Author's note: I hope people understand that depression and suicide are really important issues and more and... Show full author's note »
Chapter 4I wake up to find my mother sitting to the left of me. Her eyes look red and tired, and she looks much older, as if she’d aged to become someone who had lived through everything. She glances at me for a few short seconds before her eyes flit to something else. She looks back at me, just realizing I’m awake.
“Oh, Honey,” she says with a sad look in her eyes, as she grabs my hand. She holds onto it and sobs quietly into her other hand. I can’t bear to look at her. Instead, I look at my brother who just walks into the room. He has the dark brown hair I used to have, before I dyed my hair black. My old hair was so dark, that it was nearly black, and dyeing it didn’t change much. I like it black though. It’s different from everyone else.
“Hey,” Ben says softly.
“Hey,” I reply identically. Somehow I feel calmer with him around. I feel like he’s gone through the same feelings I have. A glance at his wrist reminds me that we dealt with them in separate ways. My eyes skim over his face and I see a flicker of guilt. He looks away, but not at Mom. She has two children, ashamed of themselves, not able to look her.
“We’ve been so worried about you, Hon,” she says.
I stare at her worn out face until I can work up the courage to answer her. I take a big gulp and say, “I’m sorry, Mom. I shouldn’t have gone through with it.” But I so wanted to. Still, I wanted to. But seeing my mom like this—I couldn’t do this to her again.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” she says, clearly hurt.
“I couldn’t,” I say, my voice breaking. I look back to Ben. He still isn’t looking at me or Mom. His eyes are closed, his hands on the bridge of his nose, like he has a headache.
Mrs. Zimmer walks in, notebook in hand, shutting the door with a thud. Ben looks over at her and then to me. “I’m sorry,” she says. “I don’t mean to disturb you, but this is the only time I’m available to see Leia.”
“Of course,” my mom says. She gets up and leaves the room quietly. Ben gives me a look that I know means that he’s worried, but doesn’t want to show it, and follows Mom.
Mrs. Zimmer takes the chair my mom was sitting in and smiles weakly.
“And so, we meet again,” she says.
“Yup,” I reply, meeting her with a blank stare. A stare that I’m hoping will be read as “Don’t mess with me, but I don’t care anyway”.
“Sorry, I would have come yesterday but I got caught up at home. My daughter got sick.” She says it like I must have been so sad yesterday when she didn’t come. Yeah, I really did miss the person I just met two days ago, who is trying to dig through my life and feelings.
“No probs,” I say nonchalantly, like I don’t have a care in the world.
She looks at me intently for a while, trying to figure me out. My story, my attitude, my personality. I don’t want her to know these things. I keep my mouth shut because if I tell her, it’ll be like I’m giving them up. A part of me going into her notebook, and never coming back.
Her sigh is full of resignation and weariness before she begins to lecture me. “Look Leia, I want to work with you. I’m trying to make your life better, and I can only help you if you cooperate. Put down your walls, and I can listen to you and get help for you.” She pauses, hoping that I might intervene, agreeing with her. But this only makes me build my wall higher. Higher and higher until she can’t climb over to find what’s behind it.
Another sigh escapes from her mouth, this time with a hint of irritation. “Leia, if you don’t tell me now, I will just have to keep visiting you. Every day if I have to.”
This does the trick. I don’t want her nose in my business every single day. “Fine,” I say, “I was feeling depressed partly because of my dad.”
After jotting this down in her notebook, she holds her pen on the next line, waiting for me to continue. “The other part was my friends. Well, they’re definitely not my friends anymore, but I don’t think they ever treated me like one. I guess it’s just been building up over time.”
“I see, I see,” she mumbles as she writes more in her notebook. “Alcoholic parents have caused many children to become depressed, and I’m not surprised this was the reason you were feeling suicidal.”
“Yeah, I guess,” I reply, just wanting this to be over as soon as possible.
“Well, this is going to have an effect on the amount of time your dad gets to spend with you. And you’re going to have to go to one of the therapists I have recommended to your mom. You’ll have to keep going to them until they write a report saying that you are no longer having suicidal thoughts or feeling depressed.” She touches my hand and says, “Now, you feel better okay?” Then she gets up and walks out, taking her purple notebook with all the information about me, and who knows how many other people.
I slump down in my bed, gazing at the ceiling, wishing I was anyone but me. I think about the note and I know once I go back to school, everything is going to change. Everyone is going to act different around me. Melinda is probably going to get the entire population of Woodbridge, California to hate me. Well, I bet she doesn’t have to waste her energy on Analea. I’m sure she already hates me for saying that she follows Melinda around like a puppy dog in the note. And Hunter…I really don’t know what Hunter’s going to do. And I don’t want to think about it. I don’t even want to make a guess because I will either expect the very worst, or hope for too much.
So I’ll just lie here, staring at the ceiling. I won’t fall asleep because then it will be tomorrow. And I’m dreading tomorrow because I know that I’ll have to talk to Mom again. And Ben. Despite my efforts to stay awake, my eyes slowly drift asleep. And I dream that tomorrow will be okay. I hope I won’t have to wake up from this dream. Because I know dreams can never be reality.