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How many days was it?
Maybe the man knew.
The man in the white coat.
In the clean white rooms
How long had it been?
There were many clean hallways
With many clean rooms
I was Number 1.
Or so it said on my gown. The tantalizing ‘01’ in faded red… was I the first? I sat alone in the clean white room that I never left. My hair was in twin-tails, and it was an interesting color. It had started to turn a dark, swampy green-blue color. There was a screw in the left side of my head. I did not question, however, the screw.
Or my hair
Or the man
Or the room.
Or why I was there.
I felt very small, almost child-like in that room of mine. But it wasn’t daunting; rather, it had a somewhat calming effect to it. There wasn’t anything in my room; No books, no toys or chairs, not even a bed. It was just me, the walls, the floor and the ceiling, all alone.
Every day, the man in the white coat came. He was an adult, maybe around 40 years old. His brown hair was graying, but it still had a smooth sheen to it. I still remember the gentle look on his aging face well, and his green eyes, too. Every day, I would be carefully lifted by the man in the white coat into a glass container on a silver cart and charted down the long, clean hallways, for I always felt too tired to move.
I would be brought into another clean room with a cot and two counters, each with a particular green-marble colored top. There were a few white cupboards above the counters and a chair with wheels, but that was it. He would lift me onto the cot, and then check me. It was just the average things that one does at a regular checkup, though I didn’t know it at the time; check my reflexes, check my ears, eyes, breathing and blood pressure. But what I didn’t think was abnormal then was all the shots and medicine I got. At one time I could have 3 little red dots on my arm from where I was either pricked for a blood test or from shots. The medicine was bitter and hard to swallow, but I knew that if I was good, I’d get a piece of candy. It was always a sweet little caramel. I loved them. He would smile and praise me and pat me on the head, saying I was a good little girl and that I should be proud of myself for being so good.
What I began to notice is that nobody brought food save for the caramel from the man. I was never hungry anyways; rather, I felt bloated and very tired most of the time. But I ignored it for the most part. In my room, I would sit a few feet from the door, watching the window. I would listen; listen to the footsteps of who I assume was the man in the white coat, to the tapping of bare feet from unknown humans against the tiles, to the squeaking of the silver cart, and on occasion, voices of opposition from those who I don’t know.
My days spent there in my room were very simple and fairly short, for I never knew what time it was save for 5 o’clock- though I don’t know if it’s morning or evening. It was when I was brought to the man in the white coat’s room for a checkup. I began to- at one point- look forward to the visits. Riding in the cart had been abnormally stimulating. For any normal child it would have been odd, but at the time I found it immensely fun.
One day, after my visit to the man, I noticed something odd about my door. I spent so much time looking at it that I could have picked out even the smallest change in it; though, this change was quite minute. I dragged myself over to the door and peaked into the crack next to the doorknob. The door was unlocked. I yawned, and looked up at the window on the door. For the first time since the time I woke up in my room, I wanted to know something. I wanted to know what was in the rooms that I had always passed on the cart.
Slowly and sluggishly, I reached for the doorknob, sliding it to the side and opening the door. It took me a few minutes, but I stood up on my lanky legs. The tiles were cold against the bottom of my feet. Step by step, I made my way out into the hallway. A few feet ahead were two doors; one on the left, and one on the right. I decided to check the door on the left first.
There were no lights on; I could just barely make out a dark figure in the room. Deciding it was uninteresting, I shuffled across the hall. The lights were on in this room, but there was no one in here; just a cot. The next two doors were a ways down the hallway, but I managed to reach them somehow. I noticed that I began to feel a little less groggy and tired. Did moving around help me feel more awake?
The room on the right was first this time. It was dark inside but I sensed movement from inside. Something slammed against the door, and I could make out a mangled and amputated face, screaming at me. Its breath began to fog up the window, but I was not fazed by such a thing. I made my way to the left door, ignoring the sound of pounding on the locked door behind me.
The halls seemed to have a pattern; one had a light on, the other did not. I peered through the window and was finally able to clearly see someone else; it was a boy. He had odd colored hair, like me. It was turning a dark blue color, almost navy-like. He was sitting on his cot in a straightjacket, staring at the opposite wall. He had a red dog collar around his neck with a red leash trailing off the side of the cot. I stood there for a few minutes before he noticed me. After another minute, he slowly stood up, dragging himself over to the door as I had when I first noticed the door was unlocked. He was taller than me, though not by much. The door was locked; out of a raw want to communicate in someway, I placed my hand against the cold glass.
I could tell that at first he was confused, but he eventually figured out what I was doing. He struggled to also place his hand on the glass, though his straightjacket prevented him from doing so. He gently hit the glass with his shoulder where my hand was, as if to replace his hand. Seeing as it didn’t work as well, he ended up placing his forehead against it. Such a gesture could have meant a many of things; but I suppose it meant something like “We are the same”, possibly in regards to situation or feeling. I doubt either of us felt anything but grogginess at the time. I don’t know why neither of us tried to speak instead of this, but I suppose we both knew in our mind that this way was better, somehow.
The somewhat peaceful feeling didn’t last for long. I turned away, hearing footsteps down the hall. I glanced back at the boy, whom had a somewhat confused look on his face. I turned the opposite way, sprinting back to my room; it was the fastest I had moved since I woke up here. I did not flee out of fear; I did it because I knew that I would not get my caramel if they had found me outside of my room unescorted by the man in the white coat. I wanted my caramel.
I made sure to close my door quietly, and I slid back into a feeble position in my room as I waited for the footsteps to disappear into a room. It was a little while before they did, but it did not matter at all. Once they disappeared, I slid out of my position and slipped out into the clean hallways again. Instead of stopping by the room with the boy in it, I walked right past with a normal pace. As I checked back and forth, I saw many people. One room had two girls in it; one had bright, golden hair and the other was sleek silver, and it was quite long. They did not acknowledge me; rather, all they did was stare at each other endlessly. Another room had a girl with short chestnut colored hair. She was older than me, I could tell, but she seemed so weak in the room. We exchanged glances and a simple wave of the hand before I was off again.
The hallways seemed endless. Back and forth I went across the hall, zigzagging from the light room to the dark. Nothing truly spiked my curiosity, and I was about to head back to my room after checking one more room. This one in particular was different; it was dark, but there was a small light in it too. What I saw would make any normal person cringe in fear, vomit, and be traumatized for life. I, however, felt nothing.
The room was bigger than the others. There were counters with trays of equipment on them. On a steel table in the center, with a light hovering over them, were twins; a boy and a girl. Both had bright blonde hair, about to their shoulders. The girl had a ribbon on the top of her head while the boy had his hair tied back in a small pigtail. They had on gowns similar to mine; however, theirs said “02” in red instead of “01” like mine. They were holding hands, watching the man that was going through some papers. He picked up two shots from the counter, going over to the twins. They obviously had had shots before, since they did not react badly when he injected the shots into them, each on the left arm. It was not long before they fell asleep on the table.
After they had fallen asleep, the man picked up a large knife, a cleaver, I think. He created a beautiful red garden across the room, some ezven on the window. I watched as two heads rolled into a corner, then two arms and two legs. Two bodies were made into one right in front of me. As he began to pick up the heads and bring them back to the table, I felt a presence from behind. As I turned to look what was behind me, a shadow casted over me. It was the man in the white coat. He still had a gentle smile on his face.
“Ah, what a curious little girl you are! Come now, little girl, let’s go back to your room.” He whispered, patting me on the head like he always did. He took my hand and guided me back to my room, where I was promptly placed in the middle of the room as I had been for who knows how long. This time, the door had been locked. I wasn’t visited as often anymore.
One day, however, the man in the white coat carted me down the hall, past the boy’s room, past the two girl’s room, past the girl with the chestnut hair’s room, past the twin’s room, and past his room.
We entered a room exactly like the twin’s room. It was clean and calm, with no red garden to be found. He lifted me onto the steel table, even though I could do it myself.
“Be a good girl for me now, and I’ll give you your candy.” He promised as he brought over a shot. I nodded, holding out my arm for him. As soon as it was injected my vision became a bit fuzzy. I yawned, feeling drowsier than before. It was only a few moments later that I blacked out.
I woke up, groggy and still mostly asleep. I thought that I was just waking up somewhere else… in a dream, per say. I felt the rough cotton of the cot sheets beneath me. I was naked save for a separate, softer sheet tucked under my arms. My hair was no longer in twin tails; rather, it was sprawled this way and that across the cot. At first I thought I had just been moved to a new room, but I felt different. I moved my legs to sit on the side of the bed, but what came from under the sheets were not my legs. Where my legs were supposed to be were shaggy, grayed, long goat legs. For the first time in what turned out to be two years, I felt emotion. Fear, horror, disgust, depression, humiliation, anger and many more came rushing at me, bombarding me when my shield had been broken. I broke down and sobbed.
I cried for myself.
I cried for the boy with blue hair.
I cried for the two girls.
I cried for the girl with chestnut colored hair
I cried for the twins
For I knew what they would have to go through, or already have.
For I knew too late of the madness to save them.