The sun was warm on Sophie’s face as her mother impatiently pulled her from the back seat of the convertible. “Come on Firefly, stop daydreaming the sooner we see your Grandma the sooner we can get out of here okay.”
The sun shone brightly in Sophie’s eyes as she tugged at her dress. Squinting she looked up at the large and daunting building standing before her, the cheerful sounds of the birds chirping around her brought her no comfort as her mother pulled her up the stairs and into the double doors of the hospital.
The eerie sounds of confusion and pain hit her like a slap in the face, the sterile yet putrid stench filled her nostrils and made her stomach turn as she curiously peeked into each and every room they passed along the way. Even as a child she knew that one day this could be her home as well, her momma had warned her, she had told her the truth. “It’s our curse Firefly, it’s our curse, never forget where our paths can so easily lead us.”
So many times she had been warned and so many times she had watched her grandmother and mother enchant the world with their beauty and overwhelming energy.
She had been mesmerized by their charms and excited by the stories they told. Always on the go, traveling around the world living extravagantly, surrounding themselves with handsome men and lavish parties, never stopping to worry about the future or dwelling on their pasts, living only for the moment.
Being so much like her mother Sophie’s mother Celeste spent much of her youth living on the edge, taking life by the balls and milking it for everything she could get out of it. She loved the nightlife and the parties, she never missed a chance to meet new people and would travel the world on a whim. New lovers at every port, she lived to love and experience new and exciting things.
Just as her mother had done she too became a mother and brought her daughter Sophie along for the wild ride she called life. Becoming mothers hadn’t slowed them down if anything it had seemed to fuel their manic episodes. Like her mother Celeste was in her late forties when the curse finally turned on her, finally catching up on her after years of riding wave after wave of mania with only a few bumps along the way.
Celeste finally crashed bringing her whole world down with her, she was devastated. She lost everything, even her ability to function on her own. Confusion set in like a dense fog coming over her, only lifting for brief moments of clarity.
Hiding her mental disorder was no longer a choice; it wasn’t as if she was euphoric or hyperactive and could laugh it off as being the life of the party or self-medicate like she had so many times before. Her delusions were out of control and had become hard to ignore and pretending there wasn’t a problem just wasn’t working anymore. It was hard to give up all the luxuries she had grown used to but at some point, she had to give up and give in and after a few choice breakdowns and public scenes, the men with the straitjackets came and gave her a permanent resistance at Camarillo mental hospital.
After seeing the true strength of her family’s curse and the hold it had over so many generations of women in her family starting as far back as her great-great-grandmother Leta, Sophie knew not to mess with it, she knew what kind of power it could hold over her, she had already seen its effects, many times over and she lived with them daily. At a young age, Sophie realized that even though she had grown accustomed to self-medicating she needed to get ahead of the curse and started seeing a doctor and taking medication, as the years passed she kept her Bipolar disorder to herself having told people about it in the past she knew it wasn’t a good idea, it always changed the way people felt about her and would make things hard on her relationships.
She had gotten to a point in her life where she felt okay with keeping her mental illness to herself, it was on a need-to-know basis and she decided who needed to know.
Throughout the years Sophie had been through many relationships, none of which could ever live up to the one man Sophie compared all men to, the man of her dreams. Since she was a teenager she had dreamt of him, tall, dark hair, handsome rugged features, the type of man that would love her for her and that wouldn’t let the curse scare him away. He would be everything she needed and more, he would take care of her as a real man should, a trait Sophie hadn’t seen in many men. A man she could fully surrender to and feel totally safe in his capable arms. She could only wish that she might find a man that could compare to him, but she had begun to worry after being with so many Mr. Wrongs that Mr. Right might not exist, at least not for her