Restraints: A short story.

From the moment I saw her, I felt like nothing else in the world had a meaning. Her eyes were a deep, crystal blue, with skin as soft as fresh snow. I felt like it was impossible for anyone not to fall in love with this woman once they had looked into her eyes, they were so big, full of secrets, bad secrets, the kind you’re best not knowing. Yet something drew me to her, they made me want to know more about the kind of person she was, the kind of life she was living. I saw her every day, and I looked forward to it, every day. I had worked at the asylum for years, and not once had I built up the courage to even say hello to this woman. Hell, I didn’t even know her name. So how was it possible that I felt all these feelings for this woman? How did I want her so much? I didn’t know anything about her, and it scared me. I studied her face for longer, her hair was thick, a golden brown colour, like the sun, beautiful. Her tiny waist, I longed to hold her in my arms, hold her fragile hands, and feel her touch against my body. I wanted to hear her voice whisper sweet words into my ears, I just wanted her to notice my existence. If I felt this strongly about a woman I didn’t know, I was sure she was the one for me.

I looked at him from a far, he always seemed so happy, so composed. I asked myself questions about him constantly, wondering if he looked at me how I look at him. I caught him looking once, but I didn’t know if I was dreaming. I admired his facial features, he had the perfect cheek bones, his face was ever so defined. His lips looked soft, I had imagined kissing them, feeling them against my shoulder as we lay down, staring at the ceiling. But why did I feel this way? Maybe it’s because I’m crazy, I didn’t know, all I knew was that I was drawn to this man. He was like an angel, his eyes were perfect, and I felt like I could look into them for hours without getting bored. They held so many stories and I wanted to hear them, I needed to hear them. I couldn’t approach him though, he knows I’m crazy, he would just think it was my illness which made me want to talk to him.

It was a late Autumn morning and I arrived at work earlier than usual to set up breakfast for the patients, I sat at the table with my cup of tea and watched the caretaker sweep up the crisp leaves which had recently fallen from the trees, winter was swiftly approaching. I loved to sit by the window and think about everything. I thought about her, that beautiful woman, who I saw and admired every day. I had to know her name. I went to the reception desk, luckily there was nobody there and I checked each patients files, I must have done this in an impressive amount of time because it felt like I had been there for hours but only 10 minutes had passed, and I had found the file. Her name was Evelyn, Evelyn Carter. Even her name was beautiful. I couldn’t wait to see her again.

It was beginning to get breezy in my room and I was shivering in my overalls, waiting for the workers to hand me the jumper we get each winter. I missed being at home for winter though, I could barely remember curling up on the sofa by the fireplace drinking hot chocolate and listening to Christmas songs, surrounded by people I loved. And now look where I was, locked up, going out of my mind. I felt like I was ready to go home but I knew that was a phase. I wonder if I would see him today, I wonder if he will look at me today, all I could think about was him. My brain was overloaded with thoughts of him. His face, his voice and his body. I wanted to see him and I wanted to bring myself to talk to him.

It reached 12pm and I was preparing dinner for the female patients, this was the moment I would see Evelyn, I was getting ready to introduce myself, deciding what I would say to her, I felt like I was going mad! How do I act around a woman? It had been so long since I had experienced this. Do I say ‘Hello Evelyn’ or ‘Good Afternoon Evelyn’ do I even use her name? Would she wonder how I knew it? I was getting nervous and I didn’t know why, I am usually a confident man but I suppose in situations involving women I was the shy type of guy, the patients began entering the room and my eyes suddenly became focused. I was like a hawk spying on its prey. I looked out for her and noticed her instantly, her eyes stood out. Wow, she was even more stunning than I remembered, I felt mind blown. I panicked, I didn’t know what to say. She was approaching, she was smiling. Was she going to say something? My heart began to beat faster and faster, I’m sure the other kitchen staff could hear it however I could have been paranoid. After all, I think I was about to speak to the woman of my dreams for the very first time in my life. I was ready.

I looked at him straight away, I felt excited but nervous too. What if he didn’t like me? What if he treated me like a child just because I was a psycho. Who was I kidding? Why did I even begin to think it was a good idea to talk to him? He worked in an asylum, he knew the kind of people we were, no way in hell would he even look at me, I had definitely been imagining this, making stories up in my head as usual. However, deep down, part of me, a very strange part of me at that urged me to say hello, I asked myself whether I should about ten times until I released it was my turn to get my food, I looked at his eyes and the butterflies in my stomach felt like they had all suddenly transformed from caterpillars at the exact same time. I laughed, smiled and said ‘hello.’

My heart melted, was this real? Did this perfect woman just greet me? Was I mad for being attracted to a patient in the asylum or was this normal? I didn’t even care, it isn’t as if I could help it, she was beautiful. I greeted her back ‘Good afternoon Evelyn.’ She smiled at me and my heart melted a little, I smiled back, I couldn’t stop. Her eyes made it look as though she was looking straight into your soul, as if she knew things about you that you didn’t know yourself. I was so intrigued by her. Her face looked sad but happy at the same time, I couldn’t read her expressions, she seemed emotionless. I just wanted to get to know her. But this was different, I couldn’t just ask her out for a drink or to the cinema, of course I couldn’t, she was psychotic but I think I had fallen in love, she had a soothing voice and I noticed that from a simple hello. I needed to get her out of this place. I needed her to be mine. I was so determined, a rush of adrenaline made its way through my body, and again, and again and again. I needed this woman, I would do anything for her to be mine, as crazy as it sounded, I would kill for this woman, I was going to help her escape.

He had a strange look in his eye once I had greeted him, as if he was trying to say something to me using eye contact but I wasn’t that smart, I just smiled back, I wanted to be his, I went back to my room and sat, imagining what it would be like to curl up to him in the winter, sing Christmas carols with him, decorate a house with all the decorations and pretty lights. I was over thinking the situation, we had only said hello to each other yet, there was a connection, a spark, it felt right looking into his eyes and I could picture myself telling him I loved him, but I didn’t want to get carried away, it was unhealthy for my illness. I heard a knock at my door, and I saw a note slide through the crack at the side of the door. It read ‘I will get you out of here if it’s the last thing I do’ was I asleep? Dreaming? I peered through the crack and it was him, the man who had taken over my every thought. I read the letter over and over again. Was this real? I wouldn’t know. I decided I should help him, if he was serious about getting me out of here, helping him was my only option. I was desperate to leave, this man was my knight in shining armour. I was about to escape the place I had dreamt of running away from for over 6 years. I could not believe my luck.

I crept into the medication ward in the early hours of Saturday, everyone else was asleep but not I, my heart and determination were taking over my brain and all I could think about was running away with this woman and living happily with her. I quick scammed each bottle on the top shelf until I came across one labelled ‘Geodon’ I read the description ‘Can keep you asleep for over 5 hours’ I thought to myself ‘this will do’ grabbed the bottle and made my way to the kitchen, my plan was to spike the water machine with this medicine causing every member of staff to collapse so I could take Evelyn away and be with her, where nobody could stop us. I posted her another note, telling her not to drink out of the water machine in the kitchen and that everything was going to be okay. I waited up all night, I must have drunk over 10 cups of coffee to stay awake but I had made it and I saw the sun rise at daybreak.

What was going on? Was this man crazy? Anyone would think he was the one schizophrenic, not I. I heard strange noises outside my room, it felt late, normally I would be having breakfast now but nobody had come to get me, time went by and it began to feel as if I had been locked in my room for hours, I waited and waited for someone to let me out but still nothing, yet the strange noises were still coming from outside, they sounded like screams, as if people were in pain, I began to feel anxious, panicky, I began to hallucinate and I could feel myself about to start screaming at the top of my voice, it was times like these when I felt crazy, I could see nothing and all I could hear were the screams of others around me. I wanted the man to rescue me, he said he would. Where was he?

People were collapsing around me, I was scared. Did this make me a monster? Were they alive? The medicine said it would only make people fall asleep, I was terrified. I couldn’t believe I was doing this for a woman I didn’t even know, but I craved her. I double checked the bottle, I hadn’t checked the back where the small print was. My hands were shaking as I read about what happens when mixed with water, my stomach jolted when I read that it can burn away at your insides. What had I done? I broke down but quickly remembered what I was doing this for, I was doing it for love, an intense feeling of deep affection that I longed for. I had been alone for such a long duration of my life, I deserved someone to love and it was her. I ignored all the staff and raced to Evelyn’s room, I could hear her screaming from down the corridor, I kicked and punched the door so much but nothing was happening, I needed to get in, one of the guards behind me affected by the water had a huge collection of keys attached to her belt, I ripped it off and tried every single one. Halfway through, the door opened and she leaped at me and tried to hit me, I must have frightened her. I held her and I got a sudden rush of excitement. This felt so right.

I had a break down. But I recovered as soon as he held me in his arms because it felt so right, I felt like a normal girl and it was nice. We ran straight to the door, on the way out I grabbed what I thought was another patients bags off the floor which contained a liquid substance of some sort. My head was messed up. I told the man to drink it and it would calm him down without checking the label first. I shouldn’t be out of that asylum, I was ill and I was supposed to be in there no matter how much I hated it, I wasn’t safe out here. I was scared. I watched him drink it, intrigued by the way his lips wrapped around the bottle top. He fell onto me, his eyes rolling back and forwards, his skin went 3 shades paler and I panicked. What had I given him? I hadn’t even checked. I read the bottle and dropped it in shock. This wasn’t medicine, this was poison to get rid of rodents in the asylum kitchen.

My skin began to bubble, it felt as though something was eating away at my flesh. I felt drowsy and as if I was heading into my own little world, the last thing I saw were her eyes, her deep, crystal eyes, staring into mine with a look of concern, I could finally see her emotions. I was lead to believe she felt the same about me, the way she looked at me wasn’t just a look of someone who was an acquaintance, there was something there, something special. I was panicking, I felt like I had just rescued a princess from her tower and now I felt like I was about to die. I heard her voice in my ear ‘I’m going to find the antidote, I’m going to find the antidote’ she said it about 5 times before I found myself drifting off, not knowing whether I would wake up again or not.

It was a late Autumn morning and I woke up in a freezing cold room with padded walls and no windows. I looked to my side and the nurse was there, cleaning the end of the syringe and the needle. ‘Everything will be okay Daniel, it’s all over now’ what was she talking about? I had just rescued the girl of my dreams. ‘Where is she? Where is Evelyn?’ I panicked. ‘It’s been 10 years since you killed her Daniel, she isn’t here anymore’ I didn’t understand. I didn’t know what to do, I was lost, in my own mind and nothing or nobody could help me, not even my medicine. I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I stared into the nurses eyes, I felt like I was about to cry. ‘You’ve been hallucinating again Daniel’ the nurse explained. ‘They’re very common when you’re suffering schizophrenia, don’t worry, you can get yourself back to sleep now, your medicine will keep you safe.’ I looked at my door, wishing it was a window so I could watch the Autumn change to Winter but I was stuck in this life and I was never escaping it.

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