Chapter Seven: Melatonin:
October 7th, 1997.
Seattle, Washington. Oaklyn Mental Hospital was closed for the night. This was a slow autumn night. A twenty-one-year-old patient had escaped from her room. She was born with schizophrenia, but was only diagnosed when she was thirteen. This was her fourth hospital placement. This patient was prone to self-harm. The scars on her neck, chest, ribcage, arms, and legs over the years were proof of this. She heard voices that kept telling her to hurt herself and other people. She wanted to make them stop. Thus the multiple suicide attempts from ages ten to present day. Doctors always were on watch with the young blonde. However, that wasnâ€™t true tonight.
The patient, who shall be named Mary for now, snuck out of her room on this particular night. Once again, she wanted to die. Mary timed her plan down to the tee. Wait until everyone was asleep then move. She knew her way to the drugs; her need to die led her there. Even so, the trip wasnâ€™t an easy one. They strapped her down to the bed every night. However tonight, Mary escaped.
She made it to the doctorâ€™s office and came to the drug cabinet. They locked it for the night. Mary feverishly tried to pull apart the chain. It popped loose after a few tugs. She pulled open the cabinet door. Mary started just grabbing pills at random. The voices screamed in her head now. She trembled and huddled up into a ball on the floor.
Shut up!, she thought. The patient opened the first bottle and began swallowing pills. Mary kept swallowing until a thick black veil fell upon her.
Mary opened her eyes and saw a screen of black. She felt her body dropping. Not too fast, but more of floating down like a leaf. Her eyes trailed all around her. She smelt of burnt hair and rubber flooded her nose. She could hear faint screaming below. Mary strained to listen closely. These people were screaming in agony. She realized that she was falling towards Hell. Mary shut her eyes in panic.
â€œNo!â€ she screamed in her mind, â€œI donâ€™t want to go to hell! I didnâ€™t do anything wrong! Donâ€™t let me go to hell! Donâ€™t make me go! Please donâ€™t make me go!â€ Suddenly, Mary stopped falling. She felt her body rising upwards. Her scattered mind was confused. Where was she going now?
A cool white light hit her face. Mary opened her eyes and looked around. Quiet, not the mind-raping type, more like a nerve-calming quiet filled her head. Maryâ€™s feet touched cool soft grass. Fauna and flora grew like a virus before her. A soft breeze tapped her on the cheeks. Maryâ€™s eyes widened.
This isâ€¦, she thought. Off to the left, something caught her eye. A man was tending to this lovely garden. His strong hands planted some irises in a fresh dirt patch. The sun kissed his skin many times over the years. Mary turned for a better look. He paused from his work and looked up. She only got to see his face for a brief second.
Mary awoke on the doctorâ€™s office door. To her amazed relief, she heard silence, nerve-relaxing silence.
August 6th, 2009.
Tsuzuki made it to Kimoto Manorâ€™s front door and rang the bell. Rihoko greeted him at the door.
â€œHey Tsuzuki,â€ she said.
â€œHey,â€ he said back, â€œIs Anna in?â€ The grad studentâ€™s face became grim.
â€œYeah, sheâ€™s in her room,â€ she replied. The shinigami eyed her oddly.
â€œSomething wrong?â€ he asked. Rihoko bit her lip as she leaned in close.
â€œItâ€™s Anna,â€ she whispered, â€œShe hasnâ€™t been sleeping very well.â€ Tsuzuki blinked at her.
â€œWell, why not?â€ he asked. Rihoko shrugged at him.
â€œShe wonâ€™t tell me,â€ she replied, â€œDo come in.â€ Tsuzuki walked inside. He found Anna on her laptop in her room. Tsuzuki slowly approached her from behind. His girlfriend didnâ€™t look up. He peeked over her shoulder at the screen.
â€œWhat are you reading?â€ he whispered. Anna didnâ€™t turn around.
â€œA schizophrenia case from â€™97,â€ she said, â€œThis woman had the disease for eight years on record. They didnâ€™t catch it until she was thirteen years old. She was also suicidal. One night, she snuck into the doctorâ€™s office and tried to overdose.â€ Anna scrolled down to let her boyfriend read more of the file. â€œWhile out cold, she said she saw Hell and Heaven. After that, she didnâ€™t hear voice anymore. She went on to be a Sunday school teacher.â€
â€œAnna-chan,â€ Tsuzuki spoke up. The shinigami pushed himself to keep talking when she didnâ€™t respond.
â€œAre you feeling okay?â€ he asked.
â€œYesâ€¦â€ she said, â€œWhy?â€ Her boyfriend tried to think of the best way to put this. The man shuffled his feet.
â€œRihoko saidâ€¦â€ the shinigami began. His girlfriend glanced up at him out of the corner of her eye.
â€œRihoko said what?â€ she asked. Tsuzuki hesitated at the sound of her tone. Could he say it without pissing her off? He would have to try.
â€œShe said you havenâ€™t been sleeping well,â€ the shinigami said. Tsuzuki waited as Anna clicked on another link.
â€œItâ€™s just nightmares,â€ she shrugged off.
â€œIâ€™m here if you have a problem,â€ the shinigami told her, â€œBut, I canâ€™t help you if you donâ€™t tell me whatâ€™s wrong.â€
â€œI thank you for that, but this is beyond you,â€ she explained as she scrolled down article about nightmares and dreams. Tsuzuki made a puzzled face at that statement.
â€œWhat do you mean?â€ he asked. Anna paused; she couldnâ€™t tell him the truth just yet. The woman took her hand off the mouse.
â€œOkay, but only when I need your help,â€ she said. â€œI want to fix this problem myself first.â€
â€œAlright,â€ Tsuzuki said, â€œBut how?â€ This time, Anna turned around to face him.
â€œIâ€™m going to see a therapist,â€ she said sounding matter of fact. Tsuzukiâ€™s face went pale as he couldnâ€™t stomach that idea.
â€œBut you canâ€™t!â€ he protested.
â€œWhat else can I do?â€ she asked, â€œThese nightmares wonâ€™t leave me alone until I do something about them.â€ The woman took his hand as she saw the worry in his eyes. â€œDonâ€™t worry, I wonâ€™t tell them my true identity,â€ she assured.
â€œPromise me youâ€™ll come to me when it doesnâ€™t work,â€ he pleaded.
â€œI will,â€ Anna said in a soft voice as Tsuzuki held her close to him. She took some temporary comfort in his arms.