Author's note: I hope people understand that depression and suicide are really important issues and more and... Show full author's note »
Chapter 2“Do you think we should wake her up? She’s been asleep for more than two days, Doctor.”
“No, not yet. We’ll wait for her to wake up by herself.”
The soft murmurs grow louder. My eyelids flutter open and I blink a couple times to take in my surroundings. White. That’s all I see. White walls, white coats, white lights. Even white people. Surrounding me. Why? Because I tried to kill myself. Well that worked out nicely didn’t it? I can’t even swallow pills right! What is wrong with me?
“Oh, good you’re up,” says some guy in a white coat. “I’m Doctor Henderson,” he says with a cheery smile. He tells me to sit up and I push my body up slowly, feeling extremely uncomfortable. All I can feel is hurt. Pain runs through my whole body like the blood in my veins. I stare at the needle in my arm connected to the IV and look back at the man in front of me. He’s been waiting patiently, waiting for me to finish taking in my surroundings.
“Now I know that you must be a bit confused so let’s get you up to date. Four days ago you overdosed on pills and were admitted into the hospital by your mother. Fortunately she brought you in right away and we were able to save you.” He looks me over once with a sad smile before saying, “You are a very lucky girl Miss Turner. If you were admitted even an hour later, we probably couldn’t have gotten the pills out of your system.” He pauses briefly and asks, “Do you have any questions?”
I shake my head no, but inside my brain is going crazy, asking a million questions that have no answers unless I speak up and ask. All the questions bounce back and forth in my brain, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth until I want to scream because I can’t hear myself think. Who found me? Was it my mom? Or was it Ben? How long exactly have I been asleep? What day is it? Does everyone know that I tried to kill myself?
No. I refuse to torture myself with all these useless thoughts. I take a deep breath and as I let it out, my mind lets go of all the unanswered questions. The only thought that stays is the one that will haunt me forever. If they had found me just an hour later, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be in this world that I don’t trust. This world that I can’t bear to take another breath in.
The doctor clears his throat and this time when I look up, a woman stands beside him.
“This is Mrs. Zimmer. She’s going to ask you a couple of questions, okay?”
I look at Doctor Henderson more closely and realize that he was the snooty man in my hospital room who wouldn’t let me sit up, as he points out a woman wearing a frumpy mess of a dress. It’s a green that looks grosser than spinach and made of wool my grandma would wear. She’s probably in her late thirties but dresses as though she’s fifty. Her bright red hair makes her more noticeable than anyone in the room. As if she needs to be more noticeable. She is quite plump and has black glasses that cover half of her face.
She smiles like she can see right through me. I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to listen. I just want to sleep until forever. So I don’t smile back. Instead I give a blank face as if I’ve never learned anything my whole life. It works. Her smile quivers just a bit, but she’s a professional. She goes back to smiling, but now it is a cold smile. One that doesn’t reach her eyes. She knows that I’m not going to cooperate. But that won’t stop her. So she tells Doctor Henderson and the nurses that they can leave now, and she crosses her arms. She comes over to my bed and sits on a chair to the right of me with a notebook in her hand.
“Leia. What a pretty name! I wish my name was that pretty. My name is Norma,” says Mrs. Zimmer excitedly, no doubt trying with connect to her new teen patient.
I snort. Norma. What an awful name! God, if I were her I wouldn’t just change my last name when I got married. She drops her fake smile the second she hears my outburst. She figures out she’s never going to smile in a conversation with me, and gives up.
“Okay, I’m just going to ask you a couple questions and I need you to answer them honestly. Can you do that for me?”
“Sure.” That’s all I say. One word because I know if I say more, I’ll end up swearing. I don’t want anger issues being added to my list of things wrong with me.
“First of all I want to let you know that this is not confidential. But I need you to tell me everything, okay?”
In reply, I simply nod like the bobble head I got from my grandpa for Christmas. It was Snoopy dressed up like a sailor. God knows why he gave that to me.
“Okay Honey, is this the first time you’ve ever overdosed on pills?”
“Yes.” I’m just going to reply yes, no, or maybe so. Maybe if I just stick to that, this will be over soon.
“Why did you overdose?”
“A lot of different reasons.” So much for my game plan.
“Okay, were you depressed or angry about something?”
“Yes.” I’m back on track. Woohoo.
“Honey, you’re going to need to explain more. What were you depressed about?”
“Well, I wouldn’t say depressed. I guess I just couldn’t take it anymore. Sometimes life is just too much for a person.” I surprise myself with this sentence. I never knew how to put what I felt into words until now.
“And why were you feeling like that?”
I grit my teeth, not wanting to admit anything to this nosy lady. “Problems,” I respond, glaring at her. If she thinks I’m going to just run and tell a stranger all my secrets, then she’s crazy.
She glares right back before flipping to a new page in her notebook, smoothing it out with her right palm.
“Was there anything in your family life that could have prompted you?” she says in an icy tone.
Her coldness doesn’t bother me, but only fuels my rage. I don’t need to tell this stupid woman anything.
“No.” I’m lying straight through my teeth, but I don’t care. Because she already knows that I am.
“Your dad has been arrested quite a few times for alcohol abuse. Was he a part of why you attempted suicide, Leia?” she asks in her knowing voice.
I can’t look at her anymore. I know that she’ll have that I-knew-it-all-along look to match her I-know-I’m-right voice. I don’t want to face that. So instead I say, “You know, I’m really tired. Um, do you think you could come back tomorrow?” all the while looking at my ever so interesting IV bag.
She is silent, but my eyes remain trained on everything but her, and I don’t notice her eyes softening and her hands tightening their hold on her notebook. She finally ends the quiet with a, “Sure, honey.” Her unexpectedly soft spoken voice makes me look at her. She’s sorry for me, and I can tell by the pity in her eyes. She gets up and slowly walks to the door, where she quickly waves goodbye. She opens my room’s door and leaves, with me staring at the space where she just sat.
I make an attempt to get comfortable in my lumpy hospital bed and close my eyes, dreading the next day. Maybe it will be better. Maybe I won’t want to throw something at the frumpy lady. Maybe I won’t want to cry. Maybe I won’t want to die.