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Diagnosis: Love Struck
Her name was Lillian, Rory E., or that’s what her faded blue armband said that dangled around her super thin left arm. Ever since I had laid eyes on her, I had thought she was unspoiled perfection. Most people found her to be some sort of disgusting freak, but I looked past her bulimia, unusually greasy and dead hair, yellowed skin, those large red rings underneath her mysterious gray eyes, and neck that had many battle wounds from previous suicide attempts.
We met in the most peculiar way, also. It started with a broken lamp.
“You’re such a misfit, you’ll never in this life make a friend!” Corey, my brother screamed at me, his twin Maury right behind doing the same thing.
“Yeah, you’re so gay, Mitch, like even your kind doesn’t accept you!” Maury chortled. That was where he crossed the line. I wasn’t gay, and it was far too offensive. In one swift movement, I stood up and grabbed Maury’s neck, then shoved him against the wall.
The other hand then was formed into a rock solid fist. I had never, ever done anything like this before; normally I had kept to my quiet self, terrified of making eye contact with anybody or having conversation. Embarrassment haunted me. Not knowing exactly what to do, I slapped Maury across the face. Corey was freaking out in the background, and I could hear him pick up the blue lamp that sat on my nightstand and unplug it.
I turned around just in time to see Corey throw it, and I had a cat-like reaction and ducked, seconds before it would have hit me. Instead, it smashed on Maury’s face. It made a hard, yet shrill sound as it shattered against his red hot face. A shard of blue grass had landed on the top of my hand and cut deep into my skin.
Maury screamed. Loud. Panicking, I froze and stared at his face, my hand still wrapped around his neck. His eyes were huge, a shard of glass next to his left eye and on his forehead. Blood started gushing out, dripping onto my hand.
“Oh, my god,” I whimpered.
“What is going on in here? I heard screaming!” My mom yelled, barging into my room. When she saw Maury’s cut up face and the broken lamp on the ground, she flipped. “What is wrong with you, Justin? You trying to kill your brother?”
After that, my mom called a clinic for mental people and I was forced to pack one little bag. She was petrified of the idea of an ‘insane’ boy who tried to ‘kill’ her son in the same car as her, so she had me ride a taxi to the clinic. When we had arrived, I was nervous. My stomach was lodged in the middle of my throat, sweat pumping, blood churning. One at a time, we walked into the foyer of the clinic. It was all glass, and it had a little fold-out table in the very middle holding tons of pamphlets. The door into the clinic was barred, and we had to buzz in.
A busty old lady who looked rather peeved waddled up to the door. Holding up one finger, she disabled the security system an unlocked multiple locks. She struggled to swing open the door, and when she did, an overwhelming smell of lemon scent Pledge flooded my nose.
All of the sudden, a girl screamed. The nurses started attacking her to stop her from whatever. The old lady who had let me in looked at me and said, “She’s the most suicidal one here.” She rolled her eyes. That girl I had later discovered was Rory.
That day I was shown my all white room. It wasn’t really a room since it looked identical to a prison cell, except there was no toilet in the room.
Over the course of weeks, I had kept my eye on Rory. During our group circle, we all had to talk about our feelings, problems, etc. that we were comfortable telling more than our private, on-site therapists and psychologists about. Rory kept to herself, until one day.
It was lunch time, where we all gathered in the fenced in area outside. There were a few cement tables that we were supposed to eat at. It was lasagna day. Rory was sitting alone at the edge of one table, poking her undersized amount of food. The staff didn’t give her a full meal because she would eat so much then end up puking it up later, and apparently that was a waste of funding.
“Hey,” I said, sliding up across from her. “I’m Justin.” (Remember that thing about me being terrified of conversation? I was sweating during this).
“I know,” she whispered. Her voice was like music to my ears. It was so perfect. “You’re the kid who attacked his brother.”
“Heh, yeah, I guess…”
For about four weeks we had talked at lunch. She started opening up to me, and her voice was starting to grow louder. I saw her confidence, and she began to gain a natural figure back after I had weaned her from her normal binging and then puking.
It was about midnight that day, and she had snuck out of her room. She crept up to mine and lightly knocked on the door. Since we were locked in our rooms, not out, the lock was on her side of the door. She picked it with a bobby pin and then slowly opened it.
“You awake, Justin?” she mumbled.
I leaned over and flicked up the light switch. The fluorescent light flickered on and Rory giggled, closing the door. “Good,” she said.
I sat up in my bed, Rory coming next to me. “Why’d you sneak over?” I asked. I was exhilarated with the idea of Rory risking detention for a week just to see me.
“You are unlike any other guy I’ve met. Everybody at this clinic thinks I’m a freak. The staff abuses me. My parents… well you know about all the abuse they did, too. I want to know… why were you so nice to me?” Rory asked, putting one hand on my arm.
“Rory, I don’t care what they say or think or do,” I replied, putting my hands on her waist. She bit her lip, trying to hold back a grin. “Since the minute I saw you fighting off those nurses, I knew there was something about you. And I relate to you, my family not understanding me and assuming things… Rory, I looked past all your flaws and fell for you.”
Before I could say anymore, she kissed me. On the lips. I think attacking my brother was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. She pulled away and smiled at me, then returned to her room.