Publish Novellas 13 February 2022
EPISODE 3 – CONSULTATION
Recognizing that the problem requires outside help, a loyal wife begins investigating measures to protect her family.
⚠️ Reader Discretion: Mature dialogue.
Pam is the wife…
Pam starts researching credentials of nearby therapists. After finding a good match, she tries to schedule a same-day appointment. The receptionist asks if there is concern that the individual will harm himself or others.
The doting wife says that he is drinking excessively to cope with depression. She fears his condition will escalate if he has to wait days or weeks. So the office agrees to schedule him for a late same-day visit.
An exuberant Pam thanks the receptionist before waking Marcus. “Honey, wake up. I made an appointment for you this evening. You must stay sober today. While I make you some breakfast, go take a shower.”
Dr. Alison Thompson perceives that Marcus is resistant to speak at first. “You can call me Dr. Alison.” The therapist asks, “Why do you want to be here?”
“My wife wants me here.”
“That may be true. But why do you want to be here?”
“Clever, clever, Doctor. You are trying to trick me with words.”
“No, I am trying to figure out why we scheduled an emergency appointment with someone who doesn’t want to talk. If you have nothing to say and do not want to be here, then we can meet next month.”
“No, wait. I just don’t know you and this is some heavy personal stuff.”
“I am bound by doctor-patient confidentiality. So you can talk about anything. I will even turn on some white noise so no one any distance away can discern what you are saying….” Click.
“Not even my wife in the waiting room?”
“Not even her,” confirms the therapist.
“Cool. But I don’t know how to begin. Things happened so many years ago that they shouldn’t matter.”
“These things matter if they still bother you. So, let me ask you this. Have you ever done something you regret?”
“Wow, jumping right into the deep end…. Everybody has, yes.”
“Let’s begin there.”
After a long pause, Marcus begins…. “When I was a teenager with out-of-control hormones, I knew a girl. She was a high school acquaintance living down the street who came over. Under the influence of a controlled substance, she was acting sexy.
“So I had my way with her then I dressed her and propped her up until she came to. She left groggy not knowing what happened. From then on, I ignored her from shame.”
“That is quite an event to live with for more than forty years.”
“Yes, but she may have gotten pregnant. I don’t know.”
“How have you coped with this?” asks Dr. Alison.
“That’s not the end of it. Reliving the event in my mind kept me from sleeping. So I tried to forget with drugs and alcohol. But they didn’t help my sleep or my guilt.”
“I agree. Street drugs and alcohol are no way to cope with such traumas.”
“But I was young. The substance abuse lowered my inhibitions, leading to risky behavior with similarly immoral persons for several years. I think I became a sex addict.
“Some were much older women. Others were much younger. And there were many in between. It is difficult to recall the exact number but they materialize in my dreams. So I awaken and drink more booze.”
Absorbing so much unexpected information, Dr. Alison says, “I just want to be clear. Are you saying that you raped more women than you can remember?”
“No, no, no! You’re saying that. I said that I enjoyed sex with women of all ages—often while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.”
“Would you consider yourself to be polyamorous?”
“What’s that, Dr. Big Words?”
“Did all the people know about and accept the mutual intimate relationships?”
“You mean like orgies?”
“Not necessarily. Did they condone your sharing intimate relationships with others?”
“Maybe…. Not usually. Some were one-night stands. Others were girlfriends. I was attracted to nymphomaniacs.”
“How frequently do you watch pornography?”
“Who said I did? It depends on how you classify it. If you mean naked women… everyday.”
“Not yet. I was hoping they think I’m dead.”
“But forty years later you schedule a life-threatening emergency visit…. I sense that you are leaving out something significant.”
“Having moved from my old neighborhood, I was able to stay off the grid all this time. With a flip phone and no social media accounts, my past secrets were only known to me.”
“Until someone in my family went to one of those ancestry websites and made a connection. Now, I envision a crowd of women wearing black, encircling my house, bringing picket signs and lawsuits.”
“I am willing to help you as a therapist. But I cannot advise you in legal matters. For the states that have a statute of limitations for statutory rape, the period varies from three to thirty years.”
“So forty years ago is out of range.”
“Like I said, I cannot advise you in legal matters. You should know that some states do not have limitations.”
“To be clear, the other relationships were consensual.”
“That has nothing to do with the definition of statutory rape. But I must say, this meeting seems more like an attorney-client conversation. I am here to discuss how your actions are affecting your emotions.”
“I’m sorry, you asked what prompted my sudden visit. The stupid events of my childhood are the source of daily nightmares. I am even afraid to go to bed. So I drink while watching television in a recliner until I fall asleep.”
“We need to schedule an appointment to discuss those nightmares. But I am going to give you the phone number of an attorney. Call him tomorrow so you can find out where you stand legally.
“With that clear understanding, we can address your moral and emotional effects. Thank you for coming in. This will end our appointment today. I would like to see you in three days, hopefully, after you speak with an attorney. I am also giving you a number to a facility that helps with alcohol addictions.”
“Can’t you fix addictions here?”
“I can discuss them, but you may require a more comprehensive program.”