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The Phantom Pains

by  waydownunder

Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Word Count: 974
Summary: Grief, guilt and diagnosis.

Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

Drake pulled his lab coat to the side and bent down to make eye contact with her. He pulled his glasses off and began to clean them.

"Theres nothing wrong with you." he said. "Do do you want to tell me whats really wrong? Whats really bothering you? What that pain really smells like? hmm?"

She looked to the corners of the room, not making a effort to hide her tears.

"I cant breath." she said. "Thats a real probelm now isnt it?"

Drake was not going to have anymore of this. "This constant craving is dangerous. Do you understand me? I wont have you faking it. You're not scaring me. To be honest I dont really care. Im not here to ask you about your mother or if you were abused as a child. Im not here for your stories"

She made strong eye contact and spoke with conviction, "My behaviour has frequently been described as being intoxicated. Thats what they say say say.."

Drake was unimpressed. " Im gonna give you something for that lisp. Have a nice day."

"You gotta help me. Cars seem like horses taking a piss. People, they all look the same. Im just trying to save some time. I feel like I am encouraging this disease. It making me bleed and im falling in love with it. Im just angry. I know theres no miracle coming."

The white tiles started to turn green with moss. There were a lot patients that came through, but noone had the audacity to spaek upto Drake like she did.

"Your not ill. Physically or mentally. Are we clear? I want you to go back home or Im going to call your mum and tell her what you have been upto. are we clear?"

"I just wait for the sun to dissolve" she said. " Im here, sick, for you. Disembowel me. Do anything I dont care."

"Maybe. In another place. In another time. Your too young." Drake had to find a way to make this work. He had to make her go away. Keep her away and keep her quiet." Look, I appreciate our friendship and i appreciate you keep my secret. But your young and i can get into serious trouble if i encourage your infatiuation. I know your not ill. Just go home"

" But I feel like it all the time. I just want you to fix me up. Just so i can look back in the future and laugh at my struggles with nothing. Im empty."

"And unhappy. Its just that stage in your life. You dont know what the future holds. Many of the most successful people in the world are inert like you. Its alright to not feel anything, you know. Its such a advantage."

"But I didnt want this" she said.

Drake was not going to listen to this again. " Oh for fucks sake. Im sorry alright? Im sorry. I am. I really am. I didnt mean for you to take it. I didnt know. But im not going to fucking feel bad about it. I give people what they want. And if they are neive enough to think they want to be emotionally numb for the rest of their lives, its not my bloody fault now is it?"

She began to spit blood. Drake wanted to run away from this. She was far too young. Or maybe she wasnt. Maybe everyone who took the pill was dying like her.

"You see." she said. "I feel like I shouldnt exist . But i dont want to die. And i dont want to know whats wrong."

Drake just couldnt tell her she was dying. "You will be fine. Just go home. THere is nothing wrong with you. All you want is a little attnention. Now go home."

She collapsed into herself everytime her mind wandered.

" I cant afford to not be a mystery, you know. Your always looking for answers but you never think you would find it. The truth is dissapointing when its simple. Its a disaster when its simple. The journey is usually sufficiently long to not be meaningless. The dissapointment is your very being."

Drake didnt want to hear this. He had to let this go. "You need to go" he said. " You've eaten my insides enough, just go."

"The name of the disease is dissapointment enough. It doesnt bring any comfort. You dont want a cure. Your tumor is your arm. You are the scab. Hope is gay. Sleep is in. Thats all i do. Its boring when im not bored. Im that red gravel road road you want to get past. Im that broken fence."

There was fire in her eyes. She wanted to scream and she did.

"Look at what you have done to me, you bastard! Look. Im not just a number now, Im your every nightmare!"

Drake dragged her by her arm and flung her outside. What was he going to do. How was he going to let it be.

As he peered through the key hole he watched his daughter pick herself up and walk away. "Its not your fault." He said to himself. He knew it was his fault she kept coming back. She came back because he hadnt forgiven himself. He was not a doctor anymore. He as not a father anymore. Only in his mind, maybe, had his dead daughter not forgiven him. Maybe only in his mind did his daughter keep his dirty secret.

Drake turned around to fling his daughter's things into the river, from over the bridge. As he cried aloud and screamed at the passing traffic, he remebered he had to take his medication.
"It will all be ok soon." he said to himself. " I wont feel a thing. Soon. I wont feel a thing."