Chapter 28

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A.N. HII SO SORRY ABOUT THE REALLY SHORT AND SUCKY CHAPTER AGAIN (I WAS STUDYING ALL DAY AND I HAD TO WHIP THIS UP REALLY QUICK SO ITS NOT THE BEST ITS JUST KIND OF A FILLER TO GIVE YOU GUYS AN UPDATE I APOLOGIZE). I HAVE MIDTERMS MONDAY AND TUESDAY AND THEN IM FINALLY DONE SO NEXT WEEKS CHAPTER SHOULD BE LONGER :) AND THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING AMAZING ON HERE AND TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! by the way there will be things in this chapter about electroconvulsive therapy that might not be particularly true or that i exaggerate so please know that this is for plot/story purposes to make it interesting :) i just dont want a million comments telling me that im wrong on the effects of electroshock or anything because i know this and i did it intentionally (i just wanna make sure you guys dont think im dumb or didnt research it or anything haha) but thanks again and ily





CHAPTER 28

ROSE'S POV

I awoke feeling weary and exhausted, my eyelids heavy. Once my dreams had dispersed I realized that I was lying in a bed that wasn't mine seeing that this one was of much greater comfort. I was hesitant to fully wake, fluttering my eyes open and catching glimpses of white ceiling tile. Once the tiring drag of sleep faded I sat up slightly, eying the all-to-familiar room. I was in Lori's office. And with that thought came the memories of . . . however long ago it was that Harry was thrown into room 204. Electroshock therapy. The thought made me sick. I was hoping that it might somehow be just a terrible nightmare, that he was in his cell right now and I had just passed out of something. But no, this was real. And it was frustrating. I mean we couldn't have one good day, Harry and I couldn't just have one day to be somewhat happy? It was one thing after the next, and Wickendale was seeming more like dystopia than a mental institution.

Instead our day had crumbled beyond my greatest fears, with Harry beating James possibly to death, getting dragged away by the guards, and being thrown into electroshock "therapy." After I heard one muffled scream of many I banged on the door, kicked it, hit it with my shoulder, anything to get it to open while shouting for them to let me in. And the last thing I remember was a needle being shoved into my arm while I tossed and turned in the guards' hands.

"Oh, you're awake," Lori said in a sigh, bringing me out of my thoughts. I hadn't even realized that she was in the room. All I could do was nod in confirmation.

As she walked towards me I didn't see any surprise in her eyes, no shock that I was now a patient at Wickendale. Since our last conversation she must've figured out what happened, because she didn't ask questions. All she gave me was a look of pity and something else . . . maybe guilt.

"How long have I been out? What did they do to Harry? Is he okay?" I asked immediately.

"Relax, Rose, you've only been out since yesterday afternoon. It's about 9 o'clock in the morning now so not too long."

"And Harry?" I egged on. The look in her eyes induced a heaviness in my already heavy heart. She came to me slowly and took a seat at the edge of the bed.

"He's okay . . . for the most part." I gave her a perplexed look and she continued. "He is physically but Ms. Hellman, she . . . she turned up the electricity really high on him."

"What does that mean?" I demanded.

"It means his mind is . . . jumbled. The shock brought waves of electric charge through him, really intense waves. A lot of them. It was enough to kind of shake up his brain. Everything's gonna be a little fuzzy for him for a while."

"What does that mean, fuzzy? Did he lose his memory?" I was getting more worried by the second and I was nervous to hear her answer.

"No, not exactly. He just lost the connections between his memories and feelings, in a way. He might be able to remember the image of James but he might not feel the hate he did and he might not really remember what James has done. And he'll remember you but maybe forgets the way he feels about you. It's hard to explain, but once you see him you'll understand. Just take your conversations slow and be patient with him. He'll ask a lot of questions, he'll be confused on a lot of things and he might not be exactly the same."

I closed my eyes in frustration and defeat, tears starting to build up again. I didn't even give the thought time to sink in before I asked my next dreaded question. "Not the same? Will he ever recover at all?"

"Oh, yes," she answered confidently, and I could feel the heaviness of my heart subside with a little relief. "It'll take a while, anywhere from a few days to a few months. But knowing that he's pretty intelligent, I'm thinking it won't be long. It'll just take him a little sorting of his thoughts for him to get better. He'll be kind of like the rest of the patients at first, sort of lost and confused. But the more you talk to him and maybe play cards, something to make him think, the shock will fade. It'll be frustrating, but just be patient. I'm sure you can pull him through."

I nodded, wiping the few tears that had fallen without my notice. "Is there anything I can do to speed up the process?"

Lori thought for a moment but then shook her head slowly. "Only if something shocking happens, something that could trigger lot's of memories and sort of bring him out of his dazed state, maybe. But the chances of that happening are very slim. Your best bet is just to talk to him, play board games, anything to stimulate brain activity."

I nodded reluctantly, not wanting to accept any of it. I mean I knew he would get better soon, but even just a few days without the Harry that I had grown so accustomed to was scary.

Why did Ms. Hellman have to be such a bitch? This was all her fault. She knew her son well deserved what he got; but Harry kept taking the consequences for James' actions. She wanted to make him seem crazy and used every excuse to drive us to the breaking point. And it was infuriating. I wanted to scream, I wanted to sob and cry and scream. I was so sick of this never-ending sequence of terrible events. But I didn't have time to scream and I didn't have the energy. I just had time to shed a few tears, wipe them away and endure it. Once I could do that and move on, I could help Harry recover as quickly as possible, and we could get out of here. I would not let Ms. Hellman win.

"Am I okay to go back to my cell now?" I asked Lori. There was no point in sitting around her office, and I felt perfectly fine. Well, physically.

"Yes, I'll call your guard down to get you and then you can leave," she told me, adding a small smile at the end.

"Thanks, Lori."

"You're welcome, sweetheart," she said. But there was an odd silence lingering in conversation's place like there were still more words to be spoken. I didn't have anything else to say, but Lori's lips were parted slightly as if she might.

"I'm sorry," she eventually said. "About all of this. You shouldn't be in here."

"It's okay," I reassured her. "It's not your fault."

She nodded, and then her soft eyes looked into mine seriously. "If there's anything I can do, let me know. Anything. You don't belong here and I know I'm just an old woman, but I'll do my best to help."

"Thank you so much," I smiled, keeping her words in mind. We had Kelsey, we had Lori, and we were ever-so-slowly accumulating trust from patients. It wasn't much, but I prayed that once Harry was better, it would be enough. Maybe with that we would be able to escape Wickendale. Something would go our way sooner or later. I hope.





HARRY'S POV

Everything had an odd haziness to it, and nothing seemed to be quite right. The edges of my mind were blurry and the words of my thoughts were jumbled. There were things that I couldn't remember and there were things that were unclear. Like when you put on sunglasses for the first time in a long time and your eyes have to adjust to the dark shield for your vision to be clear again. Except this time things didn't get back to normal.

This was all I felt when I woke, this foggy state of uncertainty. I wasn't thinking as clear as I knew I should. I seemed to be drowning in a sea of unfinished thoughts and vacant feelings, and I had to connect the dots in order to dig my way out. But it is hard to find your way out of a maze when you don't know that you're in one.

It was odd and almost suffocating, the feeling of trying to remember something that's not there. I knew I should remember, my mind should be more clear. But it wasn't; everything was muddy. Immediately when I woke this morning I knew this was happening. Something had happened to me. But I didn't panic, seeing that I was too drowsy to hardly think, let alone freak out of have a breakdown or something. I just knew that something was wrong with my thoughts or memory or both, and I knew that there wasn't anything I could do about it. I did take some comfort, though, in knowing that this was most likely temporary. I was already able to decipher things in my mind and was able to think about what I was seeing around me, where as this morning I couldn't. When I woke my brain was like a vegetable but now I felt a little spark. I was aware of some things, no matter how vaguely. And I did feel something; I just wasn't sure what it meant. It had the familiarity of hatred and greed. Greed for something that was mine, as if it had been stolen away from me. Something was missing.

Suddenly I felt anger. Somebody had taken what belonged to me. I wasn't sure what but there was a hole in my mind where the comfort of this anonymous thing should be. My tired eyes scanned the room, seeing dark cement walls and a gritty floor. There were tables and a small kitchen in the back where people in white uniforms cooked food and then put it out for patients to eat.

Patients. And the ghost of the memory came back to me. I was at a mental institution for criminals. Accused of skinning 3 women. The accusation was false. Those things were clear. I just prayed that the rest of my lost thoughts would come and sort themselves out eventually, because there were definitely other vital things hidden in my mind that I couldn't quite remember.

Suddenly I saw a girl enter what I think was the cafeteria, wearing a blue uniform. She had dark hair that tumbled down in long waves. This was real, I decided, not a memory or a thought. She walked to me and I looked down, not wanting to frighten her with my stare. I waited a few seconds and felt her walk next to me.

"Harry?" She asked softly. I looked back up at the sound of my name, seeing the girl sitting in the chair to my left. Her eyes danced with a mix of blue and green, and a ghost of a feeling, a spark of a memory ignited in my mind. "Harry, do you remember me?"

Her eyes looked nervous, worried maybe as she but her lip in anticipation. Was she scared of my answer? Was she scared of me? Probably. But I didn't blame her. Hell, even I'm scared of me.

She had asked a question. I nodded, looking away from those eyes so that I could think a little more clearly. I knew this girl. I couldn't remember exactly how at the moment, but those memories were somewhere down in my mind. As of now, the most I could come up with was her name. "Rose," I muttered. "Rose . . . Winters."

She smiled with a look of something like relief, nodding. "Yeah, that's right. How do you feel?"

Rose was patient while I pondered the question. How did I feel? "Uh, kinda weird," I answered honestly. "It's . . . blurry." I pointed to my head, the dull cage where all of the thoughts were trapped. I didn't know how else to describe the lost state I was in; it was just weird and blurry. It was strange trying to dig up words to say, not knowing how to answer simple questions or how to word a certain thought.

But Rose's smile was one of amusement, so I don't think my answer was too bad. Although unlike her smile, her eyes looked sad. Why was she sad?

Before I had time to ask, though, she asked a question of her own. "Do you wanna talk about it? Or do you want to play cards?"

Again she was patient, and I was grateful. It seemed as if she knew, to some extent, the frustration and time it was taking for me to process what I was thinking. And I wanted to be able to talk with her like I knew I normally should. I knew that something wasn't right, and I tried to fight it to remember. I wanted to ask her to help, ask her what's wrong with me. But instead all I could manage was, "Cards."

"Okay," she nodded, smiling again and standing up to probably go get a deck. But her smile wasn't genuine. I knew somehow that I had seen her genuine smile, and that wasn't it. And her eyes still looked heartbroken as she turned away. Was that because of me?

Rose returned within a few seconds, a stack of cards with red designs on the backs in her hands. "We used to play go-fish a lot," she told me. "Do you remember how to play?"

She was directly next to me so that our shoulders were brushing, and I liked the fact that she was so close. And then I realized, this is what I was missing. This was that thing of mine that got taken away from me, the whole in my mind where her comfort was supposed to be. And while she re-explained the game of go-fish I wasn't exactly listening. I just stared at her eyes, her skin, her lips, her long hair, her delicate face. There was something about this girl; and if there was one thing I was supposed to remember out of all of my jumbled thoughts, one thing that was supposed to be clear, it was her. And until I could do that, until I could remember her in full, I would spend the rest of my time re-learning about Rose Winters.

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