I remember sitting in that sterile white room, examining the posters on the wall. Many of them were hideously colorful, complete with audacious cartoons promoting sanitary practices. There were no windows.

The bauble-eyed doctor had ambled out of the room, fiercely pawing through a thick file. He had left me under the security of a thick-armed orderly, who eyed me suspiciously while adjusting his large white overcoat. I sighed deeply, thinking of the boy in the window again.

It was true that I had hallucinated before, months ago when I was first admitted into Ward 16. But I had learned to contain the horrid illusions in my dreams, my nightmares. This, I knew, was no illusion. Everything was all too real; the contours of his face, the rain dripping down his narrow chin, even his marble skin had discernable goose-bumps. Illusions were too brief, too intangible. This boy did indeed exist, and he did indeed come to the window of Ward 16. What was the significance of ’9’? What about the figure in white? And why did the doctor react in such a way when I showed him my note?

My thoughts were interrupted by the slam of a door and the murmuring of voices. Apparently the bauble-eyed doctor was having an intense discussion with someone else outside of the room. The voices grew louder, but the conversation was scarcely audible through the thick walls. How I longed to hear what words were being exchanged, but the orderly stood as an impassive barrier between the door and I. I shifted in my seat slightly to face the wall to the far right.

“NO! SHE WILL NEVER, NEVER BE ALLOWED TO SEE--” Both the orderly and I were startled as the muffled sound of a woman’s yells sounded outside. The door to our room flew open.

“Take her back to 16,” The doctor huffed, his face read and bauble-eyes glittering. “Now.”

Abruptly the orderly seized my arms and lifted my effortlessly into the air, my legs thrashing. He stormed out the door into the hallway with me in tow. The hallway was empty again, no source of the other voices to be seen. All was quiet, and the rain had ceased.

The End

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