June 2, 2009
By Samantha Hoffman BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
Samantha Hoffman BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The woman leans forward, pushing her bleached-blonde hair out of her face.

“So, Tanya. Why are you here today?”

I stare straight ahead, trying to discern the true meaning behind her questions. Hands twitch nervously in my lap, scarred beyond recognition. I'm not even sure if they are not mine anymore.

“Tanya? Did you hear my question?”

Yes, my mind answers, but I cannot force my mouth to form around the word. Yes, I can hear you.

“Its okay. Moving on…”

She rambles on, but my mind is on other things, things that begin to emerge from the hazy mist of my memory. Cool fall night, moonlight walk in the park. Hand in hand, two silhouettes outlined in silver. Long way home, but still feel safe…

“Tanya. Please try to focus. This is the only way I can help you get better.”

I look down at my hands again, clenching and unclenching the grey, itchy hospital gown. My legs are bleeding again: I must’ve started playing with the stitched-up scars again. But I don’t remember.

“Tell me exactly what happened that night.”

Her obscenely blond hair reflects too much of the glaring florescent lights above her head, and I squint.

She misunderstands. “I am not here to judge. I am here to listen. Please tell me.”

I open my mouth to speak, then stop. I remember more. Look up into his face, he says don’t worry. Trust. Love. Keep walking, but he stops. Turn around to wait for him and…

“I am serious. If you don’t tell me, how can I help you?”

I sit up, her nasal voice interrupting my thoughts. I am beyond help, I think to myself. She leans closer, thinking I have something to say.

“What? What is it?”

I can’t tell her, because if I do all of those terrible secrets will pour out and become reality. Those thoughts are bad enough as dreams.

“You have to talk to me at some point. That’s what psychiatrists are for…”

I don’t even try to listen to her psycho speech. I’m more focused on what I refuse to tell her, and the nightmare picks up where it left off: Glint of the knife, flash of moonlight as the blade descends. Explosions of pain, red blood on red leaves. Everything slowly fading to black as I see him walk away…

“Tanya? I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to upset you. Here.”

A box of tissues pushes against my leg. I gingerly touch my face to find it wet with tears, tears that soaked the bandages and stitches that encompassed my face. The tissue feels rough against my sensitive skin as I stare at her, surrounded by ghastly posters of happy smiling faces. More tears flow as I realize: I will never again be that happy.

Blonde hair falls like a curtain across her face as she sighs, glancing at her watch.

“We have one minute left. Anything you want to tell me?”

A thousand thoughts race through my head. Love. Hate. Trust. Pain. Laughter. Tears. Hellos. Goodbyes. Anger. Happiness.

I look right into her face, aglow with spurious concern.


Then I slam the door on the cramped room that brings my nightmare to life once more.

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