Am I Fixed Yet?

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: emotional


Short story I'm currently working on. It's really emotional for me so it's admittedly slow going... but please comment and help me out a little by giving me some feedback - every little bit counts!


I’m freaking out. Can you hear me? I think I’m screaming, but I’m not sure…

It’s been an hour. It has been an hour since the policeman drove me to the hospital. It’s one in the morning. I don’t know how this started… I had a knife and I threatened my own life. But what’s wrong? Am I wrong? I’m confused. I’m still in the waiting room and can hear crying children. There’s a Hispanic couple right across from me, trying to soothe their toddler while another slightly older girl, who I assume is their firstborn, watches on carefully. I can hear them talking, breathing. I can hear others as well, a children’s show playing too quietly on a wall mounted television. It’s all too much for me.

I have to use the restroom.”
“Alright. Let’s go.”

I want to be alone. I want some solitude. The policeman walks behind me as I make my way past the other people. There are a few more crying children. I pass a couple loners with their heads in their hands. I see most people on their phones; I reach to feel mine in absent response. Thankfully the officer doesn’t follow me into the actual one person bathroom. But then again, what if he had? Would I even care anymore? Strip down into my hot pink bra and lace black panties. I’m not the most attractive person but I’ve been told numerous times that I look sweet and innocent. The officer is a younger guy. Maybe something would happen…

I shake my head. What the fuck am I thinking? I sigh as I finish my business and take a look in the mirror; slightly widening my eyes, parting my mouth, and tilting my head to the side. I take off my shirt and try it. If I were that officer I’d fuck me. Just to feel…something. Just to have someone want me. Just to try. Reluctantly I put my shirt back on and stare some more at my reflection. A knock interrupts me. I wasn’t allowed to lock the door.

”I’m coming.”

I come out to see the officer waiting for me. I look up into his eyes for any sign of lust or want. Just to see. But nothing. He just nods his head back in the direction we came from. I look around me and feel the eyes of others – no doubt wondering who I was and why a police officer was ‘escorting’ me. If I were them I’d like to know too; actually I am me and am still wondering why he’s here. But I don’t want to think. I just want to feel. I want to be home. I know that I don’t like this. I know that I should not like this. I know that I don’t know and can’t know because knowing would mean I know. And I don’t know. I don’t know that I know and I don’t know that I don’t know.

I’m sitting in a chair and the officer is standing next to me. We’re right beside the door; it opens in front of my face. A lady half steps out. She nods to the officer who in turn nods at me. I think I take that as a gesture to go in. I follow the two through the door and into a hallway, where we go into a small clinical room that contains standard medical equiptment. The nurse is wearing dark blue scrubs, her bleached blonde hair pulled back into a loose bun, highlighting her round yet severe features. In the back of my mind I think she’s not that tall, but I’m not sure what I’m thinking anymore. I don’t want to be thinking. I don’t want my thoughts to acknowledge this but I can’t find my thoughts to tell them not to think – to tell them that I feel wrong…that I’m tingling all over and I forgot how to live. I perch on the examination table, no different from the ones at my regular doctor’s, except this room is painted brightly, with cartoon images of trucks and airplanes taking flight.

“What did you do?”

W-wha…-at?-“ The officer meets my eyes before nodding to the doctor. It’s the signal for me to speak - to say something.

I..um I. I t-took a knife-“

“We don’t take knives here. Speak.”

I was just- I am-just – It’s- no one would – um. I was stressed-“

“Why would you get a knife then?”

“No no- it wasn’t just a spur – I – it was several days of stress and stress but – um just. I didn’t mean it. I didn’t mean it. I- I really don’t-“

“Then you shouldn’t have gotten the knife.”

“P-please I’m  I-uh- tired. Just please. Please I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry. I- I please – I just really need to go home.” I feel something wet leaking down my cheeks.

“You would be home right now if you hadn’t acted out.”

“N-no- but I didn’t mean-“ Can’t breathe.

“If you didn’t need it then why did you do it? Huh?”

Move. I need to move. Everything is hot but I’m shaking. Why? Why can’t I feel my arms? What’s this tingling? Why- what’s happening? What’s going on? Why? What did I do? What do I do? How do I get home? How do I get out? I can’t breathe. Why is there no air in my lungs? Nothing feels right.

“Wh- what’s happening?”

“You know damn well what’s happening. Now change into scrubs. Give me your phone.” I don’t get it. Why me? This doesn’t happen…and how does it happen? I don’t know. I can’t understand this. Why is she speaking? I’m trembling on the table and can’t feel anything but my heart. I can feel my blood rushing against my skin. I’m dizzy. Why can’t I think? Am I thinking? I can’t be feeling. But can I?

“Tears aren’t going to get you anywhere in here, honey.” My head moves and my eyes go straight to the icy blue pair that are boring into me. The words are sharp and precise. They’re icy white and thin as razor wire.  I remember the officer. He’s still standing there. I look at him. I am crying. I am shaking. I am confused. See me. Help me. Do something. Please. Please. Don’t leave me.

The officer glances away and walks just outside the door, back facing me and the nurse.

“Change. Now.” The nurse lady is holding out a pair of burgundy red scrubs. I think I’m nodding, but- “You have two options here: you can be good and do this yourself, or I can call in another nurse and you will be physically restrained as we change you. Do you understand?” The words are snapped out with impatience and anger. The sheer force of them makes my head swim but I somehow manage to move my head in hurried response. “I need a ‘yes, ma’am’.”

Y-ye –“

“Right now or I promise you I will not be gentle stripping you down.  I repeat: do I need to get another officer in here? Answer me before I answer for you.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Her eyes don’t stop gripping mine. “Yes, I-I can get changed.”

“That wasn’t so hard, was it?” Thankfully this time she doesn’t require a spoken answer and I’m allowed to continue staring numbly at the small space around me. I take the scrubs as she drills me on the procedure. “A nurse will take you to another bathroom. You are to get changed quickly. Remove everything but your underwear. Do not lock the door because if you do I will make sure that you do not receive the smallest shred of privacy for the entire duration of your stay here. Do I make myself clear? I need a ‘yes ma’am’.”

“Yes, ma’-am.”

“Good.”

I take the scratchy fabric in my hands and walk over to where another nurse has appeared. This one’s another lady. I’m walked to a bathroom down the hall – a different one than a few minutes ago. I’m inside and standing on shaky legs before I’m aware of opening the door. I take a look in the mirror and it’s like seeing a ghost. The remaining strength finally leaves my legs in a rush of disbelief and numbed hysteria. Though undoubtedly grimy, the cold tiling feels refreshing against my flushed cheek.

Up. Up. I have to get up. Time passes way too fast in here. Yet so slow…..

Up. Up. I have to get up. Up. Now.

So I get up.  Even though it feels physically wrong, I stand and look at myself in the mirror. Is this me though? I take off one article of clothing at a time: my black form fitting shirt, then my white camisole that sticks to every curve. Then goes my grey shorts, and finally my thin black stockings. I’m now dressed in only my black panties and hot pink push up bra. The only visible proof of who I am personally. With stiff movements I cover those things up with the maroon scrubs I’ve been given. They’re large and scratchy. Uncomfortable. They scare me and I don’t know why. This can’t be real.

Mom would never send me to this right? Pops kind of hates me, so I can understand if he did… but not Mom. Mom wouldn’t, right? But then…why I’m here?

Just for a minute that’s all. This is only temporary. Only temporary this is only temporary. Hello, Only Temporary, I’m also Only Temporary. Nice to meet you, Only Temporary. You too, Only Temporary. Good day. And a good day to you, sir as well.

I’m going insane. Mom, help.

She’s not going to take you away and you know it. Not until she knows you’re “safe”

But I’m her daughter! It was the situation! She has to understand!

No, reasons don’t matter. All that matters is the fact that you threatened your own life. Now mom thinks you’re insane and so does everyone else. And you might be insane the way you were talking to yourself.

I sigh. I know I’m right… I need to get this done and over with as soon as possible. I am not insane – not yet anyways. And all I need to do is get through this calmly. Stay calm. They said someone is going to evaluate me, that’s my chance to prove to them that I am not insane. I am not “dangerous”. When I explain what happened, the person will understand that it was all situational – in this day and age who hasn’t cracked under stress? It will all be okay, I just need to stay calm and careful and polite.

Wiping a stray tear out the corner of my eye, I look in the mirror to assure myself that, despite the clothes, I am still me. I take one last shuddering breath and walk out the bathroom door.

“You’re done?” the slightly kinder nurse gives me a quick once-over

“Yeah, all done.” I try for a small smile and it’s returned.

“Alright. Come on back down then, we’ll get you settled in and then let you rest.” She’s already started walking so I trail behind her, slightly uneasy due to her word choice.

“Uh, I’m getting an evaluation right? Psych? Do you know how long I’ll have to wait?”

“I don’t know when they’ll have it ready, the line has been pretty full the last few days so you’ll have to wait.” My stomach churns uneasily.

How long, do you know?” The nurse seems a little irritated by my chain of questions so I pull back a little, scared that she’ll get aggravated and stop talking to me. “Uh – sorry. I’ve been really anxious in this new place, you know? Never done anything like this before.”

She seems to soften a bit at that and casts a small smile, part pity and part agreement. “Well I think the earliest we can get him to you is tonight, but I don’t know;  considering how backed up we are it’ll probably be later though.” The news is not very comforting at all. The very prospect of waiting more than a couple hours unnerves me and instantly undoes most of the self-assurance I had done earlier in the bathroom. 


Submitted: January 09, 2018

© Copyright 2021 Jay Rose. All rights reserved.

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Comments

hullabaloo22

This is so well-written, Jay. You capture the almost paralyzing anxiety at the end -- the 'What have I done?' moment.

Wed, January 10th, 2018 9:54pm

Author
Reply

Why thank you, Hully. This is an emotional piece for me so I'm very glad I'm able to connect with others through it.

Wed, January 10th, 2018 2:18pm

Dr. Acula

Phew, thats a tough one to comment on.
I'll just say this, I am proud to be your fan, your writing is ....
Much respect. xoxox

Sun, January 14th, 2018 6:20am

Author
Reply

Thank you so much, Doc! I'm definitely proud to be your fan too.

Sun, January 14th, 2018 5:19am

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