Chapter 4: Who Are You Speaking To?

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Her eyes were wild and her breathing ragged. She seemed to become unhinged before my eyes. Maybe she was on the wrong side of the equation here. Maybe she should have been one of the patients.

That realization hit me in the gut and I forced myself to back down. She held all the power — like she said — and if she was as unstable as she seemed, she really could make my life hell. I had no idea what she was capable of.

And there was the fact that I was afraid of what I might accidentally do to her if I didn't calm the storm inside me.

I took a few deep breaths and the wind died down.

It took a lot for me to nod my head and pretend she'd won.

She let go of my arms and I resisted the urge to rub them. There would probably be bruises there later.

While I waited and hoped she'd calm down, Mrs C came over and put a soothing arm around my shoulders. "You did good."

I ignored her and she smiled.

Mr J put a calming hand on the middle of my back. "It's okay, darlin'. You got this."

I appreciated their support more than they could ever know.

Janice watched me for a long while and when it looked like she'd gotten herself under control, she scowled. "Now we understand each other. You will tell no one and I won't taze your ass."

I glanced at the pocket she kept her taser in. I wasn't too sure about that. A mental picture of me writhing on the ground and her laughing hysterically flashed through my mind. She wouldn't hesitate to taze my ass.

She must have seen the fear in my eyes; she laughed loudly and put her hands on her hips.

I clenched my teeth. Just go before I do something I'll regret.

I put my palms against my legs so I wouldn't clench my fists. Seeing me do that might have set her off again.

She looked me up and down and opened her mouth, closed it again, then turned on her heel and walked back toward the door to the rec room.

"I'm watching you, freak," she called over her shoulder as she swung her hips all the way to the door. Who was she hoping to impress? Jim? The trees?

Mr Newbie threw his arms in the air. "Oh, my God! What is her problem?" He started pacing around in a circle. "She shouldn't be working in a place like this. Maybe she should be a patient instead."

I tore my eyes away from the door and sat back down in the grass. "She's getting worse," I whispered.

Mr J joined Mr Newbie with his pacing, but he walked back and forth near the bushes I was hiding behind. "Something has set her off lately."

Mrs C lowered herself gracefully on one of the park benches. "Maybe she has problems in her life outside of work. She is so quick to anger these last few months, but especially the last few days." She tucked a stray lock of curly blonde hair behind her ear. "You're going to have to be extra-careful around her. She would just love to catch you talking to us for real."

I sighed. "Yeah."

What I really needed to do was get out of here, but that was just a pipe dream now.

─── ⋆⋅☆⋅⋆ ───

"Dr Calthorpe will see you now," Nurse Holly said with a cheery smile. A genuine smile.

Those were the words I'd been dreading. I didn't know what he was going to say to me after yesterday's total stuff-up.

But I'd decided that no matter what, I was going to report Janice.

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