Author's Note: Hey guys if you're reading this Author's Note that means that somehow I was able to catch your attention with this crappy title and summary so cookies to me :) Okay so before you start reading I just want to give you some background information on this story… I've had this idea for about a year now but I never wrote it down because I felt like the subjects this story addresses were out of my league. I felt like it would be strange to write about things that I didn't have experience with like cutting and mental diseases and suicide attempts. But then 3 months ago something awful happened. My friend Andy was the happiest kid, whenever I saw him in the hallways he would always be smiling. I remember his bone crushing hugs and how his laugh would fill an entire room and then one night, for reasons nobody will ever understand, he killed himself. No one suspected a thing and there was nothing anyone could have done to stop it. I miss him so much and I wish that I had known that when I said "see you Monday!" those would be the last things I would ever say to him. This experience was traumatizing and I hope that nobody ever has to go through this and if you have had this happen to you I'm so sorry and I know how you're feeling. Having something as heartbreaking as my friend's death happen to me I feel like I'm now qualified to write this story so here it goes. Please forgive me if there are any misspellings or grammatical errors. This one's for you Andy, I love you 3
Maka Albarn absent mindedly picked at a loose string on her sweater, tuning out her parents as they yelled back and forth at one another, arguing about whose fault it was. It was always like this for as long as she could remember. Whether they were at home or in the car, a restaurant, or at Maka's school they were always fighting and swearing at one another. The teen was sick of it.
Dr. Asuza Yumi's calculating blue eyes which sat behind a pair of sharp glasses watched the bickering couple from her desk. She took notes down on a small pad as she observed the scene in front of her. Maka saw this out of the corner of her eye and could only imagine what the renowned therapist thought of her parents. How embarrassing.
At first glance you wouldn't think that the Albarns were a family that had any problems. They lived in a pleasant home in a nice neighborhood in Southern Death City. Spirit Albarn, Maka's father, owned a car dealership. He was a good looking guy with an easy going, confident nature. He was young so he wore jeans and loose ties and he kept the top buttons of his dress shirt undone. Kami Albarn, Maka's mother, was gorgeous. She had a strong will and an intelligent mind and if you put those two things with her looks you got one of the most extraordinary lawyers around. They appeared to have it all.
But looks could be deceiving.
Maka couldn't think of a time where the two of them weren't fighting. Most children had memories of their parents playing out in the backyard with them or taking them into town for an ice cream, but not Maka. Her memories were a blur of screams, profanities and the occasional I'm-staying-at-my-parents-house-for-the-weekend-don't-call-me.
Their arguments were over the stupidest things too like who would pick Maka up from school or whose turn it was to cook that night or what movie to watch. They were just never happy around each other and Maka often thought that they would be better off getting a divorce. But when she voiced her opinion to her parents they simply smiled and told her things like, "Papa loves your Mama very much," and "Don't worry, it's just a little spat we're having." Then as if to prove that things were alright they would hug and act lovey-dovey with one another. But it never lasted more than a few minutes.
Although their arguments had always been petty and childish to Maka her father did something one day that was actually worthy of getting into a full scale fight. He cheated. He cheated right in their very own home with some hooker with dyed purple hair and huge breasts. Maka discovered the two of them on the couch one day when she had come home early from school due to a stomachache. She saw them, Kami was informed and then their already unpleasant home life escalated into a full-blown warzone.
The screaming intensified, threats were made with the big kitchen knife and both missed days of work at a time. And then, which Maka would never understand, they started taking it out on her. All of the rage her parents had towards each other was being thrown at the teen and it hurt. She didn't want to be involved; she didn't want any of this. Her parents, this life, why had this happened to her? What had she done to deserve this?
The first time she cut herself had been exhilarating. The blood and the sting of the razor as it tore into her pale skin made her feel at ease, like all of the bad feelings and thoughts were leaving her. Cutting gave her a sense of control, the physical pain she caused herself distracted her from the emotional pain inflicted by her parents. It became addictive.
This went on for a couple months. After a long day of going through the motions and her parents screams Maka would lock herself away in her bedroom and take a blade to her wrists, her arms, making neat little rows of red slashes on her body. She began wearing long shirts everyday to make sure her secret wasn't exposed. She couldn't risk her parents finding out. They would try to make her stop; they would try to take away the one thing in her life that kept her from going insane.
But one day the cutting wasn't enough.
She had it all planned out, her escape from her miserable existence. The ten little white sleeping pills she had lined up neatly on the upstairs bathroom counter would be her salvation. She would take them Saturday night while her father was out at Chupa Cabra's and her mother was out to dinner with a client. It would have been perfect, those ten little pills would have ended her pain and misery but just as Maka swallowed the fourth one her mother walked in and the teen was immediately taken to the hospital. When she was discharged a day or two later the Albarn "family" headed to Dr. Yumi's to see what was to be done with Maka. However, the therapy session that was meant to get Maka help once again ended up becoming a nuclear screaming match.
Spirit had risen from his chair and was now shaking a finger in his wife's face. Kami spat curses at him left and right, challenging him to come any closer. Maka continued to ignore them, however, although the teen was choosing to take no notice of the fight Dr. Yumi wasn't going to put up with it any longer. She slammed her notepad down on her desk and clapped her hands at them to get their attention.
"Honestly do you two ever stop screaming at one another?" she demanded to know, the glass of her spectacles gleaming with anger. "This isn't about you two right now, this is about your daughter and how she almost killed herself the other day."
Spirit and Kami looked at her in surprise. No one had ever called them out on their fighting like that before. Suddenly feeling embarrassed by their actions Spirit slowly sat back down in his chair and Kami smoothed out her skirt and took great interest in the floor.
"Thank you for choosing to act like adults," Dr. Yumi said icily, not believing how two grown people could behave like children during such a serious time. "Now," she said turning to Maka, "let's talk about why you're here today. What made you want to take those pills?"
Maka wasn't paying attention. She was too zoned out, too focused on blocking out the screams she hadn't realized stopped. Dr. Yumi clapped her hands in front of the teen's face and suddenly Maka snapped back into reality to find that all of the adults in the room had their eyes on her. She shifted in her seat, uncomfortable under their watchful gazes. "Did you say something?" she asked Dr. Yumi quietly.
The Doctor was patient and repeated her question, "What made you want to take those pills?"
Maka stared at Dr. Yumi who was looking at her with such concern. 'What made you want to take those pills?' She wanted to tell the doctor, she wanted to let everything that she had kept bottled up inside of her for months poor out. Because I hate my life, because I'm sick of my parents treating me like shit, because I wanted to die.
"I don't know…" she whispered, looking down at her hands.
Dr. Yumi nodded and drummed her fingers on the top of her desk. She knew what was going on; she was the best therapist in all of Death City after all. The look Maka had in her eyes after she had asked that question, she looked like she desperately wanted to confess everything, to have someone that would listen to her. The only problem was that her parents were in the room. She had learned over the years that some patients could be unwilling to speak if family members were present for the fear of hurting them. "Could the two of you give us a minute?" Dr. Yumi asked Mr. and Mrs. Albarn.
Spirit and Kami reluctantly stood from their seats, uneasy in knowing that their daughter might possibly reveal something to the doctor that they wouldn't ever get to hear themselves. They lingered by the chairs a moment more hoping that they wouldn't really have to step out of the room but when Dr. Yumi pointed them towards the door they finally left leaving the doctor alone with Maka.
"I hope you feel better with them out of the room," Dr. Yumi said giving Maka a gentle smile.
The teen weakly returned it and nodded.
Dr. Yumi pushed her glasses higher up her nose ready to get down to business. "Now can you tell me why you tried to kill yourself?"
It was strange for Maka to be discussing her feelings like this with someone. These things were personal and no one had ever cared enough to ask her about them before. No one had ever cared enough to help her be okay. So right now talking with Dr. Yumi she felt like she was choking on her words because she wasn't used to having anyone show worry for her wellbeing. "B-because I hate my life," she finally managed to get out.
"What makes your life so bad?" Dr. Yumi asked.
"My parents…they fight all the time and yell at me."
"Is it just your parents? No trouble with school?"
"I have straight A's."
"What about your friends?"
"I don't have any."
"Do you self harm?"
"My arms and my wrists."
"Why do you do it?"
"Because I can control it."
"Do your parents know?"
"They don't know anything about me."
Dr. Yumi's professional face turned into something of sympathy towards the teen as she nodded and scribbled something down on her notepad. She then opened up one of her desk drawers and pulled out a single pamphlet. "Here," she said handing it to Maka.
"The Death City Mental Institution for Troubled Teens?" Maka read aloud, unsure of why Dr. Yumi had handed her this.
"Go on and take a look at it," Dr. Yumi encouraged her.
Maka curiously leafed through the booklet, her emerald eyes passing over pictures of smiling teenagers eating lunch together and playing basketball. "Why did you give me this?"
"This is where you'll be staying for the next two weeks, Maka," Dr. Yumi answered. "Based on our session just now and earlier seeing how your parents interact with one another and how you interact with them I feel like sending you here will be the most successful way in getting you treated."
"Treated?" Her eyes widened tremendously and she quickly dropped the pamphlet onto Dr. Yumi's desk. "Oh no you've got it wrong," Maka said shaking her head. "I don't need to be treated for anything, I'm perfectly normal. It's my parents' fault I took the pills; they're the ones who should be sent away."
"Anytime someone tries to take their life something must be done," Dr. Yumi explained. "You might have took the pills because your parents made you feel like your life wasn't worth living, but the decision to kill yourself was entirely your own not theirs. Signing you up for the Troubled Teens program is the best way to get you the help you need and as for your parents, well, I'm making sure that they see a marriage counselor as soon as possible."
"I don't want to go to a nuthouse!" Maka protested.
Dr. Yumi was used to clients reacting this way when psychiatric hospitals were brought up. Everybody went into panic saying that they didn't belong in a place like that so she knew just how to handle Maka. "It's not a nuthouse; the teenagers there are just like you. They're just normal kids who've hit a roadblock in life and they're getting treated so they can get around it. All my patients who I have sent there have come out feeling as good as new and you won't be any different," she calmly replied.
"I haven't hit a roadblock though, it's just my parents. If they were gone I would be perfectly fine, I don't want to join this program!" the teen argued.
Dr. Yumi sighed; Maka was quite the determined teenage girl and the only way to get someone like her to corporate was to get her parental units involved, even if she despised them they still had legal control over her after all. The doctor stood from her chair and went over to the door to let Mr. and Mrs. Albarn back in the room. As soon as the door swung open Spirit stormed right back inside followed by Kami, both wanting immediately to know what they had missed.
"Is Maka going to be alright?" Kami asked.
"What did you talk about with my daughter?" Spirit inquired anxiously.
Dr. Yumi picked up the booklet Maka had dropped on her desk and handed it to them. "I've decided to send Maka to this Juvenile Ward so she can partake in this program. Based on her current condition I feel like this is the best way to help her get her life back on track," she told the Albarns.
Spirit and Kami flipped through the brochure together, both intently reading about the Troubled Teens program. Once they had finished Kami hesitantly asked, "are you sure this is what's best for our daughter?"
"Yeah," Spirit joined in. He was mortified that Dr. Yumi had suggested such a treatment. What if someone found out that someone in his family had been labeled as mental? It could be bad for his business. "I don't like the idea of sending Maka away to stay with a bunch of wacky psycho teens. We can fix things ourselves."
"Can you really?" Dr. Yumi asked them coolly. "You're telling me that the two of you are going to undo all the damage you've caused?"
Mr. and Mrs. Albarn stared at her blankly, their mouths slightly open.
"Don't play dumb," the doctor threatened. "We all know that it's nobody's fault but yours that Maka is like this. All of this fighting she's grown up with, all this anger she's constantly surrounded by. Your child is so unhappy that she almost killed herself and there's no one to blame but yourselves."
Needless to say the Spirit and Kami were speechless.
"I personally know a lot of the people who run this program," Dr. Yumi continued on. "They're all highly trained professionals and I promise you that after two weeks with them Maka will be as good as new. Now are you going to deny your daughter the help she needs because you're embarrassed to send her to a psychiatric hospital or are you going to do what's right?"
There was a moment's pause until Kami finally broke the silence and said, "You're right. I know that I haven't exactly been an ideal mother lately with everything that's been going on recently but I actually do care about my daughter's wellbeing and I want to help her in any way I can. When can we send her?"
Dr. Yumi smiled, "Tomorrow morning. I'll call the hospital after you leave and let them know that you're signing Maka up."
"You can't be serious," Maka griped. This was all wrong; her parents should be the ones being sent away!
"Maka, your Mama is right," Spirit interjected. "She hasn't been a very good Mama lately –" He paused when Kami glared daggers at him. "Erm we both haven't been very good parents and we're sorry. But maybe Dr. Yumi is right and this program is what you need. I want you to get back on the right track so whether you like it or not we're sending you to the Death City Mental Institution."
Maka wanted to argue more but she didn't have a chance because Dr. Yumi then said, "Also, while Maka's away, I suggest that the two of you go see a marriage counselor. No matter how much help Maka gets from the Troubled Teens program the treatment will never work unless things at home get better."
There was a long pause at the mention of a marriage counselor. Spirit and Kami were both too proud to admit that they needed couples counseling. They didn't like the idea of some stranger discussing their relationship problems with them but eventually they gave in to the doctor's request. "We understand," Spirit and Kami answered, standing up from their seats and heading towards the door.
Maka however didn't move. She sat motionless and expressionless in her chair, she hadn't even noticed that her parents had gotten up.
"Come along, Maka," Kami said to her daughter, bringing her out of her daydream.
The teen sullenly rose from her chair and followed her parents out the door without speaking a word towards them or even a goodbye to Dr. Yumi.
The three Albarns walked back to their car in silence, Spirit and Kami awkwardly glancing at Maka every so often wanting to say something to her but not knowing which words to use and Maka replaying everything that had happened in Dr. Yumi's office over in her head. This wasn't right, her parents just thought they could "apologize" and everything would be okay again? Nothing would ever be okay again, never. She was being sent away to a hospital for mentally ill teenagers, how had her life gotten so fucked up? She wasn't mental, she was normal. She repeated this over and over in her head trying to convince herself that this was true.
But am I really?
Hope you enjoyed the first chapter! Please tell me what you think and if I should continue!