Chapter 8 - Panic
Silent tears slip down my face, mixing in with the falling rain as we head inside, climbing the stairs quickly into my open dorm, passing a confused Martha.
He sits down on my bunk, still having me straddle his waist as I lean on his shoulder, breathing shallowly as an uncomfortable silence stirs around the room.
“What can we do?” Everest utters, his accent slipping between his words.
“What are we going to do with you, Sage?” Rivers questions, chuckling under the pressure of the situation.
“Shut the **** up, Rivers.” Holly curses.
“I want to go home.” I whisper, my voice cracking on my last word, falling into the depths of its surface.
“Sage,” Canyon coos, his chest vibrating as he talks, trying to move my head to face his. “you are home.”
I shake my head, biting my bottom lip to ease the ache, pain bubbling up in my chest, wanting to be released.
“I need to go, Canyon.” I convey, releasing a shaky breath. “I don’t want to do this anymore.”
I inhale sharply, grinding my teeth together as I sit up, turning to face everyone.
“I know you guys want me here, and I know that you keep trying to distract me and saying that everything is great and wonderful, but in reality, it’s not.” I hiss, my voice an unsettling calm. “I want to ******* die. Do you not ******* understand that? I mean, come on, it can’t be that hard to understand.”
I slam my fist on the wooden post, making everyone flinch.
“My father is an abusive drug addict, who–by any means, is in jail right now, and my mother is in the hospital with a ******* brain bleed who could easily in the next 24 hours fall permanently into her coma and be a vegetable for the rest of her life.” I yell. “And now the ******* court is calling me to tell me that since I don’ have a legal guardian other than my parents, I’ll either have to go to foster care and be given to some random family member that I don’t even know, or find one in the next 36 hours.”
My stomach twists violently, making me gag with the image of my mother in a hospital bed, connected to more tubes and wires then I could ever imagine possible.
“We need to bring you somewhere, Sage.” Everest sighs, placing his palm on the centre of my back.
“I don’t want to go anywhere, I just..” I trail off, cowering into myself.
“You just, what?” Lilac asks calmly, as if scared to ***** me.
“Sleep.” I groan, sliding against Canyon’s touch. “I just want to sleep forever.”
My shoulders tense as the tension in the room is strong enough to be sliced in half.
“Can you guys leave so I can sleep. I’m tired.” I sigh, the emptiness in my stomach caving in on itself.
“I don’t know if that’s such a good i–” Rivers starts, cut off sharply mid-sentence.
“Yeah, sure. We’ll be outside if you need us, okay?” Lilac comments, ushering everyone silently out of the room.
She gives me one last look, almost as if I’ll disappear in a second–as if she’s saying goodbye.
I sigh, curling under my sheets as my mind drifts off, something inside of me drifting along with it, leaving me in an unsettling silence.
“We need to take her to the hospital.” I sigh, running a hand through my hair. “She’s not okay. I mean..who knows. She could’ve..”
“So what are we going to do?” Everest snaps, squinting his eyes. “Drag her to some place where they’re just going to shove drugs down her throat and try to ‘solve her’?” He pauses, releasing his grip on his joggers. “She’s broken. You can’t ******* fix someone beyond a certain point.”
“Maybe that’s what she needs.” Lilac whispers, her lips set in a deep frown.
“No.” Holly hisses, her eyebrows furrowed. “I know her. She’s not going to a ******* psych ward.”
“What are we going to do, anyway? There’s no way that she’d willingly comply to admit herself there, anyway.” Rivers groans.
“You should’ve seen her face.” Clover whispers, as if his mind is somewhere else. “She didn’t even look like herself. And when she was looking over the edge, I thought..” he hesitates, leaving the unfinished story in the air.
“What do you mean?” I ask, trying to pry the thoughts from him.
“She looks trapped. She looks like an empty shell of what she used to be.”
Lilac rubs her temples. “We have to admit her. They’ll put her down as impatient. If they know she’s a harm to herself or others, they’ll be forced to.”
“But she hasn’t done anything like tha—” Holly persuades.
“She was going to ******* jump, Holly!” Clover yells, his face turning red. “What do you need to hear that’ll open your ******* mind? She tried it once, what convinces you that she wasn’t going to try it again?”
“Okay. We’re leaving. Now.” I command, holding the knob on our door. “Canyon, can you..” I say, referring to him carrying her as he did earlier.
“Yeah, sure.” He says softly, his voice filled with sadness.
“Rivers, Everest and I will make sure she doesn’t run.” Clover tells us.
“Okay. The rest of us will stay in front.”
I open the door quietly, leaning against it as Canyon goes in first, hesitating before lifting her, taking the blanket with her.
She groans, opening her eyes confusedly. “Put me down,” she mumbles, trying to squirm out of his grip.
Canyon gently pushes her head into the crook of his neck in response, shushing her.
“Where are we going?” Sage whispers, not sounding like herself.
The question hangs in the air, putting pressure on everyone’s heart.
Canyon flips her hood over her head, not answering her question as he continues walking, stepping outside into the rain before we all manage to squish into Clover’s car, the girls sitting on the boys’ laps; not saying anything as we start the fifteen minute drive.
I shift my weight onto Rivers’ left leg, rubbing the pad of my thumb over Sage’s hand, looking for something to spark in her eyes.
God, there’s just nothing there. Her eyes used to be filled with joy and chaos, but now..she seems lost in what she used to be.
Sage’s face contorts as we pass over the highway, looking over the hills to where the hospital is.
Canyon’s grip around her waist tightens, holding her close to his chest.
“Please.” She cries, pulling at his wrists.
“ Sagen–” Holly tries, her voice cracking.
“No, no you can’t put me there. I said I was fine, I just–”
“You’re not ******* fine!” Lilac yells, tears slowly streaming down her cheeks. “I can’t let you do this to yourself anymore, Sage. I can’t live with the fear that you’re going to disappear in a split second. You need help.”
We pull up to the hospital, Sage panicking internally as she tries to resist Canyon’s pull against her body, yelling every swear in the book at him, trying anything to get him to stop.
“Come on, Sage, don’t make a scene.” Rivers pleads, catching her foot as she flails in Canyon’s arms, screaming at him to stop.
The doctors give us a worried look as we walk in, one of them looking at me to see if the answer to what was going on would be in my eyes.
“You guys can sit over there and wait until I get someone, okay?” The person at the desks commands, calling me over as they sit down.
“She needs to be admitted.” I pant, the nerves getting to me.
“Okay, I need you to tell me what happened first.” She places a hand on my shoulder, bringing my attention back to her.
“Um,” I begin, not really knowing where to start. “We think she tried to,” I hesitate, not wanting to admit the truth.
The nurse just nods her head, seemingly already knowing where this conversation is heading.
“She had a really bad anxiety attack before, and she’s tried it in the past which is why—” I ramble, shutting up as the nurse presses something on her side, doctors and staff coming out from the door.
“What’s her name, and do you know where her parents are, or where to contact them?” She asks me quickly, looking behind my shoulder.
“ Sagen Flints, and her dad is in jail and her mom is kind of dying in the hospital right now, so I don’t really think..”
“Okay,” She sighs, rubbing her palms on her navy blue scrubs. “Any relatives? Legal guardians?”
I shake my head solemnly, cringing as I hear Sage’s painstaking cries.
“She has two little sisters that I know if that are 11 and 7. They’re all either dead, or she has some grandparents and some distant relatives that she’s never met living in England I think.”
“Has she taken any substances? Alcohol, pills?”
“Not that I’m aware of.”
“Alright, I need you to go sit with your friends now. Thank you for bringing her here, but we have to bring her up now.”
I turn around, watching my best friend be torn away, shattering into a million pieces as she’s lifted and carried by the inside of her elbow, like a prisoner being taken back into convent.
She screams, her eyes bloodshot as her body falls limp, giving into the human restraints.
She locks her eyes on mine, something clouding her vision.
“Please don’t leave me.” She whimpers, her voice stuck in her throat.