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Cold, dead silence. That was all I ever heard in the hospital. I sat alone in the evaluation room, somewhere I knew all too well. While waiting for my regular doctor, I had taken the time to count the tiles in the floor, and estimate the perimeter of the room. I listened to the occasional padding of people’s feet in the hallway, I always knew the difference between a patient and a doctor. A doctor often sounded like the footsteps were rushed and light. A patient’s were slow, and heavy. That sound often lingered until the next step was taken. I mentally compared them to my own.

I heard the doorknob click, and the heavy iron door opened. “Shasta?” a soft, female voice said as she entered, closing the door behind her. I looked over, away from staring at nothing in particular in the direction of the wall in front of me.

“Dr. Ramos?” said I, my eyes following her as she sat across from me at the table, just in the center of the evaluation room. The walls were roughly four feet thick. Nobody could hear from the hallway, or the room next to it. But even still, I could hear through the door. I suppose I was just used to trying to tune into something to drown out the ringing in my ears from the silence of the room.

Dr. Ramos was a beautiful woman, admittedly. She was thin, with slightly tanned skin and dark brown hair. Her eyes were a light brown. She always had her hair either tied back in a long ponytail or a round bun. This particular day, she had the bun look going. She looked through my stuffed files from the previous days. I remember when I asked about them, and she said she was instructed to record everything that went on in this room. Even I figured that had to be terribly boring.

“Are you ready to begin, Shasta?” she asked me gently. I glanced over the documents and my general profiles, not even aware of half of the things in those. “How do you feel today?”

“Fine,” I answered with no emotion. I never really answered differently. For a while, I was suspected as suicidal or something because I would answer this and then -supposedly- act differently to the other questions. To me, that was stupid. But I answered this because it was true. I was always generally fine.

Dr. Ramos took a moment to write, myself listening to the scribbles like always. I could tell when she was either writing in cursive or print. If she was writing in cursive, the scribbles had a straight flow and periodically stopped for punctuation. Print was usually about three seconds of scribbling, then stopped, then start again. I never had to glance at the paper to know. “Any feeling of nausea? Headaches? Is your anxiety getting any better?” she asked me.

I nodded slowly, not really paying too much attention to her. I had been suffering slight anxiety as of that time, and she prescribed me a pill to take, and she ran it through the hospital’s pharmacy to deliver to my room when I needed it. The spells were not too horrible, but it sometimes caught me off guard to say the least.

“Have you been sleeping alright?” Dr. Ramos asked. I rolled my eyes at her, and looked her in the eyes. She always asked me this, a question she knew the answer to already.

“I don’t sleep, Dr. Ramos,” I told her. She shook her head a little.

“I’ve seen you sleep, Shasta,” she remarked. “It is rare, yes, but I know you do.”

“I don’t really sleep,” I responded with a slight snap. “I just go into a state of unawareness, and then I come back about an hour later. Ever since I got here…” I trailed off. I had not had a decent amount of sleep in nearly a year. This damned hospital was sure to be the death of me, I knew it.

Dr. Ramos just nodded slowly. She was like every doctor here. They never really take patients like me seriously, but rather take our words with a grain of salt. I guess it’s because they all think that us as patients ‘think we know everything’ when really most of us are just waiting to see if they will really listen and help, or just generally try to push us to the point of no return. I have seen a patient or two like that in the time I had been there. I wondered if I would end up like that. “Well, let’s see if you’re up to talking about why you’re here in the first place, hm?” Dr. Ramos finally said after about five minutes straight of scribbling.

I returned to resting my head on my hand, and I allowed a sigh to slip my lips. “What’s the use?” I asked. “Every time you do this, I tell you the same thing: I know nothing.”

“Shasta,” she began. “you and I both know that you’re still dealing with the trauma you experienced. I know that losing your brother was hard on you…”

“He’s happy now,” I simply remarked. How stupid, they always play the sympathy card. Pretending to be on your side for about ten minutes before getting to the root of the reason you are sitting in a mental institution. “I’m not worried, Ramos.”

Dr. Ramos looked at me with pure annoyance, which I found a crude humor in. I hid it behind a straight face, but I was mentally smirking. “Your parents were killed in a car accident when you were twelve, right?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“Your brother was about eighteen, and was the only family you had left?”

I nodded. “Other than my senile grandmother in a nursing home, yes,” I answered. It was always questions and answers I could recite like a script. Every single question she asked me each day was almost always the same.

“You lived with your brother until you were about sixteen and the incident occurred?”

I nodded. I began to feel a little uncomfortable with the conversation at this point. I always did. See, I cared a lot about my brother. He was about the nicest guy anyone ever could know. Derek was really the best sibling I could ask for. But he suffered a lot once our parents died. He dropped out of college for me, and just took up a job with the closest convenience store. A shame, really.

“Do you remember what happened that night, Shasta?” Dr. Ramos asked me. I bit my lip out of anxiety. I glanced around the room as I began to repeat the story.

“He came home from work one day. He looked upset, and tired. Rebecca, his girlfriend of seven years, had just broken up with him the day before and I knew he was at a breaking point. He began to smoke a lot more than he had been…” I wanted to trail off and stop at this point. But every time, Dr. Ramos would somehow find a way to push me. I did not want to keep reliving it all. Not like this. “...I don’t want to talk anymore.”

“Shasta, please…” Dr. Ramos begged me. I felt something like anxiety pulse through me, and I glanced down at my lap. My hands were folded, I had been twiddling my thumbs. "You will never get better if you always stop in the middle of your story," she continued to nag me.

"I said I'm done," I said, a little snippily. This was a normal thing, unfortunately for me. "Can I just go back to my room?"

"No, Shasta," Dr. Ramos said. "You have to keep going. How can I help you if you don't tell me what happened?"

I wanted to cry, scream, anything. I guess this is what people would call having a panic attack? I just wanted out of there, and away from my doctor. I felt sick to my stomach. "P-Please...I need to go back to my room..." I pleaded, my voice shaking. I think my face flushed by then, because I almost felt the contents of my stomach come back up my throat.

I ended up vomiting all over myself, but the rest is blurry. I think I remember Dr. Ramos getting on her radio and calling for more doctors to come and help me. God, not again. When I came to, I was back in my room. One of the doctors had managed to change my scrubs for me, and I sat up in my bed slowly. I think my roommate was in an evaluation room too, unless she was getting 'therapy' again.

This always happens. I cannot ever get better because I always have some kind of attack before I can get to my subconscious and spit out my story. I knew what I did, but I never admitted it aloud. I guess I just am not meant to ever get better. What's the use in being in a psych ward if I cannot get better? I looked out the window, the setting sun the only thing illuminating my room. I got up, and looked out. I looked down, remembering that I was on the third story. I began to wonder...

Maybe I can get away? This ward is built a little ways away from a forest, and that alone aligns with the main roads. I could maybe get somewhere away from here? I knew if I jumped, it would be a leap of faith. It was then I remembered the roll of gauze I kept in my bedside table. I hurried over to it, opened the drawer, and retrieved it. As I went back to the window, I began to rethink myself. Can I do this? I eyed the window, which had widely-set bars. Some people probably could not get through, but thanks to me losing an excessive amount of weight since I have been here, I could easily slip through. Cautiously, I climbed up on the windowsill, carefully squeezed through the bars, and had a death grip as I looked down.

I knew I would have to be careful. I hoped I would land on my feet. I said a quick prayer before jumping. Sure enough, I did land on my feet. But, I did not go uninjured. I felt and heard a dull crunch in my left ankle, causing me to stumble. I wanted to scream, but I bit my lip to hold back. I did not believe it was broken, but it was probably fractured. I used my gauze to quickly and sloppily wrap it up. The pain was immense but I ran in the direction of the woods.

I guess I was not as stealthy as I thought. I soon heard guards yelling at me, calling for me to come back. I heard one get on the radio to report I had escaped. I could hear rapid footsteps behind me, and I tried to go faster. But my injury held me back, and I fell forward, my face hitting the ground roughly. I felt two sets of men's hands grab me and drag me back to the psych ward. I screamed, kicked, and even bit to try and get them to let me go but it was to no avail. When I realized they were not just going to take me back to my room, I screamed even louder.

They were taking me to a 'therapy' room. They threw me in, and locked the door behind them. I had fallen to the floor, and once I staggered back up, I pounded on the door. I knew what was coming. One of the professionals was going to ice-bathe me. I let out another scream of rage, before hitting the door again with my fists. I turned around, expecting to see a bathtub and another door for the professional to come through. But to my surprise, there was nothing.

The room was empty. What? What was this? I began to feel my anxiety act up again, and I wanted to be sick. I looked up, hoping to find something that could get me out of there. Something burned inside of me when I noticed a security camera. Once I noticed it, I heard a voice come over an intercom.

“Patient number 1226, Shasta Joann Gordon,” it said. “Isolation test commencing…” There was a silence for a moment before it came back. “Welcome, Patient 1226.”

“What!?” I screamed. “Get me the fuck out of here! Dr. Ramos?!” I had hoped someone would reply to me. I was not sure if anyone could hear me! What was this even for!? I was horrified, to say the absolute least. I felt my stomach drop, and I ended up getting sick again. When I finished, I wiped my mouth with my arm, then looked back up at the camera. "I hope you're enjoying the show, motherfucker!"

A/N: a huge portion of this story has been deleted as of 8/27/2020 because honestly this is embarrassing to me as a writer now. This was written when I was sixteen and I am not proud of it anymore. Please do not post readings of this story anymore, thank you.

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