You know those times in your life when you walk into a crowded room but you’re still alone? Everyone is watching you walk in but all you notice is how alone you feel. It’s like when I was dropped back off at the clinic and everyone watched me walk in but all I felt was loneliness. I couldn’t feel anything except my heart beating; the only noise in the whole room was that. I didn’t notice anyone smiling at me or patting my shoulder, welcoming me back, nothing made sense anymore. I was numb; I could only hear my heartbeats and only see a white wall in front of me. How I made it to my room was a miracle in the least, or how the only person I could see was Brian and that everyone else was a white blob on the wall. As I said nothing makes sense anymore.
"Hey, you’re back!" Brian cheerfully said, his hand rubbing my back. I flinched and walked past him, shoving him into the hallway wall on accident. His face couldn’t have been more shocked and sad than what I saw.
"I’m not supposed to be back." I grunted, slamming the invisible door behind me and throwing myself onto my bed, covered with an unknown blanket.
I looked up for a second to realize Mrs. Sarah and Brian staring at me with confused and hurt eyes. I’m not sure if my body was still numb or not but I actually felt the sadness coming back. My heart was still, the only noise besides Mrs. Sarah and Brian discussing amongst each other, but I could actually feel my stomach sink seeing their expressions. I actually felt an emotion.
"Kasey, why did you push Brian against the wall?" Mrs. Sarah asked me, her voice demanding like always. Her arm was wrapped around Brian’s shoulders, waiting for a response that I wasn’t going to give back.
"Kasey." She repeated, her voice edging towards worry and anger.
I honestly couldn’t blame her though, it’s only been a few days since my little meltdown and relapse, she has had to deal with me plus the other patients here. Now she has to deal with me back in the clinic and my emotions toward everything. I feel bad for her but on the other hand it is her jobs not mine.
"Kasey, I am going to ask you one more time before I send the nurse in here. Why did you push Brian against the wall?" Mrs. Sarah repeated.
"I-" I kind of responded, I couldn’t know I could speak even a letter. But Mrs. Sarah wasn’t impressed and narrowed her eyes at me.
"Kasey, stop this nonsense and answer me right now!" Mrs. Sarah argued, her arm sending Brian out of the room.
"I-I was angry, I-I’m sorry." I spoke hesitantly, a half-smile appearing on my face from my recent accomplishment.
"Thank you. Now if you haven’t noticed, your room has been adjusted a little bit, for example you will be having a roommate now. She is new to this facility and will need someone within the same comprehension as you, to show her around and help with the eating and such. She as well recently relapsed at home and has been sent backs her to hopefully succeed in ending anorexia. Other than having a roommate, everything dangerous has been removed from this room, if you need a pen or pencil you can ask the front desk for one. Your journal was not perceived as harmful, so therefore you may keep it but there are security cameras covering this room, so please do not try something. Finally, we have removed your door until further notices allow you to have so to say privacy.
Your roommate’s name is Michelle and she is 18 years old, so please treat her with respect. Her background information will be covered with you later. Although she is older than you, Kasey, I encourage you to make a friendship; you are both at the same level in anorexia, self-harm, and counseling. Make a friendship with Michelle, invite her to join your friend group with Brian and the others, and then show her that there is more to life than death. Maybe by then we will be able to trust you a little more.
Also, Kasey, you have been moved back to the blue room to eat due to the fact of your recent hospital visit. Remember, Kasey, life isn’t all about death.
Now please get dressed and come into the kitchen for some lunch, maybe talking to Brian will help you to conquer this recent relapse." She told me, turning and walking out of my room, leaving me to gather the information together and process it.
I quickly got dressed and headed out of the bedroom to where the blue kitchen was, but ignoring the sounds around me. I noticed Brian sitting next to Charlie and probably murmuring about my absence or about how England lost against Scotland the other day. Nonetheless, I approach Mrs. Sarah who is standing in her usual place next to the blue kitchen’s table taking away electronics.
"Welcome back, Kasey. It’s good to see you this lovely afternoon, why don’t you sit down for some lunch and I’ll have Mr. James prepare you a meal." Mrs. Sarah cheerfully told me, leading me over to the booth across from Charlie and Brian.
"Here you go, Kasey. Enjoy and don’t forget to eat all of it." Mr. James reminded me, handing me a plate with a turkey and cheese sandwich, on white bread, a pickle, some chips, and a piece of chocolate cake for dessert. But the only thing my mind could switch to was worry mode, considering the most high-calorie filled item: chocolate cake.
"Just eat, Kasey. You should be back in your regular mindset of eating everything and not worrying about how many calories are in everything." Mrs. Sarah whispered into my ear.
"Okay." I croak, staring into the depths of the complicated lunch.
As soon as I look up, though, I notice Brian staring at me with caution and worry. I quickly look away and notice Charlie peering over at me with his special eyes, catching me off guard.
I carry my tray over to an empty booth next to the door of the blue kitchen and sit down, almost dropping the whole tray. I watch as Mrs. Sarah checks her cell phone for a new message and quickly walks over to Mr. James then leaves the kitchen in a hurry. Mrs. James then takes Mrs. Sarah’s seat, sitting up a little straighter. Within a few seconds everyone’s heads are turned toward the hallway where screams are being heard.
"NO! I WILL NOT STEP INTO THIS CRAPPY PLACE! LET ME GO HOME!!" A girl’s voice screams, her vocal cords reaching the highest notes I have ever heard. Then everyone heard Mrs. Sarah’s voice trying to calm the girl down.
"Excuse me, Mr. James, could I borrow you for a second?" Mrs. Sarah asks him, her hair flipped in all directions, leaving her phone on the desk in our kitchen.
"Absolutely. Girls and boys please finish your meals and put your dishes in the dishwasher like every morning then please head to class. Kasey, Brian, and Charlie are going to be the leaders today, but that also means that you three may not disrespect the other patients OR make any trouble. Thank you, have a lovely day." Mr. James announced, closing the kitchen door and rushing down the hall for faculty backup.
"Finally! We are in charge! Charlie, Kasey, isn’t this great! We could technically just leave now!" Brian yelled amongst us, half-smiling at me.
"No, I want to get better so I can go home, but you and Charlie can do that." I announced, seeing as all the other friends of Charlie and Brian had swiped all the food off their plates and into the trash. The other students were leaving the kitchen just as Brian and Charlie were cleaning off their plates and the tables, leaving me to eat alone.
"C’mon, Kasey, it’s our only opportunity to skip a meal, why can’t you just follow our lead?" Charlie asks, walking out the door with an attitude.
"Yeah, Kasey, seriously before you were sent to the hospital you used to be so cool and now you just want to follow the rules. What changed you so much in a span of two days? If you want Charlie and me to be your friends, why don’t you stop being a good girl and be the person you used to be." Brian scolded; his face scrunched up then continued with Charlie out of the kitchen.
I stared at the empty booths until I could no more stare at the wall. I left my untouched food on the table and walked out into the backyard where the new girl sat with Mrs. Sarah, our secondary nurse Jackie, Mr. James, and Daniel the oldest teen of us, who is leaving in a few days from treatment. The air was perfect, and the puffy clouds just endlessly floated around the sky. The slight breeze allowed me mind to be cleared of all the bad memories this past week and from the years earlier. I finally felt relaxed and calm, being somewhere where I didn’t feel trapped or under the pressure to do something. I could sit on the grass with arms spread apart and dream about something that didn’t cause my mind to be scared of the everyday things I do. For the first time I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t angry, or sad, but happy despite my loss of friends.
If Brian didn’t like me or respect me for whom I am, then he doesn’t get to have me as a friend at all. I am not going to go through with their plans, knowing that I will get in trouble. I am my own person, I actually want to leave the clinic in the near future, and I don’t want to be depressed or anorexic anymore. I just want to go home and be with my family, I want to finally be happy and love my life. I want to have friends that I can trust and respect as they do to me, I want to begin tomorrow with a new Kasey, a girl who wants to get better and start a new path to treatment.