The Piano groans under the curled fingers of the girl hunched over the keys. Her hair hangs long, dark and matted around her shoulders, she is young but traces of grey are coming through the roots of her hair. She looks cool to the touch, of course, she will be cold, it’s always cold in here. I don’t know her just her name Hales. I wonder what secrets hides within these walls? What causes the smell of decay mixed with the sterile medical aroma? What secrets do these walls hide? A buzz in the distance like those that open jail calls rings as the mental gate they call a door opens. I wonder who is getting a visit today? Who will look into the eyes of pained parents unsure on why their weekends have come to this; visiting their child and looking into their soulless eyes. Their child not remembering them or the world outside the brass iron gates with the guards out front, not remembering anything outside these soulless walls.
I wonder what secrets hides within these walls, causing the smell of decay mixed with the sterile medical aroma? A buzz in the distance like those that open jail cells rings as the metal gate they call a door opens. Who is getting a visit today? Who will look into the eyes of pained parents unsure on why their weekends have come to this; visiting their child and looking into their soulless eyes. Sitting in the cold common room watching humans…no rag dolls. Physically they are there but really gone from this world. Their child not remembering them or the world outside the brass iron gates, not remembering anything outside.These walls steal their souls like the devil.
I remember everything, I’m not crazy, I don’t deserve to be here. I really did see a body in the woods. I didn’t need to take the helmet of the boy to see his face. I knew who it was. The tattoo stood out on his back, as powerful as the day he got, a metaphor for how he changed his life and got free of the demons within his family. As meaningful as the day he told me he loved me. I didn’t need to see the face. I knew who it was. I ran, my feet stinging as the rocks and debris on the ground cut my bare feet, the hem of my once golden dress shredded, caked in mud and clay. Wet leaves stick to my skin and perspiration drips down my face the salt burning my already tear stuck eyes. Fear, I know I was scared. The fast thumping of my heart echoes through my head, thump thump, thump thump.
I remember is seeing him lying on the floor of the woods, his hands, lying limp, but still, his hands. Screams pierced the night air, were they really mine? Those screams filled with so much pain, a pain that I wonder if I could survive? Hot tears continued to fall down my face, makeup smudged. I remember reaching the road, police were there talking to me, the red and blue lights flashing around the night. They were questioning me, asking my name. I couldn’t remember my name, who was I? Ambulance, hospital, here the nut house. I’m not crazy. I really did see a body. I don’t care what they told me that night? “There was nobody in the woods Miss.” Thoughts frantically rush through my mind, yes, there was just keep looking, why aren’t you looking? Why do you not believe me? Why am I here? I’m not crazy. There really was a body!
Ouch, I uncurl my hands and see spots of red on my pale skin, my broken nails smudged in the same blood. Black spots eclipse my vision as I come back to the present. Nobody notices I left the room. They’re too preoccupied trying to remember the person visiting them. My parents don’t visit, they can’t risk it. Can’t risk any of our friends or neighbours knowing the truth.
“Their ‘perfect’ daughter is crazy? How did we let them around our precious Jamie?” They’d think to themselves, while being perfectly polite to my parents saying, “Oh Amanda hun, what can we do for you? How can we help? I know I’ll go cook you some meals to put in the freezer.” Like the fact I’m in here would mean mum couldn’t cook for herself. Oh no, this was not an option, nobody could know. They couldn’t possibly risk visiting. They’d much rather not see me than potentially be the latest gossip on the street. Instead, they’d be sitting on their grand marble courtyard, in front of the pool, in their perfect suburban street in Charlotte, they’d say,
“She is great, she is travelling, doing an exchange in England for a year or so. Oh, my she is absolutely loving it, a great experience.Jamie hun, have you ever thought of doing an exchange? Oh, you absolutely must consider it, she is just loving it.” Yes, its, a much better option for them to lie than telling the truth.
I look back at the girl at the piano, repetitively pushing the keys of the Piano. From here I can see the dirt under her fingers red like rust. Her grey hospital gown hangs off her, resembling a girl swimming naked in the ocean. Bones protrude out of her body… a gust of wind and she would snap. Everyone here knows to stay away from her, she is one of the truly insane. Rumor has it shes here after murdering her boyfriend in the woods. Through the window behind her I see an unkindness or ravens flying, there dark figures in the dusk comparable to the twilight sky, representing the evil among us. I want to get closer and watch them, walking towards the window I see my reflection, my hair hangs long, dark and mattered around my shoulders, I am young yet traces of grey are coming through my roots, my skin looks cold, lifeless. Wearing a grey hospital gown I see the bones protruding from my body. hearing my name being called in the distance.
Turning around with my eyes looking down at the ground, I look up to face them a sick smile spreading across my face as a laugh escapes my lips.