He looked at me with confusion and the door shut separating any hope of explanations. My heart leapt out for him and I almost flung myself at the door.
"Uh, sir, we have to go back I left my...um...bracelet." I looked at the cop with pleading eyes and he sighed.
"Alright, I don't remember any bracelet, but let's go." The door opened and he was gone, simple as that; gone. I looked around the ER and saw no sign of the man I so longingly yearned for, but never had the guts to love.
The cop looked where I was looking and then over to the nurse at the desk.
"Leah, where was that teenage boy that was just here?" My heart stopped and I thought I was going to puke. Nice going, lying to a cop and totally failed. Could you be any stupider? The nurse looked up from the files on her desk.
"He's in room 401, his mother is here." He nodded her a thanks and pushed my shoulder gently in that direction.
"I'll wait, go on." He smiled a warm grandfatherly smile and I felt love, and gratefulness to this complete stranger who wanted simply to make me happy. I smiled a thanks and started to walk, looking at the door numbers. 396 397 398 399 400...401. I opened the wooden hospital door gently and looked over my shoulder at the nurse and cop; who were staring to see what would happen, what I'd do. As if they knew my cowardice over the last year was about to be broken. I walked in and saw Jason crying holding his mother's hand as she was talking to him. His eyes met mine and he jumped up.
"Anna, what are you doing here? I thought that was you in the elevator." He came over and led me over to the bed, so his mother could see me too. She was a frail, sickly looking woman who smiled at me through weary eyes.
"Mom, this is Anna, Anna this is Margret Shane." She smiled and spoke to me with a cracked, elderly voice.
"Hello, nice to meet you." She chuckled and it turned into a cough, what had made her this sick?
"Same to you Mrs. Shane." She chuckled;
"Margret, please darling, I'm not my late husband's mother, may he rest in peace." She looked over to Jason and nodded for him to take me into the hall; and she laid her head down and closed her eyes to sleep. He put his arm around my waist and led me out of the room.
"What are you doing here?" I looked down and back over to the cop, who seemed to be in a deep conversation with the nurse.
"I over dosed on crank and they think I'm suicidal now." My dull voice made it sound like no big deal when it really was. He shook his head and looked deep into my eyes.
"Well, are you?" I looked back and for a brief moment let him see into my soul, look at my fears and failures until it turned to annoyance.
"No, I'm just messed up for the crystal so they can shove it." He looked at me weird as if trying to see whether to believe that statement or not.
"Well, okay..." I nodded and took my opportunity to change the subject.
"Yeah, so what's wrong with your mother?" He looked startled, and then glanced around.
"She, ah, has cancer. Because of the smoking and drugs she did as a kid." I looked down, knowing he must feel awkward and like this was his future; a hospital bed and painfully slow death. Finally the cop came over and nodded to Jason.
"Anna, time to go." I looked into Jason's eyes pleadingly and almost kissed him, begging him not to let me go; but as usual I didn't. But I did hug him as tight as I could, and he widened his eyes in surprise.
"I'll see you when I get out, ok?" He nodded, mouth open and eyes wide.
"Uh...right, sure, I'll just...um...text or call or uh, bye." He shoved his hands in his pocket and walked out the automatic doors. Now that you've done something weird he doesn't know how to react. I almost giggled at the thought of him blushing, confused in his little beat up SUV, driving away trying to figure me out.
"Friend of yours?" I almost forgot the cop was there and he had a smile on his face, his old blue eyes contrasting the black hair he had. Looking at him closer I realized he must have been about fifty, if not older.
"He's my boyfriend." I had to stop my hand from flying up to my mouth, your what! You seriously did NOT just call him your boyfriend. Oh my God Anna. I was scared for the fact I had said that, meaning I was thinking it, and what scared me the most was how easily I said it. How natural it seemed to use his name in the possessive state, to make him mine through words. As if I had done it all my life; like he was meant to be mine.
"I see, well, you'll be out when you're better. Then you can have a healthier relationship." I had a feeling I'd be hearing that alot, getting me to a "healthier" state. It sounds so weird, if you think about it. The word healthy to describe your mental state of being. In the English language we think of healthy as like apples, exercise and personal hygiene; not thinking normally.
"Yeah." I didn't feel like giving him the novel of thoughts I was thinking. Back in the elevator he pushed in the floor number and leaned against the rail; as if he was tired. Physically he was probably not in the best of shape and working with a bunch of teen nut cases must take a toll on his mental "health". (See what'd I tell you.)
"Well here we are, just go down the hall and right there you are, its kinda like a dead end; ironically enough." He chuckled at his cheesy joke and we walked to the door. Directly above was a camera and the door had a voice box next to it, and the cop pressed the button speaking into it.
"Hey Helena, the girl's here." The door clicked and the woman responded.
"Alright, bring her on in." She sounded cheerful and young, couldn't be more than thirty. He pushed open the door and the nurses' desk was on my right. In front was a lobby looking area with a hall leading to rooms and the cafeteria area, it was small but that was okay. I walked over to the nurses' desk and she handed me some clothes.
"Well, here's some scrubs, you can wear them until your normal clothes come in tomorrow. Follow Megan to your room." A smiley woman with dark black hair came up with a clip board; she was a little plump and pushed open the second door on the left, diagonal from the nurses' desk.
"Okay so your bed is closest to the door, and your roommate has the other bed. You share the bathroom, and that's where we're headed so go on in." I pushed open the door (it was a little heavier than expected) and she walked in behind.
"Can you take off your clothes so I can examine you?" What the hell? I looked at her like she just asked me out.
"Um, excuse me?" She rolled her eyes.
"I need to check for cuts, bruises, signs of abuse, self-harm, etc." I nodded slowly. She's going to find out. Your covered with bruises from yesterday moron. My stomach twisted into knots and I slowly took off my shirt exposing my bra; and everything else there was to see.
"Well, I need you to take off your pants but leave your under garments on; then I'll be out of your hair." I did as she asked and she went around me, recording every mark, every cut, every scar, every bone that never healed right after being broken.
"Well I'm done, I'll leave you to get dressed into the scrubs, the door across from here with the glass wall is where all the kids are; they're having Group Time. So join them when you're done, ok?" I nodded and stared off into the corner of the bathroom, wanting her to leave me alone.
You'll probably go and live with Scarlett, or David. I nodded, that's probably what would happen. If I had a choice I'd live with Alexis, I would give anything. After sliding on the scratchy fabric I open the door and look at the bed (more like cot) and sat down. Everything hit me, Jason, the drugs, partying, Alexis's rape, the abuse, and my whole mess of a life. I broke down, I balled my eyes out into the pillow so hard my eyes hurt and I had a headache. I must have sounded like I was dying because two nurses came rushing in to find me crying hysterically on my bed.
They looked slightly relieved and upset at the same time. A younger nurse sat next to me and held me while I cried, I leaned into her and cried harder; for Jason, Alexis, everyone and everything. After a while my hyperventilating stopped and I was left with nothing but puffy, red eyes and a throbbing head.
"Better sweetie?" I nodded and wiped my eyes, could you be any bigger a baby? My thoughts were always putting me down, and for once I shrugged it off. I didn't care; maybe I did want to die. Maybe I knew putting the whole bag in the pipe was bad. Maybe I did do it on purpose, maybe, just maybe; I did want to die. The other nurse left and I was there with the other one. She had spikey purple hair and blue eyes; she was in her late twenties.
"Whenever you're ready to go into the room you can meet the other kids, ok?" I nodded and she got up; closing the door. I'm so sick of this, of you, of our life; why would you even want to be here? I contemplated that and couldn't find an answer. I used to pity this emo girl in my school; thinking she was an attention whore with her suicidal shit and now I realize she wasn't attention seeking. She was in pain, wanted help, wanted to want to live. I felt so bad for Violet and myself; I just sat on the bed looking into my make-up smeared hands.
I went into the bathroom and looked at myself. My blonde hair was frizzy and a mess, my eyes bright emerald and puffy. I washed my face and ran the comb on the sink through my hair. I sighed, this is as good as it's going to get.
"Well we better get out there." I stood in the bathroom staring at myself until I had the energy to move. I walked out into the room and opened the door. Twelve other kids looked back at me, eight girls and four boys. All of them looking directly into my eyes like I had some great secret to share.
"Welcome Anna, come have a seat." The psychologist pointed to an empty seat, this is just what I need. To share my personal problems with twelve other fucked up kids. Right. I sat down and the girl next to me had brown hair and deep blue eyes, she was pretty and skinny, she looked alright but when I looked down at her arms I knew she needed to be here.
Her arms were covered in fresh, deep slashes. Burn scars were all over her tan skin and her wrist was bandaged suggesting she had slit her wrists open. Looking up her body I saw that the scrubs were way too big, yet they were at least two sizes smaller than mine. Her wrists were small and fragile, like a young child's. Her bones were poking out in various places, she was anorexic. I wonder how many other things were wrong with her. Stop, that's not right to judge other people; you don't even know her.
I looked up at her sullen, pretty face and I realized she knew I had been staring at her the whole time. I blushed and rubbed my cheek into my shoulder. She smiled and pulled on her scrubs sub-consciously, she was blushing too. She leaned over and whispered into my ear,
"Hi, I'm Paige..." She leaned back onto her side and I smiled; I leaned over to her and told her my name too.
"I'm Anna." She giggled,
"He said that when you walked in, and you don't look very Ana, no offense." She laughed at her joke, I didn't have a clue what she meant but I smiled along. I nodded and started to listen to the doctor.
"Well since we have a new girl why don't we start by going around the circle, hm?" The kids groaned and I sunk into my chair a little more. I didn't like being the 'newbie'.
"You start, ok?" A mouse looking girl who was no taller than a fourth grader shrunk into her seat and grumbled her name.
"Penelope Grange, fourteen." Then she crossed her arms and closed her eyes; as if closing them made us disappear. The girl next to her, obviously of some relation, said her name with a bubbly attitude that made me think she was a masker. Her pain was coated with fake happiness and was only allowed to come out when she was alone.
"Faith Grange, fourteen." So twins, fraternal by the looks of them. Penelope had a mousy face with plain features, brown eyes and dirty blonde hair, and short. Her twin, Faith, had angel gold hair, not quite as pointy features, (but pointy nonetheless) and light sea green eyes. Who knew they could be so alike genetically yet so different physically? The next girl was Indian by the looks of her; a red dot on her forehead, pitch black hair and dark brown eyes matching her skin.
"Aidan Kapoor, seventeen." She rolled her eyes, she was defiantly a prep. What would a prep be doing here? Only one thing came to mind: Eating Disorder. She was a little thin but she didn't look like Paige, no, there had to be something else. Drugs? Suicide maybe? I couldn't figure it out. I'd probably find out in this stupid group therapy shit.
"Julia Verbanic, fifteen." Her albino like features made her look elfish, slightly pointed ears and nose, white blonde hair, snowflake skin and crystal blue eyes. She had no distinct outward issues; hers probably remained silent until her seemingly flawless plan cracked. Landing her here, in this padded prison for social outcasts (except for miss prep over there and her obvious hip attachment who happened to be saying her name.)
"Madelyn Carpenter, sixteen." She looked exactly like you'd expect a prep to look, blonde hair straightened to her shoulder with brown highlights. Her perky green eyes looked through her normally 'coated with every shade of make-up I can find' eyelids. Her voice even had that blonde barbie tone, ugh kill me.
"Morgan Taylor, fifteen." Her quiet voice was barely audible and she hid behind her long black hair; I couldn't even see her eyes let alone the color. She was what they would call goth, emo, but with no make-up and puke green scrubs on.
"Paige Sterling, sixteen." The girl sitting next to me who was so nice, I almost hoped she was my roommate. In some weird, crazy way she reminded me of Alexis.
The last girl in the circle of chairs was probably the youngest; she looked about thirteen with ash hair, light and feathery almost like she conditioned it too much. She didn't really fit into a category and she just sat there like she had a place in here. Her small shoulders rose and fell with her light breathing and I felt like she was just a child that she didn't belong with us; that she should be playing hopscotch and jump rope with her friends outside, or drawing a rainbow. Not sitting in a therapy room for kids with major issues; major enough to lock them up for weeks or months at a time.
"Sheylee Hartwick, thirteen." Even her name sounded innocent, I wonder why she's here in the first place. The boys started to rattle of their names; most of them looked alike, as alot of boys with the same crew cuts do.
"Jasper Wilder, fifteen." He had sandy blond hair cut like Justin Beiber, gross, and seemed like the preppy type, maybe.
"Kyle Volz, seventeen." He was a tall boy with a crew cut, black hair and dull blue eyes.
"Oliver Harland, fifteen." He was a small boy for fifteen, plain features and a deep voice.
"Kendall Kerrigan, seventeen." He looked similar to Jasper but with short hair, not much interest in them to be honest. I could care less about any boy but one; Jason.
"Well, that's all for today guys, it's time to go to your rooms." The doctor stood up and all the kids followed. I stayed seated and looked around at all the girls; hoping I wasn't paired with any of the preps.
When I was last one in the room and the doctor was holding the door open I got up. Walking into the room everyone had already diverged into their seperate rooms. So I walked into my room, the door labeled 82 A. I sat down on my bed and looked over at the one against the wall and a small girl was sitting on it; friendly and smiling she looked over at me; Paige Sterling.