Okay, so this is something totally new for me. I’m trying my hand at a little fiction writing, telling someone else’s story for a change. I’ve collected some writing prompts that peak my interest and I am going through them and seeing what comes out of it.
I found this writing prompt while scrolling through Pinterest and decided it might be fun to write a bit of fiction. The prompt was “an ex-boyfriend and a pair of binoculars” and the idea was to write a short story using those two things. That’s it. No other rules or guidelines, just an ex and a pair of binoculars.
This is what I came up with so I hope you enjoy!
An Ex and Some Binoculars
“Okay, Olivia. Why don’t you walk me through your dream one more time.” Dr. Fitzpatrick said lifting her eyes for just a second before returning to the void that was her notepad.
I adjusted myself in my chair as if to be in exactly the same position as when I began my story the first time.
She probably took note of that.
“So like I already told you, I’m in a room that feels like an empty closet. It’s small and there’s not really a door anywhere. Then I was given a pair of binoculars by a stranger. Actually, I’m not sure it was even a whole stranger. Just a hand reached out to me and shoved the binoculars in my hands.” Why do I feel so nervous telling this story? I could feel my right foot begin to shake.
“They were cold and heavy. I raised them up to my eyes and then nothing. I woke up.”
Fitz put her notepad down and leaned forward slightly.
Crap. Did I say something wrong? Did this story not match my first one?
“Olivia. I need you to make sure there isn’t anything you’re leaving out. I can’t help you unless there is one hundred percent transparency here,” she said raising her right eyebrow.
I doubt she even realized she was doing it. It was probably one of those microexpressions that burst through the facade you’re holding onto so tightly just for a split second revealing what you are actually feeling before regaining control on your poker face.
I could tell she wanted to seem sympathetic to my situation but really she was over it. She probably just wanted me to move on with my life. Everyone else did.
My mom, it was her idea to send me here. Just an expensive way for me to get over my unresolved issues and for her to get all the credit.
My friends. They feel like they can’t have a normal conversation with me anymore, which isn’t true. They can talk to me like I’m normal, they just choose not to because it’s easier to leave something broken behind than to try to fix it.
I let the silence linger for a beat, waiting to see if I could detect any more feelings she was trying to keep hidden about me.
“Nope, that’s it. Oh, unless you count that my feet were actually flippers and I was speaking fluent Spanish, but I’m sure none of that is relevant,” I said with a little sarcastic bitterness.
“Olivia.” She tried to sound understanding. “I want to help you. I’m not playing games here.”
Really, my boyfriend is dead and you’re the one not playing games?
“What more do you want from me?” I ask. “I did what you asked me to do.”
“I’m sorry if I’ve been stapled to the same chair for the past hour with no chance to move, think, or do anything that doesn’t have to do with my own crazy.”
“Maybe spending hours in therapy just isn’t my thing?”
My voice cracks.
“Maybe I actually get worse when I have to dig up and talk about all my crazy and then share it with a stranger? What if this is more traumatizing for me than the accident?”
My hands are in fists now. The air is frozen but I can feel the heat coming from my hands. Sweaty. My nails piercing my palms. I only notice how much it hurts as I begin to release my grip.
Her office closely resembles an Ikea catalog. All white walls, all white carpet, one of those work-standing-up desks with a glass tabletop, every paper stacked neatly, a deep blue glass blown vase on her desk holding a fresh bouquet of yellow roses. I always thought roses were so cliché. Even when you think you’re being different by getting yellow ones. There are literally hundreds of thousands of different types of flowers in the world varying in beauty and size and color and abstractness, and out of every flower in the whole world, you pick roses?
“Olivia, I want you to know that you are safe here. I want the best for you and I want you to feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings with me. Even the ones that scare you.” She said that like it was so easy.
Oh, of course. Let me show you all of my horrendous thoughts and put them on a silver platter for you to devour. Then when you’re done you can write them all down in your notepad and put them in those perfect little stacks you have on your desk like you do to every one of your other patients.
“I think my time is up,” I said reaching down to grab my purse. I rush to leave her Ikea-made office before she has time to argue with me and let the door slam behind me.
That was my first (and hopefully last) therapy session after Brandon died.