This fiction is a response to Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge: The Unreliable Narrator.
Trust is the most important thing in the world, I believe. That’s why we keep searching for the ones we can trust. We all believe that family is there to rely on, right? Then it must be a tragedy when we can’t trust even our family.
I am living that tragedy.
I’ve moved back to my parents’ home for two months. Sean is still out in the sea. He said there would not be any mobile signal when they travelled far into the ocean, but somehow he manages to send me a text every night, telling me he’s alright. But he’s too worried to leave me and our infant son, Dean, home all alone, so my parents and brother knocked on my house’s door last month and helped us move, so that we are taken care of by family, just so they said. Well, they actually forced me out of my house. My parents came with two strangers dressed in white, and they rudely escorted me into the car without any clue that my baby could be hurting. My mom cried and gave me a sad look, which I really hate, while dad and brother were messing up my room in an attempt to collect my personal stuffs. Everyone was acting crazy. They looked at the baby, then they looked at me, with something that comes between sympathy and disgust.
They are up to some scheme, I’m sure. I just don’t know why.
I get sleepy from time to time. In fact, since I moved here I sleep almost twenty two hours a day, which is very abnormal because I used to be a light sleeper. I believe this comes from tens of pills they force me to take every day, or even from the food they prepare for me. Maybe they’re poisoning me. I just don’t have any proof. I can’t refuse to eat what they give me. I’m too weak in this house.
The only thing I could do is to hold my son so tight in a hope to gain a little more strength, and that they would not take him from me.
10 p.m. After putting Dean to bed, I grab my phone and wait for a message. Sean always sends me a text around this time of the day. He’s there, out in the sea, but he’s still talking to me.
A text. Sean.
“I’ll be fine, honey. Don’t worry.
I love you and Dean so much.
When I go back, there’ll be three of us. I’m thrilled.
I text back, but he never answers. Then the next day, at 10 p.m he will send me the same message, day after day. I guess it’s not very easy to connect to the world when you are out of nowhere and surrounded by the ocean, so I go to bed, and wait for his text the next night. Then Derbie, my sister-in-law, knocks on the door. Damn it. She always has to show up at this hour to offer a glass of milk, though I’ve said a million times I don’t want it.
“It’s good for your sleep, sweetie. And the doctor recommends it.”
“But why doctor? I don’t need a fucking doctor.”
“Just better for your health.”
She looks at me, then at my baby. It is cold and totally blank. It’s completely devoid of emotion. I know this woman doesn’t love me, or the baby boy. I even sense she puts something in the milk, but I drink it anyway. After all, it does help me with my sleep. I will sleep like a log and wake up at noon the next day.
Somehow I don’t instantly fall into a sleep tonight. I’m very sleepy, but still awake. Maybe whatever they put into my milk I drink so much that my body is building up a tolerance. Derbie has just walked out of my room, leaving the door slightly open. She’s talking to my mom and brother right at the doorstep.
“I think she’s asleep. She’s not gonna wake up ‘til noon.” – said Derbie.
“These pills seem to work, right?” – my brother says with unhidden satisfaction. “But this cannot last long.”
“What do you want to do? We just can’t…” – my mom’s sobbing.
“We’ve got to get her there, mom. It’s getting out of control.”
“No. We can’t take her there! It’s like hell. We can’t treat her like that.”
I gasp. Maybe I’ve just made some noise, so they alertly close the door. I cannot hear anything anymore.
Where are they planning to take me to? “It’s like hell.” Why? What happened? What happened to the family that I loved so much? And Sean, when are you coming back? I don’t think I can protect myself or our son anymore. They’re all working on a hidden agenda to take me away.
I’ve got to get out of this house. I’ve got to… The milk and some shitty thing that comes with it now is going straight to my brain. I start to fall asleep.
“Helen! Helen! Wake up, honey! We’ve got to go!”
Who’s calling my name? Oh my God, that’s Sean’s voice. It’s Sean! I try to open my eyes and sit up. Right there, Sean is standing outside the window, smiling. He is wet from head to toe, but he doesn’t show any sign of being cold at all.
“Come here, honey. I’ve got to get you out of here!”
“Yes… Oh God! They’re weird! All my family! Everyone is so crazy, Sean!” – I rush to the window – “I don’t know what happened to mom and dad, and even my brother, but they are acting real crazy! I’m afraid they’re gonna hurt me or our baby.”
“Our baby? God, I haven’t seen our son!”
“Oh, of course.”
I come back to the bed to take Dean, so that Sean can meet the baby for the first time.
“Why don’t you come in?”
“No, you come here baby.” – Sean waves at me. I follow him. “Just put your feet up and climb over the window. I got you here.”
“But it’s second floor.”
“I got you! It’s alright. We’ve got to get out of here, right now. They’re waking up very soon.”
“Yeah, right.” It’s early morning now; the sun has gone half way out of the skyline. There’s noone out in the street at this time, except for the guy next door who always run around this time. But it’s just one person. I need to get out of here. I start to climb out of the window as Sean takes my hand.
Suddenly my brother opens the door, frightened. He runs towards me and grabs my wrist.
“What are you doing? Go inside!”
“No! I’m not staying here. Let me go. LET ME GO!”
“Why are you doing this?” – He is trying to hold me tight and pull me inside.
“Help me Sean. HELP ME.” – I cry. But Sean has disappeared. Now I panick. I try to push my brother away, while at the same time hold my baby closer. Damn it! He is just so heartless – the baby is in my hand but he won’t let me go. I try harder to get out of his arms and rush to the window. Then, in a very short moment, I am shaking because of his arms’ strength. My arm gets weak. And the baby falls out of it.
That can’t be it. No. I can’t have dropped Dean out of the window! I cry and try to get out of my brother’s arms, but this time he gets me too tight. Now all the other people in the family has come to my room.
“What just happened, Harry?”
“Jeff called me while running, that he saw Helen trying to climb out of the window. She’s totally lost it!”
“What? Why? Why didn’t you close the window?”
“I can’t lock it mom. After all, we can’t lock her.”
What? Are they still human? A baby just dropped out of the window, and they’re standing here talking about locking me up? I can’t utter a word. I keep sobbing and crying. Then I scream at Harry’s face:
“You lost your mind? My baby! Let me see my baby. Oh my God, you killed him!”
Now Harry seems to lose his temper. He grabs my face, looking straight into the eyes:
“What baby? There’s no baby, Helen. It’s a fucking blanket!”
“Stop it Harry! Stop it!”
“No I have to tell her. She gotta wake up.” – then he turns at me furiously – “We’ve got to help you Helen, and this is the only way. There’s no baby! It’s a blanket that you thought to be a baby. Your baby, Dean…” – he hesitates, with a little tear falling down from his eye – “he died from birth.”
“No… NO, YOU’RE LYING.”
“That’s enough, Harry. Stop it.” – my mom is trying to touch me, but I avoid her.
“YOU’RE FUCKING LYING. WHERE IS SEAN??? Get me Sean!!!”
“Sweetie” – now my dad is speaking, after a very long time of silence – “The ship is still missing. It’s been a month now. We’ve decided to lose hope…”
“What are you talking about?”
“OK, that’s enough. I’ll got her.” – Derbie has appeared at the door, with a syringe in her hand. Quickly, she pumps it into my wrist. My family, the room and everything in front of me start to blur into pieces. It’s getting darker and darker.
This reminds me of the night when Sean left us and promised to come back after a week, to welcome the birth of our first baby.
So dark. At 10 p.m, he texted me. “I love you and Dean so much.”
So dark. He never texted again.
Then they were talking about some storm on TV… then the night I gave birth to Dean…
Dean… my little angel…
Dean… and Sean…
Now I’m trapped among darkness.