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Chapter 24

“You see the waves rolling up against the sand and touching your feet,” was the next thing I could recall and in my mind’s eye, I squeezed my toes and watched the water fill in the tiny gaps. Dr. Marconi continued, “The waves are receding into the ocean and the last drop of sunlight has dipped beyond the horizon ... and you are calmly resting on a leather chair in my office ... safe and serene without a worry in the world ... and you’re back. Open your eyes, Trenton.”

Although they felt heavy, my eyes snapped open with ease and my mind adjusted from one scene to the next. A part of me that liked to play tricks and ponder over the world’s mysteries wondered which scene took place in the real world. At that moment, Romulus probably would have taken the cake, but as my breathing gradually transitioned from the slow rolling exhales of a deep slumber to the natural pattern we seldom notice, I was glad to be back in Dr. Marconi’s office and had the sudden desire to know what happened.

“Welcome back, Trenton,” Dr. Marconi said.

“How long was I out?”

“Oh, you weren’t out, just in a different state. We actually had a nice conversation that lasted about twenty minutes.”

“Only twenty minutes? It felt like years.”

“That’s the power of the deep subconscious. For lack of a better analogy, your body went into a temporary hibernation mode.”

“Maybe those bears are onto something. Anyway, did we really talk because I don’t remember anything?”

“Of course you don’t. That’s the whole purpose of the exercise. By tapping into your subconscious without conscious interference, we’re able to have a more meaningful conversation about some core issues facing you in your conscious state.”

“That’s pretty deep. Can you put it in English?”

“Again, I get the feeling you understood me completely, but let me explain.”

“Great.”

“We started by talking about your friends and family and school. Now, that conversation allows me to see the shroud with which one covers himself.”

“You mean like a public persona?”

“Exactly. Very good, Trenton. Anyway, this public persona reveals in subtle ways the many underlying issues that manifest into the public persona. Essentially, we’re pulling back the covers and revealing the inner you without the mask.”

“Wow, that’s crazy. Is it safe to look under the hood?”

“That’s why you’re here, right?” he said, returning the serve of my earlier snarky comment. “You’ll be glad to know that you’re a normal healthy male teenager with the same fears and insecurities the rest of the guys in your school have.”

“That’s a relief.”

“With one exception,” he continued and I lifted my eyes with the look of a guy whose head‘s on the chopping block. “You seem to have a deep-seeded insecurity revolving around your being adopted.”

“Okay, but isn’t that normal?”

“Yes, but yours is really coveted and whatever it is that you’re afraid to confront or reveal to yourself is probably what is causing these blackouts.”

“I know, but what is it?”

“My suspicion is that it has to do with the identity of your birth-parents. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all come from somewhere and that lineage is part of what makes us who we are – the other part being nurture, of course. But nature is the ultimate arbiter of conduct and there’s a possibility that in order for you to successfully move forward in life, you must first deal with and confront your past.”

“So you’re telling me that I’ll never realize my potential until I first find out where it is I come from – biologically speaking?”

“That is my preliminary diagnosis. However, there is also one other possibility.”

“What’s that?”

“We only regressed to your early childhood tonight, but I would like to try further regression just to cover the bases.”

“You mean tap into my past lives?”

“Yes. There’s always the possibility that your blackouts have nothing to do with this life and everything to do with one of your past lives.”

“I don’t know what my father told you, but I don’t want to open my Past Lives Letter. I don’t want to know who I was.”

“Well, if we do regress into your past lives, we can do it on the condition that whatever is revealed while you’re in hypnosis won’t be relayed to you once I bring you back.”

“I’m not sure I understand. Are you saying you won’t tell me what’s revealed and I won’t remember?”

“Yes. We’ll uncover the shroud and then put it back before you return to consciousness.”

“You can do that?”

“Of course. That’s one of the beauties of the human brain. There are so many layers and intricacies that what we see and use in our everyday lives is only the surface level in action. There’s an entire underground city of machinery that we aren’t privy to.”

“Unless you tap into it, right?”

“Right ... and the good thing is that there’s a possibility that by opening up your past lives in the subconscious state, you may actually help your conscious state without even knowing it – the brain is that good.”

“I hope so.”

“Good. Then let’s say we do this next week, same time, same place.”

“You’re the boss, but I have one last question.”

“What is it?”

“You didn’t make me a hypnotic duck, did you?”

“I’m the only quack around here, Trenton,” he said with a wink and I grinned in triumph.


On the train ride home, I couldn’t help but think about what he had said regarding my birth-parents. I figured that was what was causing the blackouts and that’s where the investigation should lead. The other part about past lives coming through in some weird Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing was a little beyond me. I mean, true, the brain was still ninety-percent a mystery, but come on.

Anyway, maybe it was time to confront my birth-parents’ past and at the same time address my inner fears. Yes, even though it was painful to admit, discovering who they were and what happened to them was the right thing to do.

By the time we reached home, I was determined to find out who Mr. and Mrs. Sterling Mendoza were and what fate had befallen them ... and me.

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