Rain cried that morning upstairs in bed while the neighbor that Julia had babysit her watched TV downstairs. How could her life change so horribly and so fast? She felt so trapped and depressed that she was actually starting to contemplate suicide.
Rain missed Troy terribly. Her heart ached at the thought of never again being able to see his face, to talk to him, to experience life with him, to touch him…
Now she was with a woman who she liked very much but not in the way that she was obviously starting to be liked. Her daughter may be a bitch, but she had been smart enough to see it before she had. Maybe she was slow to catch on because she not only didn’t think the doctor would go for a woman, but she also wouldn’t have guessed that she’d be her type. Didn’t women usually like women around their own ages and with similar professions?
As much as Rain hated her present situation, she felt powerless to change it. She couldn’t bring Troy back and she also couldn’t afford a place of her own, not that Rain was sure she would be any happier with her own place. If anything, that might drive her even crazier if she didn’t have anyone to talk to. Better to be lonely than alone, right?
Her smartphone sang out with her latest ringtone and she snatched it up off the nightstand.
It was Nurse Elizabeth calling with the latest numbers. She also wanted to know how she was doing.
News traveled fast.
“I-I guess I’m okay,” Rain couldn’t keep her voice steady.
“Are you sure, sweetie?”
Rain hesitated and said, “Actually I’m not sure of anything right now.”
According to your chart, you have an appointment tomorrow with Doctor Santiago.”
“Yes, I do.”
“Be sure to tell her exactly how you’re feeling, hun. It’s very important.”
“I don’t know. Being too forthright with my feelings has had a way of backfiring on me in the past and I don’t want anybody getting the wrong idea.”
“Oh no, not at all. We’re here for you. Your appointment is in the afternoon, I see.”
“Yeah, Doc Linden is going to drop me off, and then I’m going to take the bus back to her house because she has other obligations.”
“Oh, you’re with the doctor now? Doctor Linden?”
“Yes. I can’t afford to stay anywhere else right now, and the duplex my husband and I were living in is now a crime scene, as I’m sure you know, not that I could stand to stay there for a second anyway.”
“I hear you, hun,” said Nurse Elizabeth, sounding very sympathetic.
Rain hesitated a moment, then said, “Something is well… she’s not… I better not say. Not now. I’ll talk to Doctor Santiago tomorrow, not that I expect anyone to believe me.”
“Strange things are happening.”
“I’m sure that with all you’ve been through nothing seems as it should seem right now.”
“You don’t understand. It goes deeper than that. Something isn’t right, but I don’t want to get into it right now. Julia is going to be home any second and I have to deal with contacting Troy’s family, the papers to release his body for a medical study as he wished, along with eventually cleaning out the duplex and figuring out what to do next.”
“Okay, hun. I’ll let you go now, but please don’t forget your appointment tomorrow afternoon, and don’t be afraid to let her know how you’re feeling.”
“I will, Elizabeth. Thanks for calling.”
Rain had just ended the call when the doctor stepped into the room. She hadn’t even heard her car pull up or her ascending the stairs. She didn’t even hear her talking to the neighbor downstairs. Perhaps she jumped outside to meet her at the front door.
“What’s wrong?” the doctor asked as Rain was brushing tears from her face.
“Nothing. I just can’t stop crying.”
“That’s not nothing. Who were you talking to?”
“Nurse Elizabeth. She called to give me my numbers, which are decent enough, and to remind me of tomorrow’s appointment.”
“The good numbers are nice, but why would she remind you about tomorrow’s appointment?”
“I don’t know,” Rain said with a shrug. “We got to talking about what happened and it came up. I guess she’s worried about me or something. After all, my world certainly has turned itself upside down and inside out rather quickly, hasn’t it?”
Rain wasn’t sure why, but the doctor seemed to eye her suspiciously as if she didn’t trust what she might have told the nurse. That was okay, though. She had her own suspicions. She just wasn’t sure what they were yet.
Julia seemed unsure of what to say next. Then she finally said, “Want to get out of here for a while? Maybe go out to eat?”
“I’m not hungry, but if you are, I’ll tag along.” Anything to distract her from the evil thoughts racing through her mind.
The following afternoon Rain sat in Doctor Santiago’s cold examination room waiting to see her after the nurse finished taking her vitals. She finally entered the room and greeted her with a professional smile, and even in her misery, Rain didn’t fail once again to notice how much shorter the doctor was than her.
“How are you today?” she asked.
She opened her mouth to answer, but instead, she broke down in tears. The doctor let her get it out all the while eyeing her with concern. “Something’s wrong. Very wrong.”
“I heard about what happened to your husband,” the doctor confessed, “and I am so very, very sorry. I also know that you had some rather traumatic experiences not too long ago in your home state.”
Dammit. How much had Julia told her?
“Th-that’s not it.”
The doctor looked confused. “What’s not it? Did something else happen?”
“Something’s wrong with Doctor Linden.”
The doctor blinked with surprise. “Something’s wrong with her?”
Rain nodded. “You know I’m staying with her, don’t you?”
“Actually, no I didn’t. I knew you moved in across the street from her and that she referred you to someone else.”
Rain took the tissue that was offered to her and dabbed at her eyes. “She took me in when my husband was killed. I couldn’t stay there anyway, and to be honest, I can’t afford a place on my own right now.”
“That was very kind of her to take you.”
“No,” Rain said, shaking her head vehemently. “Please promise to keep this between us”
“I was flattered at first with the way she seemed to really care about my situation, but something’s wrong with her.”
“Something is wrong? What do you think is wrong?” The doctor asked, still confused.
“It’s like she’s doing something to me.”
Confusion still held the doctor’s brown eyes. “What do you think she’s doing to you?”
“I don’t know. I just don’t know. I almost feel like I felt when I was on that awful Prozac.”
“But you must remember that you’ve been through so very much.”
“It’s more than that. I know it sounds crazy, but there’s something else going on that goes beyond the normal grieving, sadness, and anger one would expect to feel after their spouse has been brutally murdered.”
The doctor gazed at her, unsure of what to say next.
Rain once again burst into tears, not caring how she sounded to the doctor. She knew her paranoia was justly founded.
“We could always try some type of temporary mood elevator to help pull you out of your depression and—”
“No. No way. What I need right now isn’t any more pills. I’m just so scared. Doc, I just know she’s doing something.”
“But what could she be doing and why? I don’t understand,” Doctor Santiago said, obviously not believing her.
Rain shrugged. “I don’t understand either. Only she knows what she’s up to.”
“So, you’re saying that you think she is secretly drugging you?”
She knew how the Prozac affected me,” Rain said, knowing how crazy it sounded even to her ears. “It’s like she wants me to feel that way all over again. Like she wants to be the hero that saves me or something.”
“Saves you from what?”
Rain thought a moment and then she finally said, “I don’t know. I just don’t know. All I know is that something deep in my gut tells me to get out of that house as fast as I can. She would be able to get Prozac if she really wanted to.”
“It’s not as easy as you may think, but actually, I agree that it might be best to leave the house.”
Her first thought was that Doctor Santiago felt weird about her staying with a fellow physician that she knew, but then she realized what the doctor was referring to. “Oh, so you want me to move into the loony bin instead?”
“Well,” the doctor said, choosing her words carefully, “it’s not that you’re a loony, of course, but understandably you are having a very hard time right now and I am worried about you.”
“I’m not going to kill myself, Doc.”
“Have you thought about it?”
Rain opened her mouth to speak and then closed it. She didn’t exactly want to lie to her doctor, did she?