This piece went just a tad bit over 1000 words (I confess nothing!), so I’m splitting it between two days. And yes, I know that’s cheating, but whatever. For part 1, see FFF 22: Cilvia and Nurse Jane
“Would you like breakfast, Cilvia?” Nurse Jane and a guard led her to the cafeteria area of the facility. She believed what they told her to believe, and the doctors said she was coming along nicely. Cilvia stood in line between a tall dark-haired large woman and a petite black woman.
“Hello,” the large woman said, “Hello. Answer me. Hello.” Cilvia said nothing. “Don’t you like me? Why won’t you talk to me?” the woman kept prodding. “Hello. Hello.”
“Shut up, Beatrice,” the black woman snapped. “She’s as crazy as the rest of us.”
“Hello. Hello,” Beatrice insisted. Cilvia received a tray and slid it along the line silently. She picked up a bowl of peaches and a plate of white rice and moved away from the two women still in line.
“Never mind the blue paint lines,” she said to herself, “they’ll dry eventually.” She’d been having nightmares about blue paint recently. She didn’t know what to make of them. She tried to ignore them and focus on what the doctors kept telling her to believe.
She sat down at a table by herself and said loudly, “I think not, sir! I think not!” Some others turned to look, but finding nothing of interest, they went back to their own meals.
After breakfast, Nurse Jane and the guard took Cilvia to see Doctor Connelly. Doctor Connelly was head doctor at this facility and had been keeping tabs on Cilvia since she had stopped talking a while back. Cilvia sat down in the chair opposite the doctor’s and waited. She’d done this a thousand times or more.
“Hello, Cilvia. How are we today?” Doctor Connelly asked politely. Cilvia said nothing. She blushed and smiled, and the doctor took this as a good sign and nodded appreciatively. They sat in silence for a moment or two, and the doctor said, “Cilvia, you’re going to have to talk to me sometime. I know you’re an intelligent young lady, and I’m not even convinced you should be in here, but you refuse to say anything that makes sense.”
“Bumble bees fly loudly,” Cilvia said.
Doctor Connelly sighed and wrote something down on her chart. “I’m keeping you at the same amount of medication for a while and we’ll see how that goes. If you need anything between now and the next time I see you, please ask Nurse Jane.”
“Silly me,” Cilvia smiled eerily, “I forgot my medication today. Silly me.”
The doctor looked up, half alarmed. She called for the nurse and guard to return. The guard smiled kindly at Cilvia and took her arm lightly, leading her away. “Nurse Jane,” Doctor Connelly asked, “Did you give Cilvia her meds this morning?”
“Of course, doctor. I did it personally,” Nurse Jane affirmed. “She was agreeable, as usual.” The doctor nodded, marking something on her chart.
“Thank you,” She said after a moment. Nurse Jane nodded and turned to follow the guard and girl.
Cilvia believed what they told her to believe, but it was hard sometimes. The voices, the voices in her head were so distracting. Tell them everything. Tell them nothing, they told her. She tried to ignore them completely and focus on the doctors and their solutions. She let herself be moved from cell to cell, was pleasant with everyone… at least as pleasant as one could be in a place like this, and didn’t make trouble. The doctors said she was making progress, but really she was running in place.
“I know it’s silly to wonder about such things, but it worries me anyway,” Cilvia said. “Never mind the blue paint lines. They’ll dry eventually.”
[See Flash Fiction February for more.]