Chapter 1:

My Story

Dear Sunshine,

"Next one. We've got B-22, everyone. B-22. B-22. Did anyone get B-22? Don't be afraid to speak it up."

Alex's booming voice filled the room. He was a charismatic television host, and the bingo event was his idea. Thanks to this place, I've met famous people like him. He wears a cool hat.

"B-23. Come on, everyone. Don't fall asleep on me now. It's just getting good. B-23. I can smell it. We're close to a winner."

Come on, let's move on to the next person. This time it's someone a bit different from the others. His name is Steven Bann. Steven, not Stephen. A quiet and enigmatic figure, was known for his eccentricities. He wore a fedora and sunglasses indoors, which only added to his mysterious aura. Sometimes he'd engage in conversation, but often he would simply gaze into the distance, lost in his thoughts. And also, he'll get angry if you get his name wrong.

"L-11. Come and have a tea with L-11. No? Moving on."

Alex is as loud as ever.

"N-34. N-34."

Suddenly, a waiter placed a delectable-looking cupcake in front of me.

"Did I startle you? Oh No. I'm sorry. I'm sorry." the waiter said with a warm smile.

"No, it's fine." my eyes fixed on the sweet treat.

I took a bite of that nice sweet cupcake.

"N-34. N-34, anyone? Check your scorecards."

The waiter leaned in to peek at my bingo scorecard on the table. A look of excitement washed over his face.

"Look at that. You won."

The waiter's excitement was infectious, and I couldn't help but smile.

"I can feel it. N-34, anyone?"

"I won!"

I lift up my scorecard to show Alex.

"We have a winner!"

But when I try to get up from my seat, I stumble and fall because my legs are tied to the chair I was sitting in.

"Are you alright? Come on. Come on. There you go. All right." the helpful waiter said as he steadied me.

Something felt odd. John's vision blurred, and an overwhelming sense of drowsiness washed over him. He realized he had taken a few bites of the cupcake. He glanced around the room, wondering if anyone else felt the same way. The atmosphere appeared hazy and surreal as if a dream were encroaching on reality.

As I start to wake up, I still feel groggy. My vision is still blurry. After a few moments, I realize I'm in a different room.

"I know that you're having a great deal of difficulty being able to differentiate between what's real and what's in your head."

I tried to focus on the voice, but my eyelids felt heavy. I squinted to see who was speaking but couldn't make out any distinct features.

"I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of borrowing the letter that you just wrote. I heard this is the first time you tried to write a letter. Hmm?"

My drowsiness intensified.

"I don't think… it's nice… to read… another person's… letter."

"I know. I'm sorry about that. But remember, you're only sedated because of your own recent behavior. And the effects will wear off soon."

"Everything reminds me..."

"Reminds you of what? Hmmm? Your past? Michelle?"

"You know Michelle?"

"Of course, I know Michelle. You always speak about her. Every time I ask you direct questions, you are triggered, you're overwhelmed, and that's normal, all right. Many of us, when asked to look into our innermost experiences, into the nucleus of our mind, we close our eyes. It's understandable. But I can't help you if you don't help yourself."

Suddenly, I felt a surge of panic. my heart raced as I tried to make sense of my surroundings.

"I know you! You're that Thanatos she always talks about."

All I can think about is getting out of this place and finding Michelle.

"Mr. Smith? Mr. Smith? Hey. Hey now. If you can't calmly sit here, I can't help you. By the way, my name is John... John Doe, not Thanatos. I'm a therapist. If I were some kind of Greek god, I would prefer to be Eros."

"No. You stay away from me!"

"Truly, I understand how you're feeling. I too have suffered from mental illness, breaks in psychic awareness..."

I try to move away from him, but I keep falling every time I attempt to stand. My legs feel weak.

"... manic episodes, followed by depression. I know what you're feeling..."

Desperation took hold, and I made a final, desperate dash towards the door. I tried to force it open, but it was locked.

"Unlock the door!"

"... It can be healed. I know you can be healed. Mr. Smith, please..."

"Stay away from me!"

Driven to the brink, I end up breaking the glass on the door, hoping to find freedom outside. To my surprise, two people enter and try to restrain me from leaving. They make me fall to the ground.

"I know you… you're that cupcake guy."

"All right. Be gentle with him. Don't hurt him, all right? Listen, I am not your enemy!"

"No! No…!!!"

One of the individuals injected a syringe into my neck, and a wave of weakness and drowsiness consumed me.


"Mr. Smith... Stop. Stop it."

When I awoke, I found myself back in the same room, feeling groggy and disoriented.

"Did you inject me with something?"

"I think you watch too many movies, Mr. Smith. We can't involuntarily sedate patients. Not these days... I mean, not unless absolutely necessary."

The therapist offered me a glass of water to soothe my parched throat.

"I don't know what you just remember, but relieving traumatic memories certainly can be so painful. They look and feel so real. It's been less than thirty seconds since you entered this room."

I look at my hands; there are no injuries at all. I look back, and two guards are standing at the entrance with the glass intact.

"I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of borrowing the letter that you just wrote. I heard this is the first time you tried to write a letter."

"I don't think it's nice to read another person's letter."

"I know. I'm sorry about that. This is a great start to our therapy session. Why don't we start with introductions? My name is Dr. John Doe, your therapist. How about you? Why don't you tell me about yourself? Tell me your story."

"My name is… John Smith."

"And what are you?"

"I'm… a loving husband."

Design on Canva

Dear Sunshine,