Logan Matthews arrives at Blackrock Institute for treatment after it was determined he was in desperate need of it. He has always found therapy and institutions to be a waste of time. But there is something different about Blackrock. The people he meets there; from the calm and laid back Jonah, to the fun and bubbly Camilla, to the shy and sweet Alyssa, all have a profound effect on his life. This story chronicles his time in Blackrock and is the starting point of a series which is yet unnamed.
I pressed my head to the cold glass of the window as the car rolled to a stop outside Blackrock Institute. Rivulets of water trailed down the outside of the window, distorting the view of the building. It appeared to loom out over us at an oblique angle. The facade of the building was painted a deep black colour and many of the upper windows had bars over them. It towered five storeys above us.
“We’re here” the driver said. I sighed and opened the door. The boot clicked open when the driver pressed a button and I retrieved my suitcase and rucksack. After I shut the trunk, the driver nodded from his seat and drove off down the drive.
I stared after him, wanting nothing more than to be back in that car. It was futile. Sighing again, I turned to face the building that would become my home, my prison for the foreseeable future. The thought of the ensuing group sessions where I would have to socialise with my fellow inmates and attempt to make friends was not one I was particularly pleased about.
I must have been standing outside for quite some time because a woman came out to greet me. She wore a flowery skirt and a white cardigan. Her black hair fell down to her shoulders. She smiled.
“You must be Logan” she said, extending a hand. I shook it. “I am Dr. Maria Evans. I will be overseeing your stay with us here at Blackrock”.
“Nice to meet you”.
“Shall we go inside?”
I nodded. Dr. Evans led the way. We walked up the four steps to the main doors and entered the building. The hallway inside had a black and white chequered tile floor. There was a reception desk on the right hand side. A small, plump lady sat behind it with reading glasses on. Her hair was grey and her forehead slightly wrinkled. She smiled as we passed her by. A plaque above the door read: Here we attempt to understand the mind’s intricate dance, so that you may learn to dance along with it.
“Your room is on the first floor. They are all single rooms, but you will have neighbours”.
“I am looking forward to getting to know you Logan”.
“Yeah me too”. I did my best to remain polite. We took the flight of stairs to the first floor and Dr. Evans led me down the corridor to the right. My room was the third on the left. She pushed the door open, revealing a small room. A single bed lay along one wall, and there was a dresser in one corner, and a desk was beside it. I had a window which looked down onto the central courtyard. The room also had an en-suite bathroom. I threw my bags onto the end of the bed and sat down on it.
“I’ll let you get settled in Logan” Dr. Evans said. “Make sure you take some time to explore and meet some of the other residents. There is a common room on the ground floor. Your treatment won’t begin until next week, but you are free to attend the group sessions if you want. You will find the times on the noticeboard next to the main reception”.
Dr. Evans smiled and left the room, pulling the door closed behind her. I stared at the floor for a few moments longer, and then stood and went into the en-suite. There was a mirror on the wall. I gazed into it. A youth of nineteen gazed back at me. He had deep brown hair which was in a dishevelled mess on the top of his head. He had emerald green eyes full of horror. Some heavy stubble graced his chin; the by-product of three days without shaving.
I splashed some cool water from the sink up onto my face. When I looked back in the mirror there were trails of water coming from the youth’s eyes. I could see the sadness in them; I could read the insanity in their gaze.
“You know they are going to try and fix you” the youth said.
“And these other residents. They won’t be your friends. Not truly. I am your only friend. You know that don’t you Logan?”
I nodded. The youth smiled. I left the bathroom and glanced around my room. The bed called to me and I longed to simply lie there, but I sighed and exited the room. I looked up and down the corridor; there was no one else there. I walked down the corridor to the stairs and took them down to the ground floor. The common room was halfway down the corridor to my left. I passed through the door and into the room. It was a large, open room. There were beanbags in one corner, and there were three couches arranged facing one another on the left side of it. There were a few little coffee tables in various spots throughout the room, and a large television near the couches. Various motivational posters adorned the walls.
A boy lay sprawled on one of the couches. He had blonde hair and was well built, quite muscular. His eyes were closed. A girl with violet hair stood in one corner, painting on an easel. There did not appear to be any clear shape to her work, it seemed to just be an amalgamation of colours. I left her to her work and went to the beanbags. I sat on the large red one and gazed around the room. There was no one else there; just the three of us, each in our own worlds. I spotted a large bookcase in the corner and I went to investigate. There was a wide selection. I grabbed a copy of Paradise Lost, Milton’s epic, and then I returned to my beanbag. I opened Paradise Lost, and began to read book one. I lost myself in the words as I always did. I read of Satan’s fall, and his entrapment in a hellish prison. I related to Milton’s idea of the mind becoming a hell. I immersed myself in the text. I don’t know how much time passed.
“Nice choice”. I jumped at the sudden voice. A brunette girl was walking away from me with her head down, and then she was gone. I stared at the spot where she had vanished for a few moments, and then shook my head and returned to the book.