The cold, sunless days of winter are dragging into April this year. The Spring is very late finding it's way to the north country and it isn't making life easy for Adriana. She does like winter with the fresh clean floating snow days and evenings, but not the wind which destroys the beauty. She loves the coolness of the winter days as opposed to the sweltering heat of summer. Nonetheless, when it's time for Spring she is ready for the awakening of the young plants and the greening of the grass and trees and none of that has happened yet even though it's April 2.
The office will be closed for a four day week-end while some remodeling is being finished up. The computers are all being changed out and the techs will be checking and double checking every software program for any glitches. If all goes as planned, the office will open on Tuesday with everyone fairly well versed in the new programs and all of the machines online. The paint on the new partitions will be dry and the offices will each have fresh carpet and drapes or blinds. Adriana's cubicle is located near the back of the main floor and just outside of the office of the VP of accounts receivable. She works closely with Adriana a couple of times a year when new programs are implemented, but generally Adriana works alone with her computer.
Her long week-end would be one of Spring cleaning. The apartment could be aired out, if the weather would warm, just a bit. She would empty all cupboards and throw out things she hadn't used in a year. That was her hard and fast rule. Other than the Christmas decorations, she stored nearly nothing that wasn't used on a regular basis. Her clothes were minimal. She kept the basic suits that she wore to work most days and the skirts or pants were often worn without the jackets so sweaters and classic shirts were also kept. She had sweats for lounging and one good pair of jeans for shopping or going somewhere with Carmen. They were not spending nearly as much time together these days. Carmen had taken a new job which demanded longer hours and she was often too tired for socializing. Adriana was fine with this because this having a real friend thing was kind of wearing on her anyway. Carmen was kind of needy, sometimes. Adriana was a little too content with her alone life to just run at the drop of a hat to be with her. It had taken a couple of months to understand what being a friend to a real person required and Adriana had discovered or rediscovered that she didn't like it so much after all. It was fading from importance to her and she had even ignored calls from Carmen lately just to be home alone with her "friends" and her God.
Opening the locked cupboard Adriana stopped to think about it's contents. Why was she keeping these? She hadn't fired a gun since she quit the high school shooting team. Yet, here they were in all their glory. Each one cleaned and ready to fire. Ready to fire...she is suddenly aware of how often she had cleaned them because they had been fired, yet not by her. Her "friends" had been firing these rifles over the last 25 years with no awareness on her part. She is suddenly aware of their activities, aware, like almost, but not quite remembering.
She slinks to the floor in a trance-like state. Her mind is racing and freezing. Freezing and racing. The sound of the shots rings loudly inside her head. It startles her, awakens her. Oh dear God, she remembers. She remembers the "friend" is called Kimmie. Kimmie is the one who keeps score in Adriana's life. She is the "friend" who makes things right in the universe. If someone hurts Adriana, Kimmie removes them. No, not removes, Adriana knows now, Kimmie shots them, dead. Those people who she remembers being killed she remembers now seeing Kimmie kill them. She was there! She was there with Kimmie.
Tears are falling fiercely down her cheeks. She lays the rifle down. She sees a hypodermic needle. It's empty and apparently used. Why does she have this? She has never taken anything remotely drug like. Aspirin sometimes, but nothing requiring a needle. Where did this come from? Whose was it? Why would she have it in her locked...Brayden. Brayden had bought this and she was with him, too. He had used it to inject a skier at the slopes and she was there. Why would she not have remembered being with these killers? What the hell...?
More memories or thoughts or whatever these are come flooding into her brain. Adriana is in unbearable pain as she tries to stand. She falls back to the floor. Why is all of this happening today? She just wanted to clean. Just clean up the apartment and get ready for the new season. She had done this every year since living on her own. She was never overcome with these feelings or memories or this imagination or whatever it was and it was hurting her deeply. Very deep in her core she felt pain like she had not known existed.
She sat crumpled on the floor for hours. Perhaps 3 hours had passed, she had no idea. She only knew that the tears had stopped and the pain had subsided. She also knew that Kimmie and Brayden were gone. Gone from her head. Gone from her life. She had never felt so alone. The "family" which had changed from time to time wasn't there either. No one was living in her head. She was awakened to the real things she had done over the last 25 years and why she had done them. Had God forsaken her, too? She felt too much shame to pray about that. He surely had stopped hearing her years ago. He surely had known, for He knows all things, that she was pure evil. She knew that now, too. She had never known before.
Her choices were few. Throw herself on God's mercy and pray for forgiveness. Try to forget all that had happened after He forgave her and just live out her years the best she could. Being the best person she could possibly be or go to the hospital and ask for help. She must be mentally deranged, though she didn't feel that, in order to have allowed those "friends" to use her that way. She felt sane, but detached.
Okay, time was what she needed. She needed to understand all of this and she needed to go for a long walk outside and try to sort and clear these thoughts. It's possible that she is just imagining all of it. Maybe these items hadn't been used at all and she just imagined they had! She imagined she would be strong enough and brave enough and smart enough to actually kill people who had hurt her and get away with it several times. Seriously, she didn't think herself that evil or that smart.
Walking around her little town in the cold was very inspiring and very enlightening. She began to understand something she hadn't wanted to understand at all.
She found herself walking directly toward the small hospital at the edge of town. She asked the front desk person if they had a psyche department. They did and the woman asked her to just have a seat and someone would be right down to help her out. She sat.
Adriana spent 2 years in this very hospital. She learned all about transferring one's fears, pain and disappointments onto an alter ego. She had required one female and one male to keep her from simply falling into a deep dark hole of depression never to climb out. She learned it was her mechanism for avoiding probable suicide. She had to cope with believing suicide would have been preferable. She grew stronger and learned more and more about why people need contact with people and also how to give and take. She learned that she really wasn't responsible for those deaths or murders. Her pain and disappointment in all around her had lead her into this dark place and her mind had found a way up and out. By living inside her head the "friends" had actually saved her life and removed those who caused her pain. Legally, she would not be held accountable, but emotionally she had to learn to deal with her guilt.
After her release she would have to meet with her doctors on a weekly basis or more if she felt the need. She would like to move again, but she didn't want to leave this support system she was leaning on for her survival. The apartment had been rented out and the guns had been confiscated by the police. Her belongings had been stored and her job was still open to her, if she wanted it back. Her company had all the details of her break down and they still wanted her back. She couldn't imagine ever walking in there again. She would have to find new employment and soon. Her state aid would end the moment she walked out the door of this hospital.
One of her doctors, Dr. Novak, had been with her since day one and he suggested she put in a application with the hospital. He knew of her unique accounting talents and was certain there would be a job for her in the medical records or accounts department. He would give her a letter of recommendation and the company she was leaving would do the same. She thought this might work.
Her release was scheduled for December 1 and she felt ready to try. Ready to be a normal and sociable human for the first time in her life. She applied to the hospital and would be starting her new position with them on December 4. Three days to get settled in the apartment she had found 2 blocks from here and get all her things out of storage and settled into her new home.
As Adriana was signing the last of the papers one of the aides who had befriended her recently entered her room. Angel was 45, the same age as Adriana, worked as an aide on this floor since she was in her 20's. She was an easy person to talk with and had never married. She had a large family and wherever you went around their little town, you would see or talk with someone with whom she was related. It was cause for many laugh fests as they talked about mutual acquaintances. Adriana was really going to miss Angel.
"Who is going to help you move your things?" Angel knew there was no one, unless she had hired someone.
"I guess I am going to have to find a mover. The one over in West Town, I suppose. Hope I can afford them." Adriana had no idea who else she could call. Carmen, for obvious reasons, had dropped all association with her.
"That's exactly who I was going to suggest. It's my brother's son." They both laughed, really hard.
Angel would see to it that no bill was ever sent.
With that decided, Angel offered her help with the unpacking and anything else she might need. Adriana was more than grateful for the help. She had a future now and someone with whom she could actually begin to form a normal relationship. Angel was indeed a gift from God for her.
She bowed her head and silently thanked God for everything He had been to her and for His forgiveness. She knew she could never have gotten here, in the land of sanity, without His loving arms holding onto her every step of the way. She thanked Him for bringing this Angel to her, as well.
Unwrapping her special Angel for her tree this year would be a miracle and a blessing and a reminder of just how strong God's love and dedication can be and has been for Adriana. It would bring tears to her eyes because she now knows the feeling of being loved.
For all Adriana had survived, for all the horrid things she had done, for all she had overcome, Adriana was a child of God and finally would understand and live in love.