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A long time ago, I used to be able to tell the difference between my own screams, and those that echo inside of my head. But I’m already surrendering to the horror of sleep. Within the prison of my own mind, I’m left to the mercy of the images. The nights are always the worst. I become the silent audience of a horrific tale spun by the dancing figures, my friends. People who the doctors call part of another world, the one I’ve created especially for me. But I don’t have to think about any of that here, I don’t have to fight off the images. Here I marvel in them, allow them to fill every pore with their intensity. It burns, but I welcome that too just as I do the images. I’m in the place where the images that haunt me in the light of the sun, elaborate into the stories their trying to relay to me. Here I don’t have to tell the pestering doctors that I still don’t remember my name is Ann. Here no one forces me to tell anyone about my world, the one I made my own.
Here, I just watch the images.
She’s laughing as she pulls on a yellow raincoat. It is the kind of yellow that illuminates lemons outshining any other fruit that found its way into the kitchen bowl. Happiness floods out of this tiny person escaping into the rain that now pours all around her. Her hair bounces even under its pounding offense. Up and down, the tight, brown ringlets bound off her face as if her hairs made only of springs. It’s an untroubled dream. This small grinning girl is now staring straight toward me as she opens her palm face-up. It beacons to me, like the little iridescent lighthouse does to the tired sailors finally returning to their loved ones. Unhurriedly, I begin to stretch my own hand towards little girl’s palm. But now the girl is backing away.
“Wait! I’m coming,” I call out to the rain, and now I’m running. At first it is like a game of tag, I’m calling out looking for her petite form. But then I can’t find her! What if something has happened? I must find her! It is somehow important, I don’t remember why…
It’s fading now, soon I’ll be forced to leave this place. I keep looking for curl, but now the rain is too hard. Something bad is going to happen! I become hopeless as everything begins to look the same. My heart is now desperately trying to beat its way out of my chest. That’s when I hear it…the scream.
I awake flailing my limbs, as the white coats converge. “Someone grab the restraints! Now!” I wonder why the doctor’s yelling, then I realize I’m screaming. This quiets me down some, as I resort to whimpering. The white coats try and coax me, and reassure me that I’m safe here, trapped within these walls with no windows. What a funny thing to promise, safety. In a place filled with those that society wishes to forget ever existed, the doctors call it something silly: psychosis.
Once the restraints are firmly secured some of the white coats begin to leave through the steel door that will undoubtedly lock once they leave. But of course one Doctor Albeitch asks, “Can you tell me what you dreamt about last night?”
“Nope.” Then we sit in silence, as images of a yellow flash hidden beneath a pounding rain fight there way into existence. “Something about yellow,” I finally say in answer to the harassing silence. I don’t like it when it is quite, since after it drones on too long then the images seep in more easily through the cracks in my brain.
Doc makes a note on his pad, and then simply asks, “Was there a little girl?”
“Do you remember who she is? Her name?”
“Ann, it’s Pressinda.”
My mind lifts slightly at the name, but I don’t remember why exactly. Maybe its one of my “friends” that I’m supposed to forget about. Albeitch leaves then, allowing me to have time with my thoughts (irony isn’t wasted on the insane). I smile brutally at the thought. But then Albeitch comes back into the room, he says one simple word “remember”.
“Your not crazy, Ann. I promise,” It’s the little girl. She’s older now though, but her hair is still swaying in those little curls. I remain unmoving, quiet; like if I don’t move then my head will stop reeling and the screams will stop ringing. But I don’t remember. I can’t remember, now I’m running, the restraints are gone. I’m running from nothing. I’m running from everything.
Then I woke up to everything and nothing as the