When you think of a mental hospital, you expect it to be a home to people with mental illness. People whose minds have given up because they can no longer cope with the stresses of life, or their mental diseases that are already etched in their DNA have completely taken over their brains.
It makes you wonder what the limitation of ones brain is or how strong a person is to endure traumas, heartaches, and depression.
So when Lesley entered the room with the red door, the first question that came to her mind was, what did this person go through to get into this situation? Because in front of her, is the boy behind the red door, quietly sitting on the floor with his back against the white wall, and in chains.
She hovered her eyes over the entirety of the person called V-03. The persons feet and hands were chained. His almost radish-like skin was so white and pale that it was almost the same color as his white shirt. His long black hair covered his mysterious face, but she could see his eyes that were black as the night sky and as fierce as a tiger. He was like a predator eyeing his prey. His eyes were wild and full of mysteries. He silently watched them from a corner.
She swallowed. She could not believe what she was seeing. Inside this cold room was a person chained like a wild animal. What did he do to deserve this kind of treatment? Yes, he is crazy and perhaps dangerous to other people or himself, but this seemed too much. Is this even legal? Her chest clenched in pity for the man.
She was almost out of breath as they slowly approached the person. She held tightly on the strap of her sling bag when they stopped in the middle of the room.
Her chest grew heavier with each second she stared at the man. There is this feeling that she could not understand. Ever since she stood in front of this room, she felt uneasy. She felt heavy and uncomfortable.
She could not understand why, but every fiber of her body could feel the persons presence. It was as if a thread was connected to the two of them.
”Don look him in the eyes. You don want to get yourself killed, do you? ” Mrs. Dapit warned while she stared at the pitiful man.
She returned to herself from her deep thoughts and blinked to look at Mrs. Dapit. ”S-sorry. What did you say? ”
”I said, don stare at him. He can hypnotize you. Then hell tear your limbs apart. Those chains won stop him if you cross the yellow line, ” Mrs. Dapit said, then pointed to the floor.
She looked down to see what Mrs. Dapit was pointing at. She saw a straight yellow line dividing the room into two.
”Thats as far as the chain goes. So when you go over this line, you
e dead! Hes an extremely violent patient, thats why hes chained. ”
She couldn help but look at the man again despite Mrs. Dapits warning. She looked at the chains on his feet and hands. He was dangerous, so he was tied up, but is that really enough to be given such treatment? The person was sick. He needed help but not like this. It may even make his mental illness worse.
She turned to Mrs. Dapit when she realized what the woman just said. ”Uhm, you said, he can hypnotize me? ”
”Yes, and Im not bluffing. ”
She frowned. It was her first time hearing something like that.
The old womans ear seemed to tingle at her question because Mrs. Dapits eyes narrowed, and she saw the veins in her neck again become visible.
”Stop asking too many questions! ” Mrs. Dapit said in an annoyed tone. ”All you have to remember is don stare into his eyes, don cross the yellow line, and clean this ward an hour before you go home! ”
She frowned and lowered her head. She made her angry again. Was she prying too much?
”Im sorry, ” she sullenly said. She swallowed before speaking again. ”Uhm, so, what about the hours before I clean up? What am I going to do? ” she asked, changing the topic.
Mrs. Dapit looked like she would strangle her if she asked further questions about the person in chains, so she changed the conversation.
Mrs. Dapit looked at her face as if there was something wrong with her question. ”Are you kidding me?! ” The woman shook her head and put her hands on her waist. ”You have got to be kidding me! You really don know?! You applied without checking the job description?! ”
She closed her mouth in shock at Mrs. Dapits reaction. Why is she angry again? There was nothing wrong with her question. Although, Mrs. Dapit was right in the part where she did not check the job description. Her mother just told her she was applying to be a janitress here. What else is a janitress supposed to do besides cleaning?
”Uhm, they told me, Im just a part-time janitress, ” she nervously replied.
The grumpy woman folded her arms and took a step back. ”Unbelievable! ” Mrs. Dapit scanned her from head to toe with disdain in her eyes, as if she had done something terrible, then gave an exasperated sigh.
”How about this? Ill tell you what your job is, then you can think if you still want to continue working here or not, ” Mrs. Dapit said before sighing again. ”I want you to think carefully about this. Its going to be your last and only chance of getting out of here. ”
She did not know what to say, so she just nodded. But she felt nervous for some reason. She had a bad feeling about what she would hear.
Mrs. Dapit pointed at the man in chains while her head was still facing her.
e going to be his nanny. ”
Her mind suddenly went into a daze. What she heard echoed in her head repeatedly. You
e going to be his nanny.
Both her eyebrows rose, and her lips parted. She looked at the man and then at Mrs. Dapit again. She could tell by her serious face that she was not joking.
She shook her head in disbelief. Her mouth wanted to say something, but the words would not come out. She had not yet recovered from the shock when Mrs. Dapit pointed something behind her.
”See that kitchen over there? ”
She looked and saw a small kitchen. There was a small sink, there was an electric stove, there was cutlery, and there were cooking utensils. She did not notice those earlier when they entered the room because her eyes got fixated on patient V-03.
”He doesn eat the food unless he sees you cooking it. So you have to cook his dinner in front of him. Thats because he doesn trust anyone nor anything. ”
She was stunned, unable to speak.
Wow! I will also be a cook! This guys personal cook! Thats why the salary offered was twice the average. Why didn my mother tell me about this super important detail?!
Mrs. Dapit then pointed to her right. There was a water hose hanging on the wall, some soaps and shampoos too.
Her two eyebrows rose even higher and pointed to herself. ”I, Ill bathe him too?! ” Her eyes opened bigger as she turned to Mrs. Dapit again.
”No, you won . ” Mrs. Dapit pointed to the small cabinet near the shower. ”But his clothes are there, in case he makes a mess on your watch. ”
She sighed in relief. It would be awkward for her because they looked like they were the same age. She did not want to stain her virgin eyes and bathe V-03.
”The nurses and the doctors take care of him in the morning. They bathe him, feed him, give him his medications, but they don clean this room. You see, we are understaffed, and thats because we don just hire people here, Miss Madrigal. We meticulously pick our employees under specific conditions. You also don fit this job, so it really baffles me why you
e here. Why did Jacoben hire you? Hmm? Tell me. ”
She averted her eyes from Mrs. Dapits gaze and lowered her head. ”I do not know. ”
They both have the same question. Why is she here? Why did the manager accept her like that? More importantly, will she continue this?