“Are you ready?” a co worker asked him and he shrugged in response, because he couldn't actually find the correct response to that. If he said he was ready, he would be lying because no matter how well-prepared your mind was it was never prepared enough to go through a mental patients file. Especially the ones who were murderers. And if you did say you weren't, well you'd also be lying because you had been trained to expect the worst. So either way, you weren't entirely lying or entirely telling the truth. That was just what it was.
"We'll see," he said instead as he grabbed her file and began to walk down the hallway, her case had been shifted from one person to another because nobody could handle how gruesome the murder was, and then it finally came to him because he was the most stoic to things like this and the chances that he wouldn't throw up was a 95%. His boss's words exactly.
For it to be a 95 meant that the remaining 5 percent was “Even he couldn't take it” which brought up the pressing question 'How bad could it possibly be?' he'd gone through a lot of gruesome and he was the one who handled most of it because he'd been built for it—his boss's words exactly—but when he went through her file yesternight, he finally understood why it had been shifted to him. The murders in here were a whole stage above 'gruesome', it was unexplainable, which is why exactly he was the guy for the job. His boss's words exactly.
He was sitted when she came for her scheduled time of therapy, she walked in and sat muttering incomprehensible things for a while and he let her have her time, after all out of all his patients she was the one allocated with the most time. Wonderful, more late nights, as if he needed anymore of those.
After this patient, he thought I'd ask for a raise.
When he finally had her attention, he introduced himself.
"Good day Miss...er–no Mrs, sorry about that Mrs. Davis,"
She nodded, then shook her head "Thank you, but Miss,"
"Miss. Xatriva, but then you already know that. Nice to meet you Mr...?"
She trailed off giving him the hint that he was supposed to answer but then he was thinking about something.
"Okay, so no name then?"
"Sorry, let's drop the formalities. Noah."
She sighed, one of relief. "Thank you," she said
"it's really weird to open up to somebody and still address them as ‘Mr.’"
It was a classic technique he used with all his patients to get them to open up faster rather than coaxing them each week, neither parties had time nor the patience for that.
But instead he just smiled in response and set down her file.
"You can call me Abby then,"
"Noted," he said and accepted gladly because he couldn't pronounce her name and the phonetics class could be saved for another day which will inevitably present itself in the course of this.
"So what number have you given to me?" He asked
He pointed to the file "you've circulated so much that even you had to have started counting,"
To that she nodded "hmmm, you got me there. Well..." She trailed off, her mind counting and recounting the number of people she'd gone through, bared her heart out to till she just gave up on making them understand and simply narrated her story which every psychologist knew now, whether she'd been their patient or not. They probably knew it from Adam till when she landed here without having even seen her file before, and yet she had to go through this routine with each new one that came.
"7," she said finally "yes, number 6 almost became one of us," ‘us’ referring to the mental patients and the crazed "so no you're number 7,"
"And I take it after giving them numbers, you forget their real names?"
"Probably, naturally you all have numbers because I can't remember your names. If I wasn't your patient you'd still be number 12,"
"Interesting," he said. So giving people numbers could also be a self coping mechanism "And have you always done this?"
"No, just when I got here. You can place this as a self coping mechanism if you'd like,"
That's right, he thought. If not that she'd gone off the deep end, she would've been his colleague.
That gave him the more reason to inspire his curiosity, he'd heard her stories before, many times before, but now that he had been put in her charge, he wanted to find out for himself what happened. Although it may just turn out to be exactly what he'd heard. His hopes failed him sometimes.
"Well, I'm going to stick around for a while and I'd really like it if you'd just use my actual name,"
"Yes, yes, I would–am going to use your name. You see it's after I've been shifted on to another that I'd change your number finally to 7 and another person would get 12,"
"Well you won't get shifted anymore,"
"That's what the last five said," she said as-a-matter-of-fact and he realised, of course that was what they'd said
"So let's begin,"
"Mmm, but we'd already begun since the time you'd made a mental note to place my number dishing as a self coping mechanism hadn't we?"
He smiled, so she'd exceeded his expectations just a little. "You got me there, but I mean...now let's get into your story,"
She pointed to her file "But it's in there and even without reading that, you'd known it hadn't you?"
"Yes, honestly I did know everything before I had seen the file but it's a different thing when the survivor says it directly."
"Survivor huh," he let out a short dry laugh "I've not survived, I've not survived anything,"
"Considering how long you've been here, if your story is what it is, I'd say you are,"
"She's biding her sweet, precious time just like she always does. She'll still come for me,"
"Who knows?" She stopped for a while and shivered and put her hand on her ears and began muttering things again but he could hear them a little clearer now and he figured this must be one of her episodes, she'd been having. As he was about to call it off and get a nurse to give her her medications, she slammed her hand on the table.
"Do you believe in the supernatural?" She'd caught him unaware but he'd recovered quickly.
"Even me too," she began "even me too, things like ghosts, and spirits only appeared in movies and stuff like that...and it would've remained that way. It should've remained that way."
"So what happened?"
"I guess it is kind of my fault," she ignored his question, or rather she didn't hear it. She was in her own world now. "If I'd just..." She stopped and finally looked at him again, as if remembering that he was here again.
"You want to know how I know how she's still coming right?..."
That wasn't exactly what he was wondering per say, but this was good too, she was moving forward. This was progress.
"Well I'll start from the very beginning of my very, very grusome tale. You see, it all started when I was still in college, way back then...and I'd just got this call from my mom and she was saying that her and my dad were travelling, so I was gonna spend my holiday with my grandparents..."