Beep. Beep. Beep.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
“Stay with us Nora! Stay with me,” I heard a man sob.
A flash of lights.
And then nothing.
I opened my eyes to a white ceiling and the smell of urine and raised my head to find I was alone in a small, square room. The first thing that caught my eye were the metal bars that sealed the windows and the triple locks on the door. What kind of hospital was this? I started to swing my legs off the bed only to find that they were strapped to the bed. Something was definitely wrong. I started tearing at the restraints, shaking the sweaty sheets off of me. Immediately I heard footsteps pounding down the halls, getting closer to me. I panicked, and in a last attempt to escape I slammed my whole body forward and pushed off the bed. The restraints held, and I fell back on the mattress, but now there was a ringing in my ears. The door slammed open and I looked up to see a wide eyed doctor standing in the doorway. He was lean but muscular, with a dark patch of unruly hair that looked like it had been pulled out and glued back onto his head. He had dark bags under his eyes, but I barely noticed them because I was so busy staring at his mesmerizing green eyes. I snapped out of my daydream when I realized he was probably the man who had put me in this prison in the first place. I noticed the clipboard in his hand and the red button he wore around his neck on a chain. Looking back into his eyes, I was no longer mesmerized but afraid and disgusted. Who knew how long I’d been out cold, and who knew what this man had done to me? And now he dared barge into this room wearing a remote control around his neck that would do who knows what to this place if I tried anything. I backed up as much as I could into the bed and glared at this sick man. He still hadn’t moved from the doorway where he stood wearing an expression of shock. He’d been staring at me for the past minute, and I was getting impatient. An evil psychopath I could handle, but so far this man had acted more like a brainless minion. I was about to break the silence with some rather unkind words but he beat me to it. “Nora,” he said. “You’re really awake. Oh thank goodness, they said you wouldn’t make it, but I told them you would. I knew you would!” He had a grin plastered on his face and he started to run to my side when he seemed to realize I had yet to say anything. He stopped in his tracks and looked me over with a worried look. “What’s wrong? Nora, are you alright? Does anything hurt?” He stayed at a distance and wouldn’t stop asking me questions. He kept saying that name. Nora. He was obviously in the wrong room. My name was not Nora. My name was-- My name was-- My name was-- I didn’t know my own name. I stared at the man in shock. Who was he? Did I know this doctor? He was still talking, but my brain didn’t seem to register any of what was going on. I kept trying to think back, to remember anything about myself. Where did I live? What kind of foods did I eat? Was I married? Did I have children? Nothing. Nothing came to mind. Something was very wrong here, and I had no idea what. Maybe this man could help me, but first I had to get him to stop talking. I opened my mouth and he immediately shut his. “I—n-need…” “What do you need Nora? Are you thirsty? Hungry?” The doctor stared at me, waiting for an answer. I opened my mouth to speak once more, but only incoherent noises came out. I tried forming the words, but my tongue wouldn’t cooperate. I stared in alarm at the doctor and his eyes widened when he realized what was happening. He ran to the door and slammed his fist on a blue button. He took a phone from the wall and dialed a number. “It’s Nora. I don’t know what’s happening but she hasn’t been able to say more than two words in fifteen minutes. Something’s not right, I need nurses here stat. Bring a nurse and call Bryan, he’s going to want to be here for this.” He hung up the phone and rushed back to me., carefully stroking my hair as if I were a wounded dog. “Don’t worry Nora, we’ll get you help. You just need to stay with me. I just need you to lie down and wait until they get here.” I started to nod and open my mouth to thank him but broke into a coughing fit instead. The doctor held my hand tightly and patted me on the back, whispering encouraging words. I closed my eyes as my whole body shook, and when I opened them again I wished I never had. Because now the whole bed was red. Blood red.