Gonzales

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Janice and James

'Where do you want me to start?'

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'Where do you want me to start?'

'From the beginning.'

'But I cannot remember when exactly or how it started.'

'When what started, Ms. Gonzales?'

'When mom says I started talking to ghosts.'

'But were you actually talking to ghosts?'

'No, I was not but she wouldn't believe me. No one believes me. There's no ghost but...I do talk to someone.'

'Who do you talk to?'

'...Would you believe me if I told you, Doctor? You would diagnose me to be mentally disturbed, give me more medicine and make my parents worry more about me.'

'I'm only trying to help yo-'

'You can't help me. Doctor. I don't need help. I'm perfectly fine.'

'Then why do your parents say you're talking to yourself, withdrawing from social activities, eating less, losing weight rapidly and also refusing to visit your brother's grave.'

'Because he's not there.'

'What do you mean?'

'The person I talk to is my brother.'

'Your brother passed away last month in a car accident because he had been driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.'

For the first time since I had entered into this room, I looked up and stared past the clinically schooled face of my therapist at the wall behind her and smiled.

'He's right here. He's here with us. You know I'm not crazy. Right Jay Jay?'

'It's funny how when you're gone, they only remember how you died and the stupid stuff you did. For fuck sakes, yes I know I was stupid to have gone over a 100 drunk and high on the highway and I've paid for it. Let it go people!'

I giggled, smiling at my brother's bloody, battered and bruised face twisted in a scowl and pout –there was even a bit of his cranium showing.

'You shouldn't even have been driving in that state, James.'

I retorted, for a moment forgetting where I was until I heard the voice of my shaken therapist.

'Who are you talking to, Ms. Gonzales?'

I snapped my head to her and frowned lightly as I cocked my head to the side confused.

'Didn't you just hear him speak? He's right behind you.'

Looking like she had felt a chill up her spine, I watched my therapist turn around slowly before getting up and leaving the office with quick movements. I shrugged my shoulders at the confused look on James' face as the door was slammed shut loudly. He came to sit on the edge of the mahogany table in front of me and brushed his cold hand across my cheek fondly and I smiled.

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