Publisher Stephanie Colbert
Based on the true story of a woman who, when held against her will in a private facility, does the only thing that life has taught her how to do - fight. But even with all her struggles against the doctor who controls her fate, she is unable to prevail. This is just the beginning of a journey that takes Susan through many situations where her strength is put to test. But even with her husband, who loves her unequivocally, behind her, will she win?
How does one know that their life is about to change forever? Instinct? Premonition? Are there any warnings? Or do we all simply walk blindly ahead into danger as Susan did that day, when everything seemed so innocuous? Whatever it was, blissfully ignorant, Susan forged ahead as she walked towards the old building. Preoccupied, she opened the door but wasn’t prepared for the blast of cold air she felt, a welcome respite from the unsparing Texas sun. The well-lit interior was soothing, and much nicer than she expected.
Susan located the stairs and easily climbed them; staying in shape was important to her. As she reached the second floor, she had no problem finding what she was looking for—Suite 206. Dr. Frederick Duran, Psychiatrist, was proudly embossed in gold-colored letters against the background of the tinted white glass door. She hesitated, then opened the door and entered her surroundings, curious about what she would find.
The room was empty, and the silence caused her to feel uneasy. Ahead was a counter with a set of frosted glass sliding windows. Susan walked across the room towards the counter and saw a sign-in sheet attached to a clipboard. It was blank. Odd, she thought as she wrote in her name and time of arrival.
After she was done checking in with the receptionist, Susan chose the chair that was closest to the entrance, or exit.
No more than five minutes later a door opened, and Susan had her first glimpse of Dr. Duran. Standing in the doorway with black-rimmed glasses, he looked like a professor who would have been more at home, trying to inflict wisdom into bright, young, inquisitive minds. His light brown hair had evident streaks of gray at his temples, further accentuating his scholarly appearance.
Wanting to have the upper hand right from the start, Susan quickly arose from her chair and went to greet him. Looking him directly in the eye she said, “You must be Dr. Duran. My name is Susan Moreau and I am here for my 10 o’clock appointment.” Her actions reflected her attitude—she was determined to control the situation.
Caught off guard, he quickly recovered. “Yes, of course. What a pleasure to meet you,” he replied as he held out his hand to shake hers. Susan didn’t like to be touched by strangers, so she chose to ignore it. As inconspicuously as possible he withdrew his out-stretched arm, letting it fall casually to his side. “Let me show you the way to my office,” he said, beckoning her to follow as he walked down the short hall.
As soon as she walked into the room, she closely studied her surroundings, wary of what she might find. There was a couch with a nearby chair, and a bookcase filled with books of all shapes and sizes. Most of them looked well-read with their cracked spines. But some looked new, awaiting their turn to be read. Diplomas and what appeared to be certifications were neatly framed, hanging on the wall in a prominent position, so they would be easily noticed. The only thing remarkable was his desk; it was made from highly polished mahogany.
Dr. Duran stepped behind it and sat in his well-worn chair. He smiled and politely said, “Please, sit down and make yourself comfortable,” with a look, and tone that she could tell was an attempt to put her at ease. It didn’t work. As she sat in the chair, her feeling of apprehension remained, causing her body to tense as she stayed on guard.
“What brings you here today?” he asked politely. Even though he was average-looking, his pleasant expressions almost made him look attractive.
“I’ve been experiencing some depression. But I’m fine; if my husband hadn’t over-reacted, and insisted I come, I wouldn’t even be here.”
“I’m glad he did. Depression is something you need to take seriously.”
“I would take it seriously if I felt it was cause for concern.”
“Obviously your husband must have disagreed. Did he share his reasons for insisting you come?”
“Yes, he did, but we had a difference of opinion, and since I’m not planning to return I don’t want to waste your time sharing them.”
“You won’t be wasting my time. I’m genuinely interested.”
“I guess I’m just not comfortable sharing. No offense but I don’t know you.”
“None taken. What if we just talked for a while?”
“I don’t have anything interesting to say.”
“I doubt that. Can you tell me a little about yourself?
“Not much to tell.”
“What about your childhood? Where are you from originally?
“I was born in Alaska but I’m not from anywhere.”
“Why do you say that?”
“My dad was in the Army, we moved around a lot.
“I notice you’re wearing a wedding band. Can you tell me about your husband?
“Just trying to make conversation. Can you at least tell me his name?
“How long have you been married?”
“How is your relationship.”
Susan didn’t like personal questions but was trying to be patient. Something that didn’t come naturally. But she felt his last question crossed the line and it made her angry. “None of your damn business.”
“You’re not going to make this easy, are you?” he asked, then laughed. Susan didn’t react.
“Can you at least tell me where he’s from?
“How is any of this relevant?”
“It’s only relevant because, as I said, I find you interesting and I’d like to learn more about you. What harm can come from answering my question?”
“He’s from East Texas. And yes, he does have the twang to prove it, although I’m happy to say, he’s lost all but a hint of it.”
‘I don’t think having a Texas drawl is such a bad thing. Do you have any children?”
“You ask too many questions.”
“What if I said that I only had one more but that it’s an important one?”
“I’d say be careful.”
“Okay, then let me get straight to the point.” He smiled at her again trying once more to put her at ease. But her body language showed that she was still tense and on edge. He took a deep breath, as if to brace himself, then he said, “So, Susan, don’t you think we should talk your depression, so you’ll have something to tell Paul about our session?”
“Why don’t you let me decide what I plan to say to Paul?”
“I became a psychiatrist because I enjoy helping people. And I think you came here because you want my help, even though you deny it. You strike me as the type of person who wouldn’t allow yourself to get trapped into doing anything you don’t want to do. Yet here you are.” This time his words weren’t followed by any expressions except a sincere, earnest one.
Susan knew it was true but was cautious. She’d learned at an early age that trust was something that few deserved. “What makes you think you can help me?”
“Because I’m good at what I do.”
Susan let out a deep sigh. “We’ll see. My depression has lasted for several months and is getting more severe.”
“Susan, I’m glad you shared that with me. I can you help you. There are ways to treat your depression, so you can feel good again.”
His words gave her a feeling of hope, but then instinct took over. People lied; she knew that to be true. “I don’t see how that’s possible.”
“What would you say if I told you that a chemical imbalance in the brain causes depression, and that there are medications that help restore that imbalance, thereby relieving it? I’ve helped many people with them, people who now lead happy, productive lives.”
She felt herself wanting to be one of them. Then he added, “I also use therapy and my patients find it quite helpful.”
The thought of therapy, with all the dreadful secrets she had was too much. “Well, not me. We’re done.” She stood and left so quickly, he didn’t have time to react.
Nobody is going to fuck with my head.
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I grew up in Europe and traveled extensively. I have a great love of history and particularly enjoy castles and cathedrals with their glorious stained glass and spires that reach towards the heavens. I am an avid reader and enjoy nearly all genres. But my greatest love is writing.