Chapter 2

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Aidalyn POV

As I approached the bar as I called it, or the med counter, I noticed nurse Esme was in today. She was easy to work with. To manipulate really but work with sounds nicer. Today I wanted to skip breakfast and get an early start on art therapy class. She helped me do that last week. She felt sorry for us I think, the crazy sad kids locked up in here day in and day out.

Besides Kitty my room mate there were 32 of us. All aged between 16-21. After our 21st birthday we have to leave. It's like they give up after that.

Last week  a raven haired girl called Jess had turned 21. She cried the whole day. It's like she knew she had little chance out there.

Most of us feel that way. We know this is the last step before death or prison. The next day she was unceremoniously thrown out. Three years she had been here, being treated everyday and then just like that, she was gone. I wondered how she was. I didn't have to wait long to find out.

I heard the nurses talking about her yesterday, whispering inside the meds room.

" They found her like that, just hanging" Erin had said. The others looked sad but she just looked empty. No emotions that one.

It wasn't the first time a patient hadn't lasted on the outside. We would hear rumours of their demise or their sentence from the nurses and med students. Poor Jess. I didn't know her really but we smiled at each other in the hall and I gave her a muffin once. That counts as friendship in here.

I can only hope that in 4 years time when I turn 21, I'm  at least better but I really hope I am far from this place by then. Or dead.

"Hey Essy, I have missed you" I sleazed as I leant on the bar. I find flattery works with her.

"Hey Aida how are you?" She smiled sweetly and handed me my little paper cup of pills.

" I'm ok, sort of. I had a bad night last night and I feel like I just need to get some time to myself, maybe in art class ahead of everyone else?" I looked up at her hopefully. She could only be maybe a few years older than me but for some reason, she was always nice to me.

Nicer to me than some of the other patients. It's like, she felt badly for me. I suppose she did. I'm locked up in here with kids who talk to themselves all day or think they see ghosts or worse. But with her, it almost felt like she knew me, or wanted to help me. I don't know. Maybe it's the meds talking. Anyway, she sometimes helped me. That's all that mattered really.

"Go on then, I'll tell them you went to the bathroom if they ask where you are" she gave me a juice to wash down the meds and a quick wink.

Yes! She always let me break the rules a little.

I nodded and left down the hallway, avoiding Clarice and her screaming and pelting random objects from her room to my left and hurried along to the art room.

It was my solace. My light in the dark. The teacher was not a therapist but an actual art teacher so I like to pretend this is school and I'm a regular kid attending class. Just with a bunch of kids in pjs talking to themselves or eating paste instead of chatting about guys they like or the latest songs from the latest bands, which I don't have a clue about!

I always wore clothes. It's not like I was going anywhere but still, I liked to at least act as regular as possible. Besides I knew that today some of the board members were coming in to look around and I didn't want to have strangers see me in my pjs. I try to keep whatever dignity I can.

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