Nuthouse – Part Two

<< Nuthouse – Part One

I concentrated on the task at hand like psychiatrists had been recommending for years. It never worked but I stubbornly focused on ordering coffee and paying for drugs nonetheless. As soon as I cleared the cash register, I dropped my cardboard cup holder on a table and reached for my pills. I chased a couple of them with a sip of coffee.
They never worked either but the doctors insisted.
I headed back toward the office and let the silence of the elevator swallow me. It made matters worse, of course. It oppressed me.
With a sigh, I pulled my cellphone out of my pocket.
“Connecting to speed dial one,” it answered to my button pushing. Then it started giving me an earful of health advice while I waited for a psychiatrist.
I dropped Dana’s coffee on her desk. She mouthed a “Thanks Mad”. I nodded and pushed to Colin’s cubicle.
“Your call is important for us.” The phrase interrupted the monotonous speech every now and then. Suicide rates were so high – especially among psychiatrists – the wait was to be expected.
Colin almost swallowed half his bottle of pills and then straightened his shirt. I winked. He answered with a shy smile before heading to the conference room.
“Your call is important for us.”
Everyone’s gaze followed me on my way back to my desk; there was only one authorized use of cellphones during office hour. Lucy nodded and cranked up the volume of her radio. She thought it would help. I didn’t dare contradict her – it might throw her off the deep end and I’d never forgive myself – but my blood pressure rose; the narrator was halfway through the Tale of an Awkward Girl.
“Your call is import –”
– I hung up. I didn’t want to make up for the lost time. I had a date tonight with a guy whose only trouble was the occasional burst of bulimia. He wouldn’t stay single for long with such a mild, easily controllable illness.
“You should call back,” Lucy said, eyeing me intently.
“They never know what to do.” I shrugged and tried to pay attention to my emails.
I didn’t blame the psychiatrists; it was hard for them to pinpoint what my problem was since I lacked the words to explain what I heard in my head.
It was like if the buzzing sound we used for everything – trucks in reverse, telephone connecting, doorbuzz, etc. – merged with the voice of different humans, some high, some low. It rang, alternating the height and length of each ring. The whole was oddly pleasant which made it all the more difficult to keep it under wraps and push it in the far corner of my mind.
I tried typing but my fingers shook too much. This was a bad one.
“Mad!” Marvin growled. I jumped. Why did he have to walk by my desk to get to the conference room? I would have been fine if he hadn’t! “Are you having another crisis?”
The weight of his words frightened me. His anger management skills weren’t really developed yet; he might fire me on the spot though most bosses would understand my situation. The stress only intensified the sound within me.
It burst out.
In a string of “a”, sounds of different height and length came out of my mouth.
Gosh, it felt right.
My coworkers froze, except for two of them. Lucy smiled. Smiled.
“It can’t be that wrong,” I thought a second before Marvin shot me with tranquilizer.

Nuthouse – Part Three >>


About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

3 responses to “Nuthouse – Part Two

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