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Reverse Psychology

He comes for the ones that don’t want to live.

He makes them look like suicides. He isn’t lying, not really, as they probably would have ended up doing it themselves anyway. He is only helping them along in their destiny, pre-chosen long before any of them were born.

He finds them through work. He pulls them in, tells them he wants to help. After all, that’s just what the sign on his office door says. He specializes in the depressed, the anxious; the ones with no reason to live. He uses his years of training to sound so sincere it is impossible to have any doubts about him. His patients open up; they tell him everything. The years of abuse from family members, the hopeless nights spent in fear that this is all it is, and if that is so, why get up in the morning? He listens, and he offers comfort, but no techniques on how to improve their current lifestyle.

He doesn’t want them to get better. In fact, he makes them worse. He forces them to drag the very worst of their memories from their pasts, making them relive it over, and over, and over again until the pain is once again fresh; the wounds without time to heal destroys the possibility of treatment for the mental disorder that plagues them all.

It may take one session; it may take three, for one it took until almost the end of the seventh, but in the end they all admit that the thought of taking their own lives have crossed their minds at least once, usually more times, many more times. He used to have trouble hiding his smile when he heard this, but now he has the perfect poker face. None of his patients could guess the happiness he feels when he knows he’s found his next victim. He will treat them for just one more session, but with one major difference: for the last session he makes a house call.

He instructs that they make arrangements to have their homes to themselves for the therapeutic hour; he tells them his techniques work best when they have no distractions from spouses or family members. He also suggests they keep the appointment a secret; it’s easier to return to a normal lifestyle if their friends and family don’t know the extensive treatment they need to do what most people can achieve without any help at all. The victims are so ready to cure themselves that they happily go along with whatever he says. They set up a date, and he shows up with his briefcase, holding three things. He packs lightly for the trip, all he needs is his patient’s binder, in which he keeps all his notes made during previous sessions, a pair of gloves that fits his hands perfectly, and a revolver.

He has a few guns he uses; if he picks the same bullet each time he might get someone suspicious. It’s hard enough explaining why all his patients seem to take their lives; isn’t it his job to keep that from occurring? But, he always says, the practice of psychotherapy isn’t perfect. Sometimes the patient is too far gone when help arrives, and since he is a specialist, he’s usually the last stop for these people. He hasn’t even seen them for ten sessions yet, so how can he be blamed for their suicide? They can’t prove anything the way he does it because he isn’t the one to do it. In the end, their therapist puts the gun in their hands and helps them pull the trigger. He uses the gloves so his prints won’t ever be on it; only theirs. He forces their hand around the handle, and puts their pointer finger on the trigger, using his own hand to guide it. The police will have no choice but to deem it a tragic suicide.

He explains it to them, why he’s doing this. He feels he at least has to give them that. He tells them he has this need, an uncontrollable need to kill. He knows he’s got a problem, and a bit of help like the one he claims to offer would probably relieve him of this need. But he doesn’t want to be helped. He loves how he feels when he hears the gunshot and the thump as the body hits the floor, blood splattering on the floor and walls. He loves the scent of death as it fills the room; the sight of the motionless body is exhilarating. He’s enchanted by the taste of fear once they realize that this is the end. Funny how they are all afraid of something they had thought about doing to themselves. But they are, and that doesn’t stop him. He forces the end upon them anyway.

He justifies what he does to them by telling himself he is giving their lives purpose. Without him, they would have most likely died anyway, by their own hand. Now, they serve as a release for him and his psychotic tendencies. They keep him from killing those who otherwise wouldn’t have died for a long while. By sacrificing themselves involuntarily, they save another life.

Usually people become depressed because they feel that there is no reason to continue living. There is no reason to be happy, no reason to face the routine toils that come with everyday life. But now these people get to serve a real purpose. Perhaps if they knew that there was a reason for their existence, they wouldn’t have come to me.



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