Doctors deem Aven, a patient with Paranoid Schizophrenia and Iatrophobia, untreatable. Can Dr. Way's plan to pose as a patient get through to her, or will he drive her deeper into insanity?
“Hello Dr. Way! It’s good to see you. I’m sure you’ll do fine here, everyone’s friendly. Well, mostly everyone.” Dr. Iero said as he smiled at the institution’s newest doctor.
“Yeah,” Dr. Way said with empty eyes. “Ever since Mikey was admitted a few years ago I felt the need to help him somehow. Now that I have my Doctorate’s degree in psychology, I figured this was the best way to help him.”
Dr. Iero gave him a sympathetic smile, his brown eyes were warm and inviting. “Well, your first patient will be Haven Cozy. She’s a twenty year old female. She was admitted at the age of seventeen and hasn’t left here since. Not one of our doctors has been able to break through to her. We thought a new face might be the best thing for her. ”
Dr. Iero handed Dr. Way the manila folder. Dr. Way opened it and quickly perused the file. “Excellent!” Dr. Way said. "I’ll read up on her tonight, and then see to her tomorrow morning.”
The next day Dr. Way showed up to work early to get started. He had to prepare. After reading over Haven’s file, Dr. Way had deducted that the best way to get close to her was to pose as a patient. She was showing signs of an onset of Paranoid Schizophrenia and had Iatrophobia, which is why she responded negatively to all doctors.
Gerard updated the staff and security on what he was going to attempt to do, and then changed out of his suit and into the standard white pants and t-shirt.
He helped the staff set up a room for him and then waited in there until lunch. It was strange being on the other side of the bars, but he kind of enjoyed the solitude. He just hoped he wouldn't run into his younger brother, it would ruin everything.
Once lunch time came around he was taken to the cafeteria with the other patients. As he ate he socialized with some of the patients. Most weren’t in there for anything serious. During break when they were allowed to take a walk in the gardens, he caught up to Haven.
“Hello,” he said tentatively.
At the sound of his voice, Haven jumped. She glared at him then shrank back against a trunk of a nearby tree. “Are you one of the doctors, here to take me away and give me shots?” she asked as she threw him a death glare.
“No, I’m a patient, just like you. I was just wondering how your day has been going.”
Haven sat down tentatively in the grass and patted a space next to her. As soon as he sat down she dragged him closer by the collar of his shirt, her nails digging into his skin. “We have to be quiet, they’re listening.”
“Who’s listening?” Dr. Way, or should we say, Gerard, asked in a confused voice.
“The government. They’re always listening, always watching, always waiting. They never leave me alone. In my cell I’m safe, but not out here.” She said as she threw him back onto the grass.
“There’s no one here Haven. It’s just you and me.” Gerard said tentatively as he held up his hands.
She stared at him, her blue eyes cold and lifeless. “You’re lying. You’re just like the rest.” She turned away from him. Suddenly, her head snapped back to him. Her eyes were startlingly wider and her head cocked, “How do you know my name.” she asked quietly.
Gerard was startled for a second. He thought on his feet and quickly recovered. “I-I heard one of the guards talking to you.” He had no clue if she had even spoken to anyone while she was out, all his hope was riding on this one little white lie.
She smiled, satisfied. “She’s one of my friends. Mary isn’t like the rest. She’s the nicest guard in this place.”
Gerard smiled too, “Yeah, I like her.”
“So, what’s your name?” she asked in a dreamy voice.
“That’s a nice name. Gerard,” she said, rolling the name around her tongue still in a dreamlike state, “There are a lot of people in history with that name. For example, a French poet my mother used to read to me, Gérard de Nerval. He was a famous Romanticist. He was born in 1808, died 1855. During the Surrealist movement he was very insistent that dreams were significant to it.” She paused and then turned back to Gerard, her eyes were now well and truly vacant. “Did you know he had a pet lobster? Its name was Thibault. What a strange thing to keep as a pet.”
Gerard just stared at her. Her black hair was long from years without a haircut and a bit matted from lack of care. Her pale skin gave her a bit of a sickly appearance, but her eyes showed that she was still there. Sometimes.
“Okay, well…Aven…it was nice talking to you. I have to go now.” Gerard said with a smile as he stood up. He casually brushed the grass off his pants.
Aven didn’t look up at him as he stood, she was too busy picking grass, her knees now drawn up to her chin, “They’re watching, always watching.”
The other doctors at the institution made fun of Dr. Way over the next two weeks for his methods. Some even told him maybe he should commit himself when he was done. Gerard persevered though, he was determined he could break through to her. He had made a steady friendship with Aven and talked with her daily. Ever so slowly he was getting through.
On a bright and airy Tuesday morning, he headed towards the garden happily. That was when he heart froze as he assessed the scene in front of him.
Normally peaceful Aven was thrashing and punching guards left and right as they tried to restrain her. One of them had managed to pin her arms behind her, but her legs were still free. One guard had the onset of a black eye and the other had some broken fingers. The rest were all bruised and scuffed up.
As Gerard ran towards the scene she turned her head towards him, sensing his arrival. when her wild blue eyes locked onto him she started screaming, “YOU TRAITOR! HOW COULD YOU! I TRUSTED YOU! I TRUSTED YOU!!”
Gerard stopped short of the fight and barked at one of the guards, “Get me a sedative!”
The guard complied, thankful to be away from the madness, and ran back into the grand institution.
“So it’s true,” she said suddenly as she stopped struggling, “You are one of them.”
He knew her words shouldn’t have an effect on him, but he felt like he’d been slapped in the face. “I never meant to…Haven I’m sorry I just…I just want to help you.”
“I don’t need any help.” She said in a soft yet deadly tone.
As the guard came back with the sedative he handed Gerard the syringe. At the sight of the needle Aven shrank back, trying to get as far away from Gerard as possible.
“I’m sorry Aven, this will only hurt for a second.” He said in a sad voice. Then he took her arm and gently plunged the needle in. She closed her eyes and then sighed, a smile on her face.
“Put her down please. And gently if you don’t mind.” Gerard ordered the guards. As they propped her up on bench Gerard sat down next to her. Her eyes opened up again.
Gerard gently took her hand and started whispering to her, “It’s alright Aven, everything will be just fine. I’m here for you, know that. No matter what happens I’m always here for you.”
Aven smiled contently and then slipped into a slumber. Gerard stood up and sighed. He had her taken back to her room and then he returned to his office, white pants and all. He was going to ask his superiors if he could see to Aven’s care permanently from now on.