day one

Bright light greeted Ellan. She blinked and lifted her arm to shield her eyes from the fulgent overhead lights to feel restrains tight on her wrist. Perplexed, she jerked her arm. The belt’s rims clanged against the bed’s metal rails. After the fourteenth or fifteenth attempt her wrist burned where the leather straps dug into her skin.

Flat on her back, she exhaled, searching the clinical ceiling. Where am I? She thought, shuddering. The sound of a door opening, alerted Ellan.

Footfalls scuffed on tile.

Questions swarmed Ellan’s conscious with no answers. Anxiety surged in her veins, trapping her breath, constricting her chest.

She waited.

A slim framed man wearing a long white coat approached her bedside. “I see you’re finally awake.” He peered over her. “I’m Dr. Alfred.” He examined her eyes. “I’m your assigned doctor, along with Dr. Thomas standing behind me. Do you remember Dr. Thomas?” He nodded toward the other woman. “She’s aware.”

The woman returned the nod, taking seat in a chair at the foot of Ellan’s bed.

Dr. Alfred turned his attention to Ellan. He unlatched the strap around one wrist then the other.

Ellan sat up, rubbing her bruises. She looked at the woman. Dr. Thomas wore a casual dress under her white lab coat. The sudden sight of the woman opened a corridor of the past: a woman in a pink floral day dress, holding her younger self’s hand as they walked down the sidewalk. With a faint tremble in her gut, she spoke to Dr. Thomas, “you took me from my father when I was nine?”

Dr. Thomas replied definite, “Yes.”

Ellan dropped her gaze to her twitching hands. “Why am I here?”

Dr. Alfred rested a firm hand on Ellan’s shoulder as Dr. Thomas wrote on her clipboard. His eyes were cold and remote. “Ellan, you have been in our care since your daughter’s birth. Two months ago.” Dr. Thomas unclipped a file then handed it to Dr. Alfred. He scanned its contents. “Ellan Marrieth. Twenty years old. Exhibited symptoms of multiple personality disorder at the age of nine. Your mother placed you under Dr. Thomas’s care; she subdued your personalities. They reemerged sometime after your labor.”

Lexy. How could Ellan have forgotten her newborn? “Where is she?”

“She’s at the daycare down the hall and in good hands. She’s being watched by the Mothers from the church.”

Ellan nodded. “Can I see her?”

Dr. Alfred cleared his throat. “Ms. Marrieth. Your illness is not only dangerous to those around you, but to yourself, as well…”

“You were admitted by the state.” Dr. Alfred continued. “We cannot release you until you have been properly diagnosed and treated.”

Ellan gawked. She wrapped her arms around her waist, hoping the pressure would calm the forbidding feeling churning in her stomach.

“Ellan.” Dr. Thomas paced to the bed. “I know this is a drastic change. Please know we’re here to help you reunite with Alexis.”

“I can’t see my daughter?” Ellan blinked back tears.

“For now, Ellan.” Dr, Alfred said. “In time, we can make arrangements.”

“Arrangements?” Ellan sniffled.

“Yes, Ellan. It’s only temporary. For Alexis safety.”

Ellan closed her eyes and screamed in thought, rocking softly back and forth. A disorder… “You said they came back?”

“Yes. Two to be exact,” Dr. Alfred quipped. Dr. Alfred looked down at the notes. “Helen and Angel. They have been communicating through you, and they’re quite aggressive. It is the reason Dr. Thomas and I have collaborated to insure your utmost care.”

“Aggressive to you?”

“To everyone, Ms. Marrieth. Including yourself.”

To be continued… 💓

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