Screaming suddenly, quite clearly she remembered how the accident happened.
I motioned to the nurses and prepared another shot.
The patient struggled, sweat streaming down her forehead.
“What do you see?” asked the shrink. “Can you see the other man?”
Doctor Miles waved away the needle I held.
“That’s ok,” he said, and sat beside the patient. He brushed the hair from her face.
“Get some rest. I’ll be back tomorrow and we can try again.”
The woman nodded, turning away.
I told the nurses to carry on and left the room.
“Dr. Halleck?” I heard.
The psychiatrist, Arthur Miles, stepped up to me and removed his glasses.
“Miss Deserita witnessed a brutal slaying. The police want a statement. How long until she’s strong enough?”
I took a pack of chewing gum out of my pocket and offered the shrink a piece.
“Physically she’s fine. Her head’s your territory.”
Miles took the offered stick and leaned against the wall.
“It’s impossible to say without knowing exactly what happened. Exactly what she saw.”
I looked through the glass at the woman on the bed. Something in her eyes made me uneasy.
“She was in shock when you found her?” Miles asked.
“She’s lucky you came along.”
I didn’t respond. The patient was still looking at me.
“She mentioned lots of blood.”
I left the shrink and went back inside the woman’s room.
I looked at her charts but what I wanted was to be alone with her.
She was whispering something.
I leaned over her prone body.
“It was you,” she said. “You.”
Her breathing was slow, labored.
Our eyes met and I nodded.
“It’s ok. I’m here now. Everyone’s alright. Get some rest.”
A tap on the window made me turn to see Dr. Miles.
He was talking to a policeman.
The woman had fallen asleep so I left her room.
“Dr. Halleck, I’m Officer Duncan. You were driving when you saw Miss Deserita’s car on the side of the road?”
“I was heading home.”
“Right. So tell me what happened.”
“I pulled over. She looked hurt so I checked her vitals before deciding to bring her here.”
“Did you see anyone else?”
“She’s convinced someone was killed at the scene.”
“She was hysterical.”
“Was she hurt? Any bruises?”
“You said she looked hurt.”
“Yes but she must have only fainted.”
“Shouldn’t you have left her alone and called for an ambulance instead?”
I was silent.
“Yes why did you bring her yourself?” asked Miles.
“She became agitated. It was faster for me to bring her,” I said.
The officer stared at me.
“How is she?” he asked.
“Are you going home?”
I regarded the man and the notes he was making.
“I’m sorry?” I asked.
“Isn’t your shift over? You were leaving, right?”
Duncan made another notation and asked, “Do you know Miss Deserita?”
“No,” I said.
“OK doc. That’s all for now.”
I walked to the restroom and locked the door.
Removing my coat and shirt, I checked myself for scars.
No blood. Nothing.
Satisfied, I dressed and left the room.
On the way home I saw police at the scene making casts of the ground.
Another team was probably going over her car in the lab.
That night I dreamt I was being hunted, chased in swamps and over streets made of glass.
I could pass through walls and even the ground but still they came.
Next morning Officer Duncan was waiting for me at the entrance with another man.
“We’d like a DNA sample if you don’t mind, doc,” he said.
The other man was holding out a swab.
I replied by opening my mouth.
“Thanks doc,” said Duncan.
“So,” he began, “did you see anything strange yesterday? Besides the accident.”
“Like what?” I asked.
“Nothing weird or odd at the time?”
“We got lots of calls about lights in the sky right around when and where you saw Miss Deserita.”
I regarded the man as he put my sample in his bag.
“Just wondering if you saw any lights, doc.”
“No,” I said.
“Miss Deserita claims that she saw lights. Said she went to see.”
I reached in my coat for some gum.
“Says there were two men in the road and one car pulled over.”
The pocket was empty so I clenched my fist instead.
“A black mercedes. Isn’t that what you drive doc?”
“Funny seeing two of them like that, huh? I mean, yours and whoever pulled over before you.”
I started walking.
“Of course she also says someone was torn apart but so far we don’t have a body.”
The man left but Duncan followed.
“We don’t even have blood. At the scene I mean,” he began.
I turned my head to nod.
“Mother nature can be hard on evidence. But we got lucky with the car.”
I took some mail out of my box and went through it.
“There was blood on the door and on the seatbelt.”
“Oh?” I said.
“Not from our patient.”
“Who from?” I asked.
“We don’t know yet. But we will.”
Later on my way to her room Dr. Miles saw me.
“I’m afraid it’s serious,” he said. “She won’t stop talking about it. Torn apart.”
I looked at my hands.
“I hate this part of my job, but I think I have to commit her for her own good. She’s obsessed.”
I left without answering.
In her room I said, “No one believes you. Let it go and you can go home.”
She was asleep.
“I won’t let them commit you.”
The police met me in the morning in the parking lot.
“Hey doc. Can you answer something for me?”
It was Officer Duncan.
“We have a problem. The swab we took doesn’t match your file.”
I thought of Miss Deserita.
“But the blood from the car does.”
She shouldn’t have to suffer.
“How is that possible doc?”
I won’t let them commit her.
“I don’t know,” I said.
“We need a look at your car. And another swab.”
Afterward I tried to visit but she was gone.
Miles must have moved her.
There was still time.
I found her room but it was guarded so I went outside.
Standing under her window, I thought about how I crashed.
What I’d had to do.
I wanted her to come to the glass.
I smiled and thought about leaving.
She opened the window.
“Come down,” I said. “There isn’t much time.”
“Where are we going?” she asked.
I thought of Uroshnor, my home.
“I understand,” she said. “Take me with you.”
“Yes,” I said, taking her hand.