Never Too Late
The time we lost can't get back. Hopkins Mental Institution. She was never supposed to end up there. He was always going to be there. She had had promise. He had nothing to lose. But I guess it doesn't matter who you are. The temptation of death always pulls you in.
Even if I say it will be all right still I hear you say you want to end your life. Now and again we try to just stay alive. Baby, we'll turn it around 'cause it's not too late. It's never too late.
Chapter One. Like the Lies
Her fingertips strayed over the white, hard, concrete walls. Everything was bright but it seemed more like a prison. She could feel the invisible chains around her ankles. Everything moved slowly, in visions, like a dream. But this was no dream. She could feel the cold white tile against her bear feet. Her jeans rubbed against her knees. There was a heavy weight on her shoulders that came with the suffering of the realization that this was her home now.
Home. Glimpses of peach granite countertops and big, silver, chandlers, and white silk sheets raced through her mind. Cold eyes always watching.
Two nurses down a long narrow hallway were leading her. Her eyelashes were brittle from dried tears. But now there was no way she was crying. She had intended on ceasing all emotion, which was exactly on what she would do.
Fingers pressed into her forearms, leading her to a new rom. She realized quickly that it was her own. It was just like the hallway. White walls and white tile.
Everything was white. Like lies. It was all a lie. It was all an illusion, every tear. Every word. Love? That word had deceived her, too. She had been told that so many times and the one time she believed it, it had betrayed her.
Impulse forced her eyes to wander. The first thing she saw were the bars on the windows. Bars. It really was a prison. The second was the medication on the metal table next to the rock hard mattress bed. Pills in an orange bottle.
She breathed through her nose, afraid that this air would somehow change her. Like it was poison. She swallowed and it felt like glass but she could say nothing. Her red lips had stayed closed for days. There were no words she could say. Not now. When words, so far, had only slipped from her fingers.
She thought about the conclusion she had come to. Maybe she was crazy.
Thoughts raced in her head but they were just accidental words, not even meant to be thought. They meant nothing.
Her muscles clenched as she took a step into the room. She didn't want to seem as crazy as she knew she was. She noticed something else, though she thought she was far from noticing anything now. There was nothing dangerous in the stale room. Nothing that could allow her to harm herself in any way.
There were no light bulbs in reach. She couldn't break them and use the glass as a blade. The sheets were thin. She could never rip them to shreds and hang herself. Even the electrical outlets had locks. Even if they hadn't been she didn't have anything metal to put in it anyway. All she was thinking about was a way to die. No one should ever think about that. She couldn't believe what her mind had come to.
She used to be normal, and not a short time before. She remembered trips to the mall, ballet flats, jock boys that always seemed out of reach, books that her mother would never approve of to indulge in. Normal teenage things.
But normal had become foreign to her. She had never really been normal. There had always been the one voice inside her head telling her to go on that path. Just never, before then, had she chosen to take it. And look where it led her.
This person she had become wasn't her at all. She had looked in a mirror just hours before. She had been at the hospital, in the bathroom. Her skin had become pale. Her eyes had turned darker, deeper, like the bottomless depths of the ocean. Her fingers shook, never stopping. When she walked she trembled. She had become so tenuous, so easily broken. Like a glass vase she also had been glued back together but not even that could hold the pieces of her together now
Laughter seemed like a distant dream. Smiles of pearl white teeth seemed mythical. Had they ever actually existed?
She heard a noise from behind her. She sucked in a breath and cringed instinctively.
She realized what had happened. It was just a noise. Just a noise.
She turned slowly with her hand on the end of the bed, lying softly on the cold metal. For the first time she set her eyes on the two nurses that had led her. One was a woman. She was small, tan, perfect. That angered her. But the grin on this girls face comforted her in the least. But other than that the girls face was serene, a mask as it looked.
She blinked twice. "Do you need anything before you get," Pause. "Um, settled." This girl's voice was comforting, something she had not expected. Her muscles relaxed just a little bit. Settled?
She just shook her head no.
The other nurse spoke then. He was built and his stance was rigid. He may have been good looking but she was past noticing things like that. He had sandy brown hair and big hazel eyes. He was paler than the girl but his face seemed gentler, less composed.
He spoke this time. His voice was strong but softer than she had anticipated, caring. "We have group therapy at four every day except Sundays which you can feel free to come to and there is mandatory meetings between you and your consular that we need to schedule." He took a quick look at his clipboard. She looked down at the tile, tracing the patterns with her eyes. "Your consular is Dr. Abel Grant." He murmured.
She nodded to show she understood but still did not speak.
"Oh, and Bella," The clattering around her ceased, every noise, every thought, every breath stopped.
It was her name. Those five letters that labeled her.
It didn't seem right. Too bright. Too fun. She felt anything but amusing.
She impulsively whipped her head up and looked this girl straight in the eye. Bella's eyes penetrated the nurse. "I'm Riley and this is," She looked at the boy. "Trent. You can ask the receptionist down the hallway to the right if you need anything and she will find us."
Bella didn't respond.
She looked down, thinking nothing, listening to the cool air rush around her still body. When she finally looked up. They were gone. No instructions? She assumed they would come back later.
She resided to the bed; the bitter cold, scratchy sheets rubbed against her bear arms. She rested her head on the rock hard pillow and rubbed her finger in a circle on her leg. Silence engulfed her and visions of the past and what once was clouded her thoughts. Bright lights called to her, murmuring comforting words of deviating concepts. Her face was blank with no emotion. She was finally relaxed, almost relieved to be alone. But she was not happy. Happiness was an illusion that had long slipped from her grasp.