Story Installment 3: Playing Doctor.

INT. AT THE SAME DINING TABLE.

The woman had been rehearsing the same conversation in her head repeatedly over the years. Sometimes she would think that she had actually had the conversation with him and then realise that it had just been the voice in her head. Other times she would imagine all the possible scenarios in her head and then come to the conclusion that the talk would just spiral down to a total disaster. Her psychologist said she worried too much and had prescribed her with antidepressants and anxiolytics for many years now.

It was ten years ago when they first met. The woman was still in her teens and the doctor still had black hair. Like almost all of her patients,the woman was reluctant to talk at first. She just sat on the chair and stared at the carpeted floor.

FLASHBACK.

INT. A WELL-FURNISHED ROOM. TWO PEOPLE SITTING ACROSS FROM EACH OTHER. A WOMAN IN HER THIRTIES IS SITTING IN FRONT OF A DESK WITH HER FINGERS LOCKED. SHE IS WEARING A NICE SUIT WITH MATCHING SKIRT. SHE LOOKS VERY COMPOSED. ON THE WALL, SHE HAS HUNG ALL HER EDUCATION CERTIFICATES, DIPLOMAS, AND CREDENTIALS UP AS A TESTIMONY OF HER ABILITY. WHEN YOU’RE A WOMAN IN HER EARLY THIRTIES WORKING HARD IN AN INDUSTRY THAT ISN’T QUITE COMPLETELY ACKNOWLEDGED AS A FORM OF SCIENCE, CREDENTIALS IS WHAT MAKE PEOPLE BELIEVE IN YOU.

“Would you like some tea?”. In the office, the doctor said with a smile on her face.

SOUND OF WATER POURED DOWN INTO A CUP AND CLANKING OF TEA CUPS AND PLATES.

The girl received her cup of tea and took a sip.

“Jasmine,” she said, “is great.”

For the rest of the session, the two of them just sat there and drank tea.

“This is nice. Awkward, but nice.”

The girl noticed the tattoo on the doctor’s neck. She couldn’t quite make out the shape of the tattoo but she was very intrigued by it. The tattoo was about the size of a palm. She wondered how painful it would be for the doctor to get a tattoo like that.

“Hmm your tattoo,” she pointed. “What is it?”

“Oh this?” The doctor placed her hand on top of her tattoo and stroke her neck. “This was just a symbol. A reminder.”

“A reminder?” The girl wanted to know more. She has always been told that tattoos are only for bad guys, but the doctor doesn’t seem like one… She opened her mouth but was interrupted almost immediately by the doctor.

“Do you like your tea?” The doctor gestured towards the girl’s cup, lifted up her own and took a sip too.

FLASHBACK.

“I’m going out later for a bit.” The man said to the woman in a calm but emotionless voice.

The woman nodded. “Are you taking the car?”

“Yeah, but I’m not going to be long.”

The woman had finished her meal by now. She then put down her bowl, got up and said, “Alright then, goodnight.” She walked straight to the bedroom without even making eye contact with the man. She knew where he was going. And she couldn’t care less.

INT. BATHROOM. STEAM FILLING UP THE ENTIRE SPACE. THE TAP IS RUNNING. OLD CLOTHES ARE SCATTERED ALL OVER THE BATHROOM FLOOR. THERE IS A HINT OF LAVENDER AND ROSEWATER LINGERING IN THE AIR.

The woman undressed and stepped into her bath. She submerged her entire body into the water. Air bubbles come rising from beneath the surface. By the time she came out of the water for a breathe of air, the tub was almost full. She ran her hand through her hair.

Another night spent alone, she thought.

She reached her hand into the water and clenches the area where her chain tattoo was wrapped nicely around her ankle.

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