He'd been here before, fourth floor, locked wing. Where they kept all the underage nutjobs, like himself. His neighbor on the other side of the couch was a girl about his age, who did nothing but cry. It wasn't even a productive cry either, just a strained little whimper that stretched into long, irritating notes. Alistair found it pitiful; didn't she know that's not how you did it? A good, shrieking, sobbing fit would have been far more productive for a good bit of attention. Or she could go a more subtle route, and sit quietly in the corner and cry. The latter strategy involved a lot of patience, as it could be hours before anyone found you, but the swollen eyes and tearstains were great for guilt trips. When he pulled that one on Odysseus, it was only moments after being found that he'd be scooped up and held and spoken to in that gentle, tender voice he loved so much.
Seriously, this chick wasn't gonna get anywhere. Amateur.
Across the room was a group of boys he thought shouldn't really be allowed to be hanging out together. Alistair wasn't the kind to stereotype but he considered any 17 year old who carved satanic verses into his arms with a broken light bulb to be not such good news.
Another girl was silently watching the tv they had bolted to the wall, not seeming to be much interested in the adventures of little Laura Ingalls. Neither was Alistair, really. He just kept imagining the fit Clovis would have over their fashion choices.
His stomach gave a sharp lurch as his brother crossed his mind. He'd been far too unconscious at the time (great amounts of blood loss tend to do that) to remember, but he knew now that Clovis was the one who found him. Hell, he was surprised his older brother wasn't a patient with him here; he was sure he now officially fucked him up for life. He supposed, though, it would be harder to hide who Clovis was. As fourth Prince, Alistair never got much of a face for the media. A false last name, and no one seemed to even know who he was. Good thing when your father doesn't give enough a shit about you to send you to a specialist who might actually be able to help. Nope, public access hospital was deemed good enough for his sixth child.
He hated that guilty pit in his stomach. It was the same one he got when he'd see the tired, weary lines on Odysseus's face, after trying for hours to calm and console Alistair in a tantrum. He always felt so sick, if only fleetingly, at how old his 24 year old brother often looked, particularly last week when he'd woke up in ICU, and he knew Oddie hadn't slept all night.
He curled up on the threadbare couch he sat on. Clovis wasn't supposed to come back. He wasn't supposed to see him at all. He should have gone to school the next morning and not have known till later. Course, he knew at the time, that would leave Odysseus to find him. That wasn't fair to his oldest brother, he knew, but he knew Oddie wouldn't have wanted it to be Clovis either.
Much of this was only in retrospect, of course. At the time, he hadn't been thinking about anyone else really. He barely recalls his fit, smashing the mirror to bits in his bathroom…his psychiatrist, the new one with the liver spots, told his family it was likely a bad combination of pills that spurred his second attempt. Too many antidepressants who didn't want to make nice with the antipsychotics and whatever. Alistair didn't care. It was just making excuses, and he knew his brothers would cling to them. If they could prove, somehow, that his relapse had been the result of a doctors mistakes, the clock wouldn't start again. He'd be safe…
He knew it was a lie. On some level, perhaps they all did, but they had to try. He'd been in remission only a few months, free of the…voices. Of the screaming, of the rocking, sobbing…Alistair curled tighter, his guilt knot refusing to ease. Times like these, he wished he'd never gotten that idea two years ago. He'd been only 12, he hadn't realized the reprucussions on his actions. He just wanted his mother again, she'd been gone so long, over a year. He missed her, he needed her, and it made such sense then. She was sick, and she was sent away, so if he was sick too, maybe they'd send him!
That was two years ago. Two years of pretending, two years of perfected acting, of immersing himself so strongly and deeply into his role that…he didn't know, now, where it stopped being an act. Couldn't recall what day it was that he woke up and his anxiety wasn't fake, where the idea of being left alone for even a few minutes set him to a panic. Somewhere between 12 and fourteen, something went wrong.
Mother always taught him it was wrong to lie. He'd listened vaguely, knowing everyone lied, everyone told falsehoods, especially within his family. He wished he'd listened to her. If he hadn't began that tale, he could have left his issues at the depression he'd had. He'd have grieved, and moved on. Instead, he had to cling to his distress, magnify it, twist it. He just wanted his mother, just wanted that tender love given as a child.
But now he was paying for his actions. The pain he caused his brother's, he could live with that, could deny his guilt and shove it down, as long as he tempered them with smiles and good days later. He could live with the hospital visits and the medications, but…he might not have to much longer.
He flopped over onto his side, still clutching his middle, and wanting badly to throw up.
He might not have to live with it much longer. He was a Class III mental patient after all. Class III, three years before he was declared incurable, a waste of resources. If trial couldn't prove his last doc was a whack, then his clock began ticking again.
Pity it had passed two years already.
Thank whoever has given me a try. I hope you'll continue to sample!