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April 12, 2010 (36)
The Westchester Division Mental Health Center
The drive from Michigan back to Westchester was a long one, but it was worth it as long as I got to see Will again. Taking a deep, nervous breath, I got out of my car and walked into the lobby of the mental health center Will was staying at.
“Hi,” I said to the lady sitting behind the front desk. “I’m here to visit one of the patients. Will McKnight is his name,”
She looked up, her eyes going wide at the sight of me. “And you’re name please?” she asked, although I had a pretty good feeling that she already knew what it was.
“Evalynne Mongolia,” I replied.
She blinked a few times, not knowing how to react to me being here. She had obviously seen the news reports about Will hitting me. “Um, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to let you visit him or not. Why don’t I call down his psychiatrist and ask him if it’s ok?” she suggested.
“Ok,” I agreed with a small sigh. If he didn’t let me go in to see Will, I wasn’t sure what I would do. After all, I’d driven for hours just to get here. I was determined to do what I came here for.
A few moments after she made the call to his psychiatrist, Dr. Craig Sullivan came walking into the room. “Hello there,” he greeted me with a warm smile. “So you’re here to visit Will?”
“Yes, I am,” I told him, silently praying he’d just agree to letting me in to visit him.
“Ok, well I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m not sure if he wants to see you right now.” he informed me. “If you’d like to, you can come with me and I can ask if he’d be alright with visiting you,” he offered.
“Yeah, that would be great,” I said, grateful that he hadn’t just sent me back home. So I followed him through the halls of the institution, until he finally came to a stop outside of room 157.
“Just wait out here for a moment,” he instructed me. “I’m going to go inside and talk to him really quick.”
I nodded back and he slipped into the room, shutting the door behind him. I stood outside in the empty hallway, waiting impatiently for him to return. My heart was fluttering with anxiety. Will was on the other side of that door. He was so close. Out of nowhere, I began to feel very nervous. What if Will didn’t want to see me after all? What if he was still angry about what happened? What if he hated me for the things I’d said to him?
I bit down hard on my lower lip, my stomach churning with uneasiness. A few more seconds passed by, but it felt like hours to me. Then finally, the door opened and Dr. Sullivan came back out. “Ok, you can go on inside,” he informed me. “I think it’s best that you only stay for about ten or fifteen minutes though. I don’t want to put too much stress on him all at one time. And I’ll be waiting right out here if you need me.”
He made it seem like Will was seriously out of his mind. Like he was really, truly dangerous…but who knew? Maybe he was. I nodded and took another deep breath. Then nervously, I stepped into the room.
It was small, with four barren white walls, a dark wooden dresser, a matching nightstand and a bed. Lying on the bed was Will. When I saw him, my heart skipped a beat. He was laying with his head propped up against two pillows and his arms were strapped down to the bed with cuffs made of some type of stretchy white fabric.
His eyes were bloodshot and had dark bags under them, making it look as if he hadn’t slept in days. His hair, which was usually done in an unruly mess of spikes, now hung limply on his head. He had a five o’clock shadow around his mouth, the dark, rough-looking stubble looking unusual on his normally cleanly-shaven face. But the thing that really caught my attention were his wrists. Both of them had huge, unsightly red gashes on them. The wounds had closed up by now, but it was still awful to look at them. It made me feel sick to my stomach to know that he had done this to himself.
“Evalynne,” he whispered, his voice gravelly. A small smile spread across his lips and his eyes filled with happiness. My heart just about melted when I saw how glad he was to see me. That was when I knew that I had definitely been right to come here.
“Hey,” I said to him. My voice came out sounding hoarse and shaky. It was then that I realized that I was on the verge of crying. I quickly blinked away the tears that were brimming my eyes. It was just so bittersweet to actually be standing there in front of Will.
“I missed you so much,” he told me. “And I am so sorry about what I did. You have no idea how awful I feel. I don’t know what got into me. It was like I wasn’t even me anymore, like someone else had taken over my body. I never meant to hurt you like that. Gosh, I’m so sorry,” He shook his head shamefully, averting his gaze away from me. He obviously didn’t want me to see the tears that were beginning to well up in his eyes.
“I didn’t come here for an apology, Will.” I informed him. “I came here to see you. I missed you too.” He looked up at me, a surprised smile on his face. Apparently, he had been expecting me to come in here demanding an apology from him. That definitely wasn’t the reason I was there though.
“You really did?” he asked me, sounding hopeful.
“Of course I did,” I assured him. I smiled back at him, making my way towards his bed and leaning down to give him a hug. It felt so good to have him in my embrace again. I could feel his arms move beneath me, but then he remembered that he couldn’t reach up to hug me back. His arms were strapped down to his bed.
I pulled away from him, quickly eyeing his wrists as I did so. I didn’t want him to see me looking at them, but he had. He swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down in his throat, obviously ashamed of what he’d done.
“I know what you’re thinking,” he murmured. “You think I’m some sadistic, suicidal emo person,” He let out a sad sigh and bowed his head in disgrace. It was awful for me to see him putting himself down like this. He didn’t deserve this.
“No, that’s not what I’m thinking.” I told him. “I actually know exactly how you feel. Hopeless, alone, scared… I’ve been through it before. I know how much it hurts, so I’m here to let you know that you aren’t as alone as you think you are. I just had to tell you how much I really do care about you. You aren’t a horrible person, Will. You’re actually a really amazing person. You’re just going through a lot right now. I completely understand.”
He looked truly amazed that I was being so understanding about all of this. Amazed and relieved. It made me feel good to know that I was making him feel better. I knew that if there had been someone to tell me that I wasn’t really alone back when I’d tried the whole suicide thing, I would’ve been so grateful for it. So it was great being able to be there for Will when he needed me.
“Thank you,” he said to me, sounding sincere. “I thought I blew all my chances of ever being with you again. You have no idea how happy I am to know that you still want to be with me. I just love you so much, Evalynne.” He grinned up at me, his eyes twinkling, and I felt my heart beginning to break.
He thought that I was here to get back together with him. He thought that I was here to let him know that we were still a couple. He thought that I was still in love with him. I looked back down at him, unsure if I was able to tell him the truth: that I just wanted to be friends. He already in such a fragile state. I didn’t want to make him feel any worse than he already did. But I couldn’t lie to him either.
“I love you too,” I told him. Technically, this wasn’t a lie. I really did love Will as a friend. I didn’t bother to clarify this for him though.
“Wow, I can’t believe this is actually happening,” he said, mostly to himself. “I seriously thought we were over. I thought I’d never get to see you again.” I strained a smile, trying not to show how awful I felt for lying to him like that. “Well since you’re here, there’s something I want to ask you. Has Michael stopped sending you those freaky text messages?”
“Yeah, he hasn’t sent me any more texts,” I assured him. This was true. Michael hadn’t sent me any more texts, because he didn’t need to. He just stopped by my apartment when he wanted to talk to me.
“Good,” he replied, letting out a relieved sigh. “All I’ve been doing lately is worrying about Michael. I was just so paranoid that he would hurt you and I wouldn’t be there to stop him. I’m just so glad he’s not stalking you anymore. He probably gave up and decided to finally move on with his life.”
“Yeah,” I murmured back, my stomach turning uneasily. If only he really had just given up and moved on with his life. But no, he just had to find his way back into my life.
“So he hasn’t like, spoken to you or anything since those texts, right?” he asked. “Because I can’t be sure until you promise me that he hasn’t made any contact with you whatsoever since those last text messages.”
I bit down on my lower lip, unsure of what to say to him. I didn’t want to get him all worked up by telling him the truth, but I didn’t want to lie to him either. Especially because he had lived with Michael his whole life. Maybe he knew of a good way to deal with him. I sure didn’t. Ever since he’d come back, it seemed like my whole life was being lived in constant suspense and paranoia. I just couldn’t take it anymore. So I decided to be honest with him.
“Actually,” I began, “I sort of moved to Michigan…and he sort of followed me.”
“What?” he demanded, his voice soft and stunned.
“Well the police tracked those texts back to his cell phone, which they found in my house, but he wasn’t there when they found it. So they told me that it would be a good idea for me to move somewhere else to be safer. I moved in with this really nice girl named Addison who lives in an apartment by the university in Michigan.” I made sure to leave out the part about how I’d chosen Michigan so that I could be closer to Cole. “Her boyfriend works at this diner called Mimi’s and he wanted to introduce us to his new friend that worked there too. But when we got there, it turned out that his new friend was Michael. He’s disguising himself as some fake person named Ben, and Valerie is disguising herself as his girlfriend, Angie.”
His eyes were wide and filled with a mixture of anger and shock. “And what has he done since he followed you to Michigan?”
“Well first of all, he told me that if I tried to call the cops, he’d kill Cole. So I’ve kind of been forced to just deal with him.” I took a deep breath, bracing myself for what Will’s reaction would be to the next part. “And he also tried to kiss me the other day. He just like, started making out with me in a surprise attack.”
“What?” he exploded, the veins in his forehead bulging. His fists were clenched tightly, stretching out the fabric of the his cuffs just about as far is it could go. “I can’t freakin’ believe him! Who the hell does he think he is trying to kiss you like that? I swear to God, I’m going to kill him!” He was shouting at an extremely loud volume, loud enough to be heard out in the hallway.
“What is going on in here?” Dr. Sullivan asked as he burst through the door. He glanced at Will, noticing how furious he was, and then turned to shoot me a stern look. “I think it’s time for you to go now, Ms. Mongolia,” he said to me.
“No! I don’t want her to go yet!” Will cried. He tried to reach for my hand, but his own hands were constrained to the bed. “What else did Michael do to you?”
“You’re talking to him about Michael?” Dr. Sullivan demanded, his eyes going wide behind his big, round spectacles. “It’s definitely time your to go.” He walked up to me, placing a hand on my back and leading me out of the room. “I’ll be right back,” he said to Will as we stepped back into the hallway. He shut the door to Will’s room behind us and turned to look at me. “Will is in an extremely fragile state right now. Just this morning, he tried to kill himself. It was difficult enough for him to deal with visiting you at all today. But talking to him about Michael? That was not a smart move. Now you’ve got him all worked up. I’d really like to know why you came to visit him at all today? Was it just to make his condition even worse than it already is?”
“Of course not!” I exclaimed, offended that he would accuse me of doing such a thing. “I came here because Will felt like he had nobody left. I didn’t want him to feel that way though. I wanted him to know that I still cared about him. He was the one who asked me about Michael.”
“And what did you tell him exactly?” he asked.
I quickly scanned my mind for something believable to say. “Nothing much,” I replied. “He was just wondering about stuff he did to me in the past, stuff he didn’t know about. I told him that Michael used to show up at my house and demand to be let inside and he just took it pretty hard.” I had to admit, I was getting pretty good at lying to people.
“I see,” he uttered back. “Well I think it would be a good idea for you not to visit him for a while. It’s good that you still care for him, but things are really difficult right now. There’s too much going on all at once for him to handle. I think he just needs a break from all of it for a little while, ok?”
“Yeah, ok,” I agreed. I was kind of disappointed that I hadn’t got to stay and talk to Will. I’d spent about five minutes with him before getting kicked out. I’d probably have to stay in a hotel tonight, but that was fine with me. It was worth it because I had gotten to see Will again.
I decided to drive halfway back home tonight, stay overnight in a hotel and drive the rest of the way back home tomorrow morning. I made sure to call Addison and let her know that I wouldn’t be back at the apartment until tomorrow though. I didn’t want to worry her. And so I drove for about two hours, until I reached a Holiday Inn. Then I checked in, went to my room and fell right asleep.