This place feels tainted and unsafe. I can sense it in my bones. There are about five or six more boys all dressed in white, like me, standing outside of a school bus painted white in a tight-knit cluster.
I can smell that something is wrong about the criss-crossing pattern of the red-brown bricks and the metal bars on the windows. The fencing around the property sends my senses into overdrive and the occasional flicker of a shadow in a window forces my eyes into a dance, trying to keep up with the movement inside the building.
"It's big," one of the younger guys behind me murmurs to himself. "So big!"
Soon after, all the other guys begin to murmur to themselves, their stilted movements causing the gravel under their feet to crunch. I'm nothing like these people. They're crazy, I'm not. My parents and my old school thought I was last year so they sent me to a mental institute. No matter if I was the MVP of the basketball team because of my enormous height, or if I was the rule-abiding son that every parent dreams of. It isn't my fault that I started to have nightmares before I started to fear some people. Somehow, I could just sense that they weren't right.
But then everyone felt like I was paranoid, or delusion, even schizophrenic. But other than my cautious behaviour, I am normal. I don't fight against imaginary fears or talk to myself in my room. My fears are legitimate and since no one listens I don't speak a word of them.
A weak ago, the institution that I'd been living at for almost a year thought that I was making no progress so after a long conversation with my parents, they--they, not myself because no one ever consults me about these types of things-- decided to send me here, a school in the middle of nowhere.
"Come on boys," says Pens, the mixed psychiatrist of the males' ward. "Let's get you in there. Robyn," he gently taps a boy with bright red hair and brilliant freckles, on the shoulder, "come on. Kellan, you going to say anything about this place? Seems nice?"
I stare at him, mute. I hate when they speak to me like I am not entirely here like these other patients. If I were him though, I wouldn't touch Robyn too much, there's something off about him. His eyes aren't glazed over enough and his mouth keeps twitching.
We reach the front of the gates, me keeping my distance from the rest of the group, and find two other guys waiting there silently. I feel something different coming from them, a refreshing difference from all the bleakness here.
Maybe I'll finally have someone to talk to.