No one believed her but she knew- she knew they’d changed her somehow. It wasn’t just a simple medical procedure like they’d told her it would be. She’d never acted like this before- losing track of time, ending up in places she didn’t remember going to. And they’d never used words like “paranoid” or “delusional” to describe her before. No way a simple medical procedure would do that.
The first time it had happened she’d ‘woken up’ in a back alley. It wasn’t like she’d been sleeping- it was like coming back into conscious after fainting. Like her mind had just been somewhere else. She didn’t remember how she’d gotten there. All she could recall was the strains of a song that was familiar in a way she couldn’t place. It was stuck in her head but she couldn’t hum the chords when she tried- forever caught on the tip of her tongue without the finality of sound.
She tried to convince herself it was sleep walking or amnesia or something that would explain the memory gaps. She’d even contemplated the possibility that it might be a brain tumor but a CAT scan had eliminated that hypothesis. She couldn’t tell anyone- she knew they’d lock her up. But it was happening more and more often.
Then one day she finally ‘woke up’ in a jail cell and the police told her they’d found her standing over a body. They told her they suspected it was only the most recent of several they’d been finding. She’d had enough- she told them. Told them how they’d put something in her during the surgery. That none of this was her fault, that she wasn’t in control. That’s when they shipped her to the nuthouse and the doctors started using those terms. Idiots.
She didn’t have long to be scared though, only one day later she had a visitor. It seemed strange to have someone come see her when they’d deemed her a threat to both herself and others- especially considering that she had no friends or family or anyone else that might come to visit. But when she saw him it made sense. Plain suit, nondescript face. The kind of person you’d see a thousand times on the subway and never remember. She knew he had come from them- the ones that had made her this way.
He spoke to her in soothing tones, told her it would be ok, that he would get her out of there. Said he’d know this time had been difficult for her but that ‘testing’ was hard for everyone. He said the word as if it were standard operating procedure from some employee manual.
She tried to explain to him calmly that wherever he was from they had the wrong girl. But all of her protests were met with an air of calm disregard and hurried attitude like there was too much to do. She was getting ready to make a run for it when he started humming a familiar tune. She had just enough time to think “I wonder when I’ll wake up again”… then that strange haze fell over her vision again.