Chapter Eight: Bruxism:
Anna made the appointment after Tsuzuki left. She would see a therapist tomorrow morning. Tsuzuki still didn’t think it was a good idea, but he didn’t try to discourage her from it; he promised after all. The next morning, Anna was heading out when she found Rihoko waiting at the front door.
“Sure about this?” she asked.
“Yes,” Anna replied without a thought. Rihoko put on a brave face as she went quiet.
“Be careful,” she murmured.
“I will,” her roommate replied before she headed out the door.
Tokyo Counseling Services was in downtown Tokyo. Anna kept her face low the whole time as she took the subway. Japan thought her to be dead. It would cause rather a shock to find her alive and walking around. She made sure not to talk to anybody because of that little fact. The woman looked out the window instead. Anna got off with the flood of people. It was so easy to disappear among them after being “dead.” She paid with cash and walked the rest of the way there. Anna breezed through the front doors of the clinic. The woman filled out the paperwork and the receptionist looked over it before she glanced at Anna.
“Take a seat, Niwa-san,” she said.
“Thank you,” Anna said with a bow. She sat down in one of the chairs. Anna looked all around her. Nice enough-looking room she was in. Not many people here today; just an elderly couple and a mom with a zoned-out child. Anna looked up at the ceiling.
/Looks the same as his office in the US/, she thought aimlessly. Only, this ceiling was creepy clean. Anna looked over at the direction of the sound of a door opening wide. A young man in a new business suit came out with a chart in his hand. He looked about a year younger than she was. The man looked at her for a moment.
“Niwa Midori,” he called off the chart. Anna sat up in her seat.
“Right here,” she said.
“Please follow me,” the young man told her. He went back towards his office with Anna following behind. The young man opened the door and they went inside. Anna examined the room. She found the setting rather puzzling. This office looked rather like someone’s living room with the furniture, carpet, and décor. Nothing about this place even looked remotely professional. Even the man had pictures of his family all over the walls. The woman turned to the doctor.
“Is this someone’s living room?” she asked. The young man gave her a little smile.
“We’re trying out a new approach with the atmosphere,” he explained, “Helps people open up more without the distractions of a psychiatrist’s office; take a seat.”
“Ah,” Anna said before she sat down. The color scheme of bright yellow and white felt a little too personal for her taste to be honest with her. However, this was the best clinic nearby and she decided to make the most of for the time being. The doctor sat down on the other side of the coffee table. Anna watched from the couch as he pulled out a tape recorder and his notebook. The young doctor looked up at her from his black leather armchair.
“Do you mind if I tape this session?” he asked.
“No, go ahead,” Anna replied. The therapist put in a fresh tape and hit record.
“August 7th, 2009. I am Dr. Fujimiya and I’m with a patient. Please state your name.”
“Please tell me your age.”
“Tell me about these dreams you’ve been having.”
“Well, they started nine years ago. I was in college when they started.”
“How old were you at the time?”
“Go on. What else about these dreams?”
“They are kind of hard to explain.”
“Okay, they switch all around. Sometimes, I dreamt of this woman with white wings naked and tangled up in many red ribbons.”
“Who is she to you?”
She paused on the tape. “I can’t say; I don’t know and I’ve never seen her before, but I’m lucky.”
“Why is that?”
“She’s a benevolent dream.”
“Benevolent? What would you consider malevolent?”
She paused again on the tape. “Five summers ago, I saw a murder. This man savagely raped and killed this woman. Afterwards, he turned and saw me. I panicked, but he let me go that night. Since then, I’ve had nightmare about him.”
“Okay, so what exactly do you want?”
“They have come back. I want to know why and how to stop them.”
The therapist scribbled down some notes to paper. “Hm, any other traumatic events other than what you wrote on the form?”
“Not really; just my father’s death on Halloween in 1999 and nearly being raped by my swim captain days before we graduated. I already went over those years ago.”
He took more notes after her answer. “I see.”
“So? What does this mean?”
“By the looks of it, I will need a little assistance. Listen closely; I’m going to refer you to a colleague of mine in Kyoto. He is a dream specialist and can help you better with this than I can.”
“Why is that?”
“He was my mentor; my field is more general. Here, this is the address of his practice.”
“Thank you.” Anna paused as she read over the card. “Are we done, doctor?”
“Yes, Niwa-san, you may go.” He hit stop on the tape recorder.
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