What do you see?

6 min read

“Eat your words and choke on them, let them gradually fall into place like a Tetris to make a lump on your throat, don’t you dare swallow them either, they’ll remind you to never speak on your intrusive thoughts again.” is exactly what the stigma screams.

People don’t say or shout these words at me, but their grimace is insinuating. The side eye with the inaudible chatter is them probably discussing my “bizarre actions” as the doctor puts it. 

My sister squeezes my hand firmly as if to tell me not to listen to them. I turn my droopy eyes to face hers. I watched her frowning face glitch into a smile as she saw me turning my head. I can see the deep cuts on her healing wrist open and close slightly like that of the gills on a suffocating fish as she squeezes my hand.

“You know this might be the last round you’ll be taking,” she tells me in a soft voice, “then everything will go back to normal, It will be like it never happened.” I curve one side of my lip into a smirk in an attempt to match her grin. I know she’s faking it because her face keeps twitching, It gets worse every time. I open my dehydrated mouth to speak when our mom approaches us waving goodbye to the pharmacist, her head still turned in gratitude. I can see her holding on to 6 maybe 7 pill holders, plastered into a tower and covered with a thin pink paper through the transparent plastic bag. She extends her dominant arm to me to signal we’re leaving. 

My sister got up not leaving my hand and called out to Mom offering to help her carry the medicine as we walked out. My mom, who exited the pharmacy before us must’ve not heard her because of the loud traffic noise, which is weird. I don’t see a lot of cars driving on the road in front of us. My mother struggles to open her purse to put the pills inside while simultaneously grabbing her car keys. I can sense her frustration as she lets out an exhausted sigh attempting to detangle the keys from a charger cord and a large number of folded prescriptions. I’m sure it reads “Schizophrenia” as the diagnosis, at least that’s what I heard the doctor tell her. My sister offers to help but mom ignores her once more.

We’re finally in the car driving home at a 40 on a clear evening road. Yohana’s “Gelagay” is playing on the radio. A series of photographed images are running like a slideshow on the irregularly shaped TV beside me. I know It’s the window car but that’s not how it looks to me. I barely have time to read the words but I can guess what the images are, a motel, a cafe, a supermarket. The channels keep switching quickly, I wonder who has the remote, I look down on my thigh to check if I have it. I don’t. 

I turn my gaze to a “thank you” card that has my sister’s face on it stuck between the car mat. It must’ve been the one for her 20th birthday party. Although I saw the number "40" on it. The postcard designer must’ve been on crack because he did a hideous job. She’s smiling in the photo it looks more genuine than the one that makes her twitch all the time, I also see a bunch of candles lit at the bottom. I reached my hand to pick it up when she beat me to it. She tears the card into pieces and threw them out the TV like confetti. “You know how much that card makes me cringe,” she says laughing.

We finally arrived home. Mom parked the car opposite our gate. It’s a 2-minute walk tops. I hear squishy alien noises every time I take a step towards the gate. Surely my mom can hear them too. “I told you Mom, the aliens are beneath us. There’s no reason to fear them really, We’re superior” My sister shares my excitement and starts stomping with me when A flash of silhouette hits my vision. It startles me, I squint to see who it is, and the dark opaque color begins to clear like a magic mug…It’s me, my hands covered in blood, partially clothed, screaming. I pointed to the scene shaking…“Mom why am I covered in blood, am I hurt?” She starts sobbing as she makes her way to me. “Let’s get you in the house” she begs, her voice cracking. 

My mom walks me into the main door urging me to sit. She handed me a water bottle and proceeded to crack open a wrinkled pill holder, It must be the last pill, It’s similar to the ones she bought earlier. As I swallow the pill I see our dog sat firmly under the dining table. I call his name when my mom Interrupts me…“You must be hungry, I’ll fix some dinner, don’t go anywhere.” She unwrapped her black scarf from her head and hastily made her way to the kitchen. 

I turn to the dog and call out to him again, he’s not moving, why isn’t he moving…is he even blinking? Where did my sister go? *SHATTERING NOISE*, What was that? replaced by mumbles now, who in the world is mumbling to me? 

I got to my feet and started to walk toward the dog’s location when a large framed photo appeared in my peripheral vision. The same ugly fat candles lit under it. It has one of those Hawaiian flower necklace-looking things hanging on it…Why is my sister in that picture frame? She was just here. I looked around and called out to her. Nowhere to be seen. I glanced down to see that there was no dog, merely a stool. 

It’s all coming back to me. Maybe the meds are starting to work. I don’t remember everything though. All I recall are fragments. A light green room, a bed soaked with blood, my sister…was that really her? Yes, of course it was. I know because I remember my mom's screams. That shrilling voice. I remember looking at my hands, blood dripping from my fingertips. Her blood -my blood, my sister.            


My throat’s sore. I’ve screamed all the screams available in the world. I’m naked. It’s all pouring on me non-stop. “It’s holy water,” they say, “It’ll kill the demons”. We shall see who dies first.

Comments (4)
No comments yet