Maybe I was Crazy
Tick...tick...tick...I glanced up at the noisy white clock on the wall almost amused. Even with all the racket it was making the second hand hadn’t actually managed to move even once. Letting out a deep breath I peered down the hall seeing a couple of familiar nurses. One smiled and gave me a wave. I obediently gave her a half-smile and raised my hand in return.
Leaning back in the uncomfortable and outdated waiting room chair I frowned. I was going to miss the solitude and safety here. I had serious doubts about whether or not I was actually ready to be released back into “the real world." For the past 6 years this psychiatric hospital had been my home.
I looked up seeing my dad walking toward me “ Sydney, are you ready to go?”
I nodded thinking it a little ironic that six years ago I begged him to take me home and now I was close to begging him to let me stay. He grabbed my bag leaving me no choice but to follow behind him. I had thought he would be in his old station wagon but instead he unlocked a bright red Chevy Tahoe. I stared in confusion before shaking my head. What did I expect? Time did not stop while I picked up my broken pieces. As dad packed my one and only bag away in the back I climbed in the front seat and buckled up.
Coming around he opened his door and smiled at me, “Sydney I know it has been hard but Dr. Russell seems to think you have made a full recovery and will be back to your old self in no time.”
I nodded at him. Great it was my “old self” that got me here in the first place. As we left the hospital Dad began rambling about a little bit of everything not making much sense. I’m sure it was his way of coping with the situation, I mean it wasn’t every day your crazy daughter got released.
They said I had a psychotic break. Maybe I did, I don’t know and really didn’t care anymore. I was tired of talking to everybody about it so I just began telling the doctors what they wanted to hear.
After trying my hardest to make the doctors believe that I wasn’t crazy I finally gave in and accepted the fact that maybe I had imagined everything. How else could I explain what I had seen? They had shown me how almost everything I believed to be true could be explained. They told me over and over again how it had all been a dream, albeit a very vivid dream.
Shaking my head I looked past the trees that were going by in a blur. My dad must have realized his rambling wasn’t helping either of us and had turned on some music. Glancing over at him I gave him a small smile, at least his taste in music had stayed the same. Hideous. I guess some things hadn’t changed.
Where exactly did my life get off track? Well I believe it started when my mother left. She had been having an affair with a coworker of hers named Jeremy but in my total devotion to her I blamed my father for her leaving. My mother’s new life was fast-paced, too wild to be burdened with her own daughter. She left one morning without a word leaving me for my father to raise. Back then I couldn’t see that my Dad was trying to take care of me the best he could as a single father. I despised him when he had decided to marry Iris, my stepmother.
Iris...how I hated that woman. Her name seemed to stick in my mouth like slime leaving a foul taste behind. She had always been on me about something. In fact she was the reason I had been locked away for the past six years. Iris had convinced my dad that I was a threat to her and their newborn son Colby in my “delusional state.”
Colby was the only good thing she had ever brought in my life. I had always wanted a little brother or sister. Don’t get me wrong he had taken some getting used to but I loved him. Dad would occasionally bring him to visit me but Iris refused to come. Not that I actually wanted to see her. My therapist had asked a couple of times but even he gave up, just as he had given up on my mother taking time out of her busy schedule to visit regularly. I think in six years I might have seen her a handful of times.
Iris had never let me go out with friends. She never even let me think the word date, not that I actually had any offers but still. I was a weird child. I can admit that now.
I would have rather had my nose in a book at the park than actually socialize with others. I easily preferred my fantasy world over my real one. I guess I had just taken it too far. My dad always worked long hours and when he was home he and Iris would always have some event to go to. I had never doubted he loved me but Iris and Colby just seemed to take precedence over me.
The only real thing I loved back then was Shadow my mixed-breed dog that had just shown up on our front porch one day. He was sadly my best friend. Iris at first had refused to let him in the house but did finally give in as long as I kept him in my room. It was sad to think that today I would be coming home and he wouldn’t be there.
The day things went south was a day that would be etched in my mind for the rest of my life no matter how bad I wanted to forget it. That morning I had woke up early and snuck downstairs to get the paper. I used to love to get the papers and cut out things in them to tape up on my vanity.
Iris had come into my room crossing her arms looking down at me with that ever-present frown on her face. “Sydney you know your father reads the paper every morning with his coffee. Now look at it! It’s just ruined!”
I stood up, “what! It’s not ruined. I just cut out one a few things.”
Iris put her hands on her hip glaring at me, “well pick it up.”
I sighed bending down to pick up the disarray of paper I had left on the floor. Didn’t the woman ever learn to knock? Handing it to her in what could only be described as a mess she shook her head, “I swear Sydney...”
A loud squeal erupted through the air causing her to grimace. “Go get Colby and get him ready for breakfast.”
I could feel my eyes enlarge, “what...why?”
Iris cut her eyes at me, “Sydney I will not tell you twice. Now go.” She stood with her feet planted pointing me out of my own room. Sighing I huffed past her, “I can never do anything.”
Colby was standing up in his crib, face red, whining. “Colby...all you ever do is cry.”
Leaning down I picked him up sat him on the bed while I gathered up a diaper, wipes, and his outfit for the day. He continued to whine making me seriously doubt that I would ever want a kid of my own. Once he was changed and dressed he seemed to settle down some as he laid his chubby cheek against my shoulder.
“I know it must be hard having HER as a mother.” I said more to myself than to him. Toby started to babble as I made my way down the stairs with him.
Entering the kitchen I had sat him down in his high hair and Iris placed a bowl of Cheerios in front of him. In no time he started grabbing hand fulls of cereal shoving it into his mouth. Obediently I sat down at my chair and grabbed a piece of toast and two pieces of bacon. Dad and Iris both ignored me so I quickly ate excusing myself from the table.
Heading upstairs I grabbed my newest book and tried to make sure to be quiet as possible as I walked down the stairs. Thankful Shadow had already been placed outside. As soon as I made my way outside I went to the side gate to get Shadow. As I rounded the corner with him ready to take off I was greeted by Iris.
“Sydney you really need to tell us when you leave.”
I frowned up at her. “Be home by six.” Nodding I started to walk past her, “six do you understand.”
I spun around, ” yes I heard you.” She opened her mouth to speak but I took off running. Yeah I was a brat at 15.
I stayed all day at the park lost in my own world. The day was cooler than it has been earlier in the week and I was enjoying being free. The sudden rumble of thunder caught me off guard. Glancing down at my watch I let out a groan, "oh no. It was already past 6.
It had started raining on us halfway home and I should have seen that as an omen. By the time I made it home both myself and Shadow were soaking wet. Iris had refused to let him in and as things normally went Iris and I had an argument and dad just stood there. When they left Colby was in his crib screaming his head off.
I remember going to my room and shutting my door. I loved Colby now but back then he was just another chore. Furious at Iris I had taken my frustration out on him. I knew he was probably scared. I should have gone to the bedroom and held him, talked to him. But no. I sat on my bed crying cussing the world praying for anyone or anything to take me away.
That's when HE appeared. It was his voice I heard first. "Don't cry Sydney. You are so much stronger than that."
I remember about falling off my bed hearing his voice. Looking around I blinked seeing HIM in the mirror. I stared at him for what seemed like forever. He was unlike anyone I had ever seen before. His dark black hair fell haphazardly into his eyes before he swept it back revealing his piercing sea green eyes.
Blinking I tried to make sense of the outrageously hot man in my mirror but blinking didn't help. No instead of disappearing he stepped right through coming to stand in front of me. Any sense of self-preservation that I should have had went out the window. I wasn't sure who he was or even what he was but even at 15 I had been taken aback by him.
He smirked down at me as if he knew where my mind had wandered off too. He didn't seem to mind me openly gawking at him. In fact he just stood there letting me absorb every aspect of him. He was tall, muscular but lean, he had a long black jacket on that swept the floor behind him reminding me of old movies I had seen in the past.
"Why are you here?" I asked.
He arched his brow, "why Sydney you called for me."
I frowned at him trying to remember everything I had said since entering my room and honestly there was no fucking telling what I had said. I had been so mad. "Who are you?"
The gorgeous man smiled at me, "my name isn't important Little Bird."
He had sat with me that night. We talked, nothing more nothing less. He let me get out all of my frustrations, he listened to every single thing I had said. He had simply been there and that had been enough.
By the time my parents had made it home Colby was asleep. I hadn't told them that night about the stranger's appearance. After that night he came to me most every night. He was there when I was sad, he was there when I was happy. On nights he didn't come all I had to do was talk to my mirror and he would come to me.
My younger self had a huge crush on him. I began to rely on his nightly visits shutting myself in my room most of the time. I would sit in front of my mirror all day. Sometimes I would get glimpses of him during the day but he never came out until night.
My stepmom Iris noticed the change in me first. I had lied wanting to keep him a secret but one day in a rage I had told her I was going to run away. She laughed at me and I told her all about my "friend."
My dad had been scared thinking someone was breaking into the house at night. When they figured out that wasn't the case they started really listening to me. They had tried to take my mirror away from me and that's when I lost my shit and attacked Iris. It hadn't been pretty, in fact they had called the police and I had been dragged out of my room begging HIM to come save me. He never appeared that night.
Now did it really take 6 years to cure me? Well who’s to say they even did. My theory is that my allotted time was done and that my dad and Iris had no other choice but to come to get me. Not that I had a bad time, I completed my Ged, took some online college classes, I even was able to get my driver's license through an outlook program to have me real-world ready. So in the end did I really go crazy as they said? Well I still wasn’t a hundred percent. All the facts had been set in front of me and I could clearly see the connections and how one could say that it was my imagination. I guess some part of me just didn’t want to accept I had lost my mind. Most importantly I hadn't seen HIM since I had been drug screaming from my house.