Chobi: I hope you like this story; it's stil in progress and it should keep people hanging on because of it's 'dead-on' dialogue. I wrote it like that so it'll be more enjoable. Hope you like it. Please review.

Ch 1

As I enter the building, I immediately want to leave. It looks like a mental home;...well, . . . in a way it is. Sun Side Arms is a 'residential treatment facility', and my sentence there is way overdue. I've always had these problems, and once I hit my teen years they got worse and worse every year. Now it's too much to handle. This year was by far the hardest for both me and my parents. I know they wanted me to get help, and so did I; I'm just afraid of how the others will take this. So today, on my fifteenth birthday, my parents brought me here; you know, most girls get a party or an Ipod on their birthday. But not me. I get sent to a rehabilitation center. Thanks Mom and Dad.

I push some strands of my shoulder length chocolate brown hair behind my ear as I pull my backpack higher on my shoulder. The people here said they had everything I'd need here, but I carry some special and irreplaceable items in my bag; well at least they're valuable to me. I have with me my cd player, which I never leave my house with, some CDs, mostly rock, old-school, and J-pop mixes, the Beatles greatest hits. There was a time period when I was addicted to them, and of course my folder, sketchbook, and notebook.

I keep all my drawings and pictures in my folder, you could say it's the center of my creativity. I do all my real life drawings in my sketchbook: hands, fashion, flowers, bottles. Anything that stands still and doesn't argue when I need a model I draw. And then there is my notebook. All of my stories and poems are written in there. I always just flip it open and write on whatever blank page stares back at me, and I know this odd habit of mine will cost me a new notebook one day, but for now it serves its purpose.

Out of all these things there is one thing I value the most, even more than my cd player. I cherish it so much I even refuse to put it in my bag with my other possessions. That item is my digital camera, but I will explain the importance of it to you later.

I clutch my camera strap tighter with my right hand and grab my other bag with my left hand; I'm getting slightly impatient. Finally a nurse comes over in front of me.Hallelujah "Hello." She says with a smile that shows her perfectly white teeth."You must be Mr. And Mrs. Hopskins." She says to my mother and father before turning to me. "Miss Matthew I presume?" She asks with a smile.

"Yes." I say as I hold out my hand. "But could you please call me Matti?" I ask. "Everyone else does." But seriously, what kinda of a name is 'Matthew' for a girl anyway? I don't know what my parents were thinking; I may be a tomboy, but no matter what I'll never be a boy. I think the name runs in my family or something . . . I dunno . . . I should ask my parents when I'm finally out of this hell hole. The sad thing is I actually like my name. It's unique. Anyway, back to the nurse:

"Sure Matti" The woman says with a little laugh as she shakes my hand. "My name's Brenda. ; I'll be the nurse at your station."

"My station. ? "

"It's the area where you'll be staying; like where your room is and the other members of your group are and everything." Brenda explains with another smile; I can tell by her expression and the way that she explains my 'station' that she's new. Despite that, I like her. Staying here might not be so bad. I think. I want to ask her about my 'group', but I know I'll eventually find out, so I keep that inside.

"Oh alright. Thank you." I say in a small quiet voice.

She then looks up at my parents again. "I can take it from here." She says almost in a whisper."You can leave now." My dad sighs and my mom blows her nose. They walk over to me and give me their final hugs and kisses. "Bye Matti." My dad says after kissing me on the head. "Be good ok?"

"I will. Bye daddy." I say so softly it sounds like a whisper

My mom then comes over and gives me a million hugs and a kisses. "Bye sweetie." I hear her say. "We'll see you soon." She says. I know it's a lie. She gets up and makes her way toward the door.

I regret what I'm about to do next.

I don't know why I say or think what I do but I have to. When you have a condition like mine everything's dubious to you. I grab my mother's wrist "Wait." I plead stopping her. "How do I know you're real?".

Of course ths both startles and upsets her; what mother would want to hear that from their child? My mother freezes for a moment, like I'm holding a gun to her head; she pauses then turns to me, and gives me another hug and kiss on the cheek. "Because . . . " I hear her say with a last caress. "You can't imagine a kiss." And with that my parents walk out the door, taking their leave.

Just like a play, it sudden feels dark to me. For a minute I'm alone. Scene end. Light's out. Fade out.

"Well . . . " Brenda finally says. "Shall I show you to your room?" She doesn't wait for my response; instead she turns away and starts walking down the hall.

Her voice is a curse breaker. I snap out of my daze and hurriedly grab my stuff and follow Brenda. We speak nothing as we walk down the hall; corridor to corridor, room by room. All that is heard is the squeaking of Brenda's shoes and the sound of my jeans swishing against the floor; I've lost so much weight from stress that almost all of my pants seemed bigger on me, making my pants even baggier, making them hang lower on me, making them hang over my shoes and in the end creating the swishing sound. After a few minutes pasted we reach my dorm. I still can't get used to saying 'dorm'. This place is a mental college.

"Here we are." Brenda says with a small smile as she slowly opens the door.

There are two beds in the room; the one closest to the window is unoccupied my future bed? and there is another one adjacent to it; the one you first see when you open the door. On it there is a girl lying upside down. She is sucking on a lollipop and staring at the ceiling.Her golden dirty blonde hair hangs over the edge of the bed. She perks her head up when the door creaks open; her alertness reminds me of Sammy, my dog.

"Hey." She says with a smile.

"Good morning Sydney." Brenda says, also with a smile. "Matti, this is Sydney. She'll be your roommate."

Sydney rolls off the bed as Brenda says her name. "Hey." She repeats.

"Hi." I say quietly with a little wave.

"Oh." Brenda touches her face lightly. "I forgot your schedule Matti. I'll be right back." She runs out the door way, then seconds later pokes her head back in. "Show her the ropes, will you Sydney?"

" I will; don't worry B." Sydney says with a little laugh as Brenda disappears.

Another play moment To me this is like the part in the Wizard of Oz right after Dorothy leaves Munchkin Land. I am Dorothy; nervous, scared, and alone. Sydney is the Scarecrow; outgoing, open, an waiting for my next move.

I walk over to the bed beside the window and begin to unpack my stuff. Out of the corner of my eye I see Sydney looking at me. Not annoyingly, but curiously. I look away and continue with my business. "So . . . " I hear Sydney say. A creaking sound echoes through the air; She resumes her position on her bed. "What's your name?" She asks not looking at me.

"Matth-" I stop myself. "Matti."

"Matti . . . " She repeats. "I like that name. Very cool." She turns to me now, smiling.

I laugh. "It's actually Matthew." I say quietly. Heat soon rises to my cheeks; I am blushing.

"That's even cooler." Sydney giggles. She pauses and then looks at me for a moment."So . . . what are you in for? Cutter?"

I do not understand at first, and then it comes to me. She is pointing at the bandages around my neck and arms. "Oh . . . " I say. "No, I'm not a cutter." I shake my head. "Nah., I'm a real mental case." I say with a nervous laugh. Sydney doesn't laugh.

"Whatcha got then?" She sticks the lollipop back in her mouth and continues sucking, still starting at me with and interested expression on her face.

"Spilt personalities and Schizophrenia." I say, almost proud. Another smirk appears on her face.

"I always wanted to have that." She stares into space."They seem cool."

I laugh again. "No. You don't want them...there's not cool....." I stop and look down at my bags again. I shouldn't be talking at a time like this. I continue unpacking. Folding and refolding my clothes, getting them perfectly neat. Tanks, T-shirts, pants, shorts, socks . . . Finally I speak again. "Do you mind if I ask what you're in for?" I ask turning towards my roommate.

"Nah., it's alright." She says as she pulls the lollipop out of her mouth."I'm a druggie." She says bluntly. For some odd reason the two of us both burst out into laugher.

I laugh so hard I start crying. "Haha . . . sorry." I apologize. "I'm the kind of retard who laughs at everything." I say as I wipe away a tear with the hem of my tank-top.

"I'm just like that." Sydney admits.

"What drug are you addicted to?" I ask.

"Everything." A proud smirk crosses her face.

There is another round of laughter in our room.

I begin putting my clothes away in drawers; Shirts in one, Pants in another, socks and bras in the smallest . . .

After I unpack my clothes, I move onto my back pack, pull my CDs out ever so slowly, one by one. Another creak echoes through the room, meaning that Sydney has gotten off her bed. "You should be careful with those." I hear her say. "They might take them away; CDs are considered 'sharps'." Here at Sun Side, we can't have 'sharps': glass, razors, pencils, and CDs. Why CDs, I'll never know

"I can have them." I say. "I already asked before I came here and they said since I'm not a cutter I can have them."

"Oh ok." More silence."What CDs do you have?" Sydney finally asks in a curious manner, motioning to the CDs.

"Just mixes." I say bluntly. "Rock, J-pop, ol-"

"J-pop?" She asks interrupting me.

"Yes. Japanese pop music." I explain. "Told you I was a freak."

She laughs. "No, you're not; just original." She says taking a seat on my bed; it must be a new one because the creaking noise is faint as she jumps on it. "Nothing wrong with originality."She continues.

I return to unpacking my things: I stack my CDs atop of my dresser, place my cd player beside it, and finally place my assorted books in a neat little stack. I am about to put my camera up there too but I change my mind; bad move. Sydney notices my puzzled-confused face."Are you alright?" She asks concerned.

"Yeah, yeah. I'm fine." I say quickly. "I'm just thinking what to do with my camera." I explain as I hold my camera strap tighter.

"Oh cool; you have a camera?"

I nod


I nod again.

"Even cooler." She says; I get the feeling that Sydney never has had a camera, let alone a digital one. "Do you mind if I look at it?" I nod for the third time and hand it over to her.

"Go ahead." I say with a smile. It reoccurs to me that Sydney might no know how to use one."Let me show you." I add. I flick the switch on the camera, which changes it from camera mode to slide show mode."There." I says quite proud of myself for some reason."Just click on the arrows and you can scroll through the pictures."

""She says at first. My camera is like an all you can eat ice cream buffet for her."This is so cool!" She says as she scrolls through the pictures; her smile is contagious. "I never had a digital camera before." Sydney adds. My assumption was correct."Aw, you look so cute here!" She says with a giggle. It is a picture of wearing a black dress with a small, pink ribbon goes across the tummy area. It tied in the back."Where were you?" She asks.

"There was a dance at my school." I say. We are silent for a while until Sydney comes up to another picture; she stops. "Oh..." She pauses. "You look different here." She says as she points to the matchbox sized screen.

My heart pounds. What is there to say? That girl is not me? Just ignore the seductive, sinister glare in my-no. Her eyes. I'm not sure if Sydney would believe me. But I told her before; I had spilt personality disorder.

A sadness fills my eyes and I look down at the floor " see.....that's not me..." I practically choke out the words. "That's-"

Before I can finish my sentence Brenda runs into the room, huffing and puffing. She looks like she just ran a mile. "Sorry." She breathes. "I had trouble finding your file because you're so new Matti." Brenda explains.

"It's quite alright." I say as I grab my camera and turn it off."Sydney and I were just talking; weren't we?" I ask nudging her. Her eyes widen and she gets the hint.

"Um...yeah!" She says with a wink.

"That's great; I can see you two really hit it off." Brenda says with a movie star smile. "Here's your schedule Matti." She pulls a paper out of her folder. She bends down slightly and places it on Sydney's bed.. "I'll see you later. I'm outside in the hall if you need me." Brenda says before exiting the room.

I get up and take the paper. When I look down at it I smile on the inside; it is just like my school schedule. Sydney rises also and is now looking at the sheet from behind my back. She has a perfect view; Sydney is about 5 inches taller than me.

"Oh yay!" I hear her say. "We have group and study hall together." She pauses for a moment. "You have a lot more study halls than I do." She pauses. 'And your therapy is an hour longer than mine." She adds.

"Why do you suppose that is?" I ask.

"Well......." She thinks. She looks really wise. "You probably have more free time because you're new; Like you have a study hall while other people would go to anger management or for drug test."She explains. I nod.

"As for the therapy..." Sydney continues. "I don't really know; probably because of your condition." She says. I look down at my feet.

My condition. It's all about my condition.

As I lie in bed tonight I wonder if anyone in Sun Side Arms is like me; probably not."Ugh.." I roll on my side, wishing that I was back home, and that I never had these problems. But wishing won't get me nowhere I think and tell myself. I prepare myself; tomorrow I'll meet you and hopefully you'll help me. I'll slowly but surely tell you....tell you everything.....about me...and my other sides.....