Dr. Guylian, the psychologist, consulted his appointment list and with a slight shake of his head crossed out the third name on the list. His eyes flickered to the newspaper next to him on the desk and he saw the same name: Margaret Dales printed on the open page. There was a photograph of a young petit woman with curly hair under a headline of; Suicide Verdict For Depressed Mother Of Six.
The corners of Guylian’s mouth give a slight flick up as if to grin, but then became straight. He had work to do. He glanced at his laptop clock and saw it was a few minutes to nine. Mr. Kingsly was in the waiting room having checked in according to the computer.
There was a soft knocking at the door.
‘Come in,’ he called sounding like a school headmaster.
The door opened and his P.A, Miss Tibet, waddled in. Her chubby arms were loaded with brown paper files and her huge breasts were spilling out around them almost as if they were eating the files. Her stomach to floor black skirt threated to trip her up and did nothing to hide or support her bulging belly. Her dark cream blouse looked loose enough, but had one button too many open at the top. Her face, acne and pockmarked covered, was masked by makeup that unfortunately still showed what was underneath.
Dr. Guylian tried not to cringe and kept a blank face.
Miss Tibet dumped the files down on a small desk to his right and began fixing them, ‘Everything is in order,’ she stated loudly, ‘I’ve removed Mrs. Dales from your appointment list. I’ll sort out her files for the police- if they want them- later on if I get a chance. Is that okay with you, Doctor?’
‘Yes. Thank you. Please send Mr. Kingsly in,’ Guylian responded with his eyes fixed to the computer screen.
‘Of course,’ Miss. Tibet said gruffly and left.
The door didn’t click back into place behind her and Guylian growled. He got up, straightening his black suit and white shirt. He tweaked his tie and patted down his short black hair. Then balancing his black framed glasses on the end of his nose and picking up his notepad he went to the comfy leather chair next to the red fabric sofa.
There was knock and Guylian welcomed his client in. Mr. Kingsly shuffled forward, quietly closing the door behind him. He was wearing a rumpled old suit and looked as if he had just come from a funeral. His face drooped with heavy wrinkles and tiredness. Kingsly settled onto the sofa, laying down with his legs together and his arms over his chest and his fingers linking.
‘How are you feeling today?’ Guylian asked.
‘Tried, Doc. So tried. I didn’t sleep at all last night nor the night before,’ Kingsly rasping voice answered. ‘I tried hard. Pills and everything like you said. But it was no good.’
‘Why do you think you couldn’t sleep?’ Guylian let the question roll off his tongue.
‘Stress,’ Kingsly answered with a slight shrug, ‘the debt collectors are gonna get me.’
‘I’m sure they aren’t,’ Guylian cut in, ‘that can’t be all that’s troubling you.’
Kingsly eyed up and swallowed loudly.
‘You are safe here, remember.’
‘It’s…her,’ Kingsly muttered.
‘Her?’ Guylian asked after a few moments.
‘It doesn’t matter. It’s nothing. Nothing, I’m sure.’
Guylian tapped his pen against his pad and watched his client shifting on the sofa. Kingsly was really nervous. Guylian waited for him to go on.
‘Can you give me something to sleep, doc?’ Kingsly spoke.
‘Did the last stuff not work?’ Guylian questioned, ‘I guess we could try something else….’
‘Like what?’ Kingsly asked with a slight rise to his voice.
‘I have another client who likes to smother herself. She claims it’s the only way she can sleep. Of course, I don’t advise that. It’s dangerous,’ Guylian explained.
‘Why does she…? No, I don’t want to,’ Kingsly rushed and got up off the sofa.
‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.’
‘It’s okay, doc. I need to go now. Thanks,’ Kingsly turned and walked to the door.
Guylian kept his head low and wrote across his pad. He heard the door open and close softly. He carried on writing for a few moments then let out a sigh. Getting up, he went back to his desk and woke up his laptop. He began typing up his notes whilst his mind ticked over.
His phone buzzed and he picked it up.
Miss. Tibet’s voice crackled through, ‘Mr. Meta has arrived. Shall I send him in?’
Guylian’s eyes flickered to his computer clock, ‘give me a few more minutes,’ he said and hung up.
He finished up the notes then dug out his next client’s file. He flipped through the pages and decided to see how hard he could push Meta. The man seemed close enough to the edge now. A lick of anticipation acrossed his face and Guylian picked up the phone and called Meta through.
‘Mr. Meta. How are you today?’ Guylian called, getting up from his desk as the door opened.
Meta stumbled in. He was short, bald and his stubble beard unshaved. He was wearing dirty jogging pants and a t-shirt. Meta collapsed onto the sofa like a rag doll.
‘Bad,’ came the raspy voice.
‘Please go on,’ Guylian pressed trying to hide a hint of a smile.
‘The voices are still talking to me. Yesterday, they told me to jump from a bridge,’ Meta declared, ‘I got up on the railing, but I just couldn’t do it.’
‘Don’t you want your pain to end?’ Guylian said pleasantly.
‘Yes, yes,’ Meta sobbed, ‘I’ve nothing left now. It’s all gone.’
‘I’m sorry to hear that…maybe it’s time…you moved on?’
Meta took in a deep shaking breath, ‘how?’
‘Perhaps, you should listen to the voices and do what they say?’ Guylian suggested, hiding his Cheshire cat smile behind the notepad.