Kate woke and looked around her room. She was alone, safe in her town house. She looked at the clock on the nightstand, just after nine in the morning.
She lay in bed for a moment, thinking about the visitor’s dirty face. “Believe,” she said, and the stress from the previous night returned.
She made a quick cup of coffee and decided to check her email. Mister Hedley jumped in her lap.
Spam, spam, and one from Ramona. She clicked it.
Kate, don’t worry about last night. Everything was fine after you left. I was a little worried about you though. I know you aren’t very religious so a pastor is probably out of the question, but I did set up an appointment for you to see Dr. Riley, the psychiatrist, this afternoon at 2 pm. You don’t have to go but death affects people differently and I just want you to talk to someone. I look forward to seeing you this afternoon. Let me know about Dr. Riley, either way.
Kate sipped her warm coffee. “I am not crazy” she thought, “but I did see that woman and now she is in my dreams.”
She made herself some breakfast, occasionally glancing at Ramona’s still open email. “Just talk to someone, not crazy. Just a little stressed. He might be able to explain the dream.”
She sat down at the computer desk and replied to Ramona that she would keep the appointment.
Kate found the psychiatrist, Dr. Riley, to be very kind and professional. He was in his mid fifties she guessed. He was balding slightly on top, with a genuine demeanor and a warm smile. She immediately liked and trusted him.
“Let’s get some history first. Tell me a little bit about yourself.” Dr. Riley asked. “Are you single or dating?”
“No. I am single. I go out on dates occasionally, but nothing serious.”
“I just haven’t fallen in love. I don’t want to settle for the wrong guy.” She answered.
“Were you ever in love?” He asked.
“In college. I thought I had Mister Right. He turned out to be a jerk.”
“Cheat on you?”
“Yeah. One time mistake he said, but I never made any mistakes.”
“And you are thirty two now. Nothing serious since then?”
“I have been on a few dates. I can usually tell after a few minutes that so many of these guys are losers or not worth my time.”
“No. I would call it being picky. I don’t want to support someone who is still playing video games. I certainly don’t want to raise someone else’s children. Seems like everyone is divorced with kids these days.”
“You don’t want children?” He asked.
“My own children would be great. I have heard too many of my coworkers complain about their ex and problems with the kids.”
“And your parents, are they healthy?”
“Yes, just checking family history.”
“They are fine.” She assured him.
“Any visions, hallucinations or voices? No matter how insignificant.”
“Nothing like this, just normal stuff.”
“Define normal for me.”
“I don’t know, déjà vu, catching something out of the corner of my eye. That’s normal right?”
“Give me some examples?” He asked.
“Déjà vu, feeling like I have been somewhere before, which is normal. Everyone experiences it. Sometimes I feel like I see a shadow move or lights getting brighter.”
“Sensitivity to light could be a medical problem. Any symptoms associated with that?”
“I am not sensitive to light. I swear sometimes I can see a light in the room getting brighter. There is nothing associated with it, just bright light. Your desk lamp seems brighter than when I first came in.”
“But it isn’t.”
“How can you be certain?” She asked.
“How can any of us be certain? Do you hear voices or talk to yourself?
“I am single. I talk to myself all the time or I talk to the cat.”
“Ever get in any serious arguments?” He asked with a chuckle.
“No. I guess you can say I get along with myself just fine.”
“Cute, we are about out of time. I would like for you come back tomorrow and get a little deeper? I think you will be fine but it helps to get these emotions out. You can’t let them fester.”
“I would like to get this nightmare out of my head.”
“What happened?” He asked. “Ramona said you experienced two sudden deaths and thought you saw someone in the room. You also had a dizzy spell.”
“You might think I am crazy.” She answered.
“Good, that is why I am here.” He said with a smile. “Most people are not technically crazy. Sometimes people just need someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on.”
She was nodding her head but staring out the window. He could tell by the look in her eyes that she stopped being so matter of fact. She wanted to let go.
He added, “Ramona said you aren’t a religious person. Are you stressed about…”
She cut him off. “There was a woman in the room. She opened her mouth back over her head right in front of my face. I closed my eyes for just a second, and then she was gone. Ramona was just outside and never saw anyone leave the room.”
He stared at her for a few moments. His pen at his lips. “Interesting.” He said. “Spend the rest of the afternoon with me? Just a few more hours? I will clear it with Ramona.”
“Sure” She said. “I would be happy to get this out of my head.”
“I would like to get into your head, ever been hypnotized.”