Don't Touch Me
Cirophobia~ The fear of hands. Yes, it's weird, and may sound ridiculous, but to Jacob, it's very real. He has been afraid of hands almost his whole life. People at school would tease him about it, his mother had no clue what to do with him, and to his father he was a disgrace. What will he do when the therapist pulls his last string and he looses what was left of his tormented mind?
Rated "M" for violence.... mostly 'cause I wasn't sure if "T" would be enough.
Flashbacks are in bold.
If you tell anyone..... I'll kill you.
"I don't see why I have to go to a psychiatrist." The brown haired boy mumbled, pulling his black beanie down over his ears.
"Technically it's a therapist." His mother corrected, eyes on the road.
"Isn't it the same thing?" He asked, more to himself than to her. "...You think I'm crazy, don't you?"
Jacob's mother sighed and swept a gloved hand through her blonde hair. "I never said that, Jake."
"You thought it, though..."
"I'm doing what's best for you. This phobia of yours is getting out of hand. The doctor didn't know what was wrong with you and told me I should take you to someone more experienced in this type of thing."
"So you're saying there's something wrong with me!?"
"No, Jacob, you know what I meant."
"What did you mean, then?" Jacob challenged, "You said there was something wrong with me. So I'm not normal, is that it? You want me to act normal and be perfect, that's why you're taking me here."
"Enough, Jake!" His mother's voice rose, "I'm done talking about this. You're going to the psychiatrist, whether you like it or not."
Jacob rolled his eyes and crossed his arms, gaze lowering to the floor. "'Technically it's a therapist.'"
He stared in annoyance at his black shoes, seeming as if he were studying every scuff mark and scratch on them as he thought to himself.
Cirophobic. That's what everyone called him. Aside from the usual "freak" or "weirdo". Sometimes the occasional "creep". Jacob didn't understand why everyone treated him so harshly. He had been afraid of people's hands and touch since he was about seven years old. But he couldn't tell anyone why. He was now fourteen and still hadn't told.
But it's not like he just...forgot.
The small boy sat on a wooden kitchen chair, excitedly swinging his dangling legs beneath the table as he eagerly scooped up his spaghetti, shoveling it into his mouth. He wanted to get done quickly. Mommy and Daddy were leaving on business for the weekend and his favorite babysitter, Nikki, was coming over to take care of him while they were gone.
Whenever Nikki came over, she would always play games with him, watch movies with him, and make snacks for him that she said were "our little secret" because he wasn't allowed to have any while his parents were away. Nikki was fun, so when Jacob had found out she was coming over again for the entire weekend, naturally, he was very excited.
His mother walked in and smiled when she looked over to see him hurrying with his food.
"If you're not careful, you'll choke on those noodles." She warned with a small laugh.
Jacob just nodded and continued stuffing his dinner into his mouth. He only had a few forkfulls left and Nikki would be there any minute.
Just as he finished his meal the doorbell rang and he jumped from his seat and ran to the door as his mother answered it.
A pretty teenage girl stood in the doorway, a sparkling smile decorating her face. She reached a hand up to swipe her brown bangs away from her eyes and pleasantly greeted them.
"Hello, Mrs. Jackson. Hey J.J!" She leaned down and opened her arms and the little seven-year-old joyously ran to her, wrapping his arms around her in a sudden embrace.
"Hi Miss Nikki!" Jacob grinned up at her.
Nikki stood back up and Mrs. Jackson stepped aside, allowing her to enter the house. Jacob's father walked into the room and waved to Nikki.
"Hey, Nikki. Thanks for taking care of Jake while we're away." Mr. Jackson said, "He says you're the best babysitter he's ever had."
"You're the only one he trusts won't steal his Halloween candy." Jacob's mother grabbed a set of keys off the counter top and handed them to her husband.
"Now, you remember my cell number?" She asked.
"Yes Ma'am." Nikki nodded.
"And no sweets, no late movies, and no going outside in the cold. I'm sure you know that by now, though, and I know there won't be a problem." Ms. Jackson said assuredly.
"No, Ma'am. I wouldn't dream of breaking any of those rules." Nikki looked over at Jacob and winked while Ms. Jackson turned to talk to her husband.
Jacob tried to wink back, but it came as more of an exaggerated blink.
"Alright, well we'll be leaving now." Jacob's mother said, leaning down to kiss her excited son's head. "Be a good boy, Jake."
"Don't cause any trouble for Miss Nikki." Mr. Jackson added on with a grin before they bth walked out the door, closing it behind them.
Jacob ran over to the window looking out into the front yard and watched as his parents' car pulled out of the driveway and drove down the street. The sky was a yellow-orange and purple clouds loomed overhead, filling the evening sky with color. Red and yellow leaves skittered across the light green grass as they fell from tall trees in the yard. A cool November breeze brushed through the bushes and slipped inside through a crack in the windowsill, causing Jacob to shiver and quickly get away from the window. He practically raced over to Nikki, who was standing in the kitchen with her phone held to her ear.
"Yeah," She said to whomever was on the other end of the call. "I'm babysitting right now, but the parents'll be gone the whole weekend. Uh-huh. How 'bout you come over? It'll make things a lot easier. Sounds good. No, he's only seven. Hell yeah. Ha ha! Okay, love you too. Bye." Nikki lowered the cellphone and pressed "end" with her thumb before slipping the phone into her back pocket. She looked down at Jacob, who had a questioning look on his face.
"That was my boyfriend, David." She explained. "He'll be coming over to spend the weekend with us. You'll like him, he's fun."
"Okay!" Jacob smiled. "So what are we gonna do now, Nikki?"
"How about we play hide and seek?" She answered, knowing this was one of Jacob's favorite games.
"Yes!" Jacob cheered.
Nikki reached into the bag she had brought with her and pulled out a candy bar.
"Here." She handed it to him. "Now you go hide, I'll count to ten."
Jacob giggled and nodded, hungrily taking the candy bar and running off to hide.
He heard Nikki counting in the kitchen as he rushed down the hallway. He turned the corner into his bedroom and pulled the covers down around the front of his bed so that if you looked at it, you wouldn't be able to see underneath. He then got on his hands and knees and crawled under the bed.
"Seven.....eight.....nine.....ten! Ready or not, here I come!" Nikki said childishly.
Jacob held his breath as he heard footsteps nearing the room.
"Where are you, J.J? Where could he be? I wonder......"
Jacob giggled softly before quickly covering his mouth with his hand, for fear she may have heard him.
The shadows of two feet could be seen through the small gap between the blanket hanging over the side of his bed and the floor as he peeked out and heard Nikki's voice again.
"Hm...... Is he in the closet...? No, he's much too smart for that... Could he be under the bed?" She dramatically gasped, "Maybe. J.J could be hiding behind his covers... What genius."
Suddenly the blanket was thrown back and Nikki reached in to pull Jacob out, who was a giggling mess.
"I found you!" Nikki grinned.
"I picked a really good hiding spot, huh?" Jacob laughed.
"Are you kidding? I had no idea where you were!" Nikki smiled. "But you're gonna pay for being so smart..." She smirked, suddenly wiggling her fingers into his sides and stomach, causing an explosion of laughter from the little boy on the ground.
"Stahap! It tihihickles!" Jacob rolled over, laughing his little head off.
"Nope! Nope nope nope!" Nikki laughed, finding all his most ticklish spots and furiously attacking them.
"Ahahahehe!" Jacob squirmed against the soft carpet.
A loud ringing noise interrupted the tickle fest, causing both of them to look up.
Nikki looked back at Jacob, standing up.
"That must be David." She said, walking out of the room. "I'll be right back."
"Okay." Jacob breathed, trying to catch his breath.
He heard the front door open and Nikki's excited voice followed by the smooth male voice he assumed belonged to David. The two talked for a while before their footsteps neared the room. Jacob looked up at the doorway, waiting for them to enter the room. When they finally did come in, Jacob greeted them with a "Hi!" amd waved.
A boy who looked to be around Nikki's age, if not a year or two older, walked over to where Jacob was lying on the floor and kneeled down, a smile on his face.
"So you're J.J, huh?" David said, "You're a pretty cool lookin' kid." He held up a hand for a high-five, and Jacob sat up and popped his own hand against David's. "Nice room." David commented, looking around.
"Nice hair." Jacob returned.
David laughed. His hair was black and medium length-- the normal popular teen boy's haircut. An electric blue stripe ran down the dark bangs of his hair. He wore a red and black band T-shirt and ripped up black pants. A chain bracelet and a few plain black leather ones hund from his wrists.
"Not so bad yourself, kid." David gestured to Jacob's medium length dark brown hair.
Jacob wore a plain, red long-sleeved shirt and black cargo pants. Nothing nearly as cool as David's band shirt, in his opinion. His hair was okay, he supposed, but he never paid much attention to it.
"Hey J.J, let's go get some dessert before bed, does that sound good?" Nikki suggested.
"Yeah!" Jacob agreed quickly, nodding his head.
"Remember, this is a secret." She reminded.
"So you can't tell anyone." David added.
"Okay, I know. I won't!" Jacob assured them happily.
Nikki and David lead him down the hall and into the kitchen. She reached into her bag and pulled out a smaller black cooler-bag. After unzipping the little bag, Nikki pulled out a tub of chocolate chip ice cream.
Jacob's eyes widened with happiness.
"You like ice cream?" David asked.
Jacob nodded quickly in his direction before returning his gaze to the yummy treat and watching as Nikki pulled out an ice cream cone and scooped out some ice cream into it.
Jacob licked his lips as he imagined the delicious taste of the sticky substance on his tongue. His parents never allowed him to have anything sugary or really sweet. Those kinds of foods were "unhealthy" and "bad for your teeth". But oh, they were so very delicious.
Nikki handed him the cone of ice cream and he reached out his thin little arm to snatch it away greedily.
"Thank you!" He said, licking and biting into the ice cold treat.
He hadn't had ice cream in months and it was his favorite food in the world. He savored each bite of the soft dessert until it melted in his mouth and he needed another one.
Once the ice cream was gone, Jacob sunk into his chair, yawning sleepily.
Nikki and David had been talking while Jacob had been enjoying his ice cream and Nikki turned to him after hearing him yawn.
"I bet you're tired." She said, "It's way past your bedtime. Go brush your teeth and head to bed. David and I will do the same."
"Okay." Jacob got up from his seat and ran over to Nikki, hugging her before turning to go off to his room. "G'night!"
"G'night, Jacob!" Nikki called after him, her hot-pink shirt twirling along the edges of her blue-jean shorts as she faced David once again and began talking to him, keeping their voices low.
Jacob walked down the hall, streaching his arms and yawning again as he turned a corner and stepped into the bathroom.
He grabbed his toothbrush and put a little glob of minty toothpaste onto it before sticking it into his mouth and running the bristles along all of his white teeth. Looking up to face homself in the mirror, Jacob observed his reflection.
David looked a lot cooler than he did, he thought. Then again, Jacob didn't look that bad. Jacob had always been pretty tall for his age and admitted to himself that if he were someone else and didn't know better, he might mistake himself for a ten-year-old. Oh well. It didn't matter. He'd probably look cooler when he was a teenager like David.
Jacob spit into the sink and washed off his toothbrush, sticking it back into the holder on the counter. After drying his hands off from the water used to clean his toothbrush, he ran a comb through his hair and marched off to his bedroom to get in his pajamas. This was the nightly routine, and he was so used to it he could do it in his sleep.
walking down the hallway, he heard Nikki amd David talkimg in low voices again and decided to peek into the living room.
His eyes widened slightly at the unusual sight.
Nikki was sitting on David's lap on the couch, a leg on either side of him. Their lips were together and David'd hands were slowly exploring her clothed body.
Jacob had never seen something like this before. He found it very strange and extremely interesting. He stood there and watched for a while longer before remembering what his mother had told him about it being rude to spy on people. Maybe he should just go to bed now, he decided, slipping back down the hallway and silently closing his bedroom door behind him.
Jacob walked over to his dresser and pulled out his plain white pajama set and placed them on his bed while he slipped off his shirt and pants before pulling on the white pajamas, fondling with the buttons until every one was done up correctly.
Pulling back the sheets and covers, Jacob slid into bed, covering himself with blankets and curling up into the comforting warmth. His head lay against the soft pillow as he snuggled into the covers and shut his eyes, falling into a deep sleep.
His peaceful slumber was interrupted by the sound of the bedroom door opening. His eyes opened slowly and he blinked softly a few times. Jacob listened carefully and heard quiet footsteps creeping over to where he lay on his matress.
He stopped breathing. Someone was in his room.
The footsteps came closer, padding softly against the carpet.
They stopped just in front of his bed. He didn't dare look to see what it was and kept his eyes shut tightly.
"Is he awake?" A voice whispered.
Jacob tried to see if he recognized the voice, but it was hard to tell because it had only been a whisper.
"Yeah, he is. He know's we're here so he's holding his breath." A secong voice whispered.
"I don't think he knows who we are though."
"He'll find out soon enough."
Jacob felt the covers being thrown back and he shivered and balled himself up tighter as a cold rush of air came upon his entire body.
His fear and curiosity is what drove him to turn over and look to see who was there.
Two dark silhouettes stood in front of him. He couldn't make out any more than two black shadows in the darkness. Jacob felt like screaming in fear and jumped, backing up against the wall on the edge of his bed. All he wanted to do was get away from the scary figures looming before him. Maybe he was dreaming. Maybe it wasn't real and he would wake up at any moment. Oh, but the fear he felt and the things he saw were too real to have been just a dream.
One of the figures crawled onto the bed in front of where he was and he flattened himself against the wall as much as possible.
"Jacob," The voice whispered. "We're gonna play a new game. You, me, and David. But you can't tell anyone. Ever."
Jacob guessed this must be Nikki and calmed down. Still confused and slightly frightened, he nodded quickly.
"If you tell anyone-- even your mom or your friends--...." Nikki held up an object before him that glimmered through the darkness against the small bit of moonlight seeping in through the window.
He then realized, all fear returning in one sharp blow, that the object in her hand was a knife.
"I'll kill you." She finished, her voice more dark and serious than it had ever been.
Jacob gulped, too afraid to speak or scream.
"Got it??" Her cold, calm voice said.
"Y-Yes." Jacob whispered. What was going on? What were they doing? Why was Nikki being so mean all of a sudden?? He didn't understand.
Then he felt something warm on his leg and looked down from the dark face to see a hand traveling past his upper leg to the rim of his white pants.
"Wh-What are you d-doing?" Jacob stuttered.
Nikki didn't answer.
"Shut up." The second figure said. "If you don't play this game right, it will be a lot less fun for you. Just keep quiet and don't move unless we tell you to."
Jacob watched in fear and shock as Nikki suddenly pulled off his pants.
"H-Hey! S-Stop!" He protested.
Nikki looked up at him and said nothing as she moved her hand to his crotch and ran her thumb over it in circles.
"M-Mommy said it's bad to touch people there! St-Stop t-touching me!" Jacob begged.
"I said shut up." David said sharply.
"I don't like this game!"
Nikki pressed against him harder.
"Gyah! Nhn... Stop it!" Jacob pleaded.
"I mean it, Kid!" David got on the bed and pressed him threateningly against the wall. "Not one more word. We're gonna play this little game, whether you like it or not. And if you keep talking, I can guerantee you're gonna wish you were never born. We can make this as painful as we want, so I would shut up and take it if I were you. Remember...if you tell anyone, we will kill you."
A tear fell from his eye as Jacob nodded, knowing he could do nothing to stop them. He couldn't stop their hands from touching him, he couldn't stop them from hurting him, and he could never, ever tell anyone.
People he thought he could trust had hurt him. That night and every night afterwards was a nightmare. Whenever Nikki came to watch him, the same thing would happen. His mother would ask him why he didn't want Nikki to come over and he would say he wasn't feeling well. She would wonder why he woke up screaming at night from dreams that haunted him every day. Whenever someone tried to touch him, Jacob would run away or back up and start crying. Jacob's parents were concerned for their son and would beg him to just tell them why he was so afraid of touch. Why he would run from an outstretched hand. But he would never say. He could never tell them.
Jacob stepped out of the parked car, following close behind his mother as she walked toward a large building.
Johnston Psychiatry..... He looked at the sign on the building and dropped his stare back to the ground. I knew it. Everyone just thinks I'm psycho.
Jacob's mother opened the glass door and passed through, holding it open so Jacb could walk in behind her. The two walked into the waiting room and Jacob picked the seat farthest away from everyone else, in the corner of the room. Ms. Jackson signed him in and took a seat beside the mother of a girl who was drawing pictures in a notebook. Her drawing appeared to be very detailed sketch of a dark room with blood on the walls and floor, a person lying mangled on the ground with a knife lying beside them.
Now this girl might be psycho.......
Jacob looked back at his mother to see that she had, of course, struck up a conversation with the mother of the little girl. He sighed and rolled his eyes. His thoughts returned to what had happened to him so long ago.
Jacob gritt his teeth together in hatred. Nikki had basically been his best friend. Her betrayal had hurt him in so many ways he couldn't even begin to explain how. He sighed and looked at the ground. And now here he was, seeing a psychiatrist.
"Jacob Jackson?" A voice called his name.
Jacob looked up to see a woman standing in the waiting room doorway with a clipboard in her hands. He stood and walked across the room, following the woman as she lead him down a hallway.
"My name is Annabell Walker." She introduced herself, opening the door to a room and closing it after Jacob had entered.
When Jacob said nothing, she gestures to a seat. "You can sit down if you'd like." Annabell sat in a chair across from the one Jacob seated himself in.
The room was bright and filled with colors. Elaborate paintings decorated the walls and thick, colored glass vases full of different types of flowers sat on shelves of bookcases and desks. Overall the mood of the little room was very relaxing. Well, it was suposed to be. Jacob found that he was just as tense as he had been when he walked through the door of the building.
"So I understand you are afraid of touch and any physical contact with another person, is that correct?" Annabell asked.
Afraid.....He hated that word, but had to admit that it was true. Jacob nodded.
"Can you tell my what you think may have caused this fear? Your mother has informed me that you weren't always cirophobic."
"No." Jacob answered quickly, looking away from her. "....I..... I don't want to talk about it."
"That's why you're here, Jacob. You can tell me why, I won't tell anyone." Annabell assured. "I couldn't even if I wanted to."
"I said I don't want to talk about it." Jacob repeated, his voice irritated. "I ca-- won't tell you. Ever."
"Jacob, please, just--" Annabell reached out a hand to Jacob who's eyes widened and he jumped to his feet and backed against the wall in less than a second.
"Don't touch me!" Jacob said.
Annabell stood and held both hands out, palms facing him as if to show she was unarmed. "I'm not going to touch you, just come back over here." She said, nearing him.
"Get away from me!"
"Please tell me why you are so afraid."
"No! I can't tell anyone! Don't ask me to, I won't!"
"Jacob, I want to help you and I can't do that if you won't tell me anything." Annabell stepped closer, her hands streached out.
Jacob frantically searched for a quick way to get away and accidentally knocked over a thick red vase, sending it crashing to the ground and shattering into large, long red shards on the floor.
"I said stop! Get away from me!"
"I'm not going to hurt you!" Annabell explained, waving her hands out of habit as she spoke.
She tied to calm him down and get her point across that she was trying to help him, completely forgetting for the moment thet it was hands that Jacob was afraid of and that she was only making things worse.
Fear hung in Jacob's eyes. Yes, he had been this afraid of hands for years.
Then the redheaded woman grabbed his wrist and Jacob yelled so loudly you'd think he was in pain.
That was it. No one had dared to touch him for years because of his severe cirophobia, and now he was so overwhelmed with pure fear that he had lost all conscience of what he was doing.
Jacob suddenly reached down and grabbed one of the thick, red shards off the floor and sliced it down through skin and bone until he felt Annabell's grip fall from his wrist.
A piercing cry ring out through the room and Jacob quickly covered his ears and looked down to see with horror that he had cut off her hand.
In a strange fit of rage that came out of nowere, Jacob held down the crying woman's other wrist and stuffed a piece of cloth into her mouth as a makeshift gag in an attempt to silence her cries of agony. He then used the blood covered shard to quickly sever her other hand and the muffled scream rose drastically in pitch.
Why was he doing this? He had lost it. Something inside him had snapped. He wasn't Jacob anymore. He was something completely different.
He stared down at the crying woman with madness in his eyes. Jacob's hands dripped with blood as he raised the red glass above his head and looked one last time into the shocked and pleading eyes of the woman who had only been trying to help him. She had gone too far.
Jacob's arms flew downward as he drove the glass into Annabell's neck just after she breathed her last.
The door to the room swung open as Jacob stepped back and observed the bloody mess before him. He switched his gaze immediately to the person in the doorway.
The little girl he had seen earlier with the notebook stood in the open doorway, a blank expression on her face.
Jacob took the red glass shard and put it into the inside pocket of his black jacket. His brown hair was now messy and spattered with blood.
"If you tell anyone......" He said to the girl, "I'll kill you."
Jacob walked over to the window as he heard voices and hurried footsteps coming down the hall. He hit the glass and shattered the window, before jumping out and running across the lawn and into the woods.
A smiling girl stood silently in the doorway, drawing a boy with brown hair and dark eyes, blood dripping from a red shard in his hand.