“Sometimes he tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure out why people were bad to each other so often.”
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
In the eleventh grade, me and Dyl read a book called Into the Wild for English class. The gist of it is that a boy turns up dead in Alaska after leaving his Virginia home to go search for something greater. And although I know (hope) Dylan won't do something idiotic like getting himself killed, the idea still creeps into my head and consume my thoughts.
My thoughts work ever too slowly and then suddenly they are swirling around in my head. Most days I would sit in my room and use my imagination to paint masterpieces on my ceiling. Or Zayn would have to literally come up stairs and carry me into the common room to do something. Out of the five weeks Dylan has been gone, I have only been productive this week. And that's only because Richard has been in my mom's office too much and his presence makes me want to plot to poison him. Not that I have already...
"Vanessa, can I talk to you for a second?" My mom looms over where Zayn, Niall, Harry and I are playing Uno. I excuse myself from the riveting game to follow my mom outside the common room. She has that deep crease in her forehead and I can already hear what she is going to begin to talk about.
"Vanessa, I think we're going to have to keep Harry on room lock down for a while." I look at my mom in pure disbelief. I thought she was going to interrogate me on my feelings again, not tell me that.
"What, no you can't do that, he's done nothing wrong!"
"He may not have done anything wrong but you have. Sneaking into Section C, letting him spend the night in your room, you spending the night in his? Vanessa I told you when he first got here I didn't want you to be around him."
Good old Section C. I haven't been able to go down there again, especially not without Dylan by my side. I did however learn that my mom doesn't have jurisdiction over the Section. Meaning if she has any clue on what's past a certain point down there, she has no control over it. Which would make me feel better knowing that she doesn't have a heavy hand in it but it doesn't. Just makes me feel sad all over again.
"So you're going to punish Harry, for my actions? Where was that attitude when I accidentally cut the power a few years ago?" My mom taps her foot impatiently and makes a zipper on my lips. "No, he's been here for little over two months and he hasn't made any signs of social progress. We can't figure out his mental standings."
"That's good isn't it? There isn't a great chance that he is mentally crazy, that's what it means right?" "No Vanessa, we have no clue what he's capable of, that's what it means. The intern psychologist is probably going to have a mental breakdown himself trying to figure out Harry. I just don't want you to have more than a professional relationship with Harry right now mija."
But it's okay for you to be in a relationship with a psycho ex murder, yeah ok.
"I want to see this intern psychologist you speak of." "That's another thing, you're so wrapped up in Harry you haven't even talked to him yet? He's been here for a month Vanessa!"
Well I have been busy trying to cope with the fact that my best friend is out somewhere and he's not answering his phone so that means something could have happened to him but ok cool.
My mom points me into the direction of this person's office and I'm off to the races. A lot more of the guards are coming back now but the security cameras are still down. I wave to Louis as I pass him by and he reaches out to mess up my hair. Typical.
I stop in front of the opened door where there is a boy moving across the room, looking for something I guess. He has on one of those white doctor coats on with a red name tag that reads intern. Something's telling me that this may be the guy.
"Knock knock?" The boy stops whatever he does and his dark brown eyes crinkle at the side when he smiles.
"Vanessa Erica Zeyla Carrion, come in! " The boy out stretches his hand and I slowly shake it while he shakes it with vigor. "I've been meaning to talk to you for a while." The boy pulls out a chair while he kicks the door shut with his foot. I cautiously sit down on the chair while he pulls a swivel one up to sit across from me.
"I've heard you're trying to find something about Clearwater and I think I can help." The boy suddenly spins around in his chair to grab something and them he spins back around with something that looks like my AP world and AP psych books mashed together. It's in a brown folder and it has so many rips and tears, I'm worried that it may explode right here.
"This bad boy here are all patients private sessions here except one, Richard." The boy raises his eye brows and tilts his head forward as if what he just told me was the secret of the universe.
"I'm sorry but who are you- your name, what's your name?" The boy adjusts his glasses and begins laughing nervously. "Oh my god I'm sorry, I'm Liam Payne, intern psychologist."
If Justin Timberlake and David Beckham would have ever had a love child, it would look like this boy in front of me. His hair seems to be growing back from a fatal cut and his beard is growing out in that Vogue model type of thing. He's taller than me of course but his limbs aren't quite as lanky as Harry's or Evan's. He blinks a few times when he sees me inspecting him.
"You look really young." "Thanks, so do you!" The boy adjusts his thick frames once again and begins to grin at me.
"How do you know that I may be trying to find out something about Clearwater." I take the huge monster file from Liam's outstretched hand and flip quickly through the pages.
"Because Mr.Jinkens isn't good at keeping his thoughts in with the new medication he's on."
Mr.Jinkens. Why haven't I thought about talking to him again?
"Well thanks for this but I actually came here to talk about your progress with Harry."
"Ah, Harry yes, tricky one he is. " Liam uses his legs to roll around to his desk where he begins to plunder through the drawers before pulling out another file 20 times smaller than this one in my hand.
"Doesn't like to talk much, or at all, about the actions that landed him here but when I ask about you, he begins to talk a mile a minute." Liam holds up a paper covered front and back in small black ink. "This is from the first session with him and it's completely about you; I couldn't keep up with how fast he was speaking about you. It's confidential so I can't let you read it but take my word when I say it's all positives."
I look at the paper in awe and I feel my eyes beginning to water. "That's, that's amazing." Liam places the paper back in the file and throws it back in the drawer, kicking it shut with the side of his foot.
"It is. Looks like early stages of love." I widen my eyes and begin to shake my head, my arms flailing in front of me. "Love, love? No me and Harry have just grown close the past few weeks."
And that's the truth. The second week after Dylan left, I would fall asleep in the common room everyday after a long day hoping that Dylan would come back. And Harry would find me and every night would carry me into my room. I remember the first night I found him with me. I woke up in my own bed with some ones legs intertwined with mine and arm draped heavily around my stomach. When I turned my head, I saw Harry's face next to mine. His lips were slightly parted and I could feel his breath lightly on my forehead. I reached out to touch his faint stubble on his jaw and the few hairs in the middle of his eye brows. His eyes fluttered open and he stared at me for a moment with his bright green eyes. Then he rubbed his prickly haired legs against mine, tighten his arm around my waist and fell back asleep just like that.
"Vanessa?" Liam's waving his hand in front of my face and I'm shaking my head apologetically. "I'm sorry what?" "I said that you should read over some of those papers in there. Could help you maybe."
I tuck the file under my arm and stand up from the quite comfortable chair. "Well it was lovely meeting you Liam. Thanks so much for this." I hold up the files and he smiles brightly at me. "No problem. And no rush on bringing them back either."
"Liam before I go, in your sessions you haven't seen anything unusual about Harry's behavior have you?" Liam rubs his beard scruff slowly, not meeting my eyes. "Well no but it's hard to tell. The only thing I know about him is that he's a really big Vanessa Carrion enthusiast." Liam looks at me with a smile and I return it back to him.
"I'll see you around yeah?" Liam nods and I open the door, letting it shut quietly behind me.
I'm in the dimly lit laundry room folding the grey jumpsuits that read CLEARWATER on the back of them while Harry is silently sitting on one of the washers. I can hear the heals of his feet softly hitting the machine while I concentrate on folding the material the way my mother wants it.
"Vanessa, I'm bored." I laugh at Harry's whiney voice. It amazes me how one second he can be the mysterious model type boy and the next a literal 12 year old. He hates being in his room, especially alone and it breaks my heart to think that he may have no other choice but to stay in there for a while.
"They're having movie night in the common room." Harry lets out a frustrated groan and I hear him tapping his fingers on his new seat. "If we have to find Nemo one more damn time..." I begin laughing again and I can hear him hop off the machine. I try to get a basket from the top shelf but before I can stand on my tip toe, Harry comes to the rescue and retrieves the basket with one hand.
"Thanks, you show off." Harry places it on the dryer in front of me and I playfully elbow him in his stomach. "Ouch." I look down at my elbow and Harry is grinning once again. "Hey, no one told you to get violent." Harry bends down and kisses my elbow after rubbing it gently. "Well thanks." I go back to doing the laundry and Harry is still hovering over me. "I want to take you out on a date. February is the month of love you know."
"What? Doing laundry and carrying me to my bed doesn't count as dates? I lied to my diary then." Harry wraps his arms around my waist and rests his chin on my shoulder.
"I'm serious Vanessa, I want to take you out to dinner."
I let out a very audible snort at that. "Sure Harry Styles who is in an institution for said murder of people and who was all over the news for the past few months, you can sneak out with me and we can go on a nice little date."
"Ugh, don't make it sound like it's a horrible idea." I take another jumpsuit from the basket and begin folding it. "I'm not making it sound like a horrible idea, it is a horrible idea. Incredibly sweet but horrible." " Just meet me here Friday at midnight, I have a plan. And it won't disappoint your diary."
Harry kisses the side of my head and jogs off to wherever he goes off too.
My thoughts are swirling around once again. I've learned a lot of things about Harry these past weeks; his favorite ice cream, his hopes, his dreams, all that jazz. But we still have danced around the subject of how he landed in here. If he killed those women for a purpose or something. And I have been meaning to talk to him about it, I really have. But then he holds my hand or smiles at me and my thoughts move ever too slowly once again. Its a fatal thing to think you're submerged in someone but in reality you're only on the surface.