Chapter 18 "This is How It Ends"
It’s no use shouting out to that bastard anymore; I’ve done it so many times already. No one is going to come. I’m locked in this room on the third floor; Reuben told me as he was leaving and the nurse was preparing to lock the door, bars were installed on the window in here just before I came to this hospital. This is my place; this is where I’ll remain. I couldn’t fight back that time-I was outnumbered, and he would’ve seen it coming.
I’m going to lose my mind. I’m going to go insane in here, and I will die watching him holding his newborn... child. I don’t know what it is, but... I hope to god that it’s not going to be as powerful as he makes it sound. Please let it be good, please... let it not destroy mankind. The first look into the eyes of this baby will tell everything; good or not. If I die giving birth to it, I will go out taking Reuben with me if I can.
I’ve had plenty of time alone in here to think about everything going on, and everything that’s happened before all... this. I know the life I had before is probably completely destroyed now. All this shit went down before I could ever get the job as manager at the Dillard’s store in the mall-I was so close. Moving to that part of Maryland was the worst thing I could’ve ever done. I don’t very well know why I did that either. No, there was a reason-some guy I used to know-maybe even felt close to-convinced me to move there... or something. Why don’t I remember much of anything? Who was he? Gabriel?
I know before I moved there, I was looking into becoming a forensic psychologist and felt confident things were going to work out, because I had a little bit of help; my family had something to do with this.
After all I’m living through right now, I think if I ever get out, I will be so lost and traumatized college will never work out. I’ll snap and do something horrible to someone innocent-and I will enjoy it because I’ll think it’s someone else; I’ll think it’s Reuben. I’ve never wanted to kill... until now. I’ve never had savaging thoughts and considered them relieving until now. I won’t be aware of my actions until it’s too late. And if I’m not caught that time, or the next time, or the next time...
This will go on and on like a tape recorder; it will always be him. It will always be Reuben... fucking with my head. Then finally, when I’m caught, I will be admitted to a forensic psychiatric hospital. Still, I will see him, and I will continue to attack until they drug me so bad I’m not me anymore-I’ll be a Dead Creature merely surviving in Addison’s body. But... that’s if I ever get out of here. Maybe it would be better if I die now. If I die... now.
I look around the room at the furniture; the bed with its armrests covered and tightly wrapped with sheets, a couple chairs and small tables-including the food tray-then I stop my attention on the armrests of the bed for a while. If I die now... all of this would end just like that. In mere seconds.
I don’t want to go out like that. I get up and go look in the bathroom. The tub has been busted, unable to hold water. Who did this? I frown sadly, defeatedly.
I open the toilet and, gazing at the green, putrid-smelling water with yellowish clumpy things in it, I almost want to throw up and the baby is moving again. I rub my belly gently, “I’m sorry... I’m so... sorry. This is for us.” I get down on my knees and hold the sides of it, eyes welling up. “This will save us, and many more. I promise, it’s for our own good-” I’m starting to choke on my sobbing. “Come on... Come on...!” Why can’t I do this? I have to do it, to end the baby’s, the world’s and my own suffering. I have to do this! I repeat that last sentence aloud many times until I’m only moving my lips and no sound is coming out.
I jerk back in anger, disappointment, scooting away from the toilet and hitting my back against the door. Letting my face fall into my hands, I bawl the words, “I can’t-
I can’t do this!” I’m a coward. I’m such a COWARD!
I stand up and stomp out of the room, marching over to the armrests of the bed and taking firm holds of the sheets, shaking my head in disgust at my failure. Tugging on them and tugging on them, nearly knocking myself off my feet, I feel so helpless. What kind of sheets are these to be so tough and indestructible?! The obsessive yanking makes me slip and fall hard on my ass. I yelp at the pain; my tailbone feels cracked; I know that’s exaggerating, but it hurts like hell.
“Miss May...” The door opens. I look behind me and jump at the sight of the nurse coming in; the same one who laughed at the man that jumped from the top floor window. My heart jolts and my throat goes dry. I staggeringly back away from her. “You stay the fuck away from me...!” She holds up a finger; I see jagged nails-dead jagged nails. She says, “I’ve come to check on you. Why aren’t you in bed? Here...” she opens her arms for me, and that smile of hers is the most terrifying thing you could imagine; blood oozing from her receding gums and filling in around her black rotten teeth. The skin on her lips looks peeled away and there are slits an inch apart on her top lip. I look around quickly for a weapon. She’s coming closer. There’s nothing around. I yank a table drawer open and trip her when she’s close enough, then I shove her head down in the drawer and slam it shut on her repeatedly. She’s twitching and jerking. Low guttural sounds escape her every time she moves. I jump away and find the remote for the bed and rip the cord out, then as she stands up, cracking her neck, and I begin to shake in fear, wrapping both ends of the cord around my hands, she lets out a monstrous roar and starts charging at me. Suddenly, we feel the floor and walls shake and hear a man screaming. Though it scares me, I take this opportunity to push her down and run out the door, then slam it shut and lock her inside.
Spinning around on a heel, I put my hand over my racing heart and then something makes me look down the left hall; the nurses are hurdled around a doctor helping a patient use a medical saw on her own pregnant belly. She’s laughing like it tickles her, while blood and other fluids pour out. My knees are getting so wobbly I might collapse. I don’t know how I keep it together. I hold my mouth and quietly move down the hall.
I find the nurses’ station and scramble around for a few sharp objects. Scissors, paperclips, pens-I stuff the paperclips and pens in my bra and clutch the scissors tightly in my hand. I dart my eyes around the room, scanning for more nurses and doctors. Then I move again, quicker this time.
The farther I go, the more the lights flicker and threaten to go out. I get to the stairwell and swing the door open, and all the lights burn out. I only hear my breathing and heartbeat. Carefully, cautiously, I bring the scissors up and listen to a few footsteps coming up the hall. Female nurses, orderlies, security-someone like that, I’m sure. I turn the doorknob and gently close the door, then turn around and feel my way downstairs. Breathe, breathe, calm, calm... steady. Steady Addison. I trip on a step and nearly fall. My gasp echoes in the stairwell. I freeze, listening for a second; it feels like I’m not alone. But I don’t hear anyone. I reach and no one is there. Nervously, I continue down the steps, still quivering and my blood running cold.
I get to the second floor and this feels like eternity, going down these stairs. The lights suddenly flash, and I see a little girl down there staring up at me with a smile. She disappears with the lights going out again. I back up quickly; No no no! I bump into someone tall, strong, and I spin around. He catches my wrists and makes me drop the scissors. “Hello, Addison...” I scream “Reuben! NO!” He stops me by cupping my mouth and whirls me around, pulling me against him and whispering in my ear, “Quiet now... I understand you don’t like your room; you want something a little classier...” I shiver at his hot breath and lips touching my ear. “I respect that... which is why I will personally escort you to my office, and there we can finish this task together without any medical staff. I know that is what you most prefer. I can make it easier for you.” his tone softens as he rests his cheek on mine, “You will feel no pain...” Tears stream down my face as I shut my eyes. “Now, let’s go then.” He rubs his hand across my mouth and simpers to himself, “only human,” then he picks me up and takes me back upstairs. I try to fight but it feels like I’ve been paralyzed. All I can do is look around. His office, him and I alone; my time is limited. This is it. This is what we’ve been waiting for.
When we’re out of the stairwell, the lights come back on and the nurses, doctors, orderlies, security, patients, all other staff and visitors are lined up side by side all the way down both sides of the hall. They’re all watching us. Some are smiling and others are dead in the face. This is it. This is how it all ends.