2007-01-25: The Possibility of Paranoid Delusions


Benjamin_icon.gif Evie_icon.gif

Guest Starring: Dr. Eames

Summary: Benjamin goes to his therapy session to recount his woes — including the fact that he thinks he can make people fall asleep and his encounter with a strange girl a few months back.

Date It Happened: January 25th, 2007

The Possibility of Paranoid Delusions

A Brownstone Office, New York City

It's a breezy sort of day in the Big Apple. The sun is shining and there's a chilly bite to the air. Bundled up in a long coat against the sting, Benjamin disembarks a bus at the street corner. He turns up the collar to protect his ears a little as he walks the next two blocks or so to his destination. It's a non-descript sort of brownstone with offices inside. He looks back and forth as if paranoid that someone might see him before he goes into the building. The elevator is taken to the office in particular with a placard on the door indicating the name of a psychologist. "Can't believe I'm doing this," he mutters to himself as he opens the door and goes inside to check in.

"Mr. Winters?" A perky secretary with large, outdated glasses chirps as Benjamin goes to check in. "You're right on time. The doctor will see you now." She smiles congenially and gestures to the office, even though she knows Benjamin has been here before. Inside said office, which is fairly large and decked out with furniture and warm wooden decor, is the psychiatrist. He's already seated in an overstuffed, but otherwise Victorian-style chair. Waiting. When Benjamin eventually enters, he tips his head up subtly and regards his regular patient over the lenses of his own small, circular frames. Dr. Eames is a heavily-built African American fellow. And he works out, you know? But he's not entirely imposing… at least not all of the time. He's neatly dressed in a maroon dress shirt with a high, almost Mandarin collar. "Benjamin. Please. Have a seat."

Benjamin slips out of his coat and folds it over his arm. Ready to seat himself in the waiting room, he pauses in the act of sitting and nods to the secretary. "Thank you," he says politely while straightening up. Mentally, he gives himself a little pep talk. The usual internal mantra of 'I am not crazy.' "Afternoon Dr. Eames," he says after he enters the room and makes his way over to a seat. Oh what a familiar chair. Nice chair. Nice, comfortable surroundings with a doctor who is understanding.

The psychiatrist steeples his large hands loosely and waits for Benjamin to get nice and comfortable. There's a period of silence to follow, wherein he just… observes his patient, but thankfully, he speaks before it becomes more awkward. "How are you today, Benjamin? How have you been since our last session? Any ups… or downs?" He glances casually to the file sitting on the end table beside him, a reminder of the last time, but he doesn't touch it. It usually remains closed. Dr. Eames has a good memory.

"I'm alright, you? Ah, no real ups or downs, so that's good. Right?" Benjamin says, trying to sound upbeat about matters. "It helps that mother needed to be taken for errands, so that kept me busy. I think I took a big step. I finally took down the picture of Eileen and I at our wedding." He then pauses, closes his eyes briefly, then corrects himself, stammering slightly, "I lied.. I.. I didn't take it down. Mom did. Cursing my ex-wife seven days to Sunday. Mom's… well, she's mom."

"I'm fine." Dr. Eames nods slightly and says in a voice that's somehow both gruff and gentle, "I see. While that wasn't her step to take…" He tilts his head, conceding, to the right. "Nonetheless it's been done. Like I told you in our last session, having these mementos of you and Eileen out of sight signifies that you're moving on. However, Benjamin… I'm concerned about your mother laying out the steps for you. You have to do things for yourself."

"I know that," Benjamin says as he shifts a little in his seat. "She just.. she thinks she's helping. She was just over for a little bit and.. mom's kind of hard to stop when she wants to do something." He clasps his hands in his lap, fidgeting a little, not entirely comfortable. "I'm still imagining that I put people to sleep. It's all got to be just some weird kind of coincidence. For example, about the picture. Mom was ranting about it, sat down on the couch, next thing I know, she's sound asleep. She's not /that/ old. Then there was Pete two cubicles down the other day.. but at least I'm not seeing that kid with the fruit again."

Dr. Eames keeps a neutral face. He might as well be a statue - but he's a listening statue, a statue with sympathetic ears. "People are overworked and overtired in this day and age. Tell me," he begins, leaning forward ever so slightly above his steepled fingers. He keeps his deep voice smooth and placid, probing but not trying to belittle his patient. "You're worth listening to, Benjamin. You are an interesting person." It's kind of like a mantra. And this isn't his first time saying it to Benjamin. "What makes you think you have something to do with people falling asleep, Benjamin? Perhaps Pete had a rough night. Perhaps your mother has undiagnosed narcolepsy. As for the 'kid with the fruit'… I would like to revisit that in a moment."

"No, that can't be it. Mom's never shown signs of narcolepsy before.. and I don't know about Pete." Benjamin looks confused, and of course, a little worried. "Eileen told me I put her to sleep. That was one of the things she said when she wanted the divorce. She said I was boring her and she couldn't stand to be.. do we have to talk about the kid?" Cause, he'd really like to forget that happened.

"You and Eileen didn't work out because you weren't right for each other. It's natural that she would think you were boring. Not because you are, but because you were two personalities at war in the marriage." Dr. Eames is silent for a few moments, considering as he regards Benjamin evenly from behind his small glasses - the nature of what he's considering is mysterious, however, as his face doesn't so much as flicker. Then: "Have you ever wished for children, Benjamin?"

"But.. Fifteen years. We were alright until this past year." Basically because Benjamin is such a nice guy and he let Eileen have her way. He's definitely the yes dear sort of guy. "Yes.. no, I mean yes.. who hasn't? I mean, we talked about it. Once. Eileen was adamant against the idea." He fussily picks at his coat as he folds it over again, more or less balling it up in his lap. "So.. that was the end of that."

"Hmm. Mmhmm." The therapist places his hands precisely on the arm of his chair, covering up the cream-and-gold covering. "Since our last session, have you seen anything else out of the ordinary? Strange images, unusual characters… hallucinations, vivid dreams?" There's a pause and Dr. Eames narrows his small eyes (which look slightly engorged because of his lenses). "Voices?"

Benjamin's eyes widen and he looks more or less panicked, "Voices? No, should I have? I'm going insane.. This is all I need.. I should check with my HMO about my coverage for this sort of thing." He rocks forward just a little as he racks his brains then snaps his fingers and points up in the air, "YES. There was a lady. On the highway. I was bringing mother back into the city from .. it doesn't matter. And there was this lady. She was definitely out of the ordinary. She had a very nice classic Cadillac convertible and had driven from Nevada, but didn't have her car checked out before taking the drive. I stopped to help her. But.. wait.. this doesn't count. Mom saw her too." Then more to himself rather than to the doctor he says, "Of course mom could also be getting up in age.. Or was playing along."

"I'd like to cover all angles. There's no need to be alarmed." Dr. Eames sits back in his chair. "It was very nice of you to help a stranger in need like that, Benjamin. Unless there was anything else out of the ordinary about this woman, there's no reason to suspect she was anything but a traveler." The psychologist smiles for the first time since his patient entered the room. It's terse. "As much as there's no need to be alarmed, there's no need to be paranoid, either. Have you felt paranoid? Are you afraid you're going to make people fall asleep, Benjamin?"

"Right. She was just a lady on the roadside, having some car trouble. A really good looking lady," Benjamin says, repeating to himself. "I.. yes.. I guess you could say paranoid. I feel like I put people to sleep if I talk to them for too long. I mean, as I sit here, I'm just waiting for you to yawn and take a nap."

"Ah, I feel wide awake." Dr. Eames shakes his finger at Benjamin; it's an expression of his own thought, though, not a scolding. "Hmm. Hold that thought, Benjamin. Now, I'd like you to re-tell me about the time you saw the child at work. The girl with the fruit. Think of details. Are the details as clear as they were the first time you told me in this office? Are they foggier? Take your time remembering."

"What?" Benjamin says, momentarily confused by the change in topics. Darn the doctor for keeping him off balance. ".. Well she was sitting in the lobby, bouncing a ball, which really isn't a good idea in the office. It's distracting and could have put an eye out. She.. kinda followed, but not really, she was more walking with me to the breakroom. I let her have snacks and we talked. But.." A noise of frustration escapes as he sinks back into the chair and rubs at his temples. "The conversation didn't happen. I was just daydreaming. That's the only way to explain the apple and the banana. Either that or I'm going insane and seeing things."

"For the purposes of this exercise, describe it as if it really happened. Please… continue." Dr. Eames waves a hand mildly, barely moving it from the arm of the chair. "What did you talk about?"

"I.. again.. alright." Benjamin says as he leans back in this seat, staring up at the ceiling. He forces himself to calm down before going into the details as he can remember them.

A few months ago…

It's lunchtime in the Big Apple and that means traffic nightmares.. wait.. this is NYC, it's a neverending traffic nightmare. Nevermind! At a reputable accounting firm in Greenwich Village, a CPA named Benjamin Winters gets up from his desk. His intent is to head for the breakroom, where he can sit by himself. He's not exactly feeling up to heading to Central Park, which he could walk to. That's just more people to encounter than he currently feels like having contact with at this moment in time.

Kick. Kick. Kick. Kick-kick-kick-kick. The heel of a tan suede winter boot, size small girl's, thuds repeatedly against the wooden leg of a chair in the lobby of the accounting firm. It breaks up the monotonous sounds of the secretary doing deskwork with its own monotonous noise. Kick… kick… SIIIIGH. The girl sitting in the seat, one Evelyn Georgeson, appears to be somewhere in the range of ten to twelve years of age, and she is /very bored/. Her guardians are with an accountant and she is left to amuse herself - or, more specifically, to "not touch anything and not move". Peeking around the deadlands - that is, the lobby - surreptitiously, she hops onto the floor (her feet weren't quite touching) and starts to sneak down a hallway she saw some suit-wearing people wander down. When she sees someone coming, she flattens herself against the wall alongside a water cooler.

Benjamin is among those suit-wearing folks. Heading towards the lobby instead of from however. He's not on the look out for short children, so pays no mind to Evelyn's presence. It's entirely possible that he hasn't even registered the girl's presence as he strides through the hallway, worn out lunchbag in hand. The hand not occupied with the bag raises to pinch at the bridge of his nose as he stifles a yawn. Okay, so he had a rough night, and a busy day thus far.. well more like monotonously busy.

Looking through the distorted plastic-and-water viewpoint of hers, Evie squints, watching the blurry, really fat form of Benjamin walk down the hall (the water cooler is not flattering). Since he's carrying a lunch bag, that makes him very slightly more interesting than his colleagues, so she pulls down her beanie-style winter hat (knit with multicoloured, soft, fuzzy yarn) and starts to sneak down the hall behind him, quiet as an itty-bitty mouse.

Benjamin remains oblivious to the fact that he's got a short human trailing him as he makes his way across the lobby. He keeps his eyes downcast, and there's no communication with his colleagues. Maybe because Janine at the desk still remembers the last time he tried to say hello.. and word got around how damn /sleepy/ she felt afterwards. Once he reaches vending, he slips a hand into his pocket and jingles the change around as he debates on what soda to purchase.

Back into the lobby?! Well, that wasn't quite the exciting adventure Evie was anticipating. What was she expecting from this drowsy-looking man in a boring suit? Puckering her lips in thought, the girl swishes a lengthy curtain of brown hair, static-y from her hat, over her shoulder. With a dramatic (but quiet) sigh, she pads over to where she left her red coat on the chair and digs in the pocket. Once she's clasping something in her hand, she squats on the edge of the chair and starts to bounce a small blue, white and green swirled rubber ball - the kind you get for a quarter out of a machine - at the reception desk behind Benjamin. Bounce, thwap, bounce, thwap.

Benjamin is distracted from his selection at the coke machine by the bouncing of the ball. He turns slightly and looks over at Evie with some surprise, but not in annoyance then glances around the lobby. Last he checked, the lobby wasn't a daycare. The kid belongs to someone, obviously. Frowning a little, he forgets about the soda and backtracks towards where the girl has seated herself. "Uhm.. hey.. you might not want to bounce that in here. I'm pretty sure someone could hurt themselves on it."

The ball hits an angle on the desk and goes careening to the side, bounce-bounce-bouncing down the hallway. Oopsie! That's completely Benjamin's fault for distracting her! Evie whips her head around to look at the man, her lengthy hair swishing in front of her face; behind it, she blinks over and over again at Benjamin. She swipes it away hurriedly and stares wide-eyed for an extended moment, two, three… and then her look turns more than a little skeptical. "A /bouncy ball/?"

Benjamin winces at the ball as it goes careening. His bad. "Yeah, just like now." And many horrific possible scenarios involving bouncy balls hitting sensitive areas, getting stepped on etc play out in his mind. Ugh. Overactive much. Again, he looks away from the girl to see if anyone's coming to claim her. His head shakes slightly to clear the insane thoughts, "I'm sorry, err, are you waiting on someone? Who's claiming you?"

Evie turns her head to the right and looks at Benjamin sidelong, giving him a peering at that suggests she thinks he's insane. "…okay." She proceeds to adopt a defensive pout, angling her little chin up. "Claiming's what they do to lost dogs at the pound. I ain't nobody's lost dog. I don't have fleas, either, so." The girl leaps off the chair - frog-like, from the crouch she was in - then stands up, and promptly walks over to the hall. There, she turns around and looks at Benjamin expectantly with her lively blue eyes. "Are you gonna help me find my bouncy ball or what, mister?"

Benjamin just might be insane. He's already convinced himself he's someone no one wants to be around. "Huh? Sorry, sorry, don't get all huffy.. what? Find your ball, I've already.. damn, fifteen minutes of my break gone. I'm only given 60 minutes, not a minute o.. who am I kidding? Let's go find your ball." Lunch forgotten for now, he starts off in the direction the ball bounced off to. All the while, he's silently thanking the heavens above he and his ex never produced children. It's a nice thought, but face it, they'd hate him.

The little white puffballs on the end of Evie's boot-laces, victims of weird winter fashion, swish to and fro around her ankles as she walks down the hall on her mission. "I think it went… in… here," the girl says and suddenly veers into a room. The breakroom. "/Yes/," she says triumphantly, spotting not the ball, but the fridge. "Hey mister, is this your fridge? D'you have any snacks?" She's already opening the handle as she looks up at Benjamin, eyes sparkling oh-so-cutely, a hopeful smile on her face.

Benjamin trails after Evie, steps quickening. "Employees only in that room!" Mild panic away! Fortunately, the room is empty. Crisis averted. For now as he falls victim to the cute attack that is Evie. "I have a couple of apples in there." How boring, but good for you. He sets his lunchbag down on a table and goes to try and intercept the kid at the fridge to withdraw his apples.
There are no displays of 'YUCK!' or other revulsion after the announcement of apples, at least. Evie throws up her hands and steps back to let the fridge be opened, watching the process with her lips pressed tightly together in anticipation. "Are you an accountant? My foster parents are with an accountant. They've been in there forEVER. I dunno /why/."

Benjamin eyes the apples momentarily, then hands both to the kid. The door of the fridge is shut and he heads to the table where his bag was set. Settling into a seat, he looks a little surprised that the kid is still talking.. and to him. "Huh? Yes. CPA. Depending on what they're discussing it could take a few minutes to.. well however long it takes to sort out the matter. Could be income tax for the previous year, working out deductions, even setting up trust funds with legal."

If Benjamin was surprised that the kid was talking to him only that much, he's about to get another big surprise. "They're wasting their money," Evie declares matter-of-factly. "It's stupid. They're spending money on tryin' to handle the money they hardly have any of /anyway/," she continues, her cheeks dimpling slightly when she gets so into her tirade. "So it's gonna be all gone by the time the accountant lady figures out what to do with it. From payin' the accountant lady." Pause. "You guys are WAY overpriced. Trust me, mister, they're not settin' up a trust fund." That said, she finally snatches the apple and smiles brightly, almost overly gracious. "Thanks! What's a CPA?" she chirps through a big bite of the fruit.

Benjamin's brows raise then knit as he looks straight at Evie. "Well… we're.. not overpriced.. we're expensive because we're good. It's not a waste to pay someone to handle your finances. Some people don't have.. why am I even explaining this? It's something you don't have to worry about. Yet. You're welcome." About to dig into his bag, despite his appetite slowly backing away and running off, he stops and looks again. "Certified Public Accountant. It means I took special tests to qualify for my job."

"You /are too/ overpriced. I dunno what Shelley and Brady were thinking." Evie slurps up apple juices from her lip while she pins Benjamin with her bright, curious stare. The apple seems to take up almost half of her face every time she bites into it. "Oh, cool, so you're extra smart 'cause you passed the tests," she rationalizes. "I'm extra smart, too. I got two A's in my Health class, so they let me take an eighth grade science course."

"We are not. Look. It's … say you have a choice between two Barbies. The cheaper one wasn't made as well as the more expensive Barbie. You know if buy the cheaper one, it'll break faster. If you want it to last longer, do you want the more expensive one? Kind of the same thing here. We work hard, we produce quality, so we charge more," Benjamin tries to explain to the kid.. despite the analogy quite possibly being a bad one. "I guess I'm extra smart, I never thought of it that way. It just means I went to college, took the extra tests to be licensed. Uhm, that's good then."

Evie slowly sits down across from Benjamin. "If I played with dolls… that would be a good alananology," she replies. Obviously, she's not doing as well in English class as she is in Health class. She considers for a few seconds, chewing thoughtfully on her apple, then smiles and shrugs. "Okay. You're an expensive Barbie. You're like the ones with ball gowns." Now that she has defined Benjamin as a doll wearing a fancy dress in her head, she adds pointedly, "But my foster parents are still spending WAY too much. They're not smart like you 'n me."

Benjamin doesn't look too pleased with his choice in analogy as Evie goes /there/. "Sure… Just like that. Only not so much." Lunch completely forgotten now, he folds his arms against the table's surface and leans forward some. "Some people need to learn on their own that they're spending too much. I'm sure whatever accountant they're with will go over that with them. We can help with that." A thought then occurs to him, "Aren't you supposed to be in school? I'm pretty sure this is a school day." Or has he done what his mother said would happen? He's secluded himself away so much that he's having imaginary conversations!

"I hope the accountant lady tells them they're—" Evie wrinkles up her nose and looks down. "…I dunno," she finishes, shying away from harsher words. She turns around her apple - halfway eaten - in her hands, trailing a finger over a small bruise marring its shiny red skin. "Yeah…" she says quietly as she continues to touch and watch the spoiled spot. A moment later, she bites where it was. "I got sent home early."

Benjamin finds himself listening intently to the kid. Funny, this has been the best conversation he can recall having recently. "So… why did you get sent home early?" Then for something to do, he reaches into his bag and pulls out his usual sandwich, packet of crackers and a banana.

Evie looks a little uncomfortable all of a sudden, avoidant, but she quickly brightens up. "It's not important!" she proclaims optimistically. "It's just— I like school. Most of the time. So I didn't wanna get sent home early. It was that Jamie Ortega's fault. Hey!" she segues brokenly, her eyes suddenly widening as she points to a corner of the break room. "There it is!" The girl holds her apple in her mouth and is crawling on the floor in no time, headed on her hands and knees to the corner, where the tiny rubber ball happens to be after all.

Benjamin clearly has no idea how to talk to a kid. It just /shows/. "I wasn't prying or anything, you just said you got sent home early.. Nevermind. I'm imagining this whole thing anyway, so it doesn't matter." The last sentence muttered under his breath as he pops a cracker into his mouth.

After snatching the toy, Evie hops right back up with the agility of a child with no hindering aches and pains of adulthood. She's soon standing beside Benjamin, where she holds out her clenched fist for him to see. Her hand unfurls, revealing the little rubber ball. The blue, green and white swirls make it look like a tiny Earth. "It's okay." She overturns her hand; the ball bounces once on the table beside Benjamin's lunch bag before it's clasped in the girl's hand again. "You're nice for a CPA. Even if you think you're goin' crazy. I dunno, maybe you are. Maybe you're dreaming right now and I'm just a pigment of your imagination. At least you talk to me."

"Somehow.. that's not very comforting," Benjamin says as Evie shows him the rubber ball. "But thanks anyway.. and I think you meant figment. Not pigment. Don't people talk to you?"

"Oh, sure," Evie answers with a buoyant little smile as she tucks the ball into the pocket of her corduroy pants. She completely disregards the correction of her word use, though. "Just not the people you work with. Except to tell me to stop doing things… and…" The girl's brow wrinkles here as her words slow down. "…I guess you did too. But you gave me an apple!" An apple that still has pristine white flesh even though she's been chomping away at it for a few minutes now. She takes a few more big bites, making short work of the rest, then goes about prying the seeds from the core as if she does this all the time.

Benjamin finds that weird, about the apple that is, but he shrugs it off. He is imagining this scene. Right?? "Oh. Yeah I did. You know adults get stupid about safety, and if someone gets hurt, people get sue happy these days.. and yeah. You asked about snacks, right?" Besides, maybe if the kid is kept busy with a snack, she won't cause trouble.. not that he's paid here to babysit the children of clients.
Evie tucks several apple seeds in the pocket opposite the one that has the ball in it. "Adults are scaredy-cats. But I GUESS…" She meanders over to the wastebin to drops the apple core in, wiping her sticky hands on her t-shirt afterward. "I don't want anyone to get hurt. Thanks for the snack, mister. I was STARVING." Ponderous, she hooks her thumbs in her belt loops. "I'm gonna plant an apple tree. How long do you think it'll take to grow?"

Benjamin picks up his sandwich, and halfway to his mouth he looks over at the girl. Mouth partially open, ready for that bite, le sigh. "I.. have no idea. I've never planted a tree. I'm not good with plants anyway.. or people." If the girl was /starving/ as she says, she must still be hungry, so he nudges his packet of crackers towards Evie.

"Oh… I have a garden. I really like plants. I really like people, too. Most'a them, anyway. Some of them are mean. That's when I go to my garden, 'cause plants aren't mean." Pause. "Except for cacti, but it's not they're fault." Another pause. "You seem okay with people to me." Evie looks down at the packet of crackers and back up at Benjamin, overcome with a sudden bout of shyness. She bites at her lower lip with a few not-quite-perfect teeth as she considers the offering; ultimately, she picks it up, its plastic wrapper making its characteristic crackling noise in her hand. "See, you're nice."

"Plants can't talk back, or fall asleep, or start arguments.." Benjamin says aloud to no one in particular before he shakes his head, "It's nice you're good then that you like plants. I kept killing ferns, so I just keep .. no she took those. I /had/ plastic plants." The sandwich is set back down, and he has yet to still take a bite. A hand reaches to scratch the back of his neck, "I try to be… I'm not too boring am I?"

"Weeeeeeelll…" Evie's mouth twists to one side as she considers Benjamin: his whole being, from what she's seen so far. "You're a /little/ boring… but… you're only as boring as you think you are." Precarious wisdom from the twelve year old. "Are you bored?"

Benjamin blinks, "No, no, I'm not, but you aren't falling asleep or yawning, so that's a good sign. Forget I even asked." His elbow rests against the table and his head is supported wearily in hand. Although, he does find himself thinking about Evie's words.

"I had a giant Slusho before I came, I'm wide awake!" Evie exclaims with a little giggle to follow. More subdued, she voices, "Hey mister?" She leans over the table beside the near-stranger to prop her elbows up and plant her head in her hand, mimicking his pose and looking over at him. "Don't be sad. Are you sad 'cause somebody stole your dead ferns?" It's a simplified question that, uncannily, seems to have a deeper meaning.

Benjamin's head raises off his hand some at the further prompting by Evie. "Huh? No. Not that. Not really, and they were plastic. I could always get some more. It's just beside the point." He's not sad.. it's just a self imposed loneliness.
Evie is unconvinced and it shows blatantly on her face, along with something else: concern? Compassion? She regards Benjamin for a few moments longer until her cheek starts to slide down in her hand. No, she's not falling asleep! She straightens up, abruptly boisterous again. "Are you going to eat your banana?!" She lunges to snatch it. "Because it's getting all mushy."

Benjamin glances towards the windows of the breakroom, staring out at the traffic, pedestrian and vehicular. "Huh? Sure.. take it." An alarm on his watch beeps, and he glances at the time. Break is up and he hasn't even touched his lunch. With a sigh, he wraps up his sandwich and puts it back in his bag for later consumption. "Sorry, I have to get back to work. Go on back to the lobby? You can take that with you." It might give the secretary a heart attack.

When the banana is in her clutches, the girl smiles victoriously at Benjamin, but her triumph fades when she realizes he's leaving. "Oh… no, I want you to have it. WAIT!" Evie closes her eyes momentarily, a look of gentle focus taking over her face. When she opens them, she's smiling again. "I read once that if you don't have enough potassium, weird things can happen to your mood. …And you can like… puke everywhere. So here!" She offers the banana to Benjamin. When her little fingers uncurl from around it, the brown spots that the fruit was suffering are mysteriously no longer there. It's fresh and bright yellow. "Bye mister! Thanks for the snacks!" Evie reiterates cheerfully before running out of the breakroom, a short whoosh of colour and flying brown hair.

Benjamin is left staring at the banana, now firmly convinced that he had just imagined this whole encounter. Maybe it's time to visit a therapist. He's refused it for so long.. maybe this is a sign that it's time.

Back in the current time, Dr. Eames is silent throughout all of this, as usual. He doesn't even take any notes. By the end, he nods a few times. "And how did you feel toward this girl while she was present? And after she had left?"

Benjamin doesn't feel any better about all of this even as he talks to someone very educated and capable of diagnosing his mental issues. "I don't know.. Because it didn't happen. She was just a figment of my mind." The conviction in his tone clearly says he's trying to make it true. "She was smart for her age, I think. I don't know anything about kids, how to talk to them or anything. She seemed smart. But after she left.. Confused, because of the banana. This figment /healed/ the banana. If you can call it that. It was like she restored its freshness. The bruises went away."

"That may be so," Dr. Eames says. "Or it may be that she was real, and it was the behaviour fruit that was the subject of your imagination. You said her name was Evie, and you gave her an apple? Hmm. Hm." If he had a notepad, this would be the point where he'd use it, but it's all up there - in his head. He gives one of his trademark silences before he poses an odd question. "Did you eat the banana?"

"… No!" Benjamin says, as if horrified by the idea. "I put it on the table and went back to my office to get my things and go home. It weirded me out too much."

"Ah. Of course. I see. There is a lot of symbolism in your encounter with this girl, Benjamin… If you see her again, I want you to make an appointment immediately. Okay? Now…" Dr. Eames changes gears once more, although you can be assured that he's not posing these questions at random. Far from it. "Do you believe, truly believe, that you have the ability to make people fall asleep? At random? At will?"

".. I hope I don't see her again, cause then I'll /know/ I'm crazy," Benjamin states as he exhales, almost like he had been holding his breath. Again, he feels as if his mental balance is knocked off the track by the Dr. Eames. "I don't know.. I just.. get convinced that Eileen was right and I am boring. It could all be a coincidence. I never thought about making her take a nap or anything. It just happened."

"It is a coincidence. Be assured of that, and rest well yourself, Benjamin. Of course, no human being can put another to sleep by merely talking to them unless they're trained in hypnosis." Dr. Eames takes a deep breath. "I'd to sch… sched…" His had starts to droop; he picks it back up sharply, but it only falls down again. "Schedule your…" The man slumps in his luxurious chair, chin on his chest, his glasses sliding down his nose. Almost immediately, he begins to snore quietly.

Benjamin doesn't look convinced by Dr. Eames's words. He even opens his mouth to object, when.. the doctor falls asleep. "Coincidence huh? Some kind of coincidence. I'm sitting here, you're supposed to help me, and you take a nap now and I'm left talking to myself. This is just great. Well sugar cookies." He folds his arms across his chest and says sourly, "I bet I'm getting billed for this." He looks at the doctor, brows knitting some before he exhales and rises from his seat. "Thanks for the session. I feel great. I feel better now that I got this all off my chest, you've been wonderful, no seriously. The best listener ever," he says with a sarcastic tone as he shrugs on his coat and walks out of the room.

When Dr. Eames wakes up some time later, he straightens himself and takes off his glasses, pinching his eyes. After cleaning the lenses with a cloth from his shirt pocket slowly and methodically, he looks around the office. Empty. "Hmm," he says thoughtfully, and reaches for the file on Benjamin Winters. He opens it on his lap, revealing the first page in the folder, with the office's black helix-like logo in the header. He takes a gold pen from that pocket of his and starts making notes from memory.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License