Disastrous screams echoed through to glistening white hallway. The place was perfect to turn a person insane. If they were sane to being with.
The day started with a sudden phone call at 3 in the morning. I chose not to pick it up, nor could I stay asleep anymore. As I lay there staring at the blank ceiling, the voicemail kicked in.
“Hello Dr. Brandt, it’s Susan. I’m sorry to call you at such an odd time. I need your help. I have a patient who is making a fuss. He claims that he has been framed and does not belong in the hospital. I would’ve dealt it if I had checked his file or met him in person. But I’m out of town for a while, Would you be kind enough to check if everything is alright? He has been disturbing the authorities and should be dealt with soon. Would really appreciate your help.”
It was surely the worst way to start my day off. Dealing with insane guys at 3 in the morning surely won’t help my mental state, how can i help with theirs?
I wish I didn’t go. How couldn’t i? It was my responsibility, my duty.
The place had a different aura to it. The aura surrounding a mental hospital isn’t always pleasant, but there was something different about that one.
The whole hospital was whitewashed. The walls from the ground including the ceiling were painted an odd pearly white. Scratch marks covered most of the walls. As I walked through, people peeked in and out of their cells. They were like waves in the ocean. Some gave me a smile, Some reached out for me. I wasn’t scared of them, I felt for them. The silent ones sat in the corner, humming their favorite songs in an unimaginable volume. I looked around, they were innocent. All of them.
I wonder if many of them wished that god wouldn’t fuck with them, not like this.
I was scanning all the patients when I saw him. Brad had a pink shirt on, a nice tie which went well with his shirt. The shirt was creased, his glasses hung from his nose. One of the lens was broken. He stood out because all the other patients wore white. He looked at me, all I could see was a man in desperate need of help. He waved at me, hoping I would come over and talk to him. This stranger looked like he found a friend in me.
I looked for the nurse but didn’t find one. The guard walked up the hallway with a file in his hand. He was tough. He looked enormous up close and had a scruff beard, he felt like the right guy for the job. He handed the file over to me.
“Dr. Brandt, Here’s the file. Susan told me to give it to you” he said. He had a raspy voice.
“I see you’ve met the patient already” he said as he glanced over to Brad.
“You want me to escort you and your friend to the interrogation room?” he inquired with a blank look on his face.
“No we’ll be fine.” I said as I unlocked the cell. I asked Brad to come out, follow me to the interrogation room.
The guard walked away. Brad scurried over, as if he was about to be hit with lightning if he stood there for a second more. He seemed decent.
“Of course, he’s framed.” a voice whispered in my head.
“Hello! Doctor…ummm?” he said while he put his hand forward.
“Brandt.” I said with a smile on, hoping he would relax a bit. I shook his hand.
“Dr. Brandt, I need your help. I don’t belong here sir. I’m not crazy. This is a misunderstanding.” He said in a hurried tone. He didn’t let go of my hand. He held It tighter with both his palms, begging.
“Calm down my friend.” I said as I put my hand around his shoulder. He had a very strong cologne on, a decent one.
“I can’t be here sir. I have to go. I have to be home before mother wakes up. There’s no one else to take care of her. Please, doctor.” he begged.
We walked down the hallway as he begged. I listened to every word he had to say, I acknowledged it. He didn’t seem crazy, but it isn’t that easy to judge now, is it?
I unlocked the door as he stood there, he was worried. A light hung from the ceiling, there were two chairs facing each other in the center. A squeaky table stood beside the chair. The interrogation rooms were always scary, I wonder how many people made false confessions just to get out of that dreaded room.
Brad walked right in, sat down on a chair. I put his file on the table. The chair creaked as I sat down. I always listen to the patient first before going over the report. This helps me grasp the personality of the patient and also helps to gain trust of the patient. Brad couldn’t have been crazy, that’s for sure.
“If you don’t belong here Brad, how did you end up here?” I said as I clasped both my hands and looked at him with a gentle smile.
He was sweating. He seemed restless and worried. I wish I could just go with my instincts and let him go, let him go cater his mother.
“It’s all because of fucking Henry, my degenerate cousin. He framed me doctor.” He said with aggression brewing on his face.
“Why would he do that?” I inquired.
“It’s because he hates me doctor. He always despised me. Ever since I took in my mother, he started acting up again. He always thinks that he’s inferior to me. He always tries to prove me wrong, pull me down.” He said and started to grind his teeth in anger.
“He’s your brother, he wouldn’t do something as horrible as this to you” I stated.
“You can’t predict what he’s about to do. He’s the one who is crazy. He doesn’t suffer from bad mental health, but I can guarantee that he has an awful lot of issues with that depraved head of his.” He said as he looked away.
“What were you doing before the authorities came to take you?” I inquired, trying to steer away from the ongoing topic.
“I fed my mother, put her to sleep. This is the first time I’ve ever fed her with my own hands. You couldn’t even imagine the delight on her face. I was on the couch , reading a book when they came.” Expressions on his face appeared and disappeared like sunshine through the clouds.
I couldn’t help but feel guilty to keep him waiting here.
“Why did the authorities come to take you? Why was it so urgent?” I inquired.
“This isn’t the first time I’ve been in a mental hospital doctor. I’ve been to a establishment like this before, thanks to my fucking brother. So they didn’t hesitate to come take me back this time.” He said as he fidgeted with the button on his shirt.
I believed him, I could imagine his sly brother framing him. This is a case which doesn’t appear often. He looked like he needed sleep.
“Why does he do that? How can the authorities believe him?” I asked him
“He says that I’m depressed, I’m a psychopath. He’s jobless and envies my prosperity. He even put me in, claiming that I was a pedophile” he said with his eyes peering onto the linoleum floor.
“Evidence?” I questioned.
“I took my nephew to the park the other day. She needed to pee, so I took her to the restroom. She wasn’t willing to go into the girl’s restroom alone, so I took her in the men’s washroom and waited outside the stall. This was fuel for him to frame me. He always wants to frame me. I brought her back, sang her to sleep when the authorities came barging in. The fucker had a smile on his face as they took me away.” he said.
There was something intriguing about this situation, a voice in the back of my head tried to speak to me. It somehow couldn’t. I assumed he was innocent.
“What was the reason tonight?”
“I was laying on the couch when the nurses came to take me away. I don’t know the reason sir.” he started to grow worried again.
He glanced at his watch, looked at me.
“I haven’t slept in days doctor. I’m tired. I can’t sleep here. Mother might need me, she wakes up at night sometimes.” He looked straight into my eyes.
“I believe you Brad. We’ll take action against your brother. Sit tight for now, will you? I’ll be back in a second.” I said as I stood up and walked out the door with the file in my hand.
I was convinced that he was innocent. Who wouldn’t think that way?
I thought about it for a while.
Brad started to bang the door, the banging didn’t seem like it would stop soon.
I opened the door.
“Sir I need to go. I realize now that i forgot to close the window. It’s cold tonight sir, she has pneumonia. I really need to go doctor.” He held my hand and looked into my eyes.
A tear trickled down his cheek. I could see the desperation, his immense love.
“You can go” I said.
“Oh thank you sir, Thank you. I’ll finally get some sleep too.” He said as he proceeded to run towards the exit.
He ran fast, it was his mother at stake.
I walked down the hallway, indicated the guard to open the gate.
I felt peace. Although other patients screamed in revolt, some laughed. I felt at peace.
You see peace is an enigma. Often times its just euphoria, some times its relief.
I was so caught up in the moment that I couldn’t realize the absence of the file in my hand.
I looked down the hallway, I lost breath. The white light shining from the white tiles was blinding. I felt weak at my knees.
I screamed as I ran towards the gate. Blood rushing through the veins in my throat. I saw a piece of paper, rumbling down the hallway.
The papers must’ve been loose in the file. I stopped. Gasping for breath, I bent down and picked up the paper.
My eyes couldn’t get fixated on the paper. I took a deep breath.
What I read brought me to tears. I felt choked. I looked around, the world seemed to recede. I felt weightless, yet I felt heavy.
I put my hands through my hair and screamed. Screamed until I lost my breath.
It was a report. It was dated for that night.
A meticulous whisper lingered at the back of my mind.
“I’ll finally get some sleep.” said Brad.
Notes: This story has many loose ends which may leave you with several questions. I intend to answer them with a set of stories related to this one. I’ve had complaints of lack of character development which i ought to resolve. I sincerely thank you for reading this story. This is indeed a lot longer than the ones i usually write. I’d appreciate it if you dropped a like to let me know if you liked it. I’m open to feedback, you can comment them below. I’m grateful that you took time out of your day to read this story. Be sure to follow if you want to read some more stories like this 🙂
I’ll leave you a hint, Brad is innocent. 😉