C2 The therapy
"Do you stay awake reading books all night?" Lia asked her.
During their first meeting, Sasha has mentioned that she is working as a freelance copy editor.
Being an extreme introvert, she found a job that allows her to hide from the outer world.
"No. Even if I am tired to death, I cannot fall asleep. If I somehow manage to fall asleep, I will wake up in the middle of the night due to nightmares." She said in a dispirited voice.
"Can you explain more, like what do you see in nightmares?" Lia leaned forward and asked her.
They say dreams represent the things that trouble our subconscious mind.
In the last few sessions, Sasha's condition has improved a lot and as a doctor, Lia didn't want her patient to go back to the previous state of suffering, so she probed further.
"Most of the time, it is the same dream." Sasha sighed and continued, "I am falling from the building,"
"Hmm," Lia listened carefully as Sasha continued to describe her nightmares.
"But nowadays, I have started to see a man in my dreams,"
"A man?" Lia's dark eyebrows raised in curiosity.
"It seems like we are in love," Sasha's mellow voice had a tinge of self-mockery as if she couldn’t believe the feelings associated with her dreams,
"But the funny part of the dream is that I remember everything else in detail, but not his face,"
"Do you have a boyfriend?" Lia repeated the question which she has been asking from their first session,
And Sasha responded with the same answer she has been saying since their first session.
"No. Not in the last ten years." Sasha denied strongly and pursed her lips for a moment,
She is twenty-five right years old now and if she subtracts ten years from it… it means that she used to be single even from her school days.
"I have never been in a relationship," She confessed,
She is a person who doesn’t even leave the safe zone of her home unless there is an unavoidable necessity. To minimize as much human interaction, she even does her grocery shopping online. How will she have a boyfriend?
"Are you interested-" Lia tried to suggest to the woman who was successfully wasting her twenties, locked up in the four walls of her apartment.
"Doctor, I barely live upon medicines and-" Sasha retorted immediately as if she heard something vile.
"Sasha, it has been two years since your accident and you recollected almost every memory you have lost. We human beings are social animals. Friends, family... someone to call your own-"
Lia tried to explain to the girl who held her guard up against any kind of social gathering.
"I don't have any friends in this place,” Sasha interrupted and stopped for a moment, ”nor family,"
"Both of them, lives with their own families," She chimed,
"You don’t visit them?"
"No," Sasha’s charming face lacked any endearing emotions as she stated.
"How about a change? Why don’t you visit-? Lia tried to suggest, however, her words were cut off by Sasha’s monotonous denial.
"They will not be at home during the Christmas holidays."
Lia took a deep breath,
"How about you come to my house? She recommended, “It's Christmas, and you will have a lot of fun.”
Listening to her doctor's words, Sasha’s lips curled into a gentle smile,
"I am accustomed to this loneliness, doctor. I don't even celebrate my birthdays, why do I care about someone else's birthday?"
Her nonchalant words left Lia dumbfounded for a moment.
After living alone for all these years, it is not easy for a person like Sasha to open up to others. It is a miracle that she decided to seek medical help to get over her depression.
As part of the treatment, a doctor can suggest but cannot force the patient to get closer to others.
After contemplating for a while, Lia decided to discontinue the awkward conversation and get back to her professional mode,
"Ah okay. Let's discuss your nightmares. Can you get into the details?”
Sasha took a deep breath while repositioning herself in a comfortable posture and tossed out the contents of her nightmares,
“The contents of the dreams are almost the same. Only the locations change. We will be on a date...sometimes the location will be a mountain or a beach. We always talk...we talk too much, but no matter how much I try, I never get a chance to confess my feelings." She concluded and waited for Lia's reply.
Sasha hid the fact that she censored the R-rated scenes from her dreams and nodded in agreement.
"Are you sure that he is a stranger?" Lia narrowed her eyes in doubt, "Normally, we don't see any strangers in our dreams. Those people who appear in the dreams, we might've come across them in real life. Since you are repeatedly seeing him in your dreams, he must be someone who spent quite a lot of time with you.”
"I don't remember spending time with anyone." Sasha's eyes were drenched in sorrow when she tried to think about her life.
Two years ago, she fell from the college building and had a head injury that wiped all of her memories.
Even though she could recollect most of her memories over time, some of the doors to her memory lane remained locked.
"You don't have to remember it right now.” Lia warmly smiled and suggested,
“How about you visit the places you have seen in your dreams, and what if they ring a bell? You are young, and it is completely alright to start afresh." Her voice had an affectionate tone as she continued. "God has given you a second chance at life, and why don't you enjoy it?"
"But I have no plans to date. All I want is to have a proper sleep once in a while."
"You have never been in a relationship, So isn't it good to have a boyfriend at least in your dreams?"
“Yes, it was a good dream, until he pushed me from the top of a building, killing me” Humor rippling in her face as she spits out the words,
Lia didn't expect such a turn of events,
"I wish to restart my life, doctor," Sasha hesitantly spoke her mind, "But I need some more time and perhaps, some sleeping pills,"
A sombre silence lingered in the room was broken by the buzzing sound of the cell phone kept on the table.
Lia reached out for it and silenced the cellphone after giving a glance at the screen.
Hzzzzz hzzzz, the phone rang again and she tried to cut it again,
"Doctor, please attend the call, it might be some emergency," Sasha asserted,
"Excuse me then," Lia took the phone call, her voice softening as she began to speak,
"Baby, mommy will be coming in a while. Did you get ready? Yes, yes Queen Elsa, don't turn mommy into ice...yes bye,"
She ended her conversation with a low chuckle and looked at Sasha with an apologetic face, "My daughter is too excited to attend a Christmas party...I am sorry."
"I am the one who is supposed to apologize...I took your time for something trivial." Sasha said sheepishly,
"For now, let me prescribe something," Lia quickly scribbled down something on the note and gave it to Sasha.
" However, try to avoid sleeping pills and use some natural remedies like drinking milk or exercising,"
"Oh, thank you and Merry Christmas, doctor," Sasha thanked her with a warm smile and stood up from her seat, picking up her woollen cardigan and tote bag,
"Are you sure you don't want to come to the Christmas party?" Lia removed her glasses and asked,
"It's hosted by my mother-in-law. She was too excited and invited the entire neighbourhood. It would be nice if you join,"
"Can I politely decline?" Her gorgeous face managed to break her typical deadpan expression with a soft smile.
"Hahaha, you can...but if you feel like joining us, give me a call or..wait a minute," Lia took the notepad and scribbled her address in neat handwriting,
"My daughter's birthday is on the 26th, so if you are okay with it, feel free to visit us,"
"Ahhh, convey my birthday wishes to your queen Elsa," Sasha said while reaching out for the address and slightly bowed her head to show her gratitude before leaving the consulting room.
Social gatherings? sorry, not my cup of tea,