this is the book i’m trying to write……my parents read it WITHOUT my permission and they were like “wtf?” and got mad…….like? (i lost my train of thought in the middle of that last paragraph, and i havent read the whole story through, so pardon everything)
~AN OLD DOOR slammed. Car brakes screeched. I heard a woman scream. A young womanâ€™s scream, like Iâ€™ve only heard once before. The most horrible sound, of a woman being hit by a car.
I ran out of my house to see a Ford F150 stop in front of my home. A young man jumped out; maybe he was in his twenties. He ran behind the vehicle.
Then I looked to where he was running, there I saw a young woman, also maybe in her twenties, lying motionless in the road. She was bleeding; blood gushed from her nose and mouth. Her legs were bent in unnatural ways, alike were her arms.
I ran to them. The man was now kneeling next to the woman, crying and trying to determine if she was still alive. Tears covered his panic-stricken face, he turned to me and whispered one word, â€œAmbulanceâ€ and looked back at the woman.
I took out my phone and dialed 911. A woman answered, I told her to send the emergency vehicles to our address. A minute later I heard sirens across town.
The man was still over the woman, still sobbing. I put my hand gently on his shoulder, he turned and I saw the guilt and sadness in his eyes once again. I felt bad for him.
Now the sirens are louder. I look to the corner to see an ambulance, fire truck, and two police cars turn the corner. The police cars and fire truck stop a few yards short of where we are. The ambulance pulls in front of us and two men jump out. They go around the van to the back for a stretcher.
One police officer came over and pulled the man away from the young woman, the man tries to resist but is overpowered. Now I see the woman clearly, I look her over. Long tan legs, skinny waist, broad shoulders, to her face. Her pale pink lips, numerous freckles, small nose, and long reddish brown hair. I recognize that face. I recognize the young injured woman as my own stepsister, Anna.
My mother and father divorced when I was six, thatâ€™s when I met Anna. Anna was my dadâ€™s girlfriendâ€™s daughter. My dadâ€™s girlfriend was Marlin.
Marlin was a pretty woman, a taller version of Anna; same hair, eyes, lips, freckles, and entire face.
When Marlin and Anna first came to our apartment for dinner, Anna and I became best friends.
After my dad and Marlin got married, I was with Anna all the time. We played, laughed, and went everywhere together. We brought our two social groups close together and formed everlasting bonds.
I loved Anna, and there she was, lying on the blacktop in the afternoon sun.
The other police officer tapped my shoulder. He asked about the incident and if I knew the womanâ€™s identity. I told him of what had happened and of Anna, we watched the ambulance drivers load the stretcher in the back.
The officer thanked me and went to discus what I had said and what the young man had said with the other cop.
The drivers closed the back of the ambulance and I ran over to ask which hospital they were going to. They told me Southern Maine Medical Center. I ran inside to get my car keys so I could see my best friend in the emergency room.
~AS I DROVE up the long driveway of SMMC, I thought of Anna and the days we had spent together. The days we went to the movies or mall, hiking or swimming, when we got in trouble, everything. How we talked about life and marriage, earth or heaven, and everything on our minds.
When I pulled into a parking space I decided I had some phone calls to make. I climbed out of my car and dialed my fatherâ€™s number. No answer. I left a message telling him what had happened.
I dialed Marlinâ€™s number, six rings then voicemail. I left a message about what had happened.
I dialed Markâ€™s number, Annaâ€™s fiancÃ©. He answered. I told him of what happened to Anna. I could hear the sadness in his voice then he began to cry. I gave him directions to the hospital. He thanked me and hung up.
That was all the calls I would make before I knew how Anna would be.
I walked into the lobby of SMMC to see patients being wheeled around on beds with IVs, people in wheelchairs, people with crutches, and worried people awaiting news of loved oneâ€™s conditions.
I asked the woman at the desk where Anna was, she told me I couldnâ€™t see her for awhile but that she would call me when I could.
I sat down in between an older woman reading a book and a man my age twiddling his thumbs. The man looked at me, gave a pathetic attempt at a smile and turned back to his thumbs.
There I was, in the middle of it all, sorrow and happiness. The New York City of emotions. I was lost in the South End.
When Anna first brought Mark home to meet my father, Marlin, and me, she was overjoyed. She had met him at a friendâ€™s party and they had talked for awhile.
Anna was never worried about bringing any of her friends home to meet us. We never embarrassed her; she could never be embarrassed. If someone said something rude about her, she would just smile her glorious smile, thank them, and laugh. She didnâ€™t care what people thought about her. Thatâ€™s why Mark loved her.
Mark and I became good friends. Anna, he, and I would often hang out. They would continuously tease me because I had no girlfriend and I didnâ€™t care about that.
They were the two greatest people I had ever met and now, one of them may be dead.
After sitting for maybe two hours, a nurse came over to tell me of Annaâ€™s state. Anna had a broken leg, knee, foot, pelvis, elbow, shoulder, and fractured ribs. She was alive but in critical condition. They said her lungs had been crushed and they would get back to me with more information on that.
The nurse told me I still couldnâ€™t see her. When she left, the man who had hit Anna walked through the front doors, still he looked deeply saddened.
He recognized me and came over. He sat in the old womanâ€™s chair and told me his name was Andy. I told him who I was and we shook hands. We talked for awhile, I told him of myself and Anna and he told me about himself.
He was a married man. He had three kids and two dogs. They lived in Bar Harbor and climbed in Acadia often. We sat in silence when he was finished.
About an hour later Mark arrived, he looked panicked. He saw me and briskly walked over, he asked where Anna was. I told him we couldnâ€™t see her yet.
I introduced him to Andy. When I told him Andy was the one who had hit Anna, his face flared red. Then he saw the sadness and guilt in Andyâ€™s face and he calmed down. He and Andy shook hands and we all sat down.
~AT ABOUT SIX oâ€™clock another nurse came out and said we could go see Anna.
Mark and I jumped up, Andy slowly rose. We followed the white dressed woman down a plain hallway, took a left, then a right. She stopped and pointed to a room.
We walked in. There was Anna, dressed in a hospital gown, lying with casts on her bed. Even then she looked like an angel. Her eyes were closed. The only noise was of her faint breathing, the beeping of a machine, and the scuffle of doctors and others outside the room.
Mark walked to her and kissed her forehead. Her eyelids fluttered then slowly opened. She looked around and whispered, â€œWhat happened?â€ Andy and I told her. She listened intently and smiled. Anna always smiled no matter what had happened, she always tried to be happy and make others happy too. I couldnâ€™t help it, I smiled too.
She looked at Andy and asked who he was. We told her that he was the one who had hit her. She asked him to come closer; she gave him a high-five and muttered, â€œNiceâ€ still smiling. Andy was utterly confused and he went back to our line.
The nurse came in and told us we couldnâ€™t stay while they completed tests on Anna. We said goodbye and went back to the lobby.
Mark was the nicest person I had ever met, after Anna of course. He never swore or insulted anyone. When someone insulted him, he did the same thing as Anna, he smiled a huge grin. He was almost a male version of Anna.
He came from a big family. He had nine siblings, all girls. He never complained and he went to all nine weddings. He loved his family and took care of his parents when they got sick. I never saw him cry, until today.
It was midnight now. Mark, Andy, and I were the only ones in the lobby, other than the man at the front desk.
We sat in silence. I took out my phone to check for messages from my dad or Marlin. There was one, from Marlin. It said:
â€œMatthew, thank you so much for helping Anna. Iâ€™ll be at the hospital around 12:30. I love you. ~Marlinâ€
I showed Mark and he nodded. Marlin was like another mother to him.
A nurse came through the doors to us, carrying a bunch of papers. She told us Anna needed lung surgery because the truck had crushed them, but not all the way, just enough so that she could breathe but it was difficult for her. At that information, Andy looked down and tears began to roll down his cheeks. We had to fill out all of Annaâ€™s information, the nurse left us to do so.
Fifteen minutes later, the doors opened again and Marlin paced in. She looked extremely worried for her daughter. I stood up and she came over. I showed her the paperwork and told her what the nurse had told us. Her face grew longer with every word I spoke. She sat down to help Mark and me with the papers. We worked with only the sounds of sorrow surrounding us.
~WHEN WE FINISHED the forms it was 1:03am . I went to the man at the desk and gave him the papers. He said heâ€™d call the nurse to see if we could see Anna again. I went to sit back down.
About five minutes later the nurse came out again, got the forms from the man at the desk, and motioned for us to follow her. We did, down the plain hallway, a left then a right. She led us in.
Anna was sitting up this time. She had an oxygen mask over her mouth and nose. She smiled when she saw us enter. She laughed when she saw Marlin; she was overjoyed to see the people she loved in one room, together, for her.
Marlin ran over to her and hugged her with tears streaming down both womenâ€™s faces. Marlin and Annaâ€™s relationship was the best mother daughter bond I had ever seen.
They made everyone smile, even the other woman checked into the same hospital room as Anna.
When Marlin backed up I realized my dad still wasnâ€™t there. I took out my phone to check for messages, none. I tapped Marlinâ€™s shoulder and asked if she knew where he was. When I asked, her smile evaporated. She brought me into the hallway and told me that last winter, when I went on my cruise to Aruba , something happened. My dad, Anna, and herself went on a ski trip to Aspen. When my dad was going down, his ski tip got stuck on a rock. He fell head over heals, hit his head on another rock and cracked his skull open. The mountain rescue team came and took him to the hospital where he died in the hour.
I didnâ€™t even hear any of this until now, seven months after it had happened. I was outraged that nobody had told me, he had been my dad. And the last memory I had of him was we were fighting, I told him I hated him, and then I left for Aruba . I backed away from Marlin. Why had she and Anna never told me of my fatherâ€™s death? I turned my back on her and began to walk away quickly, to my car. I didnâ€™t care, I didnâ€™t care about anything. I was furious with Marlin and Anna and everyone for never telling me. I didnâ€™t want to be near them, I just wanted to drive as far away as I could.
After driving for about an hour, I reached a bridge, a huge abandoned train bridge. I drove onto it and about halfway I stopped, parked my car, and got out. I went to the edge and looked over, it had to be a thousand foot drop. I climbed onto the railing and stood erect, I thought about my life, as a child, a teenager, now. My life now was not one to envy.
I looked down again a few minutes later, out of the corner of my eye I saw a pair of headlights come onto the bridge. I watched them until they stopped behind my old Mercedes Bendz.
A woman got out of the driverâ€™s side and went around to the front passenger door and helped another woman out. I realized it was Anna and her best friend Christine.
Anna and Christine met in the sixth grade and they were perfect to be friends. They liked the same everything and had the same personalities, like one person in two bodies.
Christine had taken a liking to me that same year. We were in all the same classes and she was always at my house. We would both hang out with Anna together.
~CHRISTINE HELPED ANNA on her crutches and with her oxygen tank over to me as I stood on the railing and watched them. Anna looked up at me; I saw a glint of moisture in her eye.
She asked me why I would jump. I told her; my dad was dead, she was injured, I was going to loose my job, I couldnâ€™t pay my taxes, no woman would ever love me. With each word I spoke, her eyes began to water more and more. Christine looked a little upset too, although, not as much as Anna did.
Anna grabbed my wrist and pulled me down. There she was, my stepsister, fatally injured, trying to stop me from suicide, crying.
What was I doing? Stalling for time? Making my sister cry? Should I stay or should I jump? What Anna said next meant a lot to me.
She said she was sorry for not telling me about my dad, sorry about my job, my car, my taxes, but I was wrong about the last thing, about no woman would ever love me. She told me Christine loved me, all of her friends had secretly loved me, Jamie, Nichole, Mia, Rachel, Atlanta , every single one. At that piece of information Christine turned red and looked down.
But that was only love, nothing much. Love couldnâ€™t help me with my dad or job or car or taxes, it could only make those worse. Love was overrated, it wasnâ€™t like that Journey song, â€œâ€¦someday love will find youâ€¦â€ Never.
My decision now, settle for one thing and still have four other problems, or jump and have all my problems solved.
I looked off the bridge again with Anna still gripping my arm. I thought about my life and how it could have been different if I had followed my dreams.
When I was nine years old, I decided I wanted to be a rock star. I started playing the guitar, then the bass. For my seventh grade talent show I sang and played guitar to Bruce Springsteenâ€™s Iâ€™m a Rocker, which received a standing ovation. There was a talent scout in the audience and he was intrigued by my performance, I gave him my phone number and email address.
He emailed me a month later. He had recorded my act and shown it to John Mellencamp and he had wanted to meet me. So I packed and flew to Las Angeles to meet him.
John wanted to sign me to a contract with a major recording company. I thought about it for a week, and now I donâ€™t know why I did this, but I said no to the contract and went back home. Iâ€™ve regretted that decision ever since.
If I had said yes to the contract, I would have been touring the world, on magazine covers, on TV, not in a small Maine town in debt.
As I thought about that, I looked at Anna, who had followed her dreams of being a writer for newspapers. She had written articles for The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Country Gazette, all the big name papers. She loved it so much, and what was I doing? Working at Starbucks for minimum wage.
Christine drove Anna back to the hospital and me back to my house. Anna had called a tow truck service to bring my car home because she didnâ€™t want me to be driving after what had just happened.
When Christine pulled into my driveway I got out, thanked her, said nothing else, and went inside.
I was greeted by my pug, Henry. He jumped up on my lap when I sat down. Pugs are just so ugly that theyâ€™re cute. Theyâ€™re weird that way.
Now it was about 5am , Iâ€™d be getting up to go to work now anyways, but I didnâ€™t feel like going. Instead I went to my refrigerator for some food, Henry followed me there.
When I opened it, I saw my bag of deli ham ripped open and mostly gone. Henry sniffed the bag and grabbed it. He ate the rest. Ever since I got Henry heâ€™s been doing that, I havenâ€™t had ham since then.
I looked again into my fridge, I really had nothing else. I looked at Henry, who had enjoyed my ham, so ugly yet so cute. I went to my knife block, pulled out a steak knife, and looked in my cabinet. I pulled out a bag of Henryâ€™s dog food. I sliced the bag open and poured some into a bowl then went to sit at my table, still holding the knife.
Henry jumped onto the table and walked over the surface until he sat on the other side of the bowl.
I picked up a few of the vegetable liver flavored chunks and put then in my mouth, chewed then swallowed.
Henry looked at me and bent his head down into the bowl. At that moment I raised my arm and stabbed him in the neck with my steak knife, I pulled it out. Henry fell over, I stabbed him again, this time in the side, and again, and again, and again, until he was bleeding severely and dead.
I got up, went to the sink, washed the knife, dried it, and put it away.
I went back to the table with a garbage bag. I picked Henry up by his left back leg and dropped him in. I dumped the kibble from the bowl in after him.
Next I wrapped up the rest of the dog food and put it in my cabinet, a nice snack for later. Then I went and got a few Bounty paper towels to clean up the blood. It only took two sheets because, â€œâ€¦Bounty, the quicker picker upper, Bountyâ€¦â€
I left Henry on the floor, shut off the kitchen lights, and went to watch Oprah on TV.
~ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH Oprah, the doorbell rang. I ignored it, it rang again, and three times after that, and then someone knocked. I still didnâ€™t leave my seat; I just turned up the televisionâ€™s volume.
Then I heard what sounder like a key turning in a lock. I heard the door squeak open and footsteps enter my home. I turned my head towards the door to see my best friend, Jimmy, walk in.
â€œMatthew! How are you?â€ is how he greeted me. I just kept starring at him. He came over to me then asked if I wanted a drink, I said no. he went to get himself a drink.
I heard a scream come from the kitchen and then Jimmy at the kitchen doorway looking scared. â€œDude, Henry? What happened?â€
I got up and went into the kitchen; sure enough I had left the garbage bag with Henryâ€™s dead body on the floor. Oh damn, Jimmy couldn’t know this, no one could. I went over to my knife block and pulled out the steak knife I had committed the murder with. I walked to Jimmy who was still in the doorway, he eyed the knife in my hand, â€œMatthew . . . what are you doing, man?â€ he said slowly backing away as I advanced, â€œDude, whatâ€™s up with you?â€
Jimmy was now against the wall. I stopped five inches away from him. â€œNow I have to kill you since you found Henry and youâ€™ll report me to a mental hospital and we canâ€™t have that can we?â€ I said through gritted teeth. I raised the knife and stabbed Jimmy right in the heart, then in the heart again. He slumped to the floor, dead.
I dragged the dead Jimmy into the kitchen and dropped him on the floor. I went to my knife block for my butcherâ€™s knife. I went back to where Jimmy and Henry were and I started my work. So that Jimmy would fit in the garbage bag with Henry, I would have to cut him up. I cut off his arms, legs, head, and chopped him in half so he wasnâ€™t so long. I dropped Jimmyâ€™s pieces into the bag and dragged the bag out of my house to Jimmyâ€™s car.
Jimmy always left his keys in his car so I opened the trunk and put the bag in. I started the car and pulled out of my driveway.
After I drove for about an hour and a half, I reached the train bridge I had almost jumped off of the night before. I drove onto it and stopped about halfway again. I got out of the car and took the bag out of the trunk. I went over to the edge of the bridge and held the bag open over the edge.
Piece by piece Jimmy and Henry fell out of the bag and hit the water. I didnâ€™t drop the bag because, you know, I didnâ€™t want to pollute the river.
After the last piece of Jimmy splashed into the water, I stood for a few minutes and thought if I should follow them in. I decided no and got back into my new car and went home.
~WHEN I ARRIVED back at my suburban abode the first thing I noticed was my front door was slightly open. When I went inside there was Anna and Marlin sitting on my couch speaking in whispers. They looked at me and smiled when I entered the room.
â€œHello. Matthew, can we talk?â€ Marlin asked as I sat down. â€œI want to talk to you about your fatherâ€™s death and why we didnâ€™t tell you.â€ I looked at her blankly.
â€œMatthew, I didnâ€™t tell you about your fatherâ€™s death because I thought that you couldnâ€™t take it and would try . . . what you tried last night. I just didnâ€™t want to loose you so soon after I lost Devon , I never want to loose you. Iâ€™m so happy Anna found you and I called a physiatrist to come see you at five.â€
I continued to look at her blankly but in my head a million thoughts whizzed about. Physiatrist, did they think I was crazy? Did Marlin think I was psycho maniac ever since she met me? She thought I couldnâ€™t take my fatherâ€™s death? But then I thought, maybe she was right about the last thing; I had almost jumped off a bridge because of a ski accident. Maybe I did need a physiatrist.
But even with that thought I was still angry; I got up, went to my table next to my door, grabbed my Swiss army knife, and walked right out of my own home without a word.
About a block later Marlin and Anna came up behind me, Anna in a wheelchair with Marlin pushing. â€œMatthew, where are you going?â€ Anna asked me, â€œPlease stop and come here so we can go back to your place.â€
I stopped and turned to them. At that second, my mind bursted, everything I had ever done that was illegal came flying out of my mouth at light speed. â€œI did drugs in eight grade, I drank alcohol a lot in tenth grade, I cheated on my college finals, I stole buttons from the fabric store, I killed Henry and Jeffery.â€ Anna and Marlin just looked at me, confused, shocked, and scared all at once.
â€œMatthew? Did you just say you killed Henry and Jimmy?â€ Marlin canvassed slowly. I nodded.
Tears started down Annaâ€™s face and Marlinâ€™s mouth opened slightly. I didnâ€™t know what to do; all I could think of was my fate, an asylum, prison, death sentence. I was angered at Anna and Marlin for quilting me into telling them and ashamed of my actions. I decided my best bet was just to lie down on the sidewalk. I dropped my cell phone on Annaâ€™s lap and did so.
Anna seemed to get the idea; she called the police and explained what had happened today and the night before. Within ten minutes two cop cars pulled up to where we were.
One of the policemen went to talk to Marlin and Anna while the other came towards me with a straitjacket. He asked me to get up, so I did, I might as well cooperate now, I was going either way.
He put the jacket on my arms and pulled it up to my chest and stomach, he them crossed my arms over my ribcage and buckled the garment so that it stayed tight. He then let me to his car and put my in the back seat with the barred windows. Then he said something to the other cop and got in the car. He turned around and told me I was going to the Augusta Mental Health Institute, and he pulled down the street.
~ON THE WAY to the asylum the police officer put on the radio and started asking me questions, I didnâ€™t answer anything. He glanced back at me every so often to make sure I was still secure in my jacket.
About an hour and fifteen minutes since we had left Anna and Marlin we arrived at the AMH Institute. After we pulled into a parking space, the officer opened my door and escorted me into the mental hospital by my arm.
It was the scariest place I had ever been. When we walked in through the front doors, everything was white, the walls, the floors, the nurse uniforms, the patient gowns, the flowers, everything. There were patients lying on the floor with nurses trying to get them up. Patients biting at their straitjackets, patients crawling on the floor. Everything that a person might ever do was happening right before my eyes. I felt a chill sweep over my entire body because, as much as I denied it, I belonged here, I really did.
A white dressed nurse came up to us and smiled a huge, cheesy grin, â€œHello,â€ she cooed, â€œand who might you be?â€ She was talking to me like a preschooler on the first day of school, not acceptable, at all. I glared at her out of the top of my eye sockets.
â€œThis is Matthew Grover. He stabbed his dog and friend to death.â€ They were talking to each other like I was deaf, I could hear everything they said, they just kept talking.
â€œReally? Thatâ€™s pretty sad, why would anyone ever do that? At all?â€
â€œI donâ€™t know. Thereâ€™s something wrong with these peopleâ€™s heads. Oh well, Iâ€™m glad itâ€™s not me.â€
â€œYeah, me too. Well, Matthew! Come with me! Iâ€™ll show you to your room!â€ the nurse formed a tight grip on my arm and started walking carefully around the maze of my people and through a pair of doors into a long white hallway with doors on each side.
The nurse led me down to the end of the hallway and into a room on the end. It was as white, if not more than, what I had already seen there. All the room had in it was a small cot in the corner, thatâ€™s all. No window, no nothing but the small cot.
â€œOkay. Mr. Grover, this is where you will stay for now. Get comfortable!â€ the nurse said that in the corniest way possible. How was I supposed to get comfortable? I was in a straitjacket and all I had was a stupid rectangle to â€œget comfortableâ€ on. The nurse obviously didnâ€™t care though, she left and I heard her lock the door with maybe thirteen locks, did she think I was that mental?
I had nothing to do, so I just sat there and thought. Thought about my life, over and over again, reviewing my two and a fifth decades of living. I remember a lot about my life, since I was born, itâ€™s pretty interesting. I did things I should have been arrested for a long time ago, but now, I was in a mental hospital, not prison. I was an intensely lucky person right now.
I sat just thinking for what felt like eternity. I sat in silence and ignorance of my true fate in life.
~MAYBE SIX HOURS after I arrived, there was a knock on my door and I heard the thirteen locks unlock. The door opened and a beautiful young woman stepped in. She had long, dark hair and was dressed all in white. She was wearing no makeup as far as I could tell.
She walked towards me and spoke in a soft, wonderful voice, â€œMr. Grover? Hi, Iâ€™m Lizzie. Doctor Mason would like to see you in 6B. Come with me please?â€
I stood as she neared. I let her lead me out of the room, down the hallway, and up the stairs. Her grip on my arm was looser than the cops and the nurseâ€™s from earlier, like she kind of, sort of trusted me.
We continued down a hallway and she led me into another room. This room had a dentist-like chair and a man in it. No windows, all white.
The man smiled and greeted Lizzie and I. He told me to have a seat, so I did. Lizzie said goodbye and then left. It was me and Doctor Mason.
â€œMatthew! I can call you Matthew right, or would you prefer Mr. Grover?â€ Doctor Mason asked happily.
â€œMatthew.â€ I muttered looking at him out of the corner of my eye. I had seen this in movies, you could not look the doctor straight in the eye, otherwise, he would suck the evil out of your mind and that was painful.
â€œOk, Matthew, Iâ€™m Doctor Mason. I will be examining you and working with you until you are cured! How does that sound?â€
I sat in silence thinking once again… Until I was cured? What? He thought he could â€œcureâ€ me? How amusing.
Doctor Mason continued, â€œWell first thing is first, I have to hook you up to this machiney-bod and see the data it tells us.â€ He held up a bunch of wires with the little suction cups on the ends.
What kind of doctor was he? Machiney-bod? Boy, I didnâ€™t want this â€œdoctor” to lay a finger on me; he didnâ€™t seem fit to be a doctor.
He released me from my straitjacket and belted my arms, legs, and waist to the chair. He stuck the suction cups into my chest and neck areas and turned on the machine. All at once, my brain exploded. So much noise, the machine had started a really high buzzing noise and my head was throbbing immensely. I screamed for Mason to shut off the machine, he just stood there and smiled. Lizzie burst into the room. She took one look at me screaming and shut off the machine.
â€œWhat are you doing Mason? He was in pain? Why didnâ€™t you shut it off?â€ She yelled and tears came to her eyes.
â€œLizzie, I was doing my job. Leave it to the professionals, dear.â€
â€œNo, your job is not to put these poor people in deathly pain. Itâ€™s to help them get out of that state of mind.â€ Her face was now drenched with water droplets, â€œYouâ€™re unfit to be a doctor or work with living creatures!â€
â€œExcuse me? You donâ€™t know anything. You just got this job and youâ€™re telling me how to do mine?â€
Lizzie ran over to me and unbuckled me from the chair, helped me up, and led me out of the room.
â€œWhat are you doing?â€ Mason shouted after us.
Lizzie led me straight out of that mental facility and into her car where she put me in the back seat, got into the driverâ€™s seat, and pulled away from the hospital, and got on the highway heading south towards Chesapeake .
After we were safely on the highway, Lizzie turned around for a second and said, â€œMatthew, are you okay? Sorry, but I had to do something. Iâ€™ve been watching Mason for about a month do that to every single patient we get, itâ€™s horrible.â€
I just looked at her. She cared about my kind. She wasnâ€™t afraid of us, she cared. She was doing somethinginsane, I was but they didnâ€™t have to think at least. Unlike very other being I knew, nothing. They thought I was that.
I saw Lizzie smile at me in the rearview mirror; her smile was wonderful, almost as wonderful as Annaâ€™s. Anna, what had happened to Anna? I had last seen her crying as the cop took me away. I was pretty sure Marlin had taken her home. I was still worried.
â€œMatthew, Iâ€™m sorry about this, but I canâ€™t send you back to your family. Thatâ€™s where the police will go looking for you. I have to bring you to my family in Virgins. Theyâ€™ll take us both in and we can work on you. Is that okay?â€
I nodded. I didnâ€™t show my excitement. Virginia ! Yes, Iâ€™ve always wanted to go to Virginia ! And, I could get a â€œnew familyâ€, maybe theyâ€™d tell me when my father died.
Lizzie and I drove for hours after those moments. Until we reached New Jersey , then we took an exit.
~WE DROVE INTO Trenton , New Jersey â€™s capital. We stopped at a store. â€œWait here, Matthew?â€ Lizzie asked. I nodded.
Lizzie got out and went into the store. A few minutes later she came out again holding a small brown box. She opened the front passenger door and carefully put the box on the floor. Then she went around to the driverâ€™s side, got in, and started the car. We took off again, back to the highway, continuing towards Virginia .
After driving in silence for about five minutes, I slowly said, â€œLizzie. Whatâ€™s in your box?â€
â€œMy box? Umm, I actually canâ€™t tell you that right now, maybe later.â€ She replied. And that was all said on the matter.
About four hours later we arrived at our destination, Chesapeake , Virginia . We pulled up to a small bluish house. Lizzie shut off the vehicle and we both got out. We strolled the long cement rectangle leading to the front door. Lizzie knocked three times on the brick red door. We heard quiet footsteps inside the house and the doorknob turn. Lizzie opened the door, wait Lizzie was standing next to me, there were two Lizzies?
â€œLizzie!â€ The second Lizzie yelled and hugged the first Lizzie. I was confused right now, clones?
â€œWait,â€ I started, â€œLizzie, is that a â€¦ clone?â€
â€œHa-ha, no, Matthew. This is Daisy. Sheâ€™s my twin sister, almost like clones.â€ Lizzie grinned and laughed when she said that.
Daisy led us inside to a room with couches and chairs. â€œSit down! Would you guys like something to drink?â€
â€œOh, Daisy, could I just have some water. Matthew, do you want anything?â€ Lizzie asked me.
â€œWater . . . please.â€ I said looking at the cozy looking carpet. It was so fuzzy looking, like a Himalayan cat and a cloud mashed together. I wanted to lie down on it and fall into a deep sleep. But I resisted my sudden urge. Instead I looked around. A nice looking home, pictures of Lizzieâ€™s family on the walls, goofy knickknacks in shelves, and a nice blue color on the walls.
Daisy came back with three glasses of water; she gave one to me, one to Lizzie, and then sat down in a big greenish armchair. â€œSo, Lizzie! Why did you come so suddenly? I havenâ€™t seen you in forever!â€
I looked around some more, I saw a clock, it was now 5am . Only about twenty four hours ago, I had killed manâ€™s best friend and my best friend, what kind of friend was I?
~â€œMATTHEW, WHAT DO you do for a living?â€ asked a bouncing Daisy coming out of the kitchen.
â€œI worked at Starbucks.â€ I mumbled, still looking at the heavenly carpet.
â€œStarbucks? I love their coffee.â€ Daisy was an official weirdo; I love Starbucks coffee, who says that?
Lizzie must have sensed my discomfort, she changed the subject. She told Daisy of how we needed to get away from here, away so the cops wouldnâ€™t find us. Daisy listened and nodded. She sprang up when Lizzie finished.
â€œI have an idea. So you two are running from an asylum? First of all, change your names and your appearances. Second, you can stay here with me and we can make up some storyâ€¦â€ as she spoke, she flailed her arms enthusiastically, by the time she was finished speaking, she was out of breath.
Lizzie slowly rose, thinking, â€œMaybe . . . Daisy, could we? . . . Could you help us?â€
â€œYes!â€ Daisy yelled, wow she was a freak. â€œI can dye your hair and stuff?â€
â€œYeah, yeah, thatâ€™s good. â€œ Lizzie looked at me, â€œMatthew? What do you think?â€
To be honest to that question, I thought they were both as crazy as myself. Really? Did they truly think that changing the way we looked would solve our problems? Jesus, girls, looks are everything to them. But what I said was, â€œYouâ€™re-not-going-to touch-me-or-you-will face-utter-Hellâ€
They both looked at me in confusion. Right when Lizzie was about to respond, I got up. Took her car keys off the table, went to her car, got it, and sped away. In my rearview mirror I saw the twinsâ€™ race out of the house and look after me. Was this a huge mistake? Would this be utter Hell for me? Was I leaving the woman I may have loved more than Anna? Maybe so, I would never know.
I just drove, not anywhere in particular, I just drove away from Daisy and Lizzie. Where may away take me? I had no clue. To the edge of the continent? To death? To reunite me with old family? Friends? No clue, where I ended up was better than where I was now.
I was now on some highway, I think going west. I weaved in between all the cars around me. I drove off the road onto the grass in order to go around an eighteen-wheeler. I was going ninety-five, way over the speed limit. Did I care? Not really. When did I care about my or otherâ€™s safety? Only ever Annaâ€™s, but she had sent me to an asylum, why should I care now? The answer was, I didnâ€™t.
I reached a highway and sped to Missouri . I stopped in Madison , where my birthmother lived. I drove down Main Street , looking for District Street . When I saw it, I drove down, looking for number seventeen. There it was, still a small blue house with yellow shutters and a white door, just as I remembered. I slammed on the brakes right in the middle of the road, I turned off the ignition and stepped out of the vehicle. I went to the door and pounded my fist against it.
A middle-aged woman answered it. She had a curly brown perm, thin rimmed glasses, and huge red lips. My mom. â€œMatthew! I havenâ€™t seen you in forever! Come in!â€ she said as she gave me a hug, sloppy hug. I rolled my eyes, routine procedure. I followed her in.
She went into the kitchen for drinks, my opportunity. I followed her in. she was at the sink, washing some glasses to put drinks in. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my Swiss army knife, I opened the blade and crept up behind her. She turned around, and I quickly shoved the knife up my sleeve, I felt it cut my arm and warm blood drip to my wrist and into the palm of my hand.
â€œMatthew? Come to help me?â€ my mother cooed, grinning. I nodded. â€œGood. Here, you can poor the drinks.â€ She opened the refrigerator and looked in; I went behind her again and took out my knife. She turned around again. This time, I hadnâ€™t been fast enough to hide my knife. She dropped the water pitcher.
â€œMatthewâ€¦What are you doing with that knife?â€ she backed away from me, towards the wall. â€œMatthew, pleaseâ€¦Please, no, why would you ever do this?â€
â€œLinda, you left me. You left me with Dad. Dad! Why would you leave me with him? Why couldnâ€™t you two have stayed together? At least, whyâ€™d I have to go with Dad?â€
â€œMatthew, no, no â€¦ Please. Donâ€™t do this. You canâ€™t do this, no.â€ was all she said.
â€œSorry, but I have to.â€ And I stabbed her, right in the heart. I pulled out the knife and stabbed her in the head, then the stomach, and everywhere I could. She slumped to the floor, a bloody mass of human. I wiped the blood from my knife onto her clothing and I left. I got into my car and drove away, as fast as I could.
~I REACHED THE highway. I passed exit after exit, rest stop after rest stop. I drove mile after mile, hour after hour. Until, finally, I reached Colorado . I drove right through Prowers, Bent, Otero, Pueblo , Fremont , and Chaffee, until I reached Pitkin. When I hit Pitkin, I drove until I reached Aspen .
I parked my car and ran to the lodge. A teenage girl greeted me, â€œHello! Welcome to Aspen , may I help you?â€
â€œCan I get on the ski lift?â€ I huffed through my teeth.
â€œYes, but first, can I have your name?â€ the girl asked taking out a pen and sheet of paper.
â€œMatthew Groverâ€ I told her. Why did I have to go through this? I just wanted to get to the top of the mountain.
â€œMatt-hew Grov-er,â€ she said as she wrote it out, â€œWhere did I hear that name?â€ she looked at her computer screen, his eyes got wide and she looked at me again, â€œM-mathew G-gro-verâ€ she stumbled over my name. I nodded, not sure what was happening.
She pressed a small button under the desk and whispered one unforgiving word, â€œSecurityâ€.
Shit. Right then I realized what must have happened, Augusta Mental Health Institute must have notified all the head of states that a mental patient had escaped and was on the run. Then the head of state must have notified all the businesses and residents of all the states, that way, they were sure to catch me.
Two men came running in through the door, the teenage girl pointed to me and the men tackled me. They were strong and muscular, there was no way I could take both of them on, but I tried anyways. I squirmed and kicked and punched at every part of them I could. I bit the bigger manâ€™s hand, hard. My teeth sank in, he screamed, and let go. I bit the other manâ€™s leg, he let go. I ran. Out into the parking lot.
I jumped onto the ski lift and I went up. Police cars arrived and the two men were outside with the girl now.
The cops ran to the bottom of the ski lift with their guns, they stopped it. I was now dangling far above the ground hanging by a bar of metal.
â€œMatthew Grover! Do not move! Weâ€™re going to get you down and then take you to federal prison. Cooperate or you will face consequences!â€ the police were yelling at me over a megaphone.
I was scared, for one true moment, I was scared. My breathing increased. I was up there, going to prison. I had no choice. I thought, just thought, about everything. My head hurt. I was in trouble. Everyone was mad at me. INow what? was furious with myself.
People below were beginning the operation of getting me down; they had people watching my every move.
I had no choice of what to do now. I wanted to die where my father had. I reached up my sleeve to where I kept my knife. I pulled it out and looked at it. Someone below yelled, â€œHe has a knife! He has a freakinâ€™ knife! Heâ€™s gonna throw it! Careful!â€ they rambled about how I had a knife and how I was going to throw it. No, I wasnâ€™t. Instead, I held the knife tightly in both hands. I closed my eyes. In one swift movement, I stabbed it right into my heart. I let go and it stayed in me. I clutched my chest, I was bleeding. My head slumped to my shoulder, my body slumped forward, all my bodily functions stopped as soon as the knife pierced my heart.
My body fell from the lift. Onlookers below gasped and yelled, none of this I heard. I was dead and falling. I hit the ground and my bones cracked. People ran to me, they determined I was dead. They pulled the knife from my body; they lifted me and put me into a carâ€™s trunk.
I was driven to the morgue. My limp body was dropped in a pile of other dead people. The lights were shut off, the door was closed and locked, the room was silent.
Death is freedom. Freedom from all your troubles, all your misfortunes, everything. I had taken the cowardly way out. Now I would pay for my life in Hell. I would face utter Hell for leaving Daisy and Lizzie. I deserved it, every moment I spent with the Devil. My life was over and a new one had begun.
~AS THE KNIFE hit my heart I felt a falling feeling, not like tripping and falling, or falling off a ledge, like sinking through earth. My journey through life into the depths of Hell. I saw the day I was born, my first kiss, my first girlfriend, my sixteenth birthday, my driverâ€™s test, my high school graduation, finding Anna in the street, and all the people I had recently murdered.
Pain shot throughout my body and I twisted through the memories, why these memories? Of my whole life, why these? I closed my eyes, trying to relieve some amount of pain, it didnâ€™t work. When I opened my eyes I saw flames. People working in shreds of clothing, they were perspiring and breathing heavily. The air was dry and smoky and burning my eyes, my face felt like I had fallen asleep in the sun for a few hours. This was Hell, this was where I belonged.
I looked around more, then I saw something horrible. The most horrible face I had ever seen. A blood red pointed face, with dark black holes for eyes, an angular nose, and two long grayish horns pointing out of the top sides of the head. It glared at me then gave an ugly smile.
The next second, it was next to me. And the second after that, I had a rope tied around my wrists and my shirt was gone. How?
â€œAnd who may who be?â€ the creature growled. I tried to answer but it felt like my voice was chained down and a heavy rock had fallen on my chest.
â€œNo talking in Hell, Matthew Grover.â€ How did this creature know my name? â€œDo you know who I am, Grover?â€ Again I tried to speak and no words came out, â€œNo talking in Hell, you might as well not even try. Not a single one of these people have spoken since they arrived, you will be like the rest.â€ It told me. â€œBut, I am the supreme ruler of Hell, the Devil.â€
I was in utter surprise. Hell was real? Really? I had always though that was just something parents told their kids for them to behave; be good and go to Heaven, be bad and end up like Matthew Grover and go to Hell. Shit, I knew I deserved this, but I didnâ€™t want to accept it.
Next thing I knew I felt like I was being hurtled through time and I was in a small dark room. The Devil was with me, holding a scroll.
â€œOkay . . .â€ the supreme ruler of Hell started, â€œLetâ€™s see. Why is little Matthew Grover here? What did he do? He seems like a cute guy. â€ He was taunting me, I couldnâ€™t do anything, my body felt heavy and my voice was gone. I could only listen to him.
â€œHmm, so, you killed, Henry, some dog, Jimmy, your best friend, and your mother? Interesting . . . I think I know where to place you . . . â€œ
In an instant we were in a fiery field like place. There was a crucifix burning not too far off and a single table and a chair. On the table there were piles of hundreds of books.
â€œThis is your work place until you finish. Sit, now.â€ the Devil demanded. I sat. â€œNow, all you do is rip these pages out of all these Bibles, ball them up, and through them at the rood. Get it?â€
I nodded. â€œGood, get to goddamn work or there will be hellish consequences.â€ He laughed and disappeared.
Shit, there was no escaping this. I sat and began my work. Page after page came out of the Bible and I threw them at the cross. I stopped for a second and looked at the Jesus on the cross; he looked like he was crying. I blinked and looked closer, he was. I quickly looked away; I didnâ€™t need to see that. I continued my job in fear of the Devil.
~ AFTER A FEW whole Bibles were destroyed, I wanted to cry. How could I do this? Yeah, maybe I never went to church, but still. Did I belong in Hell? I probably did, but I couldnâ€™t accept the cold hard facts right then.
I just sat there, stopped the Bible tearing, and let it all go. I started crying, like I never had before. I banged my head on the table, I pulled my hair. My breathing went heavy and it was hard to complete. I fist pounded the table and heard a laugh. I looked up.
â€œSo? What do we have here? Not being happy for what you have? Not continuing the job I gave you?â€ the Devil had reappeared and was sneering at me, â€œYou should be grateful for being here you son of a *****. You do not show emotion or anything in from of me. Letâ€™s see now what I have for you . . . yes, yes, this seems nice . . .â€ he snapped his long fingers and we were in a small room with nothing but a few chains.
He grabbed me by the neck and threw me against the wall. My head collided with the stone and it felt like my skull cracked. I shut my eyes in pain. Satin grabbed my wrists and cuffed them to the wall; he did the same with my ankles.
â€œNow, this is what you get for slacking in Hell. Slacking and crying like an infant. That behavior is unacceptable here. Your only emotion shall be neutral, thatâ€™s all. There will be consequences for others.â€ Then he was gone in a small puff of smoke.
Now what do I do? I was in a horrible place, a horrible state, a horrible condition, dead. Why had I killed myself? I should have faced prison, faced discrimination, not death. Anything was better than here.
I was chained to a wall; therefore, I had nothing to do. I just hung my head, ashamed of my actions and my consequences.
â€œOkay, young one,â€ A voice growled in my ear. I looked up, he was back, â€œenough time spent here slacking. Come with me. â€ He unhitched the chains and I fell to my knees. â€œThis way cretinâ€ he yelled at me, I got to my feet and went to him. He turned to me, â€œSince you failed at the first task I assigned you, hereâ€™s another. All you have to do push this huge wheel around and around, day after day. Get to workâ€ and he left me there.
I found a spot on the wheelâ€™s handles next to a young woman, she looked maybe my age. She looked at me and her eyes seemed to light up. I looked at her and had the same realization. She was Amy. She had been my best friend in kindergarten. But why was she here?
My words were still lost; all we did was look into each otherâ€™s eyes. She had deep sadness not too far from her soul. Then she broke the bond and we pushed. Circle after circle, for an eternity.
~THE PHONE RANG and Marlin ran to answer it. â€œHello?â€ she quickly said into the receiver.
â€œAre you Marlin Grover?â€ a manâ€™s voice rang into her ear.
â€œYes, I am, why do you ask?â€ Marlinâ€™s face grew worried and she looked at Anna.
â€œIs there an Anna Grover there with you?â€ the man asked.
â€œCan you put your phone on speaker so you both can here me?â€ the man asked with a certain tone. Marlin did as asked.
The man continued, â€œAre you two related to Matthew Grover?â€
â€œYes, sir,â€ Anna said, â€œheâ€™s my stepbrother.â€
â€œOkay,â€ the manâ€™s tone softened as he broke the news, â€œWell, Iâ€™m very sorry to tell you this, but Matthew is dead. He stabbed himself on a ski lift at Aspen â€¦â€
Marlin drew a breath and Annaâ€™s mouth slightly opened and she put her hand on her chest. Anna gulped and started shaking. She rolled herself to the front door and out of the house. She didnâ€™t want to hear this, Matthew had killed himself.
She stopped and buried her face in her arms. Marlin came running up behind her. â€œAnna, baby. No, no. Donâ€™t cry. Matthew wouldnâ€™t want this.â€ She tried to sooth Annaâ€™s pain but failed greatly.
â€œNo one knows what Matthew wanted. No one knows why he did what he did. All I know is heâ€™s dead and he killed himself. And I donâ€™t want to live with knowing something was wrong that maybe I could of helped him with. I want to be with him again. Never apart.â€ Anna was in tears, she uttered more that Marlin could not understand.
All Marlin could do was hold Annaâ€™s head against her chest and whisper a few words, â€œAnna, one day you will see him again. In heaven and then you too can be with each other forever.â€ Marlin did not truly believe this, neither did Anna, but they didnâ€™t said that out loud. They could both very well guess, Matthew, would not be in heaven.
I nudged Amyâ€™s arm, she looked at me. I motioned my head towards a large stalagmite where a thin older man was hunched. She shrugged and kept walking, we both kept glanceing over to see what he was doing.