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“Can you tell me why you’re refusing your medication, Lizzy?”
The young woman looked at the man sitting across from her seat. She chewed on her nails while her leg shook nervously. She shook her head and looked back down into her lap. “I don’t like them. They don’t make me feel good.”
“Not like the pipe did?” the doctor asked gently.
She paused in her movement and slowly looked back up at him. “The pipe was different,” she replied, her eyes shifting around the room. She scratched the back of her neck and then rolled her shoulders.
“Why was it different?”
Her leg started to shake again. “Things were quiet with the pipe,” she said. “Q-quiet but not silent. The pills make everything stop.”
“You mean the pills make the voices stop?”
She wrapped her arms around herself. “Y-yes. B-but the pipe made them better. It, uh, mellowed them-them out.” She rubbed her mouth and face with her hands. “They were nicer when we were- when we were high.”
“Why don’t we talk about the accident?” he asked trying to come into the subject smoothly.
Lizzy shot up from her seat and walked towards the barred window. She stood looking out into freedom scratching her neck with her rough nails. “I-I didn’t do anything w-wrong,” she replied pounding on her thigh without force.
“Your police report says that you tried to drown your baby girl.”
She swung back around to face him. “No!” she yelled. “They wanted me to kill her!” she said rubbing her forehead. “I love my daughter. I-I was trying to-to trick them into thinking that I did it. I-I just w-wanted them to leave me-me alone.” She furred her brows and looked down at her hands. “I-I would never-never hurt- never hurt my baby.”
“It says you fought against the priest that tried to take your baby from you.”
She began to pace the room. “They told me she was possessed and- and that was the reason she kept crying all of the time. She cried all- all of the time. They wanted me to kill her. I-I just wanted to cleanse her.” She pulled her hands into the sleeves of the frumpy sweatshirt she was wearing and rubbed her arms. “I went to-to the church to wash her in-in holy water. I-I wanted to release the demon from her.” She wrapped herself in her arms again and shook.
“Are you cold, Lizzy?” he asked. “Would you like some hot tea?”
She shook her head. “N-no.” She shook her head and then immediately nodded. “Y-yes.” Changing her mind again, she shook her head. “No.”
The doctor didn’t respond, silently watching her pace.
“I want to see my baby,” she said finally standing still.
“You know you’re not allowed to see her,” he replied calmly.
She frowned. “But she’s my baby! She needs me!”
“Let’s talk about her father,” he said redirecting her. “Can you tell me about him?”
She avoided his eyes and nervously bit her lip and rubbed her hand on her pants. “I don’t want to talk about him.”
“Are you afraid of him?”
“He’s everywhere,” she replied looking nervously around her. “He’s-he’s a demon that- that came for my soul. He wanted my soul,” she said biting her nails again. “And I said, ‘No!’” She held a finger up for emphasis. “So he took it by force.”
The doctor gave her a sad look. “Are you telling me you were raped?”
She took in what sounded like a painful breath and put both hands on the side of her head. “He trapped my baby’s soul because I wouldn’t give him mine! I had to save her!” she screamed. “The voices told me to kill her but I didn’t want to! I love my baby!” She started to cry. “I just wanted to save her soul!” She sank to the floor and began to rock back and forth.
“Lizzy, I don’t believe you tried to hurt your baby on purpose. I can understand what you were trying to do,” he said after a moment.
She looked at him but continued to rock back and forth.
“Your baby is safe now,” he continued. “The voices can’t get to her.”
She stopped rocking and rubbed her arms again. She tilted her head to the side as if listening to someone whispering in her ear. She then looked at the empty spot on the floor next to her from the corner of her eye.
“What’s wrong, Lizzy?” he asked. “Do you hear them now?”
She looked up at him with a blank expression on her face and shivered. “It’s cold in here, doctor,” she said.
“My offer for tea still stands,” he replied. “Would you like some now?”
She slowly nodded. “No- no lemons,” she called after him when he got up and moved towards the sink for a mug. “They’re poison. No lemons.”
He nodded. “No lemons,” he repeated. “Go on and sit back down at your seat and I will heat this up for you.”
She did as she was told slowly getting up and moving back to her seat. “Where is my baby now?” she asked.
“I believe she is with a very nice family getting the care that she needs,” he replied with his back turned to her.
“I am what she needs!” she yelled.
He looked back at her over his shoulder, a cross look on his face. “There is no need to yell,” he said. “You can’t take care of her while you’re in here so she is with a nice family until you can go back home.”
“No need to yell,” she said sheepishly looking down into her lap.
“When the voices talk to you,” he said fixing her tea, “what do they say?”
She shrugged. “Things.”
“What kind of things? Please be specific.”
“They look out for me,” she said biting her nails again. “They tell me things that I need to know.” She scratched her neck with her free hand. “Like- like- like when they told me about the cat.”
She rolled her shoulders again. “The cat that wasn’t a cat. The one in my neighborhood.”
He came back and handed her a hot cup of tea which she slowly took staring into the liquid. He placed a thing of sugar next to her on the side table. “What do you mean by ‘the cat that wasn’t a cat’?” he asked taking his seat again with his own cup of tea.
She held the cup in her hands. “They told me it was a witch. That- that she was trying to kill my joy and take my f- my freedom.” She placed the tea on the table next to the sugar and shifted in her chair so that she could face it.
“What happened to the cat?”
She shifted her eyes nervously towards him. “I-I had to kill it. I couldn’t,” she shook her head, “couldn’t let it win.” She looked back at her mug and rubbed her hands on it. “Threw the body in a trash can.” She picked the mug back up and stared into it, once again tilting her head to one side. She then turned and gave a sharp glare at the doctor. “What did you put in here?” she asked.
He started. “Nothing,” he said. “I didn’t even put sugar in it. I wasn’t sure how much you liked in your tea.”
“You poisoned it!” she screamed. “You’re trying to kill me!” she said kneeling on the seat.
“Lizzy, you need to calm down,” the doctor said in a smooth voice putting his hands up. “I would never try and hurt you. I’m your friend.”
“No!” she screamed. “You’re trying to poison me!”
“Did the voices tell you that?” he asked calmly. “I assure you, Lizzy, that I would never hurt you."
“You have my baby! And you want to kill me because you want her all to yourself! You took her from me!”
“Why would you think that, Lizzy?” he asked, his voice was still level but his body was becoming tense. “I only met you a little while ago after your baby was taken from you.”
“Liar!” She stood from her seat and threw the hot tea at his face lunging at him with the mug still in her hand. “Give me back my baby!” she screamed.
He was still recovering from the shock of the hot liquid being splashed on his face when the glass mug cracked into his skull.
Lizzy continued to lash at him with the mug screaming even after her face was covered in his blood and his body lay there limp.
The orderlies pulled her off kicking and screaming while nurses tried to see to the doctor bleeding on the floor.
* * * *
They watched her on the monitor rock back and forth in her room humming to herself.
“Did she ever tell you why she did it?”
The woman nodded. “She said that the voices told her he had her baby and the only way to get her back was to kill him.”
“Is she still refusing treatment?” the first doctor said to the other one.
She nodded. “We caught her hiding her pills under her tongue. We've tried concealing it in her food but she wises up after awhile and refuses to eat. When we watch her take them she gets violent. She broke one orderly's nose last week and ripped out a nurses earring the day before that.”
“So you just let her waste away inside her head? She put that doctor in a coma. I think we need to make her take treatment.”
She shrugged. “There’s not a whole lot we can do. We can’t force pills down her throat. But as long as she stays in a hospital she’s not a threat to society.”
“Not a threat? Did you not hear what I said about the man she put in a coma? She’s a paranoid schizophrenic. She thinks everyone is a threat to her so therefore she is a threat to them.”
“Shh! Shh!” they heard her say.
They looked at each other and then leaned in closer to the screen to see what she was hunched over.
They saw her arm crooked like she was holding something while her other hand tenderly caressed whatever it was that she thought was there.
“Mommy’s here,” she said in a sing song voice.
The two of them watched as she slowly reached for her pillow on the bed and place it over where the invisible baby’s head might have been.
“No, don’t cry,” she said calmly. “I’m here to protect you.”
The female doctor shivered while the other one gaped at what he was watching.
She held the pillow there for a couple of minutes before removing it. “That’s right,” she said. “Just sleep.” She then slowly looked to the corner of the room where the camera was. “I know you’re watching,” she said. “They tell me everything.”
Chills ran down both of their spines.
“They tell me you’re planning on killing me,” she said. “But you can’t hurt me if I hurt you first.”