Patient ID: 666
Sirens of the police car, driving me away from a delirious grave, soon faded out into silence. The questions asked in the court trials posed me in a mirror, lipstick drawings on it exhibited how I was looked at, two horns on my head and long fangs biting my lower lip. The hazy things in the reflection shadowed by the unreal girl I almost killed, a phantom cut out in what my life was always short on.
I turned a blind side and sung a lullaby to my mind. Gave my self up in hands of fate, it wore leather gloves with rusty nails sticking out inside my head, my back, clutching my feet and I closed my eyes to my carnage as its hands became fists. When you close your eyes, you might see black curtain draped over drama and acts on the other side, you might see a dream, I see a nightmare. . .a repetitive daily soap. . .unfortunately same episode broadcasted every night.
It started with a scream, a deafening shrill of a woman’s cry bouncing off within my skull-walls. I followed it through dark space, walking not flying but I don’t see ground under me. The room was well lit and had white walls, it had no windows or door yet some how I spawned inside. A crazed woman was strapped to a bed and she was crying. I went closer to see her but the floor under me crumbled and I fell five stories down crashing on my stomach, my body twisted and broke beside Priya’s corpse. The joker grin on her pale grey face grew wider showing her bad teeth, her hair twirling in my blood. Her face contracted and she screamed in high pitched note of steam escaping from a tiny nozzle and I woke up middle of the night, following which I never slept, on my rugged torn mattress in a low-security cell of Ana and Archie Mental Institute. The fake doctors rather called it Anarchy Asylum.
But I wanted punishment for what I did and instead I got a lot of years to spend alone behind thick walls and steel cell door of the asylum. When it comes to punishment nothing can beat the time spent tracing and regretting what one did. The simple and subtle infrastructure of hospitals build over bodies and virus and nightmares of loved ones eternally scared me, and the only reason I didn’t over think about my relocation was because of the food in-patients were served, every time I ate it, I slayed the cook in my thoughts.
I hadn’t slept since six months. I was too scared of being either a suspect or a victim in another nightmare. I thought the madness would end when she fell from the hospital’s roof. I was wrong, she pushed me to a point of no return where I’d consciously hurt someone.
“Rahul, I am doctor Dougay and I am here to help you. . .if thats alright” Dougay and I were made to sit in the interrogating room under controlled surveillance of security staff watching us behind lense of hidden cameras. He was third psychologist to assess me and he hoped to get a story out of me which previous two annoyed doctors couldn’t. He hoped to get his picture in headlines using me. I had nothing more to tell than I already did, unless I skipped a memory or two again.
“I don’t bite doctor, if that’s what you are asking” I said.
“No thats not what I meant. I am not here to know what happened in the hospital like the two doctors. . .I am, meh, really here to study you as a subject”
“For a urine sample, you will have to wait at least few hours”
“Funny you are. . .I guess. I talked to your foster parents and they say they adopted you from a orphanage but in your statement you said, pardon me if I am incorrect, your parents were slaughtered by a prostitute with intention to rob your house and that you saw her on roof of the hospital and you pushed her off the building?”
“Yes you are incorrect and she intended to kill them, its understood by brutality of the accident”
“For a delirious violent person, you look very calm and cooperative, seeing they didn’t even chain you to the table or a wall”
“I let go what happened to my parents doctor, I can live with it”
“What about. . .what you did to yourself? You surrendered. You were in first year of your graduation. Tell me, what would you do if you weren’t here?”
I hadn’t thought of the careless world outside the asylum until Dougay raised that question, the guilt of being inherently unfit for society had consumed me raw. An answer hidden in the question woke me up from hibernation, I felt like going out and running on beach sand into the sunset. I counted things I wanted to do if I was normal or at least outside: finish graduation, work on my career, buy a house, to have financial and social status. But these things never were a priority. I wanted my mom and dad when they didn’t fight, a barrel of scotch, a good night’s sleep, for my solitary nightmare to end, a button to rewind few episodes of my life and maybe. . .most of all. . .to fall in love.
“Don’t you feel like the walls are closing in?” He added to his question, horning in as I filled my bucket list.
“For an old annoying doctor, you are very annoying”
“You have a problem with doctors? Or hospital? I learned you are phobic to hospitals”
“You are scratching a nerve now doc, today’s session ends. Go back to your family and give them cuddles from me, if you are sure that they will miss you when you die”
“You are a shady character Rahul. . .what was your last name again?”
“I wanna show you a magic trick. . .lend me your pen if you don’t mind”
I knew the trick because Dhalia narrated it out of a movie to me. Dhalia was an intern in the asylum and his job was ‘to make sure patients took their pills and that dean got her night massage’ as he adequately put. He seemed to be a good person, not one of the fake doctors racing to turn me insane. By my nature I never reached out to befriend him, he occasionally chatted with me anyway. He once said I remind him of himself some years back and that we were like twin brothers caught on different sides of the struggle. Though I could only hear him from my side of the cell door, I had a strange impression that he was a lot like me.
“I am gonna make this pen dissappear” I hovered the ball-point pen before him and waved my hands around, a magician distracting the audience before daring to bluff. I removed the cap and tossed it in air and stood up, his eyes grinned at me, looking at me like he was watching a freak show. I held the pen on the table with the nib pointing up and pulled Dougay’s hair and hit his head on the table. His body sprung back to the chair and sat up as if his spine broke. He touched the latest red patch on his forehead and looked pretty shocked and traumatized by the sudden burst of inertia.
“It looks like the trick failed” my sadistic sarcasm.
“What the hell is wrong with you?! that pen could’ve gone in my eye”
“Hypothetically doctor, you know I didn’t miss”
“You! you are out of control! I will make sure doctors put shackles on your limbs!”
He left picking his briefcase and didn’t care to gather the Rorschach drawings falling behind. Two guards in white coveralls came in with quick steps and paraded me to my cell ranting and cursing me in foul language, said things they usually tell to their wives subjecting them to beatings. But they didn’t notice what the cameras had captured, I packed the pen. A deadly tool in wrong hands.
The guards threw me in my cell and one of them said “We will come back when doctors have prepared the electric shocks for you pig” I could’ve spend the pen on one of them neck and try to make a run for it but then I’d have to deal with other big one. He could loop his thick arm around my neck and I’d die suffocating in his armpit, so I let them lock the door in my face and I laughed as they left.
“The blood! the blood!” I heard a voice coming from a cell to my left.
“She made me do it! I killed her I killed her. No she is but alive. . .in my head. . .she is him. . .she doesn’t have a body. . .he is she. . .I am him” I heard him again and hoped it wasn’t another paracusia. My neighbor inpatient was much worse than me, I wouldn’t blame him, we didn’t have the luxury of television or music or staring into mirror for hours. The only way we spent time was talking to walls. Its said that friends share common interests and I guess he was my silent friend.
The cells didn’t have a window either, only the red stained white walls, a peculiar stench of charred flesh, an open can with no toiletries and no water to flush, a rugged mattress to sleep on and an exhaust fan sucking foul air into ventilation shaft. Every brick and plaster of the place screamed ‘butchery’, I wasn’t listening. Dougay’s question pulled the cap of my bottle, a pool of answers and questions poured down from it. I didn’t make out they wanted to butcher me like some swine till then and I wanted to escape from the asylum and get some human air to breath.
I laid on my mattress and tried to come up with an escape plan and wasn’t having any success in it. Then Dhalia knocked at my door. I knocked back, signaling him I wanted to talk too. He pushed the sliding bar on the door which let in cool air from the hallway through the gap.
“What happened today, Thor?” He asked me.
“If you are here to talk about that then leave” I said.
“I came here to tell that my internship is over and I am leaving this slaughter house they call an institute”
“You tell me”
“I want out, can you help?”
“That’s what the attack was about. . .it appears like you are giving them reasons to put you in the dark room”
“If you aren’t helping then I am not talking to you”
“Its Tuesday and Ali takes the rotation. He is of your size. Use the pen and the keys on him and if you don’t lock your cell door before thirty seconds the security will be alert. It’ll take twenty minutes for watch-guards and it’ll take you ten minutes to get to the roof.”
He gave me a plan, I didn’t try to understand why and how he knew I had the pen. He left me at the door without saying good bey.
I couldn’t tell the difference between night and day then, I never saw a wall clock or wrist watch on any guard and doctor. For me day started with white pills and ended with black and blue pills. I heard an alluminium bat clanging on cell doors, the type of weapon guards carried which had an electric-taser and a torch on either ends.
Its sound growing and inching toward my door and bedeviling me with every beat. Dhalia was right, it was Ali’s rotation to watch the floor in night. He was a sadistic bastard who didn’t let any inpatient sleep under his watch, it only drove me mad and the nature was about to loop back at him.
The guard hit my door and walked past.
“When your friend didn’t come back to take me for shock treatment you know what I thought?” I said loud enough to jar Ali’s attention.
He came back and pushed the slider on the door. “You guys are pansies with delusion of power, watch-dogs dancing at tip of owner’s tongue, a toy with plastic balls!” I added.
“You stupid prick, you made a big mistake picking on me. . .you’ll beg to have not born!”
He used a key and the door locks clanged off their dwells. He left the door open retrieving the key, my gaze drifted to the elastic band which strung the key set and a card from his belt. He ran in with heavy steps, his white uniform twisting shapes with his lean body and he hit me on my left temple. I crashed on the floor. My mouth gushed with blood, my hands tried to take his corporal punishment and I pushed my bare feet against the wall. Soon when he pulled a muscle and seemed to be bored of beating a victim who wasn’t participating in the fight, he paused for a moment to breathe. I drew the pen from under my mattress and jabbed his leg. He crooked to one side and curled his back in pain, holding his thigh. I stood up and pushed the pen between his ears.
I pulled the key set and locked the door from inside to delay unwanted attention. I looked at his body, stiff and dead on my toilet’s chin, a pink and red guck leaked from his ears and streamed down into city’s sewers. I had murdered him. In movies we see after a character had murdered his first victim, he’d disgorge disgusted himself but in reality one would cry. I glued my back to a wall and stared at it for a while, my eyes grew big and felt heat coming off my skin and perspiration. Ground under me shivered horridly. One never forgets one’s first love, I wouldn’t forget my first kill.
I picked his bat before going out and locked the door. My heart was throbbing in my chest, pumping blood and adrenaline through my body, I was frightened and excited at the same time.
To my left was a dead end wall. I went right from the door. The strange guard’s stock dried on my hands like shattered grains of ruby pierced in my skin. I started running and reached a cross section of gates. Stairs went up from left to right and the gate across swarmed further in belly of the asylum. The gate I faced had Q6B painted on the side wall and I had a matching key.
My delusion of being undetected didn’t last long and I realized that it took me more than thirty seconds to close my cell door. When I unlocked the gate I saw a camera on a wall in the end of the hallway rotated toward me and a thick watch-guard appeared running to reach the gate across, he used his set of keys on it saying he’d break my head open for a good jam-sandwich. The fat skin guy came in and went out within seconds, he didn’t see the bat in my hand traveling to his chest. Press of a button unleashed wrath of electric shocks and maybe he had a cardiac attack.
Further down the hallway was dead end, cell rooms which were suspiciously empty and to my surprise a doorless chemist room, the storage was an ocean of medications and sedatives, deliriants, psychedelics, psilocybin, antipsychotic and atypical antipsychotics and hallucinogenic medicines and what not in plastic bottles and tablet-leaves. Home appliances of a mad scientist, test tubes with blood samples and test tubes with white fetus like fauna. Test tube babies?
My interest of poison was belladonna and I fantasized to hallucinate Madonna. I chewed couple of tablets from a pill box and sipped a tonic. I opened the white doors of the huge refrigerator looking for syringes and ran into an old friend, a virgin bottle of ‘Ape Scotch’ sat inside giving company to two neat glasses and at quick gulps I saw bottom of the bottle. My head felt lighter and numb, brain freeze, my veins felt the blood streaming at high speed. My body felt weightless and weak. I never felt better.
I picked three syringes and filled O.D. of lysergic acid diethylamide in them, and tucked them against my green trousers elastic. It was time others shared my vision.
The drug induced syndrome kicked in and disoriented me. The world around whirled into darkness and the roof sprayed red confetti down in devil’s homecoming. Things in distant were hazy and shredded in black mist and things closer to me were red in light from a red cross hovering above my head. I was the Nazarene of lunatics, setting an example for generations come. It took me almost half hour to crawl cowering back to the intersection of gates and to the unconscious body from where I went ‘Dora The Explorer’.
I turned left from there, dragging my weight along the stairs railing, unknown of imminent trap or rusty spikes popping out of walls or the stairs under me crumbling down or a joker with a gun. I reached a steel door which looked noire under the green light bulb, brighter than my red cross. The door didn’t have any key hole, but a security panel with card slot and a password dial. I stood there gaping at it for a while and then I remembered the key set I earlier retrieved came with a magnetic card.
I raised my jelly arm closer to my eyes, leant the card to an angle, making the printed words “SOAKED” visible under green cone of the light.
I swiped the card and typed the password on the dial. “Nayyy!!” it made a sound indicating I did something wrong.
I raised my jelly arm closer to my eyes, leant the card to an angle, making the printed words “BLEARY” visible under green cone of the light.
I swiped the card and typed the password on the dial. “Nayyy!!” it made a sound indicating I did something wrong. A paranoid sense of deja vu.
I raised my jelly arm closer to my eyes, leant the card to an angle, making the printed numbers “211850” visible under green cone of the light.
I swiped the card and typed the password on the dial. “Taunnn!!” it made a sound indicating I unlocked the door.
When the door slid opened, a joker stood holding a shotgun in my face.
“What are you doing up here?” he asked me and someone giggled behind me.
“Shhh! not everything a joker says is a joke” I whispered to that someone.
“You better tell me what brings you up here late night!!” that joker said.
“There’s a monster in my closet” I replied and then again that someone laughed behind me.
“Is there someone behind me?” I asked that joker.
“No, only my gun!”
He pulled me in and I took a trip to the floor, a grid of adhesive and thin white fired clay slabs, red paint flooded in from the darkness that trapped me. He pressed his gun on back of my head and said “Ha! ‘ave a good night sleep!”
In eerie isolation of red luminescent, me, him and his gun, an old man’s voice “Wait! don’t shoot him!” echoed potently.
From the black mist an old doctor appeared holding a red-paint-drippy-jigsaw, in a white coat, red paint covered khaki pants and oxfords, looking clinical and cold with round spectacles. He clenched his knees, dropping his hips and asked me “How’d you get loose?”
“Ask Ali’s body in my room” I said.
“Ali? that’s amazing, no one in the quarantined block has ever showed any intelligence. . .I want to see your brain, I want to understand your mind. Throw him in with the girl, I will open his head after I am done with the physicist”
That joker kicked my bat away, caught my collar and dragged me to a room which was really a wooden partition of that surgical theater.
“I am not Einstein, mad doctor!” That was the exclamation to my addict’s guilt. If I hadn’t been soaked, I could’ve set loose my scuppering puppies, which drooled acid from their needles, on the joker and then on the mad doctor. But the joker discovered them and turned one of them against me.
I thought the joker and the doctor were part of my surreal syndrome, I was deluded. The pain of my syringe biting my skin was as real and dreadful as the fact that I was captured and up for a surgical investigation.
The joker threw me in the cubicle. Chromaticity changed from red to pink and my sight rendered sharper and clearer when I saw a young lady doctor strapped to a chair and her lips taped, she murmured something which animated the tape in a pout to kiss. I didn’t try to understand what she gestured with head and was lost doting her dark shiny hair shaking with her head, her fond brown eyes, her clear white coat and trousers dull against her ivory bloom and her silk bare feet that were reddened and hurt by the ligature. She seemed to have come alive from an anime. My head felt heavy with anonymous pain behind my eyes and I fell asleep. A soothing innuendo.
I woke up on an operating bed, the big lights above glared in my eyes and a silhouette of a humanoid head appeared from corner of my eye. Green gloves replaced the white mask on its mouth and as I resumed sanity, the mad doctor talked insanely “Look at that! we might need more hallucino on him, more!”
“Man, this guy’s got iron guts to live after popping that much dope” The joker guy said. I shut my eyes tight and flashed back open, the blurry vision of a joker face changed to a man’s face in a black jumpsuit, he had a shotgun wielded in one hand and one of my syringes in another. I had to react fast and strong or I was as good as a dead.
When the watch-guard handed over the syringe I sat up straight and pulled the doctor’s coat. His body crashed on my lap, giving away the needle to me and I jabbed it in back of his neck. The guard stirred in quick movements to handle the gun and wait for clear aim of target. I jumped down the bed and pushed the doctor’s dead weight on him and I took over possession of his shotgun. Trigger of the stranger’s life in my grip, a long metal piece with ammo in her breach and her dark hollow barrel looking like devil’s eye, he saw his death lurking inside. The button was itchy against my finger. I scratched not batting an eye.
I dropped the smoking gun and looked around panting air in my lungs, in the room there were more men unconscious and some awake. Some locals and some tourists. Some bled on floor and some survived. Either on operating beds or sat hiding their faces between knees.
“It’s okay, they are dead. . .no one will hurt you” I said to them.
They lifted their heads and gazed at me tired eyed, I saw fear and hope in them. The whites of their eye-balls reflected blood rill on the floor and I saw my face in their dilated pupils. Soon the crowd of diverse nationality stood up, looked at each other beamish in unknown relief and walked toward me.
“Bejesus, thank you!”
“We could’ve died here, you saved me”
“Thanks for saving us”
All of them touched and patted my shoulder, thanking and priding me, like my spree action was a Noble winning act. I didn’t want to give a speech nor did I want their gratitude. I ignored them and ran inside the cubicle to help the lady doctor.
I undid her ligatured wrists and ankles and she removed the tape on her lips. I wanter her to thank me with a kiss. I thought this could be the cliche end where hero saves the lady and they together live happily ever after. I should’ve known my chances were running on fumes, with me being a hero in the first place. She instead started her deluded talk which was walk in a different nightmare.
“Dhalia? what the heck! you killed them?!” she said and then looked out.
“Dhalia? thats not my name. . .my name’s Rahul” I replied thinking maybe if I had a shower she wouldn’t have mistaken me for someone else.
“Oh um okay. . .I er. . .forget it. Look come with me, we should get out of this place. All these men including you aren’t insane, the fake doctors inject you the hallucino and give you shocks to turn you insane. Come on!”
“What? wait, tell me why you called me Dhalia!”
“We don’t have time, the city has been declared quarantine effective tomorrow!” She said walking out and started preaching the same theory to those men who were odious to judge sane from insane. I thought she was crazy and deluded and a voice from back of my head gagged “look who’s talking!”
I pulled her and pressed her arms to her sides. “Tell me what you know!” I screamed at her. She glimpsed at all the stark staring mad eyes on us then pushed me away and said “I don’t know a thing! I am not even a real doctor!”
“What are you doing up here then? somehow you know me!”
“These doctors traffic human parts! and trade women in-patients, and my sister into prostitution. They could’ve sold all of you in pieces!” she said addressing all of us in the room, justifying her personal rescue mission as a zeal to save us. The world I ever was exposed to never had moral schedules in its ‘things to do manifest’, only personal errands. I didn’t need her to be my refugee. I needed her to give me the gaudy piece of puzzle she intimated.
“How do you know me!!” I screamed.
“I only know how much I was filled in on newbie tour. . .you. . .um. . .a couple adopted you then they died and you were crazed, so the orphanage send you here. The doctors brainwashed your memories to cure you. They gave you an alternate identity and a couple took your responsibility but here you are again, pain in the-”
“Shut up! I don’t believe your bull-trash, you are crazy!” I interrupted her.
“So you’re not coming?” she asked.
“Fine then, may be if I make you understand” she said walking toward me. She pressed her front against my body and closed in looking at my lips. My heartbeat danced to her karaoke and I felt my warm breath hitting back off her neck. She picked a syringe from a tray on a table behind us and jabbed my right shoulder.
“That pain and more, I feel knowing my sister would be defiled, a toy for corrupted appetite if I don’t get to her soon. If you’re not coming then you’re slowing me down, so stay here and help yourself!!” she whispered burying and rolling the needle in me.
“Wait! stop!” I said crashing on the floor feeling the needle yank in my body, smiting waves of pain as every vein on me turned blae and flooded with the sedative.
“But he saved us!” I heard one of the men in the audience say.
“He didn’t save us, look at him! weak and blue. He saved himself” she said.
“Why do we believe a woman?!” Another man said.
She wore black sport shoes removing them from the watch-guard’s body I shot, she dropped her white coat to reveal her brave purple t-shirt and stiffened her spine, her back to me, picking my collected shotgun.
“I am not weight on anyone, but together we can live tomorrow’s curfew and more. We don’t know how much time S.P.R.E.A.D. will take to cure the plague. Their armed forces will not tolerate anyone alive in epicenter of the disease, where we are. I am not stopping for anyone” She said walking out of the steel door and everyone followed her and abandoned their woozy savior for the little damsel’s deluded talk.
Men, in general sense, always need a person on the stage giving directions in bullhorn. Someone who can control things that we want least trouble over. “Did you pay your attorney his fees?”-“My foster-father did, he is the head of his family.” A leader of a group, a company, a cult, a gang, a political party, an army, the presidents of their nations, the UN. A person to make sure that we don’t turn into chaos to solve problems invented by ourselves. Atom bomb like. Without a leader, men, in general sense, would be monkeys with guns. Monkeys wouldn’t know what a gun does but they’d sure figure out how to pull the trigger. And what did that make me? a monkey who just lost his shotgun. Not a savior of humanity, the thing I wanted least trouble over.
The nightmare started with its classic titular intro, a shrill cry of a woman. I followed it through emptiness and found myself in the asylum cell where the crazed woman was abandoned to cry to death. I went closer to her and the floor under me crumbled down, I fell but a hand reached out and grabbed me. The rubble fell five stories down burying Priya’s corpse. When I looked up, I saw the damsel pulling me, trying to save me. I drained every thing I saw earlier and took time hung in midair, making an illustration in my mind of her moist eyes, her shiny hair, her ivory glowing face, her soft hand clenched in my rough fist and every little unreal detail around us. The woman strapped to the bed had stopped crying. Then the humanoid I earlier saw in the hospital, as black as an oil painting wet on white canvas, broke in pushing through a wall holding the shotgun and it shot me. The impact pushed me away and I could hear her scream the name “Dhalia”. Her voice fading out to mute and her face shrinking smaller the deeper I fell. That’s when I woke up on the floor of the surgical theater, cold sweat and feeling hungry and weak.
I laid there a moment remembering her face screaming the name from the nightmare, my teeth tattling words I couldn’t listen or understand, and my hands felt wooden and shivered closed between my knees. I got up and walked with cripple in my right leg to a mirror hung over a basin. I saw my grimed, pale brown and pulled down face like a used blood-bag, my hair were trimmed short and my shoulder shrunk into a hanger with loose sticks on either sides, the number 666 stitched in white on my shirt.
I ran some water in the basin and rinsed my face and left the room without looking back into mirror. I remembered the day I previously faced one, six months ago I combed my gelled hair and put on my wrist watch, I wore a T-shirt, black jeans and my sneakers and took a bus to my college. That same evening I tried to kill my only friend and ended up in the asylum.
The alarm system of the building buzzed “rrrrunn!-rrrrunn!” alerting that the security had been breached.
The damsel and her anarchy troop were gone, leaving a trail of bodies behind tracing to the exit door. The asylum didn’t have a way to the rooftop, Dhalia set me up for the mad doctor and I hoped his body was one of the ‘left overs’ only I wouldn’t know for sure. Going down the stairs I saw doctor Dougay on third floor, sitting on the ground leaned against the wall by the gate, sighing last breaths in his own bloodshed. The anarchy troop were hunting any one who stood on their way to refuge and it seemed one of them had loosened the madness on Dougay and left him barely alive. When Dougay recognized me standing before him he said “You?. . .go! I don’t want you near on my death!”
“Who’s Dhalia?” I asked him.
He sniggered spitting out blood and murmured “You don’t know?”
“Take my briefcase, there’s a Ganapati’s photo in a book” he said restraining to breathe.
I removed his briefcase under his thigh, he showed me two fingers and then three. I used the number combination to open it and thumbed through the graphic novel to find a small picture of Hindu wisdom god, Ganapati. His fingers wet the edge in blood from where he held the image and indifferently he said nothing further and stared at it as if his eyes prayed.
I saw a file in the briefcase, laying over files and a newspaper with headline: Quarantine City. The file had ‘PID:666’ written on its cover. The first page was a form with my passport sized photo affixed on upper right corner and a row below had the subject’s full name, Rahul Rai. I looked back at Dougay but his death came soon after his last prayer.
The file was as thick as a dictionary and I didn’t want to read all of it, the first diagnosis report in the end was dated nineteen years back: 03/03/1989 my birth date. The photocopy of a handwritten stationery I found in the file read:
“The boy was given life by patient Priya Rai, PID:189, in Red Cross Hospital five months after she was admitted in the institute. I find it a grave shame that the institute has treated the subject’s pregnancy haphazardly. The mother was diagnosed with axis-1 schizophrenia and its not recommended that the infant be held in the asylum with the mother. In contrary of which, the boy might be in danger. Although STPD in him might surface in future, inherited from his mother’s sickness but there is a high chance the boy will develop a better psychology if exposed to different environment. In light of legal order of Priya’s divorce case, her ex-husband didn’t obtain the child’s custody nor did he claim responsibilities being aware of the mother’s disability, its best for the baby to be sent to an orphanage after medically testing him for mental disability or illness or other health problems due to mal-nourishment.
Ana and Archie Mental Institute”
The paper could’ve been a draft of an official communication and it didn’t have detail of the recipient. Yet it said a lot in a summary. Dougay knew more about me than I ever did, he made sure that I was sent to an orphanage based on a chance, the term doctors don’t prefer and I have let him down.
He could’ve been someone resembling a friend to me. My luck ran out a long time ago. A long nineteen years ago.
I sat there agaze eyed at his face, connecting all dots giving away the apparent, name of the woman who killed my first adoptive parents was Priya Rai and I am her son.
I picked Ganesh’s briefcase, put on his black overcoat and found his wallet and car keys in its pockets. Inside the wallet was a family’s old photo: two young girls, a beautiful wife and the doctor; and his driving license and two thousand rupees cash. I curled the family photo in his stiff fingers and left without causing him further trouble.
I walked down to the parking lot. I didn’t learn how to drive a car so the car keys were useless for me, from the parking I found stairs to go outside.
The sky was a black umbrella, a sad and dysfunctional one. It let the last rain pour through it like shards of glasses falling and shattering on the ground, cutting into my skin, making static noises of failing television but it was awful silent and alone for me.
I stood outside the asylum gate, looking at the orphaned roads sheeny under street lights with golden halo, and the rain drops glittered like melted gold in them. I was out of direction, left and right, both were estranged to me although I had a lead, an address from the file.
Not enough changed in six months, my days were as dark, cold and lovelorn. And my nights were then hoboken.
(To be continued…..)