I clenched my fists tightly in the freezing room, placing them between my knees as my parents spoke. Concern rang in their voices as they talked to the doctor. Dr. Bregmon was cranky, but he tried to pass it off by laughing at his own jokes. He always mentioned how "Jimmy can't think like a regular person," and he would go on to bringing up the accident.
Dr. Bregmon likes to talk about the accident that happened when I was a baby. My then-parents left me in a car, left me melting, left me like this. I can't speak a lot or anything, and when I try it doesn’t come out the way I planned. My now-parents found me in the car after a long time of being hot and got my then-parents arrested. My now-dad’s never home, though, and my now-mom is always sad and that makes me angry.
"Jimmy!" I yelled out while Dr. B was mid-sentence. I didn't mean to but I was irritated and I didn't know how to let him know.
"Jimmy! Jimmy! Okay, Jimmy. Okay, okay, okay! Jimmy!" Tears started streaming down my face as I rocked back and forth in rage. Dr. Bregmon continued speaking to my dad as if nothing was happening with me. He told him I was fine, that this happened on a daily basis. And of course the doctor would know, as he saw me more than my now-dad did. My now-mom broke her silence with desperate sobs as she watched me yell out my name and cry. She covered her ears which made her seem as brain-damaged as I was.
“He was in the car, and the air-conditioning was,” she took a pause, “well, malfunctioning. It just takes a while to cool down. I didn’t think it would affect him so much.”
“He has to stay at the hospital this weekend, Mrs. Sanders. He won’t be able to handle a weekend without 24-hour care,” Dr. B pronounced. “Maybe next month will be a different story. We’ll see. If he improves again after this little setback, we can restore his overnight visits.”
My now-mom and I look a little bit alike even though I was adopted. She’s a pixie-cut blonde with green eyes and a rather small nose to match her petite stature. As for me, I’m a messy-cut blonde with green eyes and a rather large nose to match my sloppy, tall frame. Now-dad has greyish hair and blue eyes and a regular-size nose. He doesn’t match at all, because he’s kind of short. I realize as I’m thinking this that I don’t know what my then-parents look like.
I glanced out the window at the ugly pigeons on the balcony of Dr. B’s office. They are always there, waiting for me.
"Jimmy!" I cried out again. I couldn’t stop. Meanwhile, Dr. B was asking me questions, “to test my mental stability,” he said. I don’t know why. He asks the same ones all the time, and I always answer them the same way.
"Do you like music? Sports?"
"Okay, Jimmy! No, Jimmy! Okay, Okay!" My voice sounded like a man’s already, which surprised me because it sort of sounded like Dr. Bregmon’s. He’s an old man, white hair and all, with light blue eyes. He has a rough voice, a bit intimidating, and he coughs a whole lot. He also always has an itch on the inside of his nose which he likes to scratch.
When I stopped crying, I put my fists on my jaw bone and placed my elbows on the table in front of me. My head rested on the slippery skin of my arms so it kept slipping off, but I continued to do it anyway. I started to feel drool on my right hand but before I could wipe it off, my now-mom had a handkerchief ready for me. She dabbed it on my face so gently that I wanted to fall asleep.
“Okay, Jimmy, it’s time to go,” said Dr. Bregmon.
I guess I had to stay at the hospital instead of going to my now-parents’ house for my monthly visit, which meant I had to say goodbye to my now-mom. I felt angry because I hated her for agreeing with Dr. B. It made me feel like she wasn’t going to miss me.
During the walk over the hospital grounds from Dr. B’s office to the residential facility where I really live, my now-mom sniffled because “I was too unstable to function.” I cried really loudly to assure her that I wasn’t okay and let her know that I needed her, and that spending the weekend at the hospital instead of with her and now-dad wouldn’t be helpful at all. That hadn’t worked because before I knew it we had reached the tall building of hopelessness. When I got to the behavioral wing I ran to Jolene, one of the nurses who would hold me whenever I had had a bad day.
“What’s up, Jimmy?”
“Okay, Jimmy. It’s okay,” she whispered.
“Okay, Jimmy. Okay, OKAY!” I sucked my thumb as a response to the comfort I felt in
Jolene’s arms. I caught her staring at my now-mom, who was eyeing me, and I ran to my room. I held my ears with my big hands and cried loudly. I didn’t say good bye to my mother because I was frustrated and I knew that made it okay.
“Could you please keep your voice down? I am trying to rest and you are not helping. Could you please just keep your voice down?” Luke, an autistic sixteen-year-old, was my roommate. The only times he would speak was when he was mad and even then he sounded like he was calm. But despite Luke’s frustration due to lack of sleep, I kept screaming to grab Jolene’s attention.
“Okay, Jimmy,” he said quietly, “could you please keep your voice down?”
“OKAY, JIMMY!” I changed into my hospital gown and ran out of the room following
the many colors and dotted path that lead to foyer.
No matter how many times I tried screaming Jolene’s name, I’d scream my own instead and that made me sad. Nonetheless, I kept screaming “Jimmy!” until Jolene stopped ignoring me. I bounced on the blue couch in the middle of the yellow-walled room.
Jolene was the kind of person that made people feel good. She was a people person. It simply wouldn’t roll with her if someone was having a bad day, although God knows she probably has her own. After she uncrossed her arms, she came towards me and began to speak.
“Jimmy, let me tell you a story,” she said (although I didn’t want to hear any stories, I loved hearing hers). “When I was about seventeen, just like you, I had my issues, too. I was hospitalized twice and both times were residential, again like you. I had a nurse I liked in particular because she would give me crayons when no one else would.” I laughed so hard I clapped my hands together. “It was nearly morning one day when I was getting my vitals taken,” she cupped her hands around her mouth and whispered, “I hated getting my vitals taken.” I laughed again, this time snorting.
“Anyway, my favorite nurse, Michelle, she wasn’t there that day to hold my hand like usual and I sure as hell was angry with her. I grabbed the other nurse’s hand, and bear with me because I don’t remember her name, and I told her I wasn’t getting the vitals until Michelle showed up. Apparently, at that exact moment, Michelle’s parents were knocking on her bathroom door at her home, begging her to let them in. But by the time her dad had smashed down the door, she had bled out on the floor. Michelle had killed herself that day and I was angry at her for not showing up.
“Well, after they told me of her death, I wasn’t angry anymore. The only reason I found out was because I was being so stubborn and I was so upset because I thought Michelle purposely didn’t show up. I was flattering myself for thinking she’d miss a day of work not to see me. I guess what I’m saying is that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, so be grateful for the life you live, baby.”
Jolene had this thing she did where she would tell really morbid stories to a person who was depressed, but with some type of magic, she’d make them feel better. This time it hadn’t worked, though. I decided I wanted to commit suicide, too. I wanted to hide my pills under my tongue and take them all at once. So as a force of habit, and this time with reason, I began to cry.
Jolene was in shock when her story didn’t work, it seemed. But what she didn’t know was that my brain connected to it well. Only, it focused on the bad parts. I went back to my room and woke Luke up by my whimpering and several screams.
“Screaming doesn’t accomplish a single thing, Jimmy.”
“JIMMY! OKAY! NO, JIMMY!
“It’s past 6:00 p.m., Jimmy. Go to sleep. Screaming doesn’t accomplish a single thing.” Luke seemed to be very mad so I left to the foyer of the hospital where everyone watched TV.
I had already taken my pills that day and they were starting to kick in, I think. I was next to Jolene, who looked very sad. I was so tired, though, that my eyes were closing and I didn’t have the power to scream out my name once more.
The next day, I woke up on the couch of the foyer. I was surprised they hadn’t moved me the night before. I still felt sad and I still wanted to kill myself, but I didn’t know who or how to tell. Someone came to take my vitals and began talking to me, but my suicidal thoughts took over my ability to hear anyone speak. Then I noticed Jolene coming in with my soggy pancakes on a tray.
“JIMMY!” I clapped my hands together like a seal at those aquatic shows. I loved my soggy pancakes and I think Jolene understood that.
She then hugged me and passed me the tray. The tray also carried a container that had syrup inside, but that made my pancakes too soggy, so I didn’t put any on. After I took a few bites, I started scratching my knees and then my face and then I pulled my hair. Jolene tried to pull my hands apart from my head but I was stronger than her.
“What are you doing, Jimmy? No! Stop it, boy!”
“No, Jimmy! NO, JIMMY!” I cried and yelled so everyone in the rooms around the foyer could hear me. Not much later, Luke walked out of our room in front of the nurses’ station, raising his voice for the first time.
“Screaming makes you look like a blithering fool. It’s unnecessary, I said. Could you please keep your voice down?”
“Jimmy, today will be a beautiful day. Why? We all love you. Also, there are 3.2 billion females on this planet and you’re gonna find the right one. You see? I know that because I saw it in a dream, Jimmy.”
“But that doesn’t matter, Jimmy, because we all love you. And you know who loves you
most? Your mother loves you. She’s one of the 3.2 billion females in the world and she loves you. So please, could keep your voice down, Jimmy?” Luke stood up from the couch on the foyer and walked back to our room.
At visitation hours, as the door opened to the blue-painted room, the blue like that of an iris, I watched my now-parents grow bigger at the end of the room. I ran to them and hugged them with some sort of despair. I wasn’t angry at my now-mom anymore because she was one of the 3.2 billion females in the world and she loved me. That’s when I decided I didn’t want to kill myself anymore, and that she wasn’t only my now-mom, she was my always-mom.
“Honey! How are you?” Always-mom held my face and kissed me.
“Okay, Jimmy,” I said.