her nonsense, not noticing that we were missing someone.
Nobody said a word about the empty chair in the circle, and though I didn't want them too, it just made me mad.
Then Dr. Thompson walked in and every muscle in my body tensed. I could feel rage boiling inside me. On a level I've never felt before in my life. The second that woman opened her mouth I thrust myself up knocking over my chair and sending it clattering to the floor. It startled everyone, even the doctor. She gave me a patient look and waiting for me to pick it back up like a good little puppy.
How dare she look at me like that and pretend to not notice that someone wasn't here. Someone I'm damn sure she's responsible for taking away.
I gave her the finger and told her how much I hated her, much to the delight of the other kids. We all hate her but I was the first to ever state it, especially like this. Belinda was repeating what I said for hours afterwards, and I'm pretty sure she's still mumbling it to herself and laughing.
It was worth any possible reprimanding I might face just to see her lose that fabled false self-composure for the briefest second. The angry red flush that Mark had caused before flooded into her cheeks, and I know the others saw it.
(You can't fool them anymore doctor; I melted that plastic smile.)
With the Dr. still fighting to regain her calm, I left the room.
No one tried to stop me.
I couldn't handle it today. Everyone either asking where Chelsea was, or pretending she never existed at all. There was no way in hell I was going to sit there and listen to what ever lie Dr. Thompson spun off regarding her whereabouts.
They had come and taken her away. Dr. Thomson had sent them. (I am so sick of 'them!')
What did it really matter anymore where she went, or wherever the Dr. said she went?
It didn't matter.
She was gone and she wasn't coming back. (No more comments because of this Dr., I don't even care enough to patronize you anymore.)
Now I'm not really and angry person, but right now I'm trying my best to stay that way. Because I know the moment it passes I won't feel anything.
I'll be numb.
I was out in the garden today, sitting on the little stone bench I had spent so much time getting to know Chelsea on, my hand gently resting on the spot where she sat. I wished it was warm that spot, but it was as cold as the now empty room she used to sleep in. A few memories of one of our long drawn out conversations replayed itself in my head.
I miss her.
I miss my friend.
I miss my friends.
Hell, I'm so lonely right now I even miss the aliens, though I still blame them for being here. I know it's not their fault, but an easy place to point the finger is what I'll take right now.
I'm was and still am kind of numb from my emotions. I haven't felt a thing in days.
I didn't hear the door creak like it always does when Julie stepped outside. I didn't feel her move my hand so she could sit down next to me on the bench, though I was conscious of it.
She just sat next to me for awhile not saying anything.
What could she have said?
I didn't look up when her pale thin little arm wrapped around my shoulder. I felt her breath on my cheek. I hadn't realized she was leaning so close.
Then she kissed me.
It was awkward as hell for a few seconds that's for sure. I mean I never ever once thought of Julie like that. Earlier I said I didn't really consider her a friend, just someone I got along with. So you can see kissing wasn't something I ever thought I'd be doing with her.
I don't know why, but I let her kiss me.
Maybe it was because it helped warm that cold numb chill that had frozen into my bones since the day Chelsea was gone. Maybe it was because I finally admitted to myself how lonely and miserable I really was. Maybe it was because it had been eighteen months since anyone has wanted to kiss me. Maybe it's because she was a good kisser.
She broke it off a few minutes later and threw her other arm around me and squeezed as hard as her skinny little body would allow. She cried into my shoulder and said she hated seeing me like this. She knew I was always quiet and distant, but never like I was now. How I wasn't even bothering to be annoyed with Scott or Belinda at all and that I was acting more like Mark. She told me that I was the reason she got through this place. How nice I was and how normal I seemed. She knew I didn't belong in here but was grateful that I was.
She called me her best friend, which scared the shit out of me.
Didn't she what being my friend did to Chelsea?
Didn't she see the possibility that even having a remotely close idea of why I was in here could have her in danger?
That the simple little fact that I know something that no one really believes anyway, but mere reality that I possessed the information was enough to keep me locked up?
That it was enough to have the people I cared about suffer the same fate?
She didn't, and continued to comfort me.
All that stuff I just wrote makes me think of that day.
I think about it all the time actually.
The day where I gave my best friend since fifth grade the ultimatum. Tell me her deep dark little secret that everyone seemed to be in on except me, or I walk. Five years of friendship down the drain. She didn't tell me, and I walked.
As I walked away I remember thinking that I wanted to know so badly what was making her lie to me, what exactly I gave blood and exposed the guidance counselor as a spy for.
I remember that wanting to know, turning into needed to know, no matter how much I continued to play it off that I didn't care anymore.
I *needed* to know why everyone got into a fuss over the weirdest things, or whenever the sheriff was mentioned.
Sure I wanted to have my friends back too, but the need felt almost stronger.
What made this secret they had so damn imperative to be kept quiet?
When she finally did tell me, I didn't really believe her, but we were friends again and that was good. All it took to really convince me was a little demonstration. Red to yellow, ketchup to mustard. It was kind of neat.
I had plenty of opportunity to back out of all we had become involved in, but I didn't because that wouldn't have been me and that I was happy that I was finally included in their secret. I shared the knowledge.
I mean that's what all this is about really, knowledge and secrets.
My friends and I have knowledge of a very big secret. Chelsea had knowledge of a big secret.
Knowledge is the key to the universe.
Knowledge is power.
If I knew then what I know now...
I would have chosen ignorance.
Wow, this notebook filled up faster than I thought it would. There are only a few more pages to go. I wonder if everyone else has written in theirs as much as I have. Dr. Thompson hasn't asked us to read them again, and somehow I get the feeling she won't be. Call it another gut feeling. Since it's almost the end, I guess it's time I came to some world-gripping conclusion huh?
One thing I've always noticed about people is that they seem to build little patterns in their lives, be it consciously or unconsciously. Back in Roswell my neighbor Mrs. Raymond would always walked her little terrier around the block exactly three times, no more no less, everyday at five. And Jack, the guy who ran the hardware store, would clean his front window everyday at noon with a hose. Now it may seem like they do these things all the time because they needed to be done. But I think they do them for other reasons. A person will create a pattern or routine for themselves because it makes life seem, I don't know, easier if you know that the one thing, be it walking a dog or washing a window, gets done. These things may seem small and unnoticeable, but if you ever missed doing them, your day would seem off and incomplete.
I had a pattern for myself when I first came here.
I'd wake up, not talk to anyone, always be in the library or TV room sitting by myself. Group was, and still is everyday at two-thirty, where'd I still sit by myself not saying anything, not noticing there were other people around me.
Over time it changed. I started talking to Ed and Julie; I began to humor Belinda before I learned my lesson. I learned not to speak to Scott or Mark.
Everyday it was the same.
It made existence here a little easier, having this pattern, though at times change was required or you'd really go insane.
I had my change in the form of Chelsea.
She came in and threw the whole routine into an uproar. It showed me that I can be in the most desolate situation (which I still am in) and can still have some hope, or a friend. For that I'll always be grateful.
She isn't here anymore, but the usual routine has changed because of her.
I no longer wake up with large amounts of anger of depression weighing me down. That's old and stale and I'm done with it.
I've accepted my fate.
I probably won't ever be let out of here, and there's really no use making myself more miserable with every passing day.
I think of my friends and wish them to find the peace in their own situations that I've found in mine. If there ever comes a time where it's possible that they read this in some Diary of Anne Frank type deal where someone finds my journal (notebook) after I've passed, I just want to say that I love you girls. Always.
Julie, Ed, and I played a healthy round of foosball in the morning, and like always it was usually until lunch. Then it's hanging out in either the library or the garden until group. Ignore Dr. Thompson like the hideous she-witch she is, then back to the TV room until lights out.
It's not so bad really; sometimes it's quite comfortable.
One thing I do like, are the little changes that sometimes happen.
Like when Julie gets the gall to kiss me again. (She was a little freaked later on that day about it. Said she was caught up in the moment or something, that she didn't know she felt that way. I told her it was okay, I didn't mind. That it was actually kind of nice. Sometimes we'll kiss, sometimes we won't. It's not a big deal. For me anyway, she's still a little shy, doesn't want to feel too much for me. I understand and we still get along just fine.) Or when Scott will actually stop mumbling for once, or when Belinda will say something that actually makes sense (which is really, really rare), or when Mark actually seems like a human being. (Alien pun, ha.)
Ed didn't talk about his mother today, which was his pleasant little change in the routine.
It's not as bad as it was here. I get through it a day at a time.
I don't feel so alone anymore. I have Ed and Julie to help.
Mark, Scott, and Belinda are just there and that's not something I have any control over, but I don't let them bother me so much anymore.
Sometimes you just give your life a pattern and learn to cope.
It's then that I feel free.
It's the last page.
I've looked through this thing cover to cover for the past two hours thinking of someway to say good-bye, but the words are really caught somewhere between my brain and my hand, so I guess I'll just have to write from somewhere else.
I am seriously thinking of asking Dr. Thompson for another notebook, but I really cant stand to be anywhere within a five foot radius of her to ask, and I don't think I could handle the look on her face if I did ask for a new one. So I won't ask.
What else is new?
I sit and look at these simple white and blue lined pages, and I think they have helped me far beyond any medication or treatment has, and then I laugh.
Something Dr. Thompson thought up actually helped me... Something about that sentence doesn't seem right, but I guess it's true. I was never one to deny the truth.
I think of my friends and hope that someday I'll get to see them again. We can play cards for pennies, and I can win and they can tickle me. We can go to the Crashdown for galaxy melts, and alien blasts. It will be like old times.
I think of Chelsea and wonder whatever happened to her, but know that most likely I'll never know the answer. (Just stating for the record that I miss her.)
I think of the aliens, and how simply knowing they exist has single handedly ruined my life. It was one wild ride when we were together, and despite all the fear and paranoia I must admit that it was the best time in my life. I had friends, I had love, I had adventure.
I've suffered pain because of them, I've been locked up because of them, and my friends have been locked up because of them.
Still, I think of choosing ignorance and suddenly I'm not so sure anymore.
Maybe I never was.
Running out of room...
I want my final words to be some things I know I'll always be sure of.
I hate Dr. Thompson.
Aliens are real.
I'm not crazy.