I got a call at six a.m. the next morning from the police asking me to come down to the hospital. I hurriedly got ready and rushed out of my apartment. When I reached the hospital, I found Mr. Conrad sitting outside, head in his hands, murmuring to himself, flanked by two burly policemen. I went closer.
“Ma’am what business do you have here?” one of the policemen asked.
“I work here” I said hoarsely. “Wat happened? What’s wrong with Mr. Conrad?”
By now I could hear what he was murmuring to himself. “It can’t be, how is it possible? It can’t be, it can’t be”, he kept on saying.
Without waiting for an answer, I went into the building to the common area and found a small crowd towards Sam’s room. I hurried over to find all sorts of activity going on inside the room. Policemen shouting instructions, one policeman photographing the room, one rifling through Sam’s closet. Sam was in his wheelchair, head slumped over the table, his mouth agape, the flicker gone from his brown eyes with its green flecks. I gasped.
“How did this happen?” I finally managed to whisper to the policeman in the room.
“Well ma’am we are not sure yet, the autopsy will confirm but it looks like his body had some kind of a reaction to one of these medicines”, he said pointing at the array of drugs kept on the table.
“And we found him writing in this journal, any idea about it?” handing me his diary.
I looked at the last few pages. “Sam you can do it, Sam you can do it, Sam you can do it” was all that was scrawled in Sam’s lazy cursive. Except the last page where he had been writing last night.
“I finally did it, I asked her out in some way I guess. It’s been ages since I felt this giddy and stupid. I think the muscles around my mouth are still frozen like hers were. She became awkward too. That’s a good sign…”
The writing seemed to have paused a few minutes.
“That Mr. Conrad came in to ask if I had taken the new medicine. That guy is really creepy sometimes. I told him Janice had left it on the table for me. He asked me to take two of them instead of one and wouldn’t leave until I had taken them, strange little man. I just wanted him to leave so I took the medicines and smiled at him. He left and asked me to sleep soon, like that’s happening tonight after what I said to Jan….”
and then the writing turned into crazy lines all over the page with an ink blot in the middle of the page. There were a few lines scrawled in shaky handwriting at the bottom.
“I had one of my visions again. This time it was different. I saw my family and they spoke to me even this time. My mom talked to me about the night they died. She said they were happy now. She said they could see I was happy too. I told them I couldn't agree more.
And the hazy misshapen figure took shape today. I stared-it wasn’t Janice like I had joked earlier tonight. It was some other woman I didn’t know. My father spoke to me. “Sam, this is Agatha”. It was then that I recognized her from the portrait that hung on the hospital common room wall.
She said to me, ”I am sorry Sam, but after my death my husband never meant to let any of those patients get better again. It was his way of getting revenge of some sort and finding solace for my early death, he blamed the world and so, he has been drugging the patients to make them suffer all this while. Nobody could suspect him and who would believe a bunch of mentally challenged people? Tell Janice, she will believe you."
Mr. Conrad’s new medicine seems to be doing something strange to me, I am cold. But I don’t care, I still can’t believe it, I talked to them Janice. This is the best night of my life. I asked you out and I met my family."