People Disappear All the Time
"JARETH!" Sarah screamed out as she sat bolt upright in her bed.
She looked around her familiar, empty hospital bedroom. It was colder than usual to her heated and throbbing flesh. Between her legs, she was uncomfortably wet. With a groan, she fell back down on her thin mattress, covering her eyes with her arm. There was a now-familiar throb in her core, and she squeezed her legs together, holding onto the sensation as long as she could.
A hot blush rose to her cheeks as she remembered the dream she'd had of Jareth. He'd touched her in so many... in ways that she had never even dreamed of. He'd made her want and cry for things she'd never known existed. He'd taken her innocence, though not entirely. And she hadn't wanted him to stop. "Jareth." She whispered brokenly.
There was no response in the empty room. No one answered her quiet plea. Tears began pooling in her eyes. Why did she have to wake up at that moment? Couldn't she have just enjoyed the time she had with him? It wasn't fair!
With a jolt, she realized what she was saying. He'd always been the villain, but now... God, she couldn't believe that she was admitting to herself that she actually wanted to be with Jareth. Maybe it was just her delusional mind, desperate for an escape from this place, using him for her own selfish pleasure. Then again, he'd said he'd come to help. He said he had been there the whole time. And she wanted to believe him. To believe that he was really here and that he really cared.
Slowly Sarah put a hand down in her pants, finding the wet junction between her legs. The fluids were thick and warm; evidence of the passion she'd shared with the Goblin King. Another blush rose to her cheeks. She'd had her first 'wet dream'. And God help her, she wanted another. With Jareth. Shuddering, she removed her hand, cleaning the moisture from her fingers with her shirt. Quickly she undressed and went into the cold shower, hoping the water would sooth the rioting emotions in her heart.
Standing under the icy stream, she remembered the way his husky voice had sounded, lips whispering against her nub as he'd softly commanded her to say his name. Hungrily his tongue and fingers had driven her to a frenzy, the sensation of his talented appendages a vivid memory she could still feel even under the sharp cold of the shower. She sucked in her lower lip and bit onto it, reaching down to soothe her throbbing nub. The cold water was doing nothing to calm the heat that Jareth had created within her. She leaned her head back against the shower wall, eyes shutting as an image of his mis-matched eyes devouring her rose in her mind's eye. Whimpering, she quickly removed her hand from between her legs.
"Jareth, what have you done?" she mumbled.
She waited, half-expecting a response. Holding her breath, she found herself waiting with anticipation for him to appear with a smirk, ready to finish what he'd started. But he didn't. Releasing the air from her lungs, she gave another glance around the shower before stepping out. Sarah didn't even bother trying to cover herself with the napkin the hospital called a shower towel. Rather, she rubbed herself dry before dressing in fresh clean clothes.
She had to see him. She had to do something, anything. She didn't know what she wanted from the King himself; all she knew was that she just wanted to get out of here. He'd given her a night of freedom and pleasure and dammit, she wanted more. He'd said he could help her. Why had it taken him so long to extend his aid?
Slowly she put on her socks and pushed back her wet hair and let out a sigh. She felt a little better now that she was clean, and the feeling of his lips and hands was slowly disappearing. She didn't want to forget what their tryst had felt like; what he'd felt like. And yet, she was left feeling unsatisfied. If she were to do that again, she wanted to do it while she was awake. She wanted to feel his body against hers, feel his scorching kisses across her skin, and not just in a dream. No matter how vivid, no dream could replace the warmth of his body curling around hers.
She needed to see Robin… no… Jareth. She needed to see Jareth.
Heading out of her room, Sarah went to her right and down the hall to Robin's office. There was no response when she knocked on the door. Likely, he was enveloped in a book again. Tentatively she tried the handle, looking at it with the first flickers of fear in her eyes when it didn't move. She raised her eyebrows and tried the handle again.
Tamping down a sense of trepidation, she turned around and went back down the hall and into the opening where the nurses were. He must have gone out for breakfast or something. She recognized the older nurse, Jackie, who currently was doing some paper work. Sarah shot a glance at the wall clock, noting that it was almost time for Breakfast. It was always served at 7:00 a.m., sharp. Where in the hell was her doctor? He was always there first thing in the morning, usually a quiet observer to the morning activities. Taking a seat, she fidgeted with her hands restlessly. Something was off.
How long was she going to sit there and wait for Robin to show up? She wanted to see him. No, she needed to see him. She needed to talk to him about the dream last night. There was still so much she felt like she didn't understand. Another part of her needed to feel him, to reassure herself that it really hadn't been just a dream created by her deprived imagination. She squeezed her eyes shut, a soft smile curling the corners of her lips as she thought of Jareth. Everything from the way he was dressed to the way he smirked; the way he made her feel.
She was changing and she knew that. She was more aware now than she had been since she'd been put in this damnable hospital. Slowly, Jareth had nursed her back to sanity. Or was it Robin that had brought her back to reality? It was strange, being conflicted between two men who were in fact on in the same. She'd known Robin for the last 5 years, telling him all of her deepest secrets and thoughts, growing close and caring for the kind doctor. Now, those feelings were different, deeper, unidentifiable. Her kind doctor was also the Goblin King.
Deep down, she must have sensed it was him. There was just something about him that had been so familiar, but she'd been so scared of Jareth at first. The more she thought about it, the more sense it made. The way Robin tilted his head or raised his eyebrow. His prodding questions and gentle teasing, his constant challenging of her. In her mind, their faces began to blur and meld, until she couldn't tell where one ended and the other began. Jareth had been watching over her as Robin. It had always been him. She'd shared so much with him over the years; her gentle, passionate King. Hope flared within her breast, her heart fluttering as the feeling spread throughout her. He'd said he could help her; that all she had to do was wish. But what were her right words now? So many years had passed. It was so much more complicated than a simple "I wish", wasn't it? Were the goblins listening again, as they had been all those years ago, waiting for her to say it? And if she did, what then? Would she be forced to spend forever in the Underground, never seeing her family ever again?
"Here you go, honey." Jackie's soft old voice broke through Sarah's thoughts.
She quickly looked up to her side and saw that Jackie had her tray of breakfast in hand. "Thank you."
Jackie smiled and nodded, "It's no problem dear." She set the plate down, handing Sarah a plastic fork and spoon.
Sarah looked down at the tray then quickly back at the nurse, "Have you seen Ja-" She paused, correcting herself "—Doctor Robin anywhere?"
Jackie raised her all but gone eyebrows, "Who dear?"
Jackie shook her head, "I have no idea who that is. Are you feeling okay?"
Sarah gulped back the lump that was rising from her chest to her throat. She nodded slowly, "Yeah… peachy."
"Okay, well… enjoy your breakfast."
She nodded and looked back down at her tray of food and felt panic rising up within her. What the hell was going on? Didn't Nurse Jackie know who her doctor was? She'd worked on this unit for a long time; sure she'd have met him! Sarah glanced at Nurse Jackie's back and watched as she helped other patients with their food, answering the odd question here and there.
Someone sat down across from Sarah, drawing her attention away from the nurse. The girl was young, and appeared to have an inability to sit still. Her eyes darted about as her limbs twitched jerked of their own accord. There was a glazed look to her eyes, warning Sarah that this girl was likely heavily drugged. Judging from the suspicious panic in her eyes, she was also paranoid. Choosing to ignore her strange new breakfast companion, Sara bit on her lower lip while looking back down at her food. Her eyebrows knitted together, creasing her forehead as she got lost in thought. Maybe that was all just a fluke or something. Nurse Jackie is old and could be quite forgetful. Maybe today she's extra absent-minded and just tired.
Feeling a little comforted with her rationalization, she started to pick at her food and eat slowly, chewing on the rubbery eggs thoughtfully. The twitchy girl was trying to eat, but couldn't even hold the fork still. Her blue eyes came up and met Sarah's green ones, Sarah quickly averting her gaze back to her food, eating a little faster. The faster she finished, the faster she could find Jareth. She had to see him. She had to talk to him.
The girl across from her began to scream, startling Sara from her thoughts. "Is this gluten free? I can't eat gluten!" The paranoid girl shouted, shoving her tray away suddenly and nearly toppling Sarah's glass of orange juice.
Sarah looked up and watched the girl, who stared at her tray as though it was a venomous snake. Her eyes briefly met Sarah's before she then looked to Nurse Jackie, who had made it to the table faster than Sarah would have thought possible for someone of her age..
"I want new food! I'm allergic to gluten!"
Sarah rolled her eyes and watched as Nurse Jackie came over and took the tray from the girl. "If you don't eat what is given to you then you don't eat at all. I checked your chart. You don't have a gluten allergy."
Sarah raised her eyebrows at how severe Nurse Jackie's tone was. It was hostile, not a trace of her earlier kindness in it. Frustrated nurses occasionally would become sharp with patients, but the way Jackie snapped at this poor girl was just plain mean. For all Jackie knew, the girl could be right. Maybe the chart was wrong.
"You stupid bitch! You don't care if I die?" The patient yelled, standing up with her fists balled threatening at her sides.
"I do care, but you simply don't have a gluten allergy. Eat or don't eat, I don't care, it's your choice. But I will not let you disturb the others with your behavior or provide you with "special food" because you mistakenly believe you might have a gluten allergy."
Sarah's mouth opened in shock and she stared at the two. What the hell was going on? Since when did Nurse Jackie become rude? When did patients start acting like this? Sarah quickly got up from her seat and rushed down the same hallway to Robin's office. Something was very, very, VERY wrong. She quickly knocked and tried the door and again. Still locked.
She let out a scream and banged on the door, "I want to see my doctor!" Her voice echoed loudly through the hallways, drawing the attention of two large male nurses as she continued to beat on the solid barrier.
Turning at the sound of their footsteps, she went wide eyed at the size of them. Pressing against the door as they advanced she tried to convince them that she wasn't a stark raving lunatic. "I'm fine. I'm calm." She said a tremor of fear in her voice. She pressed more firmly against the door. Her voice rose in panic as they closed in. "Please don't touch me!"
The two males ignored her and grabbed her by the arms, "Sarah, you need to calm down." One of them said, holding her firmly as she tried to pull away.
"I am calm." She screamed, tugging harder to get away.
"I've got her. Get the other one." The nurse holding her said, cocking his nose towards her currently free arm.
Sarah struggled to get out of his grasp, "Let go of me! I'm fine! I just want to see Robin! LET ME SEE ROBIN!"
The male nurse started walking, pulling Sarah along. "There is no Robin."
She looked up at him shocked and shook her head, "No! He's my doctor. There is a Robin!"
"Calm down." He persisted as he lugged her into an empty room, devoid even of furniture.
"I am calm!" She screamed out again.
He produced a syringe from his pocket, deftly flicking off the cap with his thumb before plunging the needle deep into her arm. Depressing the plunger, she felt the flood of sedative flowing into her. Her screams ricocheted off the bare walls as she thrashed violently, nearly succeeding in dislodging the needle. He held firm until she began to slump, her muscles becoming heavy and liquid. Her head swam, thoughts becoming distant and sluggish, vision blurring. She was aware of her knees hitting the floor, but felt nothing beyond the dull sense of impact as she landed. Her damp hair became a curtain as her head rolled limply forward, obscuring what was left of her watery sight.
"I'll be back to check on you." He said as he left the room. The heavy deadbolt slid into place with unnaturally heavy click, reaching even her dulled ears.
Sarah let out a soft sob, her body trembling as she struggled frantically against her rapidly fading senses to remain conscious. But Sarah's will was no match for the sedative, and she slipped into darkness.
"So tell me who this Robin is." The doctor across from Sarah asked gently. He was a black man with a kind expression. His shaved head reflected the dull florescent lights, and even with his suit and tie Sarah could see the distinct outline of chiseled biceps.
"He's my doctor. I've been seeing him for five years now. How is it that you don't know him?! Check my files." Sarah leaned forward in her seat to take a peek at the file that this new doctor shuffled through.
The doctor looked down at the file and flipped through the pages and shook his head. "Sarah, there are no notes from a Robin Zakar." He paused. "It appears your case was so severe they had trouble finding a doctor to treat you. They were giving you a placebo until someone could be found to treat you."
Sarah shook her head, "That's not right! Robin...Doctor Zakar...has been seeing me. I've been talking to him almost daily. He's been prescribing me medicine."
Nothing was making sense. How was it that Robin's presence just disappeared? Why would Jareth have left her? Especially after what they'd done last night in her dreams.
The doctor shook his head again and placed his hands over the file and looked at her seriously, speaking slowly. His tone was gentle, attempting to reassure her. "You've been going through this whole time unseen. Anything you saw was likely a symptom of your schizophrenia. You haven't been taking any medicine; but I will be correcting that soon. I don't know what you think you've experienced in the past five years, but I would like to try a few different medications to start. It will help you level and make sense of things."
Sarah stared at him in open-mouthed shock, gaping like a fish at his words. What the hell was going on?! She shook her head wildly and felt close to tears. Where was Jareth? Why wasn't he here? He promised that he would be here! Anger combined with confusion, and she gripped the chair tightly as the room seemed to spin around her.
"I'll be your doctor from now on. My name is Ruben Moore. What I'm going to have you start is Latuda along with some klonopin for the anxiety. It will act as a mood stabilizer; the Latuda should help you sleep better."
"What?" She struggled to make sense of what he was saying. It felt like the wind had been knocked from her lungs. "What was I taking before?"
He looked down and fingered through some pages then looked up at her, "A placebo. Sugar pill. No medication in it."
Sarah laughed dryly and shook her head, "No no no… I've been taking some medicine. Especially at night to help me sleep. It worked."
He raised his eyebrows and looked back down at the file and scanned over a few lines and pursed his lips. "It doesn't show anything about you needing a sleep aid."
Sarah glared at him, "You're messing with me right? I've been taking a pill to help me sleep and dream. Doctor Robin has been documenting everything and been discussing my…" She stopped swallowing thickly.
When she hesitated, Doctor Moore gently prodded her. "Your...?"
She gulped down the lump rising in her throat. Sarah didn't know if she should tell him everything that has been going on. Her head spun, thoughts chasing each other madly. The effects of the injection were still faint in her veins, making it difficult to focus. Trying to hide her rising confusion, she looked away quickly and stared at the wall. Everything in the office was different. The desk. The walls. Even the damn clock that ticked away the minutes with maddening loudness. Still refusing to look at him, her voice was barely above a whisper when she finally spoke. "What I went through was real. I don't care what you think. What happened really did happen and he was here. He was helping me."
Doctor Moore folded his hands together and waited for Sarah to finish her breathless tirade. When she stopped speaking, he considered his next words carefully. "When you say it happened, are you talking about the incident five years ago? Where some magical being took your baby brother?"
"Yes." Sarah said pitifully. "It was the Goblin King. Jareth. He was here. He has been here."
He nodded his head, "And what has he been doing?"
Sarah blinked and leaned back slowly, "He's been listening to me. He's been helping me. He made me feel like I wasn't crazy. I'm not crazy. I didn't know it was him at first but then I put pieces together and found out it was him. He's been visiting in my dreams."
"And what has he been doing in your dreams?" Doctor Moore looked down and picked up a pen and started to write down notes.
Sarah blushed and watched the pen as it moved in scribbles. "He's been showing me something, trying to tell me something. I still don't understand fully what he's doing." She furrowed her eyebrows and pouted out her lower lip, struggling to make sense of her thoughts. "He was showing me that it really did happen. They are everywhere actually. They could be here, in this office!"
The doctor looked up and raised his eyebrows, "Who could be here?"
He looked back down and scribbled some more and then looked back at her, "Do you see them right now?"
She shook her head negatively, "They hide. That's what they do. They listen in on conversations. But they have got to be here right now. They are waiting for me to say something…" she looked away and down at her hands. What were the right words? What could she say to make Jareth appear? He said all she had to do was make a wish.
"What are they waiting for you to say?"
Sarah shook her head, "The last time I said the right words he took my baby brother away."
He scribbled down what she said and put the pen down and let out a sigh. "Okay well… I think what we are going to do is put you through a series of ECT's. We'll start tomorrow morning."
Sarah raised her eyebrows, "What?"
He closed the file, clearing his throat, deliberately placing his pen in its holder. "Electroconvulsive Therapy. It's a series of electric shocks to your brain. Don't worry Sarah, you'll be asleep for that part, and they'll just be minor shocks. But it should help you with your… hallucinations."
Sarah laughed dryly, "Hallucinations? They aren't hallucinations. They are real."
He nodded slowly, "To you, they seem real. To you they are real. But that's not the truth. They are nothing but hallucinations and we are here to correct that. I can't believe you've gone this whole time untreated. But you will be taken care of now, don't worry about that."
Sarah shook her head slowly and felt tears in her eyes, "But I don't want…"
Doctor Moore stood up and walked around and stood next to her and helped her stand up. "We are at the point where we have to take these steps. It seems drastic, but it's the quickest way to help you."
Sarah looked at him horrified and shook her head, "I really don't want to."
He patted her hand as he walked her to the door. "You'll start the new medications after you eat your dinner tonight. You have to take it with food, otherwise you could feel sick. You should start feeling better soon as your symptoms start to stabilize."
"But I don't need it! I'm okay! I'm not crazy. Jareth was here. He's probably—"
"Sarah, he is not real."
A tear slipped from her eye and fell down her cheek. "He is."
"I'll see you later. But until then… be safe and try to think happy thoughts."
She was alone in the hallway, too stunned to even cry anymore.