Impossible Questions

“I skimmed your file and it looks like you’re having a bit of trouble sleeping. Is that correct?”


“Is that because of the nightmares?”


“Okay,” The man leaned back in his chair, fingers interlacing behind his head “for this to work, I’m going to need you to open up. That’s kind of the reason for counseling.”

Atlas exhaled quietly, staring down at her raw nail beds, “Esto es estúpido.”

“¿Qué tiene de estúpido esto?” His question made her head spring up to look at him. A bit surprised he knew spanish, though, it wasn’t very hard to know what she had said. His head was tilted in question. Typical shrink. He had deep set brown eyes shaded by rectangular glasses, gelled back dark hair and a sculpted face with a jawline that could cut glass. Dr. Jared Temp had a serious look on his face while he leaned forward again, picking up a pen and his notepad and clicked his pen to write something down. Atlas watched him scribble something and sighed, 

“I don’t even understand why I’m here.”

“Ms. Salazar, I promise you there’s a reason. By the looks of your documentation you are experiencing serious PTSD followed by major trust issues with yourself and others. Not to mention your substance abuse.” Atlas straightened in her seat. He wasn't wrong, but hearing it from someone else was new. Her fingers picked at the skin flaking from what was left of her nailbeds. Ten minutes into their conversation and she was already to leave. The worst part was that he did nothing wrong, she did, and it was coming to a psychologist.

"I wouldn't call it abuse per-se." she mustered. He raisted an eyebrow at her and nodded, not saying a word. But his scribbling said it all. She tilted her head uncomfortably and glanced out the window, the autumn in Montana was beautiful. She drove a long distance to get here, might as well hear what the man had to say,

"Well, here's the thing," he started, "I can give you medication for sleep, but it's not going to aid in the nightmares. I would reccomend meditation or listening to calming music to put you to sleep. Possibly try a new sleep position." Atlas rolled her eyes, that's it? Meditation and calm music? She lives in a fucking cottage and works with horses. What's more calming than that? She stayed silent, Dr. Temp looked up from his notes and stared at her intently, "You're not wanting to be on medication?" He asked, clueless of his ignorance. 

She huffed out a breath and shook her head, "That's it? Just... calm down? I'm not psychotic. I just need help sleeping."

He stilled and pinched his lips and exhaled quietly, "I understand. But there's only so much I can do. Granted you won't talk to me about what actually happened."

"You're saying you don't believe me?" Atlas shot back fiercly. Her eyes narrowed with her question in disbelief and scoffed. Fuck this.

"I'm saying that this whole thing is a bit of a stretch. I would reccomend that this... facade is the cause."

Atlas shot up from her seat, staring at the man with bold words. Facade? Is he serious? She was baffled. This man went to college and got a doctorate in psychology and he can't tell if she's lying or not? What a joke. It was their first meeting, and he’s already psychoanalyzing her behavior. That’s his fucking job, cabrón. Dr. Temp stared blankly up at her, brown eyes swimming with zero emotion. He was watching her reaction, if she’d accept the fact that she needed help.
Her eyebrows furrowed, “Here’s the thing, Doctor. It sounds like you’ve already figured me out. So either help me instead of patronizing my problems or I’m leaving.”

“I never-”

“You can’t even say my first fucking name, Jared.” She leaned down to grab her coat and purse.

“It seems you’ve already made up your mind.” He said, pressing his glasses up his nose and unclicked his pen.

“It seems so. And a tip, try not to make someones rape and murder of their child a facade.” she hulled her purse over her shoulder and curled her jacket over her forearm and walked past his neatly organized desk. Everything had its place. His pens, his books, file folders which she assumed held his other clients' dirty little secrets. He probably didn't believe them either. She wrapped her nimble hand around the door handle and abruptly jerked it open, stopping mid step to turn her head back towards him,  rich brown curls falling off her shoulder, “I’ll send my bill through the mail. I’ll keep my address to myself, thank you.” He watched her leave, and shook his head as the door slowly closed automatically behind her. Atlas’ small frame walked quickly past the front desk and out the door and into the cool autumn air. The sun was just above the horizon line, making her skin glow a beautiful bronze. She half-ass jogged to her 1985 Dodge Ram 50 and yanked the driver-side door open and climbed in, slamming it shut behind her. The thing was rust red and barely functional. A death trap if you will, but it was her baby and she was damned if she traded it in for scrap metal. 

“Carajo.” She mumbled as she started up her truck and sighed. 

Well that didn’t go well.

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