Beaten but NOT defeated

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Chapter 7

The ride home was pleasant as Josh and I spoke like there was no tomorrow. I told him as much as possible about what had happened while I was admitted and that I had made a new friend. Josh also caught me up on what I had missed at home since I had been gone. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have such a wonderful husband. He had such patience with me, even though I had just been released from the institution, it was as though we had never missed a beat. Josh told me about Chloe and how much she had missed me. ‘Ah Chloe’ I thought to myself, how I have missed my best friend. ‘I can’t wait to see her’ I said to Josh and he just smiled and I asked him ‘How come neither one of you came to visit me’? Josh’s grip on the steering wheel tightened slightly and he cocked his head to one side and said ‘Doctor Marshall thought it best if you had no visitors at all. She said it would delay your healing process. We really wanted to visit but it wasn’t permitted’. I looked down and said ‘Oh, I guess that makes sense’ and started fiddling with my fingers. Josh took my hand in his and squeezed it slightly. ‘I really wanted to come’ he said with a small smile and it made me feel better knowing he missed me as much as I missed him. We pulled up to the house and Josh got out unlocking the front door. I took my time going in as I was appreciating the place I called home for a moment. Josh walked over to me and put his arm around my shoulders and led me inside. I felt so safe and happy by his side.

I walked in to find Chloe and a few of my other friends inside. They had hung a banner up against the wall that read ‘welcome home’ and there were balloons against the ceiling. They all yelled surprise in unison and looked so happy to see me. Chloe ran up to me and threw her arms around me. She buried her face in my shoulder and told me how much she had missed me. I was so happy to see her I started crying and hugged her even tighter. We both started giggling and pulled away to look at each other. ‘Oh honey, I’m so glad you are home’ she said with tears streaming down her face. ‘I missed you too, so much’ I said looking equally as tearful. We smiled as everyone else came up to us and gave us a group hug. I felt so loved in that moment, but couldn’t help but feel something dark lurking beneath the surface, a feeling I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I shrugged it off as nothing and enjoyed the company of all my friends that had made an effort to welcome me home. Josh was constantly by my side throughout the day making small talk with all my friends. He looked so handsome in his blue check shirt and beige long pants. His blond hair was ruffled as though he had just gotten out of bed and his blue eyes were piercing. I felt so lucky and in love with Josh, he truly was my soul mate.

As the day wound down and everyone started leaving Josh drew me a bath and lit some candles. He had soft music playing in the bedroom and I could smell the bubble bath in the water. Josh had put my clothes on the bed, ready for when I was done in the bath. Only Chloe was left and she came to the room to say goodbye. I was busy tying my hair up in a bun when she walked in. ‘I came to say’ she said and froze in the doorway and looked over to the clothes on my bed. I looked up at her and smiled. ‘Goodbye’ she said in a soft tone looking as though she had seen a ghost. ‘Leaving already’? I asked her and started walking over to her. Seeing her eyes on my clothes laid out on the bed I said ‘Josh drew me a bath with candles and got my clothes out, he is so sweet’. Her eyes narrowed slightly as she said ‘Yes, indeed he is’. That uneasy feeling I got earlier surfaced again and I couldn’t help but wonder what that was all about but I wasn’t going down the same path as before and shrugged it off as nothing. I hugged Chloe tightly and said goodbye. Her body was stiff in my arms and she broke the hug quickly as she turned to leave the room. I looked at her receding figure for a moment before turning around to enjoy the bath my husband had drawn me. I got in the water and lay back closing my eyes, soaking in every second and every smell. It felt so good to be home where I belonged. ‘The time away did you good’ I heard Josh say and opened my eyes. He was busy undressing to join me in the bath which was a welcoming sight. He got in behind me and let me lay with my head on his shoulder. He stroked my skin with his fingertips telling me how much he had missed me. I felt so relaxed being in his arms. I hadn’t seen him for months so this felt like the perfect, most romantic moment on earth. Josh washed my hair for me and helped me get into my robe then he handed me a champagne flute with orange juice in it. ‘Sorry it’s not the good stuff’ he said with a smile. Doctor Marshall gave me medication to drink so no alcohol was allowed. ‘I don’t mind’ I said and took the glass from him. He opened the bed and motioned for me to get in. Josh took a seat on his side and took my hand in his. We talked about the day and all our friends and laughed as we playfully made fun of some of the things they said.

Josh took the glass out of my hand and set it down on his bedside table. He turned to me and wrapped his hand around my throat. I felt a flash of panic rise up inside of me as though I was in trouble but Josh pulled me closer to him slowly until his lips were almost touching mine and said ‘You are mine’ and crashed his lips into mine. He kissed me with a hunger I couldn’t recall him doing before and pulled me to sit on top of him. He laced his fingers through my hair and pulled my head back by my hair a little too hard which sent a sharp pain through my head and neck. I tried pulling my head back up to look at Josh but he held my head back while kissing me in the neck which was now getting sore from him pulling it. My body started protesting and I tried to get my head up again when I felt Josh flinging me down on the bed. He got on top of me with a smirk on his face as he untied my robe. He lowered himself down on top of me and looked deeply into my eyes. Without saying a word he thrust himself inside me with force. I let out a scream from the jolting pain and he clasped his hand over my mouth. He turned my head to one side with his hand and put his face in my neck, breathing heavily. The pain was intense as he kept thrusting himself inside me over and over, moaning in enjoyment while I was overwhelmed in pain. It felt as though Josh was not considering how I felt at all and was concentrating really hard on pleasing himself. It felt like I had done something wrong in that moment, like I was being punished for some reason. I protested a few times telling Josh that he was hurting me but it was as though he did not hear me at all. I realized my effort was futile and let him finish what he had started. He came in me with a loud moan and violent thrusting. ‘Finally’ was the only thought I could form and couldn’t understand why I was feeling hostile toward him. Josh got off of me and tapped me on the side of my thigh. Go clean yourself up he said as he walked to the bathroom to do the same.

I felt confused as I lay there in pain, not quite sure what I was feeling. I tried to get up off of the bed but the pain was too intense and wouldn’t allow me to move. Josh emerged from the bathroom dressed and asked me why I am still lying on the bed. I told him that I was in pain and had a hard time moving. Then he came over to me and helped me up saying ‘that’s what happens if you don’t have sex for a while. The pain will go over. You used to love it when we had sex like that. Now go clean up so you can drink your meds and go to bed’. I did as he said and went to the bathroom where I collapsed on the floor. I folded my arms over my stomach as it felt like I had someone drive a knife through me and looked down to see that I was bleeding. ‘It happens when you don’t have sex for a while’ I said softly to myself. I managed to get up and get cleaned up just in time for Josh to bring me my medicine. I asked him for pain medication too and he said no as he didn’t want me to become a drug addict being so fresh out of an institution. I got into the bed slowly and closed my eyes as the medication started kicking in. It made me feel relaxed and after the day I had I felt tired. I gave in to the tiredness and drifted off to sleep.

I woke up the next morning with Josh next to me in bed. He was laying on his back staring up to the ceiling with his hands on his chest. An uneasy feeling crept up inside me making me feel scared for some reason and I closed my eyes and turned on my side to face him. ‘Being close to him will make me feel better’ I thought to myself then I opened my eyes and saw a flash of Mindy lying next to me with her glassy eyes staring up to the ceiling. I screamed and flew up straight unable to feel Josh’s hands on my shoulders. ‘Liz’! I heard someone say loudly while feeling my body shake. ‘Liz’! I heard a little louder and felt a hand hit me on my cheek. ‘Josh’? I said feeling unsure of my surroundings while vaguely seeing his face in front of mine. ‘Josh’ I said again when his face finally focused clearly. ‘What happened’? He asked me with his eyes wide. ‘I had a nightmare’ I said still feeling unsure of what I had seen. ‘You scared the shit out of me’ he said looking a little pale. ‘What did you dream’? Josh asked but I just shook my head. ‘Can’t remember’ I lied still seeing Mindy lying dead next to me. Josh got up and came back with my medicine. ‘Here’ he said looking concerned. I took it from his hands and drank the tablets in a robot like motion. It felt like I was not really in the room and that I was looking in to someone else’s life from the outside. I was thankful when the tablets kicked in and the flash I saw finally faded. I felt calm and ready to take on my day. I got up and got dressed as I was not planning on spending the day at home.

I packed a picnic basket and wore a cute purple sun dress as the weather was hot and calling to us to come out and play. Josh was taking us out the lake as swimming was definitely on the agenda. My body was aching everywhere from my session with Josh last night but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from enjoying myself with him. He threw me the car keys and asked ‘Still remember how to drive’? I laughed at him and pulled out the car. It felt weird being behind the steering of a car again but it felt good. Josh didn’t allow me to drive as he was afraid I would crash us halfway there because of the medicine making me too relaxed. He said my focus was nowhere to be found and that he wasn’t taking any chances. We arrived at the lake and spread out the blanket under a tree. The heat from the sun felt amazing on my skin and I decided to sun bathe for a while. I put my glasses on and lay back looking up to the stark blue sky. The mixture of the medicine and the sun was making me feel tired and I closed my eyes for a while. Josh was swimming so he wouldn’t mind if I slept for a bit. I drifted back to consciousness when I could no longer feel the sun on my face. A cloud moved in front of the sun which meant I had to move too as I loved sleeping in the sunlight. I opened my eyes slightly to and saw a figure standing over me. I saw a flash of a handsome dark haired man in my mind looking concerned. Chloe’s voice brought me back to the present when she said ‘You should really put on some sun screen’. She moved to sit next to me and started scratching in her bag while she was rambling on about something I couldn’t make out. She snapped her fingers in front of my face and said ‘Earth to Liz’ in a sarcastic tone. ‘Those meds you are on really space you out’ she continued. I focused on her face and smiled at her, feeling happy to see her. ‘I didn’t know you are joining us today’ I said and cocked my head at her. ‘And miss all the fun’? She said half way standing up. She looked out over the river and spotted Josh floating in the water. She ran to the edge and jumped in swimming over to him. She greeted him loudly and threw her arms around his neck. I felt a pang of jealousy as I watched them playing in the water knowing I was unable to join them. I was deathly afraid of deep water meaning I was unable to swim, even after having numerous lessons. I longed to be the one in Josh’s arms even though I knew that they were having innocent fun. I wasn’t going to torture myself any further by looking at them and lay back on the blanket staring up to the clear blue sky.

I closed my eyes and saw the same flash as before of a handsome man standing over me. The face felt familiar to me somehow but I did not know him as I had never seen him before. I thought that maybe it was the medication I was taking that was making me see things but I wasn’t going to dwell on it, no matter how sexy this guy was. I had the perfect husband and I was content with my life being the way it was supposed to be. I just had to keep reminding myself that the flashes I saw weren’t real and that’s why I had my medication. It took the craziness away.

Two weeks had passed since I returned home and life was good. I was a happily married woman again and had the best friend in the world. Chloe came over to the house to make sure that I was feeling ok and stayed to help me make food. She was constantly there looking after us which I didn’t mind as she was great company and it didn’t seem like Josh minded either. Chloe and I were busy in the kitchen making food one afternoon while Josh was in the TV room watching a movie as had become tradition. Chloe and I were chatting when I heard Josh call her. I didn’t think much of it as he probably needed another drink. They were drinking alcohol and I was drinking orange juice. When Chloe didn’t return after about ten minutes I decided to look for her as I figured she was watching the movie with Josh.

I talked loudly as I walked to the TV room saying to Chloe ‘You know helping with the food means you actually have to be present in the kitchen’. I froze in the doorway as I saw Chloe sitting with her legs over Josh’s and he had his hand on her thigh. I felt unsure of what to say and walked back to the kitchen to finish the food when Chloe saw me. She didn’t look concerned at what I saw and flew up off of the couch. ‘I was just coming to help you’ she said and walked up to me. I was just standing there staring at her. It felt like she was betraying me for some reason. Josh came and stood behind her and asked me if the food was ready as he was starving. I nodded and they both walked past me leaving me to look at their receding figures. I saw a flash of Chloe and Josh having sex and felt bile rise in my throat. I frowned as I realized the flashes were coming more frequently and I felt afraid that I was going crazy again. I decided to skip dinner, drink my medicine and get in bed as I couldn’t afford another trip to Green Meadows. The medicine took the flashes away and made me feel relaxed and sane. ‘Tomorrow I’ll go out for a while to recollect my thoughts’ I thought to myself. ‘A day out will do me good’ I thought as I drifted off to sleep.

I woke up feeling a bit groggy the next morning, but the note I found on my pillow from Josh brightened up my morning. It read: Hope your day is as wonderful as you are. I got dressed and felt determined to enjoy my day like a normal person. I was going out for the day and doing normal things. I was going to be the person Josh deserved me to be. I decided to get breakfast at a tea garden a few blocks away. It was another beautiful day and breakfast outside under a tree sounded heavenly. I was seated in the spot I imagined myself sitting and felt quite pleased with how the day was going so far. I brought a book with me to keep me company and started reading while I was waiting for my food. I was about four pages in when I heard someone say my name. I thought I heard wrong and didn’t bother to look up from my book when I heard my name again. I looked up and found Ann standing at the table in front of me smiling like she had won the lottery. I almost threw my book in the air from excitement when I saw her. I leapt up and threw myself into her arms with so much force that we almost fell over. She burst out laughing as she lost her balance trying to stand up straight. It looked like we were trying out some kind of dance move but we eventually found our feet and our balance.

‘You’re out’! She almost yelled looking at me with big eyes. ‘More than two weeks already’ I replied feeling ashamed that I had not gone looking for her yet. ‘What, two weeks and I only fall over you now’? She said looking a bit hurt. ‘Things have been a bit hectic’ I said realizing how pathetic that sounded. ‘Well, you can catch me up now if you want’? She asked and took a seat at my table. We filled each other in briefly of what had gone on since we have been home. It felt good being able to talk to my friend again, the person who kept me sane in the institution. Well as sane as any person in there could be. I told her about the flashes I have been having and how I put them down to me being crazy and that I have been drinking extra medication for the past few days to keep the flashes from coming back as I was scared Josh would think I was still unwell.

‘How are you still functioning’ Ann asked me, concerned that I was drinking too many tablets. I laughed and said ‘I think my system is used to it already’ but Ann did not find it amusing at all. She lectured me on how unhealthy it was blah blah blah. I only heard half of what she had said as I was not interested in being lectured about what was best for me. After a lengthy lecture about the medication Ann decided to change the subject and asked ‘How are things with your husband going’? I smiled at her as the thought of Josh made me feel blessed and happy. ‘Wonderful, I am so lucky to have him by my side’ I answered and saw Ann frown at me. ‘So all is forgiven then’? She asked and now it was my turn to frown at her. ‘What do you mean’? I asked her feeling confused at her question. Ann leaned in closer as if she didn’t want us to be overheard and said ‘You know, him cheating on you and killing that girl’ and motioned with her hands as if it would somehow jog my memory. ‘What’? I almost yelled at her. ‘Josh would never cheat on me and if he killed someone he would be in jail don’t you think. What’s wrong with you, where did you hear that’? I said in a very harsh, loud tone. Ann looked taken aback by my reaction and her reaction confused me even further. ‘You told me’ she said exasperated. ‘In Green Meadows, you had many nightmares and you told me that your husband cheated on you and killed some girl you know’ she continued looking sincere. ‘I was crazy Ann, we both were. Saying crazy stuff is what got me in there in the first place’ I snapped at her. ‘No but’ she started saying but I cut her off and said ‘I would appreciate you not pursuing this any further. Everyone knows and loves Josh and if someone hears you talking like that you’ll end up back in the institution and I’ll get thrown back in there with you for associating with you’. Ann looked tired at that moment, as if she had something to add but decided to keep it to herself. ‘Fine’ she said and scribbled something down on a piece of paper and slid it to me. ‘Here’s my number and address if you come to your senses or just want to talk. I’m not the enemy here Liz, At least give me a chance’. She got up and looked at me for a moment before turning around and walking away from me.

My breakfast was spoiled as I no longer had the urge to eat or to enjoy my day. It felt as though there was a dark cloud hanging over my sunny day trying to rain on my parade. I left the tea garden and just walked. I had no idea where I was walking to or what I was going to do, but I needed to walk. My mind ran wild with what Ann had said to me, her words replaying themselves in my head over and over blurring together as one cascading down into my core as if death was at my door. I kept asking myself why she would say such things and why she brought something up that I supposedly said while my mind was in an altered state. It felt like I was going crazy all over again. ‘Maybe Ann is relapsing, believing things that were in her mind’ I thought to myself and then thought out loud ‘I never said anything like that to her and I would never talk ill of Josh, I love him, he is my husband’. I realized I must have looked crazy at that moment, a woman fresh out of a nut house walking alone, talking to herself, waving her hand in the air. Maybe I was still crazy and Ann was not the one who was relapsing but something was certainly wrong somewhere. I collected myself and walked back to the tea garden where I had left my car. I had walked much farther than I realized and regretted my decision to walk rather than drive. I thought it best to go back home and spend the day there instead of being between people. I was determined to put Ann’s words behind me and move forward as if they were never said. Once home I took a double dose of my medication and started with supper while listening to soothing music.

Josh came home from work and kissed me on the forehead while he was telling me about how his day was and how awful the people at work were. I listened to him while I admired him for having such patience with such nasty people. I could understand why people adored him so much, he truly was a great person. I was feeling a little high from my medication but welcomed the feeling as it numbed out everything Ann had said earlier. I was no longer bothered by her words as I knew Josh and I were happy and whatever I had said in the institution were the ramblings of a crazy person and was no longer relevant. Josh and I spoke for a while before going off to bed. I felt tired and no longer had the ability to focus on anything so Josh tucked me in and said he would join me shortly and I drifted off to a peaceful sleep.

I jolted awake some time later feeling an intense pain in my stomach. The room was pitch black and I was unable to see anything. I was lying face down on the bed unable to move. My eyes refused to focus and my ears sounded like they had cotton in them. I tried turning around to lie on my back but it felt like I was pinned down to the bed. I felt the intense pain again and heard a muffled sound like someone was groaning. I felt fuzzy from the medication and was confused by what was happening to me. I tried focusing on the sound I was hearing and what I was feeling and realization slowly crept in that someone was having sex with me. The groaning I heard was a man’s voice and the pain I felt was violent thrusting from behind. I was unable to move because he was lying on top of me pinning me down. Panic surged up in me leaving my mind reeling but I was unable to do anything as the medication did a decent job of rendering me useless. I lay there for what felt like an eternity while this man was pummeling me like I was nothing more than a doll. I tried crying out and calling for help but I had something tied over my mouth silencing me to the world. Torture is a word too lightly described trying to explain how I felt at that moment. I was begging for it to stop on the inside but it was like screaming under water where no one can hear you. The pain I was in felt like a hammer hitting a nail into your flesh, over and over again. Each time the hammer hits the nail the pain would get worse as it drives deeper and deeper into your limbs, tearing apart every muscle as it makes its way through to the other side. Finally the thrusting stopped and the weight lifted off of me and for the first time I was able to really breathe. I was still unable to move as I was afraid of whoever was in the house and also the pain I was in would only get worse if I moved. So I lay there trying to hear something, anything that sounded familiar but I heard nothing. The cotton sound in my ears became a ringing noise and my head started spinning wildly feeling as though I was on a rollercoaster ride going in circles. I let out a groan before the darkness came and claimed me for itself.

I woke up the next morning feeling like I was hit by a train. My body was aching and I had a splitting headache. I couldn’t remember much from last night as I drank too many tablets and fell asleep early. My previous evening was nothing if not a blur. Josh came out of the bathroom looking really handsome in his chino pants and button down shirt. He said he had a special meeting at work and wanted to look the part. He greeted me with a kiss on the forehead and headed out the door. I tried to get up out of bed when a pain shot through my lower abdomen and I fell to the floor. I felt water under my feet and thought that I had messed water on the floor during the night in my stupor. I slowly got up, careful not to fall and saw it was blood. I was bleeding for some reason and it really hurt. I stood there for a moment, frozen in pain, doing my best not to fall over from the intense pain in my head that caused black dots in front of my eyes. I slowly walked over to the bathroom and run myself a bath. I was generous with the bubble bath as I felt like soaking would be the best way to rid myself of my period pains. I fell asleep in the bath and woke up two hours later only to find that my skin felt horrible and my water was cold. I got out, put on my robe and crawled back on the bed.

I lay on my stomach as it helped a little to relieve my pain and I closed my eyes for a moment to breathe through the pain when I saw a flash of myself laying on the bed, on my stomach with someone on top of me thrusting violently. I heard myself screaming but no sound came out of my mouth. I blinked my eyes and flew up off of the bed, horrified by what I had just seen. I grabbed my phone to look at the time and saw that I was overdue on the time I usually drink my medication. My body was overrun with goose bumps as I almost ran to the kitchen to drink my tablets. I opened the bottle and tipped it sideways but nothing came out. The bottle that was meant to last me the whole month was finished and I still had more than a week to go until I could refill my medication. I felt flushed and panicked and in extreme pain. My thoughts were bouncing all over the place as I was freaking out because of what I saw. I started searching through the pain medication for something strong enough to still my mind and calm me down. I settled on a bottle of pain medication Josh got from the hospital after he underwent a wrist operation. I popped the top off and drank two tablets. The bottle said to drink only one at a time but I felt that my situation called for the rules to be broken. The tablets didn’t take long to kick in and I started feeling tired. My limbs felt numb and too heavy to move them where I wanted to go so I lay on the bed, waiting for the medication to drift me off to my dreams where I knew I was always safe. I hoped that the pain medication would still the visions and that I would still be able to function normally as I didn’t want Josh knowing that my medication was depleted. I was trying to live a normal life without having a relapse or Josh judging me that I drank too many tablets at a time. My ears began ringing and I finally drifted off to sleep with the whole world spinning violently around me.

I woke up the next morning with a raging headache and my body felt numb. I slept away my whole day yesterday as if it never existed. I had to lay a while for my body to wake up and enable me to move my limbs. My ears were still ringing which I assumed were an after effect from the tablets I took. My thoughts felt a bit fuzzy and I couldn’t think straight right away. I preferred not to think as I didn’t want to remember the flashes that I saw and feel the fear while seeing them. Something in me had changed since I started seeing the flashes and it wasn’t a good change. I had a feeling of panic just under the surface threatening to break through and I couldn’t understand why I had it. My day didn’t go well as I felt like a dark cloud filled me and I was restless. I had no medication to calm me and nothing to prevent the flashes from coming back but I knew I couldn’t let Josh see me on edge like this so I had to try and be normal around him to avoid suspicion. I spent the remainder of my day pacing up and down in the house with unrelenting flashes and thoughts running all over the place. It felt like I was going crazy all over again. My peaceful mind felt overwhelmed by so much noise that only I could hear. Everything swirled together, the flashes and voices blending in to each other leaving me unable to pull just one from the mess. Through the noise I heard Josh’s car pull up and I knew I was out of time and that I had to get myself together before he walked in and saw me like that. I ran over to the medicine cabinet and drank two more of his hospital pills. Although it made my ears ring and my head spin, it made me sleep and when I was asleep I had no flashes. Josh came in and greeted me with suspicion in his eyes. He looked as though he knew something was going on which freaked me out for some reason. ‘Why do I feel afraid’ I thought to myself and looked over at Josh. He was a loving husband who had my best interests at heart and he would never hurt me in any way. Josh narrowed his eyes at me and I knew I was doing a poor job at pretending to be normal so I decided to talk to him.

I went over and took a seat beside him feeling extremely nervous and started by asking him ‘How was your day’? He cocked his head my way and just said ‘fine’. ‘My day was not bad either. I just feel so tired the past few days so I’m sorry if I’m not quite myself’ I said while fiddling with my fingers in my lap. Josh put his hand over mine and said ‘stop fidgeting, you know it annoys me’ in an annoyed tone. I looked at him and his expression changed to calmness again and he continued ‘Are you still drinking your medicine’? I was so afraid he would see the truth in my eyes when I lied to him and said ‘of course I am. I feel great since I’ve been on them’. He smiled as if he felt satisfied and nodded at me. He got up and to go take a shower and I felt lucky that he hadn’t looked in the medicine holder to find it empty so I put Josh’s hospital medication in the holder just in case he wanted to check. Both pills were white and I hoped he wouldn’t see the difference and knew he wouldn’t miss his medication as he no longer needed it. I had just put the medication back in the cabinet when Josh walked in and at that moment it felt like I had dodged a bullet. My ears were ringing again and my head started spinning and I tried my best not to show Josh but the tablets were too strong and it felt like someone was ripping the floor out from under me. Before Josh could catch me I fell and hit my head against the cupboard. I knew something was wrong when Josh wasn’t by my side immediately to see if I was ok. He stood looking down at me with his hands in a position that would propose he tried to catch me. ‘Maybe he was in shock that I fell and that’s why he’s frozen’ I thought to myself while holding my head that hurt. I saw black spot in front of my eyes and saw a flash of Josh standing over me, yelling something I couldn’t hear. Fear gripped me and tried to get up as fast as I could but all I achieved was to fall over again. It took Josh a while to bend down and help me up and it felt as though he was reluctant to do so in the first place.

He started laughing at me for falling as he helped me get my balance. I felt small and stupid for falling over in the first place and the fact that he burst out laughing didn’t help the situation in any way. He held me up by the arm as he walked me to the bedroom where I could lie down but as we walked us through the bedroom door I froze as I saw Mindy laying on the bed staring up at the ceiling, and a vile smell filled my nose. It felt like I could scream and bolt for the door but the tablets I took rendered me useless again and I had no power to walk, let alone run anywhere. Josh pulled me forward and the vision and the smell was gone as fast as it came. He helped me to the bed and turned around and walked to the kitchen. He stopped in the doorway saying ‘Get some sleep, I’ll make food’ and disappeared out of sight. I felt flushed and my body was shaking from fear with what I had just seen. ‘I really need more medication’ I thought to myself. ‘I need to stop these hallucinations’ and with that I fell into a semi-conscious sleep still aware of what was going on around me even though my ears were ringing and my eyes were closed.

I heard Josh talking on the phone with someone and at first I thought I heard him incorrectly but then he said it again ‘no, she trusts me, she doesn’t suspect anything’ and I couldn’t help but wonder who he was talking about until I heard him say in a tone much softer than he was already talking in ‘Liz doesn’t remember anything, were safe’. My heart felt as though it sank into my stomach and my pulse started racing. ‘What don’t I remember’ I thought to myself and tried my best to think of something but my mind was a jumbled mess and I couldn’t pull one thought out to put a pin in it. I felt like I could cry as i realized that maybe the flashes I were seeing were memories of something that happened, but what? The harder I was thinking the more my head hurt but I was determined to at least try and then it dawned on me. I had flashes since I was released from Green Meadows but doubling the medication seemed to suppress the visions and now that my medication was finished I had nothing to suppress my memory anymore which meant that the flashes had to be something that really happened and that I may not be relapsing after all. What Josh said to the person on the other side of the phone told me that he was hiding something and was happy that I couldn’t remember anything. Then I remembered what Ann had said at the tea garden about what I told her about Josh. She sure had a good memory remembering what I said when I was in there as I could hardly remember anything of what I told her. I had put Ann’s number and address under my clothes and decided it was time to visit her. I wanted to talk, I had questions and she had the answers I needed.

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