I really appreciate any criticism because that is what drives an author.
Author's note: This is not in any way shape or form a parody. This is a situation that affects thousands of teens each year and I wish to show the true emotional toll that is taken before and after an attempted suicide. I personally have lost some people to this and have experienced the mental anguish myself as well. The poems are actual writings of mine that I included because it is truly reflective of the situation here. If you are offended by the depressing content of this fic, it is not advised to continue reading beyond this point.
"Alright Mrs. Applebee." Rocky grinned, "I could use the extra credit."
"Yes Mr. DeSantos, you definitely could use it with the downturn your grade too with the last two exams on Othello." Mrs. Applebee began, "But please remember that you are in your seventh period English class and I am not going to tolerate any inappropriate jokes like last time." She always tried to be stern with Rocky considering his low attention span that stemmed from his lack of interest in school. She still liked her class clown and knew he was harmless.
"Please Rocky," begged Aisha, who sat behind him in this class, "Don't do anything stupid like last time or else you'll be spending your afternoon with Bulk and Skull in detention."
"Okay Mom." Rocky mocked as he strutted across the floor to the front of the class.
I'm told I should be serious,
That my brain is in my stomach,
I joke and laugh,
And eat everything in sight,
I don't need to pay attention,
I have two friends who are dorks already,
Heart attacks won't matter until I turn sixty-three
And I don't really care
I will always be me
Silly and hungry
At least I know who I am
"Rocky!" Adam exclaimed from the front row, "Just because I pay attention in class does not mean I'm a dork."
"No, it's the fact that you are ranked second in our class and are the only person in here who is getting an A!" Rocky defended "Either way why are you so defensive if you are not?"
"You know the assignment is supposed to be a poem about you." Aisha replied at her goofy friend, trying to avoid an argument between her other two friends. She knew perfectly well that Rocky was referring to Billy and Adam, but wanted to make peace.
"Yeah. But you guys always say I am goofy, hyper, hungry and so on."
"I think Mrs. Applebee meant was to describe emotions that you would generally hold within you." Billy replied. "And I am also getting an A in this class thank you very much."
"Thank you Billy." Mrs. Applebee interjected, "Rocky, I don't think you quite understood the assignment, but I will give you a B for the fact that it was well... original."
"Yes!" Rocky quietly hissed to himself. That was enough to keep him in the C range for the class. If he had done his homework and studied he knew that he would have gotten a B, but between fighting monsters and maintaining a social life, there was no time for English class.
"Okay who is going to go next?" Mrs. Applebee asked, giving her gaze across the room. "How about we go in alphabetical order; by first name, Adam Park?"
"Uh, I really can't read this aloud." Adam quickly stated. He was always terrified at the idea of speaking to a large group due to his persistent shyness, but today was even worse than usual.
"Adam, this is not optional. I am expecting you came up with something amazing based upon what quality work you have been turning in all year." The teacher urged to her student. Of all the kids she had ever seen, Adam was by far the best writer she had ever seen for someone his age. Most fifteen-year-olds only wrote about things that were superficial in nature; instead Adam gave thought-provoking pieces that analyzed in a manner that could put most adults to shame. -If only I could get him to come out of his shell- she thought.
"Fine I'm going up," Adam said as he hesitantly took the several sheets of paper up to the front of the class and glanced down. His heart was racing and his mind was somewhere in the world, but not in the classroom. He didn't want to be anywhere near the classroom when he completed his oral presentation.
The mirror reflects
Nothing but an image,
The mind wished to banish,
Into the oblivion of my soul.
As nothing belongs to the realm,
Of the imaginary or visual sights.
Objects and thought come and pass,
No relation to anything of importance,
People are nothing more than objects,
That come and go,
Interact and hide,
Finding truths only to be abandoned,
Favoring a simpler view.
I am an object,
That is nothing more than the mirror,
As nothing in my life, Is reflected as it seems.
Everything I know,
Breaks with time,
Or parts for reasons unknown.
Words I speak flutter in and out,
Of those who are willing to listen,
But are deaf to my cries.
As they go about abandoned,
Into the desert,
As barren as my heart.
Simplicity no longer applies,
Childhood a grave linking the old to the next life,
Over the moment the dark truths are realized.
I am forever misunderstood,
Mirrors within people reflecting,
An inadequate image,
As the soul abstract,
And has an image that is not visible to us,
Not until we meet the childhood of our graves.
"I'm done." Adam states matter-of-factly, his eves never reaching above the ground, awaiting the denunciation by his peers.
"What the hell did you just say?" Tommy asked, giving a look of puzzlement toward his best friend. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"You wouldn't understand until it's too late." Adam stated, sill showing no emotion as the entire class sat trying to figure out exactly what he had meant.
"Adam, can I speak to you in private out in the hallway?" Mrs. Applebee asked as she headed for the door. Adam just nodded and slowly stepped in her direction. He closed the door behind him as he exited the classroom.
"Sorry, I..." Adam began only to be interrupted by his teacher.
"Listen; I understood the poem and I need to know are you all right. Something is wrong when a student writes something of this nature."
"I'm fine. If I wasn't I would say something." Adam replied.
"I don't know. You really aren't one to say much I've noticed." The teacher continued, "Is there anyone who you can talk to... your parents or a counselor?"
"People generally don't try or can't understand me. If they did I wouldn't be like I am. Counselors do nothing but assume and never listen. My parents are a lost cause; their careers are more important to them right now. I just kinda have to deal with my emotions by myself."
"But Adam," Mrs. Applebee, said "If you are writing things about suicide and whatnot, it makes me worry as to how you are doing outside of the classroom. I don't want you trying to do anything stupid."
"Oh, don't worry. I'm not like that." Adam explained, "I write like this so I remain somewhat sane. If I do this type of thing with writing, I manage to understand myself a little better. That's why I bother to do it."
"Alright, but I just need to make sure that you are fine. If things get worse, please try to talk to somebody; it can really do wonders at times."
"Don't worry about me." Adam said, still lacking any sense of emotion. Just then the bell rang and thousands of teenagers and a handful of teachers flooded the hallways. Adam headed toward his locker, reached for his uniform for PE and put it back in. He put all of his books in the locker and headed for the exit. There was one door in the Southwest wing that was never used or guarded and provided the perfect way to cut class, especially gym, and at the end of the day.
Luckily, a bus arrived at the stop just as Adam got to the stop, meaning he wasn't going to have to walk the entire way. Of all of his friends, he lived the furthest out and if he just missed a bus it would take over an hour for another one that headed for his house. He looked out the window and reflected one incident in his life where the dark poetry was indeed a cry for help.
Stone Canyon: 1991
"Adam, what is this you are doing?" Mrs. Park asked her twelve-year-old year old son.
"Oh, I'm just writing something, just some poetry." Adam replied, hiding the paper under the pillow of his bed. He really wasn't expecting either parent home at this time.
"Let me see." She said sternly.
I stand alone,
Skin is impenetrable,
To the eye of man,
Nothing exists beyond death,
The only thing never to be known,
Until we are faced,
With the prospect of life,
Only when it is taken,
Do we truly live it.
"Are you fucking nuts?" Mrs. Park exclaimed, gazing at her son with her dark almond shaped eyes. "What possessed you to write this?"
"I don't know, that's just what I was thinking." Adam stammered, fearful of what was going to happen.
"Thinking? I wouldn't call this thinking. You have too many problems for me to handle. Maybe it is best if you went to live with your cousin. Maybe she can handle you."
"I write like this because you don't understand me." Adam replied, "What is wrong with that?"
"What it wrong? Here you are writing these morbid poems about death and the plagues of society and you are just barely twelve years old. No normal child writes this way."
"Maybe if you were home more often you would understand what I am going through right now. In case you haven't noticed I have been like this for a long time." Adam said, wanting to scream at his mother's ignorance but could not bring himself to bring his voice above its soft tone. -She is the reason why I think this way-
"How am I supposed to know what you are thinking, you are the crazy one." Mrs. Park exclaimed. She was slightly wobbly and her speech slurred indicating to Adam that she had too much to drink before coming home from the office.
"You're drunk, get away from me." Adam stated coldly. He was not going to deal with his mother now; she was senile enough when she was sober, which was becoming more rare by the week and the incoming promotions.
"I'll teach you to talk back to me." Mrs. Park yelled as she took her hand back and swung at Adam with all her force, striking him in his already reddened face. She punched him several times in him arm and stomach and turned around and left out calmly as though nothing had happened.
Adam lies in the bed for several moments, his stomach on fire. Once he heard his mother leave the house he slowly got up and went into the restroom and looked in the mirror. He saw his red cheeks wet with his tears and his deep brown, nearly black eyes that always seemed to look sad. In that moment he couldn't remember ever being happy; all he knew was the pain and suffering he had known, mostly inflicted by others and partially by himself.
His eyes caught the medicine cabinet, containing numerous pills kept from nearly all occasions. He took one bottle in his hand, maneuvered the child resistant cap and spilled the pills into his hands. He didn't know what they were and didn't care at all as he swallowed them rapidly before he could think clearly. He continued with several of the bottles when he realized what he had just done. -Why am I doing this? Because nobody cares about me. My own parents despise me and I don't blame them. If I were never born they would have been much better off.-
Awhile after he had finished with his attempt, Adam began to feel the effects of the pills. He decided to try to start thinking clearly and stumbled toward the phone to speak with Rocky. "Rocky?" Adam said into the receiver, his voice quivering from fear.
"Adam, what's going on?" Rocky demanded, able to tell from the tone of Adam's voice that something was definitely up.
"I really did it this time." Adam cried, unable to spit out the entire truth.
"What is it. What did you do?" Rocky asked, his voice now very worried.
"I'm so sorry." Adam said, "I just can deal with this any more please try to forgive me for what I did."
"What did you do?" Rocky yelled, able to tell that Adam was obviously ashamed and that it was serious.
"I don't want to live any more, so I just took a bunch of pills."
"Shit. Adam why are you doing this to yourself? How many pills did you take and what?"
"I don't know what I took and it was at least a couple hundred or so. I just can't live like this. My mom just finished beating me up and I don't know what else to do. Please don't tell her or your mom because if my parents find out they are going to do something. I know it."
"Calm down and listen to me," Rocky said trying to be as calm and rational as possible; the last thing he should do is get hysterical or angry. Adam needed someone to direct him. "You are going to need to go to the hospital. Okay. I want you to call an ambulance and I am going to get there as soon as I can. Just hang in there and don't try to go anywhere."
"But, I'm scared, " Adam cried, afraid of the consequences from what he had just done, "I am really dizzy and I can't see straight. Please come here. I think I am gonna pass out in a moment."
"I'll be there in a couple of minutes." Rocky said as he hung up the phone and raced out the front door telling his mother that he was going out for awhile and might be late for dinner.
Rocky arrived at Adam's house in about ten minutes, out of breath from the swift run it took to get him there so quickly. He thanked God that the door was already open, either from Adam or when his mother left, and raced up the stairs to the second story bedroom. "Adam!" he yelled.
"I'm right here Rocky." Adam said weakly. He was sweating profusely, his skin was very pale, and his eyes had a glazed over look to them. He was lying down on the floor of his room, not looking his friend in the face.
"Did you call the ambulance?" Rocky asked as he entered the room, sat down next to Adam and placed his head in his lap.
"No" Adam admitted, "I can't get up; when I try, I feel like I am gonna pass out."
"Okay, I'll call them right now. Just try to stay awake." Rocky coaxed as he grabbed the phone nearby and dialed 911.
"911 emergency dispatch, how can I help you?" the operator asked.
"I need an ambulance here; my best friend tried to commit suicide." Rocky replied, staying near Adam who seemed to be drifting away every moment.
"Okay what is the address?" the dispatcher asked; her training permitting her to remain calm through all sorts of emergency situations.
"It's 436 North Eisenhower Street." Rocky said, still keeping calm although he truly wished to get hysterical. How could the lady on the other line be so calm with this and all the other calls she gets?
"What exactly did your friend do?" The dispatcher replied.
"Adam took a whole bunch of pills and he doesn't know what."
"Does he have the containers? Is he still conscious?" The dispatcher asked.
"Adam?" Rocky called to his friend, whose eyes were now closed shut and not responding to his calls. "He just passed out. I don't know where the containers are. He is still breathing pretty good and stuff." Rocky responded into the receiver.
"How old is he and how old are you?" She asked the boy.
"He just turned twelve. I'll be fourteen next week." Rocky said. The dispatcher was surprised at how calm Rocky was considering that many adults were unable to keep it together in these types of situations.
"Okay. I want you to stay on the line and tell me if your friend gets any worse. The ambulance should be there any moment now and I need you to find his parents."
"I don't know where his parents are." Rocky began, now being forced to break the promise he made with Adam never to tell anyone about what his parents did, "They aren't home much and they might just yell at him if they were here." Just then Rocky heard a man come into the house followed by several others.
"Where is the boy who took the pills?" the leading paramedic asked.
"We're up here." Rocky called, just now hanging up the phone,
"I'm here in the room with him. " The paramedics came up to the bedroom and went over to Adam. One of the female paramedics was left to speak with Rocky and attempt to get some information while the others examined him and got him on the stretcher they carried up.
"Is this your friend?" She asked the boy, who appeared that he could not be more than fifteen.
"Yeah." Rocky said, not wanting to take his eyes off his friend who was surrounded by the medical people.
"Alright, I want you to tell me what his full name is his date of birth and his parents' names so we can reach them at the hospital." She said, not intending on being as stern as her voice may have suggested as the young boy looked at her as though he had done something wrong and was being scolded.
"Um... Adam Patrick Kim Park." Rocky began, struggling to remember Adam's middle names and having to count on his fingers to determine what year he was born, "His birthday is June 27, ... 1979. I don't know his parent's first name, but you could ask my mama; she would know." Rocky just remembered how Adam asked that Mrs. DeSantos not know what he had done -sometimes you can't keep a secret- he silently told his friend.
"Are you going to the hospital with him?" The paramedic responded, sill giving a stern, professional tone of voice.
"I guess..." Rocky responded, not sure if he could handle the situation any longer. Meanwhile the paramedics were doing a preliminary examination of Adam, who was sill on the floor, unaware of the proceedings. His breathing was fine, and there were no obvious wounds, although a search of his body revealed several small scars and some fresh bruises throughout his body. His pulse was very rapid, nearing double its normal rate. They opened his eyes and shone a flashlight and it took awhile to tell exactly where the irises ended and the pupils began; but it eventually was determined that the pupils were not responding to light at all. Upon finishing the basics, they gently moved him onto the stretcher, wrapped the body in a blanket, strapped him in and began carrying him slowly toward the awaiting ambulance that was parked just outside the house.
Several neighbors had seen the ambulance come and waited outside to see what was going on. They looked in shock as they saw Adam's body on the makeshift bed, the quiet neighborhood kid who never caused any problems, heading into the back of the ambulance. They wondered what type of accident had happened and why neither parent was there with him. There was only Rocky, who went in behind the paramedics, trying to remain out of the way so they could help his fallen friend.
"Adam, don't go." Rocky cried as he held his friend's hand, cold and limp, while he was being attached to numerous monitors and machines. "You're going to be okay. You don't want to die, I know it." Rocky tried to stay strong when Adam was still awake, so he wouldn't be as scared, but now he was breaking down. Never in his life had he had to be this serious and he didn't like it much. -You can keep the job of being the serious one, I don't care for it much-
The sirens went on as the ambulance pulled out and headed for the hospital. It was going as fast as it safely could and there was nothing that could be done but wait. Rocky looked over at the heart monitor, watching it move with every beat of Adam's heart. He noticed, though when the movement stopped, just for a moment and resumed. Rocky couldn't figure out what was happening until he heard the paramedics speak
"Shit, he is on the verge of heart failure." One man replied as he saw the monitor.
"What?" Rocky asked, tears streaming down his face at an even faster rate now. "Is he going to die?" -What am I doing, only little kids are supposed to cry
"We're going to try to hold on to him as long as we can, but he might... die at any moment right now." He is not very stable at the moment.
Adam's heart managed to keep going with only a few more episodes until he got to the hospital. The paramedics wheeled him in and instructed Rocky to remain in the waiting room until the doctor said it was all right to see him. Rocky just nodded and sat down in one of the plastic chairs next to a series of minor crisis; patients who were sick with the flu, dog bites, sprained ankles and the like.
"Rocky DeSantos, what happened?" Mrs. DeSantos said as soon as she came in and saw her son in the waiting room, "I got a phone call from Mrs. Stevenson saying Adam was in some sort of accident and was in an ambulance and you were there with him. I want the truth." The final statement was said in her traditional tone that robbed her children of their free will to lie.
"Mama, Adam tried to commit suicide. He took a bunch of pills and called me. I ran over there to help him but I couldn't do anything so I called the ambulance and brought us here. I think he might be dying." Rocky relayed the events in no great detail but with enough to satisfy his mother.
"Why did he do that?" Mrs. DeSantos asked her son. He was the only person who was remotely close to Adam and he would be the only person who would know just what was going on.
"I don't really know," Rocky confessed, "Adam is really depressed most of the time and he doesn't even tell me what he is feeling. I read some of his poetry and stuff but I can't make head or tales out of it. He promised me never to tell you this...but I think I can't hold it any longer. Adam's parents... well, don't treat him like they should. They leave him home alone all the time and call him a lot of names; I've heard them. Sometimes when they get really mad, they beat the mess out of him; he tries to hide the bruises and stuff but I see them once in awhile."
"Rocky, this is important." Mrs. DeSantos scolded at her oldest of eight children. "If something is that wrong over there, Adam should not be living there. If it is bad as you make it sound, I don't wonder why he did what he did. I never did care for Patricia anyway; she seems like she has a drinking problem. Did Adam say anything else to you?"
"No. But Mama, I am really scared. His heart kept stopping in the ambulance and they couldn't get him to wake up at all. I don't want my best friend to die."
The doctors were taking the best care of Adam as they could; given the fact they had no idea of what he had taken. Tests showed that he was comatose and had brain and heart damage from whatever he had taken. He was still breathing under his own power, but they put oxygen tubes in his nose to make sure he was getting enough to his brain. They kept trying to call Adam's parents, but it took until midnight before Mr. Park came in from work.
"Mr. Park, this is Dr. Cynthia Ganselli from Angel Grove Memorial, I am afraid we have some bad news about your son, Adam."
"What did he do this time? Get injured doing that karate or kung fu or whatever?" Mr. Park replied, demonstrating little to no sympathy concerning his youngest child.
"Unfortunately, sir, your son is in critical condition here after a suicide attempt. He wouldn't be here now if he didn't call his friend and get here as soon as he did." Dr. Ganselli said, slightly peeved at the tone of voice she was receiving, "It is too soon to tell exactly what the outcome will be, but there is reason to believe that your son is dying. If I were you I would find your wife and come here as soon as possible."
"I don't keep tabs on her, she's her own woman and will do what she wants. I will get there as soon as I can but I work a lot of hours and my schedule doesn't allow for idiotic acts by employees' sons." Mr. Park said to the doctor. He did not have the mean streak of his wife, but with him on the verge of making partner at the firm, he had to be dedicated to his work. The family would be there once he made it and could dictate his own hours. He was clueless as to what happened when his wife and son went at it and didn't wish to be involved.
"Sir, this is your son and he needs you. I certainly would condemn the employer who does not permit time off for an employee to stay with his son in the hospital. If that is how you feel, then I truly pity your son for having t deal with that type of situation." Dr. Ganselli hung up the phone, in disbelief that the parents showed no emotion in the matter and were not going to support the child. -How do any parents forget that their children are the most important and special gift they could receive? -
"Mrs. DeSantos?" Dr. Ganselli announced over to the mother who cradled her sleeping child in her arms, "Dr. Rose Ganselli. I tended to Adam park this evening in the ER."
"Please don't tell me..." Mrs. DeSantos interjected. "No madam, Adam is still in critical, however we have stabilized him to some degree. He is in a coma and we are not sure when or if he will ever awaken from it. If he does I would have to worry about the mental condition he will be left in. Toxicology reports show that he ended up taking combinations of drugs that most likely have damaged his brain. The sedatives he took alone could have done the job. He may never be the same again after this."
"I understand madam. Can we see him?" Mrs. DeSantos replied, taking in every word. "Normally only family is allowed with the patient in the ICU, but in this situation, since the parents have showed very little interest in their son's condition, I suppose you and your son could see him. He is over thirteen right?"
"He'll be fourteen next week. Thank you doctor." Mrs. DeSantos said, fighting back her tears to wake up her son. The way he laid his head in her lap reminded her of when he was only four or five years old and would fall asleep curled up and his head in her lap whenever he had a bad dream. This was real life but it seemed to be a dream how everything is turning out. -Just like a television show or movie-
"Rocky, wake up." Mrs. DeSantos called to her son, "They are going to let us see Adam."
"Uhm?" Was the reply from the sleepy teen. "How is he doing? Did you speak with a doctor?"
"Rocky I need to tell you," Mrs. DeSantos began, afraid of how she was going to tell her son what the doctor had just relayed. "The doctors are saying that Adam is... in pretty bad shape. He is in a coma and they ... he might never wake up. If he does, he will probably never... be the same. The pills he took did something to his brain and they don't know how to fix it."
"No!" Rocky exclaimed trying to break free from his mother's grasp. "Adam is going to be just fine. He will wake up and he will be just fine."
"Rocky," Mrs. DeSantos summoned her son back to her, "I know you are worried right now, but the fact is that something is wrong with him if he did this to himself. Even if he comes out of this fine, he is going to need a lot of counseling to get over these emotions he has allowed to boil over."
Angel Grove Present
Adam looked outside the window of the bus, realizing that he was already more than halfway home. He didn't realize until now that tears fell down his face silently and he quickly wiped them away with his hand. He never liked to remember the series of events that led him to his depression, or the act he did that nearly cost him his life. However, he now knew the telltale signs and saw he was once again falling into the pit. Before he had Rocky pull him out, but was he going to be there forever? -He can't rescue me with jokes and junk food forever-
-Am I really heading back there? Is it getting that hard for me again? Yeah, it is I guess; everyday I come home and get my daily lecture and I spend the entire evening thinking my life is worthless. I can't have a day go by where I am not thinking about ending my own life. Maybe that poem I wrote last night is proof that I need some help; al least someone to talk to would be nice. I made a promise to Rocky and myself that I would not do something like that again. I will never forget what happened when I finally woke up. I had been in that coma for over two weeks and the doctors were saying I was never going to wake up again. If I really wanted to die I wouldn't have proved them wrong. -
Stone Canyon 1991
"Huh, where am I" Adam muttered still groggy from just waking up. He felt like he had been asleep for a year, perhaps longer. He put his arm up to his head, feeling it tug from the IV tube that went from a bag hanging above him into a needle that was inserted in his hand. -The hospital? How did I get here? Oh no... the pills. My parents are going to kill me! -
"Well, somebody finally decided to wake up from their extended nap." A nurse said as she entered the room to check his monitor readings. "How are you feeling?" Her voice was kind and sincere. It seemed like forever to Adam that an adult spoke to him in such a manner.
-She's just pretending like the rest. She doesn't know me and if she did she would not be so kind. - "I don't know." Adam replied honestly. Aside from being exhausted and slightly dizzy, he felt physically fine. It was his emotions that were tearing him to shreds, much like a pack of wolves celebrating a successful hunt.
About an hour later a doctor came into the room, he could tell because his jacket was white instead of blue. "Hello, Adam. My name is Dr. Polneski."
"Don't worry, I feel fine. I just wanna go home." Adam quickly exclaimed, not wanting to deal with any test or needle or any other medical procedure.
"Actually, I am a little bit of a different doctor. I am a psychiatrist, meaning I deal with people who have emotional problems. I want to speak to you and try to understand exactly why you took all of those pills." Dr. Polneski stated, trying to keep things as simple as possible.
"Please don't speak to me like a child." Adam replied in response, annoyed at the doctor's assumption that he did not have a clue as to what is going on. "I know what a psychiatrist is. I'm sorry if I may seem slightly irritable but I just woke up and feel terrible about what I did and I don't particularly wish to discuss it. If I don't speak with my parents, why would I speak with you? I may be young but I understand things like you would. If I can't explain why I did this, how can you."
"I understand you may not be feeling very well at the moment and you may be slightly skeptical, but I am not going to push you. I just want you to tell me what exactly is so wrong in you life that you would take a lethal combination of drugs and out yourself in a coma for two and a half weeks." The doctor said, trying to be kind, but firm with the young Asian boy.
"I just don't like to talk much. I mostly write poetry." Adam said, still not giving in. He may be shy, but he had a stubbornness to match Rocky or his mother.
"Yes, so I've heard. What do you feel when you write like that." The psychiatrist said, having heard about this from his mother and Rocky.
"You want to know what's wrong with my life?" Adam replied, willing to do whatever it took to get this doctor to go away and let him sleep. Everything is wrong. I don't know why, but my parents hate me. I have only a couple of friends, the rest just tease me and beat me up. I spend more time reading and writing than playing. In short I am not normal and I hate everything pertaining to my existence. Is that enough for you?"
"You have a lot of anger inside of you, particularly toward your parents it seems. Do you hate them?" Dr. Polneski asked the boy, seeing a particular element that may give some insight to what emotions were going through Adam's head. -This is a twelve-year-old child and here he is consciously giving me the run around. Well, everybody was right he definitely does not think like the normal child should. He is far too cynical for his own good.-
"No, I don't hate them, rather I hate what they do." Adam explained, never raising his voice even though it was tempting -I can't yell or else they will think that I am crazy. I'm not, but I certainly am not happy - "I just don't like my mom yelling at me everyday or getting drunk or... hitting me. My dad doesn't do those things but he is never home and I honestly don't think he knows what happens sometimes. I try to stay away from the house unless they are not home because that is when I end up wanting to do things to hurt myself."
"Have you ever acted upon your... um... impulses to hurt yourself prior to taking the pills?" the doctor asked the patient in the bed.
Adam hesitated for a moment. He was a horrible liar but he didn't want to tell the truth this time. What would everyone think if they knew this wasn't the first time? "Yes. I've tried to stab myself twice, in the stomach, but I couldn't do it. I took the pills because it is less painful." A yawn now came out of the young Asian boy's mouth and it was obvious that his eyes were drooping from exhaustion.
"I think we can try to finish this another time. You are still weak from what you did and should try to sleep as much as possible. I know here they don't give you much of a chance." Dr. Polneski said, trying to get a laugh out of his overly serious and dismal patient to no avail.
"Sleep would be nice." Adam muttered as he drifted off into a dreamless slumber.
"Hey, Adam." Aisha called as she gently shook her friend, having heard that he came to a couple of hours ago. "Wake up, you've slept for long enough already!"
"I don't want to wake up. I didn't ever want to wake up." Adam grumbled, as he slowly became aware again of the events that had occurred.
"That's baloney!" Aisha exclaimed, "if you really wanted to do this you wouldn't have called Rocky. You told him you were scared."
"I don't remember what happened after I took those pills. All I know is that I hate my life and I wish I didn't survive this." Adam replied, now fully awake.
"Come on Adam Park. You may have crappy parents but your life isn't all bad. Remember your birthday?"
"It was a disaster." Adam replied, recalling the event from six weeks prior, "There was that huge storm and the power went out and we ended up telling stories while my parents were still at work. Then to top things off something we ate was bad and all of us ended up with food poisoning. You wouldn't call that horrendous?"
"See, you have to stop looking at the dark side of things. Come on admit it you were laughing pretty hard when Rocky told that one story about the time he managed to get stuck in the washing machine." Aisha edged, trying to encourage her friend and hint upon the times prior to this.
"Hey, you have to admit," Adam said through a rising blush; girls of any kind seem to have that effect on him, "Just the thought of how Rocky fit in there is hilarious in itself. Or what about the time for Halloween when he dared me to kiss you." For the first time in about a month a smile could be detected on the Korean boy's face.
"I could have murdered him right there. And you turned the brightest shade of red I have ever seen, and that's saying something." Aisha said with a chuckle, relieved that Adam was finally showing some degree of pleasure. -Damn, I don't remember her kissing me at that party.-
Adam suddenly decided to change the topic of the conversation to his typical serious note, "Aisha, I am really sorry I did what I did, not for myself but for you and Rocky having to see me like this. I just didn't think I could handle my life any more. Actually, I still don't know if I can and I really cannot promise I won't do it again. I don't want to hurt either of you but I just don't want to go on miserable all the time." Tears began dripping down his face and he still refused to look her in the eyes, obviously ashamed at what he had permitted himself to do.
"Adam, I am not mad at you and neither is Rocky. I just wish you would be more open with us on these things." Aisha began, "I never had a clue as to what goes on with your family. Basically I know you never want to go home but I never could figure out the reason. You should have picked up the phone and called one of us before you did it. I love you like my little brother and I never wanted to see you like this."
"I look that bad?" Adam replied, not being able to see the paleness of his skin or the machines attached to his body. "Could you help me sit up?"
"I don't think you should. Maybe you should just rest until you are really better." Aisha replied warily. The last thing she wanted to do was to upset Adam in his condition but she knew that it was not a wise idea for the time being.
"I'm fine" Adam said as he tried to sit up, only to find himself having to drop back to the bed after getting extremely dizzy. "Okay. Maybe I'm not." He said with a slight laugh. For some unknown reason, Aisha managed to make him forget his problems while he was with her. He never told him what he told Rocky because he simply forgot about his pain when he was with her.
"Do you want to go back to sleep?" Aisha asked sincerely, noticing the tired expression that was forming on her friend's face. "You seem pretty tired still."
"I feel like I have gotten no sleep while I was out. I guess it really took a toll on my body. Tell Rocky I want to see him." Adam replied. He was still indeed tired and the room gave no indication of time. He didn't know if it was morning or night or what day it was; time never passed in the hospital.
Aisha smiled to him and kissed him gently on the cheek as she headed out of the door. -If only he would learn to be happier more often, he could survive this whole ordeal.-
Once Aisha left the room, Adam looked at the table next to his bed where there were several get-well cards and whatnot from his few friends and teachers who came while he was still in the coma. He saw a white envelope with his name scribbled in Rocky's handwriting and he picked it up since there was nothing better to do in the hospital room.
If you are reading this you finally managed to come to. I can't even try to understand what was going in your mind when you tried to kill yourself, but I understand your suffering. I should be there soon, but my Mom grounded me for a month because I got in a fight with Jeremy Holdencroft at school and got a three-day suspension. You always told me that I had to be more serious, especially since we are heading into eighth grade and I actually did it. I love you and am not mad at you but I will personally kill you if you ever pull this type of thing again. Take care and get some rest. If your parents come just ignore them, you are better than them. I miss not having you around and tricking the little brat patrol into stuff.
P.S. If you look in the drawer of the stand I snuck you a Snickers bar and some M&M's so you don't have to deal with the awful food they have there.
Adam couldn't help but laugh as he reached to the drawer and saw the hidden stash of junk food. -For once Rocky's appetite problem is a benefit. - Adam mused. He noticed that someone had brought his notebook where he wrote most of his poetry. Someone had left a pen there as well so as if by instinct he took the items and found a way to position the notepad against the bed rail and write while still laying down.
Outside of the world in which I live,
Everyone coming and going,
While everything here remains still.
Nobody is aware of this place,
Yet they all know where it is,
Everyone sees it,
Their first sight and last.
The flying bird sees it all,
Just everywhere but here.
-I swear, it's poems such as this one that gets me into so much trouble. I think it feeds my pain rather than helping it. If it does help, then I must be seriously ill in my mind. - Adam couldn't help thinking how nobody ever guessed that this is going to happen. So many of the poems were of death and were scornful of society. If anybody had bothered to read them earlier they would have realized that something was truly wrong and might have stopped this all from happening. -Maybe Mon should have gone through with that abortion when she got pregnant with me. Then I wouldn't have to suffer and they would be free of any responsibility. -
Death is a passage
From the darkness to the light,
The errors of man forgotten,
Disease and famine no longer a plague
The greatest fear no longer existent
A life in itself
Beyond the reach of death's hand
Adam looked at the poem from a couple of months prior and saw what his view was even before. He always viewed death as a type of release for the pain he suffered in his life. He always seemed to welcome it when most kids are concerned with nothing more than fantasy games. He never saw much point in trivial matters or material gain; his family was well off financially but not a single one in his house that was truly happy. He could never determine if his talent with words were a blessing or a curse and it evolved into a sort of obsession; the only means of confronting emotions he wished he could dispose of.
"ADAM!" Rocky exclaimed loudly as he ran to his friend's bedside. "Please don't tell me you are doing this again?" He noticed the poetry notebook turned to the dark writings that Adam sought condolence in.
"Don't worry, I'm not going to do anything, at least not here." Adam replied, trying to ease Rocky's worries.
"Did you read the letter."
"Yeah, thanks for stashing the food in there. I'm surprised they haven't found it yet."
"You have no idea what this has done to me. For crying out loud you are going to give me gray hairs if you keep doing this type of thing. You really look like shit you know."
"I don't know, I can't even sit up. Aisha came and I tried but I got too dizzy. I've been sleeping most of the time since I came to."
"Did you know what you even took? Do you remember what happened that night. I just need to try to understand what was going on that night." Rocky said, not wanting to admit how much it scared him to merely be in the same room right now because the sight was so dismal.
"I honestly can't remember anything that happened that night. In fact, my entire memory is scrambled right now; Aisha mentioned the Halloween party and I could hardly remember it at all. I don't know what I took or what happened before I did it. I just remember taking a bunch of pills and passing out on my bedroom floor."
"Do you remember calling me?" Rocky asked. The doctors said that there had been some mild brain damage done to him and there was no way to tell just how severe the effects would be. He also noticed that Adam struggled slightly when he spoke and obviously he had lost his memory to some degree.
"No, what did I say?" Adam replied. The psychiatrist had mentioned that he called a friend and he figured it would have been Rocky, but he couldn't remember actually doing it.
"You called my and kept saying you were sorry and eventually confessed to taking a couple hundred pills and that... you were scared and wanted me to come over there. You were still awake when I came and I called for an ambulance when you finally passed out. I went with you to the hospital in the back of the ambulance, and your heart kept stoping for a moment but it managed to start up again. I thought I was going to lose you. They are saying that you were brain damaged and didn't know how bad it would affect you. It was not an easy couple weeks for me to say the least." Rocky was nearly broken down from having to relay the events of that evening, one he wished to forget -Now I know why Adam doesn't say anything. He wants to forget it all like it never happened.-
"Thanks for being there with me. I just am frustrated because I don't know what to do any more. I don't think I am in control at times. Even worse is I can't remember half of it so I can't even explain the rationale behind it. I really want to go home."
"Adam, actually, the doctors really don't want you to go home. Your parents haven't bothered to show up other to sign papers since you have been here. My mom said she would take you in since she has so many of us one more person is no different. They just don't seem to care all that much."
"No, I am not going to burden your mom or you any more than I have to. Please, I really want to go home." Adam responded to Rocky's statement.
"Listen," Rocky explained, "For such a smart guy you show little common sense. There is no point in you going back there. Your parents... can't take care of you right now. The people here saw the bruises on your body and called child services; if you don't live with us you will end up in some sort of hospital who knows where. Your dad is too concerned with his work and your mom gets drunk everyday; did you think I did not see that? You never seemed to want to go home, and I knew something was wrong. You do not deserve to get hurt any more. This is just until they can get a hold on themselves first. Either way you are going to be here until you get completely better, so please try to hang in there. I know hospitals suck big time, but you really messed yourself up."
"So my little secret is out now." Adam replied solemnly.
"I'm sorry but at least we will actually be brothers for a little while." Rocky said.
"Yeah, but it will never be quite the same as being with your actual parents you don't understand."
"Maybe I don't understand but I want to help you. I'm gonna go now and get some sleep alright, you should too 'cause you look pretty tired still."
"Wait," Adam exclaimed, "Please, Rocky. Don't leave yet. I really don't want to be alone in this place; it kinda gives me the creeps. Could you possibly stay just until I go to sleep?"
"Sure, I guess. I can always tell my Mom I was with you and she probably won't care much. Just don't keep me here all night and for goodness sakes look me in the eyes when you speak. I don't know why you do that."
"Goodnight Adam. I'll be back tomorrow."
Adam fell asleep in about fifteen minutes, still trying to recover from the attack on himself. Rocky was true to his word, staying until he called Adam's name and getting no reply. He noticed then why Adam was freaked out about being in the hospital. The machines in the room and total silence could drive anyone off the deep end, and Adam was already there it seemed.
"Good morning Adam," a nurse greeted cheerfully as she entered the room with a tray of food. "Here, the doctor decided to have you try to eat something. If you hold it down without any problems we will probably remove the feeding tube later on. Okay hon... I gotta take your blood pressure and temperature really quick."
"Thanks." Adam replied, not sure of what else to say, "I'm pretty hungry but I'm mostly sleepy."
"Don't worry you'll get bothered plenty more times today by doctors and nurses." She replied as she finished taking Adam's blood pressure and put a thermometer in his mouth. "Your blood pressure is still pretty low but you temperature has gone down, so that's a definite improvement."
"I still can't sit up." Adam mumbled, "I don't know how I am going to eat laying down."
"Oh, here, let me help you raise the bed up some. Let me know if you get too dizzy or anything" the nurse replied as she did something to make the bed move up slowly.
"Okay, I think that this is as far as I can go." Adam said once he was raised only a foot or so, "Thank you."
Adam looked at the tray and couldn't help but grimacing at the hospital food. There were some cold scrambled eggs and some hard toast. There was a juice in a cup and a scrawny piece of meat that looked like a sausage. -I must be really hungry if I am going to eat this.- Although he hated every bite, he managed to finish the contents on the tray and felt a bout of nausea coming on.
"Have you finished?" The nurse replied, returning once she had finished her rounds.
"Yeah, but I think I might throw up." Adam said, feeling as though he was going to toss it all up any minute now.
"I'm sure you haven't had anything other than IV fluids in you for the last couple of weeks so your stomach needs to get used to having food in it again." The nurse replied. -He is a sweetheart. His parents made him out to be a troublemaker but I sure don't see it. I hope he doesn't hurt himself again.-
The room was boring as Adam laid in his bed and waited for the time to come when he could leave. He was finally moved out of Intensive Care and into a regular room, but it was not much of an improvement considering the boredom factor. Rocky and Aisha came to visit him every day and were relieved as they saw their friend getting stronger each day. Adam found he was able to sit up at this point but standing still proved to be difficult. Doctors insisted upon running teats at every possible moment but the worst was that pesky psychiatrist who refused to believe that his young patient had truly forgotten what he had done.
"Adam, how are you feeling today?" Dr. Polneski asked as he entered the room.
"Fine, I was able to stand for a minute or so before I got too dizzy and had to sit down." Adam replied monotonously, as though his daily routine was unimportant.
"Well, I guess the doctors are going to send you home with the DeSantos family in a couple of days, but I am going to insist that you continue to see me after you get out of the hospital."
"Because it is obvious that you have severe emotional issues with your parents and peers and we need to make sure that you are not going to try this type of thing again. Do you want to kill yourself again?"
"I don't know. When I took the pills and tried to stab myself I think I was acting on impulse. It's not like that's all I think about. You can't help me with my problems because you wouldn't understand anything."
"Why are you so cynical. You are twelve years old and act as though you have seen it all. Did you also know that you are gifted? The results from the IQ test we gave you a couple days ago to see what type of mental damage has been done and it shows that your reading skills and mathematics are far above average. The only part where you seem to have a problem is memory, and that may have been induced by what you did. I actually specialize in children who are li..."
"There are some things you can't learn from books. You can only understand another person through experiences you have seen. That is why you and no other councilor or doctor can help me."
-Man this kid may be twelve but the grew up way too fast- "You need somebody to talk to, if not me than somebody. It is a matter of finding the right person for you; someone you can relate with. I can already see that you are a quiet one."
"Fine, I just want to leave. It really sucks here and I want to have some type of summer break left before I get out." Adam said, slightly snappy and agitated.
"Well, I want you to take care of yourself and I don't want to see you here again, understand. You are a good kid, even though you are a stubborn mule at times. It has been a pleasure seeing you.
Angel Grove Present
I was released from the hospital two days later and told to keep in bed, even though neither Rocky nor I abided by such conditions. Mrs. DeSantos took me in because my parents had their own issues right then but I ended up back with them a year later. I must have learned some lesson, as I have never tried doing that to myself again. I considered a couple of times, but it was never this bad again until now. My mom started drinking again and is sending my dad into the office more and more. I just wanted a normal life, but here I get this.
Adam looked as the bus approached the end of the line, where he got off and walked the three blocks to his house. It was already four in the afternoon and Rocky would probably get home in a couple of minutes since he drove to and from school. He knew he needed to do something about the emotions he was going through then.
"Mom, Dad? I'm home." Adam called only to get a silent response. -Probably still at work-
Adam went into the bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror, seeing the same little boy with the sad eyes who was desperately asking for death all those years ago. There were plenty of pills in the cabinet once again, most likely enough to do some damage.
I can't do this any more. I'm sorry Rocky I lied, I just can't live any more. Wait, what the hell am I doing? Should I risk losing my best friend or my life because I am acting irrational? - Adam realized that he held a bottle of pills in his hands, the worst contemplation he had done since that day. He immediately put the pills away once he realized what he was doing and ran into his room and picked up the phone. He dialed Rocky's number.
"Rocky, I gotta talk." Adam said, not realizing how broken up his voice is.
"Why did you ditch gym yet again. You are going to get detention with Bulk and Skull for a week you know." Rocky said, wondering why his friend left after English.
"I just... don't know what I'm... doing anymore."
"Are you okay?" Rocky said, remembering the tone of voice, "You aren't..."
"No!" Adam interrupted knowing what Rocky suspected, "I was about to do it again but I didn't I need to talk to you."
"About what." Rocky said, smiling at the fact that Adam was finally opening up about something.
"Oh... how about everything I never said from the last time I was in this situation." Adam said, feeling a burden being released.
Friends are the people,
They come and go,
Live their lives,
But their hearts belonging to another,
The love indestructible mountains,
Any obstacle can be overcome,
Ending the sorrow of life.
Je suis fini