Waiting in that what had become the most familiar entrance hall in my world, dressed up with exquisite bouquets and dark mahogany chairs quilted with brown leather, that subtly scented the whole building with an aroma that months later, would bring back a thousand nauseating memories. It had been at least five hours. Letting my head waft back off my neck I noticed the clinical vast stretch of illuminated white ceiling, that contrasted so sadistically with the rooms décor, that had that ‘Saint Nicholas down the chimney’ essence so perfectly staged.

In the past, danger would stimulate me in a way it shouldn’t. However at fault I felt about my depraved thoughts, it would never change what ran through my body. Though this time I wasn’t enjoying a second of this chaos. The solid front door seemed to burst open with an all-powerful strength, cracking the silence and letting in a rupture of outside space that caught my breath. Two police officers led Isobel in, her arms wrapped thickly in cream bandage, with brilliant shades of red still surfacing. Her face was marked with dried mascara, like dirty traces of rain on a windscreen. She completed eye contact with me and exhaled exuberantly “fucking hell mate.” I wasn’t good at physical affection but I put my arm around her. “Cigarette?” I asked in the most badly chosen tone. We walked swiftly down the corridor in the direction of the smoking room, Hannah called out for us to stay, “Doctor Wilson wants a word Isobel,” we carried on walking, I think we both knew she was in for a sectioning this time.

Whilst I was sitting in the smoking room, which always seemed a lot colder and surprisingly fresher than the rest of the building, it suddenly dawned on me, I really was living in a screw up bin.

Mary was sat in her usual position, with her super king menthols placed in front of her, ‘SMOKING CAUSES A SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH’ my eyes fixated over the warning. Her voice jolted my gaze, I knew she’d had another shock, you could always tell. She told me she wanted to go shopping in Wimbledon again. “The most amazing florist works there, sells the most vivacious scarlet roses, capable of melting any heart.” “I wouldn’t mind being a florist, that’s if I couldn’t be a painter or musican.” I told her, “I’ll sort you out lovely,” she whispered.

Mary rummaged through the carrier bag by her feet, wrote a cheque out and slid it across the table to Isobel, who was now strumming her guitar as if each one of those strings had sliced open her wrists all by themselves. I watched crimson flood through her bandages and down her arms as her movements got stronger. Her song hit me right in the pit of my stomach, her crumpled up face screwed myn up, and her breaking in front of me, was just a reflection that was so familiar I swear I went lime.

William made a calm entrance into the room, and slide into the chair nearest the door, he was a solider, and looked like a solider.

He had unquestionably experienced a few glimpses of hell. The previous night we had shared the rest of my cocaine that was hidden in a small rusty tin that I’d managed to conceal in my bra coming in.Sat on my bed he lost it, I started to imagine the stories he spoke of in therapy, the gore and bloodshed he’d been part of, I didn’t like some of the things he talked about, I think he thought his slightly racisist or sexist stories enhanced his macho façade, or maybe I was just playing my part of left wing student idiot.I wasn’t sure how to act watching him cry, I’d never seen anyone bawl with such exertion. He seized control and held my body so tightly it made my throat make a bizarre noise, reminded me of a noise I made in my sleep once that had woken me up. I patted his back, I did that throughout hugging, I don’t like hugs. I started to think about how kisses were my thing. Though I quickly decided against kisses too. He kissed me, sucked my lips so hard I swear they bled; I did later think to myself I must learn to say no now and again.

In a peculiar way I didn’t mind being part of this crowd, I didn’t have to beam, or keep reminding myself to move around so I didn’t look frozen.



Brighton, United Kingdom

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