Call Me Crazy
by Quinn Loftis
“I’m looking out from inside the chaos. It must be a one-way mirror because no one seems to be able to see back inside to where I am. The looks on their faces, the judgment in their eyes, tells me everything I need to know. The most frustrating part about the whole messed up situation is that even though I’m the one that they stare at in shock, I am just as shocked as they are. I know no more than they do of why I lose control. What they don’t know is that I am more scared of myself than they could ever be.” ~ Tally Baker
After a devastating turn of events, seventeen year old Tally Baker is admitted to Mercy Psychiatric Facility where she is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. She has come to a place where she honestly believes that her life is over. Her mind tells her that she will never smile or laugh again, that she will never be normal again. It is in this unlikely place that she meets two people, different in every way, yet both critical to helping her realize that she has so much more living to do.
Candy, a cantankerous sixty year old Mercy Psychiatric patient, is hell bent on driving everyone as crazy as she is. Candy shows Tally that, regardless of her diagnosis, the ability to push on and live her life to the fullest is her choice and hers alone. In the midst of Tally’s oftentimes humorous, sometimes heart-wrenching, escapades with Candy, a new patient is admitted to Mercy—a Native American woman named Lolotea. Along with this new patient comes a daily visitor, her son, Trey Swift. At first glance, it is obvious to Tally that he is incredibly handsome and unbelievably caring. But what she learns through her second glance, and many thereafter, is that there is much more to Trey than he ever lets on. It is during these daily visits that Trey and Tally build a friendship far deeper than either of them truly realize. With Trey, Tally feels for the first time since being admitted that someone is looking at her as a person and not as a disease. Trey begins to make it clear that he wants more than friendship, but she knows that she can never give him more. How can she, when she won’t even give him the truth? Tally doesn’t tell Trey that she is a patient at Mercy, and she doesn’t ever plan to. Her plans go up in flames when she finds out that Trey is a new student at her school, the school where her brokenness was found out in the floor of the girl’s bathroom in a pool of her own blood.
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“Crap Candy,” I growl at my snickering companion as I rub my side and glare at her. “What was that for?”
“A better question would be why were you hunkered down under the table drooling over Kemosabe?”
I frown at her. “That’s tacky don’t you think?”
“I’m sixty years old and crazy; I can do tacky if I want,” she snorts at me.
I can’t really argue with her there. Like pregnant women, old, crazy ladies pretty much get a free pass on crassness and eccentricity.
“So come on,” she pats the chair that I had so quickly vacated, “tell Candy all about it.”
I roll my eyes. “He just took me off guard, that’s all,” I lie smoothly.
Candy isn’t buying it. “He was hot, just admit it. Hot and he got you bothered.”
I cringe. “Candy, you calling a guy young enough to be your grandson hot is just not right.”
“Psht,” she flips her hand at me. “I’m old, not blind or dead. Besides, I didn’t say I wanted to jump his exotic bones.”
I groan as I bang my head against the table. “Where do you learn these terms? I mean it’s not normal for someone your age to blurt out crap like that.”
“Did you just use the term normal in a sentence describing me?” She raises her brow surprisingly at me.
I laugh. “Good point.”
“I may be in a mental hospital, but I am not dense. So please, un-complicate it for me.”
This was not my plan for tonight and I fight the urge to stomp my foot and tell her how I was supposed to be curled up in a ball on my bed freaking out. But I won’t say that, not to Trey’s mother.
“I have bipolar disorder. Everyone knows it: my parents, my friends, the entire freaking school. The fact that I am in a mental hospital is the gossip of the century. People whisper around me and refuse to look me in the eyes, like at any second I’ll snap and start screaming that the voices won’t shut up.” I’m crying again and it pisses me off. I wipe my eyes, frantically trying to clear them, to remove the evidence of how badly all of it has hurt me, is still hurting me.
“Trey treated you normally.” Her voice is softer, gentler, and when I look at her through the wetness in my eyes, I see understanding in them, not the condemnation from minutes ago. “He saw you, not the disease.”
My knees shake with the effort to hold my body up and I reach to the wall for support.
“He loves you.”
Quinn lives in beautiful NW Arkansas with her husband, son, Doberman and cat (who thinks she is a ninja in disguise). She is beyond thankful that she has been blessed to be able to write full time and hopes the readers know how much all of their support means to her. Some of her hobbies include reading, exercising, crochet, and spending time with family and friends. She gives all credit of her success to God because he gave her the creative spirit and vivid imagination it takes to write.
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