Today I have a special treat for you. I'm going to give you a peek inside of Lana's mind as she has a flashback of the time she spent in the treatment center. This is never seen before material and I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I’m sitting at the only picnic table under the only maple tree in the entire common area. Dr. Mase thinks sunshine and fresh air every day will contribute to my recovery. Like walls will make that much of a difference in how I feel. I rub the inside of my arms along the outer seams of my jeans. It doesn't soothe the itchy burn from the scabs healing beneath my bandages. Mom and dad are late for our weekly visit. The other kids look at me like I have two heads because no one else’s parents visit as much as mine do. They probably wonder why I would cut or try to kill myself when the rest of my family seems so middle class normal. I glance at the parking lot on the other side of the mansion-size house that looks more like a bed and breakfast than a rehabilitation center. With its white-washed siding and violet, yellow, pink and blue wild flowers edge the wrap around porch. It’s supposed to feel like home. It doesn't I’ll give them ten more minutes, before I go to find my roommate Dixie, I’m sure she has contraband for me, since her boyfriend is visiting her today.
“Hey short stuff.” Now that voice is like a breath of fresh air. I spin on the bench and see Chase and Lacey walking toward me. He’s wearing long cargo shorts and a plaid, thin button up shirt. His dark-brown hair in that messy fixed way of his, and his smile is sincere. Brown eyes dance and make my heart skip. I don’t like him, like him, but he’s so cute, and still makes my heart race sometimes. Lacey looks healthy, finally, and she’s wearing a sundress and sandals. Her straight dark blond hair hangs perfectly around her round face. They’re holding hands as they approach me.
“Hi guys,” I say rising to meet them and hug them both at the same time. This is the first time I’ve seen Chase since my suicide attempt. He’s written me a few notes, but I’m relieved and anxious at the same time seeing him. I mean, he saved my life. We break free of each other, and they sit down across from me.
“How are you feeling?” Lacey asks as her eyebrows nit together. I hate that question. I have to answer it, like a billion times a day. At breakfast “Lana, how are you feeling? Are you hungry?” At meds “Lana, how is your mood? How are you feeling?” During group, “Lana, what’s on your mind? How are you feeling today?” and so it goes all freaking day long.
“I’m better. I’m ready to come home,” I say looking down at my arms. I’ve been here six hundred and fifty four hours. Lacey looks up at the big tree over our heads and lets out a long breath. When she looks back at me, her eyes are red.
“I’m ready for you to come home, too. Mom and Dad are sorry they couldn’t come. Something came up.” I reach across the table, and she gives me her hand.
“What happened?” I ask softly, but she avoids my eyes again.
“I don’t know, Mom’s spending a lot of time in their room. She’s been down a lot.” It’s my fault. “It’s my fault,” She says solemnly as she looks at our hands. I don’t have words for the guilt I feel.
“Let me take your picture.” Chase says with false cheer as he adjusts himself and pulls out his phone. Lacey rises and comes to sit by me. When she wraps her arm around my back and leans her head against mine, we both let out a breath. We smile, genuinely smile because the worse day of my life was the day I tried to kill myself. This? This is one of the best days. These are the days I have to live for and hold close. My sister is my strength. She squeezes me before she goes back to the other side of the table again sitting closely to Chase. He wraps his arm around her, refilling her with the strength she doesn't even realize that she’s given me.
“Chase, give me your phone,” I say reaching across the table again. He slides it to me, and I bring up his camera app. “Smile.” They do; Chase squeezes her close and I have a giddy, goofy grin on my face. I wonder if they even know that they are in love with each other. In these captured moments, we've forgotten where we are, why we’re here, and how damaged our family is right now. I let go of the grief in that moment, but that’s all it lasts. When I slide the phone back to Chase we fall into a solemn silence.
Too soon, our hour is over, and I have to go to another group session; another round of feeling questions. I hug them good-bye, desperately wishing they could take me with them, but they can’t, so I walk them to the big heavy wooden front door. Then I stand there and watch them go to Chase’s car. I stay there until I can’t see the car anymore, because they've pulled onto the main road and turned at the state road, on their way back home. I stand there wishing things were different, and that I was with them. But I’m not. So finally I go to room B15, and sit beside Bindi in the third empty seat from the completed circle and try desperately to avoid Dr. Mase’s eye contact.
This is a story about a girl, named Mia. She grew up in suburb of medium sized city. There were cold winters, and hot sticky summers. Mia’s favorite seasons were spring and fall. She enjoyed the mild seasons, but also loved the vibrant colors each possessed.
Mia loved music. She didn’t just love it, she sat on the floor in front of her Casio stereo for hours at a time, recording songs off the radio. Then she would cue them up and make sure she only got the music as she recorded them on a second tape, without the DJ’s voices on them, just the music. Then she would listen to those songs absorbing the words as she sat in her room and wrote her poetry.
She wrote her first Poem when she was thirteen. It was called Sands of Time. When she was sixteen and again when she was eighteen she won two state competitions for her poetry. Her Poetry was stories of roses, starry nights, love, loss, and the scars left behind. She found recourse in those private moments filling notebooks of her writings. As she grew so did her inspirations, and when ever it hit her the rest of the world melted away until her verses were written, alive in the world. Even today as Mia writes mostly YA fiction, poetry still holds a special place in her heart. Her love for all things words propels her forward in her pursuit of the next great story.
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