"Sam, are you listening to me?" you ask me. I look away from you and stare out the window, wishing I could just fly away from here and everything around me. You sigh and start talking, but I'm not listening.

"Sam, why do you want to die?" you say, and I think you sound sad. I look at you and think about answering, but I won't. I made a promise to myself that I'd never say my opinions or thoughts aloud to anyone, even a psychiatrist like yourself. I decide I'll talk-not my thoughts or opinions, because I promised I would never break a promise-but something that won't help your little "quest" to save me.

"Why do bananas grow on trees? Why are there stars in the sky? Everything dies sooner or later, so why not now?" I say. You write that in your little notebook after the date. I can't understand why you did that; it won't help you figure out why I'm a freak that wants to die.

"Anything else?" you then ask me, hoping I'll speak. I shake my head and go back to looking outside of the window.

"Very well. You can leave for dinner now with Sandra. She's waiting outside the door," you tell me, getting up. I get up to leave and head toward the door. I'm about to open it and leave, but I stop when you start talking.

"Sam, I want you to think about why you want to die. And then I'd much appreciate it if you tell me tomorrow during our session. Alright?" you say to me. I nod to you, another promise. Some are meant to be broken though. I'll think about it, sure. But I won't tell you in tomorrow's session or any session for that matter.

I quickly open the door to leave and I see Sandra waiting for me. She waves and smiles at me, and I slightly smile for about one second and then walk over to her. She would talk to me, but no one seems to want to. They'll say an occasional thing or two to me, but that's about it. If I answer, I know they will never speak to me again for the rest of the day.

Sandra starts walking toward the cafeteria and I follow her quickly. Perhaps I should explain about this place. I can't remember what it's called, but everyone here calls it the Freak Central. I guess they are referring to all of us, the "guests", as the freaks. Depending on what your problem is, depends on what group you are in. I don't know all the groups, but I am in the Behavioral Group. I'm still trying to figure out how this place runs, but as far as I can tell, I can't go anywhere without an escort. They explained it when I got here, but I don't really remember.

The group I sit with for meals and group session are the same people. Their names are Vicky, Julia, Lisa, Sara, and Teresa. I'm not sure what problems they have, but I do know some of them. Julia is in because she hurts herself. I know because she is my roommate here. I have seen her cut herself with the edges of broken plastic utensils and other objects you would have not believed to be able to harm her. No one else knows she still does it here but me. She doesn't tell anyone and so far they haven't noticed because she keeps the marks hidden under long sleeves or something. I won't tell because it's her problem, not mine.

Lisa doesn't eat. In the three days I've been here, I rarely see her eat. She eats very little or pretends to eat, but doesn't really swallow it. No one knows that but me, and once again I'm not going to ever tell. Sara is addicted to drugs. She smokes when no one is around. I haven't seen this, but I can smell the smoke when I go by her room. I don't know how no one else has noticed the horrible smell. I won't tell of that either.

I'm not sure about Teresa's or Vicky's problems, but I don't think it's my business to know anyway. I suddenly realized that Sandra has walked faster and I have drifted a ways behind her. I do a short sprint to be caught up with her again. She stops and opens the door to the cafeteria and I walk inside. I go sit at my table, number four, to see I'm the first of my group to get here. I'm not surprised; this is how it has been for my three days here, so I have already gotten used to it. I sit down in my usual spot and wait for the others to come in.

While I wait, I start thinking about why I'm here. At first I can't quite remember, but then it quickly comes back to me as bright as day.


I walk close to the lockers when I walk through the halls. This way, when they shove me it will not hurt as much. Or if they knock my books out of my hands, I will not be in anyone's way. I also go this way so that if they start to call me names like "fatso" or "geek girl, queen of the geeks", they will not see me barely holding back my tears.

I start to walk faster when I notice them close behind me. Suddenly I feel a sharp pain in my back that I stumble to the ground hard, all my stuff flying out of my hand. I hear them all laugh hard. I try to get up, but one of them puts her foot on my back. Her heel digs into my back so hard I feel like it'll cut through my skin and cause me to bleed. I see one of them, June, pick up my sketchbook.

I love drawing and everyone says I'm good at it. I do not believe them because I always come in last during the art contests. But even so, I love drawing, sculpting, painting.just art in general. I can see out of a corner of my eye them flipping through the pages. I try to get up, but it's no use. I see them pull out a thick, purple, sparkle marker. I watch in horror and disbelief as I watch them ruin all my pictures by scribbling all over them with the marker.

Then they run it under the drinking fountain, ruining all the pages. When they finish, they drop it right in front of me and laugh. Then they release me and walk away, laughing their heads off at what they did. I slowly get up, my back still aching.

I run my hand over my sketchbook, which is soaking wet. I pick it up slowly and flip through the ruined pages. I can't hold it back anymore and I can feel tears racing down my face non-stop. I know I'll be late to class, but I don't care. They ruined what I love, they ruined me. They ruined my hard work, my joy and pride. They took away everything I held in my heart. I suddenly had a thought-why should I live?

I don't want to have everything I do ruined and drowned in the rain, me along with it. I just can't stand it anymore. I just can't live like this anymore, I just can't stand to watch my art die away after I give it life. I want to die, die with my art. Since everything else of mine has died, I'd like to go with it.

After school, I ran home as fast as I could. I was still crying, and my face was really red. No one was home when I got inside, which I thought was good. I hid my sketchbook up in my room and went to the medicine cabinet. I pulled out as many bottles of medicine as I could and opened them all up. And without even thinking, I swallowed up almost every pill one by one.

I'm not sure how many I had; it must have been close to a hundred. All I know is that I started to feel sick and dizzy and then I collapsed to the floor.


I didn't die, but I wish I had. If I only had had a few more. But it was a great feeling when I was sleeping like that. I would love to go through it again, and I intend to. Only then I plan to actually die. I wish I could explain the feeling, but I can't. It's so wonderful though; you'd have to feel it for yourself. But I remember when I woke up later in the hospital, I felt terrible. No, worse then that. They had to pump my stomach, and that was absolutely horrible. So being kind of dead was nice, but alive again felt really, really bad. And then when I got better, they sent me here. Suddenly my thoughts are interrupted by someone's voice talking. It takes me a while to realize that it's Julia talking to me.

"Sam, you awake?" Julia says. I nod to her and she smiles. Julia is the only one who really doesn't mind talking to me, even if I don't respond all the time. And when I do, she doesn't seem to mind my answers. She's different then everyone else I know. The reason I never speak my opinion or thoughts is because every time I do, no one listens or they laugh at me. I hate it when they do that, so that's why I promised myself I'd never speak my opinions or thoughts.

"Okay. The others will be here any minute. I think we're having pasta today," Julia responds.

"Like we had two days ago? Joy-it's poison pasta," I say sarcastically with a faint smile. Julia gives a small laugh and smiles.

"Yeah, the poison pasta," she replies, still giggling. Soon Sara and Teresa come join us. Then Vicky comes shortly afterward. Once we are all here, we are allowed to go get our food by Ms. Wethie, the cafeteria supervisor. Everyone calls her Ms. Weedy though, and then I sometimes feel bad for her having to stay and work with all of us. I eat my pasta silently while I listen to the others talk. While everyone is busy talking, I notice Lisa hide most of her food in her napkin and then throw it away. I also notice Julia snap her plastic fork in half and keep the one with the sharpest edge in her pocket while throwing the other half away. Sara seems very sleepy and dazed, perhaps a little grouchy too.

Vicky and Teresa seem fine though and I start to wonder why they're here. They seem just fine and dandy not freaks like us. After we are all done and have cleaned up our table, we wait for Ms. Wethie to dismiss us. Once we are dismissed, we all leave and wait for someone to escort us to our rooms. I soon see Sandra coming to escort Julia and me to our room. She smiles at us cheerfully and only Julia smiles back. We are walking down the hall; Julia and Sandra start talking happily, when I suddenly think about just running out the door and leaving this place behind.

I wouldn't though. I may be suicidal, but I am not a run away. Soon we get to our room. Sandra says good night to us and we head inside for our hour of free time inside our rooms before we have to go to bed. I grab my new sketchbook and a pencil and then climb up the ladder to my bed. We have a bunk bed in our room and Julia and me agreed that I could have the top bunk. I can hear Julia below, humming. She always hums while she cuts herself, so I know what she is doing. When she stops humming, I can hear her breathing heavily and get up slowly to hide the broken plastic fork that now has blood on it.

I decide not to watch anymore and start to sketch a picture of a forest that is dead, with no life in it. I cannot draw happy pictures anymore, only sad ones. It makes me feel better though. I try to concentrate completely on my drawing so I do not have to listen to the voices of people crying or Julia's humming or any noise that goes on every night here. I don't mind the noises, but tonight just feel like being by myself for a while. Drawing helps me do that. It allows me to drain out all the noise and just be lost in my own thoughts. It relaxes me and helps me sleep later. It also makes me happy. I don't know why, but it does. To know I'm not the only person really sad here, I guess. To know I'm not the only person who's a freak. I guess it makes me feel a little better to know that.

I continue to draw my picture and I realize that the forest has no hope to survive. And for some reason, I smile and think that it sounds like me because I have no hope to survive either.