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Touch: A survival story. - 10. Interlude 1

 Doctor’s notes, Subject #24170. Alias: David. Session 2.

Notes and recommendations of attendant therapist, Natalie Sharpe:

  In the week since our previous session, David has continued to exhibit no noticeable changes indicative of deviant manifestation. The observation period has been closed and the all clear provided early due to special circumstances. David’s father works with the office of -REDACTED TO ENSURE ANONYMITY-, and has given assurances that he will provide notification should David begin to demonstrate deviant abilities. David’s parents have noted a few marked improvements in his day to day behaviour since beginning to sleep in their bed and resuming school. They note that he seems less angry, more generally talkative and that while he still cries regularly, invariably following his still frequent nightmares, he no longer attempts to hide it from them. His mother continues to list a concern, however, in that she feels he may be hiding something from her. Such concerns are valid, and often true, but caution has been advised. Children in David’s situation often hide things from their parents more because they do not feel ready to address them yet than due to any need for deception.

With regard to concerns raised last week over anti-social patterns forming, the scenario seems unlikely. Upon his return to school, David immediately resumed his highly social behaviour, going so far as to have made a new friend by the end of his first day back. It is possible that he wishes to form a new social group for the purposes of self redefinition, but that remains conjecture.

Transcript of audio-visual session recording taken down by supervisor Sullivan is as follows:

A knock sounds on the door, Doctor Sharpe turns in her chair to face it.

Doctor Sharpe: “Come in.”

The door opens and David enters, accompanied by his mother. The two hug briefly.

David’s Mother: “Are you sure you’ll be okay? I promise I’ll be right outside.”

David: “Yeah, I’m sure. Love you, Mom.”

David’s Mother: “Love you too, sweetie.”

David’s mother exits the room, closing the door behind her. David turns to face Doctor Sharpe, still standing close to the door, as he did before.

Doctor Sharpe: “Hello, David.”

David: “Hey, Doctor.”

Doctor Sharpe: “How are you feeling today?”

A pause.

David: “Better, I think. A little bit at least. I’ve been sleeping better.”

Doctor Sharpe: “That’s good to hear, David. Are you still having thoughts about what happened?”

David: “Yeah, every night, pretty much, but when it wakes me up, Mom and Dad are there and they help me feel a little better.”

Doctor Sharpe: “That’s good to hear, David. Your parents told me that you tried sleeping alone again on Tuesday.”

A pause.

David: “Yeah. I thought I was ready. I wasn’t.”

A pause.

Doctor Sharpe: “Do you want to talk abo-”

David cuts Doctor Sharpe off.

David: “No.”

A pause.

David: “Sorry. It… it wasn’t fun.”

Doctor Sharpe nods.

Doctor Sharpe: “That’s fine. Your parents also told me you’ve made a friend.”

David: “Yeah, Nathaniel.”

Doctor Sharpe: “Well, would you like to tell me about him, David?”

David: “He’s… Fun, I guess. Kinda dorky, a little lonely. He seems just as messed up about stuff as I am sometimes and that… kinda helps, I think. We’ve been watching anime together.”

Doctor Sharpe: “Oh yes? Anything I might have heard of?”

David: “Uhh, no offence, doctor, but I’m pretty sure you don’t watch anime.”

Doctor Sharpe laughs.

Doctor Sharpe: “You’re right, I don’t, but my roommate in college watched them all the time. I couldn’t help but pick up a few things.”

A pause.

David: “Spacefighter X.”

Doctor Sharpe grins.

Doctor Sharpe: “Never heard of it.”

David: “Course not, it only came out last year.”

Doctor Sharpe: “Let me guess, giant robots fighting in space?”

David: “Well, yeah, but there’s politics and stuff, too.”

Doctor Sharpe laughs.

Doctor Sharpe: “My roommate used to assure me of something very similar.”

David scowls.

Doctor Sharpe: “Well, that aside, I think we’re getting a little off topic here, David. Why don’t you tell me a little more about Nathaniel?”

David: “Yeah, okay. He’s… he’s nice, you know? Not that fake kind of nice that you get from teachers or people who just want you to like them. He’s… I dunno, kind? He came to my house yesterday to hang out and I was busy playing castles with my sister, so instead of pulling me away, he just grabbed some pillows and joined in. I mean, what kind of person just randomly gives up two hours of time just to make a five year old happy?”

Doctor Sharpe: “You did.”

David: “Well, yeah, but she’s my sister.”

Doctor Sharpe: “True enough. I don’t think we’ve discussed your sister yet, have we?”

A pause.

David: “Not really, no. I… Sorry. That’s kinda personal. We’ve only had one session, and I-“

Doctor Sharpe raises her hand.

Doctor Sharpe: “It’s fine, David, we can talk about something else, if you prefer. How have you been finding your life back at school? You went back on Tuesday, correct?”

David: “Yeah, it’s good. I was starting to feel way too cooped up at home. Kinda bums me out sometimes, though. I wanna play games with my friends, but my mom said if I fell, it might make the skin patch come off and I… yeah.”

A pause.

Doctor Sharpe: “I wouldn’t worry about that too much, David, If you use a new one every week or so, the adhesive should hold up against a scrape or two. There’s nothing stopping you playing ball games with whoever you want.”

David sighs.

David: “I know, but… Nerves, you know?”

Doctor Sharpe: “Yeah, I know.”

The two are silent for a time. Doctor Sharpe moves to her fridge for a soda and offers one to David, who declines. Doctor Sharpe returns to her seat.

Doctor Sharpe: “Have you thought any further about what you would like to do with regard to your markings?”

David shakes his head.

David: “No. I mean, yeah, I’ve thought about it, but I haven’t decided yet. I… I think I wanna get rid of them, but I’m still not one hundred percent sure. There’s… stuff.”

Doctor Sharpe laughs slightly.

Doctor Sharpe: “Not feeling like sharing much today, are you?”

David opens his mouth to reply, but Doctor Sharpe raises a hand.

Doctor Sharpe: “It wasn’t a criticism. This whole thing is a process, and it works best when you feel comfortable enough to share things without being pushed.”

David nods.

David: “It’s just… there’s some things I really want to figure out on my own first, you know?”

Doctor Sharpe: “I do. I’m here if you need help with any of them, though. Okay?”

David: “Yeah.”

Doctor Sharpe: “Well, then, is there something else you’d like to talk about with me, or would you rather we called this to a close for the day?”

David hesitates for a time, opens his mouth to speak, then closes it again. Doctor Sharpe watches quietly, hands folded in her lap. After a few minutes, David sighs.

David: “Not right now. Sorry.”

Doctor Sharpe: “It’s fine, David. You can hold off of telling me until you’re comfortable doing so. Would you like to go back to your mother?”

David: “Yeah, please. Sorry.”

Doctor Sharpe: “It’s not a problem, David.”

David nods, before exiting through the door and closing it behind him.

Doctor Sharpe opens her desk, retrieves a hand recorder, and begins recording.

Doctor Sharpe: “Personal notes, patient number 24170, session two. Patient appears to be recovering well on an emotional level, his resumed social activity and decreased signs of stress at home are both good signs. Hearing his description of Nathaniel, the relationship seems healthy, and the traits mentioned point towards an additional source of support in his recovery. If David is indeed trying to redefine who he is in the aftermath of his assault, this new connection seems a healthy start. Side note. I feel the need to address a possible conflict of interest. Nathaniel, the boy David recently befriended, is my -REDACTED TO ENSURE ANONYMITY-. I feel it is possible that this could be an issue going forward into future sessions.”

End of recording.

Notes and recommendations of supervisor Sullivan regarding case #24170:

  No new notes to record. Concerns regarding a possible conflict of interest have been explored and factored. No action required.

Report Concludes.

Copyright © 2021 Rhythminthemind; All Rights Reserved.
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Hey guys. I hope you like what you've read so far. If you did, please feel free to review, comment, or anything else you wanna do.

If you have notes for me personally about the story, such as suggestions for improvements, or things that you want to talk about in a non-public setting, feel free to send me a private message.

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Chapter Comments

Interesting chapter, he went to the doctor and said almost nothing, I don't think that he really trusts her

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Well this chapter answered a question I almost asked in the last chapter comments .The doctor he is seeing is aware of Peter and what he does and the office probably aligned with the organization.It hasn't been revealed if Sarah is aware of Peter and what he does you would think she does know but she was far more emotional and worried about James when he went back to school that tells me there's a lot she doesn't know.

Nice cliffy there at the end.Nathanial/Casper is her what? patient?son? can't wait to find out

Edited by weinerdog
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1 hour ago, weinerdog said:

Well this chapter answered a question I almost asked in the last chapter comments .The doctor he is seeing is aware of Peter and what he does and the office probably aligned with the organization.It hasn't been revealed if Sarah is aware of Peter and what he does you would think she does know but she was far more emotional and worried about James when he went back to school that tells me there's a lot she doesn't know.

Nice cliffy there at the end.Nathanial/Casper is her what? patient?son? can't wait to find out

Interesting conclusions. I would note, though. You mentioned Sarah being more emotional about James going back to school. I'm curious. Why would that point to her knowing less about what's going on? I'm not criticizing. Just curious about why you say so. To my mind, the intensity of her emotional response is more of a reaction to being a caring mother in a difficult situation than to any particular lack of knowledge.

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1 hour ago, mikedup said:

Interesting chapter, he went to the doctor and said almost nothing, I don't think that he really trusts her

I think he's having a hard time with trust generally at the moment.

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9 minutes ago, Rhythminthemind said:

Interesting conclusions. I would note, though. You mentioned Sarah being more emotional about James going back to school. I'm curious. Why would that point to her knowing less about what's going on? I'm not criticizing. Just curious about why you say so. To my mind, the intensity of her emotional response is more of a reaction to being a caring mother in a difficult situation than to any particular lack of knowledge.

My thinking(such as it is lol)if she was aware of the nature of Peter's group I would think that would  make a person a little more stoic  and know that James would get the best care imaginable and most likely every move of James is probably being observed by somebody in the organization  so she would be reassured.Of course she would still be a caring Mother but less anxious but I get it James is going through a horrible ordeal.

Another possible outcome is James got attacked because he is Peter's son.If that's the case Sarah would be one pissed off Mama

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1 minute ago, weinerdog said:

My thinking(such as it is lol)if she was aware of the nature of Peter's group I would think that would  make a person a little more stoic  and know that James would get the best care imaginable and most likely every move of James is probably being observed by somebody in the organization  so she would be reassured.Of course she would still be a caring Mother but less anxious but I get it James is going through a horrible ordeal.

Another possible outcome is James got attacked because he is Peter's son.If that's the case Sarah would be one pissed off Mama

Interesting. I'm not sure if I agree. Not meaning to deny your viewpoint at all, but, to my experience, anxiety doesn't go away just because you're aware that there's nothing to worry about. To me, her concern is more a result of being, well, traumatized. Her son was raped. She's having trouble letting go because, last time she wasn't there to protect him, he was violated. That's enough to give someone a complex. I don't think she'd be having an easier time with that, regardless of what she knows.

As for James being targeted for being Peter's son... If that were the case, yeah. She'd be pissed.

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Again, we are getting a better understanding of the world these folks live and operate in and...the interconnections that we find exist  between all of them, tying them together. At times it seems as if the 'good' guys are at cross purposes with each other while the 'bad' guys appear to be a bit more cohesive with the exception of the shadow summoner.

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I just jumped on this bandwagon and I’m enjoying your story so much! I noticed you have tons of chapters posted on your website but I’ll refrain and read here so I can join in the fun of commenting as you post new content.

The variety of characters and perspectives keeps the story fresh. Main character aside, Tasha is a badass and I love how you describe her appearance. I’m intrigued by her and I’m looking forward to learning more of her history.

This is easy to read, like reading butter. I’m pretty sure that analogy is terrible but I’m going with it anyway. It’s very enjoyable and I can’t wait to continue!

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2 hours ago, headtransplant said:

I just jumped on this bandwagon and I’m enjoying your story so much! I noticed you have tons of chapters posted on your website but I’ll refrain and read here so I can join in the fun of commenting as you post new content.

The variety of characters and perspectives keeps the story fresh. Main character aside, Tasha is a badass and I love how you describe her appearance. I’m intrigued by her and I’m looking forward to learning more of her history.

This is easy to read, like reading butter. I’m pretty sure that analogy is terrible but I’m going with it anyway. It’s very enjoyable and I can’t wait to continue!

Thank you very much! I'm glad you're liking it so far and finding it easy enough to read. I have to admit, I'm suffering from retrospective author vision a bit. I keep looking over these chapters as I re-post them and going: "oh, dear. Was my writing really that awkward back then?", so it's nice to know that the jankiness seems to mostly be in my head.

That being said, I'm reliably informed that the quality takes an up-swing as the story progresses, so I hope it gets better for ya. Thanks for reading!

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Okay, that went just like I would have expected.  Well, except for the fact that his therapist has a tie to his new friend.  It can be very hard to establish a level of trust with any therapist; but when a child has been violated like James has, then that is even harder to do.  The therapist really is doing just what she should be doing, it will just take time...

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2 hours ago, centexhairysub said:

Okay, that went just like I would have expected.  Well, except for the fact that his therapist has a tie to his new friend.  It can be very hard to establish a level of trust with any therapist; but when a child has been violated like James has, then that is even harder to do.  The therapist really is doing just what she should be doing, it will just take time...

Agreed. Dr. Sharpe's cool.

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