“Hello, Katherine.” The therapist was wearing a dark blue skirt suit today and her hair was twisted into a tight bun and as the patient entered her office, she made so little motion, Katherine had to wonder if she was even breathing.
The girl took her usual spot. Shoulders hunched and her face to the floor, she waited to be spoken to.
“We can start whenever you’re ready.”
“I know. I just don’t have anything to say.”
The therapist glanced at the notes on her lap. “Then tell me about your week.”
The girl lifted her eyes from the floor to stare at a poster on the wall that said something about thoughts becoming words and then actions. She closed her eyes and pursed her lips. She slowly drew in a deep breath. As she carefully exhaled, her face returned. “I… I don’t know. I really just don’t have anything to talk about.”
“That’s fine. This is your time. Do with it, whatever you wish.”
After about three minutes of silence during which the girl fidgeted, scratched, remade her pony tail and picked at the skin around her finger nails, she spoke. “Oh, so I saw this movie this weekend. ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ it was… well, you know how when you hear that title you think, ‘Wow, how did they not come up with something better than that for a title?’ Well, it turns out, there’s really not any title remotely more appropriate. Like, it was literally just a generic cowboy movie where aliens suddenly drop from the sky and start doing alien things.”
“I remember seeing some previews for that one. Do you watch a lot of movies?”
The girl shrugged. “Sometimes…” She took a second during which she seemed to make a decision. “Sometimes I just can’t stop thinking long enough to actually watch a movie. My skin starts to crawl and my heart won’t stop pounding and my head just feels like it’s going to explode at any second. Is – is that normal?”
“When is the last time you felt like that?” The therapist, for the first time, made a quick scribble on her notepad.
The girl opened her mouth, but failed to produce a sound. As she did this, her eyes became shiny with tears which she hastily wiped away with her wrists before she started studying the industrial carpet again.