Jonathan's World of White This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
Jonathan Furst sat completely still. His large brown eyes followed a fly crawling up his arm. He watched it closely. He had no impulse to brush it off, but only to study its movements. It worked slowly up his arm and Jonathan watched as it stuck its black tongue out to touch his skin.

Then he watched as the fly flew to the window, past the white iron bars. It tried to escape, only to be stopped by the glass barrier that kept him in the asylum. Jonathan knew how it felt.

He may have sat there with the fly for hours. He may have sat there for seconds. He did not know, he did not care. He did not even think about it. Time had no meaning to Jonathan Furst. In fact, many things had no meaning for him.

His life was an eternal world of white walls, white women in white skirts, white doctors in white coats and screams of confusion and insanity.

The world was broken only by the one person who came to visit him. This was The Brother, the tall intelligent man who claimed responsibility for Jonathan. He came only on the fifth day of every month.

Yes, on the fifth day of every month, Jonathan would feel the fresh air and bright burning yellow and orange sun on his large face. He lived for the hour or two of blue sky and green grass that was spent outside, away from the towering red brick building that held the world of white he knew so well.

But Jonathan's demented mind forgot easily. Therefore, when he was brought to this bright happy world of color by_the only person who loved him, he would forget that he would eventually be returned to the inside of the asylum. There his world was blank.

Jonathan turned to the calendar on the white wall with a slow deliberate movement of his head. His eyes were blank and his mouth barely moved when he spoke, "May. May fifth. May fifth, 1991," said Jonathan's smooth voice.

He hardly ever spoke to anyone but The Brother. He had waited all month, every year for five years for the fifth day to arrive and bring with it his brother.

The Brother never missed a day and Jonathan never missed seeing him come. Jonathan waited by the window, staring blankly through the bars he had come to ignore. He began to watch as people walking down the street crossed over the sidewalk farthest away from the building as they approached the asylum.

They never looked back, especially if they had seen the many blank minds hidden by the blank faces that stared down on them. If they had ever experienced the shrieks that radiated from that part of the building, they would never return to that section of town.

Jonathan wound his hand around one of the iron bars and was immediately entranced by its image. He studied it as he had studied the fly, then let his eyes fall, unfocused only to begin studying the pattern of the tiled floor. He did not even notice the state he had left his eyes in. If he had noticed, he wouldn't have cared. He could stare forever at anything, even a black spot on the wall where another patient had spit his dinner in a fit of delirium.

He would sit, stare, and wait. Wait for The Brother to come.

Jonathan continued to sit in that white room full of beds with sheets that reeked of uncontrollable bladders. Unlike most smells that often disappeared after you had been exposed to them for a period of time, Jonathan was unable to free himself from the smell of the room. Even after five years. It was this smell and the sounds that kept most people away. Most people, but not The Brother. The Brother did not like the smell either, but he loved Jonathan and so he still came. Everyone else in his outside world had abandoned him, and Jonathan was waiting to see the black car that brought his brother to him. The Brother's sleek sedan always pulled up to the curb in front of the building. The Brother always parked at the same place, at the same time, and made the same movements.

He'd slowly remove himself from the car, rub his eyes as if he could not keep the sleep from them. Gingerly, he would approach the large steps that projected from the entry way. With slow smooth movements he climbed, he was always so sure of himself. He would stop, always on the fifth step, as if hesitant to go any further. Jonathan would hold his breath wondering if this would be the time The Brother turned away, returning to his car and not entering the world encased behind the brick walls. Anyone passing by would think he was unsure of entering the building that held a whole separate planet. But Jonathan knew The Brother always came to see him. The Brother would then continue up the steps to the cold sterile doors. There he would pause again _with one hand extended to the door. And Jonathan was always afraid for that one short moment. For that one short moment when his brother would pause at the door, he knew fear. He was afraid that The Brother would not enter, and Jonathan would be left there forever. But he always came, and Jonathan was always assured as The Brother left. He promised to return saying, "Maybe next time I'll take you away from here, Jonathan."

And Jonathan knew The Brother would not lie, that The Brother loved him and that he would have taken him away from the world of white if he could.

Maybe today would be the day The Brother would take him away.

One of the uniformed white women came into the room with a breakfast tray. He ate only a few tiny spoonfuls of the cereal placed before him. Five to be exact. Five because today was the fifth of the month and it was the day that The Brother came. Five was a special number on that day because The Brother was a special person.

Jonathan ate his cereal slowly. He listened to the sound of his eating amplified in his ears. He did not taste his meal, for taste was not a priority in Jonathan's life. His life had no priorities except The Brother's visit. During the visits Jonathan did not sense the uncomfortable air that always filled the room during The Brother's visits. To Jonathan "uncomfortable" was a normal feeling because that is all he had ever known from anyone. It was a feeling he had mistaken for security and love. He knew no different.

And then the same woman brought Jonathan his lunch. Once again, he ate only five bites, and again eating was not the priority. Lunch merely meant The Brother was near, as he usually appeared as the lunch tray was taken away.

Jonathan readied himself.

Jonathan sat at the window, surrounded by the white walls and white nurses with white shoes in a room full of the shrieks of insane human beings. He began to wait for The Brother.

The Brother who came every fifth day of the month, right after the lunch tray is taken away by the woman in the white skirt.

He sits and waits for The Brother.

The Brother who never really existed except in the white world of Jonathan's blank mind.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Seelix said...
Aug. 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm
This is really good!! I love how real the story seems and how discriptive it is. Excellent job!
 
Ultim@te said...
Aug. 10, 2011 at 7:45 pm
Wow, impressive. I like the repetitive of the number 5, great job!
 
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