FS fanic: A Better Day
I was moping around the hallways of the hospital; I had a lot to think about. I was wandering around random hallways and there was no one around. I eventually wandered my way back into civilization and saw Hal.
"Hey Ben" said Hal
"This isn't a good time" I answered
"Yeah, when is it ever" he sighed
"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked, quickly becoming defensive.
"Geez nothing, your jumpy today" Hal noticed.
"Yeah... Well..." I mumbled.
"Well what?" he questioned
"Nothing, I... Have a lot on my mind" I said.
"Okay Mr. No-information" Hal then saw Maggie.
"Hey Maggie, wait up!" Hal yelled, running to catch up, leaving me all alone again. Just the way I liked it.
I feel like a freak. My spikes make me a freak. I can do things that people think is freakish. Right now I can hear a conversation from the other side of the hospital, something about food. I can do 100 pushups, run a mile, or swim a river without getting tired. Nobody wants me here, and I'm all alone in this. Tick tick boom, I'm like a time bomb about to explode. If I ever mentioned this to anyone, they would think I'm crazy to feel alone because I have an actual family. That's true, and I love them, but none of them know what I'm going through right now. Matt's only nine, he doesn't understand. Hal gets protective, and we like to clash heads. I know he tries to help me, to get me to open up to him, but he has other stuff on his plate and he just doesn't get me. And dad thinks I'm fine. Well, most people think I'm fine. It's because I want them to believe I'm fine. I have been wanting to leave the second mass for a while. To find the rebel skitters and to not be around people that think I'm a freak. Sometimes I wish people would notice that I'm not fine, that I'm not coping as well as they thought I was. But everyone thinks I'm fine. Hal sometimes picks up on things though, like just now when he came to talk to me. He usually just let's it slide though, tries to give me space. Sometimes I wish he would just stay. There is one exception to this whole no one notices thing. Maggie. I don't know much about her, I wasn't around when the Second Mass found her. Or more accurately she found the Second Mass. I do know that she has a thing for Hal though, but most girls do. I see the ways she looks at me. I can't tell if it's pity or sadness in her eyes. If I wasn't Hal's brother I don't think she would care. But I am so she does. What I'm wondering is when she's going to do something about it though. When she's going to say something to Hal, I don't think she would ever confront me directly. Or maybe she would, I don't know about her.
About an hour later I was still shuffling my way down random hallways when I came across another family member, dad this time.
"Hey Ben, you okay?" dad said, noticing that I didn't look exactly cheery. Well he's a genius. Now what do I say to that? How are you doing, are you okay? No I'm not okay. Maybe that's what I should say. No I'm not okay, I haven't been for a while thank you very much. But everyones to busy too notice.
"Yeah dad I'm fine".
"Okay, just tell me if you need anything" dad said.
You know what I need; I need someone to notice that I'm not okay. I need someone to do something about it, to care about me.
He then walked away.
Am I a coward? I can't speak up. Am I afraid to speak up because I think that would make me a coward? Do you have anything to share with the class Ben? I sure as hell do but I'm too much of a coward to do anything about it. I'm trapped in a bubble. Bubble boy. Maybe that's not the best metaphor seeing how I can see and hear extraordinarily better than I should. But I feel like I'm trapped in a bubble. Nobody seems to notice me, and sometimes I don't want them to notice me. But sometimes all I want them to notice is me. Anyone, I don't care who, anyone. Well I guess I'm just waiting for Maggie to do something. I found something else that I can do. So I said that I can hear things from the other side of the hospital, so you would think I could hear everything that's going on in the hospital at the same time. Well sometimes I can and sometimes I can't. When I can it's like a constant buzzing in my ears. It hurts. Thank God it doesn't happen very often. But anyways, all the other times, if I focus in on one person I can hear what they're saying as long as they're not too far away. So I've been listening in on Hal and Maggie, seeing if Maggie will say something. That girl has more guts than me because she finally does,
Maggie: Have you noticed Ben acting a little differently lately?
Hal: like what?
Maggie: Like more... Sad.
Hal: well he did seem kind of down and paranoid when I went to talk to him a little while ago.
Maggie: I think you should go talk to him, make sure he's okay.
Hal: yeah, I think I will.
Then Hal went to go find me. I'm a coward so I guess it's time for me to go hide now.
I'm now hiding in an abandoned room, guess I am a coward. I know Hal won't find me, I can hear him. He doesn't have a clue. Should I wait here until someone eventually finds me? That would be fun. But dad would be worried so I leave as soon as I make sure Hal is preoccupied with something else.
It's the next day. I am now sitting on the hospital steps, being a loner. Seems to be what I do best nowadays. I see Hal approaching, guess he found me.
"Hey, Ben. You okay?" Hal asked.
Oh look there's that question again. Seems like it keeps popping up doesn't it?
"Yeah I'm fine, why wouldn't I be?"
"I don't know you've kind of been acting a little strange lately" said Hal.
You think? I don't know, let me check.
"Okay" Hal said. Hal then sat beside me on the steps.
"What are you doing" I asked.
"Sitting" was his response. At least he stayed for once.
So we sat, and we sat, and we sat, and we sat, and I left. Someone had to be the first to leave, we couldn't stay there forever. We just sat in silence and when the time felt right I got up and walked away. And he let me go. Maybe next time we will actually accomplish a productive conversation. Speaking of conversations here's Hal and Maggie's.
Maggie: so did you talk to him?
Hal: yeah, he said he was fine.
Maggie: Hal, he's not fine.
Hal: I know, it's like there's no life in his eyes. How long has he been like this?
Maggie: I think since he found out about the rebel skitters. Maybe you should tell your dad.
Oh fun. Looks like I have to hide from multiple people now.
It's been three hours. I decided to sit here and see how long I could do nothing but stare at this wall. It's been three hours. Two hours later finds me lying on my bed. It seems like I have graduated from wall staring to ceiling staring. My dad enters the room and I sit up to make it look like I might be doing anything remotely productive. Another person found me. Looks like I'm not that good at hiding. Just kidding I'm not really trying.
"Hey, Ben" he said. "Hal told me you've been a little down lately, so what's up" he asked.
Should I just tell him? I want to go, I want to leave, I want to die. Tick tick boom someone shoot me now.
"I don't know"
"You know I'm here for you right, we all are." dad reassured.
Define we all
"So if you ever have anything you want to talk about, you know you can come to me right."
No I'm too much of a coward.
"I know dad".
And he left. Funny, I pay more attention to how people leave then how they come.
"I'm fine really" I say. Doctor Glass had me come in for a 'checkup'. Look like she's been talking to my dad. Wait scratch that I know they've been talking, more than talking. The usual checkup ensued. I took off my shirt and Doctor Glass popped my personal bubble and poked and prodded my spikes with a scalpel. I know the crustiness around my spikes are getting worse. Not like she ever tells me anything though. Doctor Glass didn't say anything. She can't tell me they are getting worse, but if she told me they were getting better than she would be lying. Pediatricians are too nice too lie.
"So Ben, I hear you've haven't been yourself lately". Said Doctor Glass
"Oh yeah, where did you hear that?"
"It doesn't matter, are you okay"? She asked.
Ya know what I bet it was my dad. No really smartass. Let's see... Am I okay? Should I even answer that? I wonder what kind of statement I would make if I just walked away. Maybe I should try that.
I got up and left the room.
Dad: what did he say?
Glass: he didn't say anything, he just left.
Dad: He's not okay Anne.
Glass: I know I just don't know what we can do about it; he doesn't seem to want to open up.
Dad: I don't know what to do. I have talked to him, you have talked to him, even Hal has tried to talk to him. He's just so... Unresponsive.
Glass: What do you think is wrong?
Dad: Hal thinks it's because of the rebel skitters.
Glass: well, I would imagine it is.
Dad: what do you mean?
Glass: he feels like he doesn't belong here. We all know he hates the skitters but I don't think he can quite shake his connection with them. So he found skitters that don't want to fight, that want to stop the war. It's kind of the best of both worlds in a way.
Dad: do you think he would ever pick them over us.
Glass: I think he wants to leave, but I also think he will always come back.
Doctor Glass: 1 Me: 0
Okay, I have no idea what's going on here. After dad's and Anne's conversation I would expect something to be done. Maybe put me on meds. Like they would work anyways. Nothing though, nothing. Nothing has been said, nothing has been done, it's been awhile now and I'm about to scream. Do they really think they need to give me space? I thought all my problems would be solved. Someone would do something for me and I didn't even have to say anything. But no. And I'm going crazy. I have spent the last few days avoiding mankind and holing up in deserted rooms for hours. Right now I'm in the basement. I haven't explored the basement yet so I figure this would be a lot of fun later. But right now I'm just sitting against a random wall with my knees pulled up against my chest. This is where Ms. I-have-more-guts-than-you finds me. Maggie comes up and leans against the wall beside me. She turns her head to look at me. I continue to stare at the wall but I can feel her eyes on me. I wonder when she'll talk. I start counting, 1-2-3-4-6-7-8-9-10. I only get to 10 before she surprises me by saying something.
"Are you okay Ben?" Maggie says.
Dear lord. I'm tired of the question. I stand up and start pacing.
"No I'm not okay! Everyone keeps asking me the same damn question and I'm such a coward that I never speak up! But no, I'm not okay! And I want somebody to do a damn thing about it because I can't seem to do anything but stare at some damn walls! I'm sick of this, sick of everyone! Sick of everyone thinking I'm a freak and not understanding! I can't take it anymore I'm going to explode!"
Damn did I just say that out loud? The look on Maggie's face told me I did. Oh shit. I realize I'm crying. Maggie's just standing there with her mouth open.
"Ben, it's-it's okay" Maggie stuttered.
"No, no it's not okay!" I yelled, sinking to my knees on the floor.
Okay total mental breakdown, it's about time though. I just sat there sobbing into my hands. I was shaking. I wasn't even thinking. No mental capacity.
"I'll- I'll get your dad". Maggie said not knowing what else to do, she ran out. Next thing I know my dad came up next to me and put his arms around me. He just let me cry until I couldn't anymore and I stopped.
"I love you Ben" he said. "Hal loves you Matt loves you, and we wish you wouldn't feel so sad. But I understand if you need to leave, just know we will always want you to come back".
Eventually we left and went upstairs. Dad guided me through the hallways making sure no one bothered me. We came across Hal and Maggie, they were talking.
"What's wrong" Hal asked
"Nothing" dad said.
Maggie just stared.
"Wait a minute. I'm sorry Maggie"
She smiled. I continued to make my way to my room. There I lay down and went to sleep. Hoping tomorrow will be a better day.