She had an idea rolling around in her head. Two revolvers, one barrel pressed against each temple. Pulling the triggers at the exact same moment and having the bullets crack the skull, pierce the brain, smash into each other and come out the other side. The only difference being she would be dead. While thoughts like this were common in her mind she never thought of actually carrying through with any of them. She did not want to kill herself. She only wanted to die.
The waiting room was cold, and the magazine choices ranged from home improvement to antique cars. Not even a Highlights to occupy the twenty minutes she normally had to wait. This was her ninth appointment with Doctor Stapleton and the outcome was looking grim. She had never seen a psychiatrist for more than a month; she could usually scare them off before then. But the good doctor was stubborn just like her and it seemed he planned to stick it out until she talked. So, that was exactly was she was going to do.
"Katelyn, he will see you now." The pretty blond secretary motioned for her to go to the office but Katelyn took her sweet time. Doctor Stapleton liked his schedule to be perfect. So when Katelyn was late, the session would start in her favor.
His office always smelled of fresh paint, but the pale blue color never changed. For the first time, Katelyn saw him out of his comfy recliner and took the opportunity to take the chair for herself. He always told her to make herself comfortable.
He did not notice immediately, but once he lifted his head from his notes he changed his path to the ridged wooden chair she has always seen as decoration.
Crossing and uncrossing his legs multiple times led the doctor to change his seat to the couch. Katelyn looked on as if she saw no problem. She watched as he shuffled his papers, cleared his throat and pushed his rounded glasses up the ridge of his nose. He reminded her of Gregory Peck with his quiet dignity. It surprised her how highly she thought of him since her only role in his life was to make it worse. He was the only doctor who didn't care if she chose not to talk for an hour. The fact that she showed up was enough for him.
"What are you thinking about, Katelyn?" She slowly turned her attention away from the window. She had been looking outside for ten minutes. Doctor Stapleton tried to make eye contact but Katelyn would not allow it.
"Do I look calm?"
"I would say so, yes."
"And why is that?"
"I'm currently thinking about having sex on this couch." With a devilish half smile she watched the doctor, waiting for him to stutter or blush. Any kind of reaction would have pleased her, but he just sat there, jotting down a few notes.
"Katelyn. I have the notes of all your other psychiatrists. I know exactly what you are doing. Now, how is the anti-depressant I gave you working?"
"It's alright." This time she uncomfortably shifted in the recliner.
"I guess that's better than nothing. We ended last session with the accident. Do you want to tell me more about that night?"
"What about Mat? Do you want to talk about him?"
"They aren't my parents." She quickly snapped. It was the first real reaction he'd gotten out of her in days.
"Your mother said they told you…."
"She is NOT my mother."
"Katelyn. Biologically you may not be related, but she will always be the woman who raised and took care of you."
"I don't give a crap about biology. Someone who keeps something like that from me is no longer a part of my life."
"So you are okay with their decision?"
"Sending me half-way around the world for the summer because they don't want to deal with me seems just like what any normal parents would do."
"New Mexico is not half-way around the world."
"I don't need a geography lesson, Doc. It was an analogy." The room became still as he wrote a few notes down. Her gaze once again wandered to the window. A gentle rain had begun to fall.
"I hear New Mexico is quite the inspiration for artists."
"I'm not an artist."
"So you stopped taking pictures?"
"My camera broke."
"I'm sorry to hear about that. It was a gift from your brother, correct?"
"Why do you keep bringing up Mat? Did they tell you something?"
"Was there something they should have told me?"
"No. I don't know. It's just no one has heard from him in a while and it's making everyone nervous. I mean it's not as if a sniper for the US Army can just disappear. If he died then they have to tell us. I mean he could be on a top-secret mission or something and be unable to get any word out. Just because we haven't heard from him doesn't mean he is dead."
"So you think he is still alive?"
"Of course he is."
"What do you think was in the casket your family buried?"
"Nothing. It was empty. It was all a scam the government did to keep him safe over there. If even we think he is dead then the enemy won't be looking for him. I'm going to slap the next person who tells me he is dead. There is no proof. They never found a body. He is still over there. And even on the off-chance that he isn't why can't people let me to stay in my denial stage for as long as I want? It is not as if I am hurting anyone by believing he is still alive."
"Did you every think you are hurting your parents? They are going through a very difficult situation. Losing a child…"
"I hope you mean losing as in unable to be found."
"Them seeing you not accepting reality, burying the pain, makes them think they have failed."
"They have failed. They are crappy parents. You should only adopt a kid if you plan on loving it as much as your real one. Who adopts when they can have their own anyway? I mean, sure the world is overpopulated and all that but who really thinks about that when starting a family? Americans like bloodlines. Adopted kids are always screwed up, right from the start because no matter how much they try they will never be blood. They will always know they don't really belong. And since they don't belong with the people who adopted them then they don't belong anywhere because they don't know who their blood parents are and most likely they don't want anything to do with them anyway. You don't give away your kid if you want it. For all I know my mom was some eager teenager with a Catholic family that wouldn't let her get an abortion. I don't even care who she was or the sperm donor. They aren't a part of me. Figuratively since literally they are."
Silence had never scared Katelyn. It was what filled the majority of her life. Most of the time she tended to enjoy it but every now and again when she got nervous or accidentally let some emotions slip, even trismus wouldn't be able to keep her quiet. If social awkwardness was a calling then she would be at the top of her field.
When the door burst open, Katelyn did not jump nearly as high as Doctor Stapleton. She was expecting her parents to show as soon as they noticed she was not barred up in her room. Three hours was only slightly sooner than she presumed.
"Doc, these are my quote unquote parents. Jerry and Sally Brooks. It's about time you meet them. They are the ones who pay you after all."
"We have been looking everywhere for you, young lady. You are going to be late for your flight." Her 'mother' squealed in her usual tone.
"Was that before or after you remembered I come here every week?"
"Don't speak to your mother that way."
"Wait. You expect her to fly to New Mexico?" Doctor Stapleton chimed in.
"Yes. Do you have a problem with that?" Her father asked.
"Actually I do. Since your daughter has an extreme fear of flying. Aviophobia, probably relating to the fact that she likes to be in control."
"Excuse me. Does Doctor-Patient confidentiality mean nothing to you?" Katelyn quickly realized that them meeting was a horrible idea.
"I'm sorry, but that is just ridiculous. Katelyn is not scared to fly. In fact she loves it."
"Hate to break it to you, but it only seems like I enjoy flying because it means we won't be at the house and I'll be around other people besides you."
"Just go get in the car." Her father ordered and she hauled herself up out of the recliner. Doctor Stapleton stood as well but he directed his attention to her parents. She tried to walk out as slowly as possible but he said nothing until the door was shut and once that had happened she could only hear mumbling.
Once outside, Katelyn questioned whether or not to go home with her parents. She was positive Doctor Stapleton was telling them everything she had told him. Most of the stories were so far from the truth she wondered why he didn't try to discredit them. Curiosity got the better of her and she waited, slightly patiently, next to her parents locked SUV.
The rain had suddenly stopped and the clouds had begun to clear. It was turning out to be a beautiful day and she couldn't decide if she hated it or not. If there had suddenly been a tornado her flight would be cancelled and she would be able to spend a few more hours in semi-bliss. Maybe a blizzard would be more realistic, she thought as a single raindrop fell onto her face. Did it even rain in New Mexico?
Her parents immediately questioned what she was staring at as they walked out of the office building. When she answered 'the clouds' they didn't seem to believe her.
"What did Doctor Stapleton say?" Katelyn tried to change the subject.
"How long have you been scared to fly?" Her mother asked quietly.
"I don't know. I guess since I flew with Mat up to Vermont and the people behind us keep joking about there being problems with the plane, plus there was a lot of turbulence on that flight."
"Why didn't you tell us?"
"Because it was an excellent excuse to get Xanax." She tried using a humorous tone but it came off as bitter. "The hardest part is actually getting on the plane. Once I do that I pop some sleeping pills and don't wake up until we land. It helped that Mat was with me."
"He knows everything about me, Mom. He always has."
"Katelyn, it's not healthy…."
"Let's just get home. You have some packing to do." Her father interrupted as quietly as her mother began.
"Packing? Oh. Right. We are still doing that, are we?"
"The Dixon's are expecting you, sweetie."
"Please don't call me that."
"Wow. You said please." Her mother tried to get her to smile but she merely climbed into the car.
She packed four bags for the entire summer. Unfortunately she quickly realized that she did not have a wardrobe for New Mexico during its hottest months. She hoped to be spending the majority of her time inside, but doubted it. What kind of punishment would that be?
After an hour of packing and arguing, they got themselves onto the road to the airport. It was dead silent. The type of silence a child dreads, after embarrassing mommy and daddy in the store. The silence of guilt. They know they did something, they just don't know how to apologize. When they were little they could say it sweetly, grinning and their parents would have to forgive them. When they're a teenager, their parents don't fall for any of their crap. Even when they are being sincere. Sometimes she didn't even know when she was being sincere. After a certain age most of what she said was full of crap.