Chapter 7:

I just want to scream

School For The Mediums

Loud. Bookmark here

Everything was loud. Bookmark here

♫~I don’t want to let you go, even though I should let go~♫Bookmark here

I wanted to see the world before it was all over. But why did I have to go so soon? Why am I stuck here? Why? WHY?Bookmark here

♫~Why didn’t I say the words I want to say? Before I lost you on that fateful day~♫Bookmark here

I rubbed my forehead, a headache pounding in my head. Bookmark here

“Is it really okay for her to leave now, Nurse Chika-san?” I heard Mom ask, her voice muffled by the music from my headphones.Bookmark here

I glanced up over them. Mom was eagerly leaning against the hospital welcome center desk. Bookmark here

The nurse who had been attending to me, Nurse Chika, moved around behind the desk preparing discharge papers. She seemed to find the papers she was looking for so she sat down in a rolling chair the wheels squeaking as she did.Bookmark here

Schrr!Bookmark here

I heard the wheels scrape the floors. Bookmark here

“It’s absolutely fine!” Nurse Chika replied, looking up to Mom with a smile. Bookmark here

That’s a nice rack on that nurse.Bookmark here

“Are you sure you guys don’t want to run a few more tests or watch over her condition for another day?” Mom glued her eyes to Nurse Chika who was now preparing a pen. Bookmark here

“Yuna-san.” She adjusted the papers. “The doctor said she’s in perfect health. He doesn’t see a reason to keep her for another day.” Bookmark here

“Yes, but---.” Bookmark here

“—You can just sign here and she’ll be good to go.” Nurse Chika pressed the paper and pen on counter. Bookmark here

I’d give her a 6/10. 4 Points off for being smart and out of my league. Bookmark here

Mom bit her lip. Hesitantly, she told hold of the pen, eyes bouncing from the paper to the nurse. “Are you really sure?” Bookmark here

“I know you’re worried,” Nurse Chika said in a sing-songy voice, “but there’s nothing to worry about. Doctor said she’s fine.” Bookmark here

Mom fluttered her eyes. “But, what about the allergic reaction? How do I know it won’t happen again?” Bookmark here

“When we ran the allergy tests nothing specific came up. All I can say now is that with the Doctor’s prescription for the EpiPens, no matter what it was, you’ll be fine. People have allergies to all sorts of things and as long as you have your EpiPens for more serious reactions, you’ll be prepared.” Bookmark here

“Yes, but….” She lowered her voice, leaning in closer to the nurse. “Hadiza, she’s…well she’s been a little strange since the reaction---a little on edge.” Bookmark here

They both looked to me so I turned my gaze to the ground. Bookmark here

“What do you mean?” The nurse asked. Bookmark here

“Well, she’s been easily irritable, sleeping more than her usual amount, and….” She took a deep breath. “And she’s distant more normal. I mean, just look at her over there.” Bookmark here

I could feel them watching me. I was seated in the guest chair area that was right across from the welcome center kiosk desk. Bookmark here

I didn’t feel like I was too far from them, but clearly, they thought I was. Bookmark here

Inwardly sighing, I shifted in my seat and focused on looking at my sneakers. Bookmark here

Those are some ugly shoes. I used to have better ones. Bookmark here

With a firm press of my lips, I adjusted my earphones and blasted my music higher.Bookmark here

♫~Oh, oh, why didn’t I say the words I want to say? Before I lost you on that fateful day? Why, why, why can’t I let you go?~♫Bookmark here

“Plus, it’s not just that.” I heard Mom continue thinking I couldn’t hear their conversation over my music. But I could. I could hear everything, unfortunately. Their conversation, the beat of my music, and---.Bookmark here

---You should buy some better shoes. Those look poor. Bookmark here

The voices. Bookmark here

Click! Click! Click!Bookmark here

I turned the volume up the highest it could go, but I could still hear muted voices coming from all sources. Bookmark here

♫~Why, why, why can’t I let you go?~♫Bookmark here

“Also,” Mom continued, “I noticed that she’s started wearing those earphones all the time. She didn’t do that before. In fact, a lot of her behavior has been a little abnormal lately. Yesterday night I caught her muttering to herself. She was saying things like ‘shut up’ ‘be quiet’ ‘just stop’. I thought she was watching some TV show, but no, she was just muttering. That can’t be normal, right?”Bookmark here

♫~It’s not normal to hold onto you. But I don’t wanna lose it, what we had was true, ooh oh~♫Bookmark here

“Yuna-san, I understand your concern, I do. Sometimes when people have experiences like what your daughter went through, they have changes in their personality. Especially considering the tragedy she went through before; I think it’s completely plausible that she’s experiencing some inner emotional turmoil.”Bookmark here

“Well then what I do to help her? She’s my daughter. I just want her to live a normal and happy life. All things these that have happened…?” Her voice trailed into a low sob. “It’s just not fair to her.” Bookmark here

Frowning, I peeked up from shoes to them. Finally, their eyes were off me and onto to each other. Bookmark here

Mom looked so worried and concerned. Why do I do this to her? She has that look in her eye when she’s around me. It’s gaze that almost screams that I’m ripping her heart out of her chest over and over. Bookmark here

It seems like I everything I do hurts her. Bookmark here

I remind her of losing Aoko. I remind her of given up dreams. I remind her of all the painful things no should be reminded of. Bookmark here

“It’s really not fair to her.” Mom was holding back tears. “It’s not.” Bookmark here

She’s wrong. What’s not fair is how I make her worry about me. I’m not even good at pretending to be normal. Bookmark here

In fact, I’m not good at anything. Bookmark here

♫~Why can’t I just let it be? Why am I so poor at---Do you hear me? Does anybody hear me? Can somebody please hear me? Just listen to me! I don’t deserve this! I DON’T DESERVE IT!Bookmark here

Except, hearing things. Hearing loud, very strange things. Bookmark here

I winced, doing my best to stay calm as another voice intruded into my head. Bookmark here

“I absolutely understand how you feel, Yuna-san.” Their conversation continued in the background. “Listen, how about this? I know a psychologist. I was really good friends with her with back in school.” Bookmark here

“Psychologist?” Bookmark here

No.Bookmark here

“Yes, and trust me, she’s amazing. She was actually just in the news, because she’s pretty renowned and well known. Normally she doesn’t do therapy appointments or consultations, but if I ring her up, I think I should be able to get session in with her for you.” Bookmark here

No, no, no. Bookmark here

“I-I don’t know Chika-san. A psychologist…? That’s pretty serious. I mean, my daughter’s not crazy. Besides, I don’t know what the people around us would say if she’s receiving that sort of treatment. They would say she’s…well you know.” Mom glanced around as if she were hoping no one saw. Bookmark here

No way. Bookmark here

I blinked hard. I wanted to curl into a ball and shrink. This couldn’t be the direction their conversation was going. Bookmark here

“And not to mention after the accident,” Mom said. “She already drew a few eyes when I had to take her in, after she….”Bookmark here

She didn’t need to finish before the guilt struck me. Bookmark here

“Yuna-san, I understand your fears. All of them. But listen, it’s completely confidential and quiet. No one has to know.” Bookmark here

Mom seemed to debate it for a moment. “Are you sure?”Bookmark here

“Absolutely. Girls her age go through a lot, and sometimes as a parent you don’t know what to do. That’s where we come in. There are trained professionals to help and support her. All you have to do is let us.”Bookmark here

“…Okay.” Bookmark here

It hurt more than I thought it could when she agreed. Bookmark here

“What’s the psychologist’s name?” Bookmark here

“Dr. Rina Satori. You can search her up right now on the phone if you want.” Bookmark here

I pulled my eyes away from them. Bookmark here

Great. A psychologist. That’s exactly what I need when I’m hearing---Bookmark here


Things. Bookmark here

As if I need someone to sit there and tell me I’m crazy for imagining that I’m hearing things. Bookmark here

I’m not crazy. Bookmark here

Nor am I really hearing voices come in and out. Bookmark here

It’s all just in my head. Bookmark here

That’s all it is. Bookmark here

I’m just imagining things, and it’s all just in my head---“NO NO NO! I SAID I DON’T WANNA GO!” Bookmark here

I gripped my fists, a loud powerful piercing shout drilled into me. It interrupted my thoughts as if someone slammed a hammer into my skull. Bookmark here

“Oh, come on….” I spat under my breath. Bookmark here

I can’t even think straight. Bookmark here

Click! Click! Click! Bookmark here

I rammed my thumb against my phone volume button, clicking and clicking it.Bookmark here

♫~Oh, oh, why didn’t I say the words I want to say? Before I lost you on that fateful day? Why, why, why can’t I let you go?~♫Bookmark here

♫~Oh, oh, why didn’t I say the words I want to say? Before I lost you on that fateful day? Why, why, why can’t I let you go?~♫Bookmark here

Click! Click! Click! Bookmark here

I was still clicking. I knew the sound wouldn’t go any louder, but I wanted to imagine it did. Imagine that it could block out all of the---“NO! NO! LET GO OF ME! LET GO OF ME NOW!” Bookmark here

I exhaled sharply. Bookmark here

Why?Bookmark here

Covering my ears, I hunched over leaning into myself. Bookmark here

Why don’t these voices ever know when to shut up?Bookmark here


Yuuko? Bookmark here

I pulled my hands away from ears and took my earphones out. Bookmark here

“Sir, please just calm down!” I heard a panicked woman plead. Bookmark here

“NO! NO! NO!” Bookmark here

That voice was familiar, and absolutely wasn’t just a voice in my head. Bookmark here

I turned in my seat. In the hospital lobby there was Fuji-san. And, god, he was in worse condition than I last saw him.Bookmark here

His clothes were gone and he was completely naked. The only thing he was wearing were those dirty shoes. His face looked tired and haggard, red, and sweaty. His hair looked spiked, pointing in every direction. Bookmark here

“I SAID LET GO OF ME!” He bellowed like a roaring lion. Bookmark here

I’m sure everyone in the hospital lobby was staring at him. There was no way he could be ignored. He was naked, and causing a commotion. A crowd of people surrounded him, and nurses were trying to calm him. But to all of their attempts, pleads, and advances, he pushed, kicked, and flighted. Bookmark here

“LET GO! YUUKO! HELP! HELP ME!” Bookmark here

“Sir, calm down! We are just trying to help you!” A nurse desperately cried. Bookmark here

“I told you this guy was out of his mind! I just found him in the street like this! He was causing everyone trouble!” A tall man was holding Fuji-san’s arms back to stop him from attacking anyone. Bookmark here

“LET GO! LET GO OF ME!” His shouts were getting louder, so loud it was making my headache intensify. Bookmark here

Look at that man. He’s got a Johnny. A tiny little johnny! Tiny wrinkly Jonny! Tiny wrinkly Jonny! Tiny wrinkly Jonny!Bookmark here

I clenched my teeth. “Please shut up.” Bookmark here


I focused my attention back to Fuji-san. Bookmark here

“Tranquilizer ready?” Bookmark here

“Yes!” One of the struggling nurses brought out a syringe. It seemed to make Fuji-san even more angry as he kicked his feet around. Bookmark here


“This is only going to sting just a little bit, sir!” Bookmark here

“NO! NO! YUUKO---.” He stopped. They rammed him hard with the syringe. Suddenly, his strength and aggression shrunk, his movements turned slow to molasses. Bookmark here

As soon as he weakened, they took a hold of him like hawks swooping down on prey. The men clutched and pulled him, while the nurses lead them away. Bookmark here

“Alright, let’s take him in this way!” One of the nurses gestured. Bookmark here

I always felt bad for Fuji-san. It wasn’t like he was a bad person. He didn’t deserve this. He was normal before, and somewhere along the way he just…I don’t know.Bookmark here

Is crazy even the word? Because what’s happening to him…isn’t that kinda similar to what’s happening to me?Bookmark here

I’m not so normaaal, baby. I’m just a popstarr, babyy. Not your average girl, I sing and feel the worlddd is miness, even when the starss don’t shine downnn upon mee~! I wanted to be something specialll, so I decided to be a starrr~!Bookmark here

Oh, I loved that song. Bookmark here

I wanted to be a singer. Before, y’know?Bookmark here

I don’t know. Bookmark here

I don’t know anything more. Bookmark here

I don’t know why these voices are speaking in my head, or where they’re coming from. I don’t even know what’s crazy anymore because if Fuji-san is crazy, then what am I?Bookmark here

“We’ll get him a IV drip. Does he have any family?” The crowd of nurses and men were coming my way, carrying the dazed Fuji-san. Bookmark here

“Not that I know of. I just found the guy walking around naked. I was going to call the police, but the hospital was here so I figured.” Bookmark here

“…Yuuko,” Fuji-san sputtered, his head bobbing around in circular motions. Bookmark here

That was when our eyes met.Bookmark here

For what seemed like the longest moment in my life, Fuji-san peered at me, our pupils to pupils, and muttered, “You hear it too, don’t you?” Bookmark here

Just as he said that, he turned cross-eyed to the hospital ceilings. “You-you all hear it and know!” He stared blankly, raising his voice. “You all know! You all know they are living! They are not dead! They are living and they will be heard! Yuuko! Tell them!” He weakly shouted, blubbering out words. “You all know!” Bookmark here

“He’s getting riled up again. Let get another shot in him!” Bookmark here

“You all know! Yuuko will show you! She will!” He was dragging his feet and slurring his words, but his shouts still carried. Bookmark here

“Hadiza.” I felt something touch my arm. Bookmark here

“Huh?” I briefly pulled my eyes from Fuji-san. Bookmark here

Mom was standing in front of me, shooting worried glances at Fuji-san. “Come on. Let’s go home.” Bookmark here

“Y-You…you all know! Yuuko she-she, will show you!” Bookmark here

I glanced back over to Fuji-san as they pulled him further into the hospital. Bookmark here

“They…they are living! Living not dead!” Bookmark here

“Hadiza?” Mom softly said again. Bookmark here

Living…not dead? Bookmark here

What could that mean? Bookmark here

No, no. What am I thinking?Bookmark here

Fuji-san is crazy, and me? I’m not crazy. Bookmark here

“Yeah, let’s go home.” I stood up from my seat and looked one last time at the hysterical Fuji-san. Bookmark here

“Living! They are living!” he shrieked, even as they stabbed him again with another syringe. Bookmark here

I can’t be crazy like Fuji-san. Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.