Grandiose 16

“Elizabeth, what are you doing?!” Barbara screams at me. I keep my eyes closed, shivering, as she vigorously dries me off with a white towel. It feels like sand paper against my skin and I cringe at the touch of it.

            “It seems she needs more help than I thought,” I hear Kauffman say with a sigh. I pretend not to have heard him. I have been pretending many of things lately. Sometimes I imagine myself back in London helping mum with dinner while we laugh about silly things. Other times I think about Henry locked in that room strapped to a wheelchair. Nevertheless, reality creeps in like a cold breeze on a summer day and I find myself in my padded white room, alone.Image

Barbara quickly helps me put on my institution issued blue patient uniform. As she guides me out of the room, I slip a weak smile at Kauffman. He doesn’t smile back rather just nods his head. That’s when I notice Victoria and Demetrius walking about the grounds from the open window right behind Kauffman. They are holding hands.

This makes me angry but I act calm as to not upset Kauffman much further. I wonder what they are up to all the way back to my room. Dinner wouldn’t be ready for a couple hours, so I was stuck in there for a while.

I sprawl myself on the floor just staring at the ceiling lights. At first I’m slightly blinded but my eyes gradually adjust to them. I felt like I lay there for hours and thought dinner would not come soon enough. As time went by, I found myself in a trance. The lights danced in front of my eyes but I was oblivious to them. I was on a high induced by the erratic thoughts that now occupied my mind.

They consisted of Victoria and Demetrius. My suspicions about him were not without merit, after all. I now knew he could not be trusted since he was obviously in cahoots with Victoria. I reckon they’ve been planning their evil deeds against me since the beginning. It wasn’t enough that she drove me insane and ruined my life but now she wanted to hurt me even more.

I closed my eyes and let the darkness sink in. I heard and felt nothing. I was dead to the world and so it had gone on without me. Time has and continues to pass me by while I remain frozen in place. Then like an unexpected wave, an orchestra of 300 violins starts to play. They play so vehemently in my mind; growing louder and louder as smooth and beautiful as the calming sea.

Back home, the Elders would say that if you heard violins play in your sleep something magnificent was going to happen. It could either be something terrible yet magnificent or something great and magnificent. I wondered if the latter was true for me.

The symphony kept on playing even though my mind simultaneously transported me back to various flashbacks. Many from my past in England and a few from my time in New York like a really fast picture book. Then I heard the door open and the music stopped. I kept my eyes closed.

            “Time for Dinner” Demetrius barked at me. He was not in a good mood. I quickly pulled myself off the cold padded floor and followed Demetrius out of the room. He walked ahead of me while I stayed closely behind him in silence.

As I walked behind him, I could help but notice his broad shoulders and tattooed muscular arms. He twitched his neck to expose another tattoo on the right side of his neck. It was of a red dragon that ran down to the nape of his neck. I imagined he had about fifty tattoos over his entire body but couldn’t be too sure.

            “What are you looking at?” Demetrius scolds, startling me. I freeze.

            “Nothing” I respond with a gulp, my body starting to shake. He grabs my arms and pushes me against the glass wall. I feel the vibration against my back. I close my eyes.

            “Open your eyes!” He yells. I slowly open them and look into his green eyes. They are not warm but cold. He is cold. He squeezes my wrists but I do not cry out in pain. I pretend he is not hurting me.

            “Say something” He tells me with an evil grin. I don’t respond. He lets go of me.

            “Walk faster!” He says to me as he points towards the end of the hall. I slip past him and start walking ever so quickly towards the cafeteria. My body still trembles and my heart is pounding so fast that I fear I will drop of a heart attack. I could hear my heart pound as if a mad drummer had taken refuge in my soul.

            “Pace yourself” I suddenly hear my mum’s caring voice say to me. I take a deep breath at the thought of her. I try to fight the tears but they come down anyway. Then I really start to cry and fall to my knees, distraught. I don’t even notice the two orderlies coming from the right. They immediately assume I have gone mad and haul me off to the shock room. Demetrius never says a word nor raises a finger.

I scream at them to let me go but it doesn’t seem to help my case at all. They strap me to the cold steel slab, stick a rubber white stick between my teeth, and place a tube on each side of my head. The attending doctor then proceeds to shock me with fifty volts of electricity. My whole body shakes violently and I pass out within minutes. The violins start to play again. At first I can barely hear them but they grow louder and faster with each passing second.

            “Are you happy now?” Mum asks me as she brushes my hair. I smell her Chanel perfume and it makes me smile.

            “No, mum” I cry as I reach for her hand but she disappears. 

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The Lesbian Diaries

“You will never be alone. Stop chasing shadows and just enjoy the ride.”

Those words stay in my mind like a stain that never fades. As I walked through the sturdy halls of BethenCourt High, I tried not to remember the horrors of last year. I still can hear Amy Winehouse’s, “You know I’m no good,” acoustically blasting from Natalie’s second floor dorm room. Her lifeless body hanging from the ceiling fan incessantly occupies my thoughts, torments me at night and I relive that horrific Halloween night every single day. Image

Natalie was my best friend and lover. It’s hard not to recall those bitter-sweet memories of us because I will always be reminded of them. 

We both attended a really strict, religious, all-girl boarding named BethenCourt High. It was a place for prominent affluent families to send their spoiled misbehaved girls to be reformed into respected educated women. There’s that stereotype or perhaps myth that an all-girl school spurs homosexuality but BethenCourt prided itself of not being sullied by what they called an abomination. 

“Homosexuality is a sickness,” said our prestigious headmaster, Mrs. Rosethorne during our first year orientation. She is a pit bull faced vicious woman who loves to wear pink. She is keen on enforcing strict and questionable policies that can’t ever be disputed. She runs the school like a dictator, even Hitler would be scared of her. Her white Persian cat, Bubbles, isn’t a peck of sunshine neither. 

“Hazel!” someone screamed out my name. I knew that voice; it was Natalie Singborg. It was our year at BethenCourt. We had both been out of control; doing drugs, partying too much and shopping too much so our parents shipped us off to BethenCourt. I turned around and she came running up to me. She planted a sweet kiss on my lips. A kiss I’ll never forget. 

I pulled away from her scared of who would see. “Aren’t you worried we will get in trouble?” I whispered, my heart skipping a beat. She just laughed.

“Did you miss me?”, Natalie asked.

“Of course,” I said.

We had our first class together so we walked there holding hands. News travels fast in BethenCourt so it was no surprise when we were called to the headmasters’ office during our first class. 

“Sickos!”, someone yelled out as we headed for Mrs. Rosethorne’s office. Rosethorne was furious. She didn’t even want to look at us. She immediately called our parents and sent us to counselors in hopes that they could cure us of our “sickness”. My  parents didn’t bother to come no call. Natalie’s parents were outraged and they blamed me for “infecting their daughter,” as they said. 

It was Natalie who had kissed me first. I don’t want to say she seduced me but she made the first move. I never paid any attention to guys in a romantic way, that is. I was always a tomboy and knew deep inside that I was a lesbian.

“How could you do this to our daughter?!”, Natalie’s mother screamed at me. I looked over at Natalie and she had tears in her eyes. Her mother hated her; she never wanted to have her. At that moment I just wanted to hold her. Then Rosethorne, as punishment, had our schedules changed and moved me down to the first floor dorm rooms. 

After that we were harassed for weeks. Girls would spit at us, throw our books from our hands, pull our hair and other evil things. We also received threatening emails and letters. Natalie started getting high every night and cutting herself. Her family had told her if she kept seeing me she was to be disowned. However, we still manged to sneak around and see each other.

The day before her death, we had walked through the school gardens. I should have known something wasn’t right. She seemed distant. Her eyes were puffy from all the crying and for a long moment we just embraced each other underneath the stars. 

The next day a shrilling scream came from the second floor. All the girls had been taking pictures of their Halloween costumes when they heard the screams. Everyone rushed up to discover Natalie’s lifeless body hanging from the ceiling fan. When I saw her I just incessantly screamed. I think I passed out because I woke up in the medical ward. 

A strange letter lay on my stomach. It was vintage paper sealed with a red wax seal. I gliding my finger through it to open it. On it it read, “You’re not alone.” At that time, I didn’t know I was going to be part of a secret society that was as old as the school.

“You will never be alone. Stop chasing shadows and just enjoy the ride.” Those were the last words she said to me. They stay in my mind like a stain that never fades.