Knowledge

by SandyX


****

The elevator door opened and the scent of disinfectant wafted in, accompanied by the sound of hushed voices in conversation and the insistent beep of an alarm in the distance. Catherine walked down the hall to the nurses station.

"Can you tell me which room Stephen Bass is in?"

"Family?" the nurse asked, glancing up at the inquirer.

"Excuse me?"

There was a pause as the woman flipped through some pages in a file.

"The doctors have restricted his visitors to immediate family," the nurse replied.

"I don't think he has any ... maybe I could ..."

A crash from within one of the rooms down the hall drew their attention.

"I'm telling you ... it's not human!" the shout carried down the corridor.

Catherine froze, her heart pounding.

"Get it away from me ... get it away!" she heard Stephen’s agitated voice demand.

Two orderlies and a uniformed hospital guard rushed to a door a short distance from where she stood.

There was the sound of something crashing to the floor and a brief scuffle ... voices ... "calm down ..."

"Look at what it did to me!" he screamed.

A doctor rushed past them and toward the source of the disturbance.

Catherine blinked and realized that the nurse was speaking to her.

"He's been like this since he regained consciousness ..."

Catherine felt a chill pass over her.


What have I done.

She turned without saying a word and walked slowly toward the elevator.

"Cathy!!!" she heard his scream in the distance behind her, an echo of what had pierced the darkness the night before.

Mercifully, the doors opened and she stepped through, turning to watch the gap close before her. She leaned against the elevator's back wall.



Catherine.

She tried to calm herself ... steadying her breath to the rhythmic ding of the descending elevator.


Oh, Vincent ...


What have I done.


She walked out of the hospital, onto the busy sidewalk, squinting at the glare from the late afternoon sun reflected off the surrounding buildings. She stepped to the curb and hailed a cab to take her home.

****

Progress was slow through the congested city streets.


I should have known.

She looked behind her, distractedly, as a cab blew it's horn and tried to thread it's way into the next lane.


He knew.

It didn't have to happen.

"Stop."

She leaned forward and tapped on the glass separating her from the cabby. "Let me out here."

"We're still ten blocks away, lady ..."

"It doesn't matter," she said, reaching in her purse for cash to pay the fare, "just let me out here."

She opened the door and a cool wind brushed her cheek.

She exited the cab and began the walk home.


He knew.

"It's over ... " she had told him, with relief ... grateful that he had come, again ... always.


Always. His devotion, constant …
how could I have questioned his motives?


She pulled her coat tight to ward off the chill.

I should have trusted him.

The wind whipped around her and she dug her hands into her pockets as she made her way home.


It's not over.



****

The sun had descended below the horizon and she sat in the darkened room ... trying to shake Stephen's voice from her mind.


"I have done everything possible ... to give you everything that you wanted!"


She pulled her knees to her chest.

The house ... the clothes.

Burying her face in her arms, she focused on him.


Everything ... I ever wanted.

Drained, she whispered his name ... Vincent.

Here.


Always.



Forgive me.

****



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4 comments:

Anonymous June 14, 2010 at 4:50 AM  

Dear Sandy,

Thank you. That was beautiful. Very moving.

I liked how you had Catherine visit Stephen in the hospital. I can only imagine how she must have felt, seeing him and hearing how upset he was. Even though he harmed her, I think she still cared about him.

I love the ending how she calls out to Vincent. She knows he'll always be there for her - that they'll always love each other...

Love Jodie xxoo

SandyX June 14, 2010 at 9:34 AM  

Jodie, thank you. Beautiful and moving, such kind words from you and much appreciated.

I always wondered what happened when C went to visit Stephen in the hospital ... we only know from her comment to V that she had tried and not been allowed in. I really enjoyed the opportunity to explore what happened there and what might have been going on in Catherine's mind, and heart, as she processed all that had transpired. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it.

Michelle K. July 17, 2010 at 8:22 PM  

So does Stephen end up in the mental ward because he's crazy, or because they think he's crazy (from his rants about Vincent)? Interesting question.

I liked reading this from Catherine's perspective. Lovely job.

SandyX July 18, 2010 at 7:48 AM  

Hmmm,good question, Michelle. We know Stephen had gone off the deep end from what happened in the house with Catherine, but did Catherine ever get to tell the authorities about that? However it happened, he ended up where he belonged.

Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm really looking forward to having you join us for this next project.

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