Client M2J.5S0R3 - Session 3


(Beep. Music fades in)

Bold of you to make this demand. For a number of reasons. Especially the little one you tagged on the end of that note. Closure is great, but realistically, what do you think you’re going out of it. I feel like I need to manage your expectations.

Also, that wasn't me following you. Or even checking in on you. I mean, that was me. Physically. But I wasn't there for you. I was there for the food. When I was following you, you unintentionally showed me the one place in that neighborhood with a truly magnificent and reasonably priced vegan burger, and I don't know how you expect me to deprive myself of such a small but delicious joy. Particularly when my existence is defined by horrible nightmares and sleepless nights. Not that I don't understand your side. We’ve been over this.

But genuinely… what would you have done if that wasn't me in the next booth over. I mean, yeah, you had reason to be confident that was me. You probably recognized my voice when I placed my order, but it still was a bit of a gamble.

Not that I can blame you for taking that gamble. Or for anything. On some things, I do agree. Like that this might be hard for you to hear, but you did need this. You need this closure. You need me to do this.

On the other hand, there's the story and your need to hear it. You don't have to convince me of that. You don’t have to convince me that stories or personal narratives are important. I actually wrote a thesis about this, you know? And it wasn't too shabby if I do say so myself. Well,  I mean, it focused on incorporating storytelling into therapeutic settings, as a way of empowerment. But, and don't take this the wrong way, you are living proof that a mirror of this could be as true. Hearing a story--in this case, your story--related to you by a kind and sympathetic soul could be the final push you need to move on. Or it could just give you the strength to keep going for now.

Because being hard and acknowledge is vital to one's soul. And these are the things you feel as if you have been lacking. Not just as of late but always. And hey, if you're stuck with me, might as well make the most of it, right?

(Pause) Are you ready? It's okay if you're not at this exact second. Remember this is pre-recorded. You can come and go as you need to. (Pause) Yes, I do find you fairly predictable. Because psychic here. Or psychic-ish. Psychic enough.

(Pause) But I want to clarify something. Actually I want to come to my own defense. I genuinely didn’t mean to interrupt your lunch with her. I know how sacred that time that time with her can feel. And if I had know about it, I would have made a different choice for lunch. I promise.

(Music fades out and new music fades in)

It feels like a long time ago, doesn’t it? Or it can. It feels like it was another life. When you were another person. Still plagued by uncertainty, interestingly enough. Though I would also argue that we all are. It’s part of being human, but it was more relevant then. Because you weren’t sure if you loved her, this classmate of yours. Lily, you called her. That was your nickname for her. Because lily was your favorite flower, and she had become your favorite person, but God forbid you say her name aloud.

Now, you still don’t know if you loved her or if you were just infatuated by her. And I can’t blame you for the confusion. It’s genuinely hard for you to say because in many regards, you never really knew what love was. Not well, or even at the base levels most people take for granted. Or that’s what you think. Sometimes. Other times, not so much. And then you want to scold yourself for ever thinking that way at all.

That’s to be expected I think. Because you know what? All wounds throb, don’t they? That what this is. The actual level of discomfort is somewhere in between the lows and highs, and while it may be hard to find, trust me when I say that it is in there, and that it’s okay if you can’t find it. Just breathe. Just keep breathing.

(Music fades out and new music fades in)

You met in theatre. You’d always loved the arts and had admired it from afar, but up until then, you hadn’t had the chance to jump in. Whereas she had lived her whole life in that world. Born into it, nurtured by it, and eagerly took on that second skin. One of her parents was a painter, though I never saw which one. I only saw the way the supplies and canvases took over their family home.

She had inherited that eye, however you want to define that. Their praise was vague, but you could tell it was true. It was in the way she arranged all the pieces of a theatre production to set up a perfect image. Not a literally one, obviously. Something much greater than that.

And she desperately wanted you to be a part of it. In a manner that wasn’t as grand as that statement might have sounded in an objective sense. But this is your tale and all things in it can have the meaning you want.

But let’s be realistic here, it wasn’t a big part, was it? But it did not need to be. It was a part that was perfect for you. You fell into it like it was meant for you. Like she had written it for you. And that made this whole acting thing possible. Or that’s what you said. On the other hand, Lily believed in you, and she wanted to get you to believe in yourself. It was like her mission. She was always smiling and doing her best to pull you deeper into your world where she wanted you to feel at home just as much as she did. She truly believed you could dwell in it with her. She wanted it to be true. And I find that that is much the same thing.

But setting all of that aside, this part was meant for you. It pulled out so much of your best traits. As if that was what Lily wanted to put on full display. Then again, the whole cast had contributed in one way or another to the production. It was part verbalizing and part just bleeding into the paget. And in your case, those were traits about yourself that you felt comfortable showing, that you liked. She convinced you to like them.

Sometimes, during those meetings, you were nervous, almost too nervous to speak. And sometimes you couldn’t help but almost ramble. You were desperate to impress her and the occasionally words would just fly out. And that could be embarrassing. Sometimes, but she would smile all the same. Almost like she was really just responding to not what you said but to the sound of your voice.

And that gave such you a rush. And you became dependent on that rush, one that was at least obtainable and reasonably priced.

Reasonable, that is, if you didn’t think about your family. But you were getting better at that.

It might have been love, you think sometimes. Then again, it could have just been that she offered you a taste of a freedom you never thought you could know.  Secretly, of course. In the darkness of the backstage area where stealing a kiss felt par for the course. But it wasn’t stealing, in some regards. Because you were taking what was being offered to you and could have been yours if life had been more… reasonable, let’s say, not even kind.

And then those kisses evolved into whispers of dreams and promises of a lifetime full of shared love and joy. Things you were never sure you could have were suddenly at your feet, presented to you on the bended knee by the physical embodiment of the life you dreamed.

But no, you couldn’t take it. It’s hard for some people to understand why you’d break every promise you made to yourself in order to keep the promises other people had made on your behalf. But you and I both know that what looks like a choice at first glance might actually be far from it. There’s a whole world to each of us that people can’t see, factors they can’t easily understand, and nightmares they blessedly cannot imagine.

As much as you had poured out yourself to Lily, even she couldn’t understand that she could never have all of you. As desperate as she might have been. After all, you had never even had all of yourself. How could you give it away?

(Music fades out and new music fades in)

Your kisses became more desperate over time, didn’t they? And at first, you wondered if she noticed. But then you didn’t. You didn’t care. You were so desperate to pour something of yourself into her, just so it was in some place safe, some place where you had chosen to let this rest rest. To a great extent, those was all you could give her, and that wasn’t lost on you. So you wanted to give her every last bit of it.

And that became your focus, your central obsession, some may say. Some who care about word choice would want to explore that further. And that’s the only reason you’re reluctant to tell your advisor of all people. She is--despite her only obligation to you being your professional development--the only true confidant you feel as if you have. How fortunate are you that you ended up so close to her?

(Music fades out and new music fades in)

No, I won’t share what happened next, though I know people will fill in the blanks I leave open. But But I will say that you did what you felt like you had to do to keep your heart alive.

And I can’t blame you for that.

As for the part I don’t know if you should hear, I did see that your note mentioned hearing that she was having problems with her memory as of late. It didn’t matter what was happening exactly, you said. You could figure that out later. You just needed to rip this bandaid off first. For now, you just need to know if she had forgotten you.

And I am so sorry.

(Music fades out. Beep).