Monster In Me
An Until Dawn Fanfiction
How to Disappear Completely
That One Time My Shrink Asked Me About My Jerking-Off Habits
No car. No phone. No Facebook (which I hate anyway). No outside or unnecessary contact – which isn't a problem considering everyone I know hates me. I don't think I'll ever be allowed to own a gun or order three-foot-wide saw blades with my dad's credit card again. Oh, and I'm under constant (and I guess understandable) supervision. I'd say this was a lot like being grounded, if a breach in these rules resulted in a stern talking to like on Full House and not a stint in the clink… you know. Like Oz.
I wouldn't last in prison. This face would definitely get me into all sorts of predicaments, most of which are the homoerotic shenanigans I tend to try and avoid. Then again, a few weeks in that joint and who knows what I'd do for a cigarette at that point.
I guess I did a pretty shitty thing and now I'm paying for it. I don't remember much of it, so it's hard to be quote-unquote remorseful about it – especially since somewhere in the back of my mind I'm still quite sure that they deserved it. I don't tell my shrink that though. He'll make me start coming four days a week instead of three again, which would be a headache considering I'm not allowed to drive. Or do anything fun. Or anything NOT fun, for that matter.
I ask my mom on my way out the door to therapy if she thinks I'm ready to get a job or something…anything to pass the time. She just laughs and laughs and continues by me with her basket of laundry.
I ask Dr. Finke the same question – He raises his eyebrows and nods, jotting something down and commending me on my enthusiasm to reacquaint myself with the world. But he doesn't say anything else, which makes me feel stupid for even asking. He then asks me if I'm angry anymore.
"I wasn't ever angry," I defend, albeit meekly, and he knows I'm lying. He's not as condescending as Dr. Hill was – Dr. Hill who referred me to Dr. Finke. I wasn't allowed to keep seeing Hill after I got off my meds, tried to terrorize my best friends and then my parents blamed him for not properly treating me. Poor guy. I sent him a letter but he sent it back. Dr. Finke said I'm not allowed to talk to him either.
"What emotion would you say you're feeling today?" I hate the way he asks me this, mostly because I feel like I'm in preschool again. Stolen juice-box flashbacks rear through me, but not unlike T-Swift's haters, I shake 'em off.
"Impatient," I say, my eyes scanning and evaluating his bland, unappealing office. Taupe drapes… I then wonder to myself where I learned a stupid word like 'taupe.' Fucking home shopping network… See? Too much time on these hands.
"Impatient," he repeats, another scribble on his paper. He could be drawing me like one of his French girls, for all I know. A part of me kinda hopes he is. "Do you have somewhere to be?" I narrow my eyes.
"You know I don't, but way to rub it in, Doc," I banter, only partially serious. He's good at salting the wound.
"What have you been doing with all your spare time?"
"Oh, you know. Watching movies. Checking the fridge every few minutes. Learning how to cook meth. Masturbating. The unusual." Only one of those was a lie.
"I see. Thinking of anything in particular?" I instantly regret my attempt at being funny, and assume he's referring to the last thing on my list. I tilt my head, my jaw becoming slack as I rub my tongue against the smoothness of the back of my teeth. I mull it over. What a creepy thing that is to ask another dude. I was just being a shithead; he seems genuinely intrigued.
"Uh… I don't…" I scratch the back of my head. I feel dirty now. "…really feel like discussing that-" I stammer uncomfortably.
"Rule number one of psychology, Josh," he says, his face completely blank. It is so fucking hard to read this guy; it makes me uneasy. Like he's wearing a mask. "No one brings anything up that they don't at least subconsciously want to discuss." I feel the urging of a chuckle in my throat. I'd better not laugh in his face, though. He has the meds and the papers that the judge goes over.
"I can most assuredly promise you, I don't wanna talk about that. Like… at all." Not sure how much clearer I can be with this guy. How long is this session, anyway?
"I just meant, is there anything out of the ordinary?"
"No," I snap, crossing my arms over my chest and pushing my eyebrows together. I. Am. Appalled. Actually, not really. But I'm certainly going to be talking to my parents about switching from Dr. Finke if he doesn't knock this Freudian shit off.
"Very well," he sighs, almost as though he's disappointed, and I just hope he's ready to move the conversation out of Creepville. "Have you been working on your letters?"
He means my apology letters. I'm not allowed to directly initiate contact with my 'victims' but he thinks that writing the letters will help me begin to take responsibility for my actions that night… er… something like that. I only listen to half of what he says, anyway.
"Yeah," I say, but it sounds like another lie. Therapists are trained to see right through that, right?
"Oh really." Yeah, he's not buying it.
"Yeah," I say again, with more conviction. I've gone too far now. Can't go back.
"Who did you address first?"
"Sam," falls out of my mouth first. Not sure why, but that's always the name that comes to mind first. Even though I know I'm mad at her... for some reason.
"And? What are you sorry to Sam about?" he asks.
"I'm..." I utter, with no idea where this sentence is going. "Because I might have scared her. You know. A little."
"What makes you think that, Joshua?" Um. I chased her around with a serial killer mask on and terrorized her in a towel… and only barely got to catch a glimpse of her naked, I might add. The bubbles in that bath were far too dense. Seeing her in all her naked glory would have been a plus for me, but I realize would have only made her even madder at me now if I'd seen her goodies on top of everything else.
"I mean… she didn't deserve to be in on the prank that night," I relent, trying to focus back on his question, and less on Sam's goodies. My admission that she shouldn't have been in on my prank was the first time I've ever said anything like that. Maybe this shrink is getting somewhere with me. "She was always a good friend to my sisters and… she was really nice to me when they were missing." It sounds so simple coming out of my mouth, but it's literally the hardest question he's asked me yet.
"Then why did you include her?" he asks. I pretend like I don't hear him. I'm too busy looking out the window at the pouring rain. It's gonna be a long walk home. "Is it because you were angry at her for not reciprocating your feelings for her?" That gets my attention. I snap my head back in his direction and click my tongue.
"Not…entirely sure what you're talking about."
"If you were working on her apology letter first, obviously she means a great deal to you-"
"Noooo," I correct, and I can literally feel my eyes bugging out like they do when I'm embarrassed or stressed or backed into a corner. I lean forward but refuse to uncross my arms – shrinks read into that kinda stuff. Like I'm opening up or something. "I just chose her because she's the least guilty."
"Wouldn't you say… that Sam was merely an innocent bystander?" I squeeze my eyes shut. He's making my head hurt so I pinch the area of my nose between my eyes, hoping to alleviate some of the pressure. What is his deal today, anyway? "Hmm… Think that over and we'll talk about it next week." With his permission to leave I feel such relief I could dance. But I don't dance. I have some moves, yeah, but I just don't, okay? "And work on your letters!" he yells after me, but I'm already gone.
The receptionist out front gives me an appointment card – not sure why she even bothers anymore. We both know I come every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I hand it back to her, tell her to save a tree, and she just scrunches her nose at me, shaking her head.
"It's policy," she smiles.
"If we don't save the trees, who will?" I ask, but she looks like she is one rude patient away from snapping and killing everyone, so I take it back without giving her any more lip. I turn to the glass doors of the doctor's office and see the monsoon outside. I glance down at my phone; I know. I know, I said no cell phone. But this is literally one of those phones that parents get their 6-year-old to make sure they can call them or 911 and that's it. I'm not trusted around modern technology anymore, so nothing fancy. It doesn't even get texts.
I punch in my mom's number. She picks up instantly. She's probably waiting for my call.
"I can't walk home in this," I say, low into the receiver. Can't let anyone in the waiting room know I'm calling my mommy and begging her for a ride because I don't want to get a little bit wet. But this weather is just not acceptable to walk in.
"Honey, I'm really stuck right now. I will try to get to you soon, just wait it out in the waiting room until it slows." Ha. Wait it out in the waiting room. That is what this room is for, I think as I glance around. But nahhhh. There's a bus stop outside and it's covered and I could use the fresh air anyway.
I hang up and push the doors open, relatively surprised to see that even with the wind and rain, it's really not that cold. That's what June weather will do, even for the Pacific Northwest. I pull my hood up on my head and shove my hands in my pockets, watching the water kick out from my feet as I get to the bus stop. The sound of the rain tapping on the glass encasing around the bench is almost hypnotizing.
I have some time to kill, so I reach into my black messenger's bag and pull out a notebook and a pen. The blank white page stares back at me almost intimidatingly… so many expectations. I lean back on the cool glass, pressing the pen against my lip thoughtfully. Dearest Samantha, I think to myself. Instead I just scribble Sam across the top of the page.
I move to the next line. I'm drawing a blank. Pretending to be sorry is harder than it looks.
Two kids about my age walk by and I swear they're looking at me. Whispering, their eyes full of judgment. 'That's the crazy one,' they seem to say. Dr. Finke said those feelings stem from a mixture of narcissism, paranoia and feelings of grandeur. I think that could be true. That, or they are shape-shifters. Aliens sent here to scoop me up and study my brilliant and intricate mind.
Sorry I kinda saw your goodies. I promptly cross it out after I write it. Sorry I kinda wanted to see your goodies.
What? What the fuck is the matter with me. That session with Finke left me feeling weird; I swear his perversion rubbed off on me.
I'm still mad at Sam anyway, I think to myself as I start scratching out her name, although I'm still not totally sure why. It's all still a little fuzzy to me. Maybe it's because, of all of them, I sorta expected her to come see me when I was in the hospital. I know, it was a lot to expect after everything that had happened... But I couldn't seem to shake the feeling of betrayal.
Yeah, like I'm one to talk. I'm sure she felt the same way when I dragged her down to with the rest of them. Betrayed. Why did I do that? The same headache I'd experienced in the doctor's office hits me again, harder this time, and once again I press my fingers to my nose and groan through the pain. Must be these stupid fucking meds.
I look down at my paper, now an indecisive and slightly perverted mess. I rip the page out, crumpling it beside me. New page. New start. Fuck Sam. I'll write to someone else first instead. She was too hard. There were too many things to apologize for.
Chris, I write. Bad idea, considering I wouldn't even know where to start with him, either. I reflect on Dr. Finke asking me if I'm still angry as my pen cuts deeply into the paper, spilling out its dark ink on the page.
I'm sorry that you were too chickenshit to make a move on Ashley (who's basically a 4/10 anyway) so I had to take matters into my own hands. You're welcome-
What? No. That's just fucking mean. As I violently cross the words out, I realize something I'm actually not good at: apologizing.
"Josh?" I hear my name being called. It takes a second for me to look up, and if I am totally honest with myself the sound of my name being said by someone who isn't a doctor, receptionist or parent makes me feel instantly queasy. I lift my hooded head up only barely, so if it happens to be someone I want to ignore I can just look back down and pretend that I didn't hear them.
But I blow it, like I blow everything. It's Sam. Speak of the fucking devil. I can literally feel my chest tighten and my throat run dry as she stares at me from her driver's seat, her car pulled up to the curb and her window down.
Our eyes meet, although I didn't intend for that to happen. She smiles, but it's not sincere. It's one of her nervous ones. The one that she gets when she's only pretending to want to talk to me. I've seen it before.
"Do you... need a ride?" I'm more than surprised she asked me that. More than surprised that she even stopped. Actually, I can't believe that she didn't hit the big puddle in front of me with her tires on her way by. I clench my jaw. I'm not ready. Not ready for this at all. Not ready for her to be nice to me or whatever this is. She's still there, staring at me with anticipation. It's too much.
I stand up, shoving my notebook in my bag and zipping it up before I throw it over my shoulder. I put in my earbuds, and as Radiohead fills my ears, I turn and walk off, my hands shoved deeply in my pockets.
Thom Yorke whines in my ears.
I'm not here. This isn't happening.
I don't look back. I don't apologize. I just make a mental note to add it to her apology letter, later.
To Be Continued...