Something is terribly wrong.
That’s I’m sure of as the week passed by. My new nurse, Debra is good at what she does. She gives me therapy every day and tries to make sure I can use my voice little by little. It’s like learning to do everything again. The experience is tiresome but at the end, the result is marvelous. And it’s everything I should ask for.
Yet when she stops being my nurse, she becomes someone else. Her eyes are too cold and calculated. Her hands are always inside her jacket hiding something. Sometimes I see her fidgeting while looking behind every time we are out of my room. Sometimes at night when I can’t sleep, I hear her talking to herself.
And I hate it when she looks at me like she knows everything. Like she can see the dark promise of destruction in my eyes. Like she can hear my breath hitch when a man comes near me. Like she knows that my soul has already left me.
Like she knows I’m nothing...
“Gloria? You alright?” Someone chuckles near my ears. Looking up, the beaming face of Debra welcomes me. Inside my room, she can be the best friend I’ve always wanted. Hell, sometimes she reminds me so much of Grace that I have to look away, scared that she will ask me what’s wrong.
I’ve no other choice than give her a small smile. But I know she won’t take it. She wants me to talk. To voice out what I’m thinking. My throat is too dry and it takes me several try to say a word.
Her grin widens, her arms already around me for a hug. I try to hug her the best way I can and yet I know it’s just pretending. The dark corner of my room whispers the truth every night. They taunt me to open my eyes and just give up.
You are nothing.
Why are you pretending, Gwen?
Did you really think she wouldn’t know your secrets? Did you think she cares for you?
Lies, lies, lies...
Who are you hiding from?
“See? I told you it will be easy as peachy if you do the practice of using your facial muscles. I heard your voice, twice now!” She exclaims laughing. The first time was when my wheelchair wasn’t working and the stair was just a few feet away. I was scared and trying to make Debra look at me. But she was too busy talking to someone on the phone that I had to let out a small scream with the word help.
Since that day, her whole personality changed. My nurse wasn’t supposed to stay the night in my room but she started doing just that. She even stopped leaving me to take a bath alone. And then started the sacred looks over her shoulder as if the devil was chasing her.
“But all things aside, I don’t even know you properly! What town are you from?” Fear burns me again. What town? What did Grace tell them? I never knew.
“Shit! I keep forgetting you can’t talk that much.” When I give her a look she winces. “Or not at all. But I can tell about myself right?”
My pulse increases. My last nurse used to leave me when I didn’t need her. Why can’t Debra do the same? Still, when I see her waiting for me, I nod.
“So, I’m from Southside. I know I know it’s pretty far from the facility but that’s where this beautifully troublemaker redhead was born.” She laughs hearing herself. “I have a brother who was in a coma even three months ago. He had a bike accident, lost his ability to walk.”
My interest pikes up. Even she realizes that as she continues. “Now he’s good to walk. My parents are busy with family business so I don’t see them like I used to. Oh, do you know half of the Eastside lands is going to the Southsides?”
Southside is the one town you stay away from. Bikers, strippers, gangsters every dangerous individual lived there which made me question what Debra’s parents’ family business was. And also as she talked and talked about her, I noticed another strange thing which I didn’t notice before.
As if my fingers had a life of their own, they start to lift and then they were touching a small tattoo of a snake on her pinky. It was so small that if someone didn’t look at her carefully they wouldn’t notice.
As soon as I touch the tattoo her whole body freezes. There was it again. That look of horror. Is she angry at me for touching her? Immediately I brush my hands off her and yet my questions in my eyes are clear as day.
Why do you have a snake tattoo with the word Serpent? Who are you?
“Hey, Gloria. Um...I gotta take this call and it’ll only take a minute. I-I gotta go.” With that, she leaves me in the room. Questions are swirling in my mind that I have to swallow down, to not let doubts grow. But I’m already falling deeper into the monsters in my nightmare.
She is lying. She doesn’t want to help you.
Who would even want to help a girl like you?
“You gotta be fucking kidding me!” I hear a male voice say suddenly. It’s not my doctor, his voice doesn’t match anyone from the facility.
Who is he?
The old fear is easy to come. It’s making me clench my fists in worry. Take a deep breath Gwen-I have to remember when I don’t find any air in my lung. When the door opens with a thud, all my energy is shoved down to not let out a scream. The dark corner of my room isn’t just a corner anymore.
A man lives there now.
An unknown man who can hurt me like them.
“We gotta hurry Kitty. Ginger won’t be able to hold them out for longer.” His blue eyes are hard and soft at the same time. His jaw tensed as if he was worried. Who is he talking about?
Don’t listen to him. The monsters say. He’s bad news. He’s going to take you from us. Don’t listen.
Before I can take a secure place in my dark corner, he’s touching my wrist and I can’t stop the flinch from washing over me. Someone screams thrashing out. I hear another voice curses but my eyes are on that dark corner. It’s getting smaller by the second.
Why? What’s going on?
“Fuck, Kitty! I need you to keep quiet or we are both done for.”
For the first time after that day, I’m truly sacred. I’m vulnerable. I’m fucking disgusted with me to not be able to fight this hulk.
“Shhh. It’s alright.” The man carrying me mumbles near my neck. But he’s wrong. He’s so wrong. They will not let me go. They still live in my head. They still watch from far.
And now they are even louder than they’ve been for years......