The Publicist's Plight (Book I in The Harrison Inc. Series)

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Chapter 35

Wednesday seemed like it couldn’t come soon enough.

Perhaps because it’s because we’re still on our break from engaging with the media like we were sent here to do. Either that, or I’ve been anxious those awaiting d to go to therapy with Sebastian. What kills me is not being able to sit in the room and hear anything he does decide to disclose. Of course, I’m not going to become intrusive and ask him questions about his childhood or anything pertaining to that, as it’s obviously a sensitive subject—the “bathroom incident” adds truth to that. But knowing that this is our third week here and we’ve already come to know each other at this level, from becoming lost in the forest together to handing a group of bikers inside a bar in the middle of nowhere, and finally to Sebastian being so vulnerable in my hold at 1 in the morning when no one else, not even his family, knew the extent of his pain. Maybe this is just coincidence, or maybe this is just fate. Whatever it is, it’s the reason that Sebastian and I are now in the waiting room of Dr. Bakura’s practice on this Wednesday morning, waiting for his appointment.

I watch him next to me, noticing how his jaw flexes impatiently and his fingers tap on the arm rest. The waiting room is quaint, spacious and empty—perhaps Mrs. Bakura made sure that no appointments were set for today.

“Don’t be nervous,” I encourage, regretting said encouragement when he looks at me. “I think this will really help.”

He shrugs, “I guess.”

I can tell he’s too reluctant to open up to me. But I make sure not to let it get to me, because this is the reason we’re here. And plus, he’s been a little uncomfortable around me since I lied and told him I was on my period. At least the awkwardness from that situation has stopped, but sometimes I still get flashbacks at the worst. moments.

And I mean the worst moments.

“Sebastian Harrison?”

Both of us turn besides the fact of only one of us claiming the name. A woman, with a black business suit and plum-colored blouse peaks through the open door. Her hair is a blonde pixie cut that doesn’t match her aged face, even though her aged features hold a sense of patience and understanding.

Sebastian gets up and shakes hands with Dr. Bakura as they both introduce themselves. I sit quietly and watch them until Dr. Bakura gives me a friendly wave.

“Are you ready?” she asks.

He nods, then sighs, “Yeah, I guess.”

Sebastian doesn’t turn back to look at me, but instead walks through the open door, with Dr. Bakura following close behind.

And then it is quiet again.

I stare at the fishes in the decorative fish tank for a while before boredom overcomes me. I contemplate leaving to go walk around town or grab something to eat, but something compels me to stay planted in my seat.

Perhaps I should call Paul, who happens to be babysitting my socially awkward Chihuahua, Pedro.

I pull out my phone and tap on his name, but the moment I do, the receptionist clears her throat loudly, catching my attention.

“There’s no cell phones in here, ma’am,” she announces, while she holds her office phone on her shoulder.

“Oh, I’m just checking up on my dog.”

“I’m sorry,” she says, with no sympathy in her voice. “You can take the call outside.”

Do I really want to stand in the heat?

We stare at each other intensely before I put my phone back in my purse.

“So…this visit is all 100% confidential, right?” I ask after I set my phone down.

“It would be against the law for us to disclose anything that occurs with our clients here,” she replies, rudely, like I should know this.

Well excuse me for double checking, bitch.

“Alright. Thank you.”

With that, Miss-Rude-Receptionist goes back to talking on the phone behind her desk. I look around the room, pick up a magazine, put it down when I realize I’ve read it before, and then get up when I notice a fruit bowl. But the only thing in there are bananas.

I sit back down in defeat.

Knowing that I’ll have a while to go, I look at the clock tick my slowly with every passing second.

The waiting is already killing me inside.


SEBASTIAN

“So, Sebastian. How are you doing today?”

Dr. Bakura and I are now sitting across from each other in a room with pulled curtains, expensive paintings and dark furniture. When she sits down, I notice the notepad on the table with the pen next to it. I roll my eyes—of course, we’re heading down the conventional path for this.

“I’m okay,” I answer as I sit down on the other side of the table.

“I hope you’re comfortable with sitting here at the table. If not, we could always use the chairs and couches on the other side of the room.”

“No, no this is fine.”

She nods with a smile that adds more wrinkles to her face. She then starts writing shit on her notepad in this messy cursive print that doesn’t even look legible to me; the only thing I can read is my name.

“So would you like to start by telling me why you’re here today?” she says.

I chuckle, leaning back in my chair, “I don’t know. My publicist made me come here so that’s why I’m sitting at this table right now.”

Dr. Bakura laughs shortly, “Well I suppose there’s no way that your publicist can force you to come here. Surely, you must have consented.”

I shake my head. Silence again.

She sighs, then writes something down on her notepad.

“What are you writing there?”

“Something about you,” she answers while she writes quickly.

I laugh, “So this is how this works? I say things and you just write them down?”

Dr. Bakura then sets the pen down, crosses her fingers between each other on top of the table and levels her eyes with me. But I do the same, and she knows I’m challenging her.

“No. This isn’t how it works. How this works, is your cooperation allowing me to take the next step in this. You tell me what is bothering you, I ask you questions in order to enter the root of the problem, and the root of your contempt to anyone who wants to help you.”

I don’t say anything. And when I don’t reply, she slowly slides the notepad out of her view so it’s away from reach.

“I’m going to be honest here, Sebastian,” she says gently. “I know exactly who you are. I may be older than you but I do keep up with my entertainment here and there; I have two granddaughters, both teenagers, who keep me updated on what goes on in the media. So I know exactly what your reputation is like and what name you have made for yourself.”

“But it seems you have a problem with that.”

“Because, from the behavior you’re emanating right now, I sense a few things that are very problematic in your case.”

I feel my palms sweating. “Such as?”

“I’m certain there are trust issues eminent.”

True.

Silence.

“And you are very defensive over your current lifestyle. Why is that?”

I manage a smile, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I’m sure you do, Sebastian,” Dr. Bakura smirks. “I’ve played this game hundreds of times. And not because I like engaging in this cat and mouse act we have going on. But because I’m determined to get down to the root of your problem, whatever it may be. And I know you do, too, or else you wouldn’t be here.”

I think hard about all of the shit she just said, which makes me look like I’m thinking about her words. Truthfully, I don’t know why I even agreed to do this therapy shit in the first place. All I know is the way Leslie looked at me when she asked me to think about it. She has this thing going on with her eyes when she’s concerned or serious; they start to get wide and make her look really innocent. Paired with those really long eyelashes, it’s enough to make you cave.

There’s a lot of fucked up stuff pent inside of me, I’ll agree to that. It’s just letting it all out that I’m scared about. But if this is what it takes to make me…me again, then I’ll take baby steps.

So I guess that’s why I agreed to this—for her.

“I think the best thing for you would be to start from the very beginning and work our way through,” Dr. Bakura says, snapping me out of my thoughts directed onto the table. “It’s obvious that this is hard for you.”

I rub my eyes, taking me away from the decision I am to make. But I know what I have to do. And I know what I want to do.

I nod, “Alright. Fine.”

Dr. Bakura gets comfortable in her chair, letting me know all of her attention is on me now.

“Excellent. I’m very glad you’re doing this Sebastian; I promise this will help you.”

“I hope so,” I sigh and start digging up the scrapbooks of horrors buried deep in my brain for Dr. Bakura, like a story I wrote that I am to share to a class. “From the beginning?”

“Yes,” she leans forward in attentiveness. “Let’s start from the beginning. When did you start to see things change for you significantly?”

The memories come back to me in waves when she says that. Fuck, why is this so hard?

Focus, Sebastian. You have to do this.

I take a deep breath, exhale, and collect my words.

“Fourteen,” I tell her finally. “I was fourteen when shit started to change.”

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