Not in there. Anywhere but there...
She didn't want to go back in there again but they were dragging her, even as she screamed.
She didn't do anything wrong! That's what she wanted to say. It was the other girl's fault, she started it.
But they wouldn't listen and only she could see that other girl, grinning at her, as they came to the door.

It was a heavy metal door, lined with thick dirty carpet, and there was a small window to see through. On the other side of that door was the dingy, urine stained room, with no other windows—only the dark red carpeting covering the walls. There was no way out. Once they shut the door, that was it, there was no knob on the inside of the door.

She had to stay in there no matter how loudly she screamed or how hard she pounded.
If she tried to do anything to herself they would come in and restrain her.
She didn't want that.
The last time she was restrained, it took three people to hold her, and it was for several hours.
She was crying now. It wasn't fair.

The teachers never paid any attention to her.
Most of her class time was spent inside the solitary room, by herself. Sometimes she would sneak out and bring a few of the library books into the room when no one was looking.
She didn't mind being by herself.
Except this time she was in a different room—the bad one.

It was the room where they took the children to 'calm down'. Even though none of them were calm when they went in and they usually weren't calm as they were being restrained for hours at a time.
She didn't even belong here, in this place, where those other children were. She tried to tell them that but they would never listen.
No one ever listened to her. They only lied.

Doctors gave her pills and told her she would get better. When she took the pills they made her sick with headaches and she would throw up a lot.
The people who were supposed to help her never did. They were too busy with the other children or they didn't care.
There was a man she talked to, a counselor, who told her if she was good she would get out of that place—the bad place.
He was the worst liar of them all.
He would sit down and ask her questions.

"What did you do today?"
She would answer and he would write something down. Then he would take out 'the journal'. It was the journal where all the staff would write about the children, usually bad things, to keep track of them.
"I see you got upset yesterday..." He would look at her and she would look away. "You started a fight—"
She told him she hadn't started it.
"—and you had to be restrained, again."
She didn't look at him as he started to write something down again. She knew he was writing something bad.
"If you're not good, you'll never get out of here." He always said that.
She asked him when she could get out.
"When you start behaving yourself."
She hated him.

And now she was in the room, again, and he would be writing about it in 'the journal' with the other bad things she had done—even though some of them weren't her fault.

Like the time with that girl, the same girl who had gotten her in trouble now, it was HER fault.
If only she hadn't gotten upset, she wouldn't be in here.
That girl had made fun of her, of her father. That girl would taunt her.
"Your Daddy!"
"Your Daddy!"
"Your Daddy!"
Over and over again. And she knew what it meant. It meant something really bad.

But no one would listen.

There was no one listening now as she pounded the door.
"Let me out! I didn't DO anything!" She started to cry. "LET ME OUT NOW!"
There was no one there.
"I have to pee..."

She looked around and walked to the corner of the room. It smelled stale and made her sick to her stomach. The medication she took made the pain in her stomach worse and she grasped at her belly. The pain in her lower abdomen was bad because she also had to hold back her urge to pee.
She didn't want to go to the bathroom in the room.
"I HAVE TO PEE!"
It was getting harder to hold back now and she was bouncing on one leg while pounding on the smeared plastic glass window.
Someone's shadow moved across the window.
"LET ME OUT, PLEASE!"
It was that man. The one she didn't like. The same man who had come in the bathroom while she was taking a bath (and he had done it on purpose) and laughed at her.
He peered in the window and she could see his gapped yellow teeth as he spoke. His breath fogged the greasy window. "Be quiet and stay still. I'll let you out in an hour!"
She shook her head. "No, I have to PEE!"
She bounced emphatically on one leg and grabbed at her shorts, pulling them up to stop the urge. It was no use, she could feel the hot liquid leaking through already.
"You just stay in there and be quiet! You're not gettin' out 'til I let you out—You UNDERSTAND?" He moved away from the door and left.
"NO, PLEASE!"
She screamed and screamed.
"I HATE YOU!"
"I HATE YOU!"
"I HATE YOU!"

It was too late.
She was peeing her pants.
Someone else came to the door. It was the teacher's aid, the one woman she liked, the one who was nice to her.
The woman opened the door to let her out. "All right...you can...oh geez..." The woman gave a disgusted glance at her and the stained shorts she was standing in.
"It wasn't my fault." She looked up at the woman. "I told you to let me out."

They hadn't listened to her.

They never did.


Any coincidence with real people or places is absolutely intentional © 2009