by Cassondra Tompkins
The walls of Cryer Springs Mental Institution were a dark green and a dull grey.
The atmosphere was cold and gloomy; as if the sun wasn’t allowed to shine in the place of the insane and psychotic.
Sounds of bloodcurdling screams and resistance echo through the hallway, each coming from several dorms.
Patients walking up or being escorted and down the hallway, their skin pale and cold as death: almost zombie like. There’s only one way in this hellhole of insanity, and there’s no way out.
It’s lunch time, I’m walking down the hall to the cafeteria. Today’s special is meatloaf bits and creamed corn.
A rush of cold air blasts my skin as enter plain cafeteria filled with patients, guards, cafeteria staff no crazier than me. “Oh great, meatloaf.” I say sarcastically to myself. “My favorite.
” “Of course it’s your favorite.” a small, soft voice says.
“Why wouldn’t it be?” The voice, is it a human or creature? I can’t quite decipher what it is, but it’s has been living in my head like a parasite does with it’s host.
The voice is the reason I’m in this place, the voice, lurking in my messed and twisted head is what caused me to have a mental breakdown 6 months ago.
The voice is what controls me, I can’t escape it; I’m forever a slave to its will. I’m about get my lunch tray when the doors suddenly open and I see her being escorted by a guard.
Juliet cane, the girl with long, straight ebony hair, that is now wispy. Her days are filled with highs and lows of her mental “disease.
” The girl who has not only been here once, but several times within the past two years.
The girl who’s dorm is just down hall from mine, the girl whom I am deeply and passionately in love with. “Go talk to her.” the voice says. “I can’t.”I say, shaking my head.
“I don’t know what to say.” I could sense the voice was getting impatient with me. “What do you have to lose? Just talk to her.” the voice says.
“Are you sure?” I ask, hoping I wouldn’t have to go up and talk to her. “Go talk to her… now.” the voice says in a stern way. “All right, I will.” I say in a obedient tone.
After getting my food from Helga, an old lunch lady(she always gives me extra corn.I don’t know why, I never liked corn.) I head over to the table where Juliet is sitting, picking at her food.
I tried to say hello but nothing would come out. “Say hello, you idiot.” the voice says, annoyed. “I’m not an idiot.” I say out loud, which caused Juliet to turn and look at me.
I look at her directly, her pale blue eyes sparkle as gaze at her. She’s skinny and little boney, and her neck and wrist are covered with latex bandages.
The bags under her eyes indicated she’s a restless sleeper. “Hello.” I say, forced. “May I sit with you?” “Sure.” she says in a soft voice. I place my tray next to hers and stumble in my chair.
“So what are you in hear for?” She asks shyly, but curiously at the same time. “Something called schizophrenia or Panic “disease.” I can’t remember what it is.
” she gives me a half smile, amused. “Oh, so you hear voices and see things that aren’t there. Right?” she says. “Yes.” I reply instantly.
“I have to do what the voices are telling me to do or else.” “Or else what?” she asks. “Or else I’ll be torture by the images of my best friend dying.
” Juliet is silent for a moment, then she asks “Who was your best friend? And how did he die?” “Tell her, she has the right to know.” the voice says. “Ok” I say to the voice.
Looking at juillet, I take a deep breath and say “Marcus cane, he died in my arms after being shot.” Juliet’s face turned white.
“My brother? You knew my brother?” she asks almost in tears and shocked by the fact.
“Yes, he was in my unit in Afghanistan and he was shot by one of the Afghan soldiers, he died instantly in my arms.” I say sadly, trying to forget that horrific night.
Juliet’s face turned even whiter as I told her this.
In an instant, she started shaking her head repeatedly and muttering under breath saying “How could this happen? They told me he was fine!” “Calm her down, don’t let her lose control.
” the voice says. Out of obedience I grab her hand firmly, making her face me. “Juliet, calm down. It’s okay, he’s in a better place now.
” I place my other hand on hers, feeling the scars on her left wrist from being slit. “ How do you know this?” she asks. I give her a look indicating that she knew what I meant. “The voice.
” she whispers. I nod. I could sense that she understood because the next thing I know, she grabs my face and we gaze at each other.
The coldness of her touch caused my skin to tingle, like a million bugs crawling all over me. The world around me suddenly stopped, it was just me and her against the world.
“What is the voice telling you now?” she asks, stroking my face.I put my hand on hers, her skin suddenly warm. “Tell her how you feel.” the voice says happily. “Ok.” I say to the the voice.
“The voice says that you don’t have to be sad anymore, that you shouldn’t harm yourself because of it. Your brother loved you.” I say in a soft voice. “There’s more, tell her Ronan, tell her.
” the voice says, filled with excitement. “ The voice also says that I should tell you you’re beautiful, but what the voice mainly wants me to tell you: is that I love you with all my heart.
” Silence falls between us, a smile spreads across Juliet's face. “I think I can hear the voice too.” I smile and put my hand on her face, stroking it.
“So, what is the voice telling you?” I asks, she smiles at me knowing who the voice really is. “He’s telling me to kiss you, Ronan.” A grin spreads across my face as I lean into to kiss her.
“We’ll then, you should obey the voice.” Suddenly she pulls me close and kisses me tenderly and passionately. After a few minutes we break apart. “I heard the voice.” she says.
I smile and take her hand entangling hers to mine. “What did the voice say?” I ask, gazing into her beautiful eyes.
She gives me another kiss. “It’s Marcus. He wants us to move on, to be together as one. Marcus told me to tell you that… I love you.”