It is just another weekday. I am in my clinic, treating people.
As a doctor, you’re always in charge. The nurses have no choice but to listen to you. You can boss the nurses however you want. You could even make them do your work.
But I didn’t. I was a fair doctor. I was not going to cheat by giving my work to my nurses unlike some people I know.
As the evening comes to an end, I am going to leave with my nurses, I have locked all the doors. Then I go to lock the last door, the office.
The door is wide open, revealing a room full of papers, books and documents everywhere! My desk is almost hidden from the huge amount of papers in that room.
I sigh. I had promised myself I would get rid of it by this week. Well, today was the last day technically if you don’t count the weekends.
I debate inside my head whether to do it or not.
Unfortunately, I decide to finish it. I’m the type of person who likes everything to be done, or it’ll just keep bugging me until I do it.
I settle down in my dusty office. I force myself to push through that gigantic amount of papers that needs to be sorted out. I draw my breath, and decide to start with this year’s documents first.
An hour later, this year’s documents are almost complete. I feel exhausted and worn out, I decide to take a break.
I walk to the front desk in my clinic, which has a water dispenser. I drink thirstily for about a minute until I am satisfied.
Turning around, I notice a piece of crumpled paper in the dustbin. I frown. I had asked the nurses to empty the bin everyday before going home.
I sigh and pick the crumpled paper up and smooth it out. I glance at the title. My heart burst into millions of pieces.
I tear the paper into pieces and throw them violently on the floor. Forgetting that I am an OCD about keeping the place clean.
My lips tremble violently. I grab my purse and run out of there, forgetting to lock the door and my promise of cleaning the room.
Thoughts are running through my mind. I thought I had kept that paper away. Away from the world. Locked in a drawer in the office only I knew.
My heart sinks, I remember giving the keys to that drawer to one of my nurses to check if my purse was there when I had lost it. Obviously she had found it. Then showed it to everyone else. I am exposed.
I drive home, with that paper stuck in my mind. I spent years, going for therapy, and helping myself to forget it. And now, fate was cruel on me and shoved this memory in my face once more.
I promised myself I would forget it. I wanted to forget. But the world is enormous. I knew one day, it would come back. I knew it would never let go. I knew it would find me again one day. And now, it has.
Once I reach home, I bury myself under the blankets and force myself to sleep. I refuse to think about the memory. I won’t.
I wake up feeling groggy. The morning is bright as sunlight floods into my bedroom. Birds are chirping and the trees are smiling.
Yes, it is a joyful day. Unfortunately, I am feeling the exact opposite.
I had thought sleep would cure my distress, sadly, it would take more than a night for me to become better.
In fact, it had just become worse. I had the nightmare. It was obvious what nightmare it was.
The night the whole thing happened. It just replayed in my head. The anger, the shove, the scream, the splash. Everything.
It had been almost two years, since that nightmare. I used to have the nightmare so frequently, I was scared to sleep. Now, it has come back.
I trudge to the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee. What else could I do? I couldn’t just make the whole world forget. I wish I could.
I open the cabinet to bring out the sugar and coffee powder. I sigh. There is only a spoonful of sugar and one coffee packet left. I finish it both to make my coffee.
I would have to go to the shop. But I was afraid. Even though it was probably only my nurses who knew, news can spread fast. Like how it did last time.
I sit down on my rocking chair and stare ahead. I glance at my coffee and see the brown liquid rocking dangerously at the edge of the cup.
Suddenly, the whole incident flashed before my eyes. I can’t take it any longer. I call my mum.
After a few moments of hearing the monotonous ring, I finally hear the sweet sounding voice of my mum.
‘Hello? Sweetie? Is this you?’ she asks.
‘Yes mum.’ I reply, on the verge of tears.
‘What’ s wrong honey?’ mum asks. I smile a little. My mum can always tell if something’s wrong.
‘It’s just that-’ I don’t continue because by then, I'm sobbing. All the tears that I was holding from yesterday floods in now.
My mum lets me cry patiently waiting. I explain the whole thing breaking only to cry again. I explain how I kept it in the drawer, how the nurses find it, how I see it in the dustbin, everything.
‘Oh honey, I’m so sorry.’ she says, meaning it.
‘I can’t move again!’ I sob.
‘You don’t have to honey, you could just face it. I mean, the decision is up to you.’
‘I don’t know mum. I could never face it. I just, well, I’m so settled here. I got a job here as a doctor for two years now! If I move, I’ll have to start again.’ I say
‘I know honey. It’s really hard. But you’ve moved three times already. You can’t just move your whole life.’
‘I don’t know mum. Never mind. Thanks for calling. Bye.’ I say and hang off.
My mum is right. Ever since the incident I had moved. Of course I didn’t want to show my face. Then people found out about it there. Everywhere I went, the past always caught up.
I had already been moved from California, to Nevada, to Utah and now, in Colorado. Was I going to change again?
My throat was parched by now. I took a sip of my coffee. My cold coffee. I gazed out of the window.
I was able to see the children playing in the playground. A feeling of resentment rose up my throat. They were innocent children who were free of burdens.
Unlike me. I choked my resentment down. This was the reason in the first place everything happened. I closed my eyes and replay the whole incident in my head.
It is a breezy afternoon. The day is calm. I am not. I go to my favorite spot in the afternoon. I feel frustrated.
My job interview had not been accepted. I look out to the sea. The sea looks so calm. I had a temper. It always flares up so suddenly then disappears as quickly.
That is the reason the cliff that looked out to sea was my favourite place. The sea is always calm. It always calms me down.
But today, I can’t not be calmed down easily. A lady about my age appears behind me. She sits opposite me and does the same as me: looks out to sea.
‘A wonderful view, don’t you think?’ she says in a British accent. I shrug my shoulders, still feeling frustrated and now, annoyed that this lady had come. As far as I know, it was my spot.
‘Not feeling good? This must be the perfect place to cheer you up.’ She says sensing my anger. I don’t answer.
‘This is one of my best days though. Best days.’ She murmurs with a smile on her face. I look at her curiously. She sort of reminds me of someone.
‘What happened?’ I ask, curiously.
‘My job interview was approved! My dream came true. I always loved to work there and now, I am.’ she says dreamily.
I look at her, now even more infuriated. Was it a coincidence that she got her job interview and I didn’t?
‘Amazing! What job did you get! I’m so interested!’ I say sarcastically.
‘Oh, I got a job at the PNFA hospital as a doctor.’ she says, her eyes shining. Obviously she doesn’t understand sarcasm.
I freeze, this is too identical to be a coincidence.
‘And was this job interview in any case, this morning at 10:00am?’ I ask, my heart beating faster.
‘How did you know?’ she says curiously.
That sentence alone was enough. My temper was now, at the highest level it has ever been.
I stand up fuming in anger. ‘Because I went for that job interview, and did not get it.’ my eyes flashing dangerously.
‘Oh… oh I’m sorry.’ she says inching away clearly scared of me.
‘You stole my place! That was supposed to be mine!’ I scream in fury.
‘Okay, I’m just going to go now.’ she says nervously, now shrinking back even faster.
‘Oh no, you are not going anywhere.’ I growl.
I run and grab her arms tightly. She screams out loud calling for help. But we both know no one’s coming. This cliff was far away from people.
My heart’s boiling by now. I want to end her. See no more of her. Make her go away forever. Only one way to do that.
I advance to the side of the cliff holding her tightly. She realizes what I’m doing and struggles violently. I don’t let go. Standing at the edge, I dangle her away from the ground.
‘You love this view, don’t you? Now, you can become one with it.’ I snarl in her ear.
With that, I release her, allowing her to plummet to the calm sea below. I continue watching, seeing her plunge into the sea. I wait for a few moments. She doesn’t come up. I realise what had happened. What have I done?
I jolt back to reality. My heart is beating fast. That always happens when I think about it. From a memory. How could I have done that? How?
From that day onward, I had hated my temper and most of all, the sea. So much for the sea being the most peaceful thing ever. I had realized from that day that the sea was a cruel place.
Closing my eyes, I recalled the rest of the memory.
My temper cools down a few moments later. I look horrified at the sea below. Panic spreads throughout my body.
I am definitely going to be framed as a murderer. The word ringed in my ears even though I don’t say it out aloud. A murderer…I was a murderer.
Still in shock, I go home, without being able to do anything else. Three days have passed and my wicked secret is still kept.
Then, in the evening, the news comes out. It seems that the lady’s name was Evelyn Gray and her body was found on the beach shore.
I feel terrible. Immediately I go to my parents house and admit everything to them while blubbering.
Surprisingly, my parents are understanding. Yes, they are a bit mad and shocked but they stand by me everyday as I face the world.
The next day, I go to the police station, and turn myself in. What other choice do I have? Unless I count living as an outcast forever which I certainly won’t.
That is the day I find out how frightening policemen are. I desperately try to explain it was an accident. No use, they give me a jail sentence for two years.
My ears are ringing. This is impossible. Was I, a top A student, a teacher’s pet now going to jail? It is almost impossible.
I spend two years in jail sleeping and in depression. They pass slowly. When I am finally released, my parents are extremely anxious for my health.
I don’t blame them. I am half my size, smell like garbage and am so weak I can hardly talk.
Prison was like hell. Scratch that, it was twice the pain of hell. I never before felt so… bad. I have to go for so much therapy and medicine to recover.
I have got thousands of calls, messages and what not from people I know. I can’t face it. I move. I stop having contact with anyone except my parents.
The police give me a document. They tell me, in twenty years, I needed to bring it to the police station. For what? I did not know. I did not care. All I care about is hiding that document from everyone and tearing it up after twenty years.
When I open my eyes, I realize my coffee is spilt all over my lap. I don’t care. That memory made me feel hellish and miserable.
I spend the next two days just brooding over the memory and thinking about how I would have to move. I could never face my nurses ever again.
So much time has passed just brooding over pain and the past. Tomorrow, I would either leave, or see my nurses. I don’t know. I have been running from the past for five years now.
How could I ever live a proper life? Even though I forced myself to forget about the past, I knew it would never be gone forever.
I decide right now, I am going to face them. I am going to stop hiding. I’m finally going to face the truth. I’m going to work tomorrow.