I sprang from my deep slumber, gasping for breath as if I’d been underwater. My breath slowed as my nerves calmed. I found myself in a bed surrounded by the walls of a room I didn’t recognize.
The blanket was a dark crimson color. The lights were off, but that red seemed to pierce through the darkness, aided by the moonlight that trickled in through the blinds. I didn’t know how I arrived at the room or where it was, but I remembered the last thing I saw before I passed out. Love.
I scanned the room as I sprang from the mattress, walking to every corner to ensure he wasn’t hiding in the shadows. He wasn’t there. I wracked my mind to glean something from what he said to me before I lost consciousness. He said he wanted to take over. I didn’t understand how that was possible if he operated outside of my mind. But did he, or is that just my own projection?
My head pulsed, aching from the thought of my mind scattered across every inch of my skull. Since I was young, I knew there was more to me than what was said, but up until now, I never knew what it meant. I ruled over two emotions, powerful ones, but it appeared that there was a third. But how could that be?
None of it made any sense. I felt like I was losing my mind. My brain was mush, and the more I attempted to hold on to it, the quicker it seeped through my fingers, but not quickly. It was more like a slow drip that I couldn’t catch, and each drop represented important elements of my sanity. I was tired of being tipped over, pouring everything inside of me out as it swirled down a dark drain of something I knew nothing about.
The pack of cigarettes on the table caught my attention. My lighter was stacked on top. I snatched them both, plucking one out as I placed it between my lips. I scowled at the moonlit window as I ignited the tip. The smoke whisked around me while I puffed ferociously on the filter. My nerves finally began to settle, and my mind relaxed, ignoring the anxiety I felt from finding myself in a place I didn’t know.
The calm that fell over me lasted only a minute before a loud knock at the door startled me from my inner thoughts. It didn’t stop. There was one knock after another until I opened the door. It was the detective, Samantha.
“I came as fast as I could,” she said, walking past me into the room. She flipped the light switch, and the glare forced me to squint. “Are you okay? You sounded weird on the phone.”
“The phone? I did?” I questioned, trying to remember if I had called her since I left the carnage at the precinct.
She squinted at me. “Yeah,” she replied. “Do you not remember?”
“Of course I do,” I assured her, taking a drag from my cigarette to buy me some time.
“You don’t,” she interjected. “What’s happened to you? You’re acting strange.”
I realized there was no use lying to her. She could see I was rattled, and my poker face only applied to poker itself. I wanted to be more composed, but I knew I was falling apart, and I didn’t know what to do about it.
“I don’t remember how I got here,” I admitted.
“To the hotel?” she asked.
“No, I remember arriving at the hotel, but I don’t remember how I got here to the room,” I answered. I felt a sense of relief creep into my psyche, knowing I was at the hotel that I had arrived at earlier.
“And you don’t remember calling me?” she added. “Telling me to get here as fast as I could because it was urgent.”
I shook my head. I didn’t have a phone, nor did I know her number. “Did you give me your number?” I asked.
“No, you called my desk number from a phone here,” she replied.
“How do you know it was here?”
“Because you told me,” she said as her eyes narrowed on me. “Come on,” she continued, grabbing me by my sleeve as she moved to the door. “I was going to have him come here, but I think we need to pay him a visit now.”
“Who?” I asked, relinquishing control while she pulled me from the room.
“A dear friend of mine, who is a psychiatrist,” Samantha answered, pulling me down the hallway toward the elevators at the end of the entryway.
I stopped walking and ripped my sleeve from her fingers. She stumbled forward before she turned to scowl at me for the interruption.
“No,” I said. I wanted to say more than that, but no was all I could muster. I hated the thought of talking about my issues with a mortal, and I scoffed at the implication that I wasn’t well. But I had to be honest with myself, knowing that my mind wasn’t completely intact.
“Dinlas, there’s something going on with you,” she urged. “Let me help you. Let my friend help you. I think that if you talk about what’s going on with you that maybe we can figure out what it is and get the proper help you need—”
“I don’t need help,” I snapped. “I’m fine.”
“You’re not fine,” she interjected. “You see things that aren’t there—”
“I told you they’ve always been there,” I interrupted. “I’m a God—”
I stopped what I was saying because of the look on her face. Her expression made me feel silly, and I realized what I must have sounded like, talking about my godly abilities.
“Dinlas, you need to talk about what’s going on inside of you,” the detective said, grabbing my hand calmly. “Trust me. I’ve seen this type of behavior before. You were one way, and now you’re another. The way you spoke on the phone sounded off and wasn’t you. Now, you are here with a huge memory gap.”
“You think I’m lying to you,” I interjected.
“No, I believe every word you’ve said to me,” she assured. “But I think something serious has happened inside of you, and I need to get to the bottom of it before we go any further. Will you let me help you?”
I gazed into her hazel eyes as they filled with water. She cared about me as I did for her. I trusted her, and I wanted her to help me. I wasn’t going to admit it to her, but I needed to admit my issue to myself, so I could attempt to reclaim my true self before I split.