This is part of a book I
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What's with all the old books? I thought to myself sitting in the doctor's cramped little office. 'Doctor,' now that's a laugh. I remember Mom telling me I was going to come see 'Dr. Gaila Stevenson.' She didn't even sound like a doctor. The only similarity between those life savers and the decrepit monster sitting here was the freezing cold hands.
My mind was still focused on the dust playing on the rays of light streaming in through the window. It seemed that every single particle must eventually land on one of the hundreds of books strewn about the shelves taking up the entire side wall. Among them stood various kinds of medical books, which I'm pretty sure were just for show. There were several little series of childrens' books surely for her younger patients. The rest of the room was taken up by strange-looking books in the woman's profession. Some had no titles or authors. Some were titled things like The Moons and Your Element or Elementism: Harmony for the World. The most intriguing, though, was a set of small blue books. They seemed to be very old, yet they had hardly been opened. It was as if they were something of dire importance, yet contained an evil that most would refuse to even take off the shelf. They had nothing written on them except a small gold symbol inscribed at the bottom of the spine. There were exactly seven, one for each curse in the elements. It went down the row in order: a broken mirror, a pair of panties, an apple, a pair of handcuffs, a glass bottle, a skull and crossbones, and a sort of leaf, though it obviously was slightly different. The light continued to stream in and play around the first book reminding me ever so harshly what I was here for again.
"Yes I'm afraid she really must go," the doctor repeated finally breaking me from my reverie.
"Are you sure?" my mother choked out trying to hold back her tears. It's too bad I didn't feel sorry for her.
"Let me see again, Jayden," the doctor demanded more than asked of me. I guess it's more than I should have hoped for since she was actually talking to me, even if she didn't seem to be happy to do so.
I slid back the sleeves of my black jacket to reveal the years of mutilation ever so apparent on my arms. Some of them were older than others, and some were obviously from two days ago when I found out I would end up ironically here showing them to this woman.
"Yes, it really must be done," the doctor announced disgustedly looking away. "It's obvious that she has been a victim of the curse. There isn't anything you can do for her now. Plus, you have to remember that by keeping her in public she's breaking the law. You wouldn't want her to infect society now would you?"
Infect society? She makes it sound like I have the bubonic plague or something. I put my head in my hands and turned away from the conversation as to not become more angry at this perfect stranger. My attention was again drawn to the set of blue books. As much as I hated to admit it, I really did know what they all stood for. They were updated occasionally of course, but they hadn't been in a while. Mom didn't used to believe in it all, but I guess she had been convinced otherwise. In an effort to delay looking at my own fate I startedat the other end now tracing every symbol with my eyes and identifying every curse that came along with it: the leaf - drugs, the jolly roger - death, the glass bottle - alcohol, the handcuffs - crime, the apple - eating disorders, and the panties - sex. Then there was one. I took a deep breath and swallowed the molding saliva inside my mouth. Last there was the broken mirror - cutting. It was the source of my pain and the outlet of it. The light shown on its little gold outline, a carving in the harsh leather of the book that kept my attention. The leather seemed so unforgiving and yet where it had been inscribed the binding was so weak.
Eventually my eyes followed the trail of light back to the glass window. It was somehow ironic how that would have been my element had I not been born a day too late. Glass was one of the most beautiful and mysterious elements. Instead I just got stuck with a curse that we were all sure would be the death of me sooner or later. I guess that's why the cutters were symbolized by a broken mirror made of glass. We were supposedly a part of regular society and yet in every way we were not.
My mom spent the better part of another hour making all of the arrangements. I was to leave the next morning at 8 for the 'Juvenile Detainment Center for the Elementally Cursed.' As bad as tonight was going to be, I knew that it had to be better than to be stuck in this tiny little office anymore.
"Jadie, won't you just talk to me at all," my mom nudged, the better part of her sobbing having ceased after the first twenty minutes in the car.
"Mom, don't call me Jadie anymore. I am NOT your baby." I snapped back. Usually I couldn't bear to be this mean to her, but I'm not sure it meant as much now.
Her sniffles started up again, but at least she didn't try to talk to me again until we got home. She yelled something at me about spending 'quality time' together before I left as I was getting out of the car, but I had already slammed the car door and trudged half way up to the house. I did likewise to the front door hoping she would get the hint that I didn't want to talk and started climbing the long winding staircase. At the first end of the hallway I noticed Craig was still asleep even at 4 pm. Poor naive little Craig. At 19 he was a good three years older than me, but he would never know much of life. I sometimes wondered if Dad would've stayed if I had turned out like Craig: rebellious, but still...normal.
I gently shut the door to my bedroom. There was no use in breaking two doorframes in one day. I decided packing was the best idea. I had no clue what this place would actually let me bring, but I heard that no one ever came back out of it. I threw a few special things and some clothes into a small suitcase, and sat back on my bed to think about the life that lie ahead. At some point my mom called us down for dinner, but I just ignored her.
The government had long ago decided that all children born on my kind of birthday, the thirty-first of every month, were a danger to society. The church had proved that it was clear that thirty-first children, also known as thirty-ones, were a danger to society and the world as we knew it. It had something to do with the arrangement of elements in accordance to the position of the moons. I never believed in that religious stuff, but it didn't really matter whether I believed it or not. With the emergence of technology the government tried to regulate birth of thirty-ones. It was mostly successful, but there were flukes. Sometimes, like with my mom, it was just impossible to induce labor early enough or wait a whole other day for the birth. I was lucky I wasn't killed right then and there. I was one of the least dangerous curses though, at least to other people, so they just carefully monitored me until now. I was pretty sure wherever this place was wouldn't be very pleasant, but it would be better than living here. It's not like I was giving up any friends or anything. I was leaving Mom, but she was the one that took me to this doctor in the first place. I wasn't sure what would happen to me next. All I knew was somehow I would prove to all the social workers, the government detectives, my mom, the whole world that I would never be defined by anyone's standards except my own.