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The Visit

By , South Plainfield , NJ

It was the Winter of 1989, in the woods of Romania, Germany where things went wrong. I was sitting in my old crusty chair looking out of my massive front window, and watched the snow flurries come down from the sky. It was extremely cold this Winter, and I had just ran out of firewood. I held my hot cup of tea closer to myself, feeling the warmth in my hands, and watched the trees bend over side to side in the heavy winds. As I sat in my chair I thought to myself, Why does life feel like a dream? Why is it that when you were a child things went by so slow, and things go by faster when you are old? I tapped my fingers vigorously on the arm of my chair, and I rose from my seat to go get some firewood. When I was walking, I found myself gasping for air and the next thing I knew my head hit the floor. I saw nothing but stars and a pitch black background. I woke up to being strapped to a bed and hooked up to all sorts of tubes and wires. The fluorescent light was blinding my eyesight and made it hard to see. I was in an institution, in my own private room, being held down onto a bed. At the foot of my bed, a circle of doctors and nurses were in front of my face doing their job. Then, I heard a voice say calmly,
“You’re alright Roderick, you will be staying for a couple of nights here so we could do some evaluations on you. Mr. Millard, why did you make yourself fall?” asked one nurse. The nurse kind of reminded me of my mother. She carried the same attitude like my mother did. How she always asked how I was, and always being concerned for me. My mom died shortly after she gave birth to me from an infection; so I was left with my father. My relationship between my father and I is awkward because I suffer from Bipolar Personality Disorder, and my mood changes very rapidly. Therefore, my father just doesn’t socialize with me. I heard the voice again,
“Mr. Millard? Are you there?” asked the nurse again. I snapped out of my trance and the nurse was looking at me funny. I must have been staring into space again, so I gave her my eye contact letting her know that I was listening.
“Yes I am listening now, ma’am. I was thinking about something, what were you saying?” I asked her. She continued,
“I was saying as to why you fell on the floor on purpose, and that you’ll be staying here for a couple of days.”
“I fell on purpose because I’m being haunted, and I’m just barely here.” As I told her this the nurse looked at me as if she was confused.
“Perhaps, you need psychiatric help, I’ll go and set up your schedule now. If you need anything just press the call button, and someone will come as soon as they can.” She closed the curtain to give me privacy and slid out the door. Psychiatric help? Oh God, no. I hate counselors with a passion. Why can’t people understand that I’m fine the way I am, and I don’t need help, I thought to myself.
I slept fine in the room that night surprisingly. However, at around three am, I was wide awake. It got even colder that night in the room, and I thought it was the air conditioner blowing on me but it wasn’t. All I thought about was getting out of this place. I thought about sneaking out of the window but there were bars blocking the windows. All I want is to get out of here. Hospitals give me an unsettling feeling. I sat up in my bed and reached over to call the nice nurse. I was freezing and I wanted an extra blanket or two to bundle up in. The nurse didn’t show up when I called her the first time, so I pressed the button again and waited. Nothing happened, no one came. As I reached out for the call button again, a draft blew across the curtain as if someone had opened the door to my room. If it wasn’t the air conditioner, then what was it? I didn’t understand it.
“Hello, is someone there?” I called out in a shaky voice thinking it was the nurse finally coming. The air around me felt really heavy on me almost like someone was pushing down on my shoulders.The curtain at the foot of my bed was moving as if someone was brushing up against it on the other side.
“Is anyone there?” I called out again, my voice shaking. Obviously I wasn’t alone. Someone was with me in the room.
“Nurse! Come quick there’s someone in here!” I shouted and pressed the call button fast trying to call the nurse. Suddenly, the scratching moved, and it moved to my right side of the bed. I held my breath for a moment and listened in the room. It was so quiet that water droplets from leaky faucet could be heard. It was like a hundred fingers were dragging across the cloth, and balled up the fabric; clenching it in its hands. They began to pull downward, putting pressure on the silver rings attached to the curtain. I screamed at the top of my lungs,
“Nurse! Help please there’s someone in here!” The curtain was torn down now, and the room was filled with people. People that I didn’t even recognize. I readjusted my eyes and suddenly realized who was in the room.
“Mom, Dad?” They came closer to me. When I went to open my arms for a hug, my parents went right through me like a cloud. I noticed that my parents looked somewhat different than myself. Their skin tone was a light blue color, while mine was porcelain. Their bones were more visible, and their face structures were more prominent. My brain registered that both of my parents were dead. I watched my Dad come closer to my face, and I threw the covers over my head. Something about him being in the room made me feel extremely uncomfortable, and almost ill.
“Do you not know why I’m here Roderick?!” he yelled in my face throwing the covers off of my head. My mom looked really upset, she couldn’t even look at me. I clenched the covers tighter in my hands hiding my face. I didn’t want my mom to know why he was here. I didn’t want her to know what I’ve done. He said to me,
“I shouldn’t be the one deceased you should be. I’m surprised that your mother doesn’t even know what you done to me.”
“I told you I didn’t mean to it was an accident!” I argued with him.
“Poisoning someone is never an accident,” my father bellowed. From the corner of my eye, I could see that my mother was weeping. She could tell that I been hiding something from her, and I was lying when I went to confession.
“Look, I said I was sorry and that it was an accident. I was trying to be generous, and it turned into a disaster. I didn’t know the furnace was going to leak carbon-monoxide and contaminate the air. The house I bought for you looked brand new, and nothing needed to be replaced,” I pleaded. I didn’t mean to kill my father, it was an accident. I should have hired someone to have a look at the furnace before it blew up. I decided to buy my father a home that he could reside in and not be disturbed. Years passed, and I barely heard from my father. That was probably when the furnace leaked. As I was laying in bed, my heart monitor started to beep faster, and I was having troubling breathing. A new pain was blooming in my chest like a bright red rose bush full of pricker thorns. I wanted to try to call the nurse one last time but I couldn’t move.
It felt like someone was pinning me down, and pushing on top of my chest. I found difficult to catch my breath, and the beeping was rapid. Then in an instant my pulse slowed down, and stopped abruptly. The beeping stopped, and I looked up and my parents were gone. Vanished. The whole was filled with a hum from the beeping of the heart monitor. Nurses came rushing in and try to revive me, but it was too late. All I remember was my father telling me that i would regret what I have done, and that my life will end soon.

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