She is floating up to the ceiling and back. Floating on air it seems. She reaches out to touch the wall and finds it missing. Her heart beats faster and faster as she slowly awakens.
A dream, she thinks, for nothing like that has ever happened to her in any world but that of sleep. She tries to reach for the real wall but finds herself constrained. Her fingers miss it by about three inches. Maybe it's not really there she thinks. Then I will be free. The thought improves her spirits but then she remembers that the wall is not her only cage. These straps on her arms and legs are working against her also. The world, it would seem, is working against her. But she will escape somehow, someday. Just not this day. It is not the day for going home.
She is not always strapped down in this way, but she knocked her tray on the floor and not by accident. She wanted to hear the sound it made as it hit the floor, to see the soup splashed and scattered, the bread thrown to the birds. But it wasn't as rewarding an experience as she expected and now she was here, where her dreams were her only pleasure. She should sleep again and maybe in her dreams she will be free. With her family gathered around the table for dinner. She would not knock this meal to the floor. No, she would eat it and enjoy it. But first she must say grace. That seems rather odd to her Grace saying grace. She laughs silently and hopes for better days.
Playing the piano and singing. Here they frown on singing but there she could sing all she wanted and play the piano so that others would join in. Music would rise in the air and come crashing down around them as they sang. Music is good, she thinks, and hums to herself softly.
The door opens and a lady walks in. She is a nurse but doesn't wear the white mark of nurses. She says hello to Grace and then undoes her straps.
“Time is up, Grace, and just in time for dinner.” Lunch, dinner, breakfast, supper. They are all the same, on the trays like the one she sent flying. Maybe she would do it again but her stomach rebels from that thought telling her that food is needed. Maybe when she finishes and the tray is empty but it wouldn't be as much fun as sending soup screeching through the air. She will decide after she sees the contents of this meal and whether she wants to pacify her stomach or damage the tray and come back here with the straps on her arms and legs. She thinks maybe she will go home today but decides because the room wouldn't be hers if she were going home. She will have another chance to dream inside these walls.
Grace doesn't speak to the non-nurse looking nurse. She must be new or maybe she is one of the things that she has relegated to the forgotten place inside of her. Grace considers this as she walks down the hall towards the dining room. She has one at home, a dining area, with Grandma's table sharing the space with a new cupboard for all the items she never really uses. She could eat there tonight if she wanted it badly enough but she can't get the feelings to find a spot in her mind to do anything about it.
She has a mind and she guards it with care. Daniel said something stupid to her once. He said she was out of her mind. How silly she never was really in it. It resides inside of her head and helps her to know what to do and to dream the dreams of floating to the ceiling. She wants to sleep now and dream of Daniel and how to show him that her mind was inside and she wasn't in it. To be out of it is where she should be or maybe with it because it was a part of her. Then Daniel would apologize and ask for forgiveness and she would punish him anyway because he sent her here to get inside of her mind and that was silly. She would punish him and put straps on him the way they did to her.
She shuffles into the dining room and for a moment doesn't know why she is here. Then the pains of not eating remind her that it is time to eat and here is where they give her the food. It is not good food but she eats and doesn't think of dropping her tray this time. Lunch is different but dinner is a sacred time because she gets to say grace. She wonders if that's why she was named Grace. Because she can say it? Nobody else ever gets to say it because it is hers to say and that is it. When they are all seated she thinks about grace and wants to save it for later because it belongs to her. Nobody, not even Daniel, can ever take it away from her.
On the tray is a hamburger and something that looks like blood that the nurses are pouring on the burgers. She does not want to eat blood so she wipes it off and gets her napkin dirty so now she has to wipe her hands on her gown. Nobody can make her eat blood. Not Grace, she doesn't do things like that and nobody can make her, not even Daniel. She wants to punish Daniel and she thinks that there must be a reason.
That night she sees him. They take her to a room where he is sitting and she wants to knock him off his chair and send him flying like the tray. He wants to hug her, but she knows what he is up to so she doesn't let him. He wants her to hug him back and kiss him and that is disgusting to her so she waves at him from the doorway and doesn't sit down. Why is he here? Maybe to take her home so she decides to be polite to him just in case. He is talking to her about things that she doesn't care about but she listens and then asks him about getting packed to go home. He tells her that she can't go home and she wants to punish him again, only this time she runs over to him and beats her fists on his chest. A man nurse pulls her away but she has punished him some anyway and that is good because he deserves it. He makes her stay here where the nurses don't wear white clothes and if you spill something you get strapped to a table. He doesn't know about the dreams and how she can fly and bump into the ceiling. He won't ever know. That will be her secret and it will belong to her alone and not even the man they call Dr. something or other will ever know. She smiles thinking of this.
She wants to go back where she can sleep and fly. And maybe pet a unicorn the way she did last week. It was amazing. She was flying and a unicorn flew up to her and she touched its nose. And then the nurses who didn't wear white tried to take her away from the unicorn and the unicorn picked them with its horn. And they ran away bleeding. The unicorn was on her side and would protect her. She got into her bed and took the pill that made her sleep. Now she would be free to fly and play with the unicorn. And maybe she would say grace too.