I often get this deep pathetic feeling when I'm around my sister, Nella. She's16 years old, making me 3 years shy. But you see… this pathetic feeling I get doesn't compare to the loneliness that accumulates when we're not together. I have no one I consider my friend and our parents are never home. So all I have is my sister.
Nella's schizophrenia started when she was 14 and that's about 5 or 6 years early for such a disease. That's when it all started. She began taking private classes and lost many friends. The main things Nella sees are animals and people and hears horrific cries from all sorts of creatures. Nella's most reoccurring hallucination is that I'm not her little brother but a puppy named Peron, that can communicate well through wines and nudges and sometimes short sentences. So why do i feel pathetic? It's because I actually prefer it this way. When she's not imagining this, she is unfeeling and sedated. She won't talk to me much and I have to take care of her. Nella won't laugh, she won't tell me stories, she can't.
In her case of schizophrenia, Nella has a few main animals that talk to her, including me. I guess that isn't so strange considering I heard a story about a girl who visioned talking numbers and one talking cat. My sister doesn't get the attention she needs. We are well off but only because my parent work so hard all the time, also meaning they're gone all the time. When my sister snaps out of hallucination, she needs help remembering basic things. I get a shower ready for her and stay in the bathroom and talk to her so she doesn't stand in there for hours. I make us food and try my damn-est to engage in conversation. She remembers to do things on her own I'd say, about half the time. During these moments where she is actually self aware, my sister usually get's extremely depressed. I hear her crying and go into her room to just lay with her, feeling that's all I have the power to do.
This is too much. I'm only 13 years old. I'm going through puberty, preparing to be a teenager and I have this incredible responsibility. I'm suppose to think about girls and homework and what I wanna do over the weekend. Though I don't have room for these childish things. I don't feel like a 13 year old boy, I don't feel human. I feel depressed. But what am I suppose to do about it? I'm 13 years old. Who the hell can i talk to? Other 13 year olds aren't going to even know what the word depressed means, without thinking of poser emo kids. That's not what I am. I have Clinical Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. As if puberty wasn't already an important psychological time for me, i have all this other crap to add to it. Sometimes when I go to bed, I wonder how this is going to affect my adult mind and picture myself in a psych ward where everything is scheduled for me, except the art's and craft time. I think, " I'll do that myself. I'll enjoy the hell out of that", and I smile, finally feeling a bit of relief.
Today is Friday October 31st, 3:05pm, Halloween. I was planning to go home right after school but I have some money my parents gave me, so I think I'll bike to the nearest store and buy Nella and I some candy. The money was originally for a halloween costume but I'd really rather not go trick-or-treating by myself. I park my Schwin in front of the Walgreens with halloween stickers in the window. The chime at the door causes me to flinch. The candy aisle is almost empty. I'm so stupid. "What was the candy Nella likes?" I think back 2 years ago.
Nella and I are done trick or treating. I'm excited for our annual ritual of trading sweets. We dump our collections onto her bedroom floor. She smiles at me with her smeared mime make-up. I suddenly feel ridiculous under my Neo shades and take them off to make eye contact and smile back. We organize our candy into piles of chocolate, fruit flavored, and non-candy things such as juice boxes, pencils and the jackass that gave us raisins. When we start trading, I remember, she would trade some of her best stuff for my Fun-Dip. I would've given it to her anyway just to have her giggle the way she does. But back then I could've never shown such blatant love.
I check the aisle for the strange candy. It's still here, a good amount too. Probably cause it's more expensive and rich people are stingy. I grab a bag and search for my beloved Blow-Pops. Who cares if I look gay eating them.When the lonely old man rings up my things, he gives me a strange look, inquiring why a boy my age is buying these treats when I could get them for free. He doesn't deserve an explanation.
On my ride home, I wonder what Nella's going to be like today. I feel pretty good right now. I always feel good when I get her something. I hum a song until I see my house.
"I'm home!", I yell. No answer. She must be in her unfeeling stage. I sigh my way up the stairs, bag still in hand. The shower is running so I walk inside dropping the bag on the counter. There's steam coming from around opaque purple curtain. "Nella?" no answer "Nellaaaa?" Again there is a silence and I know what I half to do. It's not the first time. I move the draping with a shaking hand and try my best to keep my eyes up. Her face is pale and she's stiff, eyes disturbingly fixated on the ceiling. Strands of wet brown hair cover her face. I'd think she's dead if she wasn't standing. I slowly touch her shoulder without looking, hoping I don't miss. "Nella?"
"CAMERON!" Her complexion completely changes, startling me, She smiles. Back into the hallucination, she goes. My peripheral is my demise and my crotch starts to ache. If that wan't bad enough, she hugs me tight and laughs. Her chest is soaking through my shirt. I gasp and break free, falling on my ass. Eye's closed, I tell her i'll be right back and exit the nightmare. Deep down I know that a nightmare isn't an accurate description. People don't get hard over nightmares. It's not my fault though, I'm going through puberty and no one ever shows me affection. This isn't my fault. My sister isn't suppose to be the first naked girl I see. I know that, but it can't be helped. To calm down I sit on the floor of my room and while changing my soaking shirt, I think of dead soldiers. I picked that image early when I first started getting erections. It works pretty well. Sometimes it's specific scenes from Saving Private Ryan. I like that movie. I might regret associating boners with it later, though. When I have a family and we view it, will I get an erection? I don't want to have to hide that secret for the rest of my life! Oh God, people are going to think blood and war gets me off! Maybe I sho---
"Cameron? Where'd you run off to? I thought you liked the water! only cats don't like water.!"
Oh that's right! Nella… I hope she has a towel on. She opens my door before I get to. To my surprise and relief she is wearing clothes…kinda. A big T-shirt and underwear counts as clothes right? I'm too tired to care.
"Are you hungry Cam? I bet you are. You are so weird, you, Celty and Scott are the only animals that eat JUST people food." Celty and Scott are twin rabbits… yeah I don't know either… but this is my life.
"So what do you want Cam? Celty and Scott fed themselves again." Oh yeah, I got her Fun-Dip!
"Hold on." There they are, still on the counter. I put the plastic handles in my mouth. I bring my hands to my chest and grip the fabric covering my skin. I bring this to her with my mouth… the way a dog would. I didn't feel like crawling this time. She takes the bag gently from my mouth and opens it.
"Cameron! You got me this?!" she laughs. I nod and smile. "Thank you! I haven't had this in so long! Goddamn, you're the best!" She pats my head and ruffles my short and already messy brown hair.
This feeling, this moment right here is one of the things I now live for. Her sweet praise is so calming. I'm almost sure Heaven is being reincarnated as a loved pet. It's got to be.
"I'm going to make your favorite meal, bow-tie pasta and brochette with garlic bread!" She turns around and floats down the hallway, bounces down the stairs and enters the kitchen. My sister's cooking is the best. My sister is the best. She's the reason I've found something i like other than movies and reading. Because of her, I got into psychology. I read psychology text books for fun. I have something I'm passionate about now. It always irritated me not being defined by anything, but thanks to my sweet sibling, I have a life now. So I guess, she IS my life. So is it kinda sick, what i think about when I go to bed?
This is a very common thing, I know, to ponder different situations when you go to bed, but is it common to think about your favorite people dying? I can't help it. This is something I often come back to. I imagine her most likely dying in a car accident. That's the way my grandmother went when our mom was just 19. It just seems right. So I picture myself waiting for my sister to come home from the hospital where she goes to school from 10 to 5 Monday through Thursday. Then, I wait some more. Until 6 o'clock, when I decide to go to the hospital to see if she's still there. While I hastily ride my bike to the hospital, I see cop cars. All the peoples mouths are moving, all I hear are car alarms and get off my bike, hitting the ground running, full sprint to the familiar vehicle. I yell tearfully, pushing past the crowd who don't deserve to see her. I yell, Nella, in a cracked voice and a police man ask me my relation to the victim. The word victim startles me. "She's my sister!…"I snarl angrily, not necessarily at him, but the world. He leads me over to the body bag to identify the corpse. He unzips it and an overwhelming scent of blood causes me to vomit. It's her. I wish it wasn't, but it is. I start sobbing like never before. My life is now pointless. I whip around searching for someone to hold me. All there is, is a mass of strangers. So i curl over and embrace the only one I know, my sister, blood and all. Her body is cold and soaked with red, causing me to vomit once again but I don't care. I need it. I need this.
I'm going to stop right there because I'm starting to cry a bit. My palms are starting to tingle. Where's Nella? Oh yeah, the kitchen, I really have to see her right now. She doesn't hear me step on the hardwood floors. She wears an apron that silhouettes her beautifully. What's that song she's singing? Ah, the one I was humming on my way home, "Red Wine isn't just for UB40". No one even knows who sings the weird tune.
"Hey man, you can't love her!" She cuts the garlic, "Stay away, shea, she's my sister!", then the mushrooms, "You can't keep pressing half romance! Yeah my sister, we share the same past!…" She continues the song as she sautés. The uncomfortable feeling in my hands start to overcome my other senses. I swiftly walk over to Nella, and put my arms around her waist, hugging her from behind. I hide my still red and wet face in-between her shoulder blades. I'm so pathetic.
Eating on the carpet, below her, doesn't help the self-pitying. Nell doesn't let me eat on the couch with her nor does she allow me to eat off the same plates she does. I guess there's some normality to her. I've grown accustom to this treatment, however demeaning. It's all worth it when I get to curl up on the couch next to her, when we're finished. It's around 5:30 right now. I have no clue what we're watching and I'm not sure if she does either, but in some sense, it's a comforting thought knowing all we're doing at the moment is enjoying each others company. It's the little things that make me afraid of Nell ever getting better. Would she let me rest in her lap like this, if she was more self aware? All she feels is what her mind makes sense to feel, which is a small weight on her leg and a small depression in the couch. Her hands feel soft hair between it's fingers and a humming in his back. What I feel is my sister's affection. I embrace the warm, smooth skin of her thigh on my cheek. Nell's hand slightly resting on my head could put me to sleep. I could die… and that'd be all right.
Oh God, what's that noise? I don't wanna wake up, I wanna stay right here with my face buried into my sister. It's too disturbing, it sounds a bit like choking. Suddenly, Nella sits up, and leans over the arm of the couch to do what I'm pretty sure was her sleep vomit. Does that sound gross? It's better that actual vomiting. She often get's sick in her dreams and coughs up an impressive amount of spit and mucus. In my first book related to psychology, "Dream Dictionary," it says that when one vomits in a dream, it implies that your body wants discharge feelings or thoughts that you're system finds irritating or poisonous to well-being. In her case, that probably refers to a lot of things.
"Nella?… Are you alright?" What a nice feeling, ruined.
"…Cam…Ca-ammm…" She goes into a rhythm of sobs and hiccups.
"I'll put you to bed." I reach for her hand but she jerks it away.
"I'm so sorry Cam! You shouldn't have to take care of me like this! I can put myself to bed, it's fine!" Her face couldn't express anything more on the contrary. "If anything, it should be Mama who helps me, but she's not here. This isn't your job Cam, I'm sorry!…" Shit, now I feel like crying. "I-I'll go to bed." I watch my sister jog away from me.
I wonder if her body feels different when she's in the right mind. I fantasize about this when i clean up her puke-like mess.It doesn't take me long, but throughout it, I can hear Nella crying her damn eyes out. Sometimes I am just so pissed off! This is not fuckin' fair! I'm not even a real teenager! It's not my purpose in life to clean my sister's puke! Why can't my biggest problem be something idiotic like, liking a girl?! But no, Mr. Lefèvre has to stay home and take care of his insane sister, who only likes him when she doesn't know it's him!
"FUUUUCCCKK!!!" I wanna break something so bad! "AAUUGHHH!" -CRACK-….I punched the wall… Now the blood stains the carpet. Fuck that, I'll clean it up tomorrow.
I rinse my hand in hot water and disinfect it. I caught myself in the mirror and was horrified at my tear stained face but not surprised at my sunken eyes. Maybe me and her will just collapse an die from sleep deprivation. It's so early, but I'm already tired. Kids my age should be thrilled it's the weekend and stay up all night without parents, not me though. I wanna go sleep next to my crying sister.
I'm really too exhausted right now. This might be bad cause then I get to careless in my actions. Oh well, I deserve this carelessness after how much I think all day. I open Nella's door and she tries to quiet herself a little but it's still very obvious. I take off my pants quietly, for she doesn't need to know I'm in boxers, and get under the covers. I think about my day. My brow furrows and it gives me a headache. Why can't I ever relax? What would my life have to be like, for me to calm the hell down? Ugh, stop thinking Cameron, go to sleep. Nella always helps that. Would she let me touch her? Well I guess it would be seen as me trying to comfort my sister, so it should be okay. I inch closer and put one arm over her stomach, pulling her into me. I'm shorter so I should probably be the little spoon, but she's the one that needs comforting and I'm the one that needs something to hold onto. She smells like a girl. At this moment. Nell is just a quivering girl in my arms. And I like that sound of something so simple. By the time I notice my consciousness start to leave me, Nella has calmed done and hasn't moved away or closer to me. But that's okay. This is a big step. Maybe if she was better, she wouldn't reject me after all.
No… the sunlight feels like acid… I don't want to go to school! augh… wait… it's Saturday. Thank you, Jesus. Anything is better than going to an institution that lives to create ignorant phonies. Ahh, Nella, when did my right wrist get tangled in you hair? Is she awake? What time is it? I should do homework. God, I feel sick. Cam! Stop thinking! Don't do this! Enjoy a moment of once, with nothing going on in the back of your head. Fuck, like that's gonna happen, I'll just go take a shower. Nella's clock hurts to look at. Holy shit, it's 6AM?! It's getting worse…
Wanna know the worst part about being neurotic? Well, remember when I said I don't feel human? That was true. People eat, sleep, breathe comfortably…I don't. I fail on a level of being functional human being. Food doesn't taste as good as it use to. Even when I think, " I have had an exhausting week!, I'm going to indulge and by eating fast food and siting in front of the T.V., watching reruns of my favorite shows!", it ends up making me feel worse by the end. You can't even finish half of the food, so it's just a waste of money and you feel sick and need to lay in bed, trying not to vomit. Even the first bite, it's just disappointing. One's mind is suppose to enjoy the crap out of fatty foods, but I can't anymore and it makes me so frustrated. Why is it, when life becomes so joyless, that our bodies won't shut off as well as they did when we actually wanted to be awake? That's why sleep has become so important to me. A good sleep is such a rare pleasure that I constantly try to force. It's a break from living, and some would find it disturbing to know I enjoy it so much. I find it more disturbing that I could never actually kill myself because i don't have the balls to do it. I have a fear of the afterlife, the unknown, the symbol that shows up in every novel. Why couldn't I be afraid of something interesting like the color yellow? That's a real phobia, I kid you not. Phobias are a fun thing to search, you should do it sometime. While your at it, look up Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It's a mental disorder that apparently kids can get. Children shouldn't be able to be neurotic. It's torture. You have so many thoughts, that they can't all fit into your day, that's how you loose sleep. That's why you don't have any real friends! It's why you're fucking INSANE! It's why, AT THIRTEEN, when you tryta masturbate, YOU CAN'T EVEN HAVE AN ORGASM!!!!…. After all the hell I've been through, and all the hell I'm going to face… I deserve to at least make a few sins.
….What the fuck?… What was I going to do before I started thinking? Ah shit, now I can't think of anything else but my pathetic penis problems. When was the last time I tried to masturbate? I bet other guys don't even feel guilty afterwards, not the way I do… I let out an audible sigh. "Anyway, shower time