Sometimes a part of you gets stuck in an ugly moment from the past. No matter how far you go or how old you grow, your mind refuses to budge. A piece of your soul gets trapped in that fragment of time and space. You feel incompetent, guilty and incomplete for the rest of your life. You try all the tricks in the world to persuade the inner you to move on; you go lengths to get yourself fixed, but eventually nothing works. Your mind remains in the same twisted state and something prohibits you from living your life. You reject anything good that comes your way; you deny every chance at happiness – because you feel like an impostor who deserves nothing but doom.
“I feel much better now”, I made an attempt to smile and casually ran my fingers through my hair.
Dr. Shetty said nothing. He just kept looking at me, his glassy brown eyes trying to elicit every hidden thought within me. I felt the strong need to keep talking. I was always scared of these unfilled silences that had become an integral part of our sessions. They spoke more volumes than the few words that I usually managed to string together. I knew that silence was his trump card and that if I did not say anything soon enough, I would be squeaking and squirming under his watchful gaze.
“I can think more clearly, as if a blanket has been lifted off my brain. I realize how irrational I used to be before. Trust me Doctor, I feel very normal”
Dr. Shetty smiled one of his ‘I-know-you-are-lying’ kinds of smile. He bit his visibly non-existent upper lip as he bent down to jolt something in the blue case file- my case file. It was perhaps the thickest one in his cupboard.
“I am glad you are feeling better Anya”, he finally said. He always mispronounced my name. My name is not Anya; it is Aanya which means inexhaustible. Inexhaustible indeed! Huh, what an irony! I was exhausted even before the race called life began.
Anya on the other hand means a stranger or a third person. Perhaps Anya suited my persona more. I was indeed a stranger everywhere. I had never felt belonged, I had never felt wanted.
As I became aware of Dr. Shetty’s eyes on me, I sat up straight to look him in his eyes and smiled again. I knew how important it was to appear confident.
“I can see from the test results that you have passed with flying colors. That is very good. But Anya, let me be honest with you. I am sure you would appreciate a bit of honesty, right?” he paused.
I could feel the smile freeze on my face. I nodded innocently. Though I knew exactly what was coming, my face betrayed nothing.
Dr. Shetty smiled again. Oh, how much I hate these lopsided sarcastic smiles of his!
“I would strongly recommend that you stay in the facility for a few more days. I am concerned about you Anya. You are a very bright woman; you can do great things in life. I just want you to be fully recovered before facing the real world”
A few more days could grow into a few years if I was not careful enough. Not that I cared about being locked in in the asylum. But I did not have any time to waste. I had to act fast, I had to get out.
“I am totally ready to face the real world, Doctor. Moreover I won’t be living alone anymore. Did my parents not call you? As I said earlier, I will be moving in with them”
“Yes, they did”, Dr. Shetty removed his glasses and gently massaged his eye lids. “But I also know that you have had issues with them in the past. And I don’t know what effect their presence is going to have on you”
I swore silently. I had been such a fool to blurt out a few things in front of this puny man. The fact that I was totally distraught when I first met him was not a good enough excuse. I had let down my guard and since then he had been using each and every bit of that against me. I had always been right about not trusting anyone.
“I need a change of scene, Doctor. And I realize most of my anger came from my unbalanced mind. Now that I am lucid, I understand them. I want to spend some time with them. It is long overdue.”
Dr. Shetty noted something else in the case file and looked up. “We will see.” he said. “And I will meet you tomorrow. Before we decide on anything, let me meet your parents. When did you say they are arriving?”
“The day after”, I answered as I rose to leave.
Even though they were my only ticket to freedom, I was not very happy at the prospect of coming face to face with my parents. The combination of my presence state of mind and years of bottled up emotions might be deadly enough to break me again. But I had to be strong. I was a woman on mission and I was running out of time.
Shadows of the dawn 2