Tick. Tick. Tick. The clock is ticking. Ticking and ticking and ticking, garnishing each otherwise silent second with its shrill thud. She is looking at me from across the table. Her eyes are big and brown. I recognise the look on her face, the same as every other who I have sat opposite. Most would see her face etched with care and concern, but I can see deeper. I have eyes that can see more. I can see her eyes that nervously glance to the clock as she becomes concerned about the arrival of her next client. I can see her lips, shiny red with too much lipstick. Her smile is so fake that even the lipstick is trying to escape it. It has worked its way into the creases and is now edging into the tiny wrinkles surrounding her lips. Her lips move but no sound comes out. Like a fish. Like a big shiny red fish, desperately trying to reason with the shark that's about to eat it. Like a big shiny red fish that's about to meet the fate of every other. They’ve all tried and they’ve all failed. Stupid. They all blame me. If a patient died when it could’ve been saved, would you blame the patient for dying or the doctor for not trying hard enough to save it? I can’t help the way I am. But still they try to blame me. I’d blame the doctor. My dad didn’t. Why can’t the doctor see? Why can’t he see that his patient is dying, why can’t he see that his patient is nearly gone? Patient is trying to cling on. Patient can see. Patient knows its going; patient knows it’s nearly gone. Patient just can’t find the words to tell the doctor, and the doctor can’t see.
The patient needs to get a rocket, a rocket that can fly so high. It needs to fly way up, up to the stars. The patient needs this rocket to explain. Why won’t the doctor just get in the rocket? Doctor only needs to take that leap; take that leap into the rocket so patient can use the stars and the empty space to explain why it’s dying. But doctors scared, too scared to take that leap. So doctor doesn’t. Doctor lets the patient die. And then doctor tells everyone it couldn’t be helped. Patient needed to go, patient couldn’t hold on any longer. But patient could and patient would, if only if only if only. If only doctor had got into the rocket.
I tell her this. I tell them all this. They question, they wonder, they question some more. What’s the rocket? Who’s the doctor? Who’s the patient? Why won’t you explain, why won’t you let me help you? You can help me, doctor. You can. You just need to leap into the rocket with me and let me explain. I need the rocket. You need to get in with me and then I can explain. I can show you, with the big black empty sky and the twinkling stars that are too far away, and the black hole that's getting ever closer. The empty sky is me, the twinkling stars are happy and excited and love and all the feelings I can’t feel no matter how hard I try and reach them. But you don’t leap because you’re scared. You sit and chew your shiny red lip. You don’t know what to do, because you are scared to understand. You just can’t take the leap. So I sit in silence, because no one understands that I'm getting ever closer to the big black hole that steals a person every 30 seconds. It stole my dad and its going to steal me. But doctor doesn’t know because doctor won’t get in the rocket and doctor won’t see the black hole and the stars. Doctor won’t know that all patient needs is help. Patient just needs to see the stars through doctor’s eyes so it can see that they are closer than the black hole, that the stars will come back some day.
But doctor won’t. Everyone who sits opposite me, they pretend they want to get in the rocket but they never do. They dither on the edge and refuse to take the leap. If doctor takes the leap, patient will be saved. Patient won’t be one of the people who get stolen by the black hole every 30 seconds. Patient won’t turn out like my dad; patient won’t turn out like I will. Doctor will label patient from outside the rocket. He’ll say patient has a mental illness, and won’t give patient the help that will save it. If only doctor would get in the rocket, he’d see the help that patient needs and patient will be saved. Sometimes I hate my dad for giving me the illness, the ones doctors are too scared to leap into. He couldn’t make them leap. I can’t make them leap. I wish he’d told mum what was wrong with his brain. Maybe then they wouldn’t have had me. Maybe then I wouldn’t be stranded out here in the big black empty space trying to escape the black hole. In his note, he said sorry to me. He told me he knew it was hereditary and he was sorry for giving it to me. He didn’t say why he did though. I still don’t know why he gave it to me; it’s given me nothing but trouble.
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