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“How do you feel today?”
They asked me that question yesterday. I’m not going to grace them with an answer, but my body doesn’t listen and I shrug. Is that too much of a response? Who cares? Not me, because I stopped caring a long time ago.
“I see.” The doctor scribbles something in the notebook. What does he see? What does he see with those horn-rimmed glasses and watery, blue eyes? What does he see?
“Any side effects from the medicine?” Aside from total numbness?
“No,” I answer, and I give up trying to be an island. Cooperation is key.
“Good!” He looks pleased, but I’m not. I don’t want to be numb, don’t want to become another shuffling doll among the other masses of emotionless clones that go about their day as if nothing is wrong. The medicine just numbs it. It doesn’t fix it. Nothing can fix it.
“Well, we think we might send you home.”
This makes me look up, and I realize that he wants a pleased reaction. I give him what he wants, a huge smile. A doll, with a painted face, unable to feel. I give him what he wants, because in return, he’ll give me what I want.
“Your mom is in the next room, actually,” he says. Then his grin shrivels into a stern grimace, like a flipped switch. “But, if you aren’t ready, we can call her and send her home.”
“No! I’m ready!” I am earnest, and I make myself sick. I’m so fake. But I will not be confined and made to be numb. I want to feel, feel something, anything, and when I get home I won’t take the meds. Then I’ll feel again.
“Good! And now, the question of the day.” He smiles, like we have some inside joke, and I giggle like a giddy schoolgirl, and I actually have to fight to keep the bile down. “Any thoughts of trying to hurt or kill yourself?”
All the time. “Nope!”
And he sends me home.



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