Escaping at last from the ornery clerk, the doctor picks up his liberated tray of fried fish and macaroni, admiring his haul. Disgusting and delicious. He scans the restaurant for a secluded spot to set up base – there was a sizable stack of notes he had to look over. It was crowded that night, he wasn’t sure if – but just then, he sees somebody familiar. A slouching figure, sitting alone in a booth near the corner – it was hard to recognize her, slumped forward, head-in-hand, but her height betrayed her. He knew where to sit.
“…ð‘¡2±? It’s good to see you.” No response. He presses on. “I hope I’m not intruding – are you alright? It’s been nearly two months. I’ve been worried, especially after how our last session ended…”
The tall, lanky woman forces a partial smile. “Doctor,” she muttered, not looking away from her tray. “Don’t you make too much to eat here?”
He lets out a light, singular chuckle. “My correctional counseling days… Old habits, I guess.” He leans forward and places a hand on her table. “But really, what’s happened? Did you have an adverse reaction to the medication, or some unpleasant side effects? You never even told me you wanted to stop seeing me.”
She doesn’t immediately answer, lazily massaging her forehead and covering her eyes. “Put your tray down, I guess.”
The doctor complies. He sits, wrings his hands together, and puts on his most sincere ‘concerned’ expression. It’s hard to look professional in a cheap cafeteria restaurant while wearing a bright “World’s Best Uncle” sweater. “Come on, now – you don’t have to tell me anything, but I’m curious, and you frightened me.” Finally, she looked him in the eyes. Her gaze was intense, torrid, angry.
“I took them!” she hissed. The doctor is taken aback, but doesn’t show it. He lends her a sympathetic, confused look. He nervously drums his fingers on the table. “And…?” “AND he would be sitting right here with me right now, if it weren’t for those goddamn fucking pills. I even stopped taking them, and he won’t come back! He’s gone!”
The doctor paused for a moment, then shook his head. “Still hung up on that? He was a crutch, and you’re better off now.” The doctor flattens his hand and strikes the table for emphasis. “You had to let go for your own survival. I’m sorry if his ‘loss’ was traumatic to you, but it’s not healthy, it’s not sustainable, and I tried everything else I could to help you.” He leaned forward, and softened his voice. “You voluntarily took that medication, and I still believe it was the right thing for you to do.”
She spoke haltingly, on the verge of tears. “No, no, it really wasn’t. Fuck you.” The doctor nods sagely, taking her reaction in stride. “It’s fine if you’re angry with me. Things will get better, ¥‡_í7#.” She cleared her throat, and took a moment to calm down. “Fuck you,” she repeated. “Who am I to say ‘no’, if my subconscious wants to give me a little present?” The doctor raised an eyebrow. “I shouldn’t have said ‘no’. Love’s beautiful, even if it’s a hallucination.”