"You can try all you like but you're never going to get any better if you don't take your meds," Han says as he tosses a ball of paper into the trashcan. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a stick of gum and pops it into his mouth, a sure sign that his brain is suddenly running on overdrive, since he tends to chew gum when he has something to think about. He especially just chews gum when he's trying to think of how to make me take my meds, but I'm on to him. I know his game just as much as he knows mine. He spins around and faces the screen of his computer as he takes his portable bright red keyboard off the desk and begins to type.
I groan slightly as I bury myself into the dull blue leather of the loveseat couch with the flowers all over it and pull the old blue Mexican style designed blanket over my head, sucking upon one of the thick white pieces of yarn that dangle off the outer edge of the blanket. Han runs a hand through his light blonde hair and spins around to look at me, suddenly pointing his peacock blue pen in my direction. I look up to see him grabbing a piece of paper and scribbling something down.
Han tosses the piece of paper into my lap and I pull back the blanket with a groan to look at the picture. There's just a sketch of a stick figure sucking on a pill bottle, and I toss the pad of paper to the floor. "No, no, no! I don't want it. That stuff is icky and it makes me hear things!"
"It does not. It does just the opposite and stops you from hearing them," he chimes as he goes back to clicking away on his keyboard. I hide myself under the blanket, muttering no continuously. I don't like medications. I don't like taking medications. I'll say anything just to keep those things away from my mouth, but sadly Han knows that about me by now. He would. My mother's the same way as me about medications, too, but she's in the mental hospital now.
"I don't want to take that stuff," I whine pathetically as I take a bite into the yarn of my blanket and sniffle. Han doesn't even turn his head to acknowledge me and I give a groan when I realize he isn't going to suddenly start acknowledging me either. "Ha-an, why won't you just be nice and let me go without? I'm not going to try to off myself, and I haven't had an episode in a long, long time!"
"Three weeks is not a long, long time, Kaolin, you know that."
I groan and nuzzle the blanket as if he has a say in this argument, and then I roll into a ball. I close my eyes and pretend to snore. I can hear Han laughing above me. The next thing I feel is pain, plenty of pain. I have the feeling that Han just jumped on me again. He tends to do that.
I pull back the blanket to look at him. His keyboard is under his arm, and he's smiling. It takes me a moment to notice why. I turn my eyes to look at his hand, and he's shaking a bottle of pills with my name on it in my face.
"No!" I throw up the blanket to hide my face and I feel Han lay down on top of me. If I wasn't busy protesting the fact that he's only there so that he can make me take medications, I would be quite happy about the position. Unfortunately for me, he is trying to give me medication.
"Get off me! Get off me," I whine pathetically before kicking upwards and thrashing.
Eventually, Han stops shaking the pills in my face, but he looks dejected and a little upset with me. "Then get up, Kaolin. If you're not going to take your meds then at least get out from in front of the television set. That's the problem with children these days – no sense of exercise." I begin to protest that Han never leaves the front of his computer, but then I remember that he's laying on me. One very well can't be sitting in front of a computer and laying on top of someone at the same time, so I steal his pretty red keyboard in retaliation and bang in random things until both Han and the computer scream at me. The computer always screams at me. It's something along the lines of what Han does. I bet Han put his brain in the computer and that's why he can't stray too far from it. He'd probably –
"Kao, give me the keyboard right now and stop shouting at the computer!" my father shouts, and I hand him the keyboard as Han promptly jumps off of me. "You had best not act this way when my guests are over, and I've told you a million times not to take revenge on inanimate objects, Kaolin! Han, don't I pay you for a reason? Medicate the boy! And you, Kao, if I hear you shouting in here one more time while I'm trying to work, Kaolin Lee, I will ship you off to the hospital like your no good mother. The same thing will happen if you act up during dinner." He gives Han back the keyboard as he leaves the room, and I simply pout.
Han holds out my pills, and I knock them to the floor. "The computer was yelling at me; I was just beating its keyboard, Han." He sighs and nods as he begins to pick up the pills, and I groan. "Why are you bothering? Vacuum them up, because I won't take them. You know I won't. They're bad for me. Remember the thing about the side – uh- fence that I like so much?" It's a nice side fence out in the backyard.
Han rolls his eyes, and I grab the TV remote and clicks on the TV. Pretty much all the stations are blocked except children's shows. I can only watch Y7 rated shows at most, which isn't fair since I'm fifteen-years-old. "Have fun sending static waves through yourself just to watch a singing rooster," Han grumbles, only grumbling more when I throw the remote at his head and hit him. "Throwing isn't nice, Kaolin."
"No, but it's cool. That's what makes baseball awesome. Not that I would know since Dad won't let me watch it, and I would never ever sneak outside so I could spy in the window while he was watching a game. Plus, I told you not to say that about the waves!" I jump to my feet and snap off the television. On my way back to the couch I make sure to mash some of my pills into the carpet.
"It's going into your mouth, Kao, so go ahead. Get your stinky feet all over them," he groans snidely. I stick out my tongue at him as I plop down onto the couch. "Besides, you know I hate that show. If you're going to watch a kid's show, can't you watch a decent one with a plot rather than a random rooster? I know you only watch that show because the main character is red."
I'd continue this spat with Han, but I choose to ignore him and burrow beneath my Mexican blanket again. I pull my finger along the outlines of the flowers on the couch, and the flowers make me think about the garden. My mom used to tend the garden, but Dad made it die. He said it was all full of weeds and that just because she spoke to the plants there three times a day that wouldn't change.
I spoke to the dandelions out back one winter. They said they were cold because of the snow, so I gave them my blanket. I thought it was better blanket than their current one. They told me about the dreaded cable people who uprooted their cousins once to put in the line to the cable box so I could watch TV. I started crying then, and they told me I could burn down the cable station to make up for it. Han wouldn't give me any matches, though. He wouldn't drive me there either.
"You're such a mean man nurse," I scold him, because I can't help but think about those poor flowers. "And don't call me Kao. Just because I like roosters doesn't mean I'm a cow. I don't have spots. Those women that can be milked are aliens, did you know that?"
"I sure didn't," Han says with a sigh to his voice that he only gives me when I share my wonderful insight with him. Dairy products frighten me. Actually, anything that comes from another creature that isn't thoroughly cooked frightens me. This one time when I wasn't spying on the TV through the window I didn't see a show about animals that secrete oils and juices and poisons when they're threatened. I'd imagine being milked would make me feel threatened if I could be milked, so anything that's involving milk is probably poisonous.
That's why I only put orange juice on my cereal in the mornings. I didn't have cereal this morning, though, because the cooks were busy plotting out tonight's dinner for when Dad has his business associates over. They forgot to go out and buy me cereal. It was really mean of them.
Last time people were over I threw dinner on this old man's head because he had a gray fox stuck in his ear. Its fur was poking out. I was only trying to help the fox. My dad yelled at me for it until I cried. The poor fox is probably still stuck in that old man's head. I'll have to get it out this time.
Han sighed at me then, too, but he gave me plenty of kisses on my forehead until I stopped crying. That's what my mom used to do, only Han doesn't cry like my mom used too.
In fact, Han is kissing my forehead now. I must have started crying again. I do that sometimes. I wipe my eyes and then Han moves back. "I'm sorry, Kaolin. Fine, you can watch the rooster show." If Han says that's why I started crying he must be right. He snaps on the TV, but the end credits for the show begin to play.
"That's okay," I say with a wide smile as I pat down my hair from the kisses. "I don't mind. Han, do you really think Dad will send me off?"
"He may if I can't get you to take your meds, Kaolin."
"Will I get to see my mom if I go?"
"So that's why you were crying," Han says to himself. I'm confused by what he means, but I don't ask. "No, Kaolin, you won't. You have to be over eighteen to get into that hospital. You'll go to a hospital for teenagers. Chances are half of them don't even belong there and will be kicked out in one week. You won't have any familiar faces there. That's why you should take your meds. It's that or you have to get a new 'man nurse', and cooks that will make you drink milk and eat cheese."
"I won't take them," I whimper as I begin to feel tears sting at my eyes. Han has been taking care of me for five years. He knows what I like and what I don't, and, plus, he doesn't have any pimples or yellow teeth or missing teeth or any of that nasty stuff those other nurses have. "I don't want another nurse, Han. I'm sorry. Don't give me another nurse. Please?"
"Didn't anyone ever tell you? 'You can't have your cake and eat it, too.' How about you just take your pills long enough that you're calm during dinner? Your father is already upset today, but you don't need to make him madder. Pills?" Han lifts up two of them and I groan. Antipsychotic medications cause weight gain, tremors, seizures, and insomnia. I had wanted to take a nap, but now I'm obviously not going to get to. They do stop the voices but I've had seizures before, and I can barely sleep. I won't eat after I take them either so Dad will probably be upset with me anyways.
I take the pills with a glass of water I already had and then throw my blanket at Han. "Now you owe me. Let me go on the internet?"
"Aha, no," Han says as he plops himself back into his computer chair. He closes the pill bottle and kicks his feet up onto the computer desk. "The last time that happened you decided I was a Nazi sent to kill you. I'm not letting you go on, because I'm not going to deal with that. It's hard enough getting you to listen to me as is."
I scrunch up my nose and give a sigh. "I listen to you. Honest." I give a pout, and Han, sadly, doesn't even glance my way. "Ha-an! I do! I listen!"
He sets his keyboard in his lap and begins to type, ignoring me. I get up and walk over to him, slinging my arms around his neck. I settle for just whimpering like a puppy when he ignores me further, until I begin to cry.
Han turns around only then and sets the keyboard on top of the monitor so that he can hug me. He kisses my head when I cry harder and begins whispering that he's sorry he's been mean to me today.
I sniffle and use his shirt to wipe my eyes before I lift my head up and kiss his forehead in thanks. "I don't want another nurse." I find myself nuzzling into him and hugging him back. "I don't. Other nurses aren't nice like you, Han."
"I know, Kaolin," he whispers into my ear as he increases the strength of the hold he has on me. "Just promise me you'll behave during dinner. Then you won't have to worry about it."
"I promise, Han. I'll listen. I listen to you. I promise."
The dinner table is packed with all sorts of funny looking foods I would never eat even if I miraculously hadn't taken my pills an hour ago. I have a headache now, too, but Han says he's not going to fight me into taking any more meds today so I don't have to take any aspirin. My dad has me sitting at the end of the table far away from him so that if I do anything he doesn't like he can draw people's attention from my side of the table.
"Han," I whisper to him since he's seated next to me. "I like your tie but I don't like this food. I always have a hamburger on Tuesday."
"Today is Wednesday, Kaolin. I like your tie as well, and you can't dislike something you've never tried before." He corrects me quietly. His eyes dance to the door to check for Dad's guests. Han has pretty eyes. They're shiny and blue like my armchair and the loveseat in Han's section of the house. The difference is I can't sit in Han's eyes. I wish I could. They look comfy.
My father clears his throat from across the table, and I look up at him. My father has black hair, but my mother has red hair. I have her hair color, but I have his mean and green eyes that make me think of peacocks going crazy and stabbing people similar to how I'm stabbing at the food on my plate with my fork.
"You remember what I told you earlier, Kaolin? No funny business or else I'll pack you off. I need to seal this deal with Mr. Alexander or else I'll be fired. I trust you know what that means for you as well, Mr. Faughn." I hate when he calls Han by his last name, just like how he calls me Kaolin Lee Marx when he's really mad, Kaolin Lee is just used to show me that he's getting angry.
I want to tell him such but the man I assume to be Mr. Alexander steps into the room. A tall girl is at his side and she casts me a wide smile that makes me think of a cackling witch poisoning an apple like in Snow White. "I don't want to be poisoned," I whisper into Han's ear. He merely sighs and puts his hand on my leg to calm me down.
The witch takes a seat next to me and Mr. Alexander seats himself between my father and Han. She flashes her teeth at me and puts out a hand. "You must be Mr. Marx's son? And you?" I assume she's speaking to Han.
"This is Mr. Han Faughn. He takes care of my son, Kaolin."
Mr. Alexander gives a smile similar to the witch and pokes at his food. "Oh? The boy retarded or something?"
I feel tears and look up at Han. Han looks upset for a moment and then squeezes my thigh. "He isn't retarded. He's paranoid and delusional. It's a typical of certain cases of schizophrenia."
"So he's crazy! Does his other personality kill people? Do you remember that movie, Melanie, where that man went crazy and blew up a building thinking he was a terrorist? Heavens, it's no surprise he needs a caretaker."
"I believe we're here to speak business," my father says calmly. Han looks upset, and Melanie is staring at me like I'm a prime subject for study. The crazy witch might put some drug in my food now. I don't want to eat the food anyways. My stomach hurts, now, like my head.
Mr. Alexander gives a hearty laugh and smiles. "No worries, Mr. Marx. If you can handle a boy like him then I trust you with my account any day! It's no wonder you brought him out for show, then."
"You don't even know Kaolin," Han protests. My father shoots Han a glare, but Han is far too busy glaring at Mr. Alexander. "He's not like that. No schizophrenic is. Schizophrenia does not cause other personalities to form. Kaolin just hears things sometimes and his thought process is a little screwy – something completely normal for his disorder."
"Han," I whine, causing him to recall that I'm sitting right next to him. My vision blurs for a moment and then I whimper. "I don't feel good."
"What's wrong?" the witch beside me coos, causing me to latch onto Han. I don't want her talking to me. Han asks the same question, though, so I end up answering her anyways.
"My head and stomach hurt," I whine, and Han just gives a frustrated smile. He tells me it's because I need to eat, but I don't want to eat. I groan and whine, and my father begins talking from across the table to draw attention. It doesn't work.
I see the witch attempting to pat my back from her seat, and so I get up to avoid her touch. I cringe as soon as I do, and I grab my head as my legs begin to shake beneath me. Han gets up and grabs me around the waist just as I lose control of my body and begin shaking. I try to look at Han to tell him something's wrong since he can usually see my eyes and tell. So I try to look like at him but I can't see anything. I just collapse forwards.
Everything gets dark as I suddenly try to look at Han. I don't like it. Maybe it's those TV waves that went into my brain. I don't know.
"I don't feel so good."
I was in the car when I first woke up. My father was driving, and Han was next to me. I was between them since my father only has a two-seater sports car. Han kept hitting my cheek, and I grunted to make him stop before I felt drowsy again and closed my eyelids to sleep.
I woke up a few moments ago for the second time, and I vomited because the doctor had this thing down my throat that made me. Han says that it made me get all the bad stuff that made me sick out of my stomach. A tall girl in a white coat asks Han what medications he gave me.
"Clozapine," Han tells the doctor with a sigh. "They have a warning for seizures, and Kaolin has been known to have them before when on the medications for a steady amount of time. He hasn't had it in a long time and hasn't had seizures in a long time – I gave him a fifty milligram dosage nearly an hour and a half ago and he just passed out within an hour. It was like he just turned into jelly within my arms."
"Funny, Clozapine causes muscle stiffness opposed to making them fall slack, but, yes, those types of medications do come with a warning for seizures."
"He just gave me the normal amount," I tell her with a pout. "I don't take it a lot. I still have to get blood tests a lot. They hurt but Han makes me go."
The doctor scrunches up her face and laughs. "Clozapine causes one's white blood cell count to drop sometimes. It's good he takes you in for the blood work. Someone should, or else you could really sick like today and wouldn't be waking back up." She turns her attention to my father and Han with a soft smile. "I'll send you off with a note suggesting a medication change. I'm surprised you haven't gotten one by now. Your other doctors can't have been good if they didn't explain these things to you. Though you seem quite smart," she says to Han. I think she thinks Han is smarter than me but I know stuff Han doesn't sometimes. She's so mean. I don't like her. I hate nurses and doctors other than Han.
She walks out of the room and my father shoots a look at Han. "Kaolin is fine now so I'm going to out to the house again. Call a cab when you need to hitch a ride home."
"The fair from here would be tremendous."
"I have work to do. I can't sit around and do nothing all day like some people in this room," he growls out at Han. I feel the need to comfort him. Han's a good nurse, even if he let that mean witch make me go crazy and seizure. Thank goodness I did, though, since she poisoned my food like I thought she was going to. At least Han made sure the hospital knew to make me vomit so I didn't die. That was nice of him. I don't know why Han sounds so upset. Maybe Han secretly wants me to die. I hope not.
"It's okay," I tell Han as he hands me a glass of water that suck down. It removes the taste of the bile one fractionally, but I try not to whine. "Maybe we can go visit my mom, Han, since we're out."
Han looks pale, and my father whips around to glare at me through the doorway. I want the door to close and hide away his mean, mean gaze. "You listen to me you ungrateful coming back, and I don't want you mentioning her ever again! She's in that hospital until she dies and you will be, too!"
I groan and feel tears again. Han gives me a new glass of water, but I only throw it to the ground and scream. My father looks even more flustered and storms out, reminding Han to call a cab. I grab onto Han as soon as he leaves.
A few nurses rush into the room, and one has sedatives that I can plainly see. I've been stuck with sedatives before. Han shouts at them to leave me alone and clear the room. It's good he says that because I don't like rooms full of people very much.
Han kisses my forehead, but it doesn't help any. "My dad is mean," I whine to him. "I don't want him around anymore. Can't I go live somewhere with you, Han? You're nice. I don't want another nurse, and I don't want a hospital. I don't want to go somewhere where I don't have any friends, Han."
Han whispers that everything is okay. He says he spoke to my father in the car. I don't have to go away. I feel myself relax into the kisses he's placing upon my forehead. I whimper slightly and life my head to say something, and his lips accidentally catch the corner of mine. Han goes to pull away, but I kiss him on the lips and hold my head there until he kisses me back.
"Nobody else is nice to me like you, Han."
Han runs a hand through his hair and his cheeks are a very pretty red. His comfy eyes are smiling at me as if they have teeth. He then leans forward and kisses me again. I kiss him back, and lean against him as best I can in a hospital bed. I don't like hospital beds. Those rails are mean.
Han must think so too because he climbs over the rail to be lying next to me and his lips meet mine again. He parts his mouth as he kisses me, and then he stops with a wide smile on his face. "Don't worry Kaolin. I'll take good care of you."
"I know, Han. It's because you love me, right?"
"I…what?" Han blushes slightly and lays his head down on my shoulder. "Yes. I do love you, Kaolin. A lot."
"I love you, too, Han. I don't want anybody else to take care of me ever."
He kisses my cheek and nods as he pulls me against him in a hug. "Don't worry, Kaolin. I'm not going anywhere."
Author's Note: In case you're thinking "Kaolin didn't have a seizure" he had a petit mal seizure. I wrote this before today, though. My dog was put down today. He had 12 epileptic seizures (grand mal) within six hours, and he was violent. We had to have him put down. I cried. So... this is dedicated to you, Donnie. :/ Poor thing.