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Not alone in forgiving
The faithful and the blind
Innocence is forsaken
I leave 'em all behind
And then I see that even angels never die
Goodbye Agony, Black Veil Brides.
I was finishing up in therapy, I was supposed to see Doc Foster today but I guess she was busy with a new intake or something because I had been rescheduled and met with one of the therapists. I found out I was being moved to a level three.
I walked back to my room, hearing someone sobbing inside. I guess I finally got a roommate, about time I did. I glanced at her chart, her name is Raven and she's sixteen. I didn't bother reading further. My brain went into hyper mode, excited that my new roommate was here. I tried to keep it calm though, I didn't want to scare her.
I walked in to see a girl sitting on the bed opposite mine. Her fingernails scratched at the skin on her arms, I knelt down in front of the bed and reached for her wrist to stop her, not bothering to say anything yet because I didn't want to scare the poor girl too much. She opened her eyes and panicked, scooting back even though it didn't do much good since she was against a wall anyway. She obviously hadn't heard me come in. I gave her a minute to recover from the shock while I looked her over.
She was dressed in white, typical of the patients. I noticed a bunch of red markings on her leg, birthmark perhaps? It looked like wine had spilled over her skin, kind of. Assuming this was the right girl, her name matched the color of her hair: jet black, wavy, and it looked thick. I couldn't tell exactly how long it was when she was sitting but I guessed it ended near her waist. All of it lay over her shoulder in waves, except for a small section in front, long fringe that came down to her jaw, covering one eye. Her eyes were icy blue and widened in fear, she was probably scared as hell.
With the huge wide eyes and long lashes the first thing I thought of was a deer in headlights, that was how she looked right now. I found it unusual that she had bright blue eyes and black hair, leaving me to wonder whether or not she had dyed it or if it was naturally this inky color, because the gene for dark hair is a dominant gene while the gene for blue eyes is recessive and they aren't often expressed together. Dark hair and blue eyes aren't common, bottom line.
She also had thick bandages on her arms and thighs. Sweet mercy, she didn't look the size of your average sixteen year old girl. She was small enough that at first glance somebody might think she would be on the kids' unit. She was roughly the size of the average nine or ten year old. I'm pretty sure my little sister Maya is her size or taller, perhaps. She had tear stains on her cheeks from crying, I frowned.
"Your skin is too flawless for tear stains," I said quietly, reaching out slowly, being careful not to scare her more than she is already. She was probably terrified enough given that it was her first day in this place, at least out of isolation. Usually when a new guest comes in they isolate them for the first day or two; to let them calm down and come to grips with it. Usually when a new person arrives the car comes and we hear screaming, especially if it's not a hospital transfer case. But judging by her reactions, she may have been brought here and not isolated. I wonder what happened to her, what would land her in Sick Minds. Oh yeah, I call this place Sick Minds. Hope for Healing Hearts, my ass. Hope, for most of the patients... Oh, sorry, I mean GUESTS... Is a joke.
There's a line in a Black Veil Brides song that says "I never knew that hope was fatal until I looked it in the eye," and that's true for some people. For almost all the people here, hope was nearly fatal, and for others it was fatal. She closed her eyes as I reached towards her... When she didn't resist, I wiped away the tears, she leaned into the touch. That was when I noticed she was shaking like crazy. "Are you cold?" I asked, she slowly shook her head no in reply. "Why were you crying?" I asked, she didn't answer after a minute or two.
"Not much of a talker, hm? That's okay, I can talk enough for both of us. My name's Cameron, I'm guessing you're my new roommate," I said, extending a hand which she didn't take. After a moment I retracted my hand and asked "Okay then, what's you're name, sweetness?"
At first I thought she wasn't going to respond and it briefly crossed my mind that she might be deaf or physically unable to talk. She signed something, I didn't know what she said. "I don't sign," I said apologetically. "Can you talk?" I asked, she nodded. "Why don't you?" I asked quietly, she shrugged. "Say something, please, for me, at least just tell me your name," I pleaded. "My name's Raven," she said softly. The first time she's spoken to anyone here that I know of that's not a doctor. "That's a cute name for a girl like you, it's nice to meet you Raven," I said happily.
Just then, doctor Foster stepped into the room. "I see you two have met," she stated, I nodded. "Raven, ready for the tour?" she asked, Raven stood, and in that moment I realized how tiny she was. She was extremely petite, I stood almost 5'8" and she was like five feet. Probably less than that. She was thin too, I had to wonder if she was here for an eating disorder. No matter, I'd ask her later. Well, maybe.
I noticed she was looking at the white noise machines with an inquisitive look. "They're little white noise machines, outside all the offices, and all over the freaking place," I tell her, quiet enough that Foster couldn't hear. The look of realization crossed her face quickly, but then it faded and her face just looked blank. She took a hold of my arm, turning my hand palm up and beginning to trace letters. "UFO? Flying saucers? They look like flying saucers?" I asked quietly, she nodded and I snickered.
Foster went into her lecture, the same spiel I got when I first was admitted. Raven rolled her eyes, probably thinking the same thought I had when I first heard that part about how the cameras are monitored to prevent any incidents. Why don't they just say that the cameras are monitored to prevent anybody trying to hurt or kill themselves?
I couldn't stop looking at Raven. She was shy, but she was pretty. Petite, but maybe she was just naturally thin. And if she was here for an eating disorder... she wasn't your typical underweight anorexic chick: most of those types were all angles and lines and bones showing through their clothes; this girl was curves for days. The curve of her neck and back, from her waist to her hips, from her thighs to her knees to her calves.
Her hair was thick, black, and when loose it hung just past her hips. Her eyes were that piercing blue that showed in some form or another everything that had happened to her. The eyes don't lie. Her sapphire blue eyes seemed to hold more darkness than even the darkest black eyes.
I also noticed a small scar on her neck, it was about three inches in length and ran horizontally across her neck. She had a small light-colored scar right under her eye, I caught a glimpse of it through the hair. She also had a patchy area of skin that was discolored, most of it was hidden by her bangs. She suddenly pulled her hair forward onto her shoulder, covering the scar on her neck and drawing my attention to her shoulders. Bandages were taped to her shoulders, I wondered why.
I had so many questions for her but I bit my tongue, not wanting to scare her more than she likely already is. I mean, first day in this place is pretty terrifying for anybody. I remember from my first day, I was absolutely terrified.
But turns out English isn't all useless... I had read about Greek mythology and sirens. Sirens were supposedly beautiful yet dangerous creatures, daughters of the river god Achelous, with melodic voices that could lure mariners and fishermen to their deaths... or make men do whatever they want.
My initial opinion of Raven is that she's a siren. I wondered if she played chess or checkers or anything. A lot of people here play checkers but chess is harder for most while for me it's too easy for me to beat even the good players. Sometimes the orderlies play with me on breaks, but even they're pretty easy to beat. I tuned back into what Foster was saying as I heard my name.
"Cam can show you where it is, if you can't find it on your own. They also have activities throughout the day in the rec room which you will be free to participate in if you wish, the activities are elective. Yoga, perhaps an origami class, self-expression art activities, there are others though. Any questions?" she asked Raven, who flipped her hair over her shoulder as she shook her head.
"Any chance of you talking any time soon? A simple nod will do for now," she shrugged. I almost laughed, Raven was feisty and apparently refusing to give them the satisfaction of helping her get better. Doctor Foster sighed, then said "Okay. You currently have free time until lunch, about an hour. If you need anything, you know where to find me or ask any of the orderlies or nurses. If you know any sign, which I'm sure you do, we do employ a couple of deaf nurses, they both lipread though so they should be able to understand you whether you sign or not," She said before walking away, leaving her with me.
Raven turned around once in a full circle, trying to figure out which way to go. She cocked an eyebrow at me as if asking which way. "If you're trying to get to the room, look at the numbers on the doors. Ours is 120 and 121, come on," I smiled, taking her tiny hand in mine and leading her to the room. She seemed surprised as I took her hand but didn't object. I noticed that her fingertips, like mine, were rough. Mine were rough because I played guitar. She went and sat on her bed, staring off into space for a couple minutes before I spoke. "Mind if I come sit with you?" I asked, she shrugged. I sat down on the edge of her bed next to her.
She started scratching at her wrists again with her nails. "Hey, don't," I reached over to grasp her wrist to stop her. "Why not?" she asked quietly. I half expected her to yank her hand away, but she didn't. "They check you for scratch marks, and if they find you with any there's no telling what could happen. They could simply check in more often, or they could move you to intensive. If you're itchy or having dry skin issues they have stuff that can help," I told her, my fingers lightly rubbing the skin on her wrists that wasn't covered by the bandages. "Thanks," she said. I noticed that her voice had a slight lilt, some sort of accent but I couldn't figure out what type. "What is that on your leg?" I asked. Give her an easier first question, I think it was a birthmark. "Birthmark, it's a port wine stain," she confirmed my thoughts, voice barely audible.
She fidgeted for a moment before pulling her hand away and running her fingers through her hair, like a comb. I watched as she divided the back part of her hair into three sections, one falling down her back and the other two on her shoulder still separated. She started to plait one section, making a design that looked like the tail of a fish. She plaited the other two sections the same way before weaving the plaits into one thick braid. When she got to the end, I kind of expected she'd ask one of the orderlies if she could have a hair elastic but she didn't, I watched curiously as she literally tied her hair into a knot at the end before finger-combing the bangs into place.
"That's very clever, knotting your hair to hold it," I noted. Her hair was long enough that she could potentially make a noose with her hair if she really wanted to. I vowed not to let that happen, though. I would try to convince her otherwise.
"I do that all the time at home, my sisters steal all my hair elastics and I got tired of looking for them so yeah," she said hesitantly, shy. I bit my tongue, holding back all the questions I had for her. She was pretty, and nice too. All the girls at school are shallow and act like bitches most of the time. Okay, so maybe I kind of liked Raven. I don't know. My teenage brain was confusing as fuck, for sure.