Mental Denial

May 19, 2008
By Maria Clesi, Glassboro, NJ

“Daniel?” I called out in fear. I was hoping that the dark figure outside my window was my boyfriend. I quietly went to my window and I didn’t see anything anymore.

The next day was a normal day except for the fact that I did good in math class when math is my softest subject. When I got to lunch, Daniel was acting very strange. I walked over and gave him a hug. He didn’t even turn around. No acknowledgment. He was too busy talking to his friend Bryan. Then I stopped. Bryan looked a lot like the figure I saw outside my window last night. “Nah. It is probably just my imagination.”
My best friend Elizabeth came in to lunch late because she was getting help in Algebra with Mrs. Larson. She sat down and saw that I wasn’t my usual perky self.
“Maria? What’s wrong?” she asked looking worried.
I didn’t have to answer. She already knew. Elizabeth and I are like sisters. Barely seen separated and we’ve known each other long enough to talk without saying a word. We both looked over at Daniel and he was still talking to Bryan. I shook my head, looked away and silently ate my lunch.
“Dan…Dan…DAN!” Elizabeth yelled.
“WH-What?” he asked.
“I can’t believe you ignored Maria like that!” Elizabeth exclaimed.

Dan looked at me and I had a wary look on my face. Before he could get a word in edgewise, I said, “Dan could I talk to you alone for a minute?”


“You’ve been ignoring me a whole lot lately. Is there anything you want to talk about?” I asked.

“No. I’ve been really nervous about midterms next week.” He confessed.

“Okay. I was starting to get worried about you.”

“You don’t have to worry about me. I’m fine.” He said quietly.
Later, as I walked home, Dan called me. I waited until he was finished leaving a message and then I listened to it.

“Don’t go to Liz’s house and tell her not to come over. Just go directly to your house and give her an excuse. I have a surprise for you.”

I told Elizabeth that I had violin lessons and they are in twenty minutes. I got home and thought about Dan’s voice in the message. It didn’t sound like him at all. The voice in the message was deeper and breathy. I walked in and it turned out it was Dan. I heard muffled screams from upstairs. I looked up the steps and Dan put his hand on my face and kissed me. When we were done, I asked whose screams they were. He said the screams were from my dog.
Then he kissed me again. The door of my room broke down and Elizabeth fell out in a chair bounded in knots and gagged with a cloth. I looked at Dan.

“Did you do this? Did you?” I asked.

“Now listen Maria. I did this because I love you.” He said.

“How could you? How could you?”

“She was ruining our relationship.” Dan said.

“I can’t believe you! She is my FRIEND!”

I ran into the kitchen and grabbed the closest knife I could find and ran and stabbed Dan with it. I didn’t want to stab him. I loved him very much. Then I untied Liz and we both agreed to call the police. I stood looking at Daniel and then couldn’t remember anything after that. I woke up in a bright white room. I felt like people were all around me and watching my every move. I felt like a monkey. I did not remember what I was doing here or how I got here. I looked over at the white table and noticed a box of black permanent markers. Next to them was a note. It read:
Everyday write what you think and feel on the walls with these markers. This is your only confession. Your second chance. Use them wisely.

So I did. Everyday I remembered more and more. Until one day, I had written on the wall: I killed Dan with my kitchen knife. Who is Dan? I don’t remember ever killing anyone. Maybe that is why I am in this place. A few days later, a photographer came in and took pictures of each of my walls. I didn’t think anything of it. The next day, a man came in and confronted me about the murder I committed. Then I saw it. My memory came back and I remembered every detail about that day. Then I cried, screamed, and said I didn’t do it. I didn’t want to believe that the only person who had ever loved me was dead. Especially since I was the one who killed him.

Months went by and I had accepted the fact that my poor Daniel was dead. I went on living my life in that institution because the observers there said that if I was exposed to the outside I would be too fragile. So I made my life with what I had. My friends were all just like me, but we were all different. I was even allowed to attend Daniel’s funeral. I never did see Elizabeth ever again. Only in my dreams as a memory. A memory never forgotten. That is what Daniel is to me. A loved memory that will never ever be forgotten.

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