The perfection of their union ended that fateful day, leaving the year 3025 forever as a fixture in her mind and memory. The life she was currently living—the world she encountered after that tragic event was not one she recognized. And one the loved people around her couldn’t make her see anymore either. She denied who they were. They were strangers.
After giving birth, the doctors diagnosed Anika with the delusion known as Capgras syndrome. It was rare but generally affected women. This condition made her think that imposters had replaced her husband, family, and friends. They were now all evil people who were out to destroy her. Even her baby, the most innocent of all beings, couldn’t convince her to live in reality. Sadly, Cedric and the rest of the family couldn’t allow her to be with her newborn because she had viciously lashed out at her, screaming that it was an imitation trying to kill her.
It was heartbreaking and incredibly difficult for Cedric to process. In a split-second, their lives shattered and seemed that things would never return to normal. Almost a year had passed, and there was no improvement. They had tried all the methods they had available to them, but nothing worked. Cedric raised the baby on his own, visiting Anika in the hospital as often as he could. But each visit, sunk him lower. She thought he was a monster out to get her. The last time she had fashioned a shiv out of a toothbrush and attacked Cedric, trying to kill him. Thankfully, he had not brought the baby. This was their new normal. He didn’t want to be frightened of his wife, but it was a distinct possibility that she could and certainly would try to end him.
The doctors conferred and felt the only option left for her was trying electro-convulsive therapy. It was an obsolete method, but Cedric was willing to try anything to get his love back. And for Anika to be a mother to her daughter. They both needed her back.
The procedure was to begin at 9 AM. The nurses wheeled her into the room, sedated and restrained, ready to start. Everyone was hopeful but realistic that this probably wouldn’t work. They began the treatment.
“Anika, wake up, my love,” said Cedric softly. She stirred slightly, turning her head towards him with a smile. With adoration on his face, he asked, “How are you feeling?”
“I’m feeling weak, Cedric,” Anika uttered calmly but concerned. “Why am I restrained? What’s happened to me? Baby, I’m scared!”
Feeling he was safe, Cedric unbuckled her arms. “It’s ok now, relax; we’ll talk more about that later. Right now, I’m just so glad you’re happy to see me!”
“Could you get me a drink of water, please?”
That was the last thing he would do. The nurses would find him in a blood pool, his throat sliced from ear to ear, and with Anika missing. An alert was put out to the family to be on the lookout for her.
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