Bonnie stared out the bus window, the heavy rain morphing the wood line trees into odd green shapes that curled and twisted against the cloudless blue sky.
It would have made her smile if what was happening wasn't really happening.
What was real, was that her parents only cared for their reputation. It had taken 16 years, Bonnie's entire life, to realize this. She had messed up. Completely messed up the day she built up the courage to tell her parents what was going on. The figure of a woman, dark as a shadow, sat in the corner of her room every night when she slept, merely watching her. The figure, whatever it was, never seemed to hurt her. She had stayed up late at night, watching it, but it rarely moved, sticking to the shadows. In the beginning, she had been petrified of it, when she was nearly 5 years old. It never stopped visiting. Bonnie had became so used to it, she talked to it about what had happened that day. The strangest thing was, it seemed to listen and understand, it even nodded once. When she turned 7, she had named her Angelique. She had finally built up all that courage to talk about Angelique, just so they could throw her in an insane asylum.
You see, Bonnevella, her mother had told her as they packed everything she needed, other than actual clothing, You alarm the neighbors at night with your constant rambling. You're too old for imaginary friends.
It, she, wasn't an imaginary friend, though. She was real, Bonnie knew it. Yet her endless pleas didn't solve anything, just made them pack faster.
Now, she was riding near the back of a gleaming red bus, almost everything, inside and out, decorated with cute little farm animals.
Bonnie turned her head toward the seat in front of her, absently tracing her finger over the golden marking on the bright red cushion, the tight cuffs on her wrists digging into her skin. Property of the Red Barn Psychiatric Hospital.
The sound of something being slammed startled her. Bonnie tilted her gaze to the man sitting across from her. He appeared to be in his late teens, maybe early twenties, and he was watching her, slamming the back of his head against the wall. A huge grin was stretched across his face. Bonnie cringed as the bus stopped, and two of the pretty nurses, their high heels clicking against the metal floor, walked up to him. Together, they pulled him out of his seat, holding him steady while another nurse lined his seat with cushions. They both set him down carefully, as if he were as fragile as a feather. He looked satisfied as all the nurses returned to their seats.
"New here?" the man smirked, kicking his feet up across his seat to face her as the bus moved forward once again. "I'm Hayden. Being transferred from St. Daniel's." After Bonnie hadn't responded in what seemed like a lifetime, he chuckled, "This is the part when you tell me who you are."
"O-Oh. I'm Bonnie." she stammered, angry at herself for being bad at talking to people.
"Ok... there's something to work with. How'd you get here, Bonnie?"
Bonnie thought quick for an excuse, "My parents threw me in here..."
"That's cool." Hayden replied as if it really was cool. "This," he waved his hands around, his cuffs gleaming in the bus' light, "is my ticket to freedom. Free food, no rent, no parents who care about nothing but themselves." This last part didn't seem like something he wanted to say aloud, and he growled.
Bonnie looked up at him and smiled. Hayden didn't seem to understand, and when she got the response of a crazy look on his face, she explained, "My parents do the same! All they seem to care about is their reputation. They didn't even give me a warning. Just a bag with my stuff and a quick hug before shoving me on this thing and calling 'Bon voyage'."
She listened to Hayden laugh. A warming, soft laughter. He lifted up his hands to show off his handcuffs. "You see, I'm not crazy, like the rest of the people here." he noticed her frown, "Not you," he added, "I just need a break from them before I do go crazy."
Bonnie giggled, then blushed when she caught Hayden smiling at her. She began to realize maybe not everyone was that bad. Bonnie had the sudden urge to tell Hayden why she was really here, but she couldn't even begin to find the words. Something inside her told her to just wait, because maybe he'd think she was insane, so she simply turned her smile toward the small cow painted on the seat in front of her.