Ashley studied her friend. As previously stated, she and Jayce met when he was hospitalized for what the doctors called a ‘psychotic break.’
He stared at the character that danced across the screen. It was a simple caricature of a human. There were no other messages, just the chilling call for him to end his life.
“Describe the waitress, Jayce.”
“Um, short, curly blonde hair and jade eyes. Kinda tall. She seemed nice.”
“Was she pretty?”
“I didn’t really notice. I guess.”
Ashley dialed the restaurant and asked for the manager. She exchanged words with the manager and asked for the waitress.
“We have no one here that fits that description, ma’am.”
“You don’t have a waitress that looks like that?”
“No. She sounds like a supermodel, not a waitress.”
“Okay. Thank you.”
She pressed ‘end call’ and looked at her friend. He was still looking at the screen.
“There is no waitress that fits your description. Let me see your receipt.”
Jayce dug in his pockets, but there was no receipt. He shrugged.
“I don’t have it, Ashley. Receipts aren’t something I keep around.”
“Well, see that’s a problem.”
“Because, you didn’t have any food when I picked you up. You have a thumb drive and no receipt. The waitress as far as anyone knows doesn’t exist.”
“It’s a delusion.”
“It seems so.”
“I took my medicine this morning. That character is on my screen, right?”
“So, how am I having only a partial delusion? What do you even call it?”
“I don’t know, but I am going to get someone to help you.”
Jayce shook his head no. Ashley put her hand on Jayce’s shoulder.
“I don’t want to go back, Ash.”
“I know, but Jayce you know how you get. If the medication is not working, we have to do something.”
“They’re gonna drug me. Study me like some kinda lab experiment. Ash..”
“I’m sorry. It’s the only way I know to help you.”
Silent tears slid down Jayce’s cheeks. He knew she was right, the delusion made it impossible for him to stay free. Besides, if the news was to be believed, freedom was the greatest illusion in life.