Nirvana

Nirvana
Escape the world. Forget it all and begin your journey to a fresh new start.
.
That's the tagline of the rehab center they have come to stay at.
Phoenix has had a rough past, and has come here to start over.
Milo doesn't remember a thing from his, and can't wait to get out of the place and figure out his life. .
What happens when they meet? That's a story to tell.

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Milo:
That girl was weird.
She sat next to Milo answering the question sheet she had been given.
Half of her black hair held together by a small clip, and the rest scattered all over the place. A plain black t-shirt with black jeans and black jeans. Black chipped nail paint and dark circles under her black eyes. She looked like someone from the crowd of an emo night.
Except for her smile. Her smile was wide, all her teeth showing. As if someone had forcefully glued it over her face to distract the others from her dead eyes.
Milo, on the other hand sat cross legged, cross armed, a scowl on his face.
He wasn't given any question sheets. He wouldn't be able to get past the question about his name and age, even if he was.
All he knew were the faces of the two people who had claimed to be his parents, his mother sobbing on his smug father's shoulders.
And that his name was Milo Thorn, he was 17. And that he needed to go to rehab.
And that was about it. How did he lose his memory? Why were they sending him to rehab? Did he have a best friend? A girl friend?
He didn't know.
And by the sight of things, he wouldn't know until he got out of this damn place either.
3 months.
90 days.
0 down.
90 to go.
Damn.


Phoenix:
Damnit. Smiling was hard.
Phoenix filled in her question sheet and gave it to a girl sitting behind the counter in the waiting room.
She tried her best to maintain the smile while she took a picture of hers for the formalities.
A fresh new start. It'll all be fine. She said over and over in her head.
The corner of her lips were actually hurting now. She had a new appreciation for James Brown in her class, and promised herself never to call him Smiley McSmilenson again.
Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.
All of this-
Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.
God, would that guy STOP!
The guy sitting next to her had picked up a pen and was constantly clicking it. She hated that noise.
She was about to interject, planning to add in a mean insult for the band whose t-shirt he was wearing when she remembered her 'fresh start' motto.
Taking in a huge breath, and widening her smile, she turned to him saying in the most cheerful voice she could muster,
"Hi!"
In return, he stopped the clicking, and turned to look at her with a glare.
She immediately sunk back in her seat.
It was like he was mentally shooting lasers at her.
At least he had put down the pen, though.
She stole another glance towards him. He was still glaring, now at a void.
Jesus, that guy was weird.


Milo:
This was horrifying!
First day, Milo and the emo girl were introduced to the rest of the rehab 'family'. Milo cringed internally.
What was their welcome strategy, you might ask. A hug from everyone!
Milo wanted to say, 'I'd rather choke on my own toothbrush, thank you." But managed to hold himself back.
It took all of his self-control not to run away from that damn place.
Needless to say, he wasn't really enjoying all of this.
The weird girl, on the other hand, looked very enthusiastic. She kept on her crazy smile, hugging everyone. She was even wearing a neon orange shirt with blue jeans.
She heavily smelt of perfume when she hugged him. Damn, that was a tight hug.
His hand brushed against her arm, and he shivered.
She was so cold.


Phoenix:
This wasn't so bad!
Most of the people seemed very nice, if she ignored that one creepy guy who had tried to grab her ass.
But she ignored, who knew how damaged he was.
There was an old lady who kept hugging her, whispering she reminded her of her daughter, and they had to finally tear them apart.
So many troubled people. Some of which she saw had progressed. She wanted to be one of them.
She wanted to turn her cheery facade into a reality.
The weird guy, on the other hand, looked like he was already done with all the rehab thing.
He barely even touched half on the people before pulling back from the hug.
When she hugged him, he just kept his arms limp at his sides.
Unenthusiastic.
But when she was pulling back, her arm briefly brushed against his hand a shiver ran down her spine.
He was so warm.


Milo:
A poem! They wanted them to write a poem.
It was just his third day, and Milo was already fed up. Three constant days of hopeful talk, meditation, and fake cheery accents.
He had been paired with two other people for his private sessions. One guy and a girl. Both of which had the same situation as him.
They explained to him, that people going through the same circumstances are able to understand each other better.
But he just found it ironic.
How could a person who didn't even understand himself yet, be expected to understand someone else?
Besides, he didn't need help or rehabilitation.
He needed answers.
All that, he could bear. But a freakin' poem!
And it wasn't just a private session project. He had to write one and read it in front of everyone.
And apparently, it was a monthly thing, too. Everybody would write a poem, and then read it aloud to everyone else.
So, to Milo, that not only meant having to go through the embarrassment of reading his poem in front of so many people, but also having to sit through for THREE HOURS and listen to everyone else's.
Just great!


Phoenix:
She liked writing poems.
It was her way of letting out her thoughts and frustrations.
But no one had ever read them before. And the idea of reading out her own personal thoughts to a room filled with strangers made her uncomfortable, and maybe, a little scared
But she didn't let that stop her from being excited.
For her private sessions, she had been paired with two girls Tina and Ally. Except for Ally, who would burst out crying on random occasions during the day, they were pretty normal.
They were expected to share a room with their group mates. Phoenix was actually feeling a slow gradual change in her.
While they were being briefed on the poem writing, she took a glance at the weird.
By the looks of it, he was NOT having it.


Milo:
The poem had actually turned out a little better than he had expected.
"Looks like you've got a hidden talent," his roommate Greg had said reading it(without his permission) while Olivia snored loudly in the background.
"Whatever," Milo said snatching it from his hand, discretely proud.
But he realised that it didn't feel as good as it had last night when he was standing in front of 35 people, about to read it out loud.
He learned that it was a custom that 'newbies' went last. That meant he had heard 33 other people's poems(some great, some about, and I quote 'dat ass tho!')
Now only him and the weird girl were left. A voice called out,
"Milo Thorn! Whenever you're ready."


Phoenix:
Milo.
So that was his. It sounded like a softie's name. A mamma's boy who secretly loved rom-coms.
Not this Mr. I-Hate-Life-And-All-Life-Forms.
He cleared his throat. She stood up in her seat, very interested to see what he had written.
His voice a little shaky, but still butter smooth and clear, filled the hall;
i looked in the mirror
and saw an empty face
they wrote on a piece of paper
my name and my age
said 'that's all you need to know
you'll figure the rest along the way'
for all i know i was
just born yesterday
i'll never know how
how much i have changed
what was my life before
oblivion stole it away
for all we know i'm here
just counting my days
so, i can leave, and figure out
who i was before
i was born yesterday
and who lives behind
this empty face

Phoenix let out a small gasp.
Was it Oscar Wilde, or Shakespeare? No. But was it breath taking? Yes.
It felt personal.
She had heard Tina saying that 'the other new kid' was in the 'memory loss group'. She understood his perspective when she thougt of it like that.
It must be hard knowing absolutely nothing about yourself, and on top of that being(probably) forced to live with a bunch of strangers for three months.
Huh, he didn't seem that weird anymore, the more she thought of it.
A voice called out reminding her of what she'd almost forgotten about,
"Phoenix is next."


Milo:
Phoenix.
That was her name.
Sounded like the name of a tough girl out of a dystopian book.
Not Miss Life-Is-Unicorns-Who-Fart-Rainbows.
Well, life is weird.
Before he could make any further judgements, she cleared her throat,
"Um... it's a little short, but it's really close to me. So.. uh-uhmm.. anyways, here I go."
He wondered what had she written about. Boyfriend problems? Over-priced shoes?
But he didn't have to think about it for very long.
She began to read. Her voice was confident and loud. Like in one of those hopeful audio books they were given to read,
so what if i'm
broken,
unhinged,
falling,
and burning alone in the dark
so are comets
and
shooting stars

There was a definite silence in the room.
Milo tried to find a single flaw in it, but no, it was perfect. He hadn't expected something so beautiful and deep from her. He was very surprised.
"That was beautiful. Thank you, Phoenix," said one of the women, and Phoenix nodded in a 'thank you' taking back her seat.
"Everyone! I have another exciting announcement!" one of the women who was a therapist got up from her seat to stand in front of them.
Another announcement?
Milo groaned internally. The woman went on to talk about a biyearly 'appreciation murmur' which raised whispers in the people.
So, it was a thing when people pick someone in front of everybody, and the two of them have to write an appreciation letter to them, and give it to them in person the next week.  To make them feel appreciated.
And this was supposed to happen, thrice. Once for every month they were in the Nirvana.
They'd be asking them to record love songs, or mix blood and bond for eternity next, Milo thought.
"This session. Guys pick girls!" said the woman, and a couple of girls giggled.
He wasn't going to pick anyone, Milo decided, he'd just have whoever was left the last.
And then, the madness began.
Interesting picks were made. Greg, who was 20, picked 50 year old Mrs. Stacy. (The picking method was raising a hand)
Three guys picked Hannah, a 23 year old redhead, and then she had to choose.
And so on.
Then came the turn of the weird gi- Phoenix.
He looked at her mechanical smile, and then his mind went back to her poem. There she was, standing, fiddling with her fingers.
And before he had time to consider what a stupid idea it was, or what he was doing for that matter.
He had raised his hand.


Phoenix:
Holy crap!

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