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Two Heads Are Better Than None
Dr. Franklin leaned back and looked at the young man before him. Toby Forrester sat hunched in an overstuffed armchair across from him, with his head in his hands.
“It’s getting worse, Paul.” He moaned.
Toby rubbed his temples and sighed. “I’m losing time more often, and it’s starting to last longer, like several days. And he’s meeting people near me, now,” he groaned. “I can’t keep going like this. He’s trying to take over, I know it.”
Dr. Franklin glanced down at the medical files for Toby. Under Diagnosis, thick black letters read “Multiple Personality Disorder”. After jotting down a couple notes, he cleared his throat and looked up again.
“So, you think John wants to be the dominant personality?”
Dr. Franklin pursed his lips. “But we’ve have been working on assimilating the “John” part of your brain into your own. You don’t think it’s helping?”
Toby cursed and flew out of his chair. “Do you think I’d be this upset if I thought it was helping? Have you been listening to what I’m saying?” He shouted. Spinning around, he began to pace back and forth across the room.
“John’s taking over,” he continued in a subdued tone. “And I don’t know if I can stop him this time. He’s so much stronger than me.” Sighing, he dropped back into his chair. “Maybe I shouldn’t stop him. Maybe he should be dominant. He’s more confident, more aggressive. I bet I could get a better paying job if he was in charge,” he said with a failed attempt at a smile.
Removing his glasses, Franklin leaned forward. “Why? We’ve done so much work here. Do you want to waste it all by giving up? I don’t think so.”
Toby looked up. “You don’t?”
Franklin shook his head. “No. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here today. You’re committed to controlling yourself, whether you realize it or not.”
Toby did not reply. His gaze traveled around the room, taking in the glass double doors behind Franklin, the ones that led out to a courtyard and a large fountain; the framed certificates awarded to Dr. Franklin; the half-filled teapot that layered the room with the scent of chai tea. His eyes lingered on the pages of his medical files that rested on the table beside Franklin.
“I don’t know, Paul.” He said finally, his voice hollow. Sighing, he leaned back in his chair. “I just don’t know.
Franklin opened his mouth to speak when a visible shudder racked Toby’s body.
“Toby? Are you alright?”
Toby shook his head as another shudder ran through him. His eyes closed. Half-standing, Franklin reached a hand out to Toby. Toby’s eyes flew open and he met Franklin’s worried gaze.
“Toby?” Franklin whispered, and his voice held the hint of a quaver.
Toby smiled and, reaching out, shook Dr. Franklin’s still out-stretched hand.
“Hello, Paul” he said, his voice pitched slightly lower. “It’s nice to see you again. Toby was here?”
Franklin sighed and nodded, returning to his seat. “Yes, John, he was.”