The Owl and the Stag
The girl in the luxurious therapist’s waiting room looked out the massive plane-glass window into the misty wilderness. She saw the head of a stag floating over mist and leaves. It turned its head to look right at her. The creature didn’t shift it’s body or even blink for that matter. It just simply stared at her for what felt like an eternity until it ran back into the massive brush of evergreen.
A quick click and then the handle of the eggshell white door was slowly turned, Dr. Wong called out. “Christie?”
Christie looked at the lines on the ebony wood floor as she entered in silence. She sat in her seat legs crossed, arms folded, back lightly leaning against the spine of the chair. Dr. Wong sat adjacent to her watching like a wise old owl. She looked intently at Christie without saying anything. Dr.Wong could tell Christie was beginning to remove her layers. The mask Christie wore for everyone else slowly faded away and then there was a tall, blonde, empty-looking doll in the chair. The confident facade she wore when she came in was now willingly removed. She hunched her body forward tired-like as slow as a sloth and then sighed.
Christie seemed like she was a seventeen-year-old academic with no history of violent outbursts, or eating disorders, she never cut herself-at least not knowingly, and to most, she seemed like the perfect student who was going places. She kept a high GPA, she excelled in extracurricular activities where she demonstrated real-time strategy, from anything like chess to sports and Christie could tell people what they wanted to hear, which more often than not was nothing relevant to her. Dr. Wong, on the other hand, who had short black hair and large square glasses, never said what people wanted to hear which eventually gained Christie’s trust.
“Did you see the girl in the mirror today Christie?” Dr. Wong asked. She was a nice lady, she really did care, but she was too smart for Christie to manipulate. Christie couldn’t lie to her like everyone else and Dr. Wong would question and question Christie until Christie broke down and showed her true inner workings. Christie belonged there she reasoned, She needed to control herself.
“Not today, not yet.” Christie’s reply was empty, her face was empty, there was no hint of cynicism, no anger, no joy.
“What do you mean by not yet?” Dr. Wong asked curiously, tilting her head slowly to the side, never moving her eyes.
“The day isn’t done,” Christie said logically, avoiding eye contact and looking out the giant glass wall to the forest.
There was a pause as if Dr.Wong was letting Christie build up her walls. Dr. Wong joined Christie in looking out the glass wall.
“You like the girl don’t you? And if you don’t like her, you feel empathetic towards her.”
Another pause, Dr. Wong looks back at Christie and then the floor, mimicking her responses in the most basic subconscious form of human flattery.
“If you want we can do this outside, out in the mist.”
“-I have to like her, I reason that she is just a construct of my imagination that seeks to express itself-” Christie stopped herself. She thought of apologizing but she knew Dr.Wong’s would want her to talk.
“She’s someone I truly know, in a weird way, she’s my struggle, but, personified. I admire her.” Christie was in a trance, she stared emptily at the grey sky.
“Even after all the twisted things she’s done to herself?” Dr. Wong reminded Christie.
It was true the girl in the mirror was haunting, to say the least. Demonic possibly, but in the end, she was just scared and alone without function. She really was Christie’s self-reflection.
“Even after all that, yeah,” Christie said shyly.
Dr.Wong sighed and looked to Christie once more, she rose and walked towards Christie.
“I trust you’re still going on those nightly hunts?” Dr.Wong said knowingly.
Christie was stunned and Dr.Wong hovered over her like a giant. She held a small paper slip in her hand that was well folded.
“The first time you truly spoke to me in this office, do you remember what you told me?”
Christie looked at her suspiciously. “I said I have gifts that I don’t use because I don’t think anything is worth it.”
Dr.Wong: “No, Christie, those are things you can change about you, but that’s not what it was. You told me you had no purpose. That was your bane.” Dr.Wong placed the folded paper in Christie’s hand and closed her hand gently.
“I think that’s enough for today.” Dr. Wong looked Christie in the eyes gripped her hand giving a sympathetic smile.
“This is your call.” Christie looked mystified but she hadn’t the faintest thought on what to say.
Dr.Wong had told Christie’s mother that something important had come up and that they had to conclude early. Her mother was sympathetic on the surface but her true feelings were revealed on the car ride home.
Christie finally unfolded the paper when she was alone in her white and black urban room. She was sitting in front of her large window on the ground embracing the grey mysterious weather. It was an address, message, the next day’s date and a time “Your road starts here. October twenty-fourth, one-thirty am.”