Insanity was where she was truly happy. It was the only thing keeping her sane. One-shot with Mikey.
“Don’t worry dear, it will be okay,” he smiled and then continued to walk. It didn’t make me feel any better. In fact it made me feel more alone. I knew everything wasn’t going to be okay. I had left all my friends behind and now I was alone. I was all alone. I was alone with my thoughts, the one thing I didn’t want. When I was alone with my thoughts, it drove me up the wall. It wasn’t good for me but my parents and husband insisted on it. I needed time out; I needed to get away for a while. They didn’t know what was best for me. No one knew what was best for me. Only I knew. And I knew the best for me wasn’t staying here. I had to find a way out.
“Okay dear, now this is your room. I will let you settle in and I will be back in ten minutes. Your roommate’s name is Bella and she is one of the friendliest girls here,” he smiled that same smile again and left. I stood outside the door for a moment until I had enough courage to put my hand on the doorknob. That was as far as I could go before the door had swung open before me. Almost sending my head over heels into the room. I looked up to see a young girl. She looked about my age, maybe a year older. She had short black hair that went just below her ears. She had pink tips. Her eyes were piercing. Gray, blue in colour, like nothing I had seen before. Her skin was flawless and very pale. She looked at me and smiled. Her teeth were sparkling. I envied this girl.
“I thought I heard people talking. Come in, you must be my new roommate. I am Bella,” she held out her hand waiting for me to shake it. Hesitantly I did. She stepped aside to allow me to enter the room. There were two small beds both with bedside tables. The walls were a soft yellow colour. There were some painting and posters of bands on one of the walls; I assumed that was her side. Some of the bands I liked. I smiled. There was a built in cupboard. My clothes would fit in there with some extra room. There was a small couch with a TV opposite it.
“It isn’t what I expected,” I said. Bella gave a small laugh and then walked over to the bed, where she sat down legs crossed.
“That is exactly what I thought when I first came here. Movies don’t really nail it,” she saw me looking up at the posters and then smiled.
“Are you allowed to have them up?” I wondered aloud.
“Mhmm. We can have anything that makes us feel more comfortable. Do you like any of them?” I glanced at the wall again. I nodded and smiled. I smiled a genuine smile for the first time in a long while.
“Man, I am so rude. I didn’t even ask what your name is?” she was smiling up at me with her perfect teeth. That was going to take some getting used to. I walked over to the spare bed and plopped my bag down on it.
“Rose,” I sat down on the bed. She nodded and opened her drawer. She pulled out a set of three different coloured strings.
“What are you doing?” I didn’t mean to sound alarmed but it came out that way.
“Chill, I am making you a friendship bracelet. Do you like purple, blue and black?” she asked. I nodded and she plaited the strings. She was done in a few seconds and then she came over and wrapped it around my wrist, tying a knot to keep it together.
“Thanks,” I mumbled. It felt weird, speaking to someone so normally in this place. She smiled wider and then went back to her bed.
“So, tell me about yourself, you seem pretty tense,” well that was stating the obvious. I glanced down to my unpacked duffel bag. I knew in there were photos. It would help to have visual aid, but I thought to leave some things a mystery. After my few seconds of silence, Bella asked again.
“Like, do you have a boyfriend, what are your friends like, where are you from?” I smiled at the word boyfriend. He was much more than that.
“Umm, well I am married and I have two little kids. Oliver is 3 and Elise is 18 months,” Bella looked pleased but at the same time surprised.
“What is that look for?” I asked.
“You just look a little young to be married with two kids. Sorry I don’t mean to pry,” I was at first taken back by her statement. But then I relaxed; it wasn’t like I hadn’t heard anyone say that before.
“No its okay, Oliver came when I was just 20. I got married a year later. But I am originally from Belleville, Jersey. What about you?” again her face looked shocked. It wasn’t the first time someone flinched when I said I was from Belleville. I got that all the time.
“From here. Born and raised. Always been the big city girl,” she was smiling wide but then it vanished, like she couldn’t bear to think of everything she was missing out on in the real world. I thought of my husband and two kids. How I missed so much already. I wanted to go see them.
“You know, you don’t seem like you really belong here. You seem just like an average person,” I was glad someone understood and was thinking the same way I was. All I needed was some time out and I opted for Hawaii, but no. They decided a few months here would be best for me. There was a knock at the door and Bella bounced off the bed to answer it.
“I am glad to see you have settled in. Here is the schedule for the daily activities. Feel free to contact me or any other one of the staff if you need anything,” the supervisor smiled and closed the door behind him. Bella sat back on her bed and it was the first time I realised. I looked around the room and saw that there was no clock.
“Umm, how am I meant to tell the time?” I asked Bella. She looked me directly in the eyes.
“Time isn’t important in here as it is in the real world. In here, we have all the time we need,”
6 WEEKS LATER
I had been stuck in this hell hole for six weeks now. Bella said that I would get used to it after a week or two, but I still wasnt. I was craving my own bed and pillow and my warm house. And beloved husband and children. I wanted out. Bella also said that, that would wear off after two weeks. Again, it hadn’t. I stayed awake at night staring at me ceiling thinking. Thoughts swirling around in my head. Sometimes it got to the point where I was physically sick. I ran to the bathroom just across the hall and tried not the throw up. I had to splash water on my face to cool me down. It was June and I broke out into sweats in the middle of the night. Luckily none of the supervisors seemed to have noticed. If they had, they turned a blind eye. I knew myself I wasn’t meant to be here. I was like the others. I was perfectly alert and aware. It was just sometimes I liked to live in my own world, in my head. I had grown accustom to the food. It wasn’t like true home cooking but it wasn’t all that bad. It was dining with everyone else that I wasn’t used to yet. It felt like high school all over again. But this time I didn’t have the support of my friends or my then boyfriend. Bella and Ebony were my only two friends, and even then, they were with the shrink so often, it left me alone most of the time. I had learnt that Ebony was sexually abused from when she was just 12. She started to hang out with the wrong crowd when she was 15 and got into drugs and alcohol. I started to think it was like rehab to her but then I found out the rest of her story. She had set alight the house she had lived in when she was younger. While her step-parents were inside. Apparently, she either went to jail or came here. I don’t think she really had a choice.
Bella on the other hand wasn’t as bad off. Bella just didn’t like being told what to do. You could call her an extreme rebel. I was glad in some ways that I wasn’t sharing a room with a schizophrenic. However, sharing a room with Bella did have some down sides. Sometimes at night, I would hear her cry and that would make me start crying. One night we both stayed up crying but then she stopped and acted like nothing happened. It was as if she didn’t want to admit she missed the real world. I would after being here for 12 months. I had only been here six weeks and I craved to be outside. To be free. Nobody had come to visit me. I felt like I had been betrayed but then I understood. Mikey was looking after the kids. And well it wasn’t exactly an up-the-road drive. It was at least an hour away from our house. So I sat here, on my bed. Staring up at the posters on the wall. My Chemical Romance. I stopped at that poster and smiled. There was my husband and my brother-in-law. They pretty much were all my brother-in-law’s but Gerard was the only one by blood.
“Rose, Dr. Morgan will see you now,” the supervisor was standing at my door smiling. Ugh, an hour session with the doctor. It was the same every week. He would ask why I was there and I would say I had no idea. But this time it was different.
I stepped into the doctor’s office expecting it to be like every other time. But this time I noticed an extra seat. All up, three seats. Every other week there were only two.
“Rose come and sit down. I have a special something for you,” he pointed to behind me and when I turned around I saw him standing there.
“MIKEY!” I screamed. I lunged forward and embraced him in a bear hug. I took in his scent. He smelt like the last time I had seen him, six weeks ago. Like coffee mixed with his cologne. He stroked my hair as I rested my head in the crook of his neck.
“Please, both of you take a seat,” Dr. Morgan was pointing to the two empty seats, which we now filled.
“Okay, Rose. Let’s start, why do you think you are here?” I rolled my eyes and Mikey squeezed my ha0dn and nodded.
“I don’t know. I believe I am perfectly fine. Mikey how are Oliver and Elise?” I was now turning to face Mikey but he was looking at the doctor. I felt like they were having a private conversation in their heads about me. I didn’t like it.
“Mikey? Dr. Morgan? What is going on?” They both ignored my question.
“Rose, why don’t we start by you explain to me what your children look like,” I smiled to him and then to Mikey. We had the most adorable children. I started describing me children to the Dr. Oliver had light brown hair. It was scruffy and never stayed in its place. Just like his uncle’s. His eyes were exactly like mine. Light brown but in the sun they went hazel. There wasn’t much to describe about his body. He was still only three but he did love playing outside. Loved climbing trees. I was always worrying he was going to fall out and hurt himself. Touch wood, it hadn’t happened yet. He was also very much into banging things. His Uncle Bob was so very proud. He was much like I was at that age. Elise on the other hand was more like her dad. She had darker hair, more chocolate in colour. Her eyes were green with flickers of blue. Her smile was gorgeous and never did I see her without. Except the day I left to come here. She loved to cook inside and loved to sing. I guess for the kids to grow up so much around music, some of it had to rub off. I heard some sniffling and it made me stop. I looked over to Mikey to see he was crying. Not little sobs but tears rolling down his cheeks.
“Mikey what’s wrong?” he said nothing but just squeezed my hand tighter.
“Rose, I am sorry to say this but I have to. You don’t have any children. Both times you miscarried and lost your children. I am sorry but you are living in a fantasy world. Sorry to say but you are suffering from delusional behaviour,” Mikey started to cry harder. This was some sick joke, I thought in my head. The room felt like it was spinning. My head was saying a million different things at once.
“You are a liar. I have two children. Oliver and Elise,” I stood up to walk out of the room but Mikey wouldn’t let go of my hand.
“Mikey tell him he is lying,” he said nothing.
“I ... am so...sorry baby. I...love you...so much,” he managed to get out through tears. I started to scream. And scream and scream and scream. I don’t know why but I did. They were all lying. All of them. Supervisors had come in at this stage and they were trying to grab me. I was kicking and trashing about while they were trying to get me out of the room. I saw Mikey in tears sitting at the chair. He mouthed ‘I love you’ to me before I was taken out of the room. He supervisors took me across the hall and into a room I had never been in. They put me down on a soft bad and tied me down with restraints. I felt the pinch of a needle go into my arm. The light faded away and then all I saw was black.
10 YEARS LATER
I stood on the other side of the two way mirror. Looking at her beautiful face. Talking to people as if they were really there. 10 years ago, my wife, Rose, was diagnosed with having delusional behaviour. We had lost two children but for some reason she believed they will still alive and growing. Now she spent her days in this room, talking to ‘Oliver’ and ‘Elise’ – our supposed two children. I couldn’t bear to look anymore. I turned my back to the window and stared at the white wall. It had been 10 years since I had lost my wife. Not her body, but her mind and soul. It died along with our two children.
“Is there any chance?” I asked the doctor. I asked him this every day. And every day I got the same answer.
“I’m sorry Mr. Way,” he touched my shoulder and walked away. I turned back to my wife. Our at least, my wife’s body. I knew I couldn’t keep living like this. One day I was going to be sick as well. I had to be strong. For Rose. I know she would want me to. I whispered I love you through the glass, even though I knew she couldn’t hear me. I began to walk away and the nurse looked over to me from behind her desk.
“Will we be seeing you again tomorrow Mikey?” every other day I would have said of course. But today was the day I began to let go.
“No, Mary. You won’t”