The 5 Stages of Grief

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Chapter 5, Dr. Reichmann

“What do you mean, ‘I can’t do that?’ I can do whatever the hell, I want. Besides, she agreed, she wants me to stay and those are my conditions. End of story.”

“Do you honestly believe this is what she wants, Grant? That she has agreed to your terms because of her own inability to stand true to herself? – believe in herself? It looks to me as if you’re praying on her conditions. She’s a sick girl you know – with a proven track record of this behavior.” He looked at Grant for any sign of remorse, whatsoever. Nothing. How can a person be so thoughtless? He wondered, staring at the man lounging in the chair across from him. He shook his head. Then again, how could I be so obtuse as to wonder why? He tried again. “Grant, I would ask that you do me a favor?”

There was no sign of hesitation. “Yah Doc, what’s that?”

“I want you to spend the next few days,” he watched the younger man tense, “or today at least, thinking about what we’ve discussed. Whether you would like someone to take advantage of you in this way? Take advantage of some of the issues that you deal with your—”

“What fucking issues? How the fuck is this about me? The world is a fucked-up place Doc. It’s eat or be eaten, survival of the fittest, king of the hill shit or haven’t you heard? She wants me to stay Doc. Begged me to stay. I don’t want too – it cramps my style. What the fuck do I want to settle down for? Do you have any idea how much pussy is out there waiting to get a piece of this?” he said, his thumb pointing back at himself, a devilish grin smeared across his face.

It’s like talking to my desk, he thought, shaking his head while trying to keep his temper, remain cool. This guy infuriates me. Even so, he had to admit he envied the fellow, at least a little anyway. To be that good looking, tall, charming when he wants to be and yet utterly self-centered without a care in the world about another human beings wants, desires, feelings. What would my life look like now if I had a tenth of his egocentric traits?

His reverie was broken when he realized Grant was still talking, “wanted a personal sex slave – who wouldn’t? Don’t tell me you’ve never fantasized about bending your woman over any time you wished? On command? Taking her—”

“Grant! That will be enough. I do not wish to spend the rest of the day with visions of your sordid psyche and wicked desires flashing in my mind.” Yet, even as he said it he could feel the smile on his lips struggling to break, even though the vision was not of his wife. No, she would never stand for that, he thought, before remembering she was no longer with him, part of his life, that he would now have a chance to start fresh. Maybe this brash young hooligan has a point after all? He pondered though within seconds admonished himself for such thoughts and on the same day he found out about his wife. What kind of monster am I? He felt sick to his stomach.

“Would you at least give my words some thought, Grant? She’s a terribly sick girl, and a relationship – such as the one you propose – might prove the end of her. I cannot stress enough the probable damage this might do to her self-image. Not to mention it will be of no value, whatsoever, to the hard work the two of us have put in. I ask that you not follow through if you don’t intend to stay. Will you do that for me?”

“I’m all good, Doc. And the way I figure it, this little arrangement will only make me better – for the time being at least. Though, as a favor to you, I will think about it, today – okay? You happy?” he smiled, holding out his hand in a gesture of friendliness, though his eyes and chopped words spoke otherwise.

“I hope so, Grant – for all of our benefits.” He watched Grant leave his office. The usual swagger stiffened with the boil of resentment simmering on the surface, the unspoken contest to authority whether real or perceived and the battle to challenge his desire. His right to take what he believed was his entitlement, though had been told it wasn’t right that he was taking advantage, again.

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