Situated on the highest floor in Drase hospital…
“Please, make it stop!”
Kailey had paid a fortune to get Zac situated in one of the hospital’s private suites. The hospital room looked more like a hotel room than anything else. Five sombre faces were gathered on the leather couches in front of the television. One of them looked back at Zac with longing evident in their eyes.
“I’m begging you! Spare her!”
The television was on to distract the group from reality when an advertisement featuring Diaan came on. It was her and another celebrity who were promoting the upcoming show that was going to appear on television in the following weeks. The group knew that Diaan had co-hosted a show but they had not expected for the show to air so soon. The television was immediately switched off and the suite was bathed in silence.
“Stop it! Make it STOP!”
Keira got up from where she was seated next to Kailey and walked over to the window. She could not believe the events that had occurred in the span of a few weeks. Zac’s smiling face came to the forefront of her mind. When she had left for Gallo, she had expected to see him again soon – but not like this.
“I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE! PLEASE, I’M BEGGING YOU! MAKE THIS STOP!”
The twins stared at their brother’s figure. Since he was being fed through a tube that was attached to an IV bag and was not eating solid foods, Zac had lost a lot of weight. He looked at peace in the hospital bed, as if he were just sleeping.
Everyone in the room shot up when they heard the heart monitor frantically beeping. A female doctor and a few nurses ran into the room a few moments later, having been automatically notified of Zac’s distressed state.
Stepping closer to Zac’s bed, Carson asked, “Is he waking up again?”
“Yes,” the doctor said.
The nurses were adjusting the dosage of fluids going into Zac’s IV bag while the doctor was checking Zac’s vitals. Carson, Kailey, Kiera and the twins were all anxiously waiting for Zac to gain consciousness again.
Zac’s eyes felt heavy and as soon as he saw the light, he gasped loudly. The nurses adjusted Zac’s bed and brought it up so that he was in a sitting position. Another nurse brought a glass of water over with a straw and held it to Zac’s lips as he slowly took a sip.
The fogginess slowly receded and Zac’s mind was immediately alert. Whipping his eyes to the people in front of him, Zac located Kailey and hoarsely asked, “Where’s my mom?”
The group in front of Zac felt their hearts break for this was not the first time he had regained consciousness and asked them that exact same question.
Having not received a response, Zac located his father and tried again, “Dad, where’s mom?”
Carson stared at his son with a heavy heart and felt his tear ducts filling. “Zac…your mother never made it. There was a car crash…remember? You were in it that’s why you are in the hospital right now.”
Zac was looking at his father but his mind was playing the events of that dreadful day like a movie in his head. Zac gripped his head with both hands and lowered his eyes to the sheets covering his body. His eyes widened and he watched as his tears soaked one particular spot on the sheet.
He gripped his head harder and felt his nails digging painfully into his scalp but he didn’t care. “Why? Why did that have to happen? We were so close!”
The group in front of Zac brokenly watched as he fell apart…again. The doctor and nurses stood off to the side and vigilantly kept a watch over Zac.
Crying harder, Zac moved his hands and gripped either of his arms. He dug his nails into his shoulders and scratched himself right down, drawing blood. Carson immediately went over to Zac’s side and firmly held his arms, ensuring that Zac could no longer hurt himself.
Carson looked down at his crying child and felt his heart shatter even more. He looked at the scars on Zac’s arms and felt his lips tremble. It was the same thing every time Zac woke up. He would ask about his mother’s whereabouts, he would then remember everything that happened and then he would resort to scratching himself open. The doctor’s had said that it was his way of feeling anything other than the pain within himself. He wanted his attention to be diverted elsewhere – sadly, it never worked.
The twins silently cried as they watched their brother in such a broken state. Kailey and Kiera were trying their best to choke back sobs as well. Kailey looked at her god-son and memories of him toothlessly smiling at her came to her mind, memories of him experiencing his first snow and of all his birthdays played in her head. All those happy memories shattered when his crying figure crumbled in front of her.
The doctor and nurses came over and held Zac’s arms hostage. His scratches were cleaned and his arms were bandaged. As soon as the nurses left his side, Zac saw the doctor injecting something into his IV bag and felt his eyes widen.
In wild desperation, Zac grabbed his father’s arms, looked up at him through teary eyes and pleaded, “Dad, please! Don’t let them do it! Please. I can’t stand the darkness anymore. Whenever it’s dark, I see mom’s motionless figure in front of me. I see her dying! I can’t! I can’t take it anymore! Please!”
Carson looked at his distraught son and felt conflicted. The doctor saw Carson’s hesitance and said, “He’s a danger to himself. You saw what happened the last time. He was awake for not even a day and he had managed to scratch open every inch of skin that he could find.”
Recalling the bloody image in his mind, Carson looked down at his son and hugged Zac’s frail body to himself. Zac leaned into his father’s embrace and trembled.
Feeling the effects of the drug that the doctor had inserted into his IV bag, Zac sagged against his father and softly pleaded, “Please, please don’t let me into the dark. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t, dad. I can’t. I don’t like the darkness.”
Zac’s body sagged against Carson as his breathing finally evened out. Carson lowered his son back onto the bed and looked at the blood that was slowly seeping through his bandages.
Choking back a sob, Carson hoarsely said, “I’m sorry, son.”
Just like that, Zac was once again submerged into the never ending darkness and had to relive the memories of his mother dying in front of him over and over again.
While Zac might have looked peaceful, in the dark, he was in a constant nightmare. The darkness tore at the seams of his already fragile heart, he was under so much mental strain and yet everyone thought that the darkness was the only solution to keeping him safe. In reality, the darkness was inflicting so much more pain on him than reality ever could.
With a hollow smile, the darkness fully engulfed Zac and filled his mind with the most terrifying of scenarios of which all of them ending with him helplessly watching his mother die.
“Please, don’t leave me here. Stop putting me here,” Zac’s subconscious whispered before it faded into nothing.