By Joseph Logsdon
Helen Ferguson wanted to kill herself. When she looked in the mirror, she saw a failure. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't overcome her depression. The longer she lived, the more depressed she became. After many years of pain, Helen contacted a psychiatrist. Her family wouldn't help her, her friends wouldn't help her, and her husband wouldn't help her. Whether she liked it or not, Helen would have to receive help from a complete stranger.
"Hello, Helen, how have you been?"
"Fine, thank you," Helen answered as she entered the office.
"Oh, come now, I find that hard to believe. Why, if you were fine, you wouldn't be here, would you?"
"That's true," Helen whispered.
"Well, uh, are you ready to begin?"
"Begin? Begin what?"
"The therapy session, of course," he stated.
"Yeah, I guess," Helen answered, taking a seat on the couch.
"You've never been to therapy before, have you?"
"Why, no," Helen sighed.
"Well, it can be a little intimidating, but when we start to build trust, you'll relax. This conversation isn't about me, it's about you. If you feel that I'm talking too much, feel free to stop me. I'm just a psychiatrist, after all, and as a psychiatrist, my main goal is to help you. Now, just because I'm meant to help you, doesn't mean you have the right to ignore my advice. Some people, believe it or not, refuse to take my advice. Even when they give me their money, they still won't trust me. I mean, without trust, we have nothing. In order to cure you, you have to trust me. Do you understand that?"
"Yeah, sure," Helen sighed.
"Now, are you ready to begin?"
"Sure," Helen whispered.
"For a start, how about we talk about your childhood?"
"My childhood? Oh, no, you wouldn't want to hear about that," she sighed.
"Well, there's not much to tell, really. Growing up, my parents were never around. It wasn't that they neglected me, it was just that they were always working. Since I couldn't play with them, I played with my friends," she sighed.
"And who were your friends, exactly?"
"Daffy, Tom, and Jerry," she stuttered.
"You mean, the cartoon characters?"
"I was lonely, okay?"
"Don't get mad, I was only trying to help. Obviously, from what I can tell, you definitely hold a grudge towards your parents. Sure, they might've been decent, but they didn't give you enough attention, did they? Of course they didn't, because if they did, you wouldn't have told me this story," he stated.
"Personally, I think you're reading way too much into it," she replied.
"Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. I know what it's like to be lonely, I even know what it's like to be forgotten. People try to help you, but in the end, they don't know how. To be lonely, to be isolated, is a fate that can't be ignored. So, when I say that I know what I'm talking about, you can believe me," he stated.
"Okay," she replied.
"Speaking of loneliness, how's your husband?"
"Oh, he's fine," she answered.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, to be perfectly honest, he's been treating me like shit. No matter what I do, it's never good enough. If anyone should be in therapy, it's him. Why, just a few weeks ago, he attacked me. He's a monster, a fucking monster!"
"Surely, it can't be that bad?"
"He's a dirty, lying, good for nothing bastard!"
"Well, it seems we've found the source of our problem, haven't we?"
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, come on, it isn't that hard to figure out, is it? All your life, people have been mistreating you. They don't respect you, they don't like you, they don't even want to talk to you. Do you know why that is?"
"Because they're jealous, because they want what you have, what you've always had. You're a beautiful woman, Helen, and because you're a beautiful woman, they hate every ounce of you. They not only hate you, they despise you. Nothing, and I mean nothing, will make them like you," he huffed.
"Are you serious?"
"I'll tell you what, have you ever heard of hypnotherapy?"
"Yeah, I think," she answered.
"It's very simple, actually. If you want, we can give it a try. You have to understand, I'm not saying it will work, only that it's worth trying. So, what do you say, are you game?"
"I don't know, it sounds dangerous," she answered.
"I promise you, it's perfectly safe," he assured.
"Well, I guess we could try it," she stated.
"First, you need to close your eyes, then you need to relax your body," he stated.
"Okay, I'll try," she replied.
Within seconds, Helen had relaxed her body. The longer she had her eyes closed, the more relaxed she felt. Slowly but surely, she was entering a waking dream.
"Now that you're relaxed, I want you to look into my eyes," he commanded.
"As you wish," she replied.
Their eyes met, and for the first time, they were connected. His eyes were more than human, they were superhuman. She tried to fight his mind, but by then, it was too late, far too late.
"You're a very beautiful woman, Helen. Why, in all my life, I've never seen anyone more beautiful. Every time I look at you, I feel aroused. You have corrupted my mind, my very soul, and for that, you must pay the price. When I give the word, you're going to kill yourself. That way, I'll be free of your temptation. Just the thought of not having you, makes me feel sick. Well, if I can't have you, no one will," he laughed.
"Whatever you say," she replied.
"Tell me, what are you most afraid of?"
"Rejection," she answered.
"Hey, what a coincidence, I'm also afraid of rejection. Tell me, Helen, if I asked you out, would you have rejected me?"
"Yes," she answered.
"I thought as much. Everyone is jealous of you, everyone but me. For whatever reason, however, you just won't accept me. I'll tell you something, no one could ever love you as much as I do. Sure, I know we just met, but that doesn't change the way I feel. Since I can't have you, I'll eliminate you from my life. Go ahead, Helen, kill yourself," he commanded.
"I will," she replied.
Without delay, Helen left the room. There was no regret, only sadness. Everyone hated Helen, and at the same time, everyone envied her. From that day on, she would only be a memory, a faint voice in the wind.