(All original artwork contributed by: Hridi Debi)
Chapter Two: Kitty’s Drawings
~”These drawings are my life now”~
By Samina Ahmed
August’s eyes were locked onto Sharon’s eyes as Sharon entered the room and laid her weight against the desk. She gently placed the clipboard on top of the desk and crossed her arms around her chest. A small chuckle escaped from her lips.
What’s so funny? August thought.
“I’m totally fine if you don’t want to talk to me yet, August.” Sharon’s honeyed voice made August turn into water. Her eyes fell to the floor as her dry hands reached out to push back a few strands of hair. The tense muscles of her shoulders loosened at the sound of her name. She did not reply back.
“Alright then, I just need a few things from you. Not much of a big deal.” Sharon grabbed her clipboard and took out a few sheets of paper stapled together. August could hear quiet footsteps slowly moving towards her, she looked up. Startled, August took a step back, her leg hitting against the side of the bed. Sharon had leaned in a little closer to get a good look at August, eyeing every feature on her face. August was caught in a peculiar trance the moment their eyes met. She saw an endless forest filled with thick vines and shrubs everywhere behind those pupils of hers. She saw herself slowly being entangled within those long vines and never finding a way out.
Sharon walked back to the door leaving behind a fragrance of freshly picked strawberries. “I’m sure it won’t take you long to fill out the papers, it’s just some basic information that I need to acquire. Oh and one last thing. Since this is going to be your home for awhile, I would love if you went and visited the other patients here after you’re done with the paperwork. You’ll get along just fine. See you later.” With a voice as smooth as midnight velvet that could make August melt yet again, Sharon was gone in seconds.
If only August knew the true meaning behind that word.
She took the papers and filled them out at the corner of her bed. By the time August had finished, the sun had completely set, and her room had become a little darker.
I guess it’s time to meet the other patients. August was not really in the mood to see more faces. She was miserably exhausted. She felt the tiredness in her chest, in how she breathed and in the way her thoughts flowed. Everything ached. From the top of her head, to her neck, to her thighs and to the ankles. There was an odd burn growing in the pit of her stomach. She did not mind it though. The back of her throat throbbed with pain and the pain traveled all the way to her jaw. But she did not bother grabbing the bottle of water in her backpack and gulping down every last drop of water. What she needed was a night full of sleep, perhaps even a day too. She desired nothing else than to just curl up in small ball and allow the bed covers to consume her entirely.
She shook off her weariness as best as she could and left her bedroom.
The first room she faced had the name Kitty Martin on the plaque. Before she could twist the handle, a crunching noise was released and the door swung open.
“Hi there. I’m Kitty. You must be Piper, please, come in.” August tiptoed her way into the room with her head down, and jumped at the door closing behind her. She turned her back to see if Kitty was there.
Kitty had to be around August’s age, maybe a year or two younger. She wore a pair of blue denim overalls, with a few small holes near the bottom of it, over a long-sleeved black shirt that seemed to be very big on her. Kitty’s large liquid brown eyes, that wandered up and down August, sent a trail of shivers along August’s back. Her short caramel hair had faint curls that made her appear soft. Kitty walked passed August to where her desk was and pulled out a chair to sit on. August turned back around to face Kitty, but something suddenly caught her attention.
The walls. The walls of Kitty’s bedroom were painted with black and white drawings. Each drawing varied, but most of them were of faces with blank expressions. It was all overwhelming to August. She was in a room with dozens of eyes all over the place, and all she could do was just stare back at each one of them.
“You see anything you like Piper? These drawings are my life now.” Kitty giggled. She got up from the chair and jumped on her bed. August tilted her head towards the wall that Kitty’s bed was against.
How odd. August wondered. This wall was far more different than the other three walls. It was much less overwhelming and quite entrancing. In the middle of the wall was a drawing of a river with a boardwalk on the side and a hill in the background. August stepped closer to Kitty’s bed to get a better look at the drawing, ignoring Kitty’s stare.
(PIcture: Hridi Debi)
“That’s my favorite drawing there Piper. I love that river. I love it so damn much. You know, I used to go down to the small river behind my house that no one else knew about besides my old folks. I’d spend all my day there. Whether it be skipping stones, scaring away those pesky birds, or just floating above the cool water with the sun blinding me, there was not a single moment where I wasn’t smiling,” continued Kitty.
“It was really peaceful. The smooth feel of the boardwalk against my bare feet and the way each pebble fit into my fist so smoothly. It was all too perfect. Sort of like a safe haven, you know? I think about it every day. Each night I dream about going down to that river and skipping a rock or just floating the hours away. I miss that river. I miss that river so damn much, you know?” Kitty sounded as if she were on the verge of tears.
August gazed at Kitty with an expressionless face.
“Not the talker type, are you? Don’t worry, you’ll break out of your shell soon now. Just give it some time, just like I did.” Kitty lifted her pillow to reveal a messy pile of papers and different types of drawing utensils. More drawings of faces were scattered all over her bed now…although these faces looked as though they were all unfinished. “Oh my goodness! How dumb of me! Piper hold on a minute, I want to show you a drawing I drew this morning. Pardon my mess, now let’s see if I can find it…” Kitty pulled back her oversized black sleeves and began rummaging through the papers.
August let out a noticeable gasp as she took one step back from Kitty’s bed.
Narrow curved lines colored in rustic red traced her pale arms, forming some kind of pattern if you looked closer. Kitty let go of the papers she held onto and looked up at August to see what had startled her. She followed her eyes to her own arms. Kitty instantaneously itched for her blanket to conceal herself.
“NO! STOP! YOU CAN’T LOOK AT THOSE! THESE AREN’T MY DRAWINGS! I DIDN’T DRAW THESE! STOP PIPER!” Kitty wailed. Her head dropped forward and she whimpered into her fuzzy blanket. August was at a loss for words. She wanted to leave Kitty’s room at once and just whimper into her own blanket.
August walked backwards as quietly as possible while she kept her eyes glued on the poor girl. “Stop.” Kitty spoke in a monotonous tone. She lifted her head up, shoving back strands of her straight hair. Kitty wiped off the remaining tears with her sleeve and gave out a small hiccup. The blanket was lifted off from her bed and was thrown across the room. “Here.” Kitty got up from her bed and lifted one of of the drawings from her bed. She took one last glance at the drawing and a dizzy smile was drawn across her face.
Kitty looked August in the eye. Glassy, deep brown eyes that reminded August of freshly brewed coffee, and made her feel warm for the hundredth time today. Kitty handed the drawing to August. “For you. I hope you find your safe haven Piper. Bye now.”
August made her way out of the bedroom and was standing alone in the chilly hallway. What time was it? How long had she been with Kitty? It was too late to meet the other patients now, they were probably all fast sleep.
August almost forgot about the drawing. She brought the paper to her chest and tilted her head.
A pair of wings.
(PIcture: Hridi Debi)
[To Be Continued Next Month!]