”It’s only going to be for a little while.”
“It’ll be fine! Just think of it as a small vacation!"
“A few weeks tops, that’s all this is going to be.”
Harry couldn’t help but roll his eyes at them all, staring blankly out of the window. He didn’t even register what it was that passed before his eyes at a speed that made it all go blurry. His head couldn’t wrap around the trees and the beautiful nature around him – No, right now his head was a horrible mess of thoughts he shouldn’t have, and nothing. And to anyone who claims that you can’t think of ‘Nothing’, the those people are incredibly naïve.
“Look, it’s actually really pretty when you look at it in the sunshine…” Gemma chirped from the front seat, making Harry cringe on the inside, though he kept his face nice and neutral. He tried to focus on what she meant, ignoring the futile attempt to lighten the mood. He was going to a loony-bin, a madhouse, a funny farm. Harry just couldn’t see anything fun about it, but that might actually just be him, considering how cheerful his sister and mother pretended to be.
He had to admit – When you actually took a second to look at it, it didn’t look that bad. It was in the higher-end, he knew that much and it wasn’t like a hospital. It was described as a place where the wealthy send their young ones, when they needed a break from society. However, you required a doctors note to get in and while it should be with all the best facilities, the fact that it said ‘Leonhart Asylum’ on a big sign at the gate, ruined the illusion of a resort.
It was white. A big white house – Or could it be considered a mansion? It had plenty of windows, it looked open and inviting. It wasn’t as cliché as on-top of a house but it had a lot of open space around it, the entire area surrounded by a thick white wall. You came and went through iron-gates, opening up by request through the intercom system and barely hidden security cameras. He could see the edge of what he assumed to be a tennis court, but it was almost hidden behind the front of the house.
As inviting and nice as it looked though, Harry’s stomach tightened at the thought of actually going inside. This would be his home for god knew how long, and the fact that he’d be in there without any kind of support, any kind of friend… Well, it made him anxious. He’d have a roommate, he’d been told, but that was it. How were people in there? Would they be insane? Would they be quiet, eerie, stare into nothingness because of medication? Would they be violent?
Harry had no idea, and that, above all, irked him.
His mom opened the door for him when he didn’t step out immediately, sending him what he assumed was supposed to be a comforting smile as he stood out. He grabbed the sportsbag from the trunk, slinging it over his shoulder, while Gemma took his suitcase out on the wheels. They moved into the reception area as a quiet little group, and as soon as they were inside, the smell of medication bid him welcome.
“You must be mr. Styles?” The receptionist smiled before they even spoke, a friendly but trained smile as she reached over to press a button. “We hope you’ll enjoy your stay here – I’ll have someone escort you to your room.” She smiled. Harry noticed she was blonde. Dressed all in white, her fair skin seemed too pale, almost sickly. He figured she’d be pretty though, if it wasn’t for the all-white attire and surroundings.
She knew his name too… They couldn’t have many newcomers. Maybe he was the only one today?
“Thank you.” Harry finally got out, swallowing slightly as he took in a deep breath, his green eyes flickering up the stairs when a man, similarly dressed to the receptionist, jogged down the stairs.
“Harry Styles, I assume? Nice to meet you, welcome here… Let me help you with your suitcase.” The caretaker smiled, reaching out to take care of the suitcase that Gemma had been wheeling in. “I’m afraid you’ll have to say goodbye out here – We had an episode with one of the others, and we’re trying to limit changes to them right now… Seeing someone with their family, might upset some of the others.” He explained, sending them all an apologetic look.
The news made Anne frown, and Gemma’s face fell a little bit, but they kept it nice and neutral. Harry just had a lot of experience in reading the slight wrinkle his mother got between her eyebrows, and the way the corner of Emma’s eyebrow wrinkled a little in thought.
“Don’t let me stay here too long…” Harry rumbled low in his chest, reaching out to pull his sister into a hug first. Giving her a last, tight squeeze and sighed into her neck and hair. He’d miss her… He wondered if she felt the same. He smiled a little bit at her ‘You’ll be better in no time’, letting go of her with a sad smile. They both knew it was a lie.
He hugged his mother with both arms, giving her a tight squeeze much like Gemma but being a little more careful with the small woman. He nuzzled his face into his hair, taking a last deep breath of her perfume for comfort. She lured a faint, genuine smile out of him by rubbing his back a little bit, telling him how much she loved him… Of course, Harry gave it back but there weren’t any fake promises of a quick recovery from neither of them. It was with heavy step that Harry moved to follow the caregiver up the stairs, glancing back to his mom and sister and giving a small wave as they left… And then he was all alone, that fact resonating against the white walls, giving him the same feeling of hopelessness that had caused him to get in here.
His room was too quiet. It was small, what you expected from a dorm or a boarding school maybe. It wasn’t bad by any means, just so damn quiet – And until his other belongings came, he wouldn’t have anything to kill the whiteness, the white color of everything on his side of the room.
As expected, he shared the room with someone. He didn’t know the person, but he seemed younger, loud, colorful. There was a very thin line that divided the room in two, the door being right in the middle, and on Harrys side, it was still all white. White bedsheets, white floor, white wall, one white curtain. The bed looked normal, with a metal bedframe and as he sat on it, it wasn’t uncomfortable. The fact that he could see the small attachments, to all four corners where restraints could be fitted to, did however, make the whole thing a little more eerie.
On the other side of the wall though, was what Harry considered a mess. The bed was well made, and nothing was scattered around, but it looked as if there were colors everywhere. Against the whiteness, the spots and dots on the wall, on the bed linen, on the side of the desk and on the white fabric, they simply stood out. It looked like a small kid had gone fingerpainting, except that it all consisted of uniformly made dots everywhere in all colors of the rainbow. He didn’t dare touch it but it literally did look like paint – Glossy, dried, a little bit scaly here and there with places where it had apparently been attempted to be fixed.
The guy he was sharing a room with, had too much sparetime it seemed. Because it was definitely do-it-yourself-kind of craft. Harry swore he could smell a hint of nailpolish in the air as well. Maybe that was what he had used as paint?
He had about an hour and a half to spend before he’d be called out for dinner. The caretaker had told him – The others were either in therapy, or around the free-time areas, where they could do what they wanted to a certain extend. He didn’t want to go mingle with the others immediately, needed a little space for himself… He wanted to relax, wanted to spend a little time in his room. It just felt so cold, so completely void for any personality on his side.
He wondered what you were allowed to put up on the walls… And how his new roommate were. And at some point, during all those thoughts, Harry managed to dose off, his head tilting to the side and his mouth dropping a little bit open. A small snore coming from him soon enough.