I took a deep breath and zipped my luggage. My room felt empty. I felt empty. I walked to my desk and gazed down at the business card on it. Grey Hills, institute in mental health. Since my fifteenth birthday, they had offered their interest in my case, and claimed I would be better there than here. For nearly three years I ignored them. Tried and tried again. Tried so very hard to fit in, lead a normal life like everyone else. But let’s face it, I wasn’t normal.
On my seventh, birthday, I visited the museum. I saw a man draped in what I thought was a blanket back then, pairs of wings broken and torn at places. They bled on the ground. I remembered noticing the strange fact he didn’t have toes. His feet were bloody, and his toes were missing. My parents smiled at me and asked if I wanted to look at the pottery closer. I later understood they meant the pottery behind the pacing monster.
I was so frightened I didn’t understand. I started crying, wailing. Everyone turned to me, except the man. He dragged a leash along with him as he walked. I didn’t understand why he had a leash. I didn’t understand why he was dressed as he was. I didn’t understand why he had wings. I didn’t understand why he didn’t have any toes. Yet I understood I wanted to run away from him as fast as I could. He turned in my general direction. His eyes were bleeding, his cheeks were bloody, his smile was abnormally large. I didn’t see it for long. I fainted.
I made the mistake of telling my parents later. But it wasn’t until the third time I saw him, and claimed he had said my name this time, that they threw me in therapy. It got worse. I started misplacing things, often. Thinking I had put something in front of me, while I had put it somewhere else completely. Or the opposite. And I saw HIM again. When I told my therapist about that time I saw him decorate a Christmas tree with human parts such as eyes, ears, tongues, fingers and guts, the man freaked out. For a good reason.