Jolted awake by the persistent beeping of my alarm clocks (I had to have 2 so that my room would be perfectly symmetrical), I awake in a cold sweat. Judging by my tingly, anxious feeling, I’ve been having a nightmare. Strange, I don’t remember what it was about. I normally remember my dreams.
An image suddenly appears in my mind; a dark road, somehow conveying hope, and, at the same time, fear. Weird.
Slapping the “Alarm Off” buttons on my alarm clocks, I get out of bed, making sure not to rumple the sheets too much. Unmade beds bother me.
A few minutes later, when I am fully dressed, I remember: it’s Friday. For “budget reasons,” Forest Glen Healing and Rehabilitation Center, the place I go to receive treatment for my OCD, is only open Monday-Thursday. Darn it! I forgot to turn off my alarm clock for the weekend!
Well, I’m up, so I’d better make the most of it. Walking back towards the bed to make it, I catch a glimpse of the road outside. An extreme feeling of Deja-vu overtakes me, and I feel like something’s missing here, something big. . .
Hmm. That’s weird. I can’t seem to remember anything. Maybe it’ll come back later. But it’s too late to feel calm. My OCD brain is taking this tiny thing, and turning it into a huge deal. I NEED to find out what it is!
Questions, variables, and possible answers spin around and around in my head until I physically fell dizzy. I hate unsolved things, or rather, my OCD hates unsolved things, because they feel broken, uneven, unhinged.
Unhinged. Is that a word that could be used to describe me? Am I. . . broken?
So many thoughts are going through my head at once that I don’t hear the footsteps behind me. . . Not, at least, until it’s too late.
“Hey, neat-freak, snap out of it!”, a voice commands. Brian.
He said that we’d settle this later, and I guess that means right now.
I turn around and nearly fall over. He’s holding Dad’s baseball bat 2 inches from my head! He sees my expression, and sneers. “I’m not gonna hit you, Richie. Not yet, at least. It all depends on the decisions you make.”
I can barely muster the courage to stutter, “What d-decisions?” His smile widens. His smile widens, and I can see the ugly gap in his teeth.
“The decisions you make about whether or not you tell me how you pulled that little stunt yesterday.”, he says, grinding his teeth. “We’re going to play a little game. I’m going to ask you some questions, and if I hear an answer that I don’t like, then you get a new bump on your head.” He brandishes the bat threateningly.
I nod, too scared to do anything else. “Good. First question: Why did you pull that on me? Why not mom , dad, or one of your stupid friends?”
Trying at all costs to avoid saying “Because you’re an idiot,” I reply, “B-because mom and dad where out to get lunch.”
He nods, still glaring at me. “Second question: HOW did you do it?” He waits for my response, but I have none. I just threw away the ability to say that it was a medical thing, and I don’t even know WHAT I did, let alone how I did it. “I’m waiting.”, he says, tapping the bat against his thigh menacingly.
Deciding to act stupid, the way he thinks I am, I mumble uncertainly, “Uh, what did I do again? I forgot.”
Instead of hitting me with the heavy-duty wooden bat, he does something worse. “What did you do?”, he asks, maintaining an image of calm, though I can tell he’s extremely angry under the surface. “Let me see. . . What did you do. . . ?” He begins to pace around the room, slowly circling me. “Wait. . .”, he says, his anger slowly coming out. “I know. You rolled your eyes back into your head, you wouldn’t respond to anything I did, and you somehow had blood coming out of your mouth!” He’s started to shout.
“That’s what you did!” He holds the bat with shaking hands, his knuckles white. He raises it over his head, and sharp cracking sounds arrive a few moments later, each hit scoring true. “OW!”, I yell, scrambling away over the green carpet, my arms bleeding in perfect symmetry.
“Brian, Richard, what’s going on?”, comes a voice from our parent’s bedroom. Brian looks toward the noise, and then at the bat in his hand. With the look of a deer caught in a car’s headlights, he says to me, “If you utter one word of what happened toda-”
He’s cut short by darkness. A great expanse of darkness like what happened yesterday, the void of darkness that halted my ability to breathe and lasted for what felt like an eternity.
Am I making the face that he described, or did I just collapse, a victim of yet another blackout?
Suddenly, my arms strain, as if I’m lifting something heavy, and then release the tension, as if I just dropped it. Muscle spasms? That’s new. Is my condition getting worse? The feeling repeats itself again and again, this time faster, escalating in frequency and strength. Faintly, somewhere, I hear laughter.
Then, I’m back in my room, and there’s blood on the floor. Why is there blood on the floor? And then I see dad’s bat in my hand, raised as if about to strike. What happened? Brian is huddled in the corner, staring at me and whimpering. And then I realize why.
There are wounds on his arms, back, stomach, head, everywhere.
Wounds from a baseball bat.
What have I done? Was that my laughing that I heard, while I beat him bloody with a bat, somehow, impossibly, while I was in a blackout?
Mom and dad burst into the room and go on full paramedic mode.
While mom consoles Brian (“Honey, it’s all right, they’re just surface wounds. . .”), dad scolds me about using a baseball bat on my brother “without a reason”.
As I look over at Brian, I see him staring, no, glaring at me with hatred in his eyes. This is nothing new, but I get a feeling of dread while looking straight at him, almost as if I’m staring a t a time bomb about to hit 00:00.
The rest of the day holds nothing but minor occurrences.
Brian is allowed to stay home from school due to his injuries, which my parents deem not serious enough for him to be taken to the ER. I, however, receive nothing good. My parents are “disappointed” and “very surprised”, that I would use “such violence” against my brother, who apparently “did nothing at all” to warrant such behavior, and that we will discuss this further tomorrow. In addition to that, I am grounded for 3 weeks. Happy Friday to me.