“Interesting,” Kauffman interrupted as he wrote on his worn brown leather pad. I watched him as he rapidly took notes and found myself a bit annoyed that he had interrupted me. Nevertheless, I decided to forgive him for the poor manners and waited until he was finished. It seemed like he could go on forever, scratching his ginger beard as he poured his thoughts onto those pages.
Seemingly, he was unaware of the sudden sharp pain that ran from the back of my neck to the left side of my head. It was like I was under an electric shock from an eel. I twisted and turned in pain, but he was oblivious to me now; as he was deep in thought. The pain intensified and I screamed. I screamed like I was being murdered by a serial killer; you know that chilling scream made famous by all the great horror movies.
Everything after that seemed like a blur; I have a lot of blurs. I vaguely remember, Kauffman rushing to my side trying to calm me but to no avail. Then a bulky nurse rushing in and injecting something into my left arm. I remember chuckling a bit because she had the body of a quarterback and a pig’s nose.
“What happened?!,” I heard the nurse ask with shortness of breath.
“I don’t know.”
“Put her down!” Kauffman yelled. That’s all I remember. Now I’m back in the padded white room that smells like mint, has no windows, and has lights that are too bright. I tell them it hurts my eyes but they don’t care. They say they are good for me. I call them liars.
The asylum was quiet that cold October afternoon, every patient had been neutralized and all slept in their beds with the exception of Elizabeth. The front desk nurses were gossiping about the patients as usual.
“Monty peed the bed again and they had the slow janitor, Bob, clean it up!” A porky nurse named Janice bursted with laughter.
“Oh, Janice, you’re so bad,” a shy skinny nurse named Molly pleaded. Suddenly the front doors opened and in with the cold brought in a devilishly beautiful woman of a petite stature with wild curly black hair. It was Victoria but she was going by another name now. A friend at the asylum had warned her that Elizabeth was slowly regaining her memory and Victoria could not let that happen. She walked right up to the help-desk and gave her signature sinister smile to Molly. Molly could tell that this woman was far from nice and she gulped.
“May I help you?” Molly asked, trying to sound confident.
“Why, yes dear.”
“I’m here about the nurse assistant position for Mr. Kauffman.” Victoria boasted.
“Oh, yes, I was told to direct you straight to him.”
“Follow me please” Molly directed Victoria. Kauffman’s office was in the basement, so they took the elevator down. They didn’t talk much on the way down just gave each other nervous smiles here and there. When they reached the ground floor, Molly felt a shiver run down her back as she headed out the elevator.
“You can get lost down here, it’s a bit of a maze” Molly nervously laughed, trying to shake the bad feeling that had come over her like ice.
“I don’t mind getting lost. I love adventure.” Victoria replied in a monotone. They took a few left and right turns, until they finally reached Kauffman’s office. It was closed. The worn wood door was in desperate need of a new finish or perhaps needed to be replaced. Molly softly knocked on the door and called out for Mr. Kauffman.
“Mr. Kauffman, are you there?” Molly called out.
“Yes, just a minute” Kauffman replied.
“He’s always so busy reading you know,” Molly smiled at Victoria. Victoria didn’t say anything back. She just smiled. The door flew open and Kauffman greeted both ladies.
“Good evening” Kauffman smiled. He was taken aback by Victoria’s beauty. He could barely stop himself from staring.
“This is Marissa Croon, the new nurse assistant you requested.” Molly told Kauffman.
“Yes, yes, how do you do?” Kauffman greeted Victoria once again.
“Well, I’ll leave you two to it then” Molly said as she headed back to the main floor.
“We’ll go up with you; I want to show Miss Croon the patient she would be helping me with.” Kauffman cried out to Molly. On the way back up to the main floor, Kauffman slightly grilled Victoria on her work history and education. Victoria seemed to have all the right answers and Kauffman was growing more intrigued by her. She was very intelligent.
“Elizabeth,” a soft voice speaks to me. I have my head between my legs and my long curly red hair covers my face. I slowly lift my head and look around but nobody is there. For a moment, I fantasize that the voice is Henry’s. It sounded like him.
I crawl into a fetal position at the back right corner of the room as a sleep catches my eyes. Time is unknown to me and I am unsure if it’s actually time for bed. Bedtime has been called out yet, so I guess not. Sorrowfully, I shed a tear for my Henry as I close my eyes.
I don’t dream anymore. My thoughts consist of bits and pieces of images I can’t be sure to be true or not. They tell me I did terrible things; they say I killed people, men. I don’t remember the last two years of my life or what happened that brought me here. Everything is a blur. The padded white floor is cold and I hold myself tighter.
“Elizabeth,” I hear that song angelic voice again calling my name. Abruptly lifting my head to see the owner of the voice, I am left perplexed by the handsome man with blue eyes I had loved many years ago kneeling right in front of me. Henry.
“Henry!,” I cry out excitedly.
“Hush my love” Henry smiles at me as he places two fingers upon my badly chapped lips. I kiss them.
“I missed you so much” I gasped as I rushed into his embrace. He kisses me and I let him take me. It is like a new dawn after a monstrous storm; our bodies explode with love. It feels great. We hold each other and as my head lies on his left shoulder, I can’t help but smell the tobacco and lavender exuding from him.
“I missed you too,” he whispers. I smile like a little school girl. Suddenly, I got the feeling that someone was watching us.
“Who is she talking to?” Victoria asked Kauffman as they looked at Elizabeth through her door window.
“I don’t have the slightest idea” Kauffman replied.
“Does she talk to herself a lot?” Victoria asked.
“This is the first time I see her do this” Kauffman replied in a concerned tone. They watched Elizabeth for a bit longer.
“Oh look, Henry, its Mr. Kauffman”
“He’s nice to me” Elizabeth pointed a finger to Kauffman. Kauffman smiled at Elizabeth.
“I must go now my love” Henry told Elizabeth.
“Don’t go, stay and meet Mr. Kauffman” Elizabeth pleaded but Henry was gone. She started to cry.
“Why is she crying?” Victoria asked trying to hide her amusement. Elizabeth looked back to where Kauffman and Victoria stared at her from her room door and when she noticed Victoria she stopped crying.
“I know her. She looks so familiar” Elizabeth thought to herself.
“So…that’s Elizabeth” Victoria said coolly to Kauffman as they headed to the cafeteria. Kauffman was already under her spell and it didn’t seem like Elizabeth remembered her. But Victoria couldn’t take that chance; she had to get rid of Elizabeth for good this time. No loose ends.