“I’m not sure I can…talk to you.” She said, almost in a whisper. Looking down, playing with her fingers, her pupils not staying on one object… She was nervous, in an obvious manner, but about what, he didn’t know. Usually, she was distant and apathetic to almost everything and anyone. She was socially withdrawn, comfortable with solitude, emotionally cold, silent, unmotivated to do anything and simply sombre. That’s what he had gotten from her, though some information he had was from her parents. Like her eerie indifference to everything, or the fact that she is always lost in her mind, sunk in and sometimes (the mother admitted that she was at a loss for words but…) it was as if she could not get herself out. Something external had to remove her from it.
Faith Nyambura. (But call her Faith. She always reacts to that name. Her mother… again.) How many times had she repeatedly refused to open up in all the sessions they had had together? Yet today she had brought herself here. Waited as he finished up with another patient. Asked him to help her. It touched him… somewhere. She was a beautiful young woman. Dark skin, flowing hair, a beautiful face with those small hazel eyes and her petite mouth, a certain innocence in her… But still, here she was, her hands wrapping her body protectively, as if she didn’t trust the world, as if she had something to protect herself from. A silly thought crossed his mind; that if he was in her age bracket, he would have definitely had made a move. He felt like smiling, and he couldn’t hold himself back, so he used it to approach her. It was a warm smile, a trusting one. Then he spoke.
“Faith,” he started, keeping in mind that she always reacts to that name. (Probably a name that her peers used with her. Being alert to that name could only mean that she was a lonely kind. Solitary, but still yearning for a bit of company. Friends, maybe a boyfriend, he couldn’t be sure) But that was how he would crawl into her. Make her trust him enough to reveal her secrets. He felt evil, thinking and doing this, but… “You came to me, and I’m happy that you did. But you can’t back down now. I’m your psychologist. Yours. (‘She’s already vulnerable, so let her feel special, as though I’m the only one she can talk to!’ he thought)I’m paid for you to talk to me, so you should. Just… tell me what’s in your mind. Let’s start there. I’m very sure it’s what brought you here” She stared at him for a while. Not really sure of herself. So a last card. (She keeps losing herself in her head, meaning she’s a dreamer. Probably creates her own fantasy world in her head. So if she keeps losing reality we just have to seep into her own fantasy, created by what she’s always around.)
“Talk to me.” He said, then reached out and gently took her hand, placing it in between hers. “Trust me.” Nodded, lightly tapped it then let it go. And watched as the wall she had put up, collapse. It worked! (What she’s always around? TV. That just calls for fancy theatrics and fancy words to women, at least. Of course, now he had to beware of her crushing on him, but he would deal with that as it comes.)
“Fine.” She said. “Look, I know why my parents brought me here. They think being as quiet as I am is a sin, or a disease. They want me to be like Mark, all hyper and loud. Social… Honestly, I don’t care about that. But I’m having… problems with my mind. I feel like it’s… its… swallowing me. It’s like I get in but I can’t get out. And I don’t want to keep sinking into it. My head hurts and I’m too swallowed up to even concentrate in class or think about what I want to think about… I can’t keep thinking about … things I don’t want to think about. Things I would rather not think about…”
“What things? What do you think about, Faith?” He asked. “This is good, by the way. You’re doing well, Faith. Tell me about these thoughts. What are they about? And why don’t you want them?”
She seemed reluctant, but she also seemed to realize that whatever it was that was disturbing her had to leave. And she wasn’t going to sink into her comfort zone again. Or her mind.
His voice was smooth, best described. Pulling. As if you could just sleep and cuddle in it… ‘Crap!’ she thought. She shouldn’t think like that. It was wrong! She forced herself to think of something else, like what to say to the doctor. “I see things. Mostly alternatives of situations which already happened or which will happen.”
“O.K?” He said, urging her to continue.
“It’s like, if I had a conversation with someone, I start thinking of how it could have gone. What could have stemmed from the shift? What could have happened to me? And the world? That kind of thinking. I googled it (Of course, she did, he thought. Having alternates and shift in your off-the-head vocabulary says you did.) And I saw that it was delusions? Kind of like mind hallucinations?” She went quiet, waiting for approval, not opinion. The look in her eyes told him; she knew she was right.
“Yeah. Kinda. You can put it like that… Though it’s not exactly that.”
“And also I keep seeing things I don’t want to see. Like how people disgust me. I look everywhere in this country and all I see is the way they live like cockroaches. They don’t deserve their lives. How can you use your life to scrape, to steal or kill without any remorse or shame? I want to end them. The world would be a more beautiful place without them. Full of people who can make a change, not just live! What are we? Rats? We can’t afford to be vainer than this vain world. Always wanting sex, money, or… sex! I despise the vain and I dream of power! I will either change their mind-set or I will rid the world of them permanently!”
(OK… I have to admit I hadn’t expected this… but I can’t look overwhelmed. Or scared that she might kill me. Hehe… kill me… Like anyone can…)
“That is… um… something… Let me ask you a question. Is this what preoccupies your mind? Most of the time? People around you and the events around you affirm this belief in you, don’t they?”
“Yeah, a lot.”
“And you don’t want to think like that, do you?”
“I used to like how I thought. It made me… I can’t find that word…” Her pretty face wrinkled itself as she tried forcing out that particular word from her brain. But he already knew.
“Made you superior?”
“Yeah! It’s like you’re in my mind!” He smiled warmly, not because of the compliment-though it did seem like so-but because he couldn’t see the shy withdrawn person anymore. She was opening up and it was beautiful. He let her continue. “But I’m too aware of what it’s doing to me. Making me despise people and judge them even before I know them… I don’t want to be that person and I can’t lose my sanity (Both her hands flew to her head as she said that, and she squeezed it. As if trying to kill something in her. Another fear she has. I’m too good!) over such silliness!”
“Faith, another question, if you don’t mind. What brought you to me? What was different?”
She smiled at him. An excited happy smile, fully alive and completely beautiful. “The other day I met someone. He was pestering and determined. Funny, though not as other dudes who have hit on me. It actually happens a lot, boys hitting on me. But I wrote them off as vain. They were on my hit-list, so to say. I had no time for them.”
“But him, what made you listen to him?”
“He wasn’t vain. Not in the least bit. He… he gets me. Yeah, that’s it… He gets me…” And Faith went silent, not talking but instead smiling to herself. He looked at her, and smiled. Today was a good day. How she had opened up… it was a miracle, at the very least.
“I’m going to guess that I’m not going to know what he said or did that brought you here?”
Faith smiled, and then shook her head slowly.”I can’t yet.”
“Then tell me this: How do you want me to help you?” He asked with his smooth voice, wrapping up his words so that they came out enchanted. And Faith answered in the same frequency, speaking softly, low tone, with a hint of seduction. Just a hint. Who knew the introvert Faith had this side cropping up in her?
“Are you sure you want to save me?”
By Fred Makoffu.