The heart rate monitor constantly beeped, there were doctors heedlessly running back and forth in the hallway, creating noise that caused sleepless nights. It had been ten hours since my panic attack, and here I was, still stuck in this damn bed.
The bed was awful. It was lumpy and cold, and the pillow was so flat that I was practically lying on the bed itself. I was tired of people seeing my naked ass because of this damn hospital dress, and my leg always felt hot and sticky because of this fucking cast.
The food in this hospital was just as awful as people talk about. It was bland, completely lacking flavor whatsoever. What was even worse was it was the same thing each and every day. The nurse would arrive at my doorway, asking if I had wanted a ham and cheese sandwich, or a turkey sandwich each day for lunch. I was sick of the meals. I was sick of this hellish hospital.
I was hoping and praying that they'd finally let me out of this damned place soon.
"So, Mr. Malik we have some news," my doctor spoke up.
I looked up at him nervously, praying he'd say I could finally go home. "Good news?"
My stomach turned.
The doctor was holding a clipboard, eyeing it up, "so for whatever reason yesterday, you had that severe panic attack." My thoughts ran wild as I remembered only a few hours ago. "To which you then blacked out," the doctor continued. "We are worried that this sudden anxiety could be linked to the accident. We are going to have to run some psychological tests on you, as we are afraid you may have PTSD."
"What's P - S - T - D?" I put emphasis on each letter, struggling to remember which order he'd said them in.
"PTSD. It stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. It's a common stress disorder associated with traumatic experiences, such as - in your case - being in a car accident"
"Oh, okay," was all I managed to muster out.
"What this means is that you may begin experiencing frequent panic attacks, anxiety, nightmares, reoccurring flashbacks and numbing out the memory of that night. We would like to evaluate you, by watching your anxiety levels, and we'd like for you to tell us if you experience nightmares, flashbacks, or if you suddenly can't remember one single thing about the accident."
"What does this all mean?" I knew exactly what he'd say.
"We are going to have to keep you here for a little longer, to evaluate you, psychologically. We want to bring someone in for you to talk with about the accident. There are certain emotions and reactions that this person will be looking for to make a diagnosis. We will also watch for anymore anxiety attacks, or high levels of anxiety and then we will be able to make a final evaluation."
I sunk my head low, placing it within my hands. "Can't I just go home and if I have another anxiety attack or nightmares or whatever I come back here?"
He stuffed his one hand in his pocket, holding the clipboard in his other. "Afraid not. Your parents and your management team will not let us let you go if we feel unsure of anything. And currently we are unsure if you have PTSD, and what it could do to you if you do. We definitely can't have you out doing a concert and you have an attack onstage, so we have to keep you here until we are absolutely certain."
I threw my head back, fisting my hands in anger.
"We also need to find out what exactly is triggering anxiety within you, and try our best to terminate contact with said trigger." And with that, he walked out of the room.
My cell phone ringing beside me, made me turn my head.
Who the hell is Mike?
"Hello?" I answer to the unknown caller. This seemed to be happening a lot lately.
"Malik!" The raspy voice answered back.
"Yeah." I didn't know what to say.
"I just wanted to give you an update on that file you sent me about a week ago."
"And which file would that be again?"
"You don't remember?" He laughed at me.
"Sorry man, I've got a lot on my plate." It wasn't a lie.
"Well you sent me an audio file from your cell phone that you told me was really important."
"Okay . . ."
"And you wanted me to match the male voice on the file, with a voice from another file you'd sent me." When I didn't respond, he continued. "I just wanted to let you know that I'm having difficulties matching the voices. The first file you'd sent me was extremely quiet and muffled and it's making it much harder than I'd imagined."
"Okay." I really didn't know what he was talking about, so I didn't have much more to answer.
"I will phone you if I have any progress."
"Okay," I repeated for what felt like the thousandth time.
"Talk to you later man."
"Yeah," I answered before hanging up.
What audio file was he talking about? An audio file from my cell phone? I clicked on my recorder app on my phone, tapping my finger on the My Recordings icon. Listed at the top, was a file labelled Important. I tapped on it, turning on the volume of my phone.
There was a bit of muffled talk, and so I turned it up louder.
"Zayn?" My head turned to the door, to find Caycia standing there, eyes swollen and red.
I closed the app, locking my phone and putting it down immediately.