The next time Tessa woke she had to let herself know that the nightmare wasn’t real. She was in a warm bed, safe and sound, away from the rain and cold of that night. The darkness folded around her, comforting, but it did not stop the noise.
The screaming did not stop.
Curiously, Tessa pressed her fingers to her throat, and upon feeling no vibration of sorts, concluded only one thing.
She was not the one letting out that high shriek.
The door burst open so suddenly, the person stumbled through, falling onto their knees. They gasped before speaking, voice angry.
“Dr. Hadley, didn’t you hear me shouting for you?”
“Relax Alex,” Tessa said as she slid off the bed and put on a sweatshirt. She pulled her long hair into a loose ponytail and turned to face him. “It’s alright.”
It was only his shadow she could see, but he huffed at her.
“No, it’s not.” His tone was grave. “It’s Bridget.”
Bridget Harding was the resident Dissociative Identity Disorder patient. She had come here two years ago when she had killed her stepfather, and then blamed it on Charlie, which was the name of her other personality.
“What’s she doing?” Tessa asked.
“She’s cornered your new girl,” Alex said, stepping aside so Tessa could go out into the hall.
As they walked, Tessa asked, “Is Ava okay?”
“She didn’t look it when I left her there with one of the nurses.”
“Left her where?”
They came to stop in front of the cafeteria. All was quiet on the inside, but they knew better. Slowly, they opened the door and saw Bridget on the ground, her face pale and her brown hair wild. She looked like she had been knocked on her ass.
Tessa couldn’t help but laugh, until she saw Ava; she was sitting in the chair furthest away, hands through her hair, shaking her head and whispering to herself.
“She’s crazy,” Bridget said as she sat up. “Charlie only wanted to talk to her.”
Tessa told Alex to take Bridget back to her room as she slipped into the chair next to Ava. The girl was a mess, and she didn’t even bother to look up when she spoke.
“Ian didn’t want that girl to hurt me, so he protected me. He said it was going to be okay, that he would keep me safe from now on.” Finally, she lifted her head, her green eyes bright, almost happy.
Tessa frowned, took out her phone, and sent Alex a text.