Sometimes I dreamt of their screams, unable to think of anything else.
I was just temporarily working in the facility my father owned. It was for unstable individuals, supposedly it was meant to help them create better lives. I never saw any of the people get better. They just seemed to realize it was a safe place to sink within themselves and then... They lost everything they were.
Some were crazy. Well, maybe they all were. Some were just more obvious than others. Constantly there was screaming that could be heard halls away from the actual screamer. Sometimes I dreamt of their screams, unable to think of anything else.
She was kind of like that. I couldn't think of anything other than her face anymore. The tortured look behind her eyes intrigued me yet I still had not peaked at her file. I wanted her to want to tell me.
The first day I saw her my father instantly knew what was running through my mind. I remembered his warning. "Gerard, you need to watch yourself. This is a very dangerous line to cross. These people aren't very stable and... falling out of love isn't very easy." I don't know how he jumped to the conclusion of love. I mean, all I'd done was drop my notebook and stare in wonder. Maybe my speech stopped. Hell, my breathing might have stopped as well. He was a doctor. He probably noticed the things I had missed as I stared at the girl who was now in front of me.
That was three weeks ago when she'd first arrived.
My father must not have been too worried about me possibly 'falling in love' with her for he then scheduled me to work with her. I'd been here every single day, three times a night bringing her food and just sitting in her room. She never spoke a word.
Sometimes when I got too close she shook, as if she were afraid of me.
I really needed to know what was wrong which is what brought me to this point. "You don't have to say anything. I get that you're quiet. I mean, I've been seeing no one but you for the past few weeks... I'm starting to think maybe I'm quiet too. How can we go so long without speaking?" Stupid question. All I recieved was a blank stare.
"I know you can understand me though. I mean, you aren't stupid. None of the doctors on your case have spoken of any retardation..." At that she glared at me, as if insulted. It was nice to get a reaction from her. "I... It's beautiful outside today. Would you like to take a walk?" We had not gone outside of her room together. It was hard enough getting her to leave her room to see the three doctors she had to visit each week. I knew one was a therapist but as far as I knew she hadn't said a word to her either. The second checked her for any signs of her hurting herself. The third one... was a mystery. It was in her file, or I'd assume so. I simply took her to his office. I didn't know the doctor and my father never spoke of him.
She didn't say anything. I didn't expect her to. "Okay, so... I'm going to take a walk." I patted my stomach, grinning goofily. "I ate a pretty big lunch. I gotta start walking to get this flab off of me and on to someone else." Now I probably sounded absurd but then...
I'd never seen her smile before, not even a little.
"You're free to join me." I gestured towards the door, hoping she'd come with. It looked as if a little sun would do her some good. Sun made people happy, right? She hesitated but then slowly stood from her bed.
She was wearing some grey sweats and a dark hoodie. Come to think of it... I had never seen her wear anything that could be construed as revealing in any way. I'd never seen her arms or her legs or... really any part of her. I didn't know girls to be so concealing of their every body part. Usually it seemed to be quite the opposite.
My smile widened as she approached the door, stopping a few feet away from me. I opened the door and walked out, waiting for her to follow. I heard the soft click of her bedroom door and was pleased to see that she had not shut herself inside.
We walked down the hallway silently until I reached one of the guards. He nodded, saying nothing as well. I'd known him for a few years already and thankfully was not questioned often by any of the staff. I didn't particularly want to know what her therapist thought of her being outside. Most were allowed out without a problem but she hadn't committed herself. I vaguely remember a family member being mentioned. I also remembered hearing of a family member of hers passing away about a week ago. I didn't know if it was the same family member though and if so, what would happen in that situation.
I watched as the fresh air hit her unsuspecting face. She flinched, stopping in place. I paused as well waiting to see if she would adjust or just run back inside. I didn't know too much about her just yet. I had no idea as to what I should expect in any given situation.
The smile that touched her lips amazed me. She looked like a small child, opening her eyes to the world for the first time. I noticed a spark of happiness which took over the spot her troubles seemed to have settled. Her hand reached out for the clean, clear air and her fingers wiggled around but she still said nothing. Would she ever speak to me?
I began to walk, hearing her footsteps behind me. I'd never thought this far ahead. I never knew I'd get her to go on a walk with me. It was honestly just a spur of the moment idea. I just wanted to see her happy. I needed to see that tortured look disappear; even if it was only gone for a second or so.
"So, my dad wants me to study psychology... I guess so that I can take his place here. He really cares about this place." I paused, biting my lip. Was she even listening to me? I had the feeling that she was. "He really, really cares about this place... but I don't think he really cares about the patients." He doesn't care about you like I do, for a creepy example that I'll never use. "I think he lost that quickly, just as the others seem to. They become numb to the suffering around them." I looked to find her glancing at me curiously. We both stopped, staring each other down. "I don't want to lose that part of me... the part that drives me to fix things. I don't want to take his spot." Wow. I'd never said that out loud.
The first actual communication I recieved from her was a quick head nod but she quickly looked away, as if she'd done something wrong. I didn't know what to say so I remained quiet as we stood in place.
The lovely park atmosphere outside of the institution was calm and quiet until a yell broke through. I looked towards the noise, curiously. It seemed a patient was getting violent and one of the guards was handling it. It was always painful to watch. It amazed me how people became numb to other human beings around them. The obvious pain was only temporarily shoved away with a needle filled with a drug that would send them in to a calm mood that would never last. I just couldn't take it. The more I saw; the more I wanted to choose a different profession. I didn't actually believe that anyone was being helped here... I didn't believe that at all.
Another shout fell upon the victimized patient's lips as the medication began to do it's horrid job. I heard a small noise and turned just in time to see her fall to the ground, eyes widened in obvious fear.
"Hey, it's okay..." I tried to sound as calm as possible but I was worried she would freak out. I knew some of the patients were quite small and still packed quite a punch when they freaked out... Would I be able to handle her? If I couldn't then we would both face consequences for me bringing her out without permission. How could I be so stupid?
I stepped closer, though slowly.
I watched as she scooted back hesitantly. Then I realized there was something jutting out of the ground, her blood smeared over it. She was hurt. Like a wounded animal she scooted away, keeping her eyes glued to me.
Her sweats were torn right near her knee where the object had cut through when she'd fallen. The screams must have startled her but as she turned away she fell, hurting herself. "Is... is it okay if we go back together now?" I knew from my time with her already that she didn't like being touched so I kept my distance. "I can clean your cut and bandage it... If you want."
Slowly, her eyes trained on me the entire time, she got to her feet. I realized that she was waiting for me to walk in front of her and so I did, listening intently for the sounds of her footsteps. Last thing I needed to do was lose one of my father's patients.
It seemed to take forever to reach her room again but once inside I left her there, closing the door behind me. I had to grab a first aid kit, which they kept in each hallway for the night nurses.
I knocked lightly before re-entering her room, knowing she would not suddenly speak to give permission for me to enter. I was beginning to get used to her silence though I still found myself wondering what her voice was like.
The confused look she gave me made me chuckle a little. "Did you think I was gone for the night?" I asked, trying to be overly friendly for her sake. She needed to know safety, that much was clear. "You can't get rid of me so easily. Now..." I set the first aid kit on the bed beside her. "Would you like me to clean and bandage the cut or... would you prefer I not touch you?"
She suddenly stood and for a second I thought she was going to throw the first aid kit at my head but instead she gently traced her fingers along the box, leaving it alone as she left to the small adjoining bathroom.
So, I waited.
What else could I do?
My knee didn't really hurt all that badly. It was nothing compared to the bruises that still lined my legs and stomach. I'd been in the institution for three damn weeks. The bruises along my arms and on my face had faded but... none of the others had. One of the doctors mumbled about the severity of the bruising being due to the fact that new bruises arrived upon my body before the old ones could even heal.
I didn't want to be here. I didn't want to be anywhere. Then again that was why I was here.
Jason, my uncle, didn't want me to do anything stupid. He didn't want me to kill myself and... kill myself I would. Given the chance I'd do it in a heart beat.
So, what did this Gerard Way kid want? He looked so fucking innocent. He didn't know a fucking thing about the world or the things that happened.
He was just working under his father. He was some rich kid that tried to look in to the less fortunate's lives with a fucking microscope and some medication. That didn't qualify as experience.
But I had to admit that he had dedication. He was here every single fucking day. I marked it on the calendar under my bed. He'd been coming to see me for nearly three weeks now but why? I didn't understand.
The fabric of my sweats slid down my bruised legs, leaving me in a hoodie and my plain underwear. There was a time when I would die to be the sexiest, the most noticed... Now I would die for the chance to no longer be seen by anyone. Things changed so fast, or so it seemed.
I opened the bathroom door hesitantly. Would he even still be in my bedroom, waiting?
"Hi." He choked out, as if he'd never seen someone without pants on before.
Then again he had probably never seen a person with so many bruises before.
I nodded, saying nothing. What were words? Words were one of the many things I'd had used against me.
"So..." Gerard cleared his throat, looking away for a moment. "Am I the one cleaning the cut?"
He didn't look at me and for a split second I actually felt bad. Was the sight of my bruises really hurting him this badly? He had to be... fairly in tune to even try to understand what the bruises meant. Most people didn't even think about it. "Would you mind?" My throat was dry, tickling me as the words slipped out. My voice sounded so foreign, having been unused for quite awhile.
Gerard's entire body snapped towards me, startling me for a second. His eyes widened. "Did you... did you just talk?"
"Yeah. I'm not unable to speak." I explained, realizing it actually felt nice to speak without consequences. Or would there be consequences later for this? The consequences were never upfront, never. "I just choose not to."
Gerard nodded, "I... kind of figured." He grabbed for the first aid kit, dropping it at first. "So... I'm going to dab along the cut, cleansing it... It'll burn a little bit." He informed me.
"Don't worry about hurting me." I mumbled, realizing he was much more sensitive to others than I'd thought before.
"The only time I'll ever hurt you is when it'll help you." Gerard said, blushing once the words left his lips.
I couldn't look at him as I wondered just what brought people to hurt one another. I'd gone too far down that road with that information missing. I doubted I'd ever figure out why it happened, or what made the person who'd hurt me... the way he now was. That was him. I was me. I was slowly starting to figure out the difference. He was no longer in my life. We were two seperate beings. It was a hard concept but one I was slowly learning on my own. Sure, I could talk to the fucking therapist but... I didn't want to. I didn't want her to talk to me in that condescending tone. She would never understand. No therapist ever would. The pain I felt was something that couldn't be taught in some goddamn school.
I didn't even flinch at the small burn but when Gerard placed his hand against my leg I jumped, unused to the feel of skin gently brushing against my own skin. "These look painful." He whispered, emotions drowning his words.
"They remind me of why I'm here." It was true. Every day I thought of leaving but then I realized just why Jason had admitted me. He didn't want me to hurt anymore. He found out what was going on and he did the only thing he could to protect me. He wasn't strong enough to go to the police but then again... neither was I. For the time being I found safety behind these walls.
"And why is that?" Gerard asked, holding his breath.
"Just think about it." I muttered, looking away from him.
I heard the wrapper of the bandage and soon enough Gerard was pressing it against my cut. He stepped away quickly, as if afraid of staying near me for too long. My victimization was not contagious.
"Thank you." He had been fairly kind to me. He didn't deserve the way I acted.
"Do you feel like being here is helping you?" Gerard asked softly.
I looked back at him, knowing that he was searching for a reason to stay. I'd listened to everything he'd told me despite my silence. "I'm not here for reasons that most people are but I think that... to an extent this place does help them. Despite all of our different situations it all provides us with one major resource."
(This is just an idea I've been toying with.)