“Shawna your parents are going to be here soon to come see you and you’re not even dressed.”
I turned and looked at the glowing, happy nurse standing in my door way she had luscious blonde curly hair and spectacular blue eyes and fair complexion. Her blue eyes complimented her outstanding curvy body, which helped support her buoyant D-cup breasts that would peek every time her shirts V-neck came eye level when she would bend over to release the brakes on my wheelchair. I hated her for everything she had. Good looks, job, a boyfriend or husband who probably pleasure her every need and she just flashes it in front of a psych ward patient! This lady is nuts, doesn’t she know how much I hate her and this place I’m in.
“So are you excited about your parents coming?”
I sat in silence, like I would ever be excited to see my parents they are the reason I’m in here.
“You know eventually you’ll open up to me. The faster you do the faster you get out of here.”
Yeah whatever, she throws that in my face every time my parents come to visit. She rolls me down the hall to take me back to my room to get ready.
“Now Shawna do you want to wear your jeans or skirt?”
I continue to say nothing and just stare down the blank hallway. Everything is white. No color or pictures just white. The smell of this place I far will never leave me. I keep staring ignoring the rest of the things she keeps saying. Counting the seconds it takes till we reach my room. We finally pull up to my room her talking is constant still going on and on. She opens my room door and looks at me
“Are you even listening to me?”
I look her straight in the eye and get up walk into my room and shut the door in her face. She doesn’t knock on my door or come barging in I just hear a sigh and her leaving with the wheel chair. Finally I got rid of the bitch but not for long she’ll be back soon as my parents get here. Luckily I was put in a room where I had a very small window that over looked the parking lot so I could see if their SUV pulls up. I put on my black V-neck shirt and some dark boot cut jeans and sneakers. I throw my hair up in a ponytail and open my room door and peer down the hallway to make sure the coast was clear.
I went towards the west side of the building and took the stairs all the way to the roof I checked behind to make sure I wasn’t followed shook the handle to see if it was unlocked and then opened the door to the roof. I then made my way behind one of the big vents where I found Mark in our usual stash spot. We are able to sneak out on the roof because Mark knows how to pick locks. Thank God for Mark. Although we never talk to each other we both knew why access to the roof was so important. He pulled the vent off and reached in and pulled out a medium sized wooden box. Our stash.
Next he opened the lid reached out and pulled out the pipe I was able to smuggle in and he loaded a bowl and handed to me to take the first hit. I smiled lit, pulled, held and then released all my stress in the smoke that expelled from my body. Mark and I have never said a word to each other but I believe he understands me and the things that go on around here better than me. Apparently he admitted himself. I have no idea why anyone would want to be stuck here. But I can clearly see he’s been through a lot. The way his jaw tenses when he’s in deep thought. Also the depth of his sorrow in his eyes but the fake reflection of a light, a spark in his soul he tries so hard to front. And the use of his shaggy long hair that cuts in front of his eyes at times as an extra shield. And his devilish charming smile he gives when he understands the stress that has been relieved because of our sanctuary. But most of all I see it in his drawing and sketches. So freeing, it’s like all of him whether he knows it or not is expressed on paper in one big movement. The way his pencil glides across his paper. So enchanting to see someone step into world where they can take you if you pay attention. He feels guilt too but for what reason I am not sure. Either way he gets good shit for us to smoke. I hit it one more time after I smile and hand it back to him and get up to leave. I look back at him and find him staring at me. I turn back around and continue walking.
I sneak back to my room spray some perfume and brush my teeth as soon as I wipe my mouth there’s a knock on my door. I open and Miss Perky Chest is in front of me with a wheel chair. I’m tired of the damn wheel chair at first I was doing it as protest against my parents and the staff but they didn’t seem to care less. My psychiatrist said I would eventually give up. She was right. I walked past the blonde and went straight towards the visitors lounge let’s just get it over with. I walk in and both my parents are sitting on the couch in the far right corner in the room. As I crossed the room and got closer I realized my mother had a much larger bag with her as well as more bags under her eye. My father just sits back probably with the same mentality as I. He believes I’m being a child and doesn’t tolerate me acting like this way but my mother believes I need help. I mean I guess who could blame her when she finds her daughter won’t eat or drink anything and is determined to waste away. But I don’t need help. As soon as I’m in arm’s length my mom grabs me in a big hug.
“No wheelchair today that’s great honey.”
She looks at the nurse and she just shrugs in I change my mind tomorrow she didn’t give my mom any false hopes. I sit down on a lounge chair across from them and there’s a small coffee table between us. My mother sits down back next to my father and starts going on about my dad, school, work and I just sit there in silence. Finally she grabs her bag and sets it on the table. For some reason all the air in the room is gone.
She pulls out a black sketch book. My little brothers. My mom opens up to the last page. The breath completely expelled from my body. I was a sketching of the landscape of our spot that we us to get away from arguing parents, smoke, and just talk. So many conversations. I began to feel overwhelmed and then the rage came I slammed the book shut and ran and ran. I reached the front and realized I was locked in so I backed tracked toward the west side and went to the roof.
I climbed those stairs and yanked the door open not caring if I got caught when I got to the top I was so out of breath. And then I saw the edge and I wanted to jump. I walked up to it and stepped onto the ledge. I stood and looked over the top I was only four stories up so I would have to land right in order to succeed. I looked out over the horizon the sun was setting and the air smelled like rain was coming. I closed my eyes and started to count to three. One. I started to spread my arms out. Two. One more breath and shut my eyes. Thr-. Next thing I know I was on the floor struggling with someone larger than me. I started kicking and screaming.
“Hey! Hey stop your okay it’s just me.”
I heard his voice for the first time. I looked at him from behind since he had his arms around me from behind sitting on the floor. When I saw it was him he relaxed a little but didn’t let me go.
“Now if I let go will you promise you’re not going to try that again.”
I nodded. I never realized how fit he was till I landed on his toned chest and didn’t realize his strong arms till he was helping me off the floor. Till now. I didn’t know what to do I just stood there in a little bit of shock.
“I think we should burn.” He said as he turned walking toward our spot. “Come on Shawna.”
I’m a little hesitant but I finally go. As I sit beside him he hands me the pipe.
“I saw what your mom brought. Must have been something in there that upset you but whatever it is it’s not worth losing your life.”
I heard his words but I believe I’m someone who deserves death especially after all that happened. I just pass the pipe without a word. If only he knew he probably wouldn’t be sitting next to me or saved my life. Without realizing tears started streaming down my face. If only he knew it was my fault. I took him to that party I introduced him to those wicked people who left him beaten and bruised and tortured in a ditch by a field all alone. I left him. He was probably wondering where I was. Scared and in so much pain and it should have been me. Should have been me that got punished. I was supposed to be watching him and making sure. We had each others back but I lost for a moment and then forever. I should die an untimely death. He should be given back the life I help steal. Why! Why him! My best friend.
And then I realized someone was wiping the tears from my face. I looked at him and just collapsed in his arms and cried as he smoothed my hair then it started to rain. The drops fell lightly and progressively got harder. He stopped smoothing my hair and got up. I just stood there at first realized I felt a little better.
“Are you coming?”
He had his hand out to me; I grabbed but stopped right before he started to pull away towards the door to go back in side. He just looked at me confused. And I looked straight into his glistening blue as the rain was pouring down on the both of us I said
“I find peace in the rain.” He then proceeded to wrap his arms around me and he just held me in the rain.


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