Normal Behavior

       This is a story about a couple, however, there is nothing special about this couple. Just your average, ordinary, everyday, middle class American couple. This couple has been married for more than twenty years and their child now attends college. The husband plays golf with his co-workers on the weekends and the wife attends local book club meetings. A normal couple, and just like every other normal, average, ordinary, everyday, middle age, middle class American, they have a routine.

 

       Every day, they wake up, eat breakfast, take the required pills, go to work, come home, eat dinner, take more pills, and go to sleep. The next day they repeat the routine, and the next day, and the next, everyday, without fail. That is until something unexpected happened.

 

       One night just like any other, the wife was preparing for bed, however, this time she discovered a bird. Just an ordinary bird, nothing special. Except that this bird was for some reason, inside her bedroom. So startled was she by discovering the bird perched upon her vanity, the wife did something that would forever change her. She broke the routine. She forgot to take the required pills.

 

       The next morning, the wife felt, different. She didn’t know what it was, but she felt different. For once she actually woke up before the alarm clock. Feeling refreshed she went down stairs and made coffee and breakfast. It was then that the husband groggily came down stairs heading straight for the coffee. Having already eaten, the wife went back upstairs to get ready for work. Seeing the pill bottle on her vanity, she remembered that she forgot to take the required pills. Picking up the bottle she started to open it when the sounds of a bird drew her attention to the window. There it was again, that ordinary small bird perched upon the windowsill staring at her. After starring at the bird for a few moments, it flew away. Bringing her attention back to the bottle in her hands, she hesitated, after a few moments she returned it back to its place upon the vanity.

       Gathering her things in the kitchen and preparing to leave, the husband noticed that something was different with his wife, concerned he asked, “Are you alright Dear? Did you remember to take your pills this morning?”

       Halfway out the door, after hearing her husband, the wife turned back to him, smiled, and said “I’m feeling fine” before turning back around and leaving.

                                                                                                   *****

       Commuting to work, the wife noticed something strange. She was stuck in traffic and she felt fine, happy even. She looked around and saw all the angry and frustrated drivers honking their horns and screaming profanity, and wondered if she was ever like that.  

Arriving at work before the rest of her co-workers was a new experience. She got to witness them stream in one after another and as they passed her desk she again decided to do something she had never done before. She greeted them with a smile as she said, “Good morning.”

The co-workers that received the warm greeting were startled at the sight of such unusual cheerfulness. The ones that were close to the wife even stopped to ask, “Are you okay? Are you taking your pills?”

       To this she simply smiled and said “I’m feeling fine.”

 

       Eventually even her boss got wind about about her strange and sudden change in behavior and called her into his office to ask if she was okay. To his inquiries she simply stated, “I’m fine.”

Some time latter as the wife was setting the table for dinner, her husband came home. After closing the door putting down his things he immediately approached his wife. Grabbing her shoulders and looking her in the eye he asked, “Are you okay? Your boss called and said you were acting irregular today. Are you taking your pills?”

Again the wife simply smiled and stated, “I’m fine.”

                                                                                                 *****

       Days went by and the wife did not again touch the pill bottle and the Husband started to notice that change in his wife’s behavior started become more and more drastic. Not only was she waking up early in the morning now, she had even started to doing even more new things: like humming and taking walks in the park, and god forbid she even started to make a habit of dancing while listening to some awful noise she claimed was music. Fearing for his wife’s mental state, the husband felt he needed to take action.

                                                                                                 *****

       Returning home from yet another new and happy experience, the wife came home to find her husband sitting in the living room with a well dressed scholarly looking man. Noticing the wife’s arrival, the two men rose from their seats, “Honey, this is gentleman is a doctor, I asked him here today because I feel you are in need of an intervention. Your behavior over the past few weeks has been erratic. You’ve even been trying new things, and your demeanor, gosh, Honey, I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s just not normal,” stated the husband.

 

       “Mrs., have you been taking your pills,” the doctor asked.

 

       The wife looking at both the men only smiled, “I’m feeling fine, really, I’m fine.”

 

       listening to the wife’s response the doctor looked to someone behind her and nodded. Coming from the kitchen two men dressed in plain white jumpsuits grabbed the wife. She tried to resist. She tried pleading with them, stating that she felt fine, but her words fell upon deaf ears.

 

       “It’s okay honey, these men are just here to help, it’s for your own good honey, once you're taking your pills again you’ll feel better again I promise, everything will go back to normal,” the husband said trying to calm his wife as she was being dragged from their home and into a van marked, “New Town Asylum: Where We Make You Feel Normal Again.”

 

       As the doors of the van were closing in on her, the wife’s last sight of the free world was that of the small ordinary bird perched up a branch staring her.