This started as a prompt to write a YA synopsis and and NA synopsis. It morphed into the story of what happened after the first book I think. So its set between two novels I haven’t written about a young girl with early onset schizophrenia. I did do some research on Schizophrenia before I wrote this, but please tell me if I got anything wrong. Will warn you it has a bit of an ambiguous ending.
“Gemma?” A strange woman, asked her as she paced back and forth agitated.
“Yes? That’s me. I don’t understand, what is this place? How did I get here, where is my family? Who are you? What’s going on here?” She demanded. The woman escorted her to a sparsely furnished office. When the were settled the woman started to speak.
“I am Dr. Roberts. I am a psychiatrist, and this is Meadow Woods, a psychiatric care facility.” The woman explained slowly.
“What? I don’t understand, I am a regular 16-year-old girl. Why I am I here?” She yelled in frustration.
“Gemma, do you remember talking to the Fae?” Dr. Roberts asked tentatively.
She went to deny it, but a part of her had a half memory of faeries. A dream maybe? “I think I had a dream about them, but what does a dream have to do with this? Dreams are all nonsense.”
“It wasn’t a dream Gemma.” Dr. Roberts started, but she interrupted.
“What, the Fae are real then?” She scoffed.
“No, its, there is no easy way to say this, but you have been diagnosed with early onset schizophrenia.” The doctor said gently.
“What, no, I feel fine,” Gemma started, and the doctor held up a hand to stop her.
“Let me explain a little. In early onset schizophrenia, it usually presents as mood swings, irritability, confusion. With your age, your parents divorce, no one thought it was strange. Then you went to your aunts for the summer. She assumed you not wanting to spend time with them and your young cousins was a teenager thing. You however, were in what we call an episode, and were having vivid hallucination about the Fae. This worked out fine at your aunts where you were relatively unsupervised, but once you were back… Well at first your parents thought the upset was the divorce.”
It was the second time Dr. Roberts said that, the divorce. She could remember her parents telling her, but it felt like she was being forced to wade through Jell-O to get her thoughts together.
The doctor stopped for a sip of water, and then continued. “There was an incident. You were out all night in the snow. You came back cold, wet, and when your mother asked where you had been…. Well, you explained that you had been in the faerie realm. Your mother contacted us, and we brought you here, to treat you. It’s been hard work. Your case was particularly resistant to medication, but it seems like we found a combination that works. I know its a lot to take in.” The doctor said, leaning forward, and taking one of Gemma’s hands in hers. “Can you tell me how you feel?”
“How I feel? Are you joking? Is this a joke? I mean, I feel, I dunno tired. This though, this is crazy, I can’t. I mean, I am 16, you don’t just go crazy at 16? God, how much school have a missed? Am I going to have to repeat the year? I won’t be able to graduate with my friends. Do they know what happened?” There was something on the doctor’s face that stopped her. “What is it?”
“Excuse me?” The Doctor asked, looking a little confused.
“I recognize that look. It’s the one mom used to get when they were hiding the divorce. What aren’t you telling me?” Gemma demanded
“I think we should let this sink in for a bit, and continue our talk later.” The doctor started, pulling away, but Gemma grabbed her hand.
“Tell me.” She demanded again.
The doctor let out a long sigh. “Gemma, I. I explained that your case was hard to treat. That finding a combination of medication was trial and error. It took a lot of time.”
A sinking horror came over Gemma and she looked down at her hands. Her summer tan was long gone, and her hands bony as if she had lost weight. “How long?” She asked, voice shaky.
“Gemma.” The doctor said gently.
“HOW long?” She half screamed the demand. She had to know.
“Three and a half years.” The doctor replied shortly.
Gemma felt the room spin a little as it hit her. Three and a half years. That would make her, 19, maybe 20? Her friends, would be gone. Not just out of high school, but even if they had taken that gap year and gone to Europe they would be back by now. In schools, probably spread across the country. Her older sister was pregnant, but the baby, God the baby wouldn’t even be a baby anymore. It was like she time traveled, like, and oh, the irony. She started to laugh.
“Gemma, are you alright?” Dr. Roberts asked.
“I am fine.” She said through a laugh, it wasn’t funny.
“Gemma,” the doctor was looking concerned now.
“Sorry, sorry, its not funny, but it is you know. I just, before all of this, I was reading about Faeries, and they explained that people that got trapped in the Fae realm, when they came back it was like they had time travelled. Sometimes years had passed and their lives were gone. And now here you are telling me that exact thing happened, years passed while I was thinking I was in Faerie, and its just the irony. It struck me funny. I know, its not, but I guess, its laugh or cry. What do I even do now, now that everyone has moved on without me?” She asked, the laughter stopping as abruptly as it started.
“Now that you are with us, we adjust your meds.” Doctor Roberts said voice even.
“We make it so that they work as well as they can. Then we work on getting you caught up, ready to go back out into the world. It will take some hard work, but you won’t be behind as you think. A lot of people take time before going to college, or finding the job they want. You’ll see.” The doctor was trying to be comforting, but there was a part of Gemma that wanted to go back. Back to the happiness of delusions, where she didn’t know that the world had left her behind.
In the corner of her eye she saw a spark, and something move, and she wondered if she would stay here or follow it.