‘It was fine,’ he said, referring to the funeral. Allison raised her eyebrows not a fraction of an inch. ‘It was fine,’ he repeated. That was all he had to say.
She took a different course, swallowing, as though this level of bullheadedness was somehow outside the norm. ‘And you’ve been sleeping—?’ she began, pushing back a bit of hair that had fallen loose from her braid. Her sleeve slipped down.
‘That’s odd,’ he said, before he could help it. ‘Your wrist.’ He was pointing to the tan line, where he could imagine her bright orange bracelet fastened tight. Government jobs like this were practically reserved for orphans, for people with foster families for whom they cared little, and parents that were long gone. She shouldn’t have had any connections, and David was frankly shocked.
‘Who was it?’ he asked.
Allison pulled down her sleeve. ‘We’re not here to talk about me. I asked—‘
‘It was recent though, wasn’t it? The tan line’s fresh, so you’ve just gotten it removed. It’s been a year, then. Nice.’ She tried again to interrupt him, but he stormed on. ‘Listen, Doctor, I am fine. As fine as the funeral was. And I don’t need to talk about any of this. I’m here because it’s court ordered but I don’t need to tell you about my sleeping habits or my eating habits or my feelings because I don’t need your help. I’ve seen what it’s like to be haunted. I know.’
The tendons in her neck stood out rigidly when he finished speaking, even as she gently set aside her clipboard and folded her hands in her lap. ‘That’s fine, David,’ she said quietly. ‘I get that plenty. From repeat patients. People with big families, or a lot of friends who are getting old. We don’t have to talk about anything.
‘But you’re wrong. You don’t know. You have absolutely no idea what it’s like to be haunted until it starts to happen to you.’
And as they sat there, in terse silence, her knuckles began to turn white where she clutched her own wrist.
A FRANTIC BURST OF COLOR (just some more of Sho’s pointless original ramblings)