Rain slowly regained the use of her arm and shoulder, but oh, how it ached at times. A week later she was transferred back to the psych ward where she received intensive therapy to discuss the horrible events of the last few years of her life.
The day she walked out of the hospital with Nurse Elizabeth was very liberating indeed. No one liked spending time in the hospital no matter what type of hospital it was and no matter what the reason may be.
The nurse had a beautiful home with a lush green yard that was as colorful as she’d promised with a wide array of flowers.
“Oh, what a magical place you have!” Rain exclaimed. “Oh wow, I see dahlias, roses, daffodils, tulips, and peonies.”
Elizabeth took delight in Rain’s approval and said, “There’s more than that here.”
“Those are the only ones I know the names of. Oh, wait! Those are irises, right?”
“Right, and those are tiger lilies,” she said pointing.
The inside of the nurse’s house was just as beautiful. It was a three-bedroom home with one and a half baths.
Rain started off in the guest room, but it wasn’t long before she was happily bedded down with the sexy nurse. They weren’t intimate in any way. They both knew Rain needed to take it slow and couldn’t be expected to jump out of one relationship that had ended tragically and right into another. But it was inevitable that they became committed to one another, and one of those unspoken things they just knew without acknowledging out loud.
She continued to see a therapist once a week and she also continued to have nightmares every few nights or so. Elizabeth held her in the night as she shook, heart pounding, body sweating. She couldn’t have been with a more understanding person than one in the health field. She supposed Julia had also cared for her patients and those that were suffering until the grief of losing her husband and being alone had made her succumb to a world of self-absorption and then downright craziness.
Rain fell into a comfortable routine. They share the cooking, but Rain usually did the cleaning. Rain returned to her online job and she also got a part-time job at a nearby pet shop to which she could ride her bike. Rain was glad that she didn’t have to worry about intense cold or snow, and she also loved how it rarely rained. Just a few years in New England and you will have seen more rain than you ever want to see in your life. Rain wondered how she could end up with the name of something she didn’t really like. She didn’t mind occasional rain just for some variety, but she didn’t like it when it was a regular thing. Instead, she loved the bright California sunshine.
Nearly a month later was when it all went to hell.
She found her.
Her newfound security and bliss shattered like fine china crashing to the floor.
She was home alone when she heard movement behind her. She spun around from the desk in which she sat working online and found herself staring into the eyes of the madwoman.
Those same cold, dark, evil, terrifying eyes bore into her as if they had drill bits protruding from them. She also had the same drab stringy hair that was now just below her shoulders and the same dark clothing.
“How-how did you find me and how did you get in here?” Her voice trembled as she spoke.
Just then she heard the garage door open and Elizabeth entered the house. Relief flooded through her, but it was quickly replaced with fear. What if the psycho harmed both of them and not just her? What if the nurse’s presence scared her off even though it would be two against one?
Elizabeth was now in view. “Who are you talking to, honey?” she asked.
“Run, Elizabeth, run!”
“She’s here! Right there! The psycho from back east!” Rain screamed as she began to back up toward the front door.
Elizabeth glanced around the room and then faced Rain with a look of concern. “There’s no one here, sweetie.”
Oh, my God, Rain thought. This couldn’t be happening. Elizabeth couldn’t not see what was before her very eyes.
Without another word, she turned and flung open the door and ran out of the house, ignoring the nurse’s shouts behind her.
She shot forward, down the driveway, and into the street. She didn’t have time to stop before the car that seemed to come out of nowhere hit her.
“We should have trusted our initial instincts,” Doctor Santiago said to Elizabeth, shortly after she caught her on the way out of the psych ward.
Elizabeth nodded sorrowfully just a few feet from the locked door she was about to exit through when the doctor had entered. “Yes, perhaps we should have, but at least she wasn’t harmed. The car managed to stop just in time.”
The doctor felt bad for the nurse. “She had us all fooled. As soon as the Prozac thing showed up when it shouldn’t have, and then when Doctor Linden kidnapped her, it was easy to think she was totally with it after all. Nonetheless, how did the visit go?”
“This was my first visit to her since my latest transfer and she still seems to believe the woman was in the house and is still after her.”
Elizabeth gazed downward, clearly heartbroken. “I really believed she had been stalked back east and that the person had simply alluded capture all this time. The way she describes what happened to her seemed so real.”
“To her, I don’t doubt that it was very real indeed. That’s the problem with people with her illness; what we know as just fantasy is very real to them.”
A moment of silence as Elizabeth shook her head sadly. “I wonder how long she’s been this way. There was a definite attack on her before the madwoman supposedly came about. Well, an attempted attack, anyway. I read the report online. She had a witness to back her up. The question is, did she lose it after the attempted assault, or has this been going on a lot longer?”
“There’s no way to say for sure unless anyone that knows her well can verify one way or the other. You said a friend of hers recently visited.”
“Yes, but that was before she came to live with me.”
“So you never met her?”
Just then, Rain was walking with a hospital staffer when she spotted Elizabeth and Doctor Santiago. Both the doctor and the nurse turned to look at her.
“That’s her!” Rain suddenly exclaimed.
The staff member, a tall burly guy, glanced curiously from Rain to the doctor and nurse and then back.
“That’s the sicko that’s been stalking me. She found me! Oh, my God, she found me! I’m never going to be free of her. There’s no escape. No escape!”
The doctor and nurse exchanged glances as the orderly tried in vain to calm Rain down.
“That’s her! Get her away from me! She’s going to kill me!”
Rain continued to scream as she fled back down the corridor, more than one staff member now in quick pursuit.