Photo Credit: kozarevets story 2by ~pstoev
My hand drags along the rough surface of the white plastic table. Everything is white here. The floors, chairs, walls, even the paper cups they bring that remind me of the ones I used to dip my fries into. But instead of ketchup these hold three little pills.
“Meds, Meg,” the nurse, dressed in white scrubs, says to me.
I don’t bother looking at her; she’s faceless like the rest of them. Instead I grab my pills and the other white cup containing two swallows of lukewarm tap water. I don’t mind the blue pills. They keep me calm. But I cheek the other two. The dreams will come again and I know they’re the key to understanding. To remembering.
There is movement outside on the lawn and my eyes struggle to focus through the dingy windows. It looks like the staff organized a game or something. Finally the meds nurse turns away from me and I spit out the two pills into my hand then press the chalky wet mess into my pocket.
“Wanna dance?” Ashlyn asks. Her bright red hair is striking against the sea of white.
“Uh, no thanks,” I say, but realize she wasn’t talking to me in the first place.
She scoots along the common room floor, twirling and singing to herself, a Raggedy Anne doll in her outstretched hands makes the perfect dance partner. I’m not sure why she’s here, but she’s pretty damaged.
We all are, I guess. But I wonder if any of them did it to themselves, or if someone did it to them. And I wonder which one of those categories I fall into.
I wish. It doesn’t matter what I wish anymore. But sometimes, no, all the time, I wish I hadn’t gone that day. Josh invited me over after school. He told me to be there at four. I was crushing on him for months before he finally asked.
I remember how the old bike wailed against the pressure of my feet pumping the petals as I raced toward the house. His house. It’d been raining all day and the damp air promised another bout of it. I wanted to get there before it started again.
After propping the bike against an outbuilding, I walked over and knocked. There weren’t footsteps coming from the other side of the door, more like scraping then a rattling, like a snake.
Then my world went blank, white, like this room. I don’t remember who answered the door. In fact, I don’t remember anything after I knocked. I woke up days later in the hospital. Mom said someone found me walking my bike down the middle of the freeway talking gibberish.
“Time to go back to your room, Meg,” Another nurse in white tells me.
I leave the table and the commons, heading in a group back to our rooms. I sit on my bed and know that the nightmares will come, hoping that this time I’ll remember.
(c) 2010, MB
Don't forget to check out my fellow YAFFer's stories based on the same photo: