“Numb. I’m always numb.” I gripped the edge of the creamy, knit blanket to my left, staring down at it. Unable to look up.
“Why do you think you feel that way, Nora?” Dr. Nice leaned forward, placing his head on the palm of his hand. I began to think about it, but couldn’t get my mind off his name. Dr. Nice the therapist. The shrink. Might as well be Dr. Friendly,
Dr. Talk to Me,
Dr. Three Hundred Dollars an Hour.
“Maybe because I watched a house fall on my sister.” I began to pick at a string, unwinding it from its chosen place in the blanket.
“Wizard of Oz. Nora, I can only help you if you open up to me.” He sat back in his chair, writing in his notepad. I shrugged, hating that he didn’t even fall for my outburst for even a second. All the other therapists at least fell for it, but no. Doctor Nice just had to watch movies in his free time.
“I’m not sure why I am the way I am. I am whatever you say I am. If I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?” I tilted my head to the right, crossing my arms.
“Eminem. Next?” He looked amused, enjoying my childish tangents. Was I the craziest patient he had?
I had a question that needed to be asked.
“Do you think any of your patients are serial killers? Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Jack the Ripper. Those guys needed help.” I looked at the ceiling, displeased with the plain, white paint chosen for his office. Shake things up a bit, paint it crazy red, or Sunkist orange.
“Do you believe that you don’t need help?” He inquired, continuing to doodle in his notebook.
“I think my mother fears for me because I don’t act like everyone else when I really just don’t like anyone else. I find most people to be boring. My mind is constantly running, and changing from subject to subject. People don’t know how to handle it. My mom gets uncomfortable around me.” My gaze fell on the tree swaying in the wind outside, the sun lighting it’s green leaves up with an inviting welcome. “Sometimes, I can feel her wishing for a new daughter. Someone that doesn’t make her feel so uncomfortable. She doesn’t know me, doesn’t really care to learn about the real Nora. Just the one she thinks I should be.”
I puffed my cheeks out, standing quickly. “Well, this was fun doc, but I really gotta get going. There’s a burger joint down the road that is just calling my name.”
“Is it calling your name because you’re higher than a kite right now?” He grinned, motioning for me to sit back down. “We still have another twenty minutes. Tell me more about life at home with your mother.”
I plopped back down, picking at my nails. “I’d much rather discuss why love is special.”
He opened his mouth to interrupt but quickly shut it. To my surprise, he motioned for me to proceed.
“Not all love is special. I think there’s an obligatory love sometimes. It doesn’t hold a true passion for some people. These movies try to make every love spectacular, but do you know what I watch? The background couples. You know, the ones that aren’t in focus for the movie but are there for comedy relief in a really dramatic, love story.”
He looked at me with an unchanged expression. “Why do you watch the background couples?”
“They’re never perfect.” I sighed, bored with being here. My eyes fixed on his for the first time in a while. “None of the other therapists could help me. Haven’t they ever told you that nice guy’s finish last?”
He laughed. “Playoff of my last name, a very teenage thing to do.”
I shrugged. “It wasn’t my best material.”
We sat in silence for a few minutes, he took the time to drink water and I used it to pick the eyelash that had been bothering me out of my right eye.
“Your mother said you don’t have many friends at school. Do you just choose not to like the other children as well?” He picked up a few of the M&M’s sitting on the table next to him, shoveling them into his mouth. My mouth twisted into a smile. He was different from the other, older therapists I had seen.
“I don’t have friends because of how weird I am.” My head slowly moved towards the ground, unable to meet his gaze again. “There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m just slightly different from them. They can’t handle it.”
“Being different isn’t bad. It’s what makes you, you.” He shut his notebook. “We’ll end the session on that note if you’d like. I’d love to continue it next week, or we can take the last five minutes to talk about it. The decision is yours.”
I stood up, reaching out to shake his hand. He hesitantly took it, looking disappointment. “It was a pleasure doc. You’re a real top of the line guy. One of a kind!” I grabbed my bag, quickly evacuating the facility.