Passive

I wanted to call it a thriller/horror but also with some romance. Couldn't find that category so other will have to do. I have high hopes for this story but please read and include as much critism as your heart desires. I promise not to be upset by it as long as you promise to be fair. I do not want any homophobic comments, if you don't like the subjects mentioned here, then don't read.

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17. Lies

Beep. Beep. Beep.

The gentle sound was the first thing I heard. I opened my eyes but closed them quickly, seeing the white ceiling above me and realising I was still in the basement. And I was still alive. My thoughts were scrambled and I couldn’t think straight. The sound was giving me a headache. I blinked hard and focused on the ceiling, trying to make it stop spinning but it mocked me and turned into patterns that I couldn’t understand.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

“Shut up,” I whispered to the sound, not caring about my language for a change, just wanting it to stop.

“Good morning to you, too!” A light voice laughed at me and I whipped my head quickly round to spot the voice’s owner, causing sudden pain to come from my neck. I let out an involuntary hiss of pain and two hands were immediately on me, pushing my head down. I tried to fight against them but they were strong and held me down. I looked up at a young woman who looked back down at me. My eyes drifted to her clothes and I saw a green cross. The words ‘Northgate Hospital’ were just visible through the strands of her hair which hung down between us.

“Don’t move your head or you’ll hurt yourself!” The words reminded me of Wednesday and I relaxed when I thought of her. I wondered why my neck hurt but figured it had something to do with falling down the stairs and didn’t question it. I still couldn’t think straight but I looked up at the nurse so she could see I was calm. I smiled at her half-heartedly and she released my head, stepping back to continue writing in a blue folder, which she had perched on the end of my bed. Now I was fully awake, I could focus. The woman looked in her 20s and was thin and blond. When comparing Wednesday’s beautiful natural colour to this woman’s obviously dyed locks, the image I had of Wednesday seemed even more magical. Her face held no make-up and her nails were perfectly done so you could see the whites of them but looked boring in comparison to the brightly coloured nails that I loved so much.

“No darling, it’s Friday,” she surprised me by speaking, pulling me out of my thoughts.

“Wha- I mean, pardon?” I immediately corrected myself, feeling rude and blushing stupidly.

“You said ‘Wednesday’. You were saying it in your sleep too!” I blushed darker and looked down at the white hospital sheets, comparing them to the dirty white of the nurse’s room.

“She- She’s a friend.”

I avoided her eyes and looked around the room. There was lots of equipment, including a large machine that was causing the beeping. A small tube emerged from my skin and I tried not to look at it as I followed the wire up towards a bag of clear liquid which hung above my head. The room was small, mainly consisting of the bed, the equipment and a large window covering the opposite wall. The nurse followed my eyes and saw the curtain, moving over to open it. She carefully separated them so I could see out.

Small metal bars lined the window, small enough so that I could see the dismal city view which showed nothing more than an empty road and an unused car park. It was on the ground floor. But all I could do was stare at the bars which stood proudly and unmoving in place. They taunted me and for some reason seeing them made me imagine a smirking version of Mother’s face, her laughing mouth turned upwards and eyes relishing my pain. The nurse turned smiling towards me and rested her eyes on my shocked expression, her face instantly calm as if she knew exactly what was coming.

“Yes, dear?” I couldn’t make myself say anything, just staring at the horrible bars which reflected white from the walls and seemed to stare back at me tauntingly.

I lifted a finger to the window and she turned as if trying to spot what was troubling me.

“Yes, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a nice day today, does it?” She spoke innocently, keeping the calm composure. I knew that she was aware exactly what I meant but the nurse remained in her sickeningly, sweet state as she walked across the room to me. I watched as she moved a small bedside table over me and helped prop me up so that I could see what was on it. A tray containing a bowl of cereal and a small glass of orange juice was presented to me and I felt my stomach turn at the meal. Eating was the last thing I wanted to do and I turned back to look at the bars. The nurse just patiently stood beside me, waiting for me to say something. But my mouth was dry and I couldn’t think of anything to say.

“Aren’t you going to eat?” Her hand rested on my arm and I waited for the pain that I was sure would come from the burns, which were now so familiar to me that I couldn’t remember a time without them. But none came. I looked down at myself and realised I was wearing a hospital gown, short sleeved so that I could see fresh bandages covering my arms. Despite pain from my neck, my face felt better too and the scratches were causing me hardly any pain at all. Though if it was Friday morning then I had barely been unconscious for a day. Her hand was soothing and gave me the courage to attempt to speak.

“I-“ My throat croaked in protest and the nurse quickly pushed the orange juice to my lips, forcing me to drink it all. I swallowed but did feel a little better for it.

“Thank you,” I gave a proper smile this time which she retaliated.

Silence came next and I wanted to ask about the bars on the window but didn’t know how, so settled with spooning a small amount of cornflakes into my mouth. The nurse gave me an approving look before moving towards the door.

“Are you leaving?” She spun quickly around and I realised I didn’t want her to leave me alone.

“Yes, I was going to get your Mother now. She’s been ever so-“

“No!” The word came quickly and I shut my mouth tight through fear that I would say anymore. The nurse looked questioningly at me.

“Please, I’d like to sleep some more if that’s okay,” the lie slipped off my tongue and I swallowed the guilt I felt rising in my chest.

“If you’re sure? She and your little brother have been ever so worried. You took quite a fall…” She looked at me cautiously as if she was worried about something she’d said. The carefully fixed mask on her face slipped slightly and I saw she was afraid. Afraid of what, I didn’t know.

“Why are there bars on the window?” The mask was now replaced with a tense expression. Why was she being so secretive? She looked down at the floor and seemed ready to turn on her heel and leave.

“Please.” She relaxed a little at the destroyed look on my face but kept her distance. She moved her hands up almost protectively over her chest and clutched them together, pulling at a hang nail rather than answering my question. I watched her movements and wondered whether she was new to this job, her calm composure hadn’t lasted very long. I looked once again at her hair, the horrible dyed shade on it. My eyes once again drifted to the words ‘Northgate Hospital’ and as if on cue, her hand moved her hair behind one ear, revealing the writing fully for the first time.

‘Northgate Psychiatric Hospital.’

My heart stopped and breathing became difficult again. The nurse moved towards me but I batted her away from me, scared at what she would do.

“I don’t belong here! Why am I here?!” I shouted at the nurse, while she attempted to calm me down but her clutching hands simply made me panic more and I shoved her away again, needing space to think. Eventually she overpowered me and as if a silent alarm had been triggered, another brunette nurse appeared at my other side, both holding an arm.

“I need you to be calm, sweetie,” the first nurse spoke, her tone irritating me more. Why would no one talk to me or answer my questions? I wasn’t mad! I didn’t belong here! I wanted to scream at them that they had got the wrong person, that I wasn’t supposed to be here, but knew that that wouldn’t get me anywhere. I relaxed into the bed and closed my eyes, needing the darkness to think carefully. I tried to breathe steadily and kept my eyes shut to avoid their horrible composed faces, which I knew would be watching over me.

“Why am I here?” My voice cracked with tears and I felt a few tears escape from my closed lids. I just wanted Bobby, or Rebecca. No, I wanted Wednesday. I wanted her to hug me and hold my hand like she had done before. Before all this. I was in pain now, the nurse’s efforts to restrain me aggravating my previously numb wounds. I had fallen down the stairs, that was all. I wasn’t mad. I thought of the voices but silenced this thought instantly. I had nightmares. But I had never told anyone and there was no reason my nightmares would have brought me here! I was wrong. I liked girls so I had been locked up in a hospital for the insane?! That didn’t make sense either.

“You’ve been self-harming for a while now. We found bruises on your body and the burn marks on your arms. Your mother has filled us in on your behaviour. Your suicide attempt has made this the best option for you. We’re only trying to help. Your Mother feels this is the best way to-”

“I’m not mad,” I whispered, more tears escaping me.

“I know you’re not, darling.”

“I’m not a self-harmer,” I spoke louder, needing them to hear me this time.

“Dry your eyes now, pet.”

“I’m not suicidal,” I raised my voice until I was almost shouting.

“Shhh now.” My eyes opened and both nurses’ faces smiled down at me, one set of hands now calmly patting my hair while the other dried my eyes. I writhed sharply, causing both women to step back from the bed but as I flailed one arm wildly, I caught the blond nurse on the cheek with my nails. I didn’t have time to think before both women fell on me again, blood now appearing on the face of one but everything happened so quickly. I tried frantically to escape their clutches, needing to get out of here, needing to get free from them. They didn’t understand, no one understood!

“Sleep now,” a needle stabbed into me and I watched helplessly as the contents of it was emptied into my blood stream.

“Please! Stop please! Why are you doing this?! I’m not mad! I’m not-“

The world blurred again and my words escaped me, leaving quiet sobs to carry me into the darkness once again.

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