Welcome to Friday Fiction! This week it is being hosted by Beth at
Laughing At the Days.
Dr. Moore removed her glasses and sat thinking for a moment, placing a few pieces of loose paper on the small table in front of her. She finally spoke. “You know, if this were a creative writing class, this would be graded excellent in many ways. It has wonderful style and characterization.”
“Oh, do you like it?” Marty’s voice sounded childishly hopeful.
This was not going to be easy. Dr. Moore sighed even as she remembered briefly her motivation for becoming a psychologist. She looked at her patient with a sense of compassion, but knew she had to remain firm. “Marty, you are a talented writer. However, it saddens me that you didn’t even try to follow the instructions of your assignment.”
Marty’s smile quickly turned into a defiant sneer. “I’m sure I don’t know what you mean.” She turned away from the psychologist’s keen gaze. Twisting a strand of her long dark hair, she glanced around the room as if looking for a place to hide. Her eyes stopped at the bed.
“Your assignment was to write out any recollection from your past. It was simply to be a truthful account with as much detail as you could remember.”
Marty folded her arms across her chest and continued to stare at the bed.
“It didn’t have to be momentous or significant in any particular way, just a truthful event from your own past that you could write out as completely and accurately as possible.” Dr. Moore waited silently, but added in her thoughts, “Something that could get us started talking about you. Something that could help you open up about the things in your past you want so badly to hide. If we could do that, we might get you on the road to healing. If you could just open up there might be some hope…” The silence became heavy as she realized there would not likely be any such revelations from Marty’s past today. Continuing to admonish her for not completing the assignment wasn’t going to help.
Changing tactics, Dr. Moore asked, “What is it that you like about Deanna, Marty?”
Marty’s eyes left the bed in surprise and focused once again on Dr. Moore. “Deanna?”
“Yes, the main character in your story here.” She gestured toward the papers on the table as she spoke.
“What’s not to like?” Marty’s eyes narrowed as she stared shrewdly at the doctor. Cautiously, she went on, “She’s got everything. Looks, money, youth…”
“Okay.” Dr. Moore nodded. “But if you had to choose just one thing about her that appealed to you most, what would it be?”
Marty stared at her suspiciously, indecisively. Finally she stated flatly, “Power. Deanna has … power.” She stared defiantly, as though challenging the doctor to disagree.
“Can you explain how you mean that she has power?”
Marty looked irritated that the doctor had gotten her to play her psychological game. Then she shrugged as though she didn’t really care whether the doctor understood what she meant by power or not. “She makes her own choices. Nobody tells her what to do.” She hesitated, glancing around furtively before continuing with growing intensity. “She has money so she never has to do without anything. She’s beautiful so everybody likes her. She’s confident, so she dominates.” She stopped, quelling the rising passion.
“She’s a bit unscrupulous.”
“Well, if she had to be limited by principles, she couldn’t get everything she wanted, now could she?” Marty smiled slyly. “Where’s the power in that?”
Dr. Moore hesitated, reminding herself again of her reasons for her chosen profession. Just how deep was the dark reservoir inside this woman, and how willing was she, as the professional, to draw it out?
“Marty, it really is time for you to start telling the truth. Do you think you could tell me how long you have been living life through your fantasies?”
Marty’s eyes flashed with anger. “What I think is that none of this is any of your business!” The game was over. Truth would not be forthcoming.
“Marty, unless you want to write about something from your real life as I asked you to, I am going to take away the pens and paper.”
With proud defiance, Marty stood slowly and walked over to the bed. Sitting down, she pushed herself backward until her back rested against the wall. One at a time, she drew her knees up to her chest and crossed her arms tightly around them. In a voice laced with venom she said quietly, “Dr. Moore, you took away my books. Now you’re taking away my paper. But you can’t take away my mind. If you want me to stop living in fantasy land, I guess you’re going to have to do to me what I did to Pa.” With that she closed her eyes and dropped her face against her knees, blocking out the sight of Dr. Moore and effectively ending the session.
As Dr. Moore left the room she prayed silently. “Lord, I know I asked for this. I said I wanted to be in a position to help people no one can seem to help. Now I can really see I didn’t know what I was asking for. But God, she is one of your own creation. Help her to see that You love her. Help her to find life in Jesus. Help her to live in reality. Help her to know you love her and she can trust You.
“Tracy.” Dr. Moore sensed the quiet whisper.
“Tracy, I would still be in that room.”
“Lord, if I tell her about you, I could lose my job.”
“Tracy, I want you to take that risk.”
Even as Tracy turned to walk back into the room, she realized it was too late. Dr. Peppard was already there, peering through the small glass window at Marty, who was still sitting on the bed with her face hidden. He turned to face Tracy with a smirk. “I told you this was a waste of time. Give her back her books and let her escape life. She’s not worth the effort.” He turned on his heel and walked away.