Flickering Lights

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
I was stuck here, in a underfunded mental hospital for youth, missing him.

Submitted: March 07, 2017

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Submitted: March 07, 2017



The endless ticking of the clock was driving me insane. So mundane, so repetitive. The routine was endless and boring. The lights started to flicker. They reminded me of him. I missed him, but I hated him. He was my only escape. And he left. Like everybody. I thought he was different. I always think they are different. I am always wrong. I swung my legs over the cold bed, curling my toes and tensing my muscles. The whole room was plunged into darkness, only moonlight creeping through the small window. A thin stream of  silver light hit the middle of the room.

Glowing eyes lit the corner of the room. I shrunk back, afraid of it. No. Afraid of what might happen if I approached it. Fear pushed me back into the corner of the room as it walked towards me. Darkness seemed to surround me, engulfing my body in barely felt tickles and brushes. It was like an armor against the monster. It- no, he stepped into the light.

Black shaggy hair, barely visible tattoos and bandaged hands. The recognizable green eyes stared back at me. I felt sick. It was him. Johnny. Johnny was back for me. I hugged him carefully. He almost collapsed in my arms. Heavy footsteps echoed outside of the cell, coming closer. Panicking, I carefully shoved Johnny under the bed. Pills fell out of the pillowcase and rolled underneath the bed. The bed quietly creaked under my weight as I jumped on it. The wardens flashed the light in the cell and upon not finding anything out of the ordinary, closed the door. I slid out of the uncomfortable bed and faced Johnny. 

"Follow me instead, Ruby." He said, and held out his hand. In the palm of his hand rested a small metal box. A lighter. That was the choice, a lighter or the pills under the bed. Follow him or escape my destiny. A or B.

This is how I got here. A choice. A rope instead of a lighter and telling my parents instead of pills. That was a harder choice. I slowly took the lighter, not trusting it. I always took this option. It was like I was hypnotized. The cold metal felt familiar in my hand, like an old friend. This is how I disappear. I flicked the light on. The flame was small.

I imagined it growing and engulfing this whole place. I imagined me just sitting in the middle. Would I be crying, laughing or just slowly deteriorating? 

I was so much more than that. I could rule the world. What was keeping me here? What was keeping me here in this hellhole of a mental hospital? Johnny was. Not anymore. I won't hold on to him like a baby anymore.

Smirking, I turned it off and held it to a shitty old fire alarm, daring him to take a step closer. His eyes were widened, shocked at my defiance. My head suddenly started pounding, ten times worse than a migraine. He smirked smugly, then spoke, his voice oozing with ego,"You're a goner and you know it. I doubt you'll ever succeed. It's lovely to watch you fail."

"I'll be the judge of that, truce? For now at least." I spoke with a sudden confidence, holding my hand out for him to take.

"Fine, you know I 'll get you one day, Ruby." He agreed reluctantly, not shaking my outstretched hand, rather opting to kiss my cheek. He disappeared but I knew he could still hear me.

"Not today."

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