It had been five years since my mother put me in a mental institution for seeing people who weren’t there. I have been seeing things since I was born; my mom said my first words were angel. I made the mistake of trusting my mother to take care of me and protect me; I made the mistake of telling her about the people I saw. I never knew my father and my mom thinks that my supposed mental problems run in his blood. Sometimes I pretend that I don’t see the people, I pretend that I have a loving boyfriend and great friends and a mom who doesn’t think I'm crazy. I guess I'm about to find out what that’s like, or else I'm damn sure gonna try.
“Cory, your mother is here to take you home.” Nurse Tina told me and I picked up my bag and followed her out of my room. The walls were painted in bright colours so that we don’t get depressed, the nurses looked cheery so that we would trust them. I never fell for that, I knew not to welcome what they told us because it was patronizing and it made you start to believe you really were crazy, it took away your fight.
“Home, what home? The only home I remember no longer exists.” I say as we pass down the halls. Cheery faces wave me goodbye but I take no notice. I know they are glad I am gone, I'm the one who wouldn’t break, I'm the one they couldn’t tame like a wild horse is tamed into work. I think Tina is the only one who doesn’t patronize her patience here; she trusts us but does not expect trust in return. Once we got to the outer gates of the institution a warm summer breeze burst onto my face and sunlight covered my pale body.
“Are you ready sweetheart?” my mom’s chirpy voice came from right in front of me and I opened my once closed eyes to see her smiling at me from in front of a large red car. Her use of the endearment sweetheart proved to be unsettling, my mom hadn’t seen me in five years but she had the nerve to call me sweetheart like any other mother? Well I wasn’t going to make this easy, she could be as loving as she wanted but I wasn’t going to bend and be the equally loving daughter. My mom had changed since I last saw her, she had red hair and wasn’t wearing glasses, and also she was wearing a wedding ring and carrying a baby in her arms. I felt a twang of betrayal in my heart, this baby was obviously hers and she had gotten married, I never even knew, she never even told her own daughter. Outrage rocketed through me; she had dared to call me her sweetheart.
“Do not call me that, not when you stand there and act like you never did anything wrong.” My voice was low and hoarse; I didn’t talk often so it took a few times to set it right. Tina didn’t seem surprised by my outburst; my mom didn’t either so maybe she doesn’t care about me.
“Come on Cory, you need to get home so you can start school tomorrow.” My mom said, acting like she hadn’t abandoned me when I was eleven. I hugged Tina goodbye and went over to the car, the sensation of driving home was just like how I remembered it.