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Zenith

the day i finally snapped.

By Jennisea RedfieldPublished 6 months ago 9 min read
3
AI art by self

It was a tiring and rigorous day. I was drained out of my much needed energy, and a bit pissed off. My book bag weighed down on my right shoulder like a carcass of an un-gutted doe. I got an hour until my brothers come home, so that enough time to figure out dinner. Mom was gone, she said work, but I’m pretty sure she was on a bender with her lover Critter. All we had in the fridge was ground meat graying from pre-rot, I hope it was beef, stiffening cheese, and tortillas. Tacos it is.

I found the repetition of cooking as my own form of relaxation, but it wasn’t working that day. I could feel the pressure of stress throbbing behind my eyes, flickering in shades of black, grey and for some reason, blue. With the browning of meat, casually adding in the various spices to make up the comforting scent of taco mix, the house now smelled less of dust and cold air, but more of spiced meat and grilled tortillas.

Cipri was the first to enter. He came in like a chattering monkey, bouncing off the walls and aching for a snack. Pascual followed at a slower pace, like a cautious cat, bored and already complaining about something. I didn’t give a damn about what. The boys were bored, so I let them play on the Atari. It’s not like we had a lot of entertainment to kill the dullness.

After the food was done, Jon, our older, crasser cousin, walked in just in time to eat. Fucking parasite. Already he was cracking racist jokes about my little brothers for their darker skin and long hair. Each joke felt like a caltrop in my legs, barbs in my back and heat in the center of my head. As much as I loved him, I despised his remarks. My brothers found them amusing, for some damn reason. I tried to get him to stop, but he laughed.

Cipri was struggling rolling his taco, and I was pleased that Pascual, who usually was the one to start fighting with his younger brother, show him how to properly make one. He helped Nanos, so I decided to make his. I wasn’t hungry. The pressure behind my eyes dulled my want for food, but not my ache for something to drink. The tap water was a murky chalk white color, but it was still drinkable according to the landlord’s son. With my water, I watched my brothers and cousin eat the food I prepared, silently trying to work on the multiple pages of homework I had to do.

~~~…~~~

The stress was starting to make me sick as I was the only one cleaning after everyone stuffed their stomachs. Jon was laughing and showing my brothers cheat codes to Mortal Kombat, occasionally make a remark that popped like blisters inside my thoughts. He’s supposed to be seven years older than me, twenty-two to my sixteen. So why was I the one being an adult?

I don’t remember the comment that sent me over the edge, but I do remember throwing something into the wall. Jon said something, and I turned and smacked him with a taco stained tortilla, knocking him down, which was surprising since I didn’t even remember walking over to him to do so. The action made my brothers laugh and shocked my idiot cousin into silence for once. Something broke inside me, possibly a tooth as I clenched my jaw like a gator. It felt like the shattering of dropped crystal, the crumbling of a record, the breaking of purified ice, all inside my head, inside my heart. The feeling inside felt like barbs under my skin. I didn’t like resorting towards violent acts, so I ran.

Retreating to my shared room, I remember pacing the length of the two dressers by the furthest wall. The pressure of my anger and stress was like a thousand mallets in the center of my brain. I felt hot, stinging in my eyes as I fought back tears. The pressure built up, growing taut and tight as my irate mood rose. I couldn’t breath without choking on what felt like sulfur, or stopping my breath from hitching as I could now hear my brothers, my boys, crying as they have never seen me lose my temper before. And what felt like the snapping of steel fibers inside, I suddenly felt numb. I felt like I was being encased in that protective cotton we find inside bottles of Tylenol, the harsh scraping sound of the cotton being my blood flowing through my arms and legs. I was done. Finite, with all the drama and responsibilities I had in this shitty household. The bathroom was joined with my and my mother’s room, and I walked in.

I still felt the hot anger of unshed tears on my face as I looked into the crackled mirror. I cried, finally releasing all the rage that was engulfing inside my chest. I’ve had it. I wanted to die. I searched that bathroom to help me ease my way into eternal oblivion, but I despise the coldness of razors,, and I had no rope. But I did see something that would help me. It was in two little, orange plastic vials, just sitting, unguarded on the counter.

I was prescribed blood pressure medicine for some reason, along with birth control. The bathroom had no door, only a shoddy curtain with stupid pins along the edge. I grabbed a cup to fill with the chalky water and began to swallow those pills one by one. Looking under the sink, I found pesticide, so I covered the pills with the substance, swallowing them once more. The pesticide was sweet, much sweeter than I would have suspected, but it cut down the stale bitterness of the pills. It was a bottle of 30 white pills, but now there were only 2. I was starting to feel cold and hot at the same time. I was shivering and sweating. I was feeling light and almost anti-gravity-ish, so I curled on the floor. The fake tile felt nice and cool on my flushed face. I don’t know how long I remained curled there. All I could feel was the tiles starting to warm against my face, the smell of urine that coated the floors from my brothers sleep walking, moms powdering makeup which dropped off the counters from this morning.

Cipriano found me, but I knew he didn’t know what was wrong. He covered me with a blanket and turned off the lights.

“I’m sorry, Jenny. I didn’t mean to make you mad. We’re gonna watch the Dragon movie again. Can you make us popcorn?” I remember shaking my head, but was it to tell him no, or to fight the encroaching drowsiness? He began to tuck the blanket around me, like I once did for him until he declared he was too old be a bug in a rug.

I heard a boisterous voice echoing from the front door. Mom? She was laughing and chatting with my brothers as she was approaching the back room we’ve shared.

“Jenn? Buggy, are you sleeping? At seven pm?” she called out, walking towards the bathroom. I closed my eyes just as I saw my mom’s feet enter the room. She turned on the light, and I heard her scream.

I remember mom crying. I never heard her cry like that before.

I heard her yelling at someone, her voice frantic. Our cat, Kirara, was purring and lying next to me. Her fur was so soft and warm from the spring sun. Her breath was rotten with the smell of cat food and taco mix. She must have gotten in the trash again. I closed my eyes again, sighing as the tiles felt cold again.

I remember a woman with short blonde hair, a stethoscope around her neck as she ran vitals. Oh. Mom was calling paramedics, that’s who she was yelling at. I bet they got lost on the way to the house. The blonde woman was removing my shirt and giving me an IV. The sterile sharpness of the plastic tube entering my arm did wake me a bit to see the calmness radiating from the paramedic. My mom was screaming at Jon, and my brothers were crying again. Stop making them cry, I wanted to say, but I couldn’t form words.

I remember the stiffened, overly clean scent of the ambulance as I was loaded into the back. The blonde woman was talking, but I didn’t know what she was saying. I remember the dark was coming, and I embraced it.

~~~…~~~

I don’t how much time passed, but I woke up to my mother crying over me. My uncle was laughing at something, so I didn’t pay him any mind. He’s a dick anyway. I was in a hospital room, the ER from what I recognized, the mechanic bleeps of the monitor filling the room as my family cries. I was dressed in bleached and starched white scrubs, still shivering. My grandmother was by my side, also crying. She got a blanket for me, tucking me in like she did when I was much smaller. I closed my eyes again.

I woke up to a nasty tempered nurse handing me a cup full of sweet, black fluid. She ordered me to drink. It was chalky, sweet. Thick and sticky. I was told it was charcoal. Never seen charcoal in a liquid form before. It tasted a bit like Pepto Bismol, but black.

Mom was talking to a doctor in a clean white coat, and dark blue scrubs. I felt numb, dulled from something. Mom was upset, but where were my brothers?

“…Providence Psychiatric.” The doctor mentioned. I tuned them out and tried to sleep again.

I woke up to my mother shaking me awake as two men stood by my bed. They covered me with a blanket and lead me to a white van. Why are the vans always white? Mom sat next to me, brushing my hair, braiding it out of my face. My head was pulsating with untapped pressure. I wanted water. The two men said nothing.

The Providence health center was dark. The two men placed me into a wheelchair. That was fine. I was too shaky to stand. The wheeled me into the building, but my mom stayed outside. She was crying again. The men wheeled me inside in silence, placing me in a blank room. It looked like a common hospital room but lacked the sci-fi machines. I was tired, so I curled on the bed to try and sleep. I could feel the coldness of saltwater drying on my face as I entered the darkness again.

Woke up once and threw up the black sludge I was told to drink. It reminded me of a scene out of “Jennifer’s Body.” A night nurse sighed and moved me to another room. I fell back asleep after apologizing for vomiting. She just smiled and called for a janitor.

Woke up again to an overly peppy nurse handing me a small cup of seven pills in different colors. An Anti-psychotic, antidepressant, vitamins, and I’m pretty sure the rest were just sugar pills. I felt nothing as I swallowed the pills, drowning them in room temperature apple juice. I wanted mom. I stayed in the bleak room, numb except for my trepidation. Where was I? Where’s my brothers? My mother? Hell, where the hell was Jon?

A few hours passed. I remained looking out of the window, ignoring the doctor who asked mundane questions. They brought me lunch. I only drunk the warm apple juice that was accompanied with brownish green beans and what I think, what I hope, was slices of turkey. I just wanted my mother.

“Miss Standing Rock, you have visitors. Unfortunately, since you are in ICU, you can only communicate through a window.” The peppy nurse lead me to a thick, steel door. It had a tiny as hell window, no bigger than a shoe box. Though through it, stood my mother and little brothers. The boys looked so pale and afraid. My mother looked upset as well. I kept my face calm, at least as calm as I could. I never been apart from my family before.

“The doctors say you have to stay here until you are no longer a danger to yourself.” Mom whispered. At least it sounded like a whisper due to the thickness of the glass window in the door.

“I want to come home.” I whispered back. Who was going to watch out for my brothers? Watch the house? Jon couldn’t do it. He’s a dumb ass. Mom is almost always gone for work.

“We’ll visit you again tomorrow. Just get better, bug.” I watched mom lead my brothers away. I dropped my head against the door and cried. The nurse knelt down to rub my back, giving me comfort. She lead me back to my room, where I continued to cry in private.

traumadepressionCONTENT WARNINGbipolaraddiction
3

About the Creator

Jennisea Redfield

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