Black Forest Asylum part 7
“Ben, I just don’t want to do it anymore,” I spoke. I didn’t look into his eyes, I was afraid to see my best friend’s sadness.
“I thought you said there was no room for cowards in the Black Forest.”
“I’m not being a coward. I just don’t think that it’s important. I want to move on with my life.”
“Did your parents brainwash you?”
“What? You’re ridiculous. If you can’t understand my reasons, then fine,” I gave up.
“Fine,” Ben said, and then proceeded to leave, taking every step down the porch with zeal.
We didn’t talk for a while. It was difficult being in such a small circle, but it was possible.
16. Yes, that is me waving goodbye to my parents, waving goodbye to Carter, and waving goodbye to the Black Forest, my home. The only person I wasn’t parting with was Ben. He was sitting a seat away with his angry head down; he refused to wave or be sentimental. I’m not really sure how this happened. One day my parents simply said that we should go to school where the classes count, and where we can make friends. I thought they were joking. Why would they ever consider sending me away? There exists only one reason I can think of, and still I thought my parents loved me more. Are they sending me away because of the mysteries inside the asylum? Are they scared that I’ll discover the truth? Are they the real cowards of the Black Forest? I don’t want to believe it, but it’s not entirely impossible. I decided to not be angry at them, though, I knew that they loved me. I don’t want to be like Ben, the kid who can’t forgive anyone, who holds grudges because he doesn’t get what he wants. Yes, we are still far apart, as our friendship goes.
Westtown School will be our new home. Ben’s dad stood beside me as the three of us starred at the massive campus, it was overwhelming for someone like me. Huge brick buildings everywhere and beautiful people walking around as if it was their home. My parents had picked a beautiful place for me and Ben. Yet, it seemed so foreign and frightening, anger began to build up, why do I have to start a whole new beginning, when I’m not ever sure of who I am?
“Well, looks like there’s plenty of trees to climb” P.J. said. I looked at him gratefully, I knew he wasn’t exactly keen on leaving his only son here. I’m sure my parents had a difficult time persuading him.
“This place is very nice. Very big, though,” I responded.
“Nah, it’s just like home.”
“How much money are you wasting on us?” Ben spoke up.
“Just a couple pennies,” P.J. joked. Ben seemed to grit his teeth. I felt this tension and I was relieved when a friendly faced woman came to greet us.
“Our new residents,” She said, smiling, “ I am Amanda, and you must be a parent?”
“Oh, yes, I’m Ben’s father.”
“I see! Well, let’s go get both of you settled in. You’re parents have done all the paperwork and boring stuff, all you need to do is make this feel like home, and we’ll help a little with that. Now I know what going from one school to another does to some people. It gets them disoriented and it’s difficult at first, but I promise you that you’ll be running around this place and feeling just like it’s home in no time!”
Ben choked. I looked at him with scolding eyes. I smiled at this nice campus guide, but I knew she could sense my fears.
I didn’t know how long campus tours could take. It was the whole day, and I still didn’t know what my room looks like. Forty-five minutes in the dining hall, and a half-hour in the woodworking house. I no longer had a smile on my face, rather I was about to become just Iike Ben. Grouchy and vengeful.
17. Finally I was situated in my dorm room, which was spacious and had much potential to be homey. I felt a twinge of excitement. “A new beginning”, as my father would say. I kept hearing this buzzing sound. It would stop and then start.
“Adele?” Said my roommate that seemed nice, and yet not to talkative poked her head in my room and tried my name.
“There’s some guy outside the dorms, he said he wanted to speak to you?”
I saw Ben waiting for me on the front porch of the dormitories and it brought deja vu moment. Suddenly, I felt like I was simply walking out of my home and meeting him, as though we were kids again. Except he wasn’t in the mood to be friends.
“Ben, what wrong?”
“Why don’t you answer your stinking phone?!” I remember that buzzing sounds in my room.
“I forgot I had a phone! Sorry. What do you need?”
“ Um, I’m just angry. I don’t want to be here. I don’t understand how you don’t see it?”
“ See, that our parents are sending us away because we were curious. They’re making it easier on themselves, they’re stupid cowards, stupid selfish-“
“Stop it!” I shouted. Ben looked at me, he saw the sadness in my eyes. I then began to cry. I don’t know why exactly, maybe it was because I had been hiding my most recent flashbacks from everyone. Maybe it was because I missed my friendship with Ben. It was probably just because I had started my period. I suddenly realized I was in Ben’s arms, he was holding me.
“Have you had anymore flashbacks?”
I stood up, pulling myself away, and nodded.
“I keep seeing his face, hearing his voice, smelling smoke. It’s like it’s a part of me, this disturbing sense of hopelessness and loss of innocence.”
“Dale, we should have never given up.”
“You mean, I should have never given up,” I said, I looked at him, there was a sense of anger in both of our eyes, “I have to go back, it’s almost curfew.”
“Well, next time answer your darn phone,” Ben teased, and we parted for the night.
18. The building was on fire. I thought I was dreaming. In many of my nightmares about something vague and horrid, I always smelled smoke. So when I smelled smoke lying in my dorm room, I tried to shrug off the nightmare. It turned out to be all too real.
“Fire!” my roommate screamed, I didn’t know her voice could get louder than a shy whisper. I didn’t grab anything; I just ran out of my room, found the porch and somehow ended up in Ben’s arms. The fire was easily put out, mostly the product of a closet smoker. Literally. I felt incredibly scared, even though the fire only burnt through one room.
I wasn’t scared of another fire, I was scare I was being followed. I ran from my fears, I ran from the truth, and for some reason I woke up to the smell of smoke, and my reoccurring dreams had suddenly, slightly, become reality.
“Man, when I heard fire, I came right over,” Ben said, he was sweating and lacking a shirt. I pulled away from him, realizing we were much to close for my comfort.
“I don’t know. It’s just that fire and, well, you seem to have a connection. I didn’t know if he had somehow found you?”
“Found me?” I shuttered. Ben was totally oblivious to how frightened he had just made me, how frightened I was going to become anyways after thinking everything through. I looked at him.
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I just am always worried about you,” said Ben. This didn’t make anything better, but I smiled just to comfort him.
“Ben, you’re a great friend.”