Written by T. J. Dobbin
It was nearing nine o’clock. The moon was reflecting in the ocean, which was visible to the far right. The city streets behind me were as hectic as ever. Rain was pouring down hard on the street, sounding like shots from a revolver. I could hear faint screams in the background, probably someone getting mugged. But I didn’t let that get to me. My attention was focused on the structure in front of me. It was the Ros-Way, a crummy one star apartment building, mainly occupied by drug addicts and prostitutes. But on the fourth floor, room number 403 lived the girl of my dreams.
Elizabeth. Elizabeth Dawson. I loved her for as long as I can remember. In grade school we used to be friends, we’d hang out in the playground after school. I’d push her on the swing, she loved that. I went through grades one through seven holding in all my feelings about her. Elizabeth and I spent hours together, yet I still couldn’t tell her how I really felt.
Until one day. First day of grade eight, first day of Junior High. It was all going to change. I picked out my best outfit, I went over what I was going to say, word-for-word. As soon as I got to school, I waited outside by the school doors and waited for her bus to arrive. It never did. Turns out she was in a car accident the night before, it killed both her parents. Elizabeth was badly injured - she was in a coma for two months.
Each day after school, instead of going home, I would run to the hospital and stay by her side. Her face was so peaceful, I loved how she would smile in her sleep. One day when I walked into her room, she was knelt up, talking to a female doctor by her side.
“…Elizabeth! You’re all better, ho-how are you!?”
What came next was the most heart shattering moment of my life. She looked up at me (her long, black hair covering half her face), with an expressionless face and asked, “Who are you?”.
In the accident she suffered from amnesia. She had no memories of the first thirteen years of her life. And if that wasn’t bad enough, she moved in with her welfare aunt into the Ros-Way. Her aunt Sue was her closest living relative, and with the passing of her parents, Sue decided to take her in rather have her live in an orphanage. An orphanage would have taken much better care of Elizabeth though. Remember earlier when I mentioned most people that lived in the apartment were either drug addicts or prostitutes - well Sue was both.
Elizabeth changed. She used to be so energetic, lively, fun. Ever since she got out of the coma, she seemed like she just didn’t fit in. She started hanging out with the wrong crowd. She started dressing in all black, she’d skip classes, and she even attempted suicide on several occasions. I lost all hope of trying to be with her, and decided to live my life.
My name is Bryan. I was never among the popular ones, and my only friend was Elizabeth. She was the only one I needed. Since the ‘incident’, my life got as bad as hers. Bullies would attack me whenever I was off school grounds (I had to find secrete routes to my house), my grades dropped an excessive amount (I went from being ‘top of the class’, to barely passing), and my family life was going sour. I would constantly fight with my parents. I hated them, and they hated me. What do you think they did when I turned 18? Well it certainly wasn’t a surprise party. They kicked me out and tossed all my belongings out with me. I had a decent paying job (a clerk at a department store), so I moved into an alright apartment. It’s wasn’t anything fancy, but a lot more respectable than the Ros-Way.
Every night on my way home from work I would pass her building at gaze at her window (even though it would usually pitch black) and wonder what she would be doing.
Now that I’m down explaining my sad excuse for a life, I can continue from where I started the story.
I lay back in my orange and pink striped lawn chair. A 13 inch television set rests on the recently waxed hardwood floor. So I don’t exactly live the most glamorous of a life. Pain. A sharp pain pierces through my head like a bullet being shot at point-blank range.
With a sigh, I lean forward and push myself up. Walk towards the cabinet near my empty fridge. Second shelf, on the very left: my pills. My escape from reality. My escape from pain. My escape for this fucking miserable excuse for a life. The label says only take two, but that’s for pussies. Four gets me the kick I need. Deep breath …drop em’ in, swallow. There. That’ll keep me through the night. So you’re probably wondering to yourself, “did you tell me you had a decent apartment with a decent pay?”. Well, I did. I got demoted. Apparently I missed too many days for OD’ing a little too many times. Doesn’t bother me. I need a new job anyway. My employees and bosses treat me like shit.
Head feels much better now. Except …the side effects. My hands feel just like large balloons. Feeling numb. Feeling weak. Knees buckling. I lean towards the wall to my left, try to grasp on to it. No success. I fall forward, my head making a thud as it connects with the hardwood floor.
Can’t move. Feel a warm liquid forming in my mouth. Should be in pain, yet I still feel comfortably numb. Good pills. Everything …growing dark. Maybe it worked this time.
The waves are forceful yet calm at the same time. The water splashes our sand-covered feet. She walks closer to me. Elizabeth. I grasp my arms around her waist and she leans her head on my shoulders. Her flowing hair majestically dances in the wind. She smells like angels ought to smell. I gaze into Elizabeth’s eyes. “I love you”, the words come out of her mouth so elegantly.
“I love you”, I respond back with.
She leans forward, her lips pressed together. My lips inch my way towards hers…. -
“Mr. Rennich. Mr. Rennich, can you hear me?”
Huh? Just a dream. Just another lousy dream. I got to give up on Elizabeth, it’ll never happen.
“Mr. Rennich. Can you hear me?”
The man in white stares down at me. I hate doctors.
“I can hear you. Just shut up already.”
“Do you know why you’re here, Mr. Rennich?”
“Call me Bryan. And judging by the fact that I’m lying in a hospital bed I guess four pills wasn’t enough.”
“This is a serious matter Mr. Re… I mean Bryan. This is the fifth time in the last two months. We can’t tolerate it any longer.”
“What are you gonna do, remove all forms of drugs in the world? Good luck with that.”
“No, we can’t do that. But we can keep you here. Well at least until we send you to a rehabilitation center.”
This prick can’t be serious can he? “You, expect me to go to rehab. What makes you think I’ll agree?”
“Oh, now now Bryan. Rehab is a GOOD thing. It can HELP you.”
“I don’t have any problems.”
“Bryan, you tried to-”
“Now don’t even go there! I know what you’re gonna say. That I tried to kill myself …is that right? Well not one of those times did I attempt suicide.”
“But, just earlier I heard you say that four pills wasn’t enough.”
“Yes. Four pills was not enough to achieve my ultimate state of numbness. Those are my escape from reality, not me trying to end my life, however shitty my life may be. I do NOT attempt suicide. So please, just let me go home.”
“I’m afraid I can’t. What you’re doing is still highly dangerous to your body.”
“SO WHAT!? Nobody will miss me. My family disowned me. My employees hate me. Hell, you’re the only person that actually talks to me. Doc, you’re my best-fucking-friend. What’s your name?” I can see tension building in him. His muscles tighten. Face getting red. Yet the expression on his face is peculiar. He doesn’t appear to pity me. It’s almost as if he’s smirking.
“Robert. George Robert.”
“Doc Robert, I used to hate you. Like hate you a lot. But you’re not half bad. I’m actually growing quite fond of you. Well in a non-homosexual way. So how ‘bout letting me go?”
“We’ll see about it. It’s getting kind of late, so you should take a rest now. I’ll talk to you in the morning.” Doctor Robert pushes his glasses up with his left index finger, walks to the door, turns the lights off, then leaves the room.
Now’s my chance to escape this hellhole.
I push the blankets off me and slide slowly to the floor then proceed to crawl to the door. I notice a paining in my head. Maybe I should have stayed in bed longer. No, I can fix that after with the pills. My hand reaches for the bronze doorknob. It feels like ice. I grasp and twist it slowly. The door opens maybe an inch. I peek through and notice over a dozen doctors and secretaries. My room is right in front of the receptionist’s office. Damn.
Must think of something else …the window! No bars on it I notice. And you thought you could keep me in Doctor Robert. Well nice try.
Locked. I try to push the window open but it doesn’t budge. It’s locked. To my left is a rose colored vase on a counter top. I pick it up and throw it at the window, shattering the glass almost instantly. A fraction of a second later I hear a loud siren blaring in my head.
Only it’s a real siren. This hospital has tight security. The door busts open and a handful of medics rush in.
“Mr. Rennich, stop where you at!” one of them commands.
“Heh, no worry guys. I’m okay. Just had a little ‘tantrum’ I guess you could say. You can all go back to your own affairs.” With my hand behind my back I grab onto something on the same counter where the vase was just moments ago. It’s cold and sharp.
“That’s it, he’s not cooperating. Move in!” one doctor yells at the others.
They swarm around me like bees around a hive. One of the head bees charges at me. I swing my arm around and pierce him in the neck with the cold, silver object. Medical scissors.
“Aaaahh. You…sick, bastard.” he coughs up a mouthful of blood then collapses. There’s no denying he’s dead. While the others are in shock I make a run for it. I speed down the hallway.
Janitor’s closet - the perfect escape. I shut the door behind me and (thankfully) see a janitor’s uniform. I strip off my patient robe and put on the grimy uniform. It just reeks of death (in more ways than one). On the shelf next to the cleaning supplies is a half empty bottle of purified water. I twist off the tap and pour the water over my head. I should be harder to recognize with my long hair wet and flat. I take several deep breaths and leave the disease ridden room, hoping I won’t be recognized.
I keep my head down and pace the halls endlessly, having no idea where it is I am going. I notice someone in front of me but it’s too late. We collide into each other and I fall onto the person in front of me. Onto her. She supports herself with her hands palm down on the floor and looks into my eyes - bewildered. I stare back at her. At Elizabeth.
Author's Note: This was written a while ago and I've yet to write anything beyond this. As of now I am unsure whether or not I'll continue. If there is a positive response and a demand for it to continue, then I shall.