One week in and I hadn’t gone back into the storeroom. Did Dr. Thomas really get to me so quickly and so easily? Pathetic. I got out of bed; it was around 2:40 am. All the doctors would be in their quarters by now, the patients in their “rooms”, well, cells, the nurses would have finished their nightly rounds, this was as good a time as ever.
For the first time since I got here, I was happy that the doors were as high tech as they were. No lock clicking sounds, no creaks or screeches, nothing. I held onto my oversized sweater as tightly as I could on my way from the quarters to the main building, almost as if I was afraid that the strong wind was going to turn me into a kite. I put on my mask before I reached the door to at least somewhat hide from the cameras and entered through the side door, presumably the only one that had a handle that wasn’t firmly attached to a security guard. I made my way through the hallways trying my best not to let my slippers make any sound, trying to avoid the last couple of people walking around in the building; security guards, nurses, hopefully no other snoopy doctors.
I turned the corner to the storeroom when I noticed a small strip of light whiz past the tiny crack between the door and the floor. Somebody was in there. Probably a snoopy doctor. Great.
The light flashed past the door again. Was this person lost? Why were they so frantically moving around? I knelt to the ground and tried to see through the crack. I could see their black shoes but nothing else, their laces were untied. I got up, maybe Dr. Thomas had actually got to me because I turned around and left instead of waiting them out like I ordinarily would have.
I left very uneasy and quite frankly, very angry that I had to leave without getting what I wanted, for some reason I just wanted to slap Dr. Thomas. Then the idea of storming into his room, slapping him across the face and walking out without exchanging a single word made me giggle to myself.
I was so lost in my own thoughts that I didn’t realise that I had walked right to the reception and was now in direct view of a nurse and the security guard.
‘May I help you?’
‘Uhh, yes actually, I’ve only been here a week and I’m a little lost, I just wanted to go see if my patients were doing ok, not like see see them, just wanted to look through their camera and make sure they are asleep, there is one I’m particularly worried about, our session today wasn’t great. I just need to get to her room, I don’t know where it is. Patient 451. Could you tell me where she is?’
I’m glad the nurse had never seen me before because otherwise she would have definitely caught me in my lie. I have never spoken this fast or this much in one go with anybody in this institution, ever.
‘But doctor when did you come in here, I didn’t see you’ the security guard tilted his head to one side, eyebrows raised. Sure, the one person who doesn’t believe me is the one with the gun.
‘I came in through the side door, it was way too windy for me to come around to the front door.’
I do not like questions.
‘Umm alright doctor, I’ll take you there. You’re actually in the wrong wing, there are no patients here. All the patients are in Wing C...’
She kept talking while she led to through to Wing C and I had to match her slow pace and act like I’m following her. I had been to Wing C more times than I could count. I thought Dr. Lazarus was a bad guide for walking too fast, this woman might as well have been crawling.
The second I could see the board to Wing C I jumped.
‘Ahh, there it is, found it, thank you so much and I’m so sorry I bothered you at this hour. I’ll find my way back, thank you so much.’
I led her from a shoulder back to the same direction from which we came.
‘No- no problem doctor. If you need anything, just let the warden know, they are typically on the first floor.’
‘Yes. Thank you’
Once I could no longer hear the squeak from her shoes, I turned around and walked into the Wing. Just to make sure I don’t fall into trouble, I first went to the room where they kept 451. I scanned my fingerprint on the tablet outside her door that let me see the camera feed from inside. She was asleep, great. Nothing to report, much like our session.
I paused for a second. I had my mind made up. I walked to the stairs and went down to level zero, essentially a basement floor.
There was nothing different about this floor from the others, except, none of the doctors or nurses or even the warden visited this floor as many times as they did the others. This worked just fine for me, now.
I walked to one of the empty rooms, since this one was empty, nobody bothered locking it or switching the camera on.
I entered and stood in the middle of the room and took a deep breath. Clearly it hadn’t been used in a while.
I was happy that whoever was in the storeroom was in there. At least that gave me a chance to come here. I lay down on the ground with my arms under my head and one leg crossed over the other knee.
I turned my head to the side, got up off the floor and sat in the centre of the bed. That’s when I heard a small thump. I got up and looked under the bed, the old diary.
I picked it up and decided to read it back in the quarters. I dusted the dirt off my pants and made my way out.
I stopped right before the door, pulled it away from the door, keeping my fingers between the door and the frame because no patient doors can be opened from the inside. I had noticed a hint of a scratch when I was laying on the ground. I wiped the dust out down and revealed the message scratched into the wall.
“I will not die as Patient 263, Charlie Turner!”
I smiled and left.