Sins of the Child


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A Letter From Greer

To Whom it May Concern,

I am writing this to tell you the truth. I have lived here at Merritt Briars Asylum for a few years now, I can't remember if its three or four, but it hasn't been long. I have been told I am not allowed to leave until I have confessed my actions and come to terms with the consequences of my actions. However I am determined to leave on my own terms. It has been hard to conceive my plan. There are dozens of ways out, this place isn't very secure. I suppose the hardest part has been coming up with the appropriate timing. I have tried several times in the past and have always been early or late in my departure. Its a sensitive thing, time. Delicate and fragile. My last attempt was shortly after a session with Dr. Hayden. I loathe Hayden. I loathe Hayden's Freudian cure and couch.

The couch is old, worn and filled with the secrets of those who had confessed before me. I hated having to sit on it. I constantly felt the secrets seeping out of the leather and into my skin, making me itch and get distracted. Dr. Hayden, constantly needed to remind me to keep still or I wouldn't be able to focus on the watch. The watch was about as pointless as anything. Hayden dangles it in front of my face, forcing me to follow it with my eyes. The constant attempts at hypnotherapy were frustrating for both of us. I was never able to let go enough and Hayden is short on patience.

Today was different though, today there was a new doctor. Dr. Nico looks like an Einstein wannabe and speaks with a thick, unplaced accent. I knew things were going to change, but I never could have imagined what ultimately did. This is that confession. A confession of a confession and a plea for help. Which is why I feel the need to pen this. I need to fully confess what Hayden and Nico have attempted to get from me. I can't quite explain why they are so determined to hear what I have to say. It never interested them before Phoenix came here. Then suddenly they were having sessions with me day and night. I couldn't get them to stop. Frustrating as that may be I was able to finally discover what they wanted to know.

I lied to them. I told them what they wanted to hear and gave them a confession they will never be able to forget. I didn't want you. Whomever is reading this I need you to know that I didn't want to lie to them, it was never my intention. They were pushing so hard and Dr. Nico had injected me with something and Hayden's watch was simply so mesmerizing I couldn't help myself. They wanted to hear what I had to tell them. Then I lied. I told them they hadn't mesmerized me, that I was still in total control. My confession to them had merely been a story to get them off my back. They looked so frightened that I felt badly for them. I felt terrible about what I said, but I am more terrified that they won't believe me when I said I was lying.

To the reader of this letter I apologize for my emotional outburst. I cannot help but be afraid of what the consequences will be for you as the reader. This letter, the secrets contained in it could result in your own stay here at the asylum. It could be even more dangerous than you know. Yet you are still reading so I have to assume you are at least interested in finding out what I lied about.

Honestly, I have no idea what will happen to you. I have no idea what you will do with this information I can only hope you help me escape this hell and find the truth I've been searching for. I want to be honest with someone. A perfect stranger seems to be the best bet I have at being able to be candid and this is exciting to me. A chance to draw you in, reveal what I want when I want. You will never know the whole story unless you play my game, follow my rules and do exactly as I say. You've gone to far to turn back now.

Thinking on it, I know exactly who would have found this letter. I know who you are Rowan. I know everything you did to Quinn. How you destroyed lives, how you played innocent. Don't worry. I feel no regret or remorse for how things played out, I know my part. I came to terms with it though. I accepted it. I faced it and now you, in your valiant and futile efforts to discover the truth have decided to come to me at last. I am happy to oblige. You just have to do every single thing I say. I'll know if you do, and I'll know if you don't. I'm the mastermind, remember?

Rowan, I gave you the chance to walk away. Now you must pay for your sins and I am your Holy confessor. By the time you figure things out it will be too late for you. After all, you're the one who told me the truth in the first place. The time has come for you to accept that what you told me wasn't what really happened. It is time for you to finally lose everything, just how you took what wasn't yours and broke it. I am far from fixed Rowan, but at least I am fixable. You will forever be broken. You will forever be mine, locked in my world. I will destroy you, because within your destruction lies my escape.

Please know that it breaks my heart to do this. That I can't sleep at night knowing what I've done and what I have to keep doing in order to finish this. This isn't my choice. Its yours.

Forever Yours,


P.S. If by chance Rowan is not the one reading this letter allow me to clarify something. My name is Greer Bailey Atkinson. I'm 22 years old and have been a resident of the Merritt Briars Asylum for fours years. I have been lied to, abused, and more. The confessions left in this diary are belong to me and the other confessors. I cannot guarantee absolute truth on anyone's part but my own. However I am fairly certain the only person who would be Capablanca of finding this is Rowan. Rowan who no longer exists. Rowan who has sins of his own to pay for. Rowan to will pay for those sins by the end of this diary. Rowan who owes me the life I deserve after making sure mine was so swiftly and unjustly taken from me. 


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Four Years Ago


The car is moving slower now, we must be getting close. My mind is still fuzzy, I have no idea where I am or how long we've been moving. I think we're somewhere in Canada now, there are pine trees every where. Can you get to Canada this quickly? Maybe I've been out longer than I thought. I sit up slowly and see a road sign for Ely, Nevada. Not Canada after all. We must have only been driving for what, eight, maybe ten hours? Does Rowan even know where we're going? Probably not. Rowan is an idiot. Wait, I don't hear Quinn's voice and Quinn never shuts up.

“Where's Quinn? Where are we?” I ask. My voice is shaky, almost nonexistent. I have to clear my throat but my mouth is so dry I almost puke. I try asking my questions again when someone I don't recognize turns around from the front seat and hands me something warm. Reaching for it I realize my hands are sort of zip tied together. The nausea in my stomach was reaching all time high when suddenly, nothing. I must have fallen asleep or something.

When I wake up its dark out. I can't see a single light, not even the cars headlights. Its freezing out, and someone has covered me with a blanket. This time I can't sit up all the way, but I'm able to angle myself enough to see out the window. We've gone further north, somewhere into the mountains. The car stops and Rowan and the stranger get out. Through the door I can hear them whispering about being somewhere called McDermott, but we haven't left the state yet. Evidently where we are going requires directions and for Rowan to turn around and head back to Vegas. Why are we being separated? What is going on?

The stranger is the only one to get back in the car. He has to think I'm still asleep because he doesn't say anything. We keep driving. We stop just before sunrise. He gets out of the car and comes to my side. The door swings open and suddenly its cold and bright. I can't think straight as he jostles me out and into a standing position. My legs aren't bound, yet my wrists still are. Slowly I'm ushered up to a set of doors, they seem old. The whole entryway seems old, once inside the scent of bleach and antiseptic assaults my nose. I can finally hold my head up long enough to look around and gauge where I am . The first sign I see is one that says “Welcome to Merritt Briars Asylum.”

“Wait!” I cry out, “I shouldn't be here! I don't belong here! I'm not crazy! It was an accident!” My chest starts heaving and I can't catch my breath. The room starts to spin and suddenly I'm doubled over, head first in a trash can that I quickly fill with the contents of my stomach. I'm crying. I don't know what is going on, why any of this is happening. I can hear my heart beating in my ears and all the color rushes from my skin. I'm pale and before anyone can reach me I've collapsed. The next thing I know I've been taken to a windowless room and I'm in gray scrubs laying on a bed that is little more than fabric covered springs.

“And that is all you remember about how you got here?” asks Dr. Hayden.

“Yes. I can't remember anything else, when can I call Rowan?” I say, my voice is still soft, almost sleepy.

“Unfortunately we looked up all the contacts you gave us and it seems that Rowan O'Connell doesn't exist.” Dr. Hayden states. “We think it would be best for you to go back to your room and sleep off your sedatives.”

“What sedatives?”

“Well, when you were being brought up here we needed to heavily sedate you to prevent you from trying to run again and from trying to injure our attendants. You were quite spry when we found you; frightened too. You didn't know where you were, what your name was, all you kept saying was that you needed to find Rowan. So we sedated you and brought you here. Where we can help you.” Dr. Hayden said this explanation as though it was the end all, as if it answered all my questions. “I'm sorry, this seems to have been a bit much for you to take in all at once. I'll call for one of the nurses to take you back up to your room.”

“Can you at least tell me where I am first? Why I was brought here? What happened to Rowan?” I was beginning to feel panicked. Dr. Hayden was telling me nothing, and kept insisting on drugging me.

“You're exhausted. We'll speak once you've slept more soundly.” Buzzing the intercom he told the nurses at the other end to come get me, and to bring something that would allow me to sleep soundly.

“I don't need any more sedatives. I'm still exhausted and fuzzy from the first doses.” I told him. Hayden ignored me. Suddenly its as if I wasn't even there. He went to his computer, typing up the notes he'd been taking while we talked. The nurse came in. Handed me a cup and a tablet. Told me to take them. I couldn't. The pill was huge and I couldn't swallow it, but I was able to hid it with my tongue and that was good enough for them. The illusion.

As we walked back to my room I was able to get a better idea about where I was. This place was to cheery to truly be the prison I'd assumed I was in. Yet it wasn't comfortable cheer, it was fake. Fizzy, like champagne once its gone flat and you put a raisin in it to activate the yeast again. The colors were dull, and mostly green. I'm guessing they were attempting a calming effect. The halls were twisting and turning, we went up and down so many staircases I felt as though I was in an Escher painting. When we finally did get to the room that had my name on it I noticed that it was different from the one I'd spent the previous night in. This one resembled my room back home, with a window and desk. Even sitting down on the bed was more comfortable than before. The nurse informed me I had about ten to fifteen minutes left before my sleeping pill kicked in. I thanked her, watched her leave and then spat out what was left of the pill into my hand. Since it was so large not much had dissolved. There was some water on the night stand.

I went into the bathroom and gargled out the funky taste in my mouth from the tablet. While my mind was getting clearer I still felt fuzzy and exhausted. I fell into the embrace of the bed and drifted off to sleep. Later, hours or moments I couldn't tell in the darkness, I heard the voices of Dr. Hayden and the nurse. Hayden was confirming with her that I was asleep. She said I hadn't stirred for several hours. Keeping still I could feel them looking in on me. I made sure to keep my breathing even, heavy, letting them believe I was asleep. No one would give me direct answers, perhaps this was my way of finding out what was going on.

“Greer doesn't remember anything at the moment. I'm sure memories will come back at some point but until then we have to do everything possible to keep her in the dark. She cannot know where she is or why she was brought here. I'll gauge her from time to time to see what may or may not have been remembered. You on the other hand need to keep her well medicated. I trust you know how to manipulate dosages?” I see the shadow of the nurse nodding. She says nothing to Hayden, and he walks away. The door to my room gets closed and I can't hold in the tears anymore. Succumbing to exhaustion and fear I silently sob myself to sleep and hope that tomorrow will give me answers.

The next morning the nurse comes in with a tray of food and more medication. I'm gaining more and more cognizance, so I tongue and cheek the pills as necessary to get her off my back. Once she's gone I spit them out and flush them. Being as paranoid as I currently was I became skeptical of the food as well. There was a bagel, plain, toppings on the side and oatmeal. I only drank water from my bathroom sink and ate the bagel dry. Having heard that my medication was being used to keep me fuzzy I knew I couldn't trust anything. Getting up from my bed I went to the door, which was locked. Unsurprising, but annoying.

I knocked, attempting to get the nurses attention. There was a slight buzzing noise, and the door clicked open. I walked out and didn't see anyone. I was still in the scrubs I'd been wearing the day before, leaving my door open I walked back into my room to see if there were any clothes in the wardrobe. I found jeans and tee-shirts. They seemed clean, and oddly familiar. Walking into the bathroom to change I saw that toiletries had been left for me, so I showered and dressed in the more normal clothes. As I left the bathroom I saw that the door to my room had been closed. I started to panic as I walked across the room to see if it was locked again. Thankfully it wasn't. This time when I left my room I ventured farther than just what I presumed to be the nurses station.

Following the walls in the labyrinth of my prison I began to explore the facility. I saw a few more rooms, all of them locked and windowless, similar to mine. I came across a library, a living area and and a formal looking dining room. I came to several doors that seemed to lead to staircases, but these too were locked. In all my wandering I never came across another person. I never even heard any sort of movement. I didn't want to go back to my room so instead I found a place to hide in the library. It gave me enough coverage to where I could still see out, but it would take effort to find me. I stayed there for several hours, evident by the sun through the windows at the tops of the walls. Not one person came to find me, or walked past that door. Finally feeling comfortable I grabbed a book from the shelf nearest me and began reading.

A little while later the nurse who had walked me to my room came and found me in the library. I was enthralled in my book and didn't notice her until she coughed.

“Dr. Hayden would like to speak with you.” She said.

“Alright, when?” I wondered what it would be about this time. I still didn't know or remember anything, I couldn't be much use to him.“Now” She stated flatly.

“Can I finish my chapter first?” I asked, expecting the answer to be a flat no. She nodded her head and I turned the last few pages, getting to a stopping place. I stood up and carried the book with me. Again, expecting to be told I had to leave it there I was surprised when the nurse said nothing about me taking it. I had no real interest in speaking with Dr. Hayden, not until he was willing to give me more answers.

She led me through the labyrinth again, though it was less confusing now. I tried to engage her in small talk and that failed miserably. She seemed determined to show me to Hayden's office and then leave me to my own devices. Once there I opened the door without knocking. Hayden was turned around peering out the window as if expecting someone to show up. I saw a folder open on his desk, I walked past it and saw that it had my name on it, along with several others that had names I didn't recognize. At least I knew now that there were other people in this building.

“Good evening Greer. I trust that your day has been easy going?” Hayden suddenly seemed chatty.

“I guess.” I replied. “I found the library.”

“Good, good. I was hoping someone would show you too it.” He said, as if unaware that I had been alone for most of the day.

“Greer, I'd like to answer some of your questions. I know you're confused as to why you've been brought here. Take a seat on the sofa won't you?” I crossed the room and sat down. He spun around and closed the folder, grabbed the other ones and put them into a drawer he then proceeded to lock. He came across the room and sat down in a chair opposite me. After several moments he stood back up and went to the sideboard, poured a couple drinks and walked back over handing me a glass.

“Don't worry, its not alcohol.” he said, “Its a type of sun tea.” I accepted the glass from him and smelled it. I waited until he drank from his glass before barely letting the liquid touch my lips. It tasted like chamomile and citrus. I slowly sipped at it, wary of what might be in it. He drank his much quicker, so my suspicions were seemingly misplaced.

“Greer, I would like to talk about how you're settling in here. If you've found your way about the place, understand how things work” Hayden began to blather on about schedules and routines and their importance to someone like me.

“What do you mean someone like me?” I asked him. He looked taken aback, as though I wouldn't question what he was telling me. “I'm sorry, I can't function on the gospel of Dr. Hayden when I don't know where I am, why I'm here and what is supposedly wrong with me. What do you mean someone like me?” The desperation in my voice was palpable. I felt idiotic for sounding so childish, but I needed someone to finally tell me what was going on.

“Greer, you are a patient here. Here happens to be Merritt Briars Asylum. We are approximately fifteen miles north on the mountain range in McDermott Nevada. You were brought here at the request of your parents. Two of my employees went to Las Vegas, found you huddled and sobbing on a street corner. You kept repeating that you needed to find Quinn. Before Rowan got to her. We looked into the names you gave us. They don't exist. Where we found you, well its known for copious amounts of drug use. We believe you were under the influence of narcotics when we picked you up. This explains why you were able to escape my employees. Once they finally caught you they did in fact need to sedate you. Over the next twelve hours you bounced between fitful sleep and random bouts of shouting for people who, according to the databases we searched, do not exist. Each attempt to tell you this lead to you acting out violently or aggressively. Thus causing more sedation. When you finally arrived here you were coherent enough to speak with me. Then you were escorted to your room and you slept.” When he finally paused he rubbed stood, rubbed his temples and crossed the room. Returning to once again take the seat across from me he pulled from his pocket a watch on a very long chain.

“Greer, I'd like to attempt something with you. Something I think would help you adjust to life here.” He said this, as if ignoring me and addressing me at the same time.

“Wait.” My speech and body were shaky. I placed my cup on the coffee table between us and spilled some of the tea out of it. When the tea touched the wood it turned a dark red color. While this was odd to me what was odder still was that Hayden, out of the blue, had become very chatty. “What exactly do you want to do to me that will help me adjust? I still have no idea what is going on here. My parents never would have called someone so far away. I don't do drugs. The night you kidnapped me I was,” I stopped short. If he was insisting that Rowan and Quinn weren't real then I needed to play along with him. “I was sick. Food poisoning from a new restaurant.”

“Greer, we tested your blood. You came back positive for heroin in your system. An amount that should have killed you. Why it didn't is beyond us, but it should have. Your parents had called us days before when your behavior became erratic and chaotic. They were worried you'd gone off your medication. I was called in to help ease you into the transition of living here.”

“No!” I shouted. I stood up and made for the door. “They would NEVER let that happen! They watch me day and night. I'm never left alone. If what you said is true then I'd have to be off my medication for weeks, maybe even months. I'm never left alone long enough to sneeze let alone miss a dose. You have to be lying to me. You must be lying!” I knew I was crying and my body was betraying me by shaking so badly I couldn't open the door. Hayden came over to me, gripped me by the shoulders and maneuvered me back to the sofa. Once he got me lying down he sat on the edge, blocking my legs so I couldn't get up.

“Now, I know you are confused and perhaps angry, but you must let me help you.” As he spoke to me Hayden's voice began to get very monotone. “I'd like you to focus on this watch. Follow it with your eyes only. As you focus on the watch I will count backwards from ten. Once I reach zero you will fall asleep. Then, I will count from zero to ten and you will wake up. Refreshed and more adherent to your new routine as a recovering drug addict and manic depressive bipolar patient.” He began to sway the watch more steadily. I followed it with my eyes.

“Ten” back and forth it went, “nine” swinging slowly. “Eight” his voice was becoming plainer, “seven” my eyes were starting to feel heavy. “Six” I couldn't seem to blink. “Five” my mouth was drying out. “Four” my breathing evened, became steady. “Three” the shaking in my body seemed to stop. “Two” My heart rate hadn't slowed down yet, “one” it hadn't changed pace at all. “Zero” I closed my eyes because I knew he expected it, but I don't believe I was hypnotized like he wanted.

I felt him stand up. I didn't open my eyes, I didn't want him to think it hadn't worked. I knew in my heart he was lying to me. I had gone off my medication before, but I had never reacted the way he described. Yes I lived in Las Vegas, but I knew nothing about where to buy heroin. I heard his foot falls change. He was pacing? Walking back and forth at the end of the sofa where the rug and hardwood floors met.

“You will accept the story I have told you. When you wake up you will accept it as truth. Quinn and Rowan never existed. You will accept that you are at an institution for recovering drug addicts. You will forget the true name of this place and the manner in which you were brought here. When you awake you will be complacent, happy at having a second chance to live your life. You will be excited about therapy and most importantly, you will never again speak of Quinn McGovell and Rowan O'Connell.” Hayden stopped pacing. He came over, sat back down and pulled the watch from his pocket. I didn't hear it swinging in his hand this time, Hayden clicked it open and a moment later clicked it closed.

“Zero.” I stayed still. “One” I slowly started breathing more rapidly. “Two” I let my chest move up and down more noticeably. “Three” I twitched my nose. “Four” I kept breathing. “Five” I moved my eyes under their lids. “Six” I let a finger jerk. “Seven” I slid my head to the side. “Eight” now it went to the other side. “Nine” I sighed. “Ten”. At ten I rolled my head on the pillow. I slowly blinked my eyes open, the light had changed. It was softer, gentler. I slowly began to sit up, forcing Hayden off of the couch. He stood long enough to come kneel by my head.

“Shhh.” he cooed. “Don't try to speak just yet. You fell asleep while we were talking. You must have still been exhausted. I've called for the nurse to come escort you to your new room. Greer, do you remember why you're here? Do you remember what you told me?” Hayden asked me with a certainty that I would now give him the right answers.

“I'm, I'm here for treatment. I'm an addict.” The words felt heavy coming out of my mouth. Seeped in secrets and lies I had to pretend didn't exist. “I came here to get help. To learn a routine. To get better.” Hayden smiled. I had given him the right answers. He was happy.

“Lets introduce you to your new roommate. Her name is Phoenix. I think you'll like her.” Hayden smiled, grabbed my hand to help me off the couch and handed me off to the nurse that was ever present and waiting for his call. As she and I walked towards my new room I began to formulate a game plan. If I was going to survive long enough to get the truth I had to lie and play Dr. Hayden's game.

“Can we stop by the library first? I'd like to get my book again.”

“Of course dear. Reading will help to pass the time.” These were the first words of kindness I ever heard from her. She looked at me with compassion. As though she knew the lies I was telling better than I did. “We'll pick it up and be on our way.”

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The Ashes of Phoenix

 “Ta-da. Happy Helliversery!” Phoenix shouted while jumping on my bed. It was early, it was always painfully early when Phoenix was awake.

“Get off!” I shouted, pushing her off of me so I could sit up. “What time is it?”

“Six thirty.” she said. When I was finally able to wipe the sleep from my eyes I saw that she was holding something behind her back.

“What have you got there?” I sort of slurred. I wasn't awake enough to be coherent, or polite as I shoved her away in order to see what she was hiding. “And what the fuck is a helliversery?” I asked her.

“You have officially been in hell with me for one year.” I just stared at her. Is it possible I had already been here for a year? “And to celebrate,” she reached behind her back,” I got us FRANKENSTEIN!!” The excitement in her voice could cheer any one up, yet it was having the opposite effect on me. I'd hoped to be home by now, to be back with Quinn and Rowan, to have found out what happened.

“Holy crap, how did you manage that? I thought they tossed it when they cleaned out the library.” I was thrilled to see my favorite book again, but shocked that it hadn't been removed when they decided to only let us read 'calm literature'.

“Well, they needed volunteers one night to help box up the old books. So while you were off snoozing in Hayden's office I was bored and decided to help. Sooooooo I hid some of our favorites. Frankenstein, Dracula, Grimm's, I couldn't save them all but there's a special shelf in the library for us.” Phoenix seemed so proud of herself, so happy that she'd been clever enough to save them.

“Thank you Phoenix. I don't know what to say.” Tears were welling up in my eyes, not because I was emotionally moved by the gift, it was easy to hide things here, but I was horrified that I still resided here. I had wanted to be home by now, with the answers that were continually denied me.

“Well... you can stop crying and come help me at the nurses station. Sawyer needs help.” And with that Phoenix was off to help out nurse Sawyer. I got dressed and eventually caught up with her. Phoenix was in a particularly good mood today, I knew something was up.

“Nurse Sawyer, when do I start my new treatments?” Phoenix was asking.

“Tonight dear. You need to be a bit tired for them to be effective.” Sawyer replied.

“Is it the same thing Greer gets?” The curiosity in Phoenix's voice was infectious. I wanted to know what sort of therapy she'd be getting. Mine was pointless. I'd spent the last year pretending to be hypnotized into believing I was a heroin addict. I thought that was what Phoenix was getting too. I was terribly wrong.

“No,” Sawyer said, almost resisting the words. “You'll be getting something special. Its new. A new technique. One we haven't had much experience with here but it gets results elsewhere.” Her chipper attitude was a facade, and we all knew it. This was especially painful to hear, she sounded so desperate for Phoenix to believe her. What was really going to happen to her tonight?

Nurse Sawyer saw me coming around the corner thanks to the hallway mirror. I smiled at her and started folding towels.

Nurse Sawyer looked at us with tears in her eyes. I've caught her like this several times. Its as if she wants to tell us something, but is always silenced by an unseen force. In the year I've been here I've learned little about her, and most of it was from Phoenix. Sawyer had been here for at least 5 years because Phoenix can't remember a time when she wasn't here. She was older, maybe in her late 40's. There were touches of gray in the hair around her temples, and her eyes had wrinkles and crinkles that held forgotten happier times.

“Hey Sawyer, got any Snickers left?” Phoenix asked her. She stopped starring at us and jerked back to the reality that was us.

“You don't need sugar Phoenix. You'll be to hyper. Dr. Hayden needs you calm for tonight.” She said, and with that she left us to the few chores she let us do.

“What's up her butt?” Phoenix wondered out loud.

“She's right. If you're having a session with Hayden he likes you to be as calm and still as a corpse. He even makes you drink this weird chamomile tea.” I said. In all the time I'd been having sessions I'd never actually drunk the tea. It tastes odd, and when you expose it to anything it turns this bizarre red color.

“Ugh, fine.” Phoenix stomped off to find something else to do.

It hadn't occurred to me that we were under the care of different doctors. For that matter I didn't know there were other doctors here. Isolation was a key to the success they claimed they had with their patience. I know from my hypnotherapy sessions that I was in a high class treatment facility. The fact that I was allowed to have a roommate was miraculous to my recovery. I finished folding and sorting and went to look around.

I'd been following the walls in this place for a while now. I remember when I was a kid my dad telling me that the best way to never get lost in a maze and to find the way out is to follow the walls. It will take the longest amount of time, but you'll eventually get out. This was part of my strategy to finally escape. I had been following the walls for a year. I knew ever inch of the hallways and corridors that surrounded my floor. I knew that I was at least three stories up, and that it took anywhere from two to four staircases to get to Hayden's office. I had no idea what was on the floors under me, aside from a kitchen and infirmary. The floors above were wear doctors offices were, and presumably other patients. My floor had six other rooms. I knew everyone was on a different schedule, but I never saw anyone in any of them. It was if Phoenix, Sawyer and I were the only ones here, and you couldn't really count Sawyer since she was our only connection to the other floors.

Today was the day I had anticipated asking Dr. Hayden to be allowed access to even just one other floor of the building. I had asked to be allowed outside, but that only led to a short jaunt on the roof. I think I had asked for too much, that maybe just being allowed to roam another floor would be more obtainable.

One of the perks of helping Sawyer out at the nurses station was the minimal access I had to a computer and patient files. I don't know if Sawyer did this on purpose or not, but it was never something we talked about. I silently thanked her for it every time I looked at something. I had no internet access, but I was able to find out the medications I was on, what I should have been on, and what I secretly get rid of each night. I know in my heart Sawyer was completely aware of my snooping, and the fact that I didn't take all of my medication, but something in me told me to trust her. She wouldn't betray me as long as I didn't betray her.

As the afternoon progressed Phoenix was getting more and more sullen and silent. I started to get worried about her.

“Hey Phoe, do you want to go to the library? You can show me that hidden shelf.” My attempts to engage her in any sort of conversation were met with her turning to face the wall. The room was covered with paper snowballs, I began to pick them up and she stormed out past me. After a moment I went to the door to find her, but she was gone. I went back to cleaning the room and I noticed some of them had writing on them.

I finally got Sawyer to tell me what my new treatment was. Fucking electric shock. They want to fucking fry me. I've done every fucking thing they damn well want and now they want to fucking fry my fucking brain.

After everything that bastard Nico has done to me, he thinks he can get away with this?! He thinks he can fucking do this to me? Why does he get to keep abusing me like this?

Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen. Tonight won't happen.

I stopped short. I couldn't breathe. Phoenix was frightened about tonight. What had been happening to her? Who was Nico?

“Phoenix!” I cried out, I started running down the halls looking for her. “Phoenix where are you?!” I was crying. I wasn't able to breathe, I had to find her. “Phoenix Goddamnit where the fuck are you?!” I shouted at the top of my lungs. I couldn't find her. Suddenly Sawyer was there. She put her arms around me and guided me back to my room. She had me lay down in my bed and then left for a moment. When she came back there was a syringe in her hand.

“I'm sorry Greer, I really am. I can't keep pretending to look the other way. Dr. Hayden is growing suspicious and Dr. Nico knows that you haven't been medicated properly. Phoenix has gone to therapy. She will be back when you wake up.” She came closer to me and I huddled in the corner of my bed.

“No, please no. Sawyer please.” I begged through tears and sobs. “Sawyer please. Please don't do this. I'm sorry I freaked out. I'll control it I promise. Please. Please don't do this. Where's Phoe? Is she going to be okay? I promise Sawyer I promise I'll behave I promise. Please, please don't do this. Don't sedate me. Please.” The tears had dried from my cheeks and I was becoming less and less coherent on my own. As Sawyer got closer to me I remembered what she was. She was a nurse. Dr. Hayden's minion, and my jailer. She wasn't my friend as I had hoped. She didn't want to take care of me or help me.

Sawyer came up next to me. I had worked myself into a panic attack so resisting her was futile. She was able to slip my arm away from my body with little struggle. Sawyer cleaned the crook of my elbow and quickly slid the syringe into me, pushed the plunger, and removed it. Moments later I felt the rush of sedative in my veins. My eyes were heavy and I couldn't speak any longer. My head lolled to the side and she helped me lay on my bed and covered me with a blanket. During the course of my drug induced nap I could hear someone crying, apologizing. The thought that it was Sawyer only broke my already worn and broken heart into pieces. 

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