James was in a mood.
At least, that's what Doc T would say about him. "James, explain to me why you're in a mood." He kept his voice down to a whisper while at the same time heightening it to a high pitch imitation of Dr. Trian, something he had perfected during many weeks of leaving their sessions. Prison talks, he would call them. Counseling, she called it. Parole, he countered.
He walked on, heading down the street of his former neighborhood and toward the bustling park, clicking the pen in his pocket with a growing anxiety. It was Saturday, and judging by the vermilion tinge in the fading sunlight, it was about six in the evening. He shouldn't be going to Belle Park, not on a Saturday at six in the evening. But he was in a mood, and there was no stopping him in a mood.
Kids on bikes with training wheels and families packing up their picnics occupied the park, not Kent and his disciples. James gave his pen clicking a rest and found a shaded spot under an old oak where the initials J.C. and E.R. were clumsily carved at the base. He gave the tree a mindless pat, like he did it all the time, and sat down on the lush grass. Feeling more at ease, James took out his pen and began to draw on his right arm.
"I tried to visit today, Em." He said. Sweeping lines erupted from the tip of his pen, his steady hand never swaying. "The doctors wouldn't let me in the room." He paused for a moment and observed the motions of the leaves above him as the cool wind blew through the late summer day. "I went to Doc J today. I kinda showed up unannounced at his house since he wasn't on duty today at the clinic. We talked for a while, mostly about dreams. He's not as bad as Doc T. I think I might halfway like him. I told him about the box, Em. I might have lost it a little when he told me certain information." Another pause. James licked his forefinger and lightly ran it across the length of his right arm, creating a slight blur effect in his drawing. "You know, I have a feeling Noah and Paige are planning to send me back to Orphans R Us. If that happens, I'll have to wait it out until December. I don't mind going back and waiting. I have time, loads of time to do nothing. The thing is that.. you don't have time."
His concentration on the drawing intensified and he didn't talk again. He continued on until all the families and kids had left, until the sun had gone down. At around the same time the street lights kicked in, the usual teenage couples seeking refuge in the dark corners began to trickle into the park. James sighed at the sight of them. He hoped they all became involved in a gruesome car crash in their parents' cars while driving drunk and listening to that stupid pop music they were all so found of. He smiled at the thought. Not because it was his usual dark humor, but because it happened to be a real possibility.
James stood up and leaned his back against the tree. He examined the drawing under the light of the streetlamp and made a few minor adjustments with his pen before feeling satisfied and stuffing it back in his pocket. He patted the tree once more and was about to walk away when a crunching sound and a flash of pain hit him at the same time.
Deep laughter sprung up from all around him. "I bet that made you fucking see stars."
He was on his hands and knees, the cold imprints of cements sinking into his palms. He was barely aware that he was trembling and all too aware of the stabbing ache the rock to back of his head was causing.
Kent and his followers towered above him. "I said, I bet that made you fucking see stars. Didn't you hear me?" He kicked James hard in the side, sending him on his back a couple of feet away. Kent crouched in front of him. "What are you doing here, freak? You're supposed to be locked up with all the other psychos."
James spat in his face.
Kent's groupies immediately swarmed in, ready to beat the living shit out of him. Kent wiped off the spit with his left hand and waved them away with the other. They backed off, sensing impending humiliation on James' part.
James, still laying flat on his back, said, "Look, they're trained."
The drawing on his right arm caught Kent's attention. "Is that Richardson?"
James jumped up quickly, eliciting an annoyed throb from the back of his skull, but he was pinned down by two of Kent's loyal dogs who put their full weight into the crevasse of his elbows with their bony knees. He bit back a scream of pain and swallowed it.
Kent crouched down again, examining the drawing. "Damn. I had forgotten how she looked like with hair." He stared right into James' eyes. "Maybe I'll get to have a good fuck with her before she dies." James squirmed, barely able to contain the shouts of rage behind his teeth. Kent smiled as he watched him. "Let him go, boys."
The weight was lifted and James felt relief on his aching joints at once. He stood and swayed slightly from the effects of the blow to the back of his head. He steadied himself and slid his hand in his pocket, feeling for his pen.
"Get out of my park, freak. Don't let me find you here again." Kent turned away and his boys slapped him on the back, telling him he was the man.
James clicked his pen and, in one swift, fluid movement, dug it into Kent's shoulder. He didn't wait for the shouts and for them to chase. He was already running. He didn't look back or stop until he was upstairs in his temporary room at the Calloways'.
Recording of Session 1
J. M. Celiano
Dr. M. Trian
"Let's start with something simple. Tell me about yourself."
"You have my file don't you, Doc?"
"I'd like to have some insight into how you see yourself."
"I see myself as a regular guy. I like my steak medium rare. I hate taking out the trash. I jerk off about two times a week to my favorite porn. I consider myself a normal guy, Doc. Is there anything else you would like to know? Any exams that require a glove, perhaps?"
"James, you're not helping me help you."
"Was that a quote you were taught at psych school?"
"It seems we got off on the wrong start. Let's try again. Do you have a favorite color?"
"How about a favorite movie?"
"I don't have a particular favorite. I watch tons of movies everyday."
"Is there one that has special meaning to you?"
"I wouldn't say special meaning but yeah, I can think of one movie that I could relate with."
"What was it called?"
"What was this movie about?"
"It was about a guy who everyone thought was crazy. But he wasn't. He just happened to be right when everyone happened to be wrong."
"I see. What happened to him in the end?"