When I wake up the next morning, I find that I had slept through the whole night laying across my bed. I had literally just collapsed and fell asleep last night, I hadn't even changed out of my clothes. I groggily get off of my bed and walk to my bathroom, dragging my feet. Slowly, I strip down my clothes and sleepily climb into the shower. I turn the water to cold, attempting to wake myself up. When the water hits my body I gasp at the ice-cold water. I quickly turn the temperature to warm, now fully awake. I wash my hair and body slowly, reveling in the warm water hitting my skin.
When I'm done in the shower, I get out and put on simple t-shirt and jean shorts. I brush my hair out and put it up into a ponytail with a hair tie. I look at myself in the mirror, not really caring how I looked at the moment. It's not like I'm going anywhere today, I think to myself. I walk out of my bathroom and cross through my room to leave for the kitchen. When I enter the kitchen I find Gabe cooking breakfast, mom and dad already gone for the day.
"Hey there sleepyhead," he says teasingly while flipping pancakes.
"Hi," I say. "And I'm not sleepy, I'm wide awake thanks to cold water."
"You drenched yourself in cold water?" he laughs.
"You bet I did. I can't stand being so tired in the morning, you know that."
He just laughs again and continues to flip pancakes. I inhale the sweet scent of pancakes that floats through the air. I smile in delight as Gabe hands me a plate of the delicious cakes. I butter them and pour syrup over them, drenching them in it. Gabe looks at my plate and smirks. "That can't be healthy."
"Yeah, yeah. It's my body, I can do what I want with it. And right now I want to fill it with delicious pancakes and syrup," I say through a mouthful of food. "You do make the best pancakes and you barely ever make them. I gotta take the opportunity when I have it."
"If you say so," he says, smiling with pride at the compliment. "So how was your date last night?" he asks, changing the subject.
"It was okay," I say, blushing and looking down at my plate.
"Oh? Why are you looking down?"
He walks over to me and lifts my chin so that I'm looking at him. "You're blushing!" he gasps.
"You've never blushed over a date before, Cici! This is big!" he yells, turning off the stove and taking a seat across the table from me. He looks me in the eyes and I blush some more. "Tell me everything. Right. Now."
I sigh and recall the events that occurred last night, a smile forming as I talk. Gabe only stares at me, not reacting but simply taking in every word. I'm somewhat disturbed by his reaction, which is not having any reaction at all.
"And then he dropped me off and I went to bed," I finish.
He's about to speak but stops suddenly, an evil smile spreading across his face. Oh, perfect. It's him.
"He's just using you, Cici," he says with a sneer. "He doesn't like you. Who would find interest in someone like you?"
"Actually, there are two others beside him," I say with a glare.
His smile falters a bit but he regains his composure quickly. "Yeah, sure. These are probably more of your hallucinations."
"I don't have hallucinations anymore, Gabriel. Those were only when I was little," I say, averting my eyes from his at the comment.
"Well, maybe they're coming back. We'll probably have to take you back to the loony bin," he sneers. "You're so pathetic."
"Shut up!" I say, raising my voice.
"No way. I'm getting to you, aren't I?"
"Shut up..." Tears now begin to fill my eyes.
"Why are you so upset? Because you know it's true?"
"You'll never be normal, Cici. You'll always have that freaky brain in your head," he says as he stands and walks away with a smirk.
I get up quickly and run to my room, slamming and locking my door behind me. I throw myself into my bed and cry, sobbing into my pillow. Eyes closed, memories and images fly across my eyelids. A strange creature in front of me. Nobody else being able to see it. Being taken away to a mental institution. A white room that hurt my eyes. Needles piercing my skin. Screaming. Crying. Sadness. Pain. And then the worst thing I had ever felt.
I had been so alone, no other children to keep me company in the small padded cell where I spent my days. All I had were my hallucinations, but they only scared me.
"Hello Cici. How are you feeling today?" asked the doctor.
I looked up at him, my eyes wide in fear. I look to another corner of the room where a small, goblin-type creature sat, and pointed at it. The doctor looked to the corner and sighed.
"There's nothing over there, Cici," he says sadly. I look back to him, anger rising inside of me.
"Yes there is," I whisper.
"No, Cici. There isn't anything but an empty corner."
"No!" I yell. "There's a monster over there! It keeps trying to get close to me!"
"Cici, calm down. There isn't anything there," he says soothingly.
"NO! WHY DON'T ANY OF YOU BELIEVE ME?!" I scream, standing and pointing to the creature. "IT'S RIGHT THERE! WHY CAN'T YOU SEE IT?!"
"We need a sterilizer, right now!" yells the doctor through the small slit in the door.
I hear rushing footsteps making their way down the long hallway. Two large men in white burst through the door and restrain me, another trailing behind them with a syringe.
"NOO!" I scream as the syringe is plunged into my arm and the sterilizer is forced into my bloodstream. I continue to struggle as my vision becomes hazy and it becomes harder to move. My struggling ceases as I become too tired to move and my eyelids become too heavy to stay open. The men set me down and lean me against one of the padded walls.
"We'll have to increase her treatment," I hear the doctor say. He sounds far away and slightly muffled.
"Yes. I agree that-" I hear the other man say, but I'm not able to hear the rest of the muffled sentence. My consciousness slips away and I'm in the dark.
My phone vibrates next to me on the bed, pulling me out of my memory. I grab it and find a message from a number I don't recognize.
I'll be by your house to pick you up around 7 ~Egyn
I look at the message in confusion, slowly remembering the events of Friday. I groan into my pillow.
Shit, I forgot I have date with him tonight.