Nest: Letter Eight
I don’t know where to start; it’s all been kicking off here since you’ve left. It makes me quite glad that you decided to write to me because even if I knew how to get to you, I don’t think I’d be able to see you anyway.
Everyone’s going mad, Sara, and I don’t know what to do.
Your dad did something. At first, I heard that he just knocked some common sense into Florence and I thought that it was karma: you know the homophobic old bat never liked me. But now he’s been carted off to the hospital; Florence is stuck in the room next to him, and her husband in the room after that, and my cousin Jeremy in the room after that. It’s insane! You remember Jeremy, right? He used to be such a little idiot, but he didn’t mean any harm. I’ve only been to see him once, and I don’t think I’ll ever unsee the state I saw him in. I knocked on the door, but no answer, just the heavy sound of my fist against the whitewashed wood. So I let myself in.
I shouldn’t have.
He was crouched in the corner like some sort of deformed gargoyle, feet planted firmly on the seat of the chair and knees drawn to his chest. Everything about him was rigid; his back was ramrod straight, his fingers were intertwined like gnarled branches of that tree we used to climb together and fall out of as kids. I’ve never seen him like that before, Sara. It’s terrifying.
‘How are you, Jeremy?’ I’d heard that your Dad went berserk, got a little riled up because Florence was too persistent, so I made sure I was calm and quiet. He just looked at me, he didn’t say a word. You know Jeremy, Sara, he’s a gobby little brat, he’s never silent.
Honestly, the nerve. ‘Jeremy, I’m just here to check on you.’
‘Go away, Clara.’
‘Jeremy. Don’t be so rude.’ I know, I know. You’re telling me not to act like his mother. I know what you’re like, Sara.
Next thing I know, he’s screaming and charging out of his chair. I don’t really know what happened. There was a lot of screaming and a lot of rubber soles squeaking against the floor as about 6 doctors and nurses burst into the room and shoved him into one corner. It’s strange now that I think about it: all of their skin was covered. Gloves, medical masks, and turtle necks thick enough to rival a 90’s boy band.
The matron – who’s in charge of caring for your Dad, by the way – grabbed my shoulders and shook me. ‘What were you thinking, child?!’
I can’t help but think that she was being a little rude, seeing as I’d just been attacked by a patient, but oh well, these things happen, I guess. ‘I… I think I’m okay?’
She was screeching and howling, asking if he’d touched me. She shook me and shook me and the other nurses just shot me looks that screamed just bloody answer her! So I told her no, that Jeremy didn’t touch me. That the staff members saved me just in time and that I was oh so grateful. They let me go home after that. Every time I close my eyes, I see him snarling at me like a rabid dog… I haven’t been able to sleep since I saw him.
I suppose this is the point where I tell you that there’s no point in replying... I won’t be around to read it anyway. I know this is confusing, and I know you won’t get this letter for a while – I had to send this to your old address, so who knows when you’ll find it? I told the nurse I didn’t know, but I did. You know too, don’t you Sara? You know what I’m going to say.
Jeremy grabbed me. He grabbed me by the throat and now I’m laid up in the room next to Jeremy, who’s in the room next to Florence’s husband, in the room next to Florence, in the room next to your Dad. It’s The Egg, Sara. It’s always been the bloody Egg. Promise me you won’t touch the… the thing that came out of it. You need to promise me, Sara. You can’t end up like me, you just can’t.
Oh and… the ghosting thing? Don’t worry about it. I really panicked for a moment but then I realised that you wouldn’t leave me without telling me something first, you’re not that kind of person. And if you were, I’d kick your arse into next week, but that’s not the point. The point is that I miss you too, Sara, so much. I’ll always miss you.
Please try to get some sleep, God knows I won’t.
by Lucy Welsh
Nest is our epistolary project, written collaboratively by students and staff and published every fortnight right here on Falwriting. You can find out more about Nest here, and read Letter Seven here.