He had been here for almost four years. He had been eighteen, in the final stages of the Academy. And he hadn’t been able to take it any more.
They’d paired him with Amandeep but she was in love with Ricky. They’d paired Ricky with Kylie but she was in love with Jay. Serge was in love with Jay too, but the feelings weren’t reciprocated. Jay had been paired with Samantha whom he did seem to like but she only had eyes for Ben, and so on it went. It was just a charade.
Just a fucking illusion.
So he snapped. Someone had to. And he wouldn’t have been the first.
He slammed down his plate in the middle of the dining hall where residents from all the blocks were eating, not just his own. He’d slammed it down and then practically screamed his tirade.
‘This is a sham! This is all a sham! What is the point? What is the point of any of this? We’re here to develop our skills are we? Then why are you arranging marriages for us? Ben and Samantha are a couple, they’re in love. So why are you marrying them to other people? Or Kylie, or Ricky, or Jay, or Amandeep – or me? I’m gay. I’m gay. And I know you know other people are gay, like Sara and Nihal and Rae, and they might be satisfied with their future, a life of celibacy, a life of working here but what life is that? I don’t want that. I don’t want to be married either. Not to a girl. I want to go out and get drunk, and sleep with men. I want cock, and lots of it.
He might have survived that outburst if he hadn’t been waving a knife – a serrated one because it had been steak, a rare treat, for lunch – and if it hadn’t found its way into the ribs of the officer that tried to pin him back.
It was cheaper to keep him this way. He was too dangerous, too violent, to mix with the other patients. And there was no prison. There was supposed to be no need.
The drip fed him all essential nutrients. The medications kept him in a state of sleep.
If he had dreams, they would be of dancing in the gay bars of Paris, drunk on cocktails and champagne and exuberance, surrounded by friends and lovers and potential conquests.
If he had dreams, they would be of life.