Thursday, February 2

my first creative endeavor I've shared...

I hope you like it.... this is the story I submitted for my creative writing class. It's not what happened to me personally but it's ...an alternate reality of what might have happened to me after my mum committed suicide. I see this as a "what if"...

what if I hadn't had such amazing family that helped and supported me through it...
what if I had let myself fall victim to the sadness...
what if things had been just slightly different.....

so here it is folks.................. *drum roll*



She tries to turn her face away as they roll her down the corridor; the bright lights seem more glaring with her tired eyes. If she could only cover her eyes, but the restraints have her hands bound. The pain and sadness within her battles with the embarrassment and humiliation she feels. A single tear breaks free and finally rolls down the side of her face. It tickles her cheek and then pools in her ear; she wishes nothing more at that moment than to be able to wipe it away. They turn a corner and goose bumps break out across her arms. She wonders how much longer it will be and suddenly, the gurney comes to a halt.

            “Dalia,” the nurse says, as she hovers over her.
            She turns her head to the opposite side.
            “Dalia, can you hear me?”
            She closes her eyes; another tear rolls down her cheek.
            “Okay Dalia, we are here at your room. I’d like to take off the restraints but you have to promise me to cooperate. If you take your meds willingly, I will agree not to restrain you.”
            Dalia has a moment to reflect on everything that has happened. She hates being in these restraints, and is willing to do anything to just be able to lie freely again.
            “What do you say, Dalia?” the nurse inquires. Her voice implies a sense of finality.
            Using all the remaining bits of energy she has, she utters “Yes.”

            The nurses begin to unstrap her restraints and get her ready for her stay in her room. With each strap, she feels closer to freedom than she has in days. It’s an illusion of freedom, however, because freedom is only a bed in a room. They let her get out of bed and she walks, aided, to the new restraint of her room. The tile floor is cold on her bare feet and the stark white walls and bedding make it feel even colder, sterile. It’s so small; not even a window to let in the sun. The yellow fluorescent light hangs above her head, giving everything in the room a dull illumination. There’s only one single pillow to cuddle up to, not like the four she’s used to sleeping with in her own bed. How far away that bed seems now, along with everything else from her life before all this happened. The nurse lifts a container of pills to her mouth and then brings a glass of lukewarm water to her lips. With an air of resignation, she lets the tepid water wash down the pills which will bring her peace, if only for a night. The nurses walk out of the room, closing the door behind them. She hears locks seal her in with her despair.

            She lies down in the bed and as she waits for the deep drug-induced sleep of ignorance, where she isn’t haunted by dreams or feelings. The memories come back to her like an old record player with a broken needle that keeps playing the same tune.  Dalia recalls the moment she stepped inside her mom’s apartment, still fresh with her scent. A mug on the kitchen counter, stained with the coffee she drank. The bed unmade, its covers pulled aside but yet still so inviting. The book on the dining room table, a bookmark marking the last words she would ever read. Her work briefcase on the chair filled with assignments that she would never finish. Flash forward and Dalia is on the phone with the police, hearing the words she dreaded the moment she realized her mom was gone. They used words like accident, pills, overdose and autopsy. They said they were sorry. Why they should be sorry, Dalia would never know. It wasn’t their fault. The last thought she has before she drifts off to sleep is that only one person was to blame for what happened.

            Her sleep is restless as she is awakened by nurses checking on her throughout the night. When morning finally comes, she feels just as drained as the previous day. They bring her breakfast but she has no appetite. They insist she must eat, and so with each bite she chokes down she feels the last bits of her independence wilting away. A nurse comes to take away the food she doesn’t eat, and tells her it’s almost time for her psychiatric evaluation.

            As she enters the doctor’s office, Dalia sees an enormous room with rich dark wood and lots of books. There are a few framed pictures of a happy family on the large desk. It feels cold and impersonal and at the same time inviting; it’s a strange feeling. The doctor is at his desk; at first glance he appears stoic, and Dalia is not sure how comfortable she feels about talking to him.
            “Please sit down on the chair, Dalia,” Dr. Moore says as he gestures towards a large leather chair.
            She takes a seat on the cold, unforgiving leather and pulls her knees up to her body. The doctor begins to talk about the reasons she is there and what they hope to help her with during her stay. Most of what he says passes through her like air; she has a hard time focusing. The doctor starts to ask her questions, but she refuses to acknowledge him. Eventually he gives up and she is allowed to have some free time in the common room.

            Dalia situates herself on a couch and just observes the rest of the patients around her. An older woman across the room is reading; she has long blonde hair. Immediately Dalia is transported to a final conversation that she wishes she could go back in time and do over.
            “It’s too expensive, and I just can’t see it working out mom,” Dalia says.
            “But we could make it work.”
            “I need to move out. I need my own space, and you do too.”
            “Hun, I changed my life to help you out and now you’re leaving me?”
            “It’s better for the both of us,” Dalia insists. She can hear her mom begin to cry on the other end of the phone. With each intake of breath, Dalia begins to question the decisions she’s made. “I love you, mom, and I’ll do my best to make the transition as easy as possible.”
            “I love you too, darling. I’m just stressed thinking about all the things that have to get done.”
            “It’s ok; just remember what you always tell us. It’ll all work out.”
            Except it didn’t, Dalia recalls. It didn’t work out, and it wasn’t ok. It would never be ok again. With each memory, she thinks about how she could have done it differently; how she should have done it differently. Then she wonders if it would have changed anything. Was it all inevitable? She sits on the couch and picks at her nails. Mom always hated when she did that; she said it was bad for her cuticles. Dalia would give anything in the world to have her mom lecture her on her cuticles again.
           
            Weeks have passed, and Dalia is still feeling as lost as when they first rolled her in. Every day is the same, making life feel very monotonous. The doctor insists she try group therapy as the individual sessions aren’t progressing. Dalia hates talking in front of people, but she has a feeling they don’t care.

            She sits in a hard plastic chair in a room full of strangers. They are all in a circle, facing each other. She looks around the room and the faces looking back at her mirror her own sadness and anxiety. She’s guessing that no one really wants to be here, but she feels like none of them will understand exactly why she resists her presence there. Dr. Moore welcomes her as the new guest in the group, and the voices of the others in the circle echo his salutation. They are all dull in her ears; her thoughts are elsewhere. A man is discussing his feelings. She looks out the window and a leaf is falling from a tree, dead. Suddenly she picks up a word from his reverie, “guilt.” It reflects in her a feeling she refuses to acknowledge. He finishes speaking, and the room is silent for what feels like an eternity.
            “Dalia, do you care to discuss anything with us today?” the doctor inquires.
            She looks at the floor and a tear drops on her foot. She wasn’t even aware she was crying.
            “It’s ok to speak Dalia, you’re amongst friends.”
            “I left her” she finally whispers.
            “You left whom?”
            “I should have been there.”
            “It’s all right, let it out.”
            She breaks down in a barrage of tears and starts pulling at her hair. She drops off her chair and lies on the floor in the fetal position with clumps of hair in her hands. The sobs are disturbing the other patients and so the doctor signals to the nurses to come take Dalia away. It’s at that moment that the Doctor begins to truly understand the depth of her sadness.


            Hours later having calmed down, she is in a window sill in the common room.  With her arms wrapped around her knees she sits, watching the world continue to move on, without her in it.

4 comments:

  1. This is so beautifully written. You have a true gift. Are you sure you want to major in chemistry? :)

    I am so glad you had support after you lost your mum. My heart breaks as I think about how much you hurt. I wish there were words I could say to give you comfort. Please, know that I am here and I think of you often.

    Thank you so much for your kind words on my blog. Knowing that you care makes the pain easier.

    Again, such a beautiful piece. I hope you share more of your work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This gave me goosebumps. I agree with SG...you have a true gift.

    ReplyDelete