This is a return to the short story/blog serial that I began in January of 2013. The following link will take you to the post of the first Episode. https://julieamrivera.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/deja-you-episode-1/
Marian didn’t believe one syllable that fell from his lips. Drake was a liar. He’d lied to her when they were in school together, pretending that he’d support her project, join her team, only to go behind her back and develop a competitive proposal of his own and a group of his cronies in the department to research it with him. He had been willing to stop at nothing to short of sabotage to gain the grant.
That’s what this was. She smiled. Sabotage! Or at the very least, deflection. What was her best move. She was spoiling for a fight, but she had utterly failed at securing allies from the lab. Perhaps, though, she hadn’t really tried hard enough. Another attempt was in order.
“Drake take me to the lab again.”
She saw the deep sigh lift his still bare chest and lower it. “Ok.”
“Oh and Drake,” she began.
“Let’s stop by my specialist’s office on the way. Dr. Reinsert, was it? You were so eager for me to see him yesterday. Maybe he can explain my condition to me in a slightly more medical manner. Your bumblings almost made me think you invented this disease just now to throw me off the scent.”
“Dr. Reinsert is your shrink, love. Dr. Klaus is your primary care doctor at this point.”
“Klaus, that lying rat. He spent all of ten minutes telling me there was essentially nothing the matter with me and my present situation except you. When I get my hands on his throat…”
“They’ll lock you up for good this time. How’d you like to be married to a cellmate for the next 40 years or even better spend them in a padded room.”
“I thought he was just some ER doctor. And why did he lie to me?”
“Under the circumstances, since you were in shock and acting belligerent, your parents, the doctor and I decided to wait to spring your disorder on you until you were capable of coping.”
“Well consider me capable. And call that lying… and tell him to expect us.”
Drake bowed. “Your wish is my command principessa.”
“Huh. I think you mean evil witch.”
He laughed in glee. “You said it, dear, not me.”
The kind somewhat sympathetic Dr. Klaus looked far too comfortable with the situation than she had counted on. She had really expected the entire ruse to be dismembered before her eyes. Instead she was given free reign over her file.
It seemed as though the two Drs. in the room would like her to believe she had a newly discovered form of Korsakoff Syndrome, only it hadn’t been the result of heavy drinking. Her body simply stopped producing Thiamine on its own years ago.
“They have begun to refer to your condition as Prowse Syndrome after the Cornish doctor who first diagnosed a young girl in his care.”
“So she is one of the suicides?”
Dr. Klaus slowly nodded his head. “The girl lasted two episodes, each with a time loss of less than a year, and wrote a note explaining she couldn’t live with her condition. But Marian, it should be noted that she did have a history of depression.”
Marian threw her body off the examination bench where she’d been skimming her chart. “And the other victim of this mysterious disorder, did he also suffer from depression?”
“No, Marian. That young man from Texas was in the military. He took his life when he was issued an honorable discharge shortly after his first episode. He wouldn’t consider a life out of the service. His doctors and therapists all agree it was a stubborn act of defiance.”
She began pacing from one side of the room to the other. Dr. Klaus took a seat seeming to give her space to think up more questions.
“Treatment? Thiamine injections? What has been done?”
Dr. Klaus cleared his throat. “Marian we’ve tried drugs used for Korsakoff Syndrome, as well as large doses of Thiamine. There has been no change in your condition. In fact, after one experimental shot, you slipped into a coma for two months. Afterwards, you signed an advance directive refusing any pharmaceutical treatment three years ago.”
“Let me guess, Drake is my patient advocate?”
“Yes, that was your express wish.”
Marian’s laugh flung a wad a spit through the air.
“And were you present long enough to see the concealed weapon pointed in my direction as I was signing this document?”
Dr. Klaus got up. “Marian listen, believe it or not, you have always shown a lot of affection for Drake. You’ve allowed him to steady you throughout your time with this disease. You all but begged him to continue your research during your episodes. Between realizing your dream and taking care of you, he has no life of his own. Isn’t there any small part of you that can believe that loving you has changed him into a better man? That he is capable of attaining and maintaining your respect, trust, and love? Because he has. You have.”
Before he could get another word in, Marion blurted, “So you’re saying that after my previous episodes I regained lost memory.”
“Yes. And as I’m sure Drake has told you, it has always been short term loss: two months, six months, nine months. Never more than a year. This ultimately has us stumped.”
“You think that I am paranoid don’t you. That I have slipped into the delusional phase. So what I am making this whole thing up about how I hate Drake. He mentioned a padded room. You plan on getting me admitted?”
For a moment she thought she saw a small smile in his eyes. His expression quickly returned to his expressionless default.
“No Marian, we have no plans of the kind. You are perfectly competent and functioning. Although you have showed signs of frustration, you have never displayed any abnormal behavior now or during any of your episodes. I actually believe you to be in a state of shock. I am hopeful that you will come to accept things when you are ready, and that your memory will return to you when your mind is ready.”
He stopped. Then started. “I would suggest a brief visit to Dr. Reinsert. He can help you much better than I can with coping strategies during this time.”
Seeing this as her best chance of gaining their trust, Marian put on her most submissive face and said, “Yes, doctor. I’ll have Drake arrange a visit.”
Marian shook her head. She was surrounded by highly trained manipulators of the covert persuasion. After another acting engagement at her shrink’s office, she was finally headed to the lab.
“Don’t you think you’ve had enough for one day, Mara?” Drake cooed.
“No, I am fine. All these doctors must be slipping me muscle relaxers because I feel numb all over. No, I’d like to talk with Janice and maybe Francis too.”
It’s always the quiet one’s, she thought.
Drake rocked his head to the right to gaze at her. “I don’t think you’re crazy. This has really been a kick to my system too, you know. And believe it or not, I do love you. I’m still not sure why, but what I feel for you hasn’t changed, although my tactics for getting your attention sure have.”
She snorted. “Likely story,” she muttered under her breath.
“What was that?”
“Nothing Casanova. I’m just in a foul mood. It’s not every day a girl finds out she can’t remember the best years of her young life. In fact, I need some time to process all this. Maybe my parents will reconsider…”
He stopped her in her place grabbing her left shoulder. “Don’t leave me Marian. I’ll change. Learn to be the man you want, the man you need. Don’t walk away yet. Give me a chance to win you again.”
The hope in his eyes was enough to melt her cold bitter heart. Well, that was until she remembered the phone call she’d overheard. I must be the dumbest scientist to walk the earth. They really hooked me these guys. They got my parents, they got me, they own Drake, Klaus and Reinsert are their agents. This is absolutely crazy. That’s got to be it. I was right. They expect me to go crazy.
At that moment Marian decided she couldn’t lose it. And she wasn’t going to die either. She had to learn to do something even Drake knew she had no skill for: playing nice. If she could alter her behavior to a kinder, softer Marian, maybe they would see her as someone they could control. That would at least keep her alive.
Or so she hoped.