por Maria Augusta Tellechea Alves
Part 1 – Beatrice
”Sit down, honey, I’m going to tell you everything about your mom.” If I knew a year ago the consequences of this phrase in my life I probably would not like to have known.
So this is the story about how I became crazy.
“Why do you want to know that?” He was angry with me, but I couldn’t let this go, “I need to know how she died”, I said. He didn´t understand my obsession, what if it was my fault? He never talked about it, if whether or not I was the accident that killed her. I need to know, “just go”, he said finishing the conversation with me. My mother had died when I was little, so little that I don´t even know what happened, “you´re too young”, they used to say to me. And I used to say to my friends that she died when I was born, but it wasn´t true. I had a few days of life, and all that I heard was “it was an accident”, you don´t need to know. ‘They’ refers to my father and my older brother. Now that I am fifteen years old, they still keep saying that, but they know something, I know that, and I was determined to figure it out.
My dad is retired but he goes out everyday, the first place that he goes to is to her grave, the other places I didn’t know, but I was decided to follow him.
“Yes, I need an appointment with Doctor Oliveira please.” The secretary stayed staring at me, why couldn´t I be depressed at 15 years old? I wasn´t but my dad goes to see this doctor every week. So this Doctor probably knew something too. She bought it and said to me that I have to wait a few minutes before that he would attend me, 20 minutes later the secretary called me, I went extremely nervous, expecting an old guy with white beard like in the movies, like Santa, but he was a she. She was a young woman with long hair; she even looked like my mother actually, except for her nose. My mother had broken her nose as a child and her nose was pretty big. So wth (what the hell) my father was doing coming here? Was he in love with her? Did she knew something about my mom? Or was she just a new platonic lover of my dad. Or not platonic and are they having an affair? I really hated her.
“You can sit down.”, she said interrupting my thoughts and my assumptions. “So what´s happening with you?”, OMG what do I tell her, the truth? I don´t think so.
“I´m crazy you know, I think about dying every day.” I said, OMG how stupid am I, how could I say that? In case you didn´t notice, I think a lot and I live in conflict with myself, I don´t have a filter you know. Think, think theeenn you talk. She is looking at me, I don´t know this expression, does she looks sad, or doesn’t she just believe me?
“Of course” she said nothing else?
“Oh no. I think I´m going now. I have to do something”. I said
“Ok” she said.
So I got up, and went to the door when…
“I know you….”
My legs turn into marshmallow, ouch
“Yes, you´re the daughter of Carlos”
She didn´t ask. She knew. “Yes” I said turning back to the chair. “Look I´m gonna be honest with you, cause I know you can´t tell anyone, so, my mom died when I was little and my dad never wanted to tell me why or how, so I´m here to ask you, do you know something?”
She continued looking at me. She was thinking, I knew that. I used to do this, a lot.
“Yes, I know something and your father doesn´t tell you because he doesn´t know how you´re going to react. He is afraid for you. He loves you so much and he is trying to protect you.” she said that very calmly, yeah right, protect me, I don´t need protection, I need to know why I don´t have my mother with me.
I’ve been seeing Doctor Oliveira for about a year now, she helped me understand the reasons why my father hides this big secret from me, but she still didn´t tell me nothing yet. In our meeting today she was going to say something and I was really nervous, but that was nothing compared to when I arrived in her office, my father was there, and I didn´t know how to react, I was excited of course, but nervous too.
“Sit down, honey, I´m going to tell you everything about your mom.” I was literally speechless, now? After all these years?
“Hi, dad. Hi, Ana. Why are you going to tell me now?” I tried to look relaxed at the outside but at the inside I was shaking.
“I thought that it was what you wanted.” Said my dad, looking surprised.
“Yes, of course I wanted, I want actually, spit it out.”
“Well, there is no kind way to tell the story so I´m going to ask to you stay calm until I´m finished. Your mom was wonderful, the woman of my life, and before you were born our life was almost perfect, too perfect to be true. But when she was pregnant of you, she developed a kind of depression and after your birth she got worse, she didn´t wanted to feed you anymore, she listened voices, and sometimes I thought she was joking, but I had to take her to a doctor and they put her in a clinic, because she was dangerous to herself, and mostly she was dangerous to you, honey, she tried to kill you, she tried to drown you on the bathtub, your brother was there and he bit her ankle, she screamed and I woke up, she was weak so it was easy to avoid the worst. I thought I was avoiding everything, I thought that she would take care of herself, she would heal, and she would come back to us, to our family, but she didn´t come back, she killed herself in the clinic, the worst way, when I got the notice I thought I would die of sadness, but I had to be strong for you and your brother, he was seven at the time and it was terrible to him, he was very attached to her… And you were so young, I didn´t want to put this on you, do you understand now? Why I couldn´t say nothing to you? I don’t even know how, but now I think you´re ready, and you will have all the support you need, ok? Honey? You´re ok? Oh my god, Ana call 911, she passed out!!!!”
I hate this schedules, I hate this room, thank God dad comes to visit me today, I miss him so much, and Tom too, he was here yesterday, he is in college so he can´t visit me often, but dad comes here all the time, I have an appointment with the Doctor now, I wish he let me go back to my house, to my room, here everything is so white, so boring.
“Hi, Doctor, can I come in?”
“Sure, Beatrice, I was waiting for you. You’ve been here with us for seventeen months now, how do you feel?
“Yes, I miss my father and my brother.”
“I know, but you´re not ready to go yet.”
“I don´t understand why I´m here, I try to remember, Doctor Araújo helps me, but I can´t remember.”
“Yes, I know that, I think your father is already here, I´m going to speak to him, then you can be with him, ok?”
“Ok, I´m gonna wait in my room.”
Part 2 Carlos
“So, Doctor, how is she?”
“She is better, Carlos, but she is not ready to go yet.”
“I know, she didn´t remember anything.”
“Yes and I don´t know how to tell you this, but she thinks that her mom is alive.”
“WHAT?? I can´t believe… She told you this?”
“Calm down. Yes, she told to Doctor Oliveira in their last meeting.”
“I see, my sweet B. You´re going to help her, right? I´m putting all my trust on you, and on the treatment.”
“Yes, we´re doing everything we can. Do you want to see her? She is just outside, I´ll take you there.”
The clinic was beautiful. There was so much green and trees on the outside, there were horses too, Beatrice liked them, she used to tell me. On the inside I admit it was kind of depressing, “too much white” how she used to say, and they don´t let her decorate the room with her things, they said that the room she had here was temporary, and if she changed it, she could confuse with her home, and it wasn´t.
“She is there, under the tree, I think she is talking with someone.”
“Talking? But she is alone.”
“I know, she is very confused now, when she comes here, it’s usually to talk with her mom, your ex-wife.”
“I see, and if try to tell the story again?”
“We don´t think it is a good idea, not now at least, let’s approach slowly to hear what she is saying.”
She had her back to us, and talked to the tree apparently…
“Yes, mom, I know.” She said, she was really talking to her, how is this possible? She looked upset.
“Tomorrow I´m gonna do it, I´m finally gonna meet you mom, are you sure that if I kill myself I´m gonna see you?”
I look to the doctor and he was so surprised as me.
“She is doing what?” I said.
“I don´t know, Carlos, when she talks about her mom she usually says things without sense, but this is too much, I have to call the security.”
“Oh, my god, why is this happening?”
“I´m sorry, sir.”
Once I heard that the worst thing that could happen to a parent was to see a son die, against the natural order of things, but this was terrible too, watching my daughter being carried, screaming things without any sense at all was something that I would never forget, the Doctor said that they would continue with the treatment, but the chances of recovery were pretty low.