Saturday, February 19, 2011

Snapple Apple 450 Week 39: Something About Windows

SnappleApple 450

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SnappleApple 450's Choice: both

Something About Windows

There’s just something about windows that makes me smile. Something about them that makes me feel something great. When you stand and look through a window, are you on the outside looking in? Looking in on a happy family? A dog curled up at his masters’ feet while the children ran around before supper. Or are you like me, where you’re locked inside wanting out?

I wish I could go outside right now. The weather feels amazing during the spring. The wind is cool and the world is beginning to blossom again after the harsh winter. I wish I could go outside. They promised I could leave in March, next month. They promised I was better. I promised I was better… I knew I was better. I had no reason to be sad anymore. I had no reason to hurt myself anymore. I was happy now. I was in love now. Things change when you’re in love.

His name is Terry Disher. He was here for longer than me and knew all the in’s and out’s of the facility. The rules were simple. The workers made it very clear all the time. You’re not here to make friends and socialize. You’re here to get better and get back out into the world.

The boys slept in a completely different building than the girls, that’s how they kept them separated. The buildings were separated by a small courtyard off limits to patients. The only time boys and girls mixed was when we ate. That’s how we met. I was freshly admitted and he offered me a seat at the table. We hit it off immediately.

But I didn’t belong in this place. This was a place for crazy people. I wasn’t crazy. I was depressed and I’d hurt myself, but never suicidal. I never got that term “suicidal.” If you’re suicidal, it means you killed yourself. I don’t understand how people can fail at killing themselves. How hard is it to end this so-called fragile life? I personally think they’re all cowards. Too scared to take their own life, and if they do succeed then they were too scared to live their life. You can’t continually kill yourself therefore no one can technically be deemed suicidal. It doesn’t matter anyway. I was never suicidal despite what they called me.

I was here because my dad was worried about me. He hated to see me like I was. But I was better now. I’d be out in March. Terry got out back in December. He promised to wait for me to get better. He’d write to me on the outside. I knew he was keeping his promise. We’d both used to look outside our windows at each other. His window was directly across from mine and we’d hold up notebooks with messages or pass notes at lunch. It was kind of romantic but more than anything it was frustrating. We didn’t even have our first kiss yet. I guess it really brings awareness to what matters right? Abstinence and all that jazz they teach us. Our relationship isn’t physical. The most we could do was hold hands under the table so the workers didn’t know and separate us.

Now he was waiting for me outside the gate. Waiting for me outside the window. I was on the inside looking out. Looking out at what could be my life. Looking out on what would and will be my life. My birthday is in March. They are releasing me a week before I turn eighteen. Terry promised to wait for me. My dad was happy that I was coming home and that I was better. My scars were completely healed, and for once, no new ones took their place. I was healed. I didn’t find Jesus like some in this place. Personally I’d have better luck finding Waldo. I didn’t have an epiphany making me realize my life should be a happy one. I just up and decided one day. The workers thought I was lying for a long time. How could someone they said was extremely depressed and a danger to herself suddenly be happy?

Depression isn’t a disability. It’s not a real terminal disease. It’s not contagious. It’s not a life choice. But then again, neither is love. I look out this window knowing Terry is looking out his until the day comes when we can both be that happy family that people look in on and smile with envy. Like my dad said when I came in here, “when life closes one a window.”