Follow the Butterflies
1“Stop it, stop it! Avery, control yourself!” The nurse’s screams meant nothing to me. She wasn’t going to force me to do anything. “Someone, help!”
Doctors and nurses burst into my room. “Hold her down!” I heard someone yell. But they weren’t going to stop me. I was not going to let them spoon feed me crap to muffle my brain to what they really were. What they really were, though, I was unsure of.
I kicked and thrashed and screamed and bit all the hands that came towards me. “No!” I screamed. “You evil bastards! You have drugged me for the last time!”
There were only three doctors and two nurses holding me down. I could easily escape them. I had before, hadn’t I? I threw them off my arms and charged towards the door. They couldn’t hide the truth. Whatever it was.
Suddenly I felt a sharp pain on the back of my right leg, just below my butt. I felt the sedatives spread down my body as my legs went numb and I fell to the floor. Tears escaped my eyes and I began to sob. They had won again.
On her bed, my roommate Leah looked at me sympathetically. “Oh, Avery, I’m so sorry! Oh, Avery, please be okay!”
“Don’t worry, I’ll fine!” I snapped at her. Leah always worried about me, crying every time I got in trouble. She was afraid I’d be shipped away to someplace else. But they couldn’t do that to me. I was high in the system. I was untouchable.
Those were my last thoughts before I blacked out.
“Now Avery, you can tell me. Why did you hit Nurse Chelsea?” Dr. Cart said.
Was that her name? Hm. There were so many nurses that came and went, I never bothered to learn their names. They were just “Nurse” to me.
“I don’t want any more medicine,” I said.
“That is not a good reason to hit, Avery. It just shows you need more medicine. Now we should address the fact that…”
“That’s not a good reason to hit, Avery. You need more medicine,” Drake mocked. I smile a little.
Dr. Cart’s voice faded away. I was tired of listening to him. Besides, Drake was much more fun to talk to. He would follow me everywhere, willing to talk to me when I was bored or lonely. He always made me laugh.
“This guy is a nut job, girl. Who in the right mind gave him those precious degrees on his walls, huh? Monkeys?”
Drake was such a good friend. He always took my side. He never gets caught, either. That’s because Drake lives in the walls. That’s how he can follow me and not be seen. He used to be a patient here, but one day he got in so much trouble the doctors locked him in a closet and forgot about him. Eventually he dug his way into the wall and stayed there. He likes it in the walls. I don’t know why. I could never live in there.
“I say those precious pieces of paper should be ripped out of their frames and shredded, then he come live upstairs with the rest of us. Filthy turd.”
With that comment I burst out laughing. Dr. Cart stopped talking and stared at me.
“Why are you laughing? What’s so funny, Avery?” he asked.
“Nothing.” I smirked. He would never know.
Drake also has a tendency to get me in trouble. Soon Dr. Cart called in Dr. Jones to tell him about my laughing. They sat at his desk while I stayed where they placed me in the corner, pretending to play with the puzzles and soft dolls. I’m too old for toys, anyway. I outgrew toys when I was, like, fourteen.
“I was asking her to tell me any feelings she’s been having, but she didn’t respond. She was looking around, at the walls, completely oblivious to me. I called her name and she burst out laughing. I tell you, she needs a higher dosage.”
“We’ve been concerned with her for a while,” Dr. Jones said. “I’ll take her to Mrs. Wood. We’ll elaborate, and then decide on a better treatment plan for her.”
Dr. Jones told me to get up and follow him to Mrs. Wood’s office. Mrs. Wood was like the head advisor or something. That means she pretty much ran the whole place. You don’t go there unless you have special needs. She smiled at me when I came into her office, because I visit her a lot.
“Good afternoon, Avery. How are you doing today? Did you enjoy today’s lunch? I heard cake was served.” I like Mrs. Wood. She’s the only doctor I like. It’s just kind of the way she talked to me. She made me feel special.
“Yeah Mrs. Wood, the cake was pretty good. But you know what it needed more of?”
“What did it need more of?” she asked.
“Chocolate!” We both laughed. It’s a well-known fact that I love chocolate.
“I have a feeling sugar isn’t what you need, dear. Now, why have you been brought to visit me today?”
Dr. Jones spoke up from the corner of the office. “I have a file.” Oh great. A file. He placed a manila envelope on Mrs. Wood’s desk. I saw my name sprawled on the side: Rebecca Avery Dane. She opened it and read its contents. I shifted uncomfortably in the leather seat. They probably filed a report on my incident this morning. I’ve been trying to convince Mrs. Wood I’m a good girl. These stupid nurses with their stupid pills aren’t helping.
She set down the envelope and folded her hands together under her chin. Her eyes met mine from behind her black-rimmed glasses. Without taking her gaze from me, she dismissed Dr. Jones. “I’d like to talk to her privately, please,” she told him.
When he was gone, she began. “Now Avery. I know you wouldn’t tell Dr. Cart what happened this morning during your… incident. I understand it might be hard to tell him what you were feeling. But you can tell me. You trust me, don’t you Avery?” I nodded. “Good. Because I just want to help you. I need to know your side of this story. To get my facts straight.”
“She was trying to give me another pill,” was all I said. She motioned for me to continue. “That’s all, I guess. I already take four different pills twice a day. I don’t like them and don’t want any more.”
Mrs. Wood brought out a notepad and wrote something down. When she saw me watching, she pointed to her head. “So I don’t forget,” she winked. She wrote a few more words then set the pen down. “Okay Avery. Can you tell me the emotions you were feeling? Were you angry, or scared?”
“I was mad. I took the new pill last night. It made me feel dizzy, Mrs. Wood. I woke up crying and didn’t know why. I don’t want her to make me take it again.”
A few more scribbles. “So you have a problem with taking all the medicine?” I nodded, and she continued. “Okay, then we will drop that medication. It seems the side effects are out ruling what little benefits it may have.”
“Okay!” I grinned.
“But if we take that away, you will need to spend another session per week in therapy. It will help with your anger issues.”
I nodded. I only go to therapy once a week, so I could handle another session. My therapy sessions are actually enjoyable, even though my therapist is Dr. Cart. I think they’re relaxing.
“But you do need to take your medicine, Avery,” Mrs. Wood said. “It will only make you better. Would it help if we crushed some of the medicine into your food?”
No. That wouldn’t help. It wasn’t taking the medicine that was the problem. It was the feeling of being drugged, of having my problems covered just to shut me up. Mrs. Wood had told me that isn’t true, but it’s how my mind feels.
Drake spoke up. “You’re right, Avery. But I don’t think you have problems. I think you’re fine the way you are. Just different.” Just different. I liked that explanation better. “You’re special. You think in ways others can’t. And society just can’t accept that. But I accept that.”
I noticed Mrs. Wood staring at me funny. I composed my dazed expression. I realized I never answered her question. What was her question? Oh, I remembered.
“Yes, Mrs. Wood. The cake was pretty good. But do you know what it needed more of?”
She just stared at me blankly and scribbled once more on her notepad.