Title: The Shadow of Loss
Author: Josefina Gutierrez
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Evelyn Gonzalez keeps losing people, which is always hard, but has she lost something much more? Has she lost her soul? Evelyn has a nervous breakdown and is institutionalized, after months of sorrow and pain she is thrust back into the world. The world of teenage angst and Calculus. But can she trust people again? Especially after hurtful assumptions and judgments made her miss her junior year of high school. Evelyn is just trying to heal what she lost and graduate from high school.
Ever heard the expression it all went down in a pile of flames? Well shit, I didn’t think life was going to get all literal about it. Now I am quietly tucked away between four white walls and a twin bed, where I can touch opposing walls with my index fingers. I have been stuck with my thoughts in this box for months. I have been cut off from the outside world, because I went crazy. My own sister, locked me up, but I don’t blame her—I really don’t. Olive was trying to help me when everyone else abandoned me. She writes me letters every week. I guess it is another way to anchor me to the living. It’s not like I don’t see her on visiting days, but like she says, “Letters are better for communicating, they force you to realize what is important.”
“Miss Gonzalez, your sister has arrived. Please gather your personals and follow me,” the orderly tells me. She was nice, but firm. I’ve heard the opposite is usually true in these cases—so I was lucky. She introduced me to Stigmata.
“Yes ma’am,” I say and walk over to the desk. I was only allowed the basics. I was stripped of all the vital things that would keep me informed or busy. I grab my small travel bag and my copy of Stigmata, which is on loan. Stigmata did for me what others could not. Some might have chosen an entirely different genre or novel, but it was never a matter of deciding, I knew. Institutionalization was a no brainer.
I hand my personals to her and follow her to the front. I see her waiting for me. She was always the attractive one. She is pacing back and forth near the front desk. She doesn’t see me yet, but I wave anyway, hoping she can sense it. Her face looks swollen, she must have been crying. She also looks skinnier than our last visit. How is that possible? I saw her a few days ago. Tsk tsk, frozen dinners most likely.