The rec room was pretty dull. There was tables and chairs littered around, covered in paper, pens, paints, clay, pipe cleaners, glue, cardboard, materials, scissors, sewing machines, pretty much anything ‘creative’ you could think of. Shona beamed at me, again. “Get busy baby! I’ll be back in 3 hours, I have a meeting. There are angels in the RRW, so don’t do anything dangerous or they’ll swoop down here!” I stared blankly at her, once again utterly confused. “What’s the RRW?” I asked. She sighed. “Sorry babe, I keep forgetting you can’t um, remember” she said it lightly, as if it was a touchy subject, “the introductory talk like the others. It stands for Recreational Room Watch.” I must have been gawking at her because she chuckled softly. “The introductory talk was to explain what all the rooms were, why you’re here, what you would talk about in therapy; basically the starter guide. Don’t worry, as soon as you understand what’s happening you’ll get that talk.” I nodded, simply because I could think of no other way to answer. “Go draw something,” she urged me “it’ll help you get through it. Draw something that represents your feelings. See you in a bit babe.” She smiled and turned out the door, her hair swishing behind her.
I sat at the table staring at the blank piece of paper. All the people from my therapy milled into the room, sitting at tables. Lisa sat on a table and called Harry over, flipping her hair and fluttering her lashes. He smiled at her but politely declined, and pulled up a chair on the table near mine. I tried to ignore Lisa’s blatant death stares. Megan grinned when she saw me and grabbed a chair. Irritatingly, she pulled it the length of the room over to where I was sat, so the squeaky, ear splitting grating noise dragged through the air. “I’m sitting here.” She announced as she sat down across the table from me. I nodded at her in answer. She busied herself, sloshing paint around paper absentmindedly. After a while, she glanced up at me and my blank piece of paper. “y’know, everyone else is doing something. And they won’t get off your back till you do as well. You might like it too- doing art, I mean. I love painting; it’s the only way I can find an outlet without you know,” she mimed slitting her wrists. I gasped inwardly at her coolness towards saying such a personal thing, but acknowledged what she had said by glancing at her and smiling slightly.
Eugh. It was all I could think as I stared at the paper. I picked up the black felt tip, rolling the other colours towards me, desperately trying to find inspiration somewhere. I remembered, long ago, when I had drawn little cartoon versions of my family. Mum had loved it so much that she begged me to do them on a card in Christmas outfits, which she then photocopied and sent out to family as Christmas cards for that year. I smiled at the memory and found myself drawing a circle. I added big round eyes, a quirky expression, and a tiny body. The body was dressed in all white, with a little paint brush in one small hand. I smiled at myself as I realised I was drawing Megan. I wondered why but thought nothing of it; after all, she seemed to have an interest in me so why would it be a problem that I had thought of her? Now I knew who my mind had decided it wanted to drew, I could easily add the details. Her head was adorned with cute black (highlighted with purple) bunches, the ends bright blue. I loved how the ends of her bunches looked like paintbrushes dipped in blue paint. I folded it up and put in my pocket, determined only to give it to her when I knew her better.
“Oh Harry that painting is so good! Wow, you’re talented and good looking!” Lisa exclaimed, dragging all attention in the room to her obvious flirting and Harry’s painting. He looked at the floor, embarrassed, and tried to cover the painting with his arm. “Come on Harry, show everyone!” She giggled foolishly and attempted to tug it out from the corner peeking out under his tanned arm. “No, leave it. Its rubbish anyway.” He said bashfully, with a tinge of annoyance. She gripped his biceps with her hand, fluttering her eyelashes. “Oh Harry you’re so strong! No wonder I can’t get it off you!” She laughed loudly. He pulled away awkwardly. Megan stood up, and I caught a glimpse of a mischievous glint in her eye. She waltzed over to me, causing everyone- including an angry looking Lisa- too look our way. “Oh Leila, you’re so strong! No wonder I can’t get you to like me! I'm not going to stop trying though; I'm going to flirt horrendously with you because I can’t bear not being the centre of attention!” She giggled loudly, sending herself up.
Lisa’s eyes turned dark as she scowled. Everyone laughed, including me. Lisa stepped towards me, burning with fury. “Don’t you laugh at me, you pathetic bitch. What’s the point of you anyway? We all know the reason you forgot; it’s because you don’t regret it. It’s only rare because hardly anyone is that fucked up. Did you hear me, bitch? You... don’t... regret it.” She said, circling round me. I was surprised by her instant hatred towards me, and her sudden outburst that had quickly turned personal, as opposed to just mindless insults that I’d heard before. “Regret what? In case you forgot, I have no idea what I'm doing here.” I said, tears blurring my sight. Lisa cackled obnoxiously. “Ha! Of course, how could I be so silly? So, what are we waiting for? Let’s all tell her why she’s here. Let’s all tell her why the stupid cow is dead.” Megan sat down and looked at the floor. “Or let’s not. Let’s just wait for her to figure it out. It’s not like anyone’s going to miss you, when we go to the river but you stay here. You stay here as the little clueless freak who forgot.” She sneered at me cruelly.
“Why am I here? Please just tell me.” I said quietly. I was so fed up of all the confusion, all the wondering. I just wanted to know. “Ha, now you want to know. Quick someone hold her down, we don’t want her sprinting off when she finds out like last time.” She noticed my tears, which had started silently dripping down my cheeks. “Oh please. You are so pathetic! Grow up. You don’t even regret that you’re dead! Everyone round here is treading on eggshells not to upset you or confuse you, because you're some freak who forgot why you did it. Hell, you don’t even know what you did! Honestly, you’re nothing more than a pathetic, stupid, cow. I'm not going to tell you and hell if anyone else will! You can rot here for all I care.” She spat out. “Stop it! Leave her alone!” Megan shouted. Lisa turned on her, eyes glinting with hatred.
“Well, one thing’s for sure; we all know what you did. You think we couldn’t hear your screams last night? I’d only just woken up, only just been introduced to this place, and all I can hear is some silly freak screaming and wailing. Nightmares, even when you’re dead. That's pretty fucked up huh? Lucky Leila, still out cold, so she didn’t get waken up by the screams of the girl who once was. Once was what though Megan? We all heard. We heard you screaming for daddy to stop. We all know that that's why you did it. But daddy’s still haunting your dreams. He’s not going to go away, so what a waste of space you are. You’re just like Leila; neither of you should be here. She should have gone straight to hell, and you should still be down there living you’re sad little life, because your way of getting rid of him didn’t work. Sweet dreams baby. Try not to keep us awake screaming at him to leave, because he’s not going anywhere!” Her voice had slowly risen until she was shouting in Megan’s face.
“SHUT UP! SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!” Megan screamed, tears pouring down her cheeks. She stood up, the chair she was sat on knocking backwards. Everyone was perfectly still, watching her melt down in front of us. She was crying, screaming for us to shut up, even though no one was talking anymore. Angels ran in, grabbing her arms and pulling her backwards as she screamed and writhed around. She looked straight into my eyes. “Help me” she whispered, so quietly that I could only hear by reading her lips. I couldn’t move; I just sat there silently watching as she was dragged round the corner. We could still hear her crying and screaming long after she was out of view. It had been a good 5 minutes since she had gone, but her petrified, heart wrenching screaming polluted the air. “Why won’t they just drug her? It would make her SHUT UP!” shouted Lisa. Harry lifted his head. I noticed he had been crying too. I touched my cheeks, and realised I was too. “You really think drugs will work? Even those of us who don’t go through what she is right now won’t get better. They don’t have anything that will help us recover” Her eyes narrowed. “We have therapy, Mr positive.” Harry stood up and looked at me. “Like I said; they don’t have anything that will help us.” He pushed his chair back and left. Lisa huffed, twiddling her hair. She stood up and left too.
A few minutes later, Nick and Gemma left. I hadn’t noticed them silently sitting in the corner, until they had got up and stalked out the doorway hand in hand. David touched my shoulder and gave me a soft smile, and a piece of folded up paper, before he too left. I unfolded it curiously and smiled a little at what was on it. A cat, with pink feathers wrapped round its neck as a feather boa, smiled back at me. Above it in big glittery pink letters was ‘Hang in there baby!” I refolded the paper and tucked it in my pocket. I sat on my own, tears still dripping down my cheeks, listening to the screams that filled the silent air.