The Babysitters

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The Diner

I stood there, frozen. My eyes wandered at the board and I gulped down my saliva. The air around me suddenly became tensed. Despite my unwillingness, I took a step and walked into the office.

“May I come in?” I asked.

The man swung his seat towards me. A smile appeared on his face.

“Samantha!” he grinned, “I never thought you will return to my clinic.”

I took his words as a permission to enter, and sat on the seat opposite to him.

“I need these therapies,” I said, keeping my replies as short as possible.

“Well, you realized that very soon,” he said, every word filled with sarcasm.

I rolled my eyes and, for the first time, looked at the placard of my therapist.

“Dominick,” I frowned at his name, “Why are all the doctors in my life named after a Barbie character?”

First, Dr Ken, and now this Dominick!

He sighed, ignoring my comment. “We really need to get started with these therapies,” he said.

I nodded my head in agreement. He shuffled through his drawer, looking for something. When he found it, he took an empty glass and poured water in it.

“Look at it,” he commanded, placing the glass of water opposite to me.

I raised my eyebrows in confusion.

He took a breathe, before speaking, “There are two types of therapies - Vevo Therapy and Virtual Reality Therapy. To cure you, I would be using the latter one. Now, just do what I am saying.”

I took a minute to grasp everything he said. Once the concepts were clear, I concentrated on the glass filled with water.

Initially, I felt uncomfortable. There were moments when panic struck me and I wanted to look away. But a part of me was filled with determination. Thus, I kept looking.

“Are you feeling okay, Samantha?” Dr Dominick asked me. I nodded, still looking at the glass of water.

Then, slowly, I felt something drowning in it. A small dummy. It started with her legs, and then her whole body began to drown. The more her body went under the water, the more sweat I felt on my body.

I felt a sense of deja vu. My breathing became uneven. Flight or fight outhit me. And, in the spur of the moment, I threw the glass away from the table. It fell on the floor with a bang, and broke into pieces.

“W-what did you put in it?” I asked, breathing heavily.

“It was just a doll,” he told me, picking up the toy from the ground.

I looked at him, and then at the doll. I could feel tears at the brim of my eyes. Sinking into the chair, I held my head in my hands.

“I felt I lost her again,” I whispered, without looking up.

“It will happen a lot of times, Samantha. But you have to face it..” he said, before pausing, “if you want to be cured.”

Do I want to be cured?

The answer was clear and so, I looked up and nodded my head.

“I want to do that again,” I said, determined.

“Of course, you will,” he smiled, “but not today. I think you need rest.”

“But-” my protest was interfered in the middle,

“I am the therapist here, not you,” he said, “We will continue this in our next session. Just don’t skip it.”

“Fine,” I muttered, “Nice meeting you.”

“Well, same here,” he opened his door for me to exit, “Next time you encounter such panic attacks, remember to close your eyes and count till ten.”

I smiled at his advice and, finally, moved out of the horrendous place.

Once I was in my car, I bent down my head on the steering wheel. The tears I was holding back, dripped out of my eyes. I was too weak to wipe them, so I just cried.

“It felt so real,” I whispered, remembering the doll drowning in the glass of water.

For a few minutes, I just cried in my car. Finally, when I was sure there were no more tears left to spill out, I started my car.

It has always been like this. I don’t remember the last time I cried in front of someone, intentionally. Whenever I am at the verge of breaking down, I lock myself alone. Away from the world. People always misjudge me for being lonely. But, I am not lonely, I am alone. And this is something I chose for myself.

I drove, not knowing my destination. Dylan wanted to spend some alone time with Tiffany, so Trystan and I were free for today. I stopped my car near a diner for a much needed food break.

I parked my car and, after I was satified that I have locked it proparly, I walked in the diner and took a booth near the window. The smell of different varieties of food stroke my nose. Immediately, I felt my lips twitching upwards.

That’s the beauty of food. It can make you smile even in the lowest of times.

I was looking at the menu when one of the waitress came to take my order.

“Welcome to Collen’s Diner,” she smiled, “What would you like to have?”

“Uh, one burger, a taco, french fries, and a chocolate milkshake,” I ordered, enthusiastically.

She gave me a weird look, before noting down my order. I rolled my eyes. What’s wrong if I have an appetite of a whale? Not every girl can follow a diet.

“It’ll be there in a minute,” she gave me a tight lipped smile and left.

I took the time to examine the surroundings. Mostly, there were couples and a bunch of teenagers hanging around. My gaze went towards a boy staring at me. He looked familiar but I could not recognize him because of the distance.

And then, he winked at me.

He W-I-N-K-E-D at me!

My mouth hung open as soon as I identified him. He noticed my reaction and gave me an awe-inspiring smile.

I was about to wave a hi at him when my glance went on the girl sitting with him.

Even though, I could only see her back, I still knew who the girl was. After all, I can recognize those blonde hairs anywhere.

I frowned at Trystan and Britney, and averted my gaze.

Is it a bad thing that I wanted Trystan to come and sit with me?

The waitress came and kept my food on the table. I thanked her and concentrated on my food, instead of those brown eyes.

I tried my level best to quietly eat my food, but every time my eyes ditched me and gazed at Trystan. And you know the worst part? He was staring at me too. The stare that erupted butterflies in my stomach.

Taking a deep breathe, I gulped down my burger in one go.

Don’t judge! It was the only thing I could do to distract myself.

After that, I turned myself into a pig and attacked my food. I was in the middle of finishing my taco, when I heard an interruption.

“Ain’t you a perfect example of a lady?” the voice, I am too familiar with, said.

I looked up from my food and hissed, “What do you want?”

Now, because ny mouth was filled with food it sounded like, “woodu woodu wong?”

“A very perfect example,” he smirked, answering his own question.

I ignored him and concentrated on my taco. He picked up one of my fries and ate it. Annoyed, I hit him in the shin.

“What? Sharing is caring,” he pouted.

Ugh! Don’t give me that adorable pout.

“Where is your girlfriend?” I asked, avoiding my eyes from wandering at his lips.

“She is waiting outside,” he shrugged, “She wanted me to come home because her parents were out of town...”

I wiggled my brows, asking him to continue.

“I said I don’t babysit seventeen year olds,” he completed his sentence with a grin.

I looked at him with my mouth open, then started laughing hysterically.

“You are such a terrible boyfriend,” I said between my laugh.

“I am not her boyfriend,” he rolled his eyes, “And, she deserves it for being so clingy.”

I shook my head in response. And he gave me a cute grin.

“I think you should leave. She is waiting for you,” I said, not meaning a single word.

“Do you want me to leave?” he asked with a frown.

“Will you stay if I ask you to?” I questioned, smiling at him.

“Always,” he replied. His words held so much intensity that I felt my cheeks heating up.

Suppressing my blush, I said, “Yeah, whatever! Now go.”

“Fine,” he rolled his eyes, standing up from his chair, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Later alligator,” I pulled out my tongue at him.

“In a while, sunshine,” he said, grinning.

I scrunched my forehead in confusion.

“Hey! It’s crocodile, not sunshine,” I shouted at his walking figure.

“That is my version for you,” he shouted back, before walking out of the diner.

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