Placet Redire Ad Nobis

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Would you believe me if I told you that the past four months had been filled with events so unbelievable and assiduous that I had only just found time to finally write them down proper and have them released? Though I will ask that you bear with me, because it's been some time since I wrote like this. I have a lot to bring you up to speed on.

We'll start with the return.

*

"So you haven't been taking your pills?"

I rubbed my eyes smoothly, knowing the veins in the sclera would draw the woman's attention away. I gazed back up at her with discontent. "No. I haven't, no."

"Is there a particular reason why?"

"I don't want to sleep."

"I've been prescribing you the same sleeping medication for almost two months, and now you tell me you don't want to sleep?"

I sighed heavily through my nostrils. "If I sleep I have nightmares. Simple as that."

"Nightmares of what?" the woman asked as she leaned in, her ballpoint pen at the ready and the contents of her clipboard hidden from my view by an angle just sharp enough to mask them.

"Lots of different things. Every dream tends to turn bad after a certain point."

"Does your wife know?"

Of course Veronica knows, it's not like she manages to sleep through my violent tremors. "No."

"And you don't think she should know?"

"She has her own things to deal with. The baby."

The woman scratched the tip of her nose with her pen's top, watching me from the upper rim of her glasses. "Do any dreams show up more often than others?"

I gave a half-chortle, one that resonated more from my own sense of humor than that which the woman possessed. "There's a few."

"Like?"

"You know exactly which dreams happen more often."

She jotted something down before looking back up. "Which would it be this time?"

I felt my jaw pop as my teeth pressed against each other. "I'm holding the gun to him, but I don't pull the trigger, even though I know I should."

"Why should you?"

"I look back now knowing that I let him go, and that makes me feel like a complete failure."

"You spared a man's life."

"I let a man go who should be held accountable for everything that he did."

The woman marked down more notes, checking a box along the way. "Any other dreams?"

"The waterfall one."

The woman set down the clipboard before pulling her glasses from her face and folding the earpieces. "John, as your therapist, I am supposed to inquire about the dream, as I have done every session for coming on seven weeks. But as your friend? You were in the military for twenty-six months. You've seen friends go down in combat, but according to you, your nightmares about them lasted all of fifteen days."

"What's your point?"

"He's been dead for almost three years. In that time, you've moved from Newfield to Los Angeles, then back to Newfield, and now you're in my office for the seventh time in two months to see me specifically. You found yourself a steady job as a clinic doctor. You got married. You've started continuing your education. You're going to be a father. You're making progress.

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