By Melissa L. Webb
I watched him; the empty look in his eyes chilling me to the very core. I had never seen that much emptiness in a person before. I kept my composure, not letting even a muscle in my face betray the fear I felt as I sat down. I couldn’t. These people were like wolves, they’d eat you alive if they even smelled a drop of fear.
“So, Roy…how are you feeling today?” I asked him, knowing full well I wouldn’t get any response. I never did.
He shifted in his chair, finding a new paint chip to stare at on the stark white walls.
Opening the folder in front of me, my eyes scanned my scribbled notes. Withdrawn, unresponsive, delusional at times. Possibly psychotic. My words said it all. I didn’t think I would ever get through to this patient.
“Is there anything you’d like to talk about today?” I didn’t know why I even bothered anymore. There never was.
He sat there, the same slack-jawed look on his face. It never changed. He was always lost in some far off world.
“Okay, Roy,” I said, scribbling a few more notes before shutting the file. “Let’s get you back to your room.” I stood up to call an orderly. This charade was growing pointless. You couldn’t cure someone who wasn’t even there.
“I know you think I’m insane.” His voice was soft and smooth, not at all what I would have guessed. It startled me, causing the phone to slip between my fingers.
I turned to look at him. His eyes held mine, completely aware. “W-what?”
“Give it up, Dr. Charles. It’s safer to leave me the way I am,” he told me seriously. “The world is safe as long as I never confess what I know.”
I stared at him, speechless. A rational man now sat before me, telling me something I still couldn’t believe. “Who are you?”
“Again, it’s better if you don’t know. The information in my head is deadly.”
“I don’t understand. What could be so horrible you’d do this to yourself?”
He sighed, leaning back in his chair. “Trust me, Doc. Stop asking me to talk. It gets temping at times to purge myself of what I know and…if you keep chipping away at me, I’m afraid I just might.”
I turned away from him. Curiosity bloomed in my chest. What could possibly be so damning? I had to know.
© 2011 Melissa L. Webb
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