It still falls, the snow that is. I’m walking down the main floor hallway, my head turned slightly to the right, watching the snow fall through the glass wall. Victoria walks ahead of me as she leads me to my morning session with Kauffman. Her hair is in a tight top bun today and she is wearing her signature lavender perfume. I called her Victoria, when she came in to get me and she went ballistic.
“My name is Marissa! Not Victoria!” She yelled at me.
“You look so much like her and you wear the same perfume” I tell her.
“You’re crazy, now get up and follow me to Mr. Kauffman. He is waiting for you.” She scolded, marching out of my room. I followed her out.
The session room is down the main floor hallway; the first room at the right. I am enchanted by the snow and make my way to the glass wall, pressing my whole body against it. I press my chapped lips to the cold glass and smile. The cold lets me know I’m alive. Victoria, however, is quick to pull me away, dragging me by my right arm.
“You’re such a child!” she yells at me. I don’t say anything back. I hang my head low and let her drag me to Kauffman. When we get there, she orders me to sit in the steel chair that stood in the middle of the room. She proceeds to handcuff my right wrist to the right handle of the chair. Kauffman is sitting behind his desk, reading a thick red coverless book. He barely notices us when we come in. I try to figure out what the book may be about but am left frustrated because I can’t see over it.
“No…No…No!” I yell. The handcuffs hurt me and I hate them. Why can’t I sit like a normal person? I’m tired of being restrained. I was glad when they decided not to use the white jacket on me anymore but insist on keeping me handcuffed at all times. I won’t hurt anybody. I promise. I tell them but they are not convinced. Kauffman hurries over to me and grabs my face, forcing me to look at him. I calm down at the touch of his warm hands.
“Its okay” he says to me as he looks into my eyes.
“Okay” I nod back, shyly. It was that easy. He knew how to stop the pain. Walking back over to his desk, he pulls out his chair and places it a few feet from me.
“Now let’s discuss last evening” he says to me as he sits down, crossing one leg over the other.
“You say, you saw Henry, tell me about it?” he continues to ask.
“No one believes me. I saw him. I heard him.” I tell him, tears streaming from my eyes now.
“He was there by the cafeteria exit, I saw him…I heard him call out my name” I said.
“Are you sure?” Kauffman asked.
“Yes” I responded, sniffling.
“Tell me anything else you can recall” Kauffman urged.
“I was ready to take my tray back when I heard him say my name. I looked around and I saw him by the far left cafeteria exit door. He waved at me. If only they had let me reach him…” I said, trying to stay calm.
“What happened to Henry? Why didn’t he come to your rescue?” Kauffman asked me. I had asked those questions to myself last night and couldn’t come up with any reasonable conclusion. Henry loved me. Didn’t he? Why didn’t he save me?
“I don’t know” I finally responded, shaking my head.
“If he loved you he would have saved you” Victoria said sarcastically.
“No need to banter her” Kauffman said to Victoria, coldly.
“I suppose we all have feelings, even deranged red-heads” Victoria sighed.
“Is that really necessary?!” Kauffman shrieked at Victoria.
“I didn’t say anything.” She smiled at him.
“Never mind you…” he told her with a wave of a hand, as to disregard her altogether. He put up with her over-bearing cynical nature because she was the best nurse assistant he ever had and also she was very intelligent. Perhaps she was too intelligent. Deep down he wished to have his way with her but fought the urges by focusing on me. I was his most important puzzle; he had to solve the mystery of my life that I have no memory of. I was grateful for him but Victoria was keen on destroying any chance of me ever recovering or escaping this nightmare.
Kauffman didn’t believe me, of course. He told me I was seeing things-that Henry was never there. I cried and screamed to him that I saw him. I was not crazy. I had another screaming spell and they had to call Demetrius to take me back to my room. I think I really did go bonkers for a split second when he uncuffed me from the chair; I swung my fist into his nose. He didn’t say anything; he just grabbed my arm and twisted it behind my back. I yelped in pain. This quickly brought me back to my senses.
Even after punching him in the face, he remained unchanged. It was like nothing had happened. He walked me into my room, mildly edging me to back into the padded white wall. He stared into my eyes and I stared into his. I was ready for the beating to come. To my surprise, he didn’t beat me; he just stared at me for a while, and then headed back to the door. Leaving the door slightly ajar, he peered at me once more. I was getting tired of this game. What was he up to? Then he finally said something that made my heart leap up into my throat.
“There was a man…by the exit door in the cafeteria. I saw him.” He said to me in his strong Russian accent, closing the door quickly. I sunk to my knees, pulling at my hair.
“I’m not crazy” I murmured, excitedly.