Hi everyone so this is a new girl fanfic based on the book and film: Silver Linings Playbook which is my favourite book of all time. So I hope you like it.
I must of course thank the wonderful: Read it out loud who has helped me a great deal with this story and helped me make it as accurate as possible.
"One, two, three, four," I grunt as I move my sweaty body up and down in time to the counts I'm barking out to myself, feeling my biceps contract and relax. I'm not just working on my body though, I use this time for self reflection and how my life is in this mental institution/behavioural hospital or 'the bad place' as I like to call it. Today I decide I'm having another good day like I usually have for one week in the blissful state of happiness before moving down quickly into the crushing depression that follows the week after which I'm not looking forward to. However right now I'm as happy as I can get and that's all that counts for now. Not even looking around my cold, stark assigned room can bring me down today. Besides even if it does depress me a little I just keep looking at the tiny silver keychain that Caroline gave me for our one month wedding anniversary. It has two swans with their necks entwined in the shape of a heart, a symbol of our everlasting love according to her and I can't believe I managed to smuggle it through.
They confiscated everything when I arrived here eight months ago, my iPod, my phone, my wallet, even my wedding ring for fear that I would have another 'episode,' that's what the doctors and my mom call it anyway when they think I can't hear them. Anyway so when I noticed they didn't check my shirt front pocket which is where I keep it I jumped at the chance to take it to my room as it was something that was finally mine and not the bad places. As hard as it is to believe seeing as I know that I have problems within my head but that small keychain is the only thing that has kept me sane. Or as sane as I can be for someone who goes from being elated to the other end of the spectrum and being severely depressed in the space of two weeks, having type two bipolar sure sucks I can tell you. You try and be locked up somewhere for 8 months with only doctors and your friend Winston to talk to without losing your mind.
Anyway it's something to concentrate on, true love I mean. If I have something to concentrate on then I forget about my life in the bad place which believe me is a good thing. I also concentrate on my goal which one of the doctors told me to set for myself when I first arrived here which is to make myself better for Caroline. Starting with my body hence the push ups. I guess over the course so far of our three year marriage I had gained around fifty pounds and that six pack I first had when she met me was long gone. She liked the man she first met and she said she always like a man with a developed upper body so maybe if I can get back to how I used to be, 'break time' can be over.
So everyday I get up at seven thirty, eat breakfast, go to a group meeting then do four hundred press ups followed by five hundred sit-ups with no interruptions before lunch without fail. The exercise is my pattern which according to the doctors is a good thing for now, at least I'm not focusing on how to build a gun or how to kill myself with my bed sheets which is apparently what most people who come here do.
In the afternoon after lunch I'm allowed a one hour outside break, then I meet my personal counsellor Dr. Parker, and go to a second group meeting. They give us the option of reading a book instead of going to a second group meeting but once I start reading a book, I have to keep reading it until the end so that means I end up being late for dinner which isn't allowed. So they make me go to a group meeting instead. Finally I have dinner, another outside break, where I play cards with Winston (even though he cheats) and then bed. That's the bad place's set timetable so none of our patterns are disrupted and therefore less of us are angry and so it is less hard work for them.
So right now on press up number three hundred and eighty six I continue to move despite the stifling hot august weather which threatens my body's healthy temperature to overheat as I continue to work out hard. When I reach four hundred and am about to start my sit-ups my mom walks in to my room. Something which never happens. Whenever she visits me we are only a allowed to meet in one of the communal areas and never in my room so I know that something is definitely up.
"Nicky," she says gently in her soft Philadelphian accent. "How you doing?
To that I just grunt. I'm fed up with everyone asking me that, the doctors my mom, even my friend Schmidt when he occasionally visits. Everyone puts on that same smile, tilt their head to the side and ask me how I'm doing.
Do you want to come home with me today?" She asks suddenly, catching me off guard.
However I continue to ignore her and carry on doing sit-ups, digesting what she is saying while spying on her face in my peripheral vision. She is offering me a chance to finally leave the bad place, of course I want to accept but I'm sure there's a catch.
"Why?" I ask, narrowing my eyes suspiciously.
"You've served your court sentence so I appealed to let you out early because I want you home, we want you home. Me, Hank, Schmidt, your dad."
To that I just laugh, my dad hates me and we both know it, he thinks I'm mental and a waste of space. I heard him rant it to my mum shortly after my 'episode' before I was taken here against my will. Well he's the one that missed out on my childhood with all his cons, so no wonder he doesn't know me and thinks I'm a psychopath. He's the waste of space if you ask me but nobody ever does.
"C'mon Nicky dear, you can continue your pattern at home. I know what meds you have to take for your condition and when you have to take them. I miss you Nicky and I want my son back at home where he belongs."
Reluctantly I accept but I'm still suspicious and so I pack what few clothes I have and with granted permission I make my way over to Winston's room to say goodbye. I met Winston on the first day that I came to the bad place and he helped me more then I could ever repay him. I was sitting on a bench during the outside break time after lunch, confused and frustrated, holding back tears of hurt, anger and sadness. He saw me and sat down next to me and said:
"I know exactly what you're going through, we all are." He gestured around to all the others and put an arm around me.
"I cried on my first day and I can tell you want to too, don't worry it happened to all of us so no one is gonna judge you, let it all out man."
In a weird way that was the kindest thing that someone has ever said to me because he reassured me and let me know I wasn't the only one going through hell. Ever since then we became firm friends, perhaps just as good friends as me and my old best friend Schmidt who I met in college. Winston and I were there for each other for the good days and of course the bad days, we both helped each other a great deal and I was gonna miss him so much.
I interrupt Winston's 'mellow music class' and as soon as he sees me he notes the the bag in my hand and puts two and two together very quickly. We've both seen this happen so many times with other guys so we both know the drill.
"Good luck man," He pulls me in for a man hug and wishes me well.
"Promise me you'll let me know when you get out," I instruct him.
"I will, goodbye Nick." He smiles before going back to his 'mellow music class'. It's his pattern, like how mine is exercise.
Everyone in life tries to forget the dark spaces in our minds, Dr. Parker says, but we all have to try that extra bit harder, look for the good in the bad, find the silver lining in that cloud and especially never pry into the dark spaces in out minds. When I repeated this to Winston after Dr. Parker told me this he just laughed and said: "what a load of crap." But privately I think Dr. Parker is right, our whole lives are just a movie produced by God and in order to get that cheesy happy ending like at the end of rom coms we have to try to be good honest people who look for the silver lining in life. By doing this we achieve the happy ending we all want. The ending I want is my wife Caroline back and if it means going through 'break time' then so be it. The ending is all I need so I don't care about the crap that happens along the way.
As usual thank you for reading!