Faded Scars

Logan is a fox, scrounging for scraps of sanity whilst Scarlett is a swan, gliding towards it.
Logan's only ever known stale walls and sterilised floors.
Scarlett's only ever known shattered promises and the ones she loves leaving.
Logan hears voices and sees things, things that make him do bad things.
Scarlett just wants to help but the closer she gets to something the farther away it seems.
Both of them are slowly loosing the battle but can they survive if they're also loosing everyone around them?

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1. Watching

Logan Chapter 1;

 

      Watching her has been a part of my life since I was first submitted to St Tulip’s almost two years ago. She was just fifteen back then; with her unruly curly hair pulled back into a neat bun on the back of her head. Wide-eyed and rosy cheeked, she had been talking to one of the nurses when I first saw her. I was being shown around the ward and suddenly the feeling of dread inside me was smothered by… something else as I stared at her. The way her eyes lit up as she was talking to the nurse about something she obviously cared about. The way she used her small hands to put her put her point across with as much emphasis as someone as small as her could possibly exert. I remember the excitement I felt about seeing her again. It wasn’t until I saw her for the second time that I realized how different we were. She was an elegant swan and I was a fox; scrounging for scraps of sanity whilst she glided across towards it. But I’d had years of practice and desperation to know that anything I yearned for would slowly get farther and farther from my reach.

It was a Thursday; February 18th when I first saw her with her hair down. I remember it clearly. She was walking down the hall and I was waiting for Dr Young to finish her session with the patient who’s appointment was before mine. I gasped inwardly as she breezed past, folder clutched to chest and dark brown hair flowing out behind her. It was curly, in perfect spirals that thinned out at the ends. It framed her face and made her blue eyes shine even more than usual. She wore it down like that quite often after that Thursday. I got slightly better after that Thursday.

 The sound of Dr. Young clearing her throat drags me from my thoughts and I snap my eyes to meet hers. Dr. Young had been my therapist here at St. Tulips for two years; our first session together the day after I first saw the girl. She had helped me through a lot; always insisting that we did our sessions privately. In other words, without the looming presence of my demeaning mother. She seemed to intimidate Dr Young and I gained the impression Dr Young thought she could only get the truth out of me when I was out of sight of my mum. This was true, I suppose. I never liked to talk about my feelings but had learned to open up to Dr. Youth since first meeting her. Not fully but slightly. Much more than I would to my mum, anyway. Or anyone else for that matter.

 

“Well, Blake. I can say that you’ve improved a lot since I last saw you but I’m still not sure you’re anywhere near ready to leave just yet,” She picks up my file with her neat manicured nails and stacks them in a pile in the middle of her desk. Those papers documented every note on my mental stability and history, what I considered a documentation of my loss of grip on reality.

“Can you think of anything that’s made you improve since last week?” Dr Young leans forward in her dark leather chair, light eyes scanning my face. She taps her pen gently on the side of her arm and I clear my throat as I hesitate about the answer. I knew this was one of her tricks, she’d done it for as long as I could remember. She knew the tapping distracted me from what lie my mind was quickly forming.

“Just been happier, I suppose.” I reply quietly.

Lie number 1.

I knew the real reason. But she didn’t need to know that. No matter how much she tapped that bloody pen.

“Any reason in particular, though?”

“No.”

Lie number 2.

It was the girl, Scarlett. It always was. Even though we’d only ever exchanged one word, which came from her mouth, she was the main source of happiness in my life. I don’t care how soppy or ridiculous it sounded. A few years ago I would have laughed if somebody had told me a girl would save my life without ever being near me but I’d slowly began to accept this fact; however stupid it may sound.

“Okay, well…” Dr. Young frowns slightly at me, tucking a loose piece of hair behind her ear. I can tell she doesn’t believe me but she chooses not to press for more. She knows if I want to tell her anything, I will.

“I’ll see you next Thursday then.” And with that, I stand and leave her office; replacing the scent of musty warmth with sterilized floors. I let the door close slowly and take a deep breath of stale air before running my hand quickly through my messy hair.

“How’d it go?” My mother asks from where she is sitting on one of the blue chairs in the hallway. Her phone, as usual, is clutched in her hand. My mum was a serious woman, who did not take particular pride in the fact that her son was a depressed, schizophrenic kid who had no friends or social life. With short cropped blonde hair and piercing brown eyes, she had a tough demeanor to her but I knew more than that. I’d seen her at her weakest and it was something I preferred to blank from my mind. I just shrug in answer to her question. Her attention is on me for a second more before returning back to her phone.

“Okay, well I got a call whilst you were in there. I have to go in to work,” She says it in that same monotone voice that people often use when talking about their essay that was due in tomorrow and they hadn’t started yet. She always spoke about her work this way. It was just something she did. I made a promise to myself when I was a child that I never wanted to become that kind of person. I didn’t just want to do something or become someone. I wanted to have that flair of life in me whenever I thought about doing or becoming something; the same flair I saw in Scarlett when she talked about things.

I stand and stare at the floor for a while whilst she types something out on her phone before she suddenly remembers that she’s a mother and is supposed to care and do motherly things.

“I’ll see you later, okay? I’ll ring you later on,” Her voice switches to that same velvety one that read me bed-time stories as a child and sang me to sleep, whilst stepping closer and placing a kiss on my cheek.

“See you.” She waves and smiles before turning away from me and marching down the hall; her heels making the obnoxious sound bounce of the bland walls containing me here. A tang of despair pulls at me but it’s dull. Usual. Routine.

“See you later then,” I say, rather too loudly. A male nurse gives me a funny look from where he’s coming out of a patient’s room. I know how it looked; that boy with depression talking to himself. I could see the cogs in his coherent mind twisting as he debated whether to ask me if I needed help or not. I just shake my head slightly and start off down the hall. I press the button on the wall and stare out of the window aimlessly as I wait for the lift to ascend. It was a strange summer morning. One of those mornings where it keeps promising the warmth of the sun but every now and again it’s demolished by a thick cloud smothering the rays desperately trying to reach the Earth. Like me really, trying to reach normality. The lift doors open with a painful squeak and I step inside, looking down at the floor. It’s not until the doors slowly slide shut again that I realize I am standing less than two feet away from her. My breath hitches in my throat as my muscles contract and I wonder if this is what people feel like when they get five numbers on their lottery ticket, knowing the next few moments could make their entire lives. I lift my eyes and let them slowly trail up her slim legs, her midriff and then finally to her face. Her hair is pulled to one side, the one farthest from me. Her blue eyes are looking at something in her hand as her eyebrows are knitted together in what appears to be anticipation. I follow her eyes to where they land on her phone screen. I catch a glimpse of a text message conversation between her and someone labelled ‘Dad’. She pushes the phone into the back-pocket of her jeans in frustration, groaning something under her lips.

“Dads,” She mutters and shakes her head slightly. I wish I could agree but I couldn’t quite understand what it meant to shake my head at my dad. He had given me enough reason too but I was always too afraid. It’s in those moments when the lift comes to a halt and the doors open again that I feel the deepest regret I have ever experienced. She steps out and looks at me slightly over her shoulder, her brazen lips turning into a slightly curve of a smile. Her eyes sparkle with something I can’t place before the heavy steel doors of the lift come to a close and shut her off from me.

 

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