Dr. Daphne Wendell exhaled as she slunk back into her chair before her desk, putting her head in her hands and closing her eyes briefly. She rocked from side to side. She was exhausted, having hardly slept the past four days, and her new patient had only further wearied her tired brain.

She had just had her first session with Irene Varrick, a small 14 year old who had only been admitted to Wayland Mental Health Clinic, where she worked, yesterday evening. From only one session Daphne could already tell Irene was going to be a challenge to work with. She had never worked with a split personality before and was not sure what was the best way to approach treating them.

Sighing, she sat up, running a hand through her straight brown hair and glancing at the notes from their session. Though Irene had not actually told her much about herself, she had managed to infer quite a bit.

Irene, at 14, had another personality called Lola. She believed Lola to be a separate person from herself, her older sister, in fact. From what Irene had said about Lola, Daphne could with almost certainty say that Lola was the parts of Irene that she could not cope with having herself. Lola was mean, spiteful, cruel, all things Irene could not allow herself to be. Lola was lustful, wanting every boy she met to give her notice. Lola wanted attention and demanded it, where Irene could not bring herself to.

At the same time, it seemed to Daphne that not only did Lola possess the qualities Irene did not want to have, but also the traits she did want but was afraid to have. Lola was gorgeous and sexy, popular and charming, sought after by peers. She was everything Irene secretly wanted to be but was afraid to become for fear of rejection. While Irene, the dominant personality, was withdrawn, plain, Lola sparkled.

Daphne supposed Irene switched from being Irene to Lola quite often, and so subtly it was hard for anyone to see anything other than a change in mood. In fact, Irene's parents had said as much when they'd met with Daphne yesterday.

" We always thought it strange," Mrs. Varrick had said tearfully, " how one minute Irene would be the life of the party, laughing and surrounded by friends, and the next she'd be slumping off in the corner... we didn't know anything was wrong, we thought she was just moody! We thought it was a teenage thing!"

Daphne suspected Irene often carried on entire conversations with Lola entirely in her head. It would be hard for anyone not trained in psychology to tell what was going on.

The one thing she could not understand was why Irene would want to kill her off one of her personalities when that would, in fact, be killing off part of herself. But maybe that was the point. Maybe in trying to "kill" Lola, Irene's desire to be rid of her undesirable personality traits had overridden her desire to be like Lola. But not enough, apparently, for Lola had not died on any of Irene's attempts. Perhaps this was her mind's way of saying she should give it a rest and admit she can be a mean hypocrite like the rest of us, Daphne thought wryly.

She had tried to discuss with Irene her attempts at "killing" Lola, but she had not stayed focused very long on Daphne's questions. She had kept circling back to insisting Lola was a real person, separate from herself. All gentle attempts to persuade her otherwise were vehemently rebuffed.

" If Lola is not a real person, if Lola is me, then how did she introduce me to Cole? Cole heard her! My parents and I have been talking to her for years!" Irene insisted. " And her friends- they heard her talking to me, they talk to her! And Cole- I saw him kiss her! He kissed HER, not me!"

Daphne had attempted to suggest gently that though it may have been "Lola" he was kissing, and who spoke and did these things, but Irene's body that others spoke to, kissed, and touched. This, along with her explanation that perhaps Lola's conversations had occurred entirely in her mind had not convinced Irene. she had left the session angry and determined to prove Daphne wrong to earn her way out of the hospital.

Putting down her notes, Daphne began to write slowly, thinking up ways more likely to get through to Irene. Maybe next session she would have more success with her...

Irene's admission sheet to the hospital

Wayland Mental Health ClinicName: Irene Varrick Date: 8/4/05

Time admitted: 7:57 pm How: ambulatory

Appearance: white female, 14 years; complexion medium, dark brown hair,

thin, dressed in tight jeans and low cut red top

Behaivor: fought to get out of strait jacket, demanded to be set loose, agitated and insistent to be heard, rambling.

Temperature: 99 Pulse:80

Height: 5'0 Weight: 88 pounds

Admitting nurse: Sharon Desmond

Remarks: seemingly hallucinates both visually and auditorially as well as sensorly. Maybe schizophrenic or a split personality. Very resistent.