The Interview (Chapter 7)
I stood in the entrance to the psychologist’s room. Shaking when I wanted to brave was making me angry: angry at myself, angry at that stupid guard, and angry at not knowing what was going to happen. The room was rather unremarkable. A classroom with white walls and grey floors like so many of the others on the Pinn ship, but instead of rows of desks a large circle of around 20 grey plastic chairs was in the center of the room. I had been in the plain room many times thanks to our group therapy and even though the group therapy brought me closer to the other women in my group, the therapy sessions were not something I looked forward to.
As I stood there glancing around the room with apprehension, the psychologist stood smiling from one of the chairs. He was a slimy looking man, he had a narrow face with a bulbous nose and his greasy comb-over did little to hide his baldness. He beamed at me and I tried to hide my involuntary shutter. I wanted to be polite even when frightened out of my wits. If he noticed my apprehension, he ignored it.
“Please,” the man said in a deep calming voice as he gestured with one hand a chair near him. In his other hand, he held a clipboard with so many pages on it that it looked like they were ready to slip out of the clip on to the floor.
Taking a deep breath I walked around and sat down in my assigned chair. I wiped my sweaty hands on my pant legs and looked up at his still beaming face. He was a Pinn just like the man who had touched me, and I had no doubt that whatever I said would be reported to God knows who. I don’t think I could have trusted him less.
“So Miss Ivy, I have been filled in with the basics, but I would like to hear it from you. Could you please explain what happened?” There was his melodic voice again. At least he had his voice- nothing else about him made you want to tell him anything.
A gave him a curt nod and proceeded to tell him my side of the story. It occurred to me as I talked that he might be judging whether I was to blame for the incident so I was arguing my innocence. He scribbled throughout my story while occasionally nodding. I begin to sweat. There was no indication as to whether or not he believed me. Crap crap crap crap crap.
“And how did it make you feel?” he scratches the tip of his nose with a thin black pen.
Um…. What did he think? Wonderful? I could lie and say it didn’t bother me, but is that really realistic?
“Helpless” I mumble. It was the truth.
He nods and scribbles some more. The scratches of the pen meeting the paper is the only noise in the room.
“How have you been coping?”
Ugh, again, what was the right thing to say so that he just lets me go back to my group?
“Okay” I bite my cheek “I had a good cry but I have felt fine since then.” Not that there has been much time for anything else.
“Have you experienced any feelings of panic?”
Suddenly a knock fills the room and a brief feeling of panic does indeed wash over me. I press my arm into my waistband; the feel of the cold metal pricking my skin lets me know that my fork from breakfast was still secure.
“Excuse me.” He stands up and walks to the door. Swinging it open, I can see a guard standing there. He points to me and then says something in a language I don’t understand to the psychiatrist. Oh shit.
The psychiatrist responds before closing the door.
I look down at my hands and rub them on my pants as he walks back to his chair.
“Well Miss Ivy, I think we are done for today”
“I would like to speak with you again before we reach Pinn, so that would be….” His voice trails off as he glances at the paper before him “…two days. Right after lunch in two days”
“Th-Thank you” I stammer and swiftly stand, heading towards the door.
“See you this afternoon Miss Ivy”
I blanch a second before I remember group therapy was scheduled for this afternoon.
“Of course, goodbye” I reach to open the door as quickly as I can without appearing desperate. Looking down the hall I see Becky and Miranda making conversation. I give them a thumbs up and a smile to show that I am okay. I made it. Nothing happened.
Miranda waves before she and Becky turn back towards the cafeteria, no doubt to inform the others.
I return the wave before heading in the other direction. Rounding a corner I almost run into Mr. Hertilz.
“Ah, Miss Ivy.”
“Mr. Hertilz” I reply.
“Would you follow me?” he makes clear he wasn’t really interested in an answer as he spins around and begins walking.
I glance around. Damn it! Becky and Miranda have already left leaving me alone.
“Uh… I’m really hungry maybe I could come and see you after I grab a bite to eat?” and also grab Becky and Miranda…
He stops and turns halfway back to me: “Again? I thought you just ate. Well this will only be a few minutes and then you can go to the cafeteria”
I just nod as he turns and begins to walk again. It’s a funny thing, the kidnapped-kidnapper relationship; you feel the oppression of an unequal power relationship in every way.
I follow him down the hall to a side of the ship I have not explored yet. He waves his wrist over the door and it pings open. Inside is a small grey office with a steel desk facing the door with two silver chairs in front. A larger white padded chair with worn cushions sits behind the desk. A plain grey circular carpet lies under the desk and chairs covering most of the room. The walls are bare save for a long bookshelf full of colored file folders littering one wall. His desk is clear save a few pens, a plain white mug, and a red file folder. The place smells faintly like lemon cleaner.
“Please have a seat” he gestures to the silver chairs.
I obey and sit down in the cold chair as the door behind us clicks shut.
He rounds the desk, picking up the red fold as he sits on the white chair. Even the way he sits is somehow regal, with a straight back and head held high. My slouch is no doubt unrefined in comparison. His lips purse as he reads the file.
“So Miss Ivy, where are you from?”
“Uh… New York”
“Hmm… good good. And did you have a profession?”
“Historian, I was an archivist at a library”
“Mmm.. I imagine that would require an education of some sort?”
Nervously I tuck a strand of hair behind my left ear. “Yes…. Um I have a master’s degree”
He nods “Good…” He proceeds to read the file. I’m not sure what this is. He isn’t asking me about the assault. Is this some sort of interview?
“Do you want to have children?”
“Uh….” I blush “I…um… I always wanted kids, but at the moment I’m not sure.” I always loved children and wanted a family, but being kidnapped to make alien babies kind of has a way of making you rethink your plans.
“You don’t want children?” He looks over the folder at me.
I know that he wants. I know what they want. I am here to make alien babies. That is the reason they kidnapped me. I roll back my shoulders and give him what he wants to hear.
“I’m sure once I find the right guy and settle down I will want children again. At the moment it’s just really confusing”
He just looks at me for a bit. I ball my fists in my lap causing my nails to dig into my sweaty palms.
“That is understandable.” He goes back to reading the file.
We sit in silence for what feels like hours. I shuffle my feet in the scratchy carpeting.
“Okay, I think we are done here. You can go” He stands and plops the file back on the desk.
I too stand and make my way quickly towards the door. It slides open and I step out and into freedom.
“Miss Ivy” Crap. I turn back peering at him leaning on the desk.
“Don’t forget your fork”
I glance at the floor where his black eyes are leading. There shining under the bright light lies my fork. Shit.
I scurry back in and swiftly snatch the fork. My nerves are shot and I am impressed that I am not shaking.
“Thank you Mr. Hertilz” I mumble and dash out of there as quickly as I can.