Chapter 11:

Stop Making That Face

School For The Mediums

“Hadiza?” I can hear Mom’s voice faintly over my music. Bookmark here

But instead of answering her, I turn up the volume. Bookmark here

♫~Dance! Dance! Dance! Fever, fever, fever! ~♫Bookmark here

“Hadiza?” she tries again, but I keep my eyes glued to the laces of my sneakers and tapping my foot to the beat. Bookmark here

♫~Come on, come on! Dance! Dance! Dance! Till you can’t no more! Oh, oh! ~♫Bookmark here

“Hadiza Hara, I know you can hear me.” Mom snaps in a snake like hiss. Bookmark here

With a pucker of my lips, I pull my eyes from shoes. “Yeah?”Bookmark here

“Take the earphones out. I’m trying to speak to you.”Bookmark here

♫~Come on, come on! Dance! Dance! Dance!---I pull a single earphone out. “Yeah?” Bookmark here

“Both, Hadiza.” Mom stares me down with her common, ‘I’ll murder you with one of my best kitchen knives’ look. Bookmark here

Huff.” I heave a short breath and fold my arms over my chest. “Yes?” Bookmark here

Mom glances around the quiet clinic, bouncing her eyes from the receptionist to the other patients in the waiting area. “Stop making that look, everyone can see you looking like you’re ready to murder someone.”Bookmark here

“I’m not the one looking like that,” I scoffed and settling my butt further into the uncomfortable seat. Which, amazingly, the seat wasn’t the only thing was uncomfortable. Uncomfortable fluorescent buzzing lights, uncomfortable elevator waiting room music, and absolutely everything thing else in the clinic was uncomfortable. And clinic was a nice word to describe a place that felt like a prison. Bookmark here

“Hadiza, I’m serious.” Mom nudges me. “I know you don’t want to be here.” Bookmark here

That was an understatement. Bookmark here

I tighten my arms over my chest. I can feel Mom drill her gaze into me. Bookmark here

“…But maybe you need to be here. Maybe you have to talk your feelings and sort things out. It was really traumatic what you went through. Your mind needs some time to heal.” Bookmark here

D-D-Do you like Pina Colada? And getting caught in the rain?Bookmark here

Time to heal? Funny, I wonder when I could have that when there were voices in my head. Bookmark here

“You understand what I’m trying to say, Hadiza?” Bookmark here

“Yeah, Mom.” I turn my eyes back to my sneakers. Bookmark here

And the feel of the ocean, and the taste of champagne~ooooh!Bookmark here

I pressed my eyes together tight for a long blink. How stupid could I be to think that this would be over just because they went quiet for one moment?Bookmark here

Do you like Pina Colada? Do you like Pina Colada? Do you like Pina Colada?Bookmark here

Just as stupid as these voices, that’s how stupid I have to be. Bookmark here

“Okay,” Mom replied. “Well, if you say you understand I’m going to believe you.”Bookmark here

I sigh. “Sure. Can I go back to my music now?” Bookmark here

“You can go back to your music.” She gives me a pressed lip smile. Bookmark here

I puff a deep, long breath and quickly stuff my earphones back into my ears. I don’t get why I do though. It’s not like the music can block the sound of a bunch of disembodied voices screaming, crying, and singing in my head. Bookmark here

“Hara-san?” I look over to the glass receptionist desk. A woman dressed in a white nurse uniform looks right at us. Bookmark here

♫~I don’t wanna go. I don’t wanna go, just know that you won’t be alright. I don’t wanna go. Ooooo ~♫Bookmark here

“The Dr. Rina Satori is ready to see you,” the woman finishes with a smile. Bookmark here

“Yes.” Mom eagerly grabs her purse and bounces up from her seat. “Come on, Hadiza.” Bookmark here

♫~Yeah, I said I don’t wanna go! Don’t make me goooo!~♫Bookmark here

The music was right. I didn’t wanna go. Bookmark here

I swallow rocks. Bookmark here

I already know what the diagnoses is. My brain is broken. Bookmark here

I’m broken. Bookmark here

“Hadiza.” Mom impatiently beckons me with her hands. “Come get up, let’s go.” Bookmark here

God, I hate her when she’s like this. She’s a mixture of clingy, scared, and emotionally taxing. I get it’s understandable why she is, I’m freak right now. But still doesn’t make it any less annoying. Bookmark here

“I’m coming.” I push up from my seat, dragging my feet over to the counter. Bookmark here

“Hello.” Mom clutches her purse straps. She’s trying her best not to look nervous, but she’s been jittery ever since we stepped in. Bookmark here

She keeps looking over shoulder for a familiar face and to determine if I’m still in one piece normal and alive. Bookmark here

“Hi there.” The woman has perfect sparkling teeth. “The Shinomura clinic welcomes you.” Bookmark here

“Thank you.” Mom nods. Bookmark here

“Now, since she’s a new patient, Yuna-san, I will have you fill out the rest of these last few documents out---.” She stops to hand Mom some more paperwork. “While you Hadiza-san can go ahead to see the Doctor.” Bookmark here

“Oh…?” Mom knots her brows as she skims through the heavy packet. “More papers? I thought we filled them all out?” Bookmark here

“They’re just some final papers we need you to confirm.” Bookmark here

♫~Don’t make me goo! You shouldn’t make me goo!~♫Bookmark here

“NDA?” Mom peers wide eyed at the woman. “What will we be needing a NDA for?” Bookmark here

“Oh, that’s just formal procedure.” She smiles wider. Bookmark here

Mom glances from the stack to the woman. “Is it?” Bookmark here

“Yes,” she says with rapid blinks. “Now, Hadiza-san you can go ahead to see the doctor.” Bookmark here

“…Sure.” I take my headphones out and stuff them into my skirt pocket. Bookmark here

“It’s just back there.” She sits up to point to a long black hallway. Bookmark here

The hallway looks like a long dark tunnel to nowhere. Which is weird, considering the waiting room is bright and light with calming pictures of nature and scenery on the walls. Bookmark here

“Down there?” I glance back to the receptionist. Bookmark here

“Down there.” I can see the whites of all of her teeth. Bookmark here

“You’ve got this, honey.” Mom gives me a reassuring pat before scooping up her packet and sitting back down in the waiting area. Bookmark here

Don’t go down there. Last time I went through a alley that dark I never come back out. Bookmark here

I gulp again. Sure, I’ve got this. Bookmark here

Taking slow measured steps, I walked into the darker half of the clinic. As I walked, I felt the temperature shift as goosebumps on my skin. With push forwards, the cool draft of air brushed past me. Bookmark here

It’s just a stupid clinic. A mental clinic. I know that. Bookmark here

My mouth grows dry.Bookmark here

I know that. Bookmark here

I just need to get this over with and I can go home. Bookmark here

I made it to the end of the hall, and faced with a black door. Bookmark here

I hate to admit it only worsened my anxiety. Should the door be closed? She knows I’m supposed to be coming. And should the door be this large and overbearing? I thought psychologists offices were supposed to be inviting and not make you feel anxious and freaked. Bookmark here

Ahem.” I cleared my throat, my hands feeling sorts of sweaty and heavy. Bookmark here

Knock! Knock! Knock! Bookmark here

“Um, hello? Dr. Rina Satori?” Bookmark here

“Just a moment!” I heard a woman respond from beyond the doors.Bookmark here

Scchf! Thud! Tssh!Bookmark here

There was the sound of shuffling and footsteps running around. Bookmark here

Clitter! Clang! Bam!Bookmark here

I scrunched my eyes together. What in the world is going on there?Bookmark here

My head went to the door and back to the way I came. “Um…Is everything alright in---.” Bookmark here

---SOB. SOB. I JUST WANNA GO HOME!Bookmark here

One of the loudest voices I’ve heard yet in my head punches me hard. Bookmark here


“Ow.” I have to blink a few times before my head eases from the noise. “Geez, why don’t you all just shut up.” I rub my temples, reeling from the whiplash. Bookmark here

“Who shut up?” Bookmark here

I gather my sight. “What the---.” I fumble back, words impossible to finish. Bookmark here

Shahi John
Miao Miao
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