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A voice recording from the files of Doctor Zachary Cregger
January 8, 2008
Voice One: January eighth, two-thousand and eight. Patient, Trevor Moore.
Shuffling of papers.
Voice One: Let me introduce myself. My name is Doctor Zachary Cregger, and your
name is Trevor Moore, correct?
Voice Two: Yes, sir.
Voice One: Why are you here, Trevor?
Voice Two: (inhale, exhale)
Voice One: Trevor, you need to comply for this treatment to go anywhere.
Voice Two: (inhale, exhale)
Voice One: Okay, Mr. Moore, can you please explain why you think your parents find it
imperative for you to be here?
Voice Two: (sternly) My name is Trevor, not Mr. Moore. Mr. Moore is my father, and I
will never be Mr. Moore.
Voice One: Well, Trevor, that could be a start.
It all started a few years ago. Trevor was twelve, just entering the dreaded
pubescent stage. His voice was deepening from that annoying soprano, childish voice to a solid tenor. He was growing at the rate of a sunflower, and his hair was getting
unmanageable. His cootie immunity was wearing off, as was his soft, baby skin that he
was notorious for.
To top it all off, Trevor Moore was an outcast in the suburbs of New York. He had bleach white skin, dull grey eyes, and slick black hair that always looked greasy no matter how much of his mother’s top of the line shampoo he used. He always sported a Metallica hoodie that had a hole in that kangaroo pouch pocket, no matter the weather. He wore black thick-rimmed glasses, because his parents refused to buy him expensive ones, in fear they would get broken next time a bully thought it would be fun to punch him in the eye. Five for the nose. Ten points for the eye. Twenty for the mouth. Fifty for a sucker punch where everyone knows it would hurt.
Voice One: Were there any particular people who “beat you up”?
Voice Two: Does it matter?
Voice One: Well, Trevor, was there a reason that they did this?
Voice Two: Yeah. First of all, it was a game. A fun one to them, and I was always a
reluctant candidate to play. And, I looked funny to them. They thought I was weird
because I didn’t have many friends, except for Lanie, but she was a girl.
Voice One: What’s so wrong with that?
Voice Two: Girls were icky. And Lanie was a little (inhale, exhale) different, as it was.
Lanie Ogden was an awkward little girl. She was one of those kids who had an
immune system as effective as a wooden barrel encasement going down Niagra Falls. She was pretty, no doubt, but she was odd. She had the gorgeous, wavy, brunette hair that
most girls pay hundreds of dollars for at the local hair salon. She had stunning blue eyes that sparkled like sapphires. Though she had nice physical assets, the way she dressed really did not compliment them. She rarely wore jeans; never dared to wear shorts. Her t-shirts could fit two of her in them. Rumor has it, the shirts were her brother’s who died in a car crash. She just refused to let go of his memory.
Voice Two: Timothy was so nice to Lanie. He was seventeen, and was able to drive. He
used to take her to get ice cream every Saturday when her dad was out doing (inhale,
exhale) his business.
Voice One: What do you mean by business?
Voice Two: None of yours.
Voice One: Okay. Well, what exactly happened to Timothy Ogden?
Voice Two: (inhale, exhale) Well, it was a cold November night…
Timothy Ogden basically took the responsibility of Lanie’s father. He was a built young man, on the football team, and the best junior wrestler. Though he was popular, he never let that get in the way of taking care of his younger sister. Their father was never home. He was either at work, or on business trips, as he told them. Timothy took Lanie everywhere- to the park, out with his friends, under his gentle, loving wing. Also, being a safe and reliable driver, he was always her transportation to Trevor’s house.
The horrific crash happened on a Saturday afternoon, while their father was on one of his infamous trips to nowhere. Timothy was taking Lanie to Trevor’s house so they
could play in the leaves before they were forgotten under the blanket of snow that was
making its arrival within the next few weeks. Trevor lived on the corner of Spruce and
32nd street. Lanie liked to point out the different birds, and make their calls when she saw them. A robin flew past the windshield, and Lanie called to it, like she would on any other day. As she called, Timothy got scared because the bird was so close to the car. He panicked, and swerved the steering wheel. When he noticed what he had done, he let go, and flew his right arm over Lanie’s chest, and screamed for forgiveness. Before Lanie could respond, the car found itself in the river that flowed through the suburban area. Locals called 9-1-1 immediately. Lanie woke up in the hospital by herself, burdened with the news that her brother was trapped in the car when she was rescued.
Voice Two: (inhale, exhale) I still blame myself about the death of Lanie’s brother.
Voice One: You had nothing to do with it, Trevor.
Voice Two: I did, though, Doctor Cregger. If I would have had her come over just five
minutes later, Lanie’s brother wouldn’t be dead right now.
Voice One: You can’t take blame for something you didn’t have control over.
Voice Two: Story of my life, Doctor Cregger. I never have control.
Trevor Moore did not have a very predictable life. He rarely ever made plans, and if he did, they were more than likely broken. He rarely believed promises; they were usually shattered. He thought that promises were made for mere reassurance so he did nott feel so alone.
Mr. Moore was not a man that was very reliable, either. He had the tendency to forget dates, lose money, and push aside the natural ache of hunger. Like Lanie’s father,
he was a working gentleman. He was so caught up in his job most of he time that he
would basically live in his business suit. It suited him well, though. He had a hard, yet sympathetic face much like the look your principal gave you when you once again got caught skipping fifth period, even though you know he conveniently uses the restroom at the end of the hall at exactly 11:32. His cinder-block colored eyes could smash you to dust. He had thick, salt-and-pepper hair, which very much resembled season mashed potatoes. He had a full mustache and beard (must be a manly thing) that matched his head of hair. His face was rarely relaxed, even during his sleep. Trevor often found himself playing a point-system game with his father’s facial expressions, much like the game kids
played at school with his whole body. Negative five for a sneer, negative ten if it was a snarl. He would get positive five if he got him to display a “normal” face, another ten if he was able to make him smile, and a whopping twenty-five for a good laugh. Not a cynical, sadistic, creepy laugh that he got often, but a soft, yet noticeable laugh. He has yet to reach thirty points in his twelve years of life.
Voice One: Why would he laugh at you, Trevor?
Voice Two: He liked to play games, just like I did.
Voice One: Well, you clearly describe a bone-chilling laugh to me. I don’t see how the
exactly fits into games, Trevor.
Voice Two: He liked to play Hide and Seek. At least, that’s what it was to me.
Hide and Seek always fit into every setting for Trevor. Mr. Moore played it all the time, and it was not a typical thirty minute childhood game for him. It was a never-ending mind game that he played with Trevor for several years. It was something like this: first,
Mr. Moore would hide, and Trevor would seek. It was amazing how well he could hide. His favorite places were his bedroom, work, the nice neighbor lady’s house down the street, and to a little town that Trevor liked to call Painted Post. It was a few hours from the city, so that was what he decided to call Mr. Moore’s destination.
Voice One: Trevor, why did you decided Painted Post was where he was?
Voice Two: It’s not that I thought he was in Painted Post, really. I just made it as a secret
code, and lucky me, there’s a town with that name in New York.
Voice One: Code for what?
Voice Two: Painted, as in a mask. Something hidden, or changed. Used to satisfy the eye. Post, well, I’m sure you catch my drift, Doctor Cregger.
Voice One: Ah, I see. What about your mother?
Voice Two: (inhale, exhale) Mama’s just as blind as Mr. Moore thinks I am.
Voice One: How did you find your father, then?
Voice Two: Oh, this game wasn’t really about finding someone, physically. It was all a
mental game, Doctor Cregger.
When Trevor was able to scope out his father, and find out about his secrets, Trevor would lose himself. Such confusion for an already confused boy really did permanent damage to his brain. When it was Mr. Moore’s turn to find Trevor, it always came with a satisfied, cocky smile.
Voice Two: He would always catch me at the wrong time. I’d always be doing something
self-incriminating; something that made me vulnerable.
Voice One: Vulnerable?
Voice Two: For example, sometimes, he would find me at Lanie’s house. He still thought
it was odd for his son to be best friends with a girl.
Voice One: And how is that making you look vulnerable?
Voice Two: Makes me look weak, I suppose. I really enjoyed playing with Lanie, though.
Voice One: What else made you look, as you say, weak and vulnerable?
Voice Two: Well, Doctor Cregger, crying, which I did a lot of. That’s basically what
made him happy, was seeing me cry.
Voice One: So that was the game? Finding out each other’s secrets?
Voice Two: Basically. But there was always a retaliation on his part.
Voice One: I see. So if you reacted to your father, then he reacted to you?
Voice Two: Precisely. Mr. Moore liked to do that.
Voice One: So that’s why you’re here? Because of the mental abuse from your father?
Voice Two: Correction. Mr. Moore, yes. (inhale, exhale) And Lanie…
Voice One: Why have you kept all this hidden, Trevor?
Voice Two: Same reason you keep my problems quiet, sir. I was raised on confidentiality.
“How do you feel about that, Trevor?” Dr. Cregger questioned. He had a smirk on his face as he anxiously awaited Trevor’s response.
“Uh, wow. Doctor Cregger, I was such a flake!” Trevor was astonished. He did not ever realize how much that stuff got to him just a few years ago. “Man, I was so quiet! I guess I did need help. You never notice that kind of stuff when you’re in that situation.”
“Well, how are things going on now?” Doctor Cregger’s eyebrows raised.
“Everything’s fine. Dad’s gone, as bad as that sounds. I still miss him, no doubt,
but he kinda made things harder than they needed to be,” Trevor responded.
“He’s actually gone? What made him leave?”
“Mom finally caught on to what was going on,” Trevor’s voice momentarily became weak, and then regained its strength. “She realized I was being, well, mentally attacked, and she realized where all of the money was going. It took her awhile, but when he came home smelling like booze, smoke, and foreign perfume, it all added up in her head. It was a terrible fight, though. Dad was drunk, and hadn’t finished what he set out to do. He expected Mom to fix it all, make all of that go away, and she wasn’t falling for it this time.”
Now, Trevor’s face glowed. His hair was not greasy, and his eyes sprang to life. Doctor Cregger could not think of anything else to do but smile. Trevor Moore was free from his internal demons that held him captive in his own mind. That’s all that mattered. He was now shed of negativity, and could move on. His Metallica hoodie was replaced with a varsity jacket that proudly displayed his name, year of graduation, and FOOTBALL across the bottom. His glasses were replaced with contacts. His insecurity
was replaced with a genuine smile.
“Mr. Moore, I’m proud,” Doctor Cregger extended his hand, and Trevor gripped it tightly.
“Thank you for everything,” Mr. Moore let go of Dr. Cregger‘s hand, walked to his car, and never glanced back.
Everything was behind him now.