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Joanna thought she looked better than usual today. She ran her fingers through her long, limp, once beautiful red hair, thinking about how the sun would reflect in it. How Ben once said she looked beautiful.
It felt like a dream. It didn’t happen to her.
“What’s the plan today, kid?”
Of course she always asked that. Becky always wanted to know what Joanna had on her mind. Always, always, incessantly. Joanna sometimes wanted Becky to go jump off a bridge, literally.
“I dunno. Dinner’s in a half hour. Rec time at seven. Maybe I’ll go for a walk around the lake.”
“That’s dumb. Stay here with me. I’ve got some more stories to tell you.”
“I don’t want to hear any more of your stories.”
“Don’t you like them?”
“Well they’re all from up here,” Becky said, pointing at her temple. “How could you not like ‘em?”
Joanna sighed, slowly pulling herself up from her chair.
“I think I’m going to go take that walk now.”
She looked towards the floor length mirror hanging across the room. She saw the empty chair in the dimming light, the chair where Becky usually sat. But she knew there was really no Becky. Her meds were just wearing off.
She walked down the dimly lit corridor after closing the door slowly behind her. The mental health center had been built in the 50’s and everything was old, from the tiles in the floor to the faded posters on the wall.
Joanna didn’t mind though, because her overactive mind painted a whole new center for her every day. Sometimes it was a Renaissance castle in the south of France, some days an Italian market.
She would make friends with the Dauphin or chat with the grocers, arguing with Alberto over the quality of his cabbage. Of course these people did not exist, but Joanna didn’t care. They were more interesting than Becky.
She walked towards the lake, the sun glowing red on the murky water. She could barely make out her reflection in the surface.
She saw her eyes ringed with dark circles from sleepless nights and hallucinations. Her cheeks were pale and there were long, thin scratches on her forehead from her nails. She had once been homecoming queen. Not anymore.
“Mirror mirror,” she whispered.
She took a breath and plunged headfirst, the last sign of her existence a mere ripple, the whisper of a splash.
Credit To: buckeyegirl12