Chapter 7 – Doc Delgado
Wednesday, November 16th, 2016
All I remember, is Calo carrying me out of the shower area, and supporting me while taking me outside through the main exit that is meant for visitors and teachers only. We’re accompanied by a guy that showed up ten minutes after Calo called someone, telling him to take the car and come to school.
It’s all I remember when I wake up in my own bed, shocked to find Calo seated on the foot end of my bed, staring at me in the dark.
For the first few minutes, all we do is stare at each other. I see some bitterness in his eyes, but mostly worry.
I clear my throat, thirsty as hell, like always after suffering from a mayor panic-attack. ‘Where’s Pyper?’
‘Asleep in her room.’ Calo answers with a whisper. ‘She’s fine. Shocked, but fine.’
I go back to staring at him in silence, wondering what the hell he’s doing here right now. Why is he still here, with me, as he just witnessed what kind of cry baby I am?
‘Calo?’ My mom’s voice sounds unsurely. ‘I thought I heard something.’
‘Neo woke up.’ Calo answers, right before the light flicks on, blinding me slightly.
‘The fuck?’ I grumble, pulling the cover over my head to block out the lights.
‘Honey, how are you feeling?’ mom asks, though sounding muffled by the covers. ‘I brought you water and juice. It’s on your nightstand.’
I throw back the covers, shooting upright to chuck down the water, followed by the juice, thankful for any fluids to go down my dry throat.
Calo smiles, though it’s a sad smile, causing me to sigh, feeling a bit ashamed, still feeling drained from most energy. I pull the cover back over me, shaking a bit.
‘Are you cold, sweety?’ mom whispers, moving to grab my extra blanket to cover me up. ‘just go to sleep and get some rest. Calo is sleeping over and if something’s wrong, he’ll come and get your dad or me, okay?’
I nod, far from energized enough to fight the fact Calo is going to stay over. I don’t want him to see me tomorrow. Because I know I jammed in the shower area and I already know what’s going to happen in the morning.
I don’t want him to see me at my weakest. But I’m back asleep too soon to let them know I want Calo to leave.
Much to my surprise, he is indeed gone once I wake up the next morning.
It stings a bit, because I guess on the other hand, I did like the fact he stayed with me to keep an eye on me. I do like the fact I have a friend now.
I just don’t like the fact he saw me in a panicky frenzy and had to carry me out of the shower area; bridal style. Ugh.
I push myself upwards, happy to find new drinks on my nightstand, but exhausted and still a bit scared overall.
Since I’m obviously going to stay home today, Pyper didn’t put out any clothes, still surprising me a bit.
She puts clothes out no matter what. If I’m still asleep, she still puts them on the bed.
Maybe it’s early, but my gut feeling is telling me Pyper became ill and is now in hospital because I touched the lines between the tiles.
I’m back to shaking in no time, wanting to go and check up on Pyper, hating the fact my mind screams at me to shower first. Get rid of the germs and start the day off the way you’re supposed to.
I’m thorn between settling the nagging voice in the back of my mind to see if Pyper is really okay, or the settle the nerves of all other voices screaming that I have to shower. I have to shower.
I scoot over to the side of my bed, get out slowly to gain some balance first before I shuffle over to my own personal bathroom to take a quick shower and scrub off any excessive germs.
Its in the shower that the image, of my stuff, scattered all over the locker room floor and partially in the bin, flashes through my mind.
I have to get new stuff. No way I’m ever touching that, ever again.
I shudder at the thought, making sure I got rid of all the germs, by scrubbing my body again.
Every memory of Luke touching me, my stuff in the garbage, it makes me re-scrub and clean my body endlessly.
My skin tingles and burns because of it, red and partly chapped as I finally am able to leave the shower without freaking out because I might have missed a spot.
And then it becomes clear why Pyper always picks my outfit. I stare at the closet that I haven’t looked in for weeks, no, months. The only part of the closet that I still access is the part in which my sweaters are.
It’s a mess.
Colours are wrong, sizes are off. The clothes are folded neatly, but they’re placed so randomly that I want to scratch my eyes by the looks of it.
But I have to make sure Pyper is okay.
But I can’t walk down in my boxer shorts, now can I?
I’d catch a cold, I’d be exposed to even more germs. Mom and dad will notice the rest of the bruises all over my body, that I managed to hide for them to not make them more worried about the bullying.
Clothes first, checking on Pyper later.
I think mom was planning on checking if I was still in bed, when she found me in the middle of my room, wearing my sleeping clothes again because I had to reorganize the closet. I simply jammed, and I knew it would happen. There’s simply too many tabs open in my mind, too many things to keep in mind, to prevent from happening. I can’t let the house burn down, I can’t let germs kill me and take away my parents’ first-born – though dysfunctional – son. I have to know if I got Pyper in trouble already. Mom can’t slip, dad can’t get in an accident, Calo can’t be sick again and grandpa can’t have a heart attack. But those colours all over the place, made me actually scratch my eyes until it started bleeding a bit.
I had to put the colours in the right place, but now my clothes are all over the place, all in small stacks, covering every clean surface in my room and it’s so intense and chaotic, that I just stood there, and stared towards the empty closet; the only speck of untouched white in my close vicinity.
Mom simply forced me to put on some sweatpants, my favourite sweater that she bought in The Cavern Club and pulls a cap over my messy hair.
She called dad, she called someone else – who I assume was going to book me an emergency meeting with another therapist – and then she covered my eyes and guided me towards the kitchen, making sure to let me skip over the tiles in front of the door.
‘What happened, Neo?’ She demands in a harsh way. ‘Calo couldn’t explain, because he didn’t see what happened, he just took care of the aftermath when he got nervous because you didn’t show up in the next class.’
I stare towards the sink and the dishes still there from breakfast, shuddering and immediately wanting to grab y disinfectant lotion, not finding it in my pocket.
Mom simply takes in a deep breath, opens a drawer and hands me a new bottle. ‘What. Happened.’
‘I stepped on the lines.’ I exclaim in shock, staring at her with big, frightened eyes. ‘And now Pyper is in hospital and she’ll probably die and it’s all my fault because I didn’t fight hard enough to not step on those goddamn lines –,’
‘Neo, Pyper is fine, a bit of a cold, but she always gets that a week after treatment. She’s in school, she’s fine. Nothing happened.’
‘But it will happen.’ I cry out. ‘It must have happened, why else didn’t Pyper grab me my clothes?’
‘Because she overslept herself and I told her to skip it and move her ass to school. I knew your day was doomed anyway. You just jammed a bit early.’ She sighs deeply yet again. ‘Dad will be here in five minutes and we’re taking you to a new doctor –,’
‘I don’t’ want to see a psychiatrist anymore!’ I cry out, covering my eyes, that sting as soon as the first tear rolled over one of the scratches. ‘I don’t want to have OCD, I don’t want to suffer, I don’t want all of these responsibilities. I wanna be normal! And if I can’t be normal, I want to be dead.’
‘Neo!’ mom exclaims in shock with a high-pitched voice. ‘Don’t you ever think about giving up, Neo.’ She hurried towards me. ‘You never said anything like that. What happened, Neo? I need to know.’
‘I was irresponsible, mom!’ I snap at her, pushing her away, instantly using more disinfectant lotion, before harshly rubbing in my eyes to get those stupid tears to stop falling. ‘I was too freaking happy because Calo wants to be my friend, I wasn’t paying attention. I should’ve payed attention! I… I…’ I break down crying.
I cried until the pool of tears dried up and even then, I was sobbing and ugly-crying, shaking heavily, completely blocking out the entire world.
By the time I regained some of my senses, I’m seated in front of a doctor who looks like an older version of Calo, who happens the be called doctor Martin Delgado.
Calo the Traitor.
He told my parents to bring me to his father. Apparently, doctor Delgado has more experience helping people who suffer from OCD, who are being tortured by their own brains.
Those who are an abomination to society like me.
Who are freaks, who malfunction, who ruin everybody’s lives.
Who are faulty, Faulty Favre.
‘Tell me what it is you think will happen.’ Doctor Delgado repeats his question, still sounding as patient as twenty minutes ago when he introduced himself as Martin Delgado.
‘We will all burn in hell.’ I grumble, refusing to tell Calo’s dad my deepest, darkest secrets. Bet they’ll have fun over it during dinner.
He smiles with one corner of his lips, scribbling something down. ‘Did you have trust issues with your former therapist too?’
‘Duh.’ I give him a roll of the eye. ‘And I don’t trust you either.’
‘Why didn’t you trust him?’ He shortly looks to one of the many papers in my medical file that mam handed to him. ‘Doctor Avery Pelham? What did you not like about him.’
‘He’s a therapist.’ I spit out, sliding down in my seat some more, sulking like a kid because he keeps bombarding me with questions that have nothing to do with a solution.
Dad had to get me out of the house by covering my eyes so that I would not see the chaos that we would leave behind. The left-behind business of my morning rituals. They had to drag me to the car and nearly tie me down for I was about to run back in and finish what needed to be finished.
They gave me a bottle of water in the car and I’m not stupid. I know there’s meds in the water that are supposed to calm me down. I know they have those meds to give to me whenever it’s an emergency, like today.
It helped me relax, but along with the exhaustion after yesterdays panic-attack, my body feels numb and empty, while my head is still buzzing with dark thoughts.
I further ignore any and all attempts from doctor Delgado to start up a conversation. Eventually, after talking to my parents the last ten minutes, he prescribes me medication to keep me calm during the day.
‘It’s about creating some peace in his mind in which is place to start thinking differently. Right now, his mind is too full with his compulsions and obsessions.’ Doc Delgado hands the paper slip with the prescribed meds to my mom. ‘It’s nothing heavy, it’s just that small push in the right direction.’
‘And when can he see you again?’
‘I went over my schedule and since Neo needs help we made sure he can see me twice a week, once every Tuesday, and once every Friday.’
Great, I guess I’m going to see a therapist again. But maybe this isn’t that bad. Maybe he can help me to calm down some more.
Maybe, Calo’s dad will be able to cheer me up like Calo does.
At least I know he brought up a decent son who doesn’t judge me for my flaws. Despite my irky habits, my compulsions, my obsessions, Calo still wants to be my friend and that might be because his dad has the same opinion; that it doesn’t define who I am.
But it does define me, doesn’t it?
Calo is just capable of ignoring it, so far.
But I bet there will be a moment in which he will get sick and tired of me and my episodes, my anxiety and my compulsions.
But I should at least give this a try. Try to change for the better so that I will not scare Calo away and I will have him as a friend for a long time.
Because really, that’s all I want right now; have Calo to be my friend and for me not to scare him away.