7 - Geoffrey
He’s lying on his bed, head under the damp sweat-soaked sheets, trying to keep out the noise. All morning he could hear the hum of the heater seeping through the vents in the wall above the bed, wondering how safe it really was in this place. He couldn’t get out.
He wasn’t locked in his room but the front door to the building was closed and would only open if one of the nurses waved a key fob over the little red light on the wall. He’d stood there watching the light turn to green and heard the door click open. The nurses would turn and tell him to stand away from the door before they tried to pass through. But it was OK. He didn’t want to leave yet anyway. It was just the noises in the vents that were getting to him.
Why was he here?
Because of what happened in the shop he guessed. It was only a charity shop so he couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Everyone else who worked there took things home without paying for them. He’d have given them the money for all the toys he’d taken home if only they’d asked. And the little boy who’d wanted to buy the Lego set was alright, wasn’t he? He’d only meant to frighten him a little bit - was only playing. He hadn’t wanted to hurt him - it was just the noise the boy made - it really got to Geoffrey.
The nurse was at his door. He looked up and saw her peering through the slats on the little window. Checking on him. ‘Go away, go away, go away,’ he thought to himself, too afraid to speak out loud. Why did they have to keep watching him all the time? They called it “Obs”. He was on fifteen minute obs apparantly. That meant that wherever he was on the ward, someone would come along with a clip-board every quarter of an hour to see where he was and what he was doing, tick the board and move on to the next patient. Nights were the worst. He’d be trying to sleep and the light would go on in his room - the slats on the window would slide open and eyes would stare in at him - just to see if he was still breathing he supposed. Sometimes he held his breath - just to see if they noticed. They never did.