by Eshey Rose
Story behind "A monster on the loose"
| We’ve all heard of Schizophrenia. It’s a disease that affects crazy, older people. Not us, not any one we know. That’s what I had always thought. Boy was I wrong!
Katie Spitz never did seem like anyone else. She believed in vampires, dragons, werewolves and such, even though she was thirteen. I didn’t know how this affected her at school, though. Although we lived a few houses apart I went to a school 30 miles away, and she to the local public school. Her brother, Patrick, was also going there; he was two years younger than Katie and a year younger than me. He always had been concerned about his sister. Not protective, just concerned.
Patrick, Katie, and I have been friends since Patrick was in diapers so we were all close enough to know everything about each other. For instance, Patrick told me that Katie believed the people from Sonic the hedgehog were real. I of course, called him crazy - that was nothing like Katie at all! Then, pretty soon, she started talking about how Sonic was a (insert long string of censored beeps here) that treat his friends like s**t. She also talked about how Amy Rose hated Sonic, and wanted to kill him, but Sonic was a perverted Amy fan boy. And how Shadow and Tails were the real heroes, and so on and so forth. I was slightly shocked, as would be anyone. Each day it seemed she dug herself deeper and deeper into this rage of hating Sonic and wishing to kill him, she even had violent outbursts at school because someone said something that made her think of Sonic. And, she was having visions of him and his friends, where he was evil.
I began telling my therapist about her and her strange behaviors. She said it was probably a severe bipolar or autism disorder, sad, but not uncommon or incurable. Then, one night, my parents had been talking to her parents. I was banned to the upstairs while they talked. After a while they called me back down. Mr. and Mrs. Spitz were gone. I asked my parents if this was about Katie, and they said yes. “Honey,” my mom said, “Katie has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia.” I didn’t know how to respond, I mean, schizo was never noticeable in teens! It must be wrong! I was expecting my parents to smile and tell me it was a joke… they didn’t.
The next day in school I sat in a haze until I heard one of the boys out of my fourteen classmates joke with his friend, saying something about voices, crazy people, and low brain power. I was so mad I didn’t know what to do. Luckily, my anger management was working and I managed to only yell at them, a great accomplishment for me. I don’t remember what I said, how loud I yelled, how many cuss words I used, how many faces stared at me when I was done. How can this be? They were thinking, I was always the shy, smart girl, but who stood up for what I believed in – which, was usually very different than my peers. I only remember a couple sentences from that speech, “do you know what it’s like when your best friend – no!- one of your only friends is having her brain absorbed by this monster?!? This is no joke you (insert censored beep here)!!!!!” and then I just sat down and cried.
That day, my therapist found out and decided to send me to the in-patient program. But only as a partial, or someone only there for seven hours a day. I met some people there. Amazing, wonderful people. People who used to be suicidal now laughed and joked with me. The whole place was locked up to prevent escape and inpatients weren’t allowed shoes for fear of hiding weapons. There was on inpatient that I was especially close to. Her name was Eva. She had been a drug user, inhalant user, drinker, anorexic, suicidal, and a cutter. Her term there had been about two months, long time, considering she was fourteen and they were never allowed outside. In fact, all they were allowed was just a few belongings such as clothes, tooth brush, hair brush, et cetera.
One day, I was in the hall talking to my counselor in private about my progress. It had seemed a normal day; Eva was smiling and joking as always. When I walked in I noticed she was she gone, probably in the bathroom. It was a time that was basically like study hall, just one hour of silence and reading or drawing. I should have realized that five minutes into my book, Eva was still apparently washing her hands. Then I heard a loud, sickening thud followed by a clinking sound. All of us jumped up and ran over to the door, hoping to see Eva alright. We also figured it was nothing bad because otherwise she wouldn’t do it within ten feet of a teacher behind an unlocked door. Wrong again. When our ‘teacher’ came and pulled open the door, I was at an angle where all I could see was her neck, back, and legs. But I knew what it was. Eva had collapsed, and then I saw the bottle. It was an aerosol bottle of keyboard cleaner.
She was trying to kill herself. While I was lost in thought I saw her come to, then collapse again. We were ushered into another room where all nine of us kids, minus Eva, sat quietly. Then, her roommate, Robyn, broke the silence. “Eva said she wanted to die,” she muttered, “I didn’t believe her. It’s my fault! I should have told someone!” We all found ourselves in one way or another responsible, believing only we were guilty and everyone else was innocent. I thought I should have noticed the water sooner, should have seen the missing aerosol can. Why was that out anyway? No one could have anything a child could use to hurt themselves! As I was cursing me and the teacher I heard a voice on the intercom say something about a code four red in some sector. I figured out what they meant. Soon enough, paramedics came and dragged the unconscious Eva away on a stretcher, connected to oxygen tubes. We were told she could die due to how much she had inhaled. Then, our teacher came in and said she would be alright. But, she was going to be a high risk patient now for a while.
After that, no one talked about it, I think it was too hard for any of us to mention. Here, in our group of misfits and literally insane people, we all became extremely close. In fifteen minutes lunch rolled around, none of us ate anything though. Later, when I would get out I would carry that experience with me back to school. The boys said some joke about suicide attempts. I began to cry, and no one knew why. I slowly began my story and then… they all laughed and teased me! Even my so-called ‘friends’.
To this day I know nothing else of Eva, but I can only hope and pray. Although these were two totally different people I'm still close with one of them, Katie. To this day, she continues to get worse and worse. Yet everyone tells me she’s doing better, they act as if I know nothing at all and don’t realize how messed up she truly is. She is my friend though, and I could not stand by and let my friend be devoured by this monster. I am still three houses down. I still hang out with Katie and Patrick. But, to this day I will always remember the warning signs of Eva. Could Katie ever be like her? Both had such potential. But, both were severely messed up. I am glad to say, Patrick stands by his sisters side and we can comfort each other.