I stood beside the window in my small assigned room, fingers smearing against the glass, longing to be outside in the overcast humidity.
It was my 5th day in the psychiatric hospital and I was still on suicide watch.
I'm still shocked that this didn't happen earlier. I've been self-destructive for a few years now. No one cared until now. I'm more suprised at the fact that they do even care. Its not like I'm a good person or anything. When I decided to end it all, they caught me in the act and made me seek treatment. Treatment for the drug abuse, scars, and most importantly my mental state.
I haven't been so good to myself. I guess little Miss Princess grew up to be a basket case.
Just like my mother.
I wonder if she's still living. I havent spoken to her for many years.
It would be better if the bitch was six feet under anyway.
Birds were scampering around in the empty parking lot, around the benches, public phones, and the ash trays.
Oh, what I'd give for a drag. They wont let me have my cigs because of the circular burn on my forearm. I told them it was an accident, which it truly was,
but you know nurses and their suspicions... I stared down at my cornflower blue hospital scrubs they gave me to wear because no one had the decency to bring me my own clothes.
Cornflower fuckin blue. How I despise that color.
The hospital bracelet is so damn itchy. Why can't I have one sense of security here?
It says in big bold letters: QUINZEL, HARLEEN. It should say: MISTAKE, BIG.
They wont let me take it off until I'm "discharged". Free at last...
My body was slammed against the wall. The 3 inch thick window shattered and some pieces became lodged into my left leg. After the dust from the drywall cleared, I made my way to see what the hell just happened. Down the hallway was an enormous gaping hole which could lead to my liberation.
My leg wouldn't cooperate so I crept along the wall. I saw the nurse, Brandy I think, lying on the floor with blood soaking the front of her uniform. Her brightly painted acrylic nails still clutched the phone. Eyes wide open. Other patients and workers lay under piles of debris. Some, I noticed, were killed on impact from the blast.
I had to be out of there as fast as possible before the police arrived. I felt the breeze as I made my way to the hole in the wall. Despite the blood loss and destruction, I smiled for the first time in a long while because I was free. Once I got outside, I turned around and saw the doctor who treated me: his entrails were smeared against the dark grey carpet. "Ya can't take my money now, huh?" I told him in a sing-song voice. I spat on him and struggled out of the prison-like atmoshpere.
I crawled into a nearby alley to stop and pick the glass out of my leg. My blood trickled down to my ankles as I discarded the painful shards.
I knew I was losing a lot of blood. I was also very exhausted from lack of sleep and feeling faint.
I had no choice but to call for help. "Somebody, please, hello? I need help! Please! Help me, help me..."
I began to lose consciousness.
I feel burly hairy arms pick me up and carry me. I hear voices talking. Men. "We're going to have plenty of fun with this one, fellas." That was followed by a maniacal laugh.
I woke up chained to a pipe and lying on a makeshift cot for a bed. I was in some kind of cellar. It was pretty dark except for a single light bulb above my head and from under the door about ten feet in front of me.
Here comes the pain.
"Oh my god this burns! Help! Please, somebody, help me!"
I quickly glanced down to my injury to see that someone had bandaged and cleaned my wounds.
Loud echoing footsteps came from the other side of the metal door.
Keys clacked against the lock, opening the door revealing a dark figure that stood at a little over six feet tall.
His face was hidden from me. The loud purple suit, the designer shoes, the wet slicked back hair.
Was he a pimp or something?
"Oh my god! Where the fuck am I? Let me go please..." My voice cracked from being so nervous.
"Harleen, do you know who I am?"
The devil in the flesh.
The Joker stepped into the light to reveal a mutilated mouth, yellow teeth, and smeared makeup.
We had something in common.
"Please dont hurt me!" I began to cry like a child. I havent cried in ages. i forced my gaze towards my lap. His scars reminded me of the pain I tried to put behind me.
" Harleen Quinzel, former psychiatrist, huh? Well what happened?"
I whimpered as I tried to hold beack the tears.
"How does the doctor turn into a patient? Look at me, quinzel!"
I stared at the point between his eyes, to make him think I was looking at him directly. "You see, Harl, we're not so different. You're crazy. I'm a bit crazy. We loons gotta stick together. How bout i make ya a deal, huh?"
He grabbed my jaw, pulled it towards his face, took the knife out of his pocket and placed it to my throat. He licked his lips and looked at me with those piercing eyes that could see through a stone wall. "You help me out by making Gotham a 'better' place for people like us. And I can keep you out of the hospital, police station, etc etc. You see, it's my way of contributing to society, huh? Good nough for you?"
He pressed the blade against my flesh, almost breaking skin.. i stutter and tears fall onto the blade.
"Y-yes...", was all I could manage to get out.
He jerked my jaw bone up and down. His nostrils flared and he was breathing heavily.
Joker placed the blade on his tongue, wiping the tears away with his mouth. "I'll be seeing you around Harleen."
He stood up and walked to the door.
"Can you unchain me now?" I pleaded.
He paid no attention and slammed the door behind him.
I'm so dead.
I rub my eyes to see tall henchman wheeling in piles of cash.
They unchain me and push me out of the way.
Money was being piled up to the ceiling.
I stood in awe with my mouth gaped wide open. Maybe working for the Clown Prince of Crime wasn't so bad.
They began dousing the currency in lighter fluid.
"Wait what are you doing?" I shouted. "Are you fucking kidding me?! Stop it!"
I was grabbed from behind and dragged out of the room, then out of the house. All the henchman followed out into a large black SUV. Joker just stood from a distance and watched, he was still clutching my hand to the point of losing circulation.
They threw in a lighted bottle and set the building on fire.
"ARE YOU CRAZY!?" I screamed. I lost the ability to speak. Who would set millions of dollars ablaze like that? Joker lost interest and shrugged. I followed behind, dumbfounded as ever. He jumped into a black van and pulled me into the back seat.
He began to whistle a song no one else knew but him. I couldnt help but stare at him. His scars were different than mine. He was still attractive with or without them.
"Wanna know how I got these scars?" he asked. It seemed to excite him. I quickly glanced back down. I'm still wearing my hospital scrubs, I noted.
"can I go to my apartment and grab my clothes?" I asked, still staring at my bare feet. Joker signaled to the driver to turn at the light. "Don't you want to know where I live?"
"I already know, kid." he seemed annoyed already.
"You know where I live? You've been following me home?"
"Following you home, going through your stuff, watching you sleep..." He flashed me that wild grin that literally stretched from ear to ear.
I moaned. I feel so violated.
"By the way, the whole suicide thing is so juvenile."
I looked up and felt my eyes dialate.
"You want something done, You've got to do it right. I personally prefer knives because you get to see all the little emotions come out."
He talked with his hands, waving them in every which direction. I could feel the blood rushing to my face. I was a suicidal failure in his eyes.
"How did you-?" I stuttered.
"Ya see kid, I know pretty much everything about you. From the unnecessary pill-popping to the poor little act of burning yourself for attention..."
"SHUT UP!," I slapped the clown, "If you knew anything about me, you'd know why that happens! I thought you of all people would understand."
He grabbed me by the arms and slid the knife out of his pocket. "We have ourselves a fiesty one, boys! Another move like that, i rip out your jugular and watch you squirm." He had that crazy look in his eyes again. I followed his orders for the time being.
They pulled up to my building. I limped out of the car, the boss following close behind. Once we entered my apartment, I made my way to my room, shutting and locking the door behind me. I pulled on my jeans and a t-shirt followed by my black jacket and boots. I grabbed some more clothes and shoved them all into a bag. I lit up a cigarette and savored it.
I sat on my bed watching the smoke rise towards the ceiling.
Soon I heard the smoke alarm go off in the other room. A gunshot fired and the smoke alarm was no more.
I suppose thats one way to do it.
I turned my head and saw the bottle of xanax still on the floor from 6 days ago. It was almost empty. I didnt take all of it.
I figured it could do the job. I guess we don't always get what we want. I sat up and extinguished the cigarette in the ash tray on my nightstand.
I opened my door to see the Joker sitting on my couch with his feet perched on my crappy flea market coffee table. He was reading a book on World War II. I had loads of those sorts of books.
"Ready for a history lesson?" I asked.
He turned his head and stared at me for a few moments with those beautiful eyes of his.
"I'm taking some of these." he said, meanwhile grabbing my books on D-Day, Auschwitz, and Nazi Germany. "They'll give me some inspiration." he burst out laughing hysterically, caught up in his own jokes.
I turned and stared at myself in the mirror on the wall. I wasnt admiring myself but I wasnt critiquing either. I was average weight and height. I had long platinum blonde hair and blue eyes that were surrounded by dark purple circles from lack of sleep. I was very pale. And still too many scars, I thought.
I felt two gloved hands touch my shoulders. I turned to see Joker. He gently took my arm and lifted up the jacket sleeve to see the burn marks on my arm.
"We do have a lot in common, you and I." I looked up at him. We had some kind of staring contest for a few moments. He ran his finger over my scars. He whispered,
"Everyone needs a partner in crime."