r | no warnings apply

I hate it here.


When I was in college, I made up stories. I was far enough away by then, and old enough to know that my family hadn't been normal. So when I was talking to friends - and yes, I had friends - I would remake my parents in a new image.

My parents, I decided, were ex-hippies who owned a bed & breakfast. Mom had pretty red curls, and Dad had a long mane of graying hair. He was horrible with money, so she handled the books. Each room was unique. One would be entirely blue; sheets the same color as the sky with carpet so dark and deep and soft that the customers sighed with bliss as their toes sunk into it. Another one would be bright and yellow and as warm as the sunshine. And so on. Mom would bake fresh muffins every morning and the people staying there would eat breakfast around a huge wooden table, like they were all one big happy family.

Then in my junior year, Diane, who I knew from Calc III, mentioned that she was spending a week in California, right near where I lived, and wouldn't it be great if she stayed in my parents' B-n-B?

So I made up more stories. I'd call, I told her. And the next day, I said, 'Oh, I'm so sorry, but Mom says they're all filled up. No more room.' Diane was disappointed, but then she said, 'Well, just give me the address, and I'll swing by. I'd love to meet your parents.'

I guess I could have given her the address for the prison or the location of my father's headstone in the cemetery.

My father bought a family plot. About . . . four years before he died, I think. Isn't that morbid? I don't know exactly what will happen after my mother dies. I don't know what they do with prisoners' bodies. My involvement with criminals ends once I've explained the evidence to the jury.

I don't want my body rotting anywhere near theirs.


There were other lies. Little ones. I can't even remember them all. I manufactured a perfect life to match everyone else's.

Before it happened, I thought all families were like mine. All dads drank too much and passed out on the lawn. All moms screamed and threw dishes against the wall. All brothers hid in their room and got high and slid razor blades over their skin.

And then After, I thought all families were perfect. All fathers worked normal jobs and helped their kids with their homework. All moms cooked up homemade pancakes in the morning and helped their daughters learn how to ride a bicycle. All brothers beat up the monsters under their sisters' beds.

I mean, I wasn't stupid, but disparities between the reality of life and a person's conception of the world are common. That's what my counselor said, anyway. Verbatim.

If you keep lying for a long enough period of time, eventually, you're going to get caught. Then you either have to come clean and hope they understand or try to lie your way out of it.

I don't . . . I don't like lying. It activates your sympathetic nervous system, and that causes blood flow to your stomach to be restricted, which can result in ulcers . . . you know all this already, don't you?

You say that it's odd, the fact that I can talk about this so easily. It's not easy. The only reason I'm talking to you is because I have to.


I don't need a drink. I would like a drink. There's a difference.


I don't want to talk about work. I talked about work plenty with my other counselor. I'm supposed to sit here and talk about my mother, right? So I'm talking about my mother. But that's not good enough for you.

Here's all you need to know about work: I should have stayed in San Francisco. I was respected there. I was brought in to Vegas investigate a screw up that left a CSI dead, and the bad blood from that never goes away. Sure, Warrick and I joke around in the locker room and I have breakfast with Nick every once in a while, but there's something, this invisible wall, that's still there between us. I can feel it.

I don't need to surround myself with fifty million friends to make myself feel like a worthwhile person. I didn't expect to have everyone in the lab fall in love with me. I didn't expect to suddenly be bestest friends with Catherine. I didn't expect Nick to be inviting me to family dinners out on the ranch. I just . . . I just want a little respect. You would think after five years . . .

I'm never going to get promoted here.

I'm tired of talking about work. Don't I get a break around here?


You want to hear horror stories about foster care. Parents who beat me with baseball bats and the creepy uncle who made me promise never to tell. I hate to disappoint you - no, actually, I enjoy disappointing you. I don't have any horror stories.

The worst thing that happened to me in foster care was in my second, or maybe third house, when the couple's 'real' daughter decided she didn't like the pink blanket on my bed. Truth is, I didn't really like it, either. But I was content to sleep with it, whereas she cut it to shreds with her mother's gardening shears.

That was it. That was my most traumatic foster care experience. It wasn't like I was family; it . . . ha, it was a lot like the lab here, actually. I was in the household, but always at arm's length. They didn't let their dirty laundry mingle with mine.

It was okay, though. I learned how to rely on myself, how to be my own best friend. I spent a lot of time with books and packed my head full of knowledge. I'm sure you'll twist all that around and say that I'm an isolationist and I've never had any real, meaningful human interaction.

You think I can't see you writing this all down?


I don't. Want. To talk. About. Work.


I got along better with the lab techs than the other detectives. I don't know why; I can't explain to you the psychology behind it.

The easy thing would be to say that I started sleeping with her to get back at him. Or to make him jealous. But he didn't notice. He never noticed. Catherine and Warrick could have been having sex right on the table in the breakroom while he was handing out assignments, and he wouldn't have noticed. Unless her ass happened to be sitting on a crime scene photo.

I didn't even know Jacqui was into girls. We had lunch one day and it was over three weeks later. We weren't flaunting it around the lab, but Greg knew. Grissom had no idea. He's brilliant, and at a crime scene, he notices everything, but when he's out of his element, he's oblivious.

So what I'm saying is, I don't know exactly what he told you, but you can't rely on him to be objective and thorough. Not on this. And Nick - Nick wasn't even there for most of it! It scares me that it's this easy. Just have a couple of your co-workers . . . misunderstand a situation and you, too, can be right here.


This is like a prison. The girl down the hall is tying her sheets together so she can escape. Someone offered to give me cigarettes if I'd give her my chocolate pudding.

I don't belong here. I'm not like them. And I know everyone says that, but seriously, look at me. If I stay here, I'm going to go crazy.

You're not really going to keep me the whole 72 hours, are you?