I waited five minutes before the only door at the end of the hallway opened. A man appeared behind it. A dark suit on with a white shirt and a red tie. I thought it was a bit too dress up for a psychologist. But whatever. I stood up as he greeted me then suggested i enter in his office. The room was pretty large, allowing a desk surrounded by three chairs, a couch and a library to coexist. It was quiet. The closed door isolated us from any sound coming from the outside world. A bubble. Safe and dangerous at the same time. He offered me a seat on the couch, right away. I waited for him to sit first then mimicked him. I sat at the edge, far away from him. I look at him: he had a notebook he already wrote on. When he was done, he looked up to me, gave me a smile then waited. After a long minute, anxiety grew in me.
– ‘What are we supposed to talk about?’ i asked.
– ‘I don’t know. What do you want to talk about?’ he replied.
– ‘Euhm, i don’t know.’
– ‘I see that you keep on looking around. What’s on your mind?’ The remark surprised me. I thought i was subtile. I shook me head and raised my shoulders as an answer. ‘You must be thinking of something.’ he insisted.
I hated those kind of questions: what do you think about? Do you trust me? Well, before you asked me that, i did trust you. Now, i think you’re suspicious. So, no, i don’t. When the psychologist said i must be thinking about something, my mind went blank: i stayed quiet. He looked at his watch. I checked the clock on the wall. Seven minutes has passed.
– ‘So we just let the hour pass in silence?’ I slightly nodded. ‘Why did you came here for, then?’ He asked.
– ‘I was asked to. My brother… asked me to.’
– ‘And you always do what he ask you to do?’
– ‘Not always.’
– ‘Why did you choose to do this?’ I thought about it: i was about to say that i didn’t know, but, obviously, it would end the conversation short.
– ‘I don’t know.’ I said it anyway. ‘By curiosity… I guess’ He wrote it down.
– ‘Just out of curiosity? Do you know why he asked you to come to therapy?’
– ‘Euhm, i guess because he’s going to therapy himself. Maybe he wants me to experience the same thing. So that i can undersand.’
– ‘Understand what?’
– ‘Why he’s going to therapy.’
– ‘And do you understand it?’
– ‘I do.’
– ‘Sounds like you didn’t need this to get it.’ I smiled. ‘And why do you think he’s going to therapy?’ I took a minute.’Do you think you need it too?’ I remained silent. ‘How are you doing?’
– ‘I’m good.’ Another question that i hated.
– ‘That doesn’t sound like an honest answer.’
– ‘It didn’t sound like an honest question.’
– ‘Do you think i’m a dishonest person?’
– ‘No. I just think it’s… not a sincere question.’
– ‘Why do you think that?’ I sighed. ‘Tell me.’
– ‘Usually, when people ask that question, they don’t really want to know how the other person is doing. All they want to hear is ‘yes, i’m doing well’. Whether they are a good person or an asshole.’
– ‘What makes you think that?’
– ‘Just…Observation.’ My lips were sealed. He let go of a smile.
– ‘What if i’m really interested in knowing your state? What would be your answer?’
– ‘I’m good.’
– ‘Same answer. Why?’
– ‘Because i am.’
– ‘You don’t open up to people much, do you?’ I looked at him straight in the eyes.’Why is that?’
– ‘No special reason.’ He smiled again. He let a moment pass.
– ‘Tell me: why now?’ I didn’t understand. ‘I’ve been following your brother for few weeks, now. He told me about you, a few times. He told me he asked you many times to come before. So why now? What changed your mind?’
– ‘…It’s her birthday, soon.’ i whispered.
– ‘Your mother’s?’ I nodded. ‘When is it?’
– ‘And you felt like you needed to talk to someone? How do you feel about it?’ A ghost passed by. ‘What are you going to do that day?’
– ‘I don’t know. Probably nothing.’
– ‘Are you going to meet with your brother?’
– ‘Probably not. I don’t feel like being around people…’
– ‘You feel better on your own?’ I shyly smiled, my look was stuck on the carpet. ‘What are you doing when you’re alone?’
– ‘I stay busy: watching shows, videos, drawing, listening to music…’
– ‘Drawing? What kind of drawing?’
– ‘Euhm, whatever comes to my mind.’
– ‘What was your last drawing?’
– ‘A photography that was taken when i was smaller. I think.’
– ‘You think?’
– ‘I’m not sure that picture truly exists or it’s just a memory i made for myself.’
– ‘You don’t have it?’ I shook my head. ‘What was it?’
– ‘It’s my mom and i in front of our old house. She’s, sort of, leaning on me.’
– ‘So you recreated it?’ I nodded. ‘You think about her often?’
– ‘Every day. Every time i do something, i think about calling her, telling her everything.. But i can’t. Not anymore.’ I paused. Then a laugh slipped as tears blurred my sight.
– ‘What’s funny?’
– ‘Euhm, i…now that she’s gone, i want to talk to her. But, before…I didn’t have anything to tell her. That’s just… that’s just… fucking dumb…I’m an…hyprocrite.’
– ‘Why do you think that?’
– ‘I don’t feel like i have the right to… feel this way.’
– ‘You mean being sad?’ I nodded. ‘You know it’s human. You just lost someone you loved.’ As i satyed quiet, he continued: ‘Why do you feel like you don’t have the rights to be sad?’
– ‘I’ve never… I haven’t shown her my affection. I was cold and mean to her… I rejected her.’ A tear dropped on my hands.
– ‘It’s not your fault, if she’s…’ The psychologist’s sentence faded away.
Dumb sentence. I closed my eyes when that thought immerged in my mind. I took few seconds to recollect myself. Then when i opened them, i found myself at my desk, a dozen of files to work on for the day. Noises from the background gently arrived to my ears: people talking, laughing, greeting each other, sounds of printers, computers starting, keybord being smashed by cafeinated fingers. Suddenly, a closer voice pulled me out of that confusing state between reality and dream: ‘Are you ok?’ I looked at my left and saw my co-worker’s concerned face. I realized that my eyes were filled with salty liquid and my chicks were wet. My heart was pounding and my throat closed on itself. I opened my mouth to answer but words couldn’t get through. I stood up, apologized rudly and walked as fast and as discretly as possible to the bathroom.
As soon as i locked myself, i broke down. Fucking imagination…