short story
2002-10-06, 12:19 p.m.

okay I just updated literally 5 minutes ago but I was just sickened with the realization of what this diary has turned into. Another stupid food diary that sounds all the same. I don't want to be the same. How trite and lame I am to say 'I want to be different! Impacting! Something special!' but hey It's the fucking truth. I will now post the rough draft of the short story I wrote and maybe ramble on about something else afterwards if I feel like it:


a fictional short story

I sit and stare at my feet concentrating on not moving. Erin is a hawk for body language. I feel something rise in my throat and I try to clear it without catching Erin�s attention and interrupting whoever is talking about their terrible childhood. Cautiously, I clear my throat and half cough. A girl with heavy black eye makeup, black clothing, and bottle black hair stops mid-sentence. Erin, our group therapy leader, looks over at me. �Melissa?,� She says kindly, �Are you ready to talk today?� I pull my legs up to my chest and play with my shoelaces ignoring her question.
The group�s stare burns through me. I begin to count the stripes on the wallpaper to get my mind off their gazes. 1, 2, 3...tan, white, tan, white. An unwanted thought creeps into my head as Erin and the other three group crazies start talking again. How did I end up here? Did I make a mistake sometime in my life that destined me to be stuck in a psychiatric hospital? Everyday I�m forced to go to group and individual therapy while other girls my age go to school and to the mall to giggle at boys. Am I the problem here and not the things happening to be or have happened? I don�t know, but what can I expect when I don�t allow myself to think. Every thought that is remotely difficult to think about is pushed down with all of my other emotions in a useless attempt to avoid their affect. I know I�ve failed, though, when I end up in a crazy hospital. Suddenly I snap back into reality and see three girls and Erin standing up. Group therapy is over.
I wander into the dining hall lagging behind the rest of my group. I go through the line not meeting the eye of the workers handing out food. It doesn�t matter what it is, I�m not going to eat it anyways. I sit with my group as required and pick at my food. From the corner of my eye I see hospital attendants eyeing me. If I�m not careful, they�ll add �eating disorder� to the seemingly endless list of things wrong with me. I imagine it would say something like, �Depressed, suicidal, hostile, withdrawn, anti-social, a danger to herself.� I shudder at the thought of seeing eating disorder at the end of that, and force myself to pick up my fork with a lump of mashed potatoes on it. I raise my fork to my mouth and feel the potatoes grow sour in my mouth. I quickly lift my napkin to my mouth to use my tongue to push it out. I can�t do this. Quickly I roll up the napkin and drop them on my plate. Lowering my head I see a tear hit my black sweat pants.
The Goth is talking to another girl in our group, an anorexic who looks emancipated and like a sudden gust of wind could break her thin, fragile body. The anorexic is picking at her food, much like I am, both saying the food is disgusting. I don�t say anything about the food. I don�t say anything at all. To them or anyone. They don�t expect me to anymore. I don�t expect myself to do much of anything, either. I push my tray to the side and bring my knees up to my chest once again. I let my knees catch the warm tears coming involuntarily from my eyes down my cheeks and dropping off the end of my face.
The third girl in our group, a drug addict, taps me. I look up and meet her crystal blue eyes with my plain, brown eyes. She looks blurry from all the tears gathering in my eyes. �Are you okay?,� she asks. Okay? How could I ever be okay? I will myself to speak, to even shake my head, but nothing happens. I feel frozen and surprise myself when I stand up quickly and walk out of the dining hall. I know I�ll get in trouble for leaving without being excused at the proper time, but my head hurts too much for me to care. Not eating nearly anything for weeks is really starting to wear on me.
Because I left without being excused yesterday, my phone privileges to call home have been revoked for a week. I don�t know why they�ll think I care, I haven�t called or spoken to anyone since I�ve got here. I have individual therapy in ten minutes and I have to be escorted because I can�t be trusted. I walk near the wall with an attendant to get to Claire�s office. I stare at my feet as we shuffle down the hall. I feel light headed and my feet blur. I reach the door of Claire�s office and know I need to sit down. I wish I could nap for this hour instead of staring out the window. It feels like something is giving away inside of me and exhaustion waves over me. I take my usual place gratefully on the end of the couch. Anything to be able to sit down. The room shifts and rights itself again. I try to will the room to stand still and make my eyes focus but it�s hard. I look up at Claire and feel tears form in my eyes. Why do I keep doing that? I just keep crying. You�d think I�d dry up and dissolve away. That�d be be able to dissolve away. To never have to wake up in this miserable place again.
�Good morning, Melissa,� Claire says professionally. This is all so routine. I hear this everyday. The same good morning and see the same look she gives me. It�s like she�s trying to look deep inside of me and rip a secret out. She hands me a Kleenex box not acknowledging my tears. Maybe it�s the fact that I haven�t ate that I am so emotional, maybe I�m just naturally like that, but something just gives away with in me. I fall, fall, fall deep down into a hole. My support is ripped out from under me and I plummet into darkness and start to sob. Claire looks at me differently then she usually does. Like her heart is hurting with me. �Melissa, dear.� she says softly in-between sobs. �Why won�t you tell us what�s bothering you? Hmm?� She looks at me deeply, eye to eye. �We can help, you know.� I just continue to sob, taking in her words, almost giving in to opening my mouth. Nothing happens when I try to speak though. It�s like my tongue grows to huge size and I can�t fit the words out. Eventually, the clock says time is up. Claire closes her notebook and stands up. She walks over to me to indicate I need to stand up to but I don�t think I can. I hold on to the arm of the couch and put my feet on the ground. Suddenly, my face sees the carpet, and I see Claire�s shoes. Then darkness.
It�s white everywhere. I wake up in a white, sterile room. I�m in a bed with white sheets and blankets and white walls. I hear a murmur of voices outside my door. I catch a few words here and there. �Suicide attempt...� �No. She isn�t anorexic. She was trying to starve herself to death.� So they figured it out. I guess they�re not as dumb as I thought they were. I try to pull my arms to my side but see an IV in one. The machine makes a small dripping noise. A doctor comes in and checks the bottle connected to my arm and checks some papers. She nods at me when she notices I�m awake. �You gave people quite a scare.� he says. I don�t meet eyes with him. I don�t like looking at people in the eyes. Eyes are too pure and honest. I�m afraid of what his eyes will tell me. He walks over to my free arm and gives me an injection and tells me to rest for awhile and that the bottle and tube is giving me my proper nutrients. I let my heavy eyelids shut and I start to fall into a dreamy sleep. I try to not remember the sobbing, and something giving away in me in Claire�s office. I try not to remember how tired I am, emotionally, not physically. I try not to remember how much things hurt and how much I wish people could help me. Before I am able to force one more thing out of me, I fall asleep.
When I return back to the ward, I feel panicky. Like everything is moving too slow. I walk to appointments quickly, usually ahead of my escorts. In group therapy, I get so irritated with everyone talking on and on. The clock seems to move slow but my world is spinning around me quickly. My thoughts reel around me faster and faster. It reminds me of a time when I was sick as a kid and the room span around me and I was so scared. This time I�m not scared though, just anxious. I don�t know what for, just I need to keep moving. I sit the same as I usually do, with my knees drawn near me, but I tap endlessly. I tap the chair, my shoe, my hand, my legs. Anything to keep moving. I think I irritate Claire and Erin and the rest of the girls with my endless taping but I can�t stop. After one particularly slow day, I go to bed reluctantly. I can�t sleep. Thoughts are moving so quickly in my head. Thoughts I�ve pushed behind me that I won�t myself think about usually. Suddenly it�s like the wind is knocked of me. Like a great big thunder bolt hit me, or a weight was dropped on top of me. My whole body aches as I see my father ignoring me, my mother cursing at me. I see objects hitting me over the head and my mother being connected to the hands that hurt me physically and crush me emotionally. I see friends turning their backs and days in bed where I felt too drained to move. I see arms full of scars and cuts self-inflicted. I see people shaking their heads at me and grades I couldn�t manage to pull up. I see myself utterly alone, crying, shaking, huddled in a ball. Except that wasn�t only in the past, it was me now. Sitting on this hospital bed I�m sobbing, on and on. But now it seems like these tears aren�t good enough this time. They don�t get it out. Immediately I�m up and I grab the first thing I can put my hands on to. It�s my hairbrush. I throw it against the wall and scream. I reach down below to dresser drawers and easily take them out with one hand. Clothes and drawers are being thrown, some together, some separate. I don�t hear the cracks of objects or voices of other patients. I all I hear are my own sobs and all I hear are my parents calling me a mistake and worthless. All I hear is my mother calling me a pain and stupid. Anything I can get a hold of is being punished by me and thrown. My screams echo in my head along with my sobs. I feel myself dragged to the ground by heavy men dressed in white and I am just crying now the screams stopping because my throat is so sore. I don�t bother resisting their force. I cry and cry till they let go and have giving me some kind of injection. I feel weightless, being carried back to bed and seeing my stuff remotely placed together.
I see light peering through a window and I open my eyes. They feel sore and hot. I look around me and see drawers placed as they were suppose to be and wonder if it was all a dream, but I see some broken and cracked objects heaped together so I know it wasn�t. I get up and look around unsure of what to do. I pull out one of the drawers that seemed so light last night, but heavy now. I slip into some jeans and start to head down the hallway knowing exactly where I am going.
I end up in front of Claire�s office sitting in a chair. I know I�m not suppose to be there for a few more hours, but I sit anyways. I don�t know how long I was sitting there when Claire walked up in a coat and holding some kind of case. Claire looks at me, puzzled, and unlocks her door allowing me to walk in ahead of her. She sits down, seemingly unaware of my presence, putting things in order at the start of her day. She removes her coat and shuffles some papers while I stare blankly at the floor through my knees. I have them placed up against me, with my feet on the edge of the couch. Claire seems settled, folds her hands, and look at me. �What�s brought you here so early, Melissa?� I stare at her blankly, wondering if this was a mistake. I wonder what I planned to say to her as I come here. Suddenly it all comes clear to me. What I want now and what I need. I try to search for the words in my head. I haven�t had to think of anything to say in so long this process seems so foreign. I open my mouth, cough, and try again. She looks at me intensely and it seems like nothing could break her stare off of me. �I...� start to say. My voice sounds weak and scratchy. I cough and clear my throat and try again. I see Claire�s deep green eyes and her emerald green outfit that matches perfectly. I see how concerned she looks and I remember her asking me to tell her what�s bothering me. I remember her saying she can help. And I want that, I know I need that help. I decide to try again. �I...I don�t want to hurt like this anymore.�