Drew Malcolm felt something touch her through her groggy, sluggish dreaming. She was half asleep and intended to stay that way. She ignored whatever was touching her. Surely if she paid it no attention, she would go back to sleep.1

No such luck. This time, something was bumping her leg, almost rubbing her. It felt soft, smooth... furry. What in the world...2

Drew opened her eyes. Her Siamese cat, Sarabi, was nestled against her leg, purring like a rusty chainsaw motor. She groaned.3

" Get off my bed! Not only did you wake me up, you're shedding all over!"4

She tossed the unsuspecting cat onto the floor. Mewling indignantly, she raced out the door of the bedroom.5

Drew pulled the cover back over her head, but it was no use. Like it or not, she was awake for good.6

" I know one cat who's not getting fed today," she muttered. Sighing loudly, she shoved the covers back. As she glanced at the clock on her bedside table, her eyes widened. She was already late for her appointment with Angelina Willis, the whiny working mother. Damn! she thought. There's not even a point in going in now, I'm already late.7

" Oh well," she spoke aloud. " I didn't want to listen to her moaning anyway. And here's my excuse not to. I overslept."8

She began to pad to the bathroom, but by the time she had entered it she had already began to rethink her decision.9

" Well," Drew mused, " I really don't want to see her, but I want the money. Eighty bucks an hour for two hours... I don't want to lose 160 dollars. But jeez, another two hours of listening to Angelina rehash the same old same old will drive ME insane."10
stood in front of the mirror, staring at her reflection. Her hair, blonde with startling red streaks dyed in, was sticking out every which way. Drew took a brush and began to fix her hair.11

" I guess I'll go in," she said, none too enthusiastically. " If I don't, Angelina will just have even more to talk about next time, and I'll be out $160. But there's no point in rushing. I'm already late anyway."12

Drew took her time getting ready for her job as a psychiatrist. Almost 40 minutes later, she was finally ready. She pulled on her favorite pair of red stilettos, a must for Drew because she was only 5'2, and clunked outside to her car. Twenty minutes later she arrived at Malcolm Psychiatry, her workplace. She hurried up the front steps, inside the bright, cheery, lobby, and down the hall to her office, with the plaque reading Dr. Drew Malcolm on her door. She turned the doorknob and walked inside. She was now about an hour and twenty minutes late for her appointment with Angelina.13

Angelina was already sitting on the room's gray couch when Drew entered, alone. She was a rather nervous-looking woman, thin, with unevenly cut hair and a haggard expression on her face. Though only about 30, slightly younger than Drew, she looked much older.14

" What are you doing in here?" Drewasked her indignantly. " You're supposed to wait in the lobby until I arrive!"15

" You were so late the secretary sent me in," Angelina said. " Where were you? I was just about to leave!"16

" What are you talking about?" bluffed Drew. " I'm not late. I'm right on time."17

" Yes you are late! My appointment was for 9:00, and it's 10:30!" Angelina cried.18

" No, your appointment was for 10:30," Drew lied. " You're wrong."19

" No, I KNOW it was for 9:00," Angelina insisted.20

" Listen, Angelina, I think I can keep up with my appointments. I'M not the crazy one, after all, I'm not the one seeing a psychiatrist. I AM the psychiatrist. " Drew sat down at her desk and propped her feet up, her stilettos a stark contrast to the serious office enviroment.21

" So," Drew continued, " What are you going to blab about today?" Again, she thought.22

Angelina, looking offended at her insults, nonetheless swallowed her pride. Drew was really the only person she had to talk to, even though she knew Drew didn't care about her or even listen sometimes.23

" Well," she began, " Jared, my son, he's been absolutely terrible lately. He's doing bad in school, he hits his sister, he won't listen to anything I say, he completely disrespects me."24

" No wonder. Can you blame him?" Drew muttered under her breath. If Angelina heard her, she gave no sign.25

" I'm at my wits end with him. Sometimes- sometimes I just want to kill him. I just want to strangle him!" Angelina exclaimed.26

" Well listen," Drew cut in. " Next time you get the urge to strangle him, tell him to strangle you instead. Let him keep it up until the urge is gone."27

Angelina gaped at her. " Really? You really want me to ask him to strangle me?" 28

" Sure," Drew shrugged. " Then you'll know how it feels and be less likely to want to hurt him."29

" Okay..." Angelina paused. To Drew's disappointment, it wasn't for long.30

" I guess it's been worse since my husband left me... the kids have to go to a daycare while I work, so they're wild by the time they get home. I still can't believe Jake really is gone for good. He LEFT us."31

" That's nothing," Drew interrupted. " At least you had a good long time where you husband stuck around, though why is beyond me. None of my loser boyfriends ever last more than four months. I think I intimidate them. What do you think, Angelina? Do you think I intimidate them?"32

" Uh, I don't know," Angelina said uncertainly. " But, um, does it make me a bad person if I want to hurt Jared sometimes?"33

" Yes," Drew said without hesitation. " Yes, it does. A good parent would never think that."34

Angelina's face began to redden. Her hands began to shake. She looked quite angry, Drew thought with amusement. She had never seen Angelina angry before. 35

" Isn't it your JOB to be nice and soothing and tell me everything's okay? Why don't you ever do that?" Angelina spat out in in a tightly controlled voice.36

Drew stretched lazily and yawned. " No, my job is to tell people honestly what I think. And I think you're whiny, a terrible mother, and that it's a wonder your husband waited so long before leaving you."37

Angelina reddened even further and began to sputter. Drew didn't let her speak.38

" Wow, look at the time! Session's over. Time sure flies when you're having fun, doesn't it? See you later. I think we covered a lot of ground today, don't you?"39

Angelina sputtered some more, than , glaring as Drew smiled pleasantly, gave up, stalking out of the room.40

" Well," Drew said, pleased, " That was a great session. Thirty minutes long and I get the money for two hours! Pretty good deal!" 41