I paced up and down my room, I had been all day, dinner was soon. I would have normally been doing sit ups but my stomach was hurting from the five hundred I had done the previous day. My stomach was growing stronger day by day. Sometimes I would do handstands against my bed for hours on end. I found it strangely relaxing.
Not taking my medication soon began to take it's toll. I was more tired than usual and I felt annoyed when anybody talked to me. I was thirstier but I didn't ask for more water because I knew it would look suspicious.
The door opened and I stopped walking. The doctor stood in the doorway. I stared at him, it had been ages since I’d seen him.
“Hello.” He said. His voice had gotten croaky but still was like ice against my bones. My body tingled. “Just a quick observation, we're updating our systems.” A nurse followed behind him with a tray similar to the ones on which my food was bought but there was no food on this one, just weird looking medical instruments. The doctor put his hand towards the nurse and she handed him a clipboard. The doctor took a pen from his coat pocket and clicked it. I blinked. The nurse put a set of scales in front of me.
“Pop on the scales.” Said the doctor. I did so and watched the numbers fly. The doctor made a sound of surprise.
“What?”I asked, curious.
“Well you appear to be slimmer but you have gained a little weight.” He said, writing something on the clipboard.
“She's been exercising.” The nurse said quietly. The doctor looked from her to me, I remained straight faced. Why was exercising such a bad thing.
“Why?” Said the doctor, laughing a little.
“Well,” I muttered. “Healthy body, healthy mind and all that.” I added laughing nervously. The doctor put the clipboard under his arm and circled me, as I stood on the scales, a bead of sweating dripping down my forehead.
“Well, well, well, that's a very... nice philosophy to live by, I suppose.” He stood in my line of vision again, I smiled not meaning it. “Ok, off the scales. Nurse that'll be all.” The nurse filed out.
“Okay, sit any where you feel comfortable.” I sat on the bed, feeling the pills I hadn't taken underneath the mattress. It felt as though they were growing larger by the second, wanting me to get in trouble. I gulped. I hadn't taken them for twenty days, nearly three weeks. There were a hundred and twenty of them under my bed, I used to take six a day, three in the morning, three in the evening. Sometimes I would take them out and just stare at them. They were all different colours, red, blue, yellow, green, orange, pink. All of them were circular and had letters on them, what the letters stood for I didn't know. Eventually the drowsiness of not taking them had worn off. My stomach had settled and I felt happier. Proud that I had achieved something, it was like the knife all over again.
“How have you been.” Said the doctor as he sat down on the wooden teacher. I wished for Spencer, he had sat like the doctor. I missed him telling me about his favourite books and an author called Stephen King. I wished things hadn't ended up liked they did.
“I'm good.” I paused. “How are you?” It was polite to ask I suppose and it was a normal thing to do.
He laughed. “I'm very well, thank you. I just have a quick question, what do you know about Henry the Eighth?”
“Henry the Eighth was the King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death which was in 1547. He ruled during the Tudor era and was famous for having six wives; Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr. Over his marriages, he had three children. Mary, Elizabeth and Edward, all were to rule at one point, the Tudor era ended when the last daughter ruled. Henry began the Church of England and was known for being obese, he died from problems related to this.” I hadn't a clue as to why he was asking this and I didn't know where the information had come from.
The doctor nodded and wrote something. “The nurses have been telling me you've been a joy to work with for the past few weeks“
“Oh, thanks.” I answered, why was he telling me this.
“But I want to know what happened before you were put in isolation. The nurses said you were inconsolable.” He looked at his notepad. “You had to be sedated.”
“Yes.” I gulped, I know he had to know these things but why did he care. He had never visited me before.
“What caused this... Outburst, would you say.”
I stayed silent, I couldn't say it was the books, Jessica, but then again she had already been fired. “I got confused. I noticed that everybody had a name, and I didn't. I lost control of my emotions.”
“hmm.” The doctor wrote something on his board and I craned my neck to see what he was writing, I couldn't make out his writing. “The report said they found books in your room.” They made reports on these things. “Where did this books come from?”
“A nurse gave them to me. She said it was important that I learnt to read. I think it was Bertha.” The doctor made a noise as if intrigued and wrote down something on his board. I grew anxious, what was he writing about me.
“How is your reading?” He asked not looking up from his board.
“It's ok, I like it.”
“The characters are interesting and I like putting myself into the story.”
The doctor looked up at me, took off his glasses and said “Escapism.”
My brow furrowed. “What's that.”
“The tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy. What exactly are you escaping from?” I narrowed my eyes slightly, was this is attempt at challenging me. To be truthful I was trying to escape this prison but I had a feeling he already knew that.
“Why am I here?” I asked getting up and moving over to the corner. I sunk to the floor and burrowed into my hospital gown, letting it warm me up. The doctor had bought a chill to my room.
“Because you're mentally unstable.”
“Sometimes it's hereditary, at the time you were submitted you were very young, a great stress had been thrust upon you.” I put my head into my knees and groaned, I was trying not to get annoyed but I was reaching the end of my patience.
“What stress was that, when was I submitted.”
“That is classified.” I hit my fist on the floor.
“What about a clue.” I laughed, meeting his eyes as he walked to the door.
“You may want to look up socio-path in the dictionary of yours.” He slid through the door as I sat unmoving in the corner. I blinked very slowly, confused. I dove under my bed and flicked through my dictionary,
Noun: A person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behaviour and a lack of conscience.
He thought I had no conscience, for some reason I wanted to cry but If I cried I would lose control of my emotions and be put back in isolation. I wouldn't let that happen again, just when I had gained control. I got up in no rush and paced the room until my dinner arrived. I ate it quickly and then the nurse gave me my meds. Normally she left but today she stood and watched me. I wouldn't take them. I opened my mouth wide chucked the circular pills in my mouth and slid them under my tongue. I took a sip of water and opened my mouth to the nurse. The nurse smiled and left the room. I spit the already dissolving pills into my palm and threw them under the mattress. The door opened again and I jumped on my bed, trying not to look suspicious. “We just need a quick picture.” Said the Nurse, a new lady called Martha. I stood up and looked into the eye of the camera. I didn't smile, I didn't frown. The camera clicked and the nurse left. That night I pulled the pills from under my bed and looked over them. As I sat on the floor cross legged, I made patterns with them. A love heart, a smile, a bolt of lightening. I got up and jumped onto the pills crushing them into dust. I blew the dust under my bed, intrigued but the colourful dust that formed and fell down to the floor, causing it go different colours. I smiled. How could something so 'produced' be so pretty.
That night I fell asleep almost immediately.
The blackcurrant juice dripped down her white dress, making little rounded flowers, blooming against the white material. The little girl let the sharp edge slip through the fingers. It hit the floor with a thud, met by a deafening silence. So as not to wake her parents the little girl tiptoed past them, being careful not to step on the blackcurrant juice that spilled from their stomachs. Her parents both looked peaceful, they were quiet for once, not fighting. The little girl crouched beside them and moved their hands onto each other. Her dad lay with his head facing the floor and the girl, thinking that it was uncomfortable, pushed his head to the side. His eyes were open and stared glassily at her. She smiled at him and kissed his head. The little girl got up and moved to her fathers stereo. She pushed the on button and waited for the music to start. The record began to spin and soon the comforting sounds of 'In the Mood' by Glenn Miller began to play. The girl had no idea what the song was called but she loved it, it reminded her of happy times when her father and her would dance together, her mother watching on the sofa, clapping to the beat. She closed her eyes and swung her small body to the sound of the brass instruments.
A few moments later the room descended to chaos. The girl sat plastered to the sofa as what seemed like hundreds of men broke into her room, wielding guns. The girl blanked out, playing the song over and over in her head, it wasn't until she was in a white room with a soul less man did she wake up. It was as though she had been underwater all that time, only then opening her eyes and sitting up to breath.
I woke in a pool of sweat, screaming, blood dripped from my nose and stained my hospital gown with droplets of black currant like juice. Had I just killed my parents. If that was real why had a smiled. Was that what got me here. Was a soc The door opened and I shielded my eyes from the light. I stared at Spencer, who looked worried. His hand moved slowly to the assistance button.
“Don't.” I whispered, wiping the blood away. I looked up at him, relieved to see his hand had moved away from the button. Quietly he closed the door and walked over to me cautiously.
“What's the matter?” He asked, taking a tissue from his pocket and giving it to me. I blotted my nose.
“I had a nightmare.” I said. “I think I killed my parents.” I burst into tears, crumbling my face and crawling into a ball. Spencer moved over to me quickly, wrapping his hands around me. I fell into him, happy for the comfort, the solace. I had missed him so. I cried into him leaving wet marks on his shirt. I sniffed loudly and moved away from him. “The doctor told me I killed them, but I couldn't remember until tonight. I didn't think I was a monster, I thought I was sane.” I paused. “I deserve to die.” I screamed, hitting my fists into my head. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Spencer took my fists in his hands.
“That's not going to get us anywhere.”
“Spencer, I thought I was normal.”
“You are to me.” He said quietly, enclosing me in another hug. I let him cradle me, it was the closest I had felt to anybody in years. I felt so safe in his arms. It wasn't as though I was in love with him or anything. He was just there and he was so warm.
I woke to the sound of the door creeping open the next morning. Spencer shot up and ran to hide behind the door. It wasn't as though we had done anything wrong but it looked suspicious. I got up and rubbed the dried sleep from my eyes. Margaret walked in with my breakfast.
“Oh... There's blood on your gown.” I looked down at my hospital gown and remembered the nightmare. I shrugged.
“I think I had a nosebleed in my sleep.” I said nonchalantly.
“Well, give it here then I’ll have it washed.” My eyes flicked to Spencer, I didn't want him to see me in my underwear.
“Can I have my breakfast first?” I asked, trying not to stare at Spencer who had gone slightly pink. At least he felt the same way as I did. Like I said, there was no ulterior motives for the either of us. As far as I was concerned he was just a heated pillow. Margaret sighed and walked out moodily. I stuck my tongue out at her as the door swung to a close. Spencer breathed a sigh of relief.
“Thank you.” I said, taking a spoonful of porridge. I grimaced as it cemented the sides my oesophagus together.
“No problem.” He said, tipping his head like a cowboy. I managed a sad smile and watched as he sneak back through the door. Spencer may of caused an isolation but I was grateful to have him. Now that Jessica was gone he was the only part of my crazy imagined family that was left.
The nightmares stayed with me for the rest of that week.. They were always different but the song was always the same. Loud and intruding. There were times where I caused a fire or shot my parents. The last nightmare had been different though.
The nightmare was more of a dream at first. We were driving in the car in the summer to go to the beach I think. The sun filtered through the wind shield and lit the car, making it appear as though everything was perfect. The colours were bright but still dulled into a summer haze. The windows were down and the breeze circulated around the car making my mother long blonde hair fly around her. That same old song played through the car, it's tune well known to my ears. My parents were smiling, my mum moving to the sound of the music. I giggled too as my dad pulled a face at me. It was so happy and beautiful and I almost kid myself to thinking that it was real. I closed my eyes letting the sunlight dance across my lids when it happened. It felt of nothing at first, as though we were driving on a smooth road. Then there were the screeches, the screams, the sound of metal against metal, the smashing of glass and drip drip drip of the all so familiar blackcurrant juice. I opened my eyes, or at least I tried to. There was a gash just above my right eyebrow and the blood dripped into my eye. I could no longer believe it just blackcurrant juice. No this was blood, thick metallic and pouring. My mother and father were unresponsive to my calls. The door opened and somebody helped me out, pulling me to them. I woke up that night, not screaming at all.
I didn't want Spencer that night because something had changed. If that was a memory as opposed to my dreams maybe I hadn't killed them. Maybe I was a socio-path maybe I was just misunderstood. I couldn't sleep again that night, but every time I blinked it played through my mind. If that had been real it had only spurred me more. I wasn't a socio-path and wouldn't let them make me believe it.
The nightmares stopped after that week. I had claimed my memories and the doctors and nurses with their fancy gadgets and utensils couldn't change my mind. I was going to get better I was going to keep going. I would prove I was as sane as any of them.
I wouldn't let them change me. I told myself over and over. As they came in every morning asking how I was doing? Perfect, fine, amazing, great. I told them. They left, they came back, they asked, I answered, they left. Watching the tiring looks pass over their faces just spurred me on further. The doctor visited every other day, he asked the same question and a look of surprise passed over his soul less face every time I gave him an answer. I hadn't crushed my pills yet. I was waiting until I got to a thousand and then I would show him. Tell him that I wasn't crazy because I hadn't been taking my medication and I had been getting better and better. My body with all the exercise became leaner but stronger. My stomach was solid and I enjoyed poking it, amazed. Spencer would check on me regularly and our conversations resumed as they had been all those weeks ago. It had been 156 days since my last isolation and I felt better than ever. I read the books over and over, sometimes I read them doing a handstand against the wall. I started remembering passages of the books and if I ever felt annoyed or unhappy I would read them over and over. I must admit I was getting bored though, I had read through the dictionary, read through the books and there was only a certain amount of sit-ups you could do a day without feeling sick.
One day when I was particularly bored I started trying to make a background for myself.
“What's your favourite girl name?” I asked the nurses. I got no response from Bertha but the other nurses were happy to answer my question. I got various answers;
and my favourite; Carrie.
Carrie was Spencer's favourite, he said he got it from an old horror film. I did like Carrie but it didn't think it suited me, plus the idea of being covered in pigs blood didn't appeal to me.