Janice Brown

February 11, 2009
I walked out of the hospital and into the chilly winter air. I vaguely heard footsteps coming from behind me, but took no notice. They were of no importance.
It hadn't occurred to me to bring my favorite white jacket, and I rubbed my arms to keep warm. A strong wind blew through my lank blonde hair. I decided to hurry and find my car. Where had that thing gone off to? I was looking for a red sedan.

My washed-out blue eyes scanned the parking lot, looking for my car. Again I heard the footsteps, and this time my name. It was just a whisper, but it was there. 'Janice. Janice Brown.' I rushed to my car and yanked on the door. No luck. My hands fumbled in my pockets for my keys, but I must have left them inside. But maybe the door was open? One hard yank and I was in the car, safe and warm.

My keys were in the car. Relief flooded through me and I backed of the parking space, eager to escape the hospital. It started to rain, and rapidly changed to a downpour. The drops pounded against my windshield, blocking my view. But I couldn't stop now. The whisper of my name again: 'Janice, Janice.' The whisper turned into a yell. 'JANICE!' I hit the brakes and the car jerked to a stop. I looked around for the source of the voice. I saw nothing in the darkness that was even more covered by the pouring rain, now joined by lightning and thunder.

'Calm Janice, calm' almost out, almost out of the parking lot, just one push of the gas pedal' gas pedal'' I murmured to reassure myself. The voice became angrier and more urgent as it screamed at me once again. 'Janice Brown, RIGHT NOW!' I didn't want to go back to the hospital, but I couldn't force myself to drive out of the parking lot. I made a split-second decision and my hand went to the handle. I stopped.

Outside the door was a man dressed in white. Like my white jacket, I thought. His was different, though' I turned towards the passenger door to escape. But there was a dark figure in the way.

There was no way she could have gotten there without me noticing; I would have heard the door close. I froze in shock. How was I going to get out? A flash of lightning revealed the woman's identity: her blue eyes staring at me, blonde hair hanging lank around her face; the woman was me. The words flashed instinctively through my mind- Not you again. This was something I could not face.

I screamed in horror. 'Not her, not her,' I cried, shoving myself away from the silhouette. At the same moment the man from outside grabbed me and dragged me back into the hospital. The woman disappeared from the car as I did.

They put me into my familiar white jacket, the only thing I was grateful for, and brought me back to my room. Another failed escape that I would forget by tomorrow. I know not what is real and forget what is. But I suppose that's why they call me insane.





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