The Nightmare

April 9, 2017
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“Sydney--Sydney.” The girl snapped out of her agile state to look directly into the woman’s icy blue eyes. “Yes.” the girl spoke as soft and gentle like the wind itself. “As I was saying. How are you sleeping?” She noted something quickly on her computer. “Fine, I guess. I have these nightmares. Awful things. I try to tell myself that its not real, but I always wake in a cold sweat, fear running through me. It’s the same one over and over again.” Sydney spoke. “It’s normal. Everyone has nightmares. I get nightmares too--” A scream erupted though the hallway. She peeked through the window of the door and saw a female patient screaming being dragged by two police officers. “Oh, she should be fine. Just a rough day.” the doctor said shrugging it off. Sydney didn't appreciate her effervescent personality. It made her feel worse inside. The hole in her chest bigger, filled with voids that would never close. Salted wounds that kept getting deeper. “Do you still wish to hurt yourself?” she asked the monotonous routine question. “Who doesn't? In the world we live in. We always get hurt. Don’t we doctor? Either it’s us doing the hurting or someone else. But in the end, it’s inevitable.” she spoke in her regular soft tone. The doctor tiled her head to the side at a slight angle as if she was reprimanding a bad child. “I think your avoiding my question.” the doctor stated or merely pointed out. “I’m simply pointing out the things that we wish we could change, but we can't. And I think mine is driving me to the brink of insanity. That is why I am here. And yes I do think about hurting myself. But I’m more scared than the monsters in my head than a few cuts on my arm.” She looked the doctor straight in her eyes and could see her own tainted reflection. Her short mangled jet black hair flowed freely around her shoulders. Her large knit cardigan fit loosely on her back. She looked like she belonged here. “And here Sydney, I thought we had made progress.” She typed a few more words on her keyboard and closed it. “I thought we were Doctor Troy.” Sydney retorted back. “I believe it’s time for lunch. If you would like, we can talk more during art.” She gave one last enthusiastic smile and began to stand on her high heels. Sydney nodded and began to get up before the doctor gently placed her hand on her shoulder. “It will get better. You just have to take a leap of faith.” Before the doctor could get anything else out, Sydney opened the door and walked back to her room. It consisted of nothing but a hard bed nailed to the floor and a desk and nightstand also nailed to the floor, Attached to it was a bathroom. She sat on her bed until she heard the call for lunch on the intercom. Lunch was as mundane as it could ever get. She didn't know if the food was bland because she couldn't feel any worthy emotion, or that it was actually tasteless. It was mandatory for everyone’s well being to sit together at one table. It was eight other girls that didn’t utter a word to one another besides one who wouldn’t stop talking about a television show character that supposably was on the building. She had occasionally talked to them in the recreational room. Some part of her thought she belonged with them and some part thought she deserved better. Her mind went adrift, when there was a commotion in the hallway that pulled her straight from the daze. And then a sound erupted from the hallway. Screaming and a human howl. It echoed through the lunch room as someone barged in. It was a patient. A woman with a hospital uniform on wearing standard patient socks walked slowly into the room. She was young maybe mid twenties with jet black hair just like Sydney’s and she was small. She looked harmless, very, besides the black weapon that she struggled to hold with one hand. She was the same woman Sydney had seen getting dragged by the police. She walked closer to Sydney’s group, when the security guard took a step. A loud bang rang through the entire space leaving Sydney clenching her ears. The security guard lay on the floor, his head no longer there. The woman’s now blue shirt was now stained with droplets of dripping thick red liquid. Sydney wanted to scream, and shout and run, but she was frozen still holding her ears. The girls around her screamed and started to weep. She stood perfectly still. She’s not going to shoot a bunch of kids, she wouldn't. Then the same bang was let out again as the girl who was talking about the television character. This time, a wail did escape Sydney’s lips. But the girl was hit in the stomach, not the head. She was slowly bleeding out on the marble floor. Sydney took off her cardigan and ran over to the girl. She thought her name was Maurice. “Hey Maurice look at me. Look at me. Your going to be okay. Just focus on me.” She said to the girl on the floor, getting blood on her sweatpants. “Hey! Get up!” the armed woman said. Her voice was soft but forceful. “She’s bleeding out.” Sydney pleaded. The other girls looked at her. “I don't care. Get up!” She jumped at her voice as she pointed the gun towards her. She got up and sat back in her seat. She took a few breaths that felt like she was breathing shards of glass. The hospital alarms started to wail making her already ringing eardrums ache. “Get up! Everybody!” the woman screamed. “They're coming for me! They coming to kill us all! I’ll beat them to it!” she continued. “No!” Sydney said abruptly in a loud voice. She looked at her. She was tired of this. She didn't want to be pushed around anymore by her parents, her doctor, her illness. She didn't want to go through life feeling helpless and always being afraid. “Look I’m sorry to tell you this, but they are not coming to get you. I know you think that, but its not true. So please, let us go.” Sydney begged, tears threatening to spill over. “I know how it feels to be useless and feel like there’s nobody there for you in the world. But trust me, someone told me that it will get better. It will. You have to just trust yourself. Don't let the demons in your head win. Because I’ve been fighting the same battle and in the end, it’s worth it.” Sydney said. “No!” she screamed and threw her head back. All of a sudden, Doctor Troy walked in. She pointed her gun at her and pulled the trigger. But Sydney made it in time. She jumped in front of the doctor and landed with a thud on the cold floor. “Sydney. No. No. No.” She wept in front of her patient. “I finally took that leap of faith.” She smiled and laughed a wheezy laugh. “I’m so sorry.” the doctor said as she held her head in her lap. “It’s okay. I don't feel...useless anymore. I feel okay with myself and that’s all you ever wanted right. To get kids to be okay with being themselves. And It’s okay. I do now. It’s okay.” Sydney cried as the blood poured out of her chest. “Save as many girls as you can Doctor. For me.” “No Sydney, I can save you. You’ll be okay. How bad does it hurt?” A tear went down the doctors eye. “It doesn’t hurt.” Sydney finally said. “I forgive my--myself.” Sydney started seeing dark circles until they enveloped her vision into nothing but pure black. Then it was eye searing bright and she heard her name. “Sydney--Sydney.” She snapped out of her agile state to look directly into the woman’s icy blue eyes. “Yes.” she spoke as soft and gentle like the wind itself. “As I was saying. How are you sleeping?” She noted something quickly on her computer. “Fine, I guess. I have these nightmares. Awful things. I try to tell myself that its not real, but I always wake in a cold sweat, fear running through me. It’s the same one over and over again.” Sydney spoke. “It’s normal. Everyone gets nightmares. I get nightmares to--” She was cut off by the blood curdling screams of a female patient in the corridor being dragged by law enforcement. “Oh, she should be fine. Just a rough day.”





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