“Do you want some more tea, Susan?”

Five friends sat at a table in their favorite country club. Dressed in all white, they looked as if they were getting ready to play tennis, but they never left the table. Their conversation was just one of many in the dining room, and was similar to the conversations they had at the same table, every day.

“Would you like some more tea, Susan?”

“Linda, stop giving me that look!”

“Tina, maybe you shouldn’t put that much sugar in your tea.”

“Oh where is the waiter? I need some food!”

“Are you sure you want to eat again, Mikayla?”

One woman in particular stood out. Her short brown hair was tied up in a ponytail, her shirt was a little tighter on her body, her pants a little baggy. One could almost see her eyes growing larger as her head moved back and forth, trying to follow the conversation.

Of course, she stood out because she was the only one there. She wasn’t even there where she thought she was. She was in the Bergen Regional Mental Institution. She was sitting on a cot, in a padded room.

The nurses could hear her talking outside the door, and every once in a while would check inside, for it seemed there were too many voices coming from the one room.

But no, it was just Susan, talking to herself. Her straight jacket keept her from harming herself, as she had in the past. Anyone who looked into the little window on the door would see her head as it bobbed back and forth, her hazel eyes growing wider as she tried to follow the conversation she was having with herself.

(Listen to this as you read the story, it makes it better.)

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