Tap, tap, tap.
“So Frank... you say you’re hearing voices again.” The therapist eyed her patient with close scrutiny over her leather bound journal.
Tap, tap, tap.
Franklin Crimbleton’s fingers trembled as he swallowed hard, averting his eyes from the female doctor.
“T-that’s right.” He agreed.
Dr. Hope Walker simply gave her patient a pointed look in response.
“W-well I think m-might have...” His face flushed in embarrassment, somewhat distracted by the incessant tapping.
“You think you have or you are certain you have?” She questioned him with a twinkle in her eye, her lips slightly twitching as she struggled to contain her amusement.
Franklin Crimbleton, he was one of her more troublesome patients. It seemed like most of his symptoms only ever happened to flare up whenever he and his wife had disagreements. He was an old craftsman who had married at a young age to his wife who was nearly ten years his senior. Walker was quite impressed when she’d learned of their love story. It took a lot of guts for a mere college student to pursue his college professor the way he’d done so during his youth.
Even more so, it took a lot of guts for his professor to accept his advances even after he’d dropped out to go off to trade school. But it seemed as though, like in every love story, the years had staled their relationship. Walker herself couldn’t help but pity the man for she’d met his wife on more than one occasion and... let’s just say that the woman certainly was quite the character.
Her temper could rival that of the devil’s any day and as a result, each time poor old Frank and his wife had a lover’s spat, he always ended up running to her office claiming to have been experiencing the most outrageous symptoms completely different to all other symptoms he had claimed to have experienced in the past. But nevertheless, although she knew it was unethical, Hope would always take pity on the man and play along with his charade, knowing fully well why he was here yet again.
It’s not like she herself hadn’t tried to alleviate the situation, but the one time she’d brought up the prospect of couple’s therapy to Mrs. Crimbleton, the woman had nearly eaten her alive.Though she couldn’t understand why the woman was so adamant about having her husband continue their sessions, whilst refusing any and all forms of therapy herself, Hope had no choice but to keep her opinions to herself when Mrs. Crimbleton was around for her own safety. Thus months passed by and now Dr. Walker mulled over how to go about handling her current situation.
It appeared that Franklin Crimbleton had once again pulled a fast one on his wife and fled her wrath by running to Dr. Walker in an attempt to placate her anger.
“I’m positive I have.” He now straightened up a bit more assertively.
“In that case, might I inquire when exactly you began to hear these voices?” She stilled her hand and refrained from tapping her pen against her journal any longer.
“Uh-um... about two days ago, around 8:22 pm.”
“Oh? You even remember the time. How... specific. And might I also question what exactly it is that you were doing when you started experiencing these symptoms.” She questioned him mischievously, as it was her last day at the practice and she was feeling up to having a little fun today.
“I was uh... having a conversation with my wife.” He let his eyes wander the room.
“Hmm... I see and what were you discussing with your wife at the time before you started hearing these voices?”
“She was yelling at me for not having picked up the dry cleaning on my way home from work...” He sulked, pouting at having been caught red-handed once again.
“Yeah, yeah. I know.” He grumbled, crossing his arms over his chest in irritation.
Hope went silent for a moment before opening her mouth once again.
“Did she fall for it easily this time too?” She grinned broadly, no longer bothering to contain her laughter, to which Frank brightened up immediately in response.
“Hook, line, and sinker.” He laughed cheerfully.
Dr. Walker knew it was wrong and completely unprofessional of her to continue encouraging this kind of behavior, but she couldn’t help herself. All things aside, Mr. Crimbleton was a sweet little old man and Dr. Walker had always had a weakness when it came to the elderly. He reminded her a lot of her own grandfather who had passed away not long ago.
Not that it mattered anymore anyhow. It was because of this weakness that Dr. Walker had been notified that she would from here on out be ‘released from her duties,’ which was just a roundabout way of telling her that she’d been cut.
Despite this, Hope Walker was a good doctor, or at the very least she considered herself to be one. One with a minor drinking problem that is, but a good doctor nonetheless. Though she’d always had a bit of a short fuse, she always did try her best to be patient when it came to dealing with her clients. But if there was one major flaw that she had, it would be that she tended to become a bit too emotionally invested when it came to her patients, because ultimately Hope Walker has and always will be soft-hearted to the boot.
Stepping out into the rain, Hope couldn’t help but feel a little disheartened. It was hard saying goodbye to the busy city life of New York but she had nothing to keep her here any longer. She had no friends and was pretty much alone in the big city for the most part. Her parents weren’t around either, with her mom having passed away a few years back and her father having moved to her mother’s hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana, not long after. Something about wanting to reconnect with her mother’s roots he’d said, but he never missed the opportunity to attempt to convince her to move down to New Orleans with him.
Though it seems like this time her father will have finally gotten what he’s always wanted. Hope’s lease had come to its end and she was now unemployed. It would be hard if she were to attempt to continue living in New York. As such, she decided that it would be much easier to just give in. Which was why the twenty-eight year old woman was currently lugging her belongings under the heavy rain into her brand new luxury car. Nonetheless, it is to be noted that it’s because of said vehicle that she could no longer afford to continue living in the city. She’d invested quite a bit of money into her dream car, which was why she was now too broke to bear the expense of buying herself a plane ticket to fly down to Louisiana and have her stuff sent to her later on, which in hindsight would have been the more logical alternative to hitting the roads.
Taking one last look at her apartment building, and back at her shiny batmobile, she began to wonder if it was really worth it after all. Nevertheless there was nothing to be done about it now. She’d officially been handed an eviction notice not even a week ago, so whether she liked it or not, she really had no other option but to move in with her old man.
Depositing the last of her luggage into the trunk with one last grunt, she tugged on her coat and blew into her hands, shivering from the freezing cold. Finally yanking her car door open in frustration, she seated herself behind the wheel, groaning in exasperation, knowing fully well the long journey that she had ahead of her.
Starting up the ignition, she cranked up the heat and rolled her shoulders in an attempt to regain her composure before changing gears and slamming her foot on the accelerator.
Blasting to music throughout the whole ride, Hope finally felt her eyes begin to tear up slightly from the lack of sleep after what seemed like hours on end. The waves of sleep kept crashing into her and she was now struggling with the mere act of keeping her eyes open. Rain splattered against the windshield as the heavens continued to pour down mercilessly, with no indication of stopping anytime soon. The steady sound of the rainfall only served to add fuel to the flames as the pitter pattering lulled her into a trance-like state.
Slumping forward slightly, her eyes closed for what seemed like a brief second when an earth shattering screech blasted her eardrums. In her stupor, the car had spun out of control and flipped over several times in the air. Startled out of her daze, Hope threw her arms out in front of her in terror as a last ditch effort to protect herself from the flying shards of glass. Her head slammed against the driver’s window, as the car made impact with gravel. Black spots marred her vision and her consciousness began to fade in her state of disorientation.The last thing she saw was a sea of red mist before darkness overcame her.
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