‘oh, charlie’ series: part 2/4
“Charlie, they’re trying a new medication on me. I don’t know if I like it.”
“Is it Kayla?”
“But my memory has been off recently, even with the new medicine. I could not remember so many things. This morning, I could not recognize Dan, my own son, my flesh and blood. I… even hurt him. Oh, Charlie, what have I done…”
“Time to get up, Ma.”
The old lady looked up, and standing right in front of the automatic sliding door, was a man she almost recognised. He was in his early 50s, in the same kind of T-shirt and shorts Charlie would wear to the coffee shop, but he looked so much older. Like a man who’d gone short on sleep and comfort for far too long.
“Who are you?” She asked, wary at the stranger standing at the doorway. He seemed… familiar. But why?
“I am Dan, Ma.”
“No, you are not. How can you be my Dan when he is only 6 years old?”
From his look, she saw that he knew something. And at the back of her head, she also knew something was wrong. The wristband on the old lady’s arm began to beep softly.
“Ma, please, I am your so-”
“No, get away from me. You are not Dan. He… He is on his way to school, with his friends… ”
“Ma, listen to me…”
The man was getting agitated. A familiar agitation, the way Dan– her son, her real son– would get when he felt he was being ignored.
“Where is my son? What have you done to him…Did you take Dan away?”
The beeping quickened.
“Ma, stop playing around!”
“STOP CALLING ME YOUR MOTHER! Give him back. Give me back my Dan!”
“Ma, please. Don’t do this to me.” The man’s voice went soft, and his arms were raised meekly. It sounded like he was… Begging her, to stop.
More screams ensued, as the old lady, now visibly distressed from the commotion, started throwing the smart clocks on the side of the bed at the man. She wanted her son back, not some middle-aged guy who kept calling her his mother. The fear was real.
The beeping on the wristband sped up more and more, until it was practically a pulsating whistle. The old lady, who could not tolerate the sound, tried to remove it.
There was a sudden bite on her wrist.
“I… didn’t mean to hurt him.”
“Of course not. He’s your son.”
“Our son, Charlie. Why is he only my son when he gets into trouble?”
“Yes, Darling. Of course. I’m sure he forgives you.”
The old lady smiles in relief.
“Thank you. I can’t say it enough – I love you, Charlie.”
“I love you, too.”
The Emotive Response Integration (ERI) wristband contains physiological tracking devices, which, when linked to the CCTV infrastructure, will allow us to monitor your relative’s mental and emotional state. It also contains a GPS and local network tracker and an emergency sedation system*, which will be serviced every 2 months by our personnel.
It is strongly advised to not inform the patient of tracking components, as some patients may have an adverse response.
*Sedation effects may vary from individual to individual.
Link to part 3