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Trapped in the Attic

Trapped in the Attic

Trapped in the Attic (Part 6)

Things are becoming so foggy and my vision is blurred. Why does my body feel so heavy? Where am I at? This doesn’t look like the attic any more. I can see white walls through the thick fog. I hear some faint, steady beeps. The beeps are getting louder and the walls are getting brighter. There is a flat screen television mounted on the white wall. The picture is starting to come into focus and I can tell that an episode of Law and Order SVU is playing. I have seen most of them, so I have probably seen this one too.

I try to get up, but I am tangled in cords. As the fog lifts, I see that I have tubes and lines and monitors attached to my body. I attempt to turn my head to get a look around, only to feel a sharpness in my neck. Struggling to get my hand up, I follow a line that leads to my neck; it’s attached to a needle stuck in the side of my neck. It must be an IV line. Not having to explore any further, I know that I’m in a hospital room.

Before I can do anything else, in walks my mommy, so excited to see me! “Hey, sweet pea!” she excitedly says. “I’m so happy to see you awake! Promise me you will finally stop scaring me like this!”

“Mommy, I’m fine. What happened?” I don’t know why I asked the question because I have a pretty good idea.

“Oh, my sweet baby,” my mommy starts off real soft, sounding extremely heartbroken. “You went on another one of your binges. You know that you can’t make it through all of them. This stuff that you insist on putting into your body is going to kill you. I don’t know what I would do if you died, baby.”

“Mommy, I promise I will get help. You know I have a lot of things going on…some things that I can’t even explain to myself.”

“Where did I go wrong with you, April?”

“You did all that you could. None of this is your fault. I’m just weak. I didn’t take after how strong you are, being able to raise me on your own and providing me with everything I ever needed or wanted.”

“Sweet pea, you have said that you would get help before. How many more rehab centers do you need to enter before something works?”

“Mommy, I have gone through so much in my life, some things that you don’t even know about. Give me time to get it together.”

“Time is what you don’t have. April, you have already destroyed your body. If the drugs don’t kill you, it will be a side effect of the drugs that do.”

“I hear you. But just trust me to do what I have to do. When can I go home?” My mom was starting to irritate me, acting like I have no control over my life.

“I don’t know, sweet pea. Let me go talk to the doctor,” my mommy says as she starts walking out of the room.

I know that I can get better. I can fix myself. I don’t need anyone else to tell me what I already know. Rehab, treatment, or whatever, will have to wait until I can get this pain under control. My mommy has me thinking too much, something I don’t like to do. It only makes me feel worse. Sometimes it’s better not to feel anything. First thing first…I have to get out of here. This pain is becoming unbearable and I need another hit.

Things are becoming so foggy and my vision is blurred. Why does my body feel so heavy? Click To Tweet

Written by Dani Powell, Original Story Contributor

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Trapped in the Attic

Trapped in the Attic (Part 5)

Uggghhhh! I am so frustrated! Why am I still stuck in this attic? Why is it that everyone is ignoring my request to get me out of here? I can’t take much more of this…I really can’t! All of this is starting to make my head hurt. Maybe that is a good thing because I haven’t been feeling anything since I have been in this attic.

My head is starting to hurt so bad that I start stumbling around the attic. As I’m moving around, I bump into an old wooden nightstand. There are rings permanently marked in the wood from drinks being set directly on the surface. It could use a good cleaning and polishing, and maybe even a sanding, due to all of the scratches and burn marks that probably hold many secrets. If only its scars could talk.

I pull open the top drawer and jump back, a little startled. The drawer looks like it was snatched straight from a pharmacy or trap house. There are enough prescription pills to take away a lifetime of pain. From the back of the dusty drawer, I pull out a small, black pouch. I unzip the pouch to find a good amount of heroin, some syringes, and a dirty spoon. Who in the world needs this much of a supply?

Before I close the drawer, something on one of the bottles catches my eye. It is a prescription for morphine. You have to be in a lot of pain to have a morphine prescription! As I continue to read the bottle, I see that it is prescribed to April M. McClendon. That’s me! Wait…what? I start scanning all of the bottles, all of which are prescribed to me. There is oxycodone, Xanax, and Valium, just to name a few. Hold up! So if these bottles are mine, then that means the heroin is mine too!

None of this is making any sense right now. My head is pounding! Why is it hurting so badly? As I raise my hands to massage my head, I get a glimpse of my arms. It shocks me so much that I stumble backwards until I’m leaning against a wall for support. Both of my arms contain track marks. Someone could play connect-the-dots along the length of my arms. If that isn’t crazy enough, I see scarring in the webbing between my fingers.

I need a minute, maybe two. Things aren’t making any sense right now. Where is my mommy? Now is the time I really need her to get me out of this attic. Too much stuff is starting to run through my head and I don’t know how to decipher all of it. I have to get out of this attic now! It’s not fun in here anymore.

I have to take something to make my head stop hurting. I go back in the direction of the nightstand but it isn’t there. Where did it go? I know there is something in there to make this pain go away. How does an entire nightstand just up and disappear? I won’t be able to take this pain too much longer.

“Somebody help me!” I’m yelling at the top of my lungs but I hear nothing. I wish I felt nothing too!

I have to get out of this attic now! It’s not fun in here anymore. Click To Tweet

Read Trapped in the Attic (Parts 1-4) HERE.

Written by Dani Powell, RM Entertainment Original Story Contributor


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Trapped in the Attic

Trapped in the Attic (Part 4)

This is so frustrating! What is happening and why is no one hearing me? The room seems to have no end to it. In my state of confusion, I manage to trip and fall over a stack of books. They are some old Dr. Seuss books like Green Eggs and Ham, Horton Hears a Who!, and the ultimate classic, The Cat in the Hat. I have a lot of memories of reading these books with my mommy. These are the books that got me to love reading.

There was a period in my life when I can recall simple times. I didn’t worry as much or get so lost. Somewhere along the way, things got a little messed up for me and those around me. I can’t remember where stuff got all messed up. I want to go back to sitting with my mommy and reading my books. Since I can’t, I have to figure out how to make things simple again, if it’s not too late.

Where is my mom so I can talk to her? I need my happy times back. I know that she can help me get them back. She has told me that before. “Mommy, where are you?”

“How is my sweet pea doing today? I don’t know why you like to make me worry so much,” I hear my mom answer me.

“I’m so sorry for worrying you. I get so confused sometimes and don’t know what else to do,” I tell her.

“If you keep this up, there will be a time when you won’t be able to come back from this. Why would you want to do that to me?”

“Mommy, I promise that I will try harder. It just gets so rough sometimes and I can’t handle it.”

“You are worth so much more than this. April, you have to do the work though and stop running from everything,” my mommy says as she starts to cry.

I don’t like to hear my mom cry. “Please don’t cry, Mommy! I’m right here…I didn’t run away.”

“Do you know why I named you April? It wasn’t because you were born in April, though it fits. I named you April because it’s a time of growth. Things come back to life after appearing dead throughout the winter. I see growth in you. I need you to see what I see, baby. The April showers make things blossom. Well, I’m crying over you, sweet pea! It’s time for you to bloom.”

“Mommy, I will be fine. I have to get my mind and feelings right. I don’t expect you to understand everything that I go through, especially because I don’t understand it all. I’m still trying to comprehend when and where things started going downhill for me. When I get that part, then I know I will be better.”

“Well, sweet pea, I will see you soon. I hope you are listening to me.”

I hear my mom start walking across the room. “Mommy, where are you going? Why are you leaving me here? I swear I’m listening to you! Please don’t leave me in this attic. I’m ready to come out now! Mommy!”

Things come back to life after appearing dead throughout the winter. Click To Tweet

Read Trapped in the Attic (Parts 1-3) HERE.

Written by Dani Powell, RM Entertainment Original Story Contributor

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Trapped in the Attic

Trapped in the Attic (Part 3)

Dang it! I can hear my mommy again. Why hasn’t she come to get me yet? “Mommy! Mom! Mother!” I keep yelling for her but she isn’t responding.

I heard her say my name so I know that she’s talking about me. “I’m in here, Mom! I’m trapped in the attic again!” I can’t scream any louder than I already am. I get up from the floor to pound on the door, but I’m too late because I can hear her footsteps getting faint. Maybe she will find me next time.

Who knows how long I’m going to be in this attic. I guess I will continue to reminisce until mommy finds me. I go over to some boxes in the corner because I see some white lace sticking out and want to know what it is. As I pull it out of the box, I see that it’s a wedding veil and wedding dress. I can’t remember anyone getting married so I don’t know who it belongs to.

I think I was going to get married before. I can’t remember. Maybe I just had a boyfriend. Holding this wedding dress in my hand is bringing back a few memories. I had a fiancé, not just a boyfriend. But I messed it up some kind of way. Yeah, I had one too many episodes for him. I feel bad when it happens. The last time, he left me because I rammed his car with mine. If only he could understand what goes on in my mind. I will find somebody one day that will.

So this was supposed to be my wedding dress, I think. Maybe I will be able to wear it one day. Or maybe I should really just stay by myself. My mommy does well taking care of me. She understands when I have episodes. They aren’t all extremely bad. I have to admit that I do get out of hand sometimes. That is when I end up in the attic. This is my safe place; a place where I don’t have to worry about anything except how and when I’m getting out.

Time seems to stand still when I’m in the attic. It’s when I get out that I realize how much time has really passed. My mommy says that she hopes I stop taking trips to the attic. She is afraid that she won’t be able to find me one day. I don’t know why if she already knows where I am. She worries too much. This may be my last trip to the attic just for her sake.

There is a man outside of the attic door. I can’t tell who he is talking to, but I can hear him say, “She may not be coming out of this one. It was pretty bad this time. We need to talk about possibly making other arrangements.”

What arrangements is he talking about? Who is he talking about? Someone must be seriously doing badly. Why is this man even talking outside of my door and where is my mommy? I’m not liking this at all!

“Someone come help me! Get me out of here!” Why is it that I can hear everybody but no one can hear me? I can’t pound on this door any harder than I am already.

If only he could understand what goes on in my mind. Click To Tweet

Get into Trapped in the Attic (Parts 1-2) HERE.

Written by Dani Powell, RM Entertainment Original Story Contributor

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Trapped in the Attic

Trapped in the Attic (Part 2)

So April Michelle McClendon is my name and I’m 24 years old. I have the same almond-brown skin tone as my beautiful mother. I’m even tall and skinny like her, if you think that 5’8” is tall. I do because I am taller than other girls I hang out with. Plus my mommy says that we are tall and she is never wrong.

Speaking of my mommy, where is she at? I don’t want to be in this attic all day. I have things to do; I can’t remember what they are, but I know that I have things to do. I don’t know if I even told my mommy I was going to explore in the attic. But she should know because it’s one of my favorite places to go. While I wait for her to find me, I will keep looking around. First, let me finish looking at all the pretty pictures.

I think I hear someone outside of the door. “Is that you, Mommy?” I ask. “Hello, can you hear me?” I’m practically screaming and banging on the door but they still don’t seem to hear me. “Mommy, I’m in here!” I yell one more time hoping that she will hear me.

I can’t understand why she doesn’t hear me because I can hear her. Maybe it’s because she is talking to someone. I do hear other voices with her. It sounds like a lady and a man. What could she possibly be doing? Maybe she reported me missing. I think she did report me missing that one time; she got to me before the search party did. It could have been more than once because I seem to go missing a lot.

Getting back to the pictures, I come across one with a young woman dressed up in an Army uniform. The woman is me. I do remember my four long years in the Army. I couldn’t get out fast enough! I joined before I even graduated from high school, and left for boot camp in Fort Jackson, SC immediately after graduation. During those four long years, I managed to get deployed for two and a half of those years; twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.

I can remember some things going wrong during my second deployment, which made it worse when I deployed for the third and final time. People tell me all the time that I should talk about what happened, talk about my feelings. But those same people would not understand if I did decide to tell them. I think people tell you to talk to them because they are nosey. Then the professionals seem to give the same speeches, so I don’t think they really care either. My mommy tries to listen, but I don’t like the hurt I see on her face when I tell her some of the things I went through and some of the thoughts I still have.

What do I do instead? I drink my feelings away. If I’m not drinking, I’m probably high off some of the many prescription pills I get from the Veteran Affairs hospital. They like to give you grocery bags full of narcotics that keep you numb but fix nothing. There are times when I may overdo it. Then my mommy will nurse me back to health. She is such a great mommy!

People tell me all the time that I should talk about what happened, talk about my feelings. Click To Tweet

Read Trapped in the Attic (Part 1) HERE: 

Written by Dani Powell, RM Entertainment Original Story Contributor

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Trapped in the Attic

Trapped in the Attic

Dammit! I can’t believe I did it again! I don’t know why I don’t prop open the door when I decide to reminisce in the attic. You would think that I would learn by now since it’s happened so many times. It’s becoming a regular occurrence. Dang, and I forgot what I was coming up here for. I hate when that happens, probably more than getting locked up here. I’m really just hoping that it won’t be days until someone lets me out. That has happened before, and it wasn’t a good time.

There is so much stuff up here! I always find something new because nothing is organized. If someone said they would pay me a million dollars to locate a specific item, I wouldn’t be able to do it. It’s really that bad up here! Maybe one day I will be able to get everything situated. Every time I try, I seem to get sidetracked. That might be why some people tell me that I’m absent-minded. I don’t get it because I don’t even know how someone can be without a mind.

But anyway, let me try to figure out why I came up here in the first place. I guess I can start with this box right here. It looks pretty beat up, so it must be old. The light-brown cardboard forming the box looks like it has seen better days. I don’t want to move it too much because it may fall apart. The joints of the flaps are barely holding on and the box isn’t even a real square anymore. It looks as if it has sustained a spill or splash from some kind of foreign liquid, a time or two in its lifetime.

When I look inside the box, the first thing I see is a dusty blue photo album, simply labeled “Photos”. I pull it out of the box and sit cross-legged on the raggedy, creaky wooden floor. I always love to look at old pictures. They bring back so many memories. Unlike other people my age, I prefer to look at pictures I can hold instead of looking at them digitally. I swear technology ruins so many beautiful things.

The first picture I see when I open the album is of a beautiful Black woman wearing her hair braided in long cornrows with beads, holding a chunky baby girl with a head full of curly charcoal black hair. The woman has an almond brown complexion and the baby girl’s is slightly lighter. They must be mother and daughter because their outfits are coordinated, as both are wearing pink and blue dresses. It looks like a happy time because they are smiling from ear to ear.

I turn over the picture and see the words “Betty and April” in cursive writing. Hey! April is my name! And Betty is my mom! This must be a picture of me as a baby. Now I know for sure that it’s a happy picture! I have the best mommy in the whole world! She will probably be the one unlocking the attic door for me like she normally does. My mommy always finds me when I lock myself in places like this attic.

I’m really just hoping that it won’t be days until someone lets me out. That has happened before Click To Tweet

Written by Dani Powell, RM Entertainment Original Story Contributor

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