He woke up, covered in sweat, shivering. Jesus, he thought, I want to be done with this. He sat up, glancing automatically at the now empty space beside him, and began weeping desolately into his hands. It had been over 3 months, he told himself. 3 months, and still I wake up, night after night, expecting things to be the same as they were before. Expecting to know what they were before. 3 months since he left the hospital, 3 months since he was ‘cured’. He’d never asked for that. He’d been fond of his delusions. He’d known them all his life, and they were all he knew. Every time the medication worked, every time his treatment progressed, he felt part of himself fading away, never to return. Now he was a free man, a man with no delusions, no mental illness, a man who could come and go as he pleased, get a job, a car, a woman… So why did he feel like he’d lost a life, rather than gained one? Jake had always lived comfortably knowing he was the best at what he did, knowing he was rich, comfortable, living the life he had always wanted. Sure, every now and then his world did something to surprise him, but on the whole, it was his, and he could control it. Then it was taken from him, bit by bit, little by little, until nothing was left but him and his wife, him just awoken and her sound asleep. This one moment in time, Jake’s perfect moment, had been the one thing preventing him from being certified ‘sane’. That, and his increasingly desperate attempts to hold on to the delusion. It’s no easy thing, to hold on to something you know isn’t real, like fighting to fall back into a wonderful dream, but Jake managed it for almost a year, always rebuilding back from his one central image, always watching it disintegrate in front of him with the next drug, the next therapy, the next nurse. He’d lost that moment now, lost it months ago, and still an echo of it remained. Some niggling sense that he’d lost everything he knew as real. It showed itself in his never remembered nightmares, his instinctual, desperate look at the other side of his bed on waking. His waking life was full of an empty melancholy, his sleeping night full of horror. He might be allowed out now, he might have his own job, his own flat, his own life, but he felt the least sane he had ever been.