Why Go
By Maureen

Disclaimer: lyrics and words by Vedder/Gossard of Pearl Jam. Story by me. Characters by Disney. No dinero aqui!

Dedicated to Darkchilde. Some adult language.

***

Catie stared off blankly into space. There was nothing of interest to look at in the small, dingy room. Off white walls, matching ceiling, all smooth, fresh, unadorned. Finally she decided to enter reality; there was something new in the room. Another man. A doctor judging by his white coat and falsely cheery demeanor. If he had been an orderly he would be wearing a while suit and look pissed.

she scratches a letter into a wall made of stone
maybe someday another child won't feel as alone as she does
it's been two years, and counting, since they put her in this place
she's been diagnosed by some stupid fuck, and mommy agrees
(you're right)
why go home...
why go home...
why go home...

"Hello, Caitlin," the doctor said. Catie stared through him, trying to bore through his soul. Her long black ponytail rustled slightly when the door closed. After two years without being cut it was nearly to her waist.

Catie refused to reply until they got her name right. She wasn't 'Caitlin' or 'Miss Roth', she was Catie. How difficult was that?

"How are we today?" the doctor asked, scribbling onto his clipboard. He never asked how she was, only how 'we' was. Did he think she was more than one person? She wasn't a schizophrenic; it said that right on her chart, even she knew that. It said she was in for depression. That was what her mother called her daughter, 'depressed'. Catie wasn't depressed, she simply thought for herself and went outside the norms. She was in because her mother couldn't stand having an 'abnormal' daughter around screwing up her social life.

***

IOne year ago:

"Come on, Catie!" her mother said, practically dragging her daughter out the front door. She was sick of her daughters' obnoxious behavior and psycho dress. It was beyond time to see about getting her help like everyone in her family told her.

"I'm not psycho!" Catie exclaimed trying to wiggle out of her mother's strong grip. "Individuality is not a crime!"

"Well, it should be!" her mother replied, tensely through her teeth. She was older and stronger than her daughter after years of lifting weights and a strict exercise regime but Catie had youth and her own life at stake.

Unexpectedly, Catie's mom punched her daughter in the stomach and hauled her into the car. She had activated the childproof doors earlier that morning. The drove away with Catie letting loose a lyrical and unrepetitive stream of cussing, discussing in detail all of her mothers flaws and that of her family as well. /I

***

she seems to be stronger, but what they want her to be is weak
she could play pretend, she could join the game, boy
she could be another clone...
why go home...
why go home...
why go home...
why go home...

Every day she exercised during her recreation period. Most of the other 'patients', or as she preferred to call them, inmates, chose to watch TV or to socialize. Not Catie. She would head straight to the exercise machines, using the old bikes or the weights. Sometimes she only did simple calisthenics, she was becoming quite strong. Strong was not what they wanted.

what you taught me...put me here...don't come visit...mother...
sting me...
why go home...
why go home...
why go home...
why go home...

Val came to visit her once. She brought brownies. Catie gave them to the orderlies, that was how you kept them happy. They left her alone for a week and did not harass her or force her to take the tranquilizing medication. Val never came back and Catie went back to hiding the pills under her tongue once again.

Jamie came once a month starting with the first weekend she was allowed to have visitors. He always brought her a different rose. 'To remind you of the outside world' he had claimed, shyly. Catie kept them all, unable to use it as a bribe for anyone and much to her surprise it was silk. Always red, yellow, pink, white, and always beautiful. She cherished those roses.

what you taught me...put me here...don't come visit...mother, mother, yeah...
why go home?

Once she turned 18 she could get out, no one would force her to stay if she didn't want to. And after nearly 2 years, she wanted the hell out of this institution. That was tomorrow. "So, tomorrow is your 18th birthday, Caitlin, how do you feel about that?" the doctor's question forced her to pay attention.

"I'm leaving," she said, hoarsely. She spoke so infrequently now many people though she was deaf or dumb. Silence was power. "I'm getting the fuck out of here."

"Now, Caitlin, that's not the best thing to do. We're only looking out for you here at Ferncliff and leaving would not help you." Patronizing.

"I'm leaving tomorrow. I'll be 18 and you can't stop me."

"I see." The doctor stood up with finality, leaving her small cell. He knew that she was theirs, and they would not let her leave.