Jaclyn was pacing quickly back and forth across the hallway outside of Trevor's hospital room, smiling excitedly. She was nearly bouncing in place when Claire walked out of Trevor's room and softly closed the door. Jaclyn quickly walked up to her, her voice full of enthusiasm.
"How is he, Claire? Is Trevor ok?"
Calmly Claire sighed, gathering herself. "He's ok..."
Her eyes lit up. "That's great news! Can I see him?"
"Jaclyn... there's something I need to tell you first..."
Pausing, the smile slowly fell from Jaclyn's face. "What.... what is it?"
"Trevor's ok now. But he was brought in because he was hit by a car. A nurse recognized him and called me. He's fine. Really. There's no severe damage, and he's going to be released soon. But he did receive a hard hit to the head..."
Jaclyn smiled. "He needed one for leaving in the first place."
"There's something else..."
A worried look passed Jaclyn's eyes. "What?"
"Trevor has..." Reluctantly, Claire finally said it. "Trevor doesn't remember who he is."
Stunned as she stood there in front of Claire, she couldn't believe what she had heard. "He doesn't remember?"
"No..." Claire paused, inhaling. "Trevor doesn't remember who any of us are."
Jaclyn looked at her sadly, growing quiet. "Not even you?"
Claire lowered her eyes, but she couldn't hide the pain in her expression. "Not even me..."
"Oh Claire..." Stepping forward, Jaclyn tenderly reached out and wrapped her arms around her. "I'm--... Claire, I'm so sorry..."
Trying to keep her disappointment inside, Claire sniffed as Jaclyn held her, closing her eyes. "It's ok. It is. I'm just happy Trevor's safe. That's all that matters. That he's ok."
"But are you ok?" There was concern in Jaclyn's voice.
"I'm fine..." She pulled out of Jaclyn's arms. "Really. Actually, I was thinking about this... and it's a great opportunity."
"An opportunity?" She blinked at Claire, confused. "How..?
"Trevor's lost his memory. He has no memory of who he was, or of his delusion."
"Or of how the two of you feel about each other," Jaclyn said urgently.
Claire softly exhaled again. "That's not important right now."
Jaclyn pleaded, stepping closer. "But it is important. Love is important! If Trevor taught me anything, it's that love is the most important thing in the world. You have to tell him! Tell him who he was. Tell him about his life with you. And about how you both feel. That's what he really needs right now! What you need. You have to be honest. You have to tell him that you love him, Claire."
Claire looked away silently, pain in her eyes, as if caught on Jaclyn's words.
"I can't..." she said softly. Her voice almost seemed to waver. "I can't do that to him again, Jaclyn. Do you want him to end up right where he was before? Believing he's the god of love. Ridiculed and locked away in some hospital? Waiting to be drugged up or worse? That's exactly what Frank almost did to him. Trevor was almost committed. Is that what you really want for him?"
Jaclyn was about to say something, but she stopped, thinking about it.
Claire pressed her point. "Jaclyn this is my chance! This is Trevor's chance! The real Trevor's still in there somewhere. Free of Cupid and free of his delusion. Just the real person who's always been there underneath. Maybe he'll finally show us who he really is, instead if who he pretends to be. He'll start to manifest his real self, I know he will! But only if I can keep his god of love delusion at bay long enough. This is our chance to find the real person he is without the delusion! To find Trevor. I've never been able to get at the trauma which drove him to think he was Cupid in the first place, because his past has always been completely blocked behind it. But now, maybe I can give him a clean slate, a fresh start, let him finally face that hurt. This is Trevor's chance to finally stop hiding that trauma away! And it's our chance. Our chance to free him from a judgmental world. Maybe I can finally cure him now, even after all this time. By helping him remember who he really is..."
Jaclyn shook her head. "But... then he wouldn't be our Trevor anymore."
"But maybe he'd be happy. Maybe he'd finally accept his life." Claire was insistent, yet her voice was gentle as she looked into Jaclyn's eyes. "I love him, Jaclyn. I know you do to. The question is... how much do you love him?"
"Claire, I'm--" Jaclyn looked away, her words stumbling uncomfortably over one another."I-I'm with Champ now, and I would never try to-"
"That's not what I mean." Claire took a deep breath, as if she was scared to admit it even to herself. "Jaclyn... We may never get the Trevor we knew back. But we can still help him. Do you love Trevor enough to give him a chance at being happy? Even if he never remembers us? Do you love him enough not to tell him that he believed he was Cupid, to not risk him falling back into that again? Love him enough to give him a life without doctor's, without hospitals or review boards. Do you love him that much, Jaclyn?"
Jaclyn turned away, her face sad. The hallway was quiet for a moment as the two women stood there. The noises from the hospital were soft in the distance. Finally she looked back at Claire again. "You know I do..."
Claire's voice was a relieved whisper. "Thank you. Thank you, Jaclyn."
Reaching up, Jaclyn wiped her eyes. Claire noticed and reached over to help dry her cheek.
"I think he'd really like to see you..." Claire said softly. "Even if he doesn't know why..."
"Ok..." Jaclyn took a deep breath, trying to smile again. "I promise I won't tell him, Claire."
Claire sighed, silent for a moment. "It's for the best, Jaclyn."
"I hope so..." Jaclyn turned and slowly walked over to Trevor's hospital room door. Reaching out, her hand paused reluctantly on the doorknob, not turning around when she spoke.
"What?" She looked over at Jaclyn standing there, facing Trevor's door.
"If-... If we never get our Trevor back, if he never remembers... I'll miss him."
Claire's breath trembled quietly as she exhaled.
With that Jaclyn opened the door and stepped into Trevor's room, closing it gently behind her.
Claire stood there alone, motionless, feeling the lonely expanse of the hallway behind her, thinking quietly. This had to work. She knew it would be hard for her to ignore what she had wanted after missing him for so long. Hard to not just blurt out the truth about what they had shared. Hard to stay closed off, not telling him how they had felt about each other. But she also knew this was probably Trevor's last chance. The hospital board wouldn't be patient forever.
The long hallway stretched empty behind her as Claire reached up, holding the bridge of her nose as she lowered her head and cried softly, arms wrapped tightly around herself.
There was a soft knock on Claire's office door.
She was sitting behind her desk, quiet for a moment when she heard that sound. Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she finally called out.
"Come in, Trevor."
The door swung open, and Trevor cautiously poked his head in. He looked around the room, uncertain. It was obvious from his expression that he felt out of place as he leaned partially into her office. "Umm... is this the right time?"
Claire smiled. "Yes, Trevor. Actually, you're right on time. Which worries me..."
Trevor stepped carefully in and closed the door behind him. Standing there across the room he looked over at her, but he didn't move away from the door. "Really. Why is that?"
"The Trevor I knew was always late..."
"Then... I guess maybe I'm not him. Sounds like a easy going kind of guy. Wish I could have met him."
"Me too..." she said softly, thinking for a moment.
Claire rose from her chair, walking around her desk until she stood in front of it. Crossing her arms before her she leaned back against the desk's edge, looking at him carefully. "In a way, that's what we're hoping to accomplish here, isn't it?"
Trevor shrugged, not knowing how to answer that. "I guess..."
He still hadn't come away from the door, looking uncomfortable as he stood there, eyes passing across her office as if it was unfamiliar to him.
Claire smiled. That innocence almost seemed endearing to her somehow. "Trevor, why don't you come in..."
"Umm... ok..." He stepped slowly closer, taking a deep breath into the unexplained silence between them. Smiling again, he tried to lighten the mood. "Umm... you're receptionist back there is really friendly. Does she hug all your patients that way?"
"No, just you I think."
His eyes sparkled. "Maybe she should. Be great for business. They'd line up around the block."
"Trevor, why don't you take a seat."
He moved cautiously over towards the couch, before stepping right past it and moving without hesitation to take Claire's seat behind the desk. Acting as if nothing was wrong he leaned back in her chair, and with a comfortable sigh he propped his shoes up on top of her desk. Looking over, he blinked as Claire's amused expression took him by surprise. "Is this... is this ok? Because I'll move if-"
Claire smiled slightly. "No. It's fine, Trevor. You just seemed like your old self for a second." Still amused, Claire calmly took Trevor's seat on the couch, facing him, her notebook on her lap, as another quiet began to stretch between them again.
"Hmm..." He took the opportunity to look around her office. "This... this is nice. This is a really nice place. It suits you."
"What do you mean?" she asked gently.
"Being here. In this office. It fits you, somehow... I think you belong here..."
"You don't even know me, Trevor."
He stared into mid air as if trying to remember. Finally he looked dejectedly back at her when he couldn't. "Wish I did..."
"Hmm. Agreeing with me already..." she joked, nodding slowly. "But thanks for the sentiment anyway, Trevor."
After a few more moments of silence, she looked up and realized Trevor was looking her over, and definitely appreciating what he saw. "Sooo...." He said suggestively. "You're my shrink, huh? You're really cute. Why would I ever want to be cured..."
Claire smiled but said nothing.
Trevor's eyes started wandering nervously over all her psychology degrees on the wall. "So I was crazy before..."
"I wouldn't go that far. You just needed a little help."
"Don't we all..." His voice was low and serious, until he thought of something. "Help with what exactly?"
"Umm..." She took a breath, sounding reluctant. "We don't really have to discuss all that right away, Trevor."
He blinked. "Why do you keep calling me that?"
"Trevor. You keep calling me Trevor."
A concerned look came into her eyes. "Because it's your name. Trevor Hale is your name."
He shook his head, not recognizing it. "Never heard of him."
"You don't remember him at all?"
Claire's lips parted, inhaling nervously. "Trevor... do you remember me?"
He was about to say something, but stopped, straining for some fragment, some solid image dancing at the edge of his mind of residual memory, but coming up with nothing. "No... I feel like I should. Like I should remember you. It feels... sad I guess, that I can't for some reason. If I try I can almost remember your face. Picture it somewhere else. In sunlight, I think. Happy. Smiling up at the rain. But the fact that I can't--.... still hurts, somehow."
Claire looked a little disappointed, lowering her eyes. "I see..."
Trevor tried to smile, his tone lightening. "So I guess I'll have to take your word about my entire name thing. Trevor Hale, huh? Good as any other, I guess. But it's not quiet right somehow."
"Why not?" she asked.
"It's not my real name, for one thing. My real name is-"
Claire went perfectly still, the air quiet in anticipation when he paused.
Trevor blinked as his mind worked, before growing frustrated. "Damn. I thought I had it for a second, but I lost it. It's not there anymore."
"Give it time. It'll come back. How do you know your name's not Trevor?" she asked.
"I don't. I just know it doesn't feel right somehow. Like it should be something else. Something bigger. Besides... do you honestly think I look like a Trevor? Come on. I'm better looking than that."
Claire smiled. "I think Trevor's a very attractive name."
He looked at her, a flirty gleam in his eye. "Is it getting warm in here or is it just you? We both know Trevor sounds like some pale computer geek who's never interacted with a real woman outside of the internet. Assuming those 'women' aren't questionable of course." Smiling, his voice took on a high nasal tone, forcing an overbite as he adjusted imaginary glasses. "Umm... excuse me, you sure are preeetty, doctor lady. You can scramble my cerebellum any day. Heh, heh, heh, heh (snorts)...Say... Do you want to come over and watch Star Trek in my basement later? I have them all on Beta. We could get silly willy on some root beer..."
"Fine, Trevor." She smiled. "What name would you choose then?"
He returned to his normal voice, leaning confidently back. "I don't know. Something grander. More majestic. Looming, if you understand what I'm getting at. In case you didn't notice, and we both know you did, I'm kind of the hottie's hottie. So how about something like, I don't know... Adonis?"
Claire nodded, her eyes bright. "Apparently your ego didn't take the same train out off town that your memories did." She sighed. "It would be so much simpler if you could just tell me your actual name."
"Look, I wish it was all just as easy as magically snapping my fingers and, boom... I'm my old self again. Whatever or whoever that was. Maybe then all of you wouldn't keep giving me that same look every time I don't remember..."
"Look? What kind of look, Trevor?"
"Disappointed." He watched her. "You know... Like the way your looking at me now. Wish I could be what you expect."
"And what do you think we expect, Trevor?"
"I don't know." Face drawn tighter, he subtly tilted his head for a moment, an off handed gesture to show it didn't bother him, even though it obviously did. "Someone else I guess..."
"Wanting to be someone else..." Claire's words were more careful now. "Being someone else. Is there something wrong with just being you? Something you don't like? That you'd rather not remember?"
"Strange as it sounds, you're in a better position to tell me that than I am, lady."
Claire looked at him sadly at that admission. "Then you really don't remember me...."
"Hey, if we had met before, I know I would have remembered you." His voice took a playful, seductive tone. "If it helps, we could always compare full body birthmarks. I'll go first-"
Trevor started to lift his shirt, but Claire stopped him.
"That's ok, Trevor. Let's just keep this professional."
He smiled widely. "Professional huh? I'd peg you as more of an 'intensely' skilled amateur, but what do I know right? Still it's your call. But can I just say for the record at this point, we obviously have wildly differing opinions on just what's therapeutic..."
Smiling at his barrage of suggestive overtures, a dubious look came into her eyes and she spoke more playfully. "Are you... positive you don't remember?"
"I don't!" He laughed. "Really. Why? Is there something really really.... REALLY great that I should remember? I hope?" He loudly popped the 'p' in the last syllable.
"Trevor, the real question is, is there something you don't want to remember."
"You're the shrink. You tell me. Who do you think I think I am?"
"Umm..." Claire sounded reluctant, looking away. "I'm not sure. I only remember who you were with me, Trevor. Who you claimed to be at least. I always believed you were hiding your true identity. I still do. Even then, you were hiding from yourself. So in a way, I know as little about who you really are as you do right now. When I met him, the man I knew was Trevor Hale. I don't know who he was before that. What life he lived. Who he tried to bury behind his delusion. He never showed me that person. But maybe the two of us can find him together. Me and you. I want you to remember the real you, Trevor, not just the charming delusional man I knew. But the whole truth. All of it, no matter how painful it is..."
Trevor's voice was full of conviction, answering instantly. "See, there's the problem right there with you professional shrink types. In the end there is no real truth. The only truth is love..."
He was gazing at her face fondly, not looking away, as if trying to associate having felt that way. Claire shifted slightly under the tenderness in his eyes.
"I-I don't think those sort of implications towards me are really appropriate, Trevor. I'm your doctor. I'm here to help you..."
Trevor looked confused. "Implications? What implications? I was just thinking out loud..."
"Oh..." She spoke softly to herself so only she could hear. "Then I guess you really don't remember..."
Trevor heard it anyway. "Since I keep having to repeat it, apparently I'm not the only one."
Claire looked at him pointedly, pushing her feelings aside. It was getting harder to remind herself that this was an opportunity. "What are you hiding from, Trevor?"
He exhaled tiredly, looking out the window. "Everybody hides..."
"Why do you think that?"
"Because they do. They hide from their boss, they hide from their friends, they even hide from complete strangers they pass on the street, afraid anyone will get a look at the real them. Flaws and all... hidden under clothes or makeup, or the cars they drive. Everybody hides, Dr. Allen." He looked at her. "Even if it's behind a doctorate."
"Or behind what they've forgotten..." She countered. Nodding, she tried to process what he said, before deciding to continue. "If it's ok with you Trevor, I'd like to ask you a few questions."
He looked steadily into her eyes, unwavering. "Quid Pro Quo..."
She looked up from the notes she had started. "Excuse me?"
Trevor didn't look away. "Quid pro quo. It's Latin. You're not the only one with questions to ask. And maybe I'm not the only one who's hiding."
"What am I hiding?"
"What you know about who I was. You still haven't told me what was wrong with me before. Then again, maybe you're hiding what you know about yourself. I can't tell. Either way... You want to help me? Maybe I can help you at the same time."
She looked at him, almost sad. "Help me with what?"
"Doesn't take a psychotic like me to see the past in your eyes, Dr. Allen. Someone hurt you. Deep down. Someone you still miss... Who was he?"
There was a silence in the room, as Claire struggled for words. Looking down, she seemed off balance. "Trevor, I--"
He leaned forward. "Anyway, that's the deal. You want to find out about me? I want to find out about you too."
"That's not usually how therapy works, Trevor."
Trevor smiled. "Like I said. We have differing opinions on what's therapeutic. So. What's it going to be, Dr. Allen. Do we have a deal? You wash my back, and I wash your... front?" He rubbed his hands in anticipation.
Claire was about to object out of habit, but she stopped herself, thinking about it. She finally spoke, seeing an opportunity.
"Deal." she said absently.
Trevor nodded, leaning happily back. "Ok. Fire away, Sparky."
Startled, Claire smiled, surprised. "What did you call me?"
He didn't understand. "What?"
"Sparky..." There was a glimmer of hope in her eyes. "You called me Sparky."
"Really? I thought I said Spanky... What did I say?"
"Sparky? Where did that come from?"
"Where did Spanky come from?" she countered.
"Nothing. Just... something. A little something I was picturing in my head. Forget it. It's nothing. Fire away."
"Before I do, I'll have to ask you to refrain from picturing me that way in your head."
"Sure..." He didn't sound very convincing, an amused expression on his face.
"I mean it."
Trevor tried not to smile. "Ok..."
"Trevor... I'm serious..."
"I thought you said your name was Claire."
"Trevor..." she warned.
"Fine. Fine. There. I stopped. See? Total brain freeze."
"That's a minor temperature drop..." She could see a new glimmer in his eyes. "And don't picture me that way either."
Trevor smiled, having been caught. "You're no fun..."
"Just, stop Trevor."
"I will... I--I mean I did. I promise. Done. Look..." Grinning, he started banging the side of his head with his fist as if trying to knock the images out. "Get... out... of... there!" he said earnestly.
Claire couldn't help but smile. "Ok. Now then-"
He interrupted her. "Before we start, if I may ask for future reference, just exactly how limber are you?"
She sighed in annoyance, before getting an idea of her own. "You know what? You're not the only one who can picture things in their mind, Trevor."
"Why Mrs. Robinson... Are you trying to seduce me? See, playful banter, erotic imaging, now we're communicating." Trevor answered.
There was a wicked light in Claire's eyes, but it was definitely not a pleasant one. Her smile was still full of serenity however, thinking, picturing.
Trevor already didn't like that look. Tilting his head, he stared at her warily. "Just... w-what are you picturing, exactly?"
His eyes shifted to the long pencil she slowly lifted into view between them, holding only the bottom tip, pointing freely upward at a steep angle.
"Oh nothing, Trevor... Just thinking. What I'd like to do to. You know, to make these sessions go a little easier you understand..." He smiled as her fingers caressed gently up the pencil, before she suddenly snapped it into two jagged pieces with one vicious twist, making Trevor wince.
Claire sighed contently. "What a beautiful sound. Don't you love that sound? That unbelievably swift, unstoppable... CRACK as it snaps completely in two. One piece here, one piece over there. You're absolutely right, Trevor. Imagining is fun..."
He swallowed, picturing it in his head. "Ok the mood's definitely gone now..."
"Great. Now, first question."
Trevor was already raising a hand as if he were in class. "Ooh, ooh ooh! Me, me, me!"
"I meant MY question, Trevor."
"One caveat first..."
"Only one..." Claire leaned back wearily. "The gods must be smiling on me today."
Trevor blinked at her reference, confused.
"Never mind..." Claire said, not explaining. "What's the condition, Trevor?"
"Well, as nice as this office is, and as much as I enjoy the thought of the two of us alone behind closed doors for an hour..." He paused, waiting until Claire shifted in her chair at his implication. Then a smile spread across his face. "... what do you say we get out of here?"
Reluctantly she agreed, not feeling like arguing the point. "Fine, Trevor. Whatever it takes. No one claimed your recuperation would be a walk in the park."
The sun was shining brightly down out of a clear blue sky as they went for a walk in the park, bathing the lush green of the city park in a flawless afternoon light. The grass and sidewalks were packed with people taking late lunches, or extended lunches, or no lunches at all, just relaxing under the sun or in the shade of the park's trees as skyscrapers towered in the distance above them.
Their two figures moved slowly down one of the walkways, side by side as they passed through the park, coming closer, Trevor and Claire.
Trevor took a few steps ahead of her, spreading his arms out to either side with a smile as he tilted his face up to the warm sun. "Ahh... sunshine."
Amused at his enthusiasm, Claire rushed to catch up, falling into step beside him. "You act like you've never seen sunshine before, Trevor."
"I thought I had." Still walking, he looked over at the warm light falling onto her face. "Until now..."
Tongue in cheek, she parted her lips slightly at the compliment. "Do you always fall back on flirting to avoid having a normal conversation?"
"Says something about you that you don't think flirting is normal."
"Then what's the real reason you keep flirting with me, Trevor?"
His pleased expression didn't change, admiring her features. "Isn't it obvious? You're beautiful Dr. Allen. I don't need Robert Stack to figure that out."
"Beautiful? That's all it's about? Nothing more than that?"
"Sure. There's a lot more."
"Yeah like what..." She asked with a pleasant smirk, looking away to enjoy the fresh air. "What deeper level of sophistication do you have..."
"Well, you're hot too..."
"Fine. I'll try to stay in the wading pool so as not to strain your emotional depths. On second thought, the wading pool's deeper. Ironically, you use flirting to distance yourself from people. Trevor, my point is that maybe you use flirting to push away the more important stuff. The real issues. The stuff that scares you which we need to address..."
He nodded. "You're right. I've been closed minded. Maybe that little studded leather whip might be fun after all... Uhh-ohh. I'm picturing again... "
"Trevor, all I'm saying is maybe for once you might consider not falling back on flir-"
A woman's voice interrupted them from behind, calling out. "Trevor!"
Turning they both watched as a highly attractive woman, tanned and blond, showing off her long legs in a short skirt, rushed up to him, laughing as she jumped into Trevor's surprised arms, nearly straddling him.
Claire stepped stiffly back, leveling a cool gaze at the woman, trying not to feel annoyed at how deeply the woman hugged Trevor as he held her.
"Umm..." Trevor seemed embarrassed. "That's a conversation starter if I ever saw one..." He glanced nervously over the woman's shoulder at Claire for a moment, before finally managing to extract himself from the woman's deep embrace.
The woman looked at him, excitement in her blue eyes. "Trevor! Where have you been?"
He looked over at Claire again, uncertain. "Umm... that's the million dollar question isn't it?"
Claire's lips were a hard line, trying not to be affected by the woman's hands on manner with Trevor.
The woman laughed. "Oh come on... Don't tell me you don't remember me."
"Ok... I'll make sure not to tell you that."
"Don't you remember? We met at Taggerty's. You introduced me to Rick?"
Claire suddenly stepped forward and tried to interrupt, concerned about what the woman would say about Trevor's previous condition. "Excuse me, can I have a word with you for a second?" she asked quickly.
Too excited to notice, the blond woman stepped even closer to Trevor if that were possible, giving him a soft flirty laugh. "Oh come on... You just HAVE to remember me. We had a lot of fun together..."
Unexpectedly the woman's fingers slowly started grazing their way up Trevor's exposed arm. As the sensation coursed through him, Trevor caught his breath, trying not to jump in place. She was really good at that. Then he paused, awareness growing in his eyes, an answer finally coming to him.
"Sally..." he said softly, finally remembering.
"Yes!!" She bit her lip playfully, tilting her head with a girlish giggle. Beside her Claire tried not to throw up. "I was hoping you'd remember me..."
Claire though about what had just happened, and a realization suddenly came to her, making her blink.
Trevor seemed uncomfortable as Sally flirted with him in front of Claire, and he didn't know why. He kept glancing over at her watching, before coughing and speaking carefully. "Umm... sure. What can I do you for, Sally?"
"You've done enough, Trevor. I have great news! Look..." She proudly lifted her hand into the light.
"Wow..." Trevor's eyes widened. "Look at the size of that thing. That thing could blind passing satellites. Talk about owning a piece of the rock."
Sally laughed happily, her diamond ring glittering brightly in the sun. "It's from Rick. You were right, Trevor. I never would have believed it, but you were right about us all along. We're engaged."
"Guess I was..." Trevor still didn't understand. "But if you're no longer available, why should that make me happy?"
She blinked, pausing. "Because you set the two of us up. I mean... don't you approve?"
"Sure... Umm, yeah... if that matters..."
"Of course it matters! It's all been so perfect, Trevor. Me and Rick. Just doing our own small part to get you home..."
Claire had finally heard enough, abruptly stepping between them. "Bye Sally.." she said curtly
She quickly led Trevor away, her arm around his shoulders as Sally was left blinking behind them at the interruption. Finally the woman turned and walked away.
Glancing back over his shoulder as Claire hurried him along, Trevor still didn't understand. "What was that all about, Claire? Why should I approve of her getting married. And what did she mean by getting me home?"
"It's nothing, Trevor. Just another buxom blond who's inhaled too many fumes from her tan in a can..." As they walked away, Claire still had one hand firmly on his forearm, making sure he didn't turn back.
"Umm..." He looked down at where her fingers were draped across his skin. "...okay."
Claire realized where he was looking and she quickly jerked her hand away, trying unsuccessfully not to make a big display of it.
Trevor smiled at her. "So what's the deal with you jumping in and 'claiming' me back there?"
Claire couldn't believe her ears. "Excuse me?"
"With Must-tan Sally. She got all touchy and you yanked me out of there faster than Stevie Wonder at a nude archery contest. I mean, what's he going to shoot, what's he going to grab--"
Claire scoffed. "I... I was NOT claiming you, Trevor."
"What, couldn't handle the competition?"
Her voice was level, trying not to look embarrassed. "There is no competition, Trevor."
"I'll say. Maybe no one's told you, but do you know that you have a really phenomenal-"
"As... I was saying, Trevor I stopped little miss pheromones back there because I came to a fairly significant conclusion. Something potentially important. You only remembered Sally's name when she started flirting with you."
He didn't seemed concerned. "So?"
Amused, Claire shook her head. "I should have seen this sooner, Trevor. Flirting makes you remember. It's what you know, it's what you knew, it's what's familiar to you..."
Scoffing, Trevor crossed his arms, not buying it. "That's ridiculous..."
Trevor was silent, giving her a stubborn look, not giving in. Claire decided to try a different tract.
Slowly she slinked closer to him, flashing him a barely perceptible, seductive smile.
Trevor watched her, not sure what she was doing.
Her voice was warm and soft, full of yearning, like an eager moan of anticipation. "Ohhh Trevor... I'd really... and I mean, REALLY.... really like to be alone with you right now..." Trying to imitate Sally, she tilted her head like a bubbly coed as she grazed her fingers up Trevor's arm.
Even though he realized what she was trying to do, Trevor still felt a little... overheated, his voice stammering. "Y-you and me alone? Umm, sure... Ok. Maybe this time we won't have to be sequestered." His eyes widened in surprise, wondering where those words had come from.
Claire smiled triumphantly. "See? You remember us serving jury duty together." She laughed, thinking.
"What's so funny?"
"This. You! Flirting. Flirting makes you remember parts of your past. It's fitting!"
"Hey-" Trevor stepped suggestively closer. "I enjoy a good long sweaty session of 'remembering' as much as any other guy. So what do you say? Maybe we can make some real progress and go remember in private. A little one on one all night cram session? An exploratory bumping of the... minds?"
Claire pretended to think about it. "On the other hand, maybe you're just destined to be perpetually delusional, Trevor."
"Oh come on! Try that little flirty thing you did again. You obviously thought the approach worked. I know it worked for me. On many..." He looked down for a moment. "...MANY levels."
She looked at him skeptically for a moment, before reluctantly deciding to try again. "Ok..."
This time wasn't so easy, and she suddenly felt self conscious, pausing since they both knew it was coming.
"Umm, okay Trevor... Here it goes.... Umm..." Claire stepped stiffly forward, uncertain where to put her hands, stopping them in mid air before yanking them aside. She quickly tilted a hip, resting her hand there. "Ooohhh.... So, h-how are you big, big.... baby boy?" She spoke in a breathy overdone voice, lips twisting awkwardly when she realized that ridiculous phrase had come out of her mouth.
Bewildered, Trevor looked away and blinked, mouthing the words 'big baby boy' to himself.
Trying to shake it off, Claire forced herself to continue. "So...umm, yeah. Tell me. What was a hot studly muffin man like you like in high school." She bit her lip, trying to giggle softly like Sally had. "I'd really like to know..."
He gazed at her blankly for a long moment. "...You REALLY need to work on you're flirting."
Turning, Claire grunted in frustration, starting to walk off again.
"Hey! Don't feel bad!" He teasingly called out after her. "Maybe we can get Sally back!"
Watching her leave, Trevor non chalantly made sure she couldn't see him before he suddenly leaned over a nearby drinking fountain and quickly splashed himself, feeling warmer than usual, and not from the sunshine.
"If only women knew how easy guys really are..." he said with a smile. Wiping his face with his hand, he went off to follow her.
"You liked that didn't you?"
"Liked what?" Claire asked, sipping at the straw of her soft drink.
The two of them were sitting in the shade on a park bench, facing each other as they ate some food they had bought from a hot dog vendor. Or rather, the food Claire had bought since Trevor had instantly decided it was her treat. People still moved and relaxed behind them in the sunshine, but they were in the cool of the trees as a soft breeze blew over them.
Trevor's mouth was full of hot dog as he spoke, trying to keep the overly high pile of toppings on top. "Flirting. I know it was all just an act, but I could tell. You're a lot more sensual than you let on. There's a little leather under your lace. The flirting stuff. You enjoyed doing it. Maybe because you don't do it often enough."
Still sipping her drink, she looked at him. "Why would you possibly think that, Trevor?"
Trevor turned his gaze out to everyone in the park, still chewing, before he finally looked back at her. "I just see it in you. You act reserved, this proper professional type with no embarrassing pubic displays of affection, and yes I said that right. But that's why you enjoyed what you did so much. You're more wild than you show, but you never let yourself loosen up..."
She shook her head with a smile. "All that from a simple lunch in the park..."
"Sure. Would it sound more credible if I sat you in an office and charged you by the hour?" He took another bite of his piled-high hot dog. "I mean, it doesn't take that long to pin down someone. Why? How long does it take an expert like you. How long did you say you've been treating me again?"
"You haven't figured me out, Trevor." Claire smiled.
He nodded, looking down as he chewed. "Sure I have."
"Really... Ok, what profound insight have you discovered?"
"That you don't want to talk about him."
"Who?" Claire paused, wondering where he was going with this.
"The person who put that ache in your eyes, Claire. The ache that won't go away. The person you want to be with, but won't let yourself be with. The person you're scared of being with. And scared of being without. I don't know who he is, but he's a bastard for hurting you like this. I say dump him. Get rid of him. Move on. Get over him by getting under the next warm male body. You have so much more to give than that bozo deserves, if you ever let yourself do it. Admit it. You enjoyed the flirting, the open displays of 'check me out'. Because deep down it's what you've always wanted to do... if you weren't so afraid that someone might actually want to get closer and therefore potentially hurt you someday. You're afraid of opening up, Claire. Of lowering your guard."
Claire was quiet, her voice a little harder and curt. "This coming from a man who refuses to face his past..."
"I can't face my past because I don't remember, remember?"
"Right..." She didn't sound convinced. "So tell me, Trevor. Open up. What was you're childhood like?"
"I don't know... I remember bumping my head."
"Bumping your head?"
"Yeah. I don't remember why. Or where. But I remember I kept bumping my head."
Reluctantly, Claire nodded, accepting it. "That's a start, I suppose..."
Looking over, she realized he was biting into his precariously stacked hot dog with unabashed zeal. Then she noticed something. "Umm... Trevor..."
"What..." He looked up at her, some of the hot dog topping falling from his mouth.
"Sauerkraut." She pointed to it. "You hate sauerkraut."
He blinked. "No I don't..."
"Yes... You do. You despise it."
"Huh..." He looked down at the hot dog he had been eating for a moment, seeing it in a new light. But then he shrugged and devoured it anyway, smiling as he chewed. "I guess people can change..."
She nodded hopefully, smiling with him. "I guess so..."
"You hold it all in, but..." he looked at her. "Maybe you can change too..."
Claire held his gaze pleasantly for a moment, but said nothing as she looked away.
Their steps were slow as they walked down one of the park's sidewalks, their conversation easy and relaxed, feeling quiet and comfortable with each other after their long talk.
"So Trevor. Do you remember the hospital where you were born? Or where you went to school? Anything? Do you remember your parents at all? Where they lived?"
"No," Trevor said honestly, watching the sidewalk pass languidly beneath both their feet. "Not really..."
"Do you think you liked your parents?" she asked.
"I suppose... as much as any other kid, I guess. I get the feeling they didn't agree very much."
"What about yourself, Trevor." She looked over at him, curious. "What do you think about yourself, knowing what you know so far. Do you like what you see?"
He shrugged. "I'm not so bad, I guess. Friendly enough. I seem to like people."
Claire smiled to herself. "That's an understatement."
He looked at her for a moment. "It's funny, Claire. You keep giving such meaning to everything I say. A meaning I don't know about. Like we're sharing a private joke that I haven't been let in on. I hope I do start remembering, so that I'll be in on the joke too."
She blinked. "Do you mean everything and not just what I know? Like the ordinary person you were before we met? Your whole past, good and bad?"
He glared at her pointedly. "I'm not a plebe you know. I see what you're doing. You think something happened to me. Something that made me the way I was before. That's what you're really after."
"Maybe." she said non-committally. "Before I met you Trevor, something caused you to reject yourself. That same something might not be letting you remember now."
"And might also makes me want to flirt everything away, right? Some sort of romantic trauma that made me re-invent myself? Made me turn myself into someone else? Am I getting close to your theory, Doctor Allen?" He spoke simply, not as a question.
"You said it, Trevor. Not me. I don't know the specifics." She looked down, still walking slowly. Suddenly her voice sounded reluctant. "Do you... do you think you've ever been in love?"
"Why would I. Personally never needed it..." He shook his head, voice sober.
She looked at him in surprise, wondering which Trevor had meant that, the real one, or the delusion. She spoke softly. "Everybody needs love..."
"Sure it's great for everyone else, but it's never really applied to me. Maybe I'm not meant for love, so why bother you know? I mean, considering..."
"Considering what? What's wrong with love, Trevor?"
"The usual. Who wants to devote their lives to the pursuit of love? Face it. Love's messy, it's awkward, it gets in the way. It drives away your family, your friends, your freedom... And then it just leaves you open for that inevitable rejection and broken heart."
"Sometimes..." she agreed. "But sometimes it's more than that. There must have been someone in your past who hurt you, who made you want to forget the good parts. Made you want to run away from love even now..."
He grunted, exasperated. "If I did have a past like that, a past that messed me up so much, why would you want me to go back to it?" Sadly he looked out over the park at all the people, all the couples around the two of them, together in the sunlight, as if he would never have that.
Claire looked at him as they walked. "Because the bad parts aren't the whole story. Love also gives so much, Trevor. Love gives so much to a person. It gives happiness and hope. And strength. And courage. When you fall in love, I mean really fall, you not only end up loving another person, but yourself too. Loving the way that person makes you feel, and the way you make him feel. Two people. Sharing a life. Opening their hearts to each other, without fear. Unconditionally..."
He looked at her for a moment, before he chuckled at her words. "Wow... You sound pretty convinced..."
Claire looked at him fondly. "I had a good teacher."
"An impassioned opinion like that," Trevor smiled, nodding to himself. "A little ironic coming from you, isn't it?"
"Why would you think that?"
He looked at her out of the corner of his eye, curious. "You keep asking me how I feel about myself. How do you feel about yourself, Claire?"
"I..." she paused for a moment. "... I feel fine about myself, Trevor."
"Do you? Do you really?"
"Of... of course I do."
"So what's in your past, Dr. Allen? Who caused that sadness you hope no one finds? That sadness you even try to hide from yourself."
"I'm not hiding, Trevor." A soft breeze blew through her hair, her voice harder as she threw his own phrase back at him. "That's ironic coming from you, isn't it?"
He didn't seem offended, looking down as they walked. "Then why are you holding back, Claire?"
"Sure. Always proper and reserved, afraid what people might think, when what you should be doing is getting out there and grabbing life by the-" he cupped his hand.
"Not... that it's something you can relate to," she interrupted, "but I'm perfectly happy with who I am."
He smiled at her, non-plussed. "No you're not..."
"I-... I-... " Claire stammered, unsure how to argue against the conviction in his voice. She exhaled, changing what she was going to say. "And I'm not as reserved as you think."
Trevor quickly scanned the park, looking over all the people enjoying the afternoon around them. He spotted a man and a woman relaxing on a blanket in the sunshine nearby.
"Come on, Claire."
"Trevor, whatever you're-"
"Come on!" He said happily, moving over to the couple. Reluctantly, Claire followed him.
He stepped right up to the woman laying on her back, sunning herself before him.
"Hi..." Trevor said pleasantly. "You don't know me, which ironically makes two of us. But can you help me out with something?"
The woman looked dubious, glancing over at her boyfriend lying next to her, before looking back up at Trevor. "I've... got pepper spray."
"No, I don't need a condiment, thanks. I was just wondering if you could help me with a little experiment. Can you turn that up? A whole whole lot?" Trevor motioned to the radio that was playing on the blanket between them.
"Umm... Okay..." Still feeling a little uncertain, the young woman turned up the music until it was heard clearly, filling the air all around them, the lyrics ringing out as the song began.
Desperate for changing,
"Thanks." Trevor turned back to Claire, rubbing his hands in anticipation. "Okay, little miss PHD. Let's see what you've got."
Trevor spread his arms wide in invitation to her, waiting.
Starving for truth,
Her lips parted, scoffing when she realized what he wanted. "You've got to be kidding..."
"No, I'm Trevor. I think... Come on. Let's dance."
I'm closer to where I started,
"Here?" she asked
"No, the spring social for dance club wannabes. Of course here! What's wrong? Feeling a little reserved, Dr. Allen?"
I'm chasing after you...
"Trevor, I..." She looked around at all the people in plain view across the crowded park. "This isn't very doctor-patient. I'm not just going to start dancing in front of a bunch complete strangers-"
"There's a clinical term for that, Claire. Homely ass repression. Come on! What's the big deal. It's easy. Look..."
Trevor started dancing enthusiastically, right there in front of her without any shame. His arms flailed back and forth in unabashedly jerky movements as he bounced and swayed in place, head bouncing like a mad man, not caring who was watching even though he looked completely idiotic doing it.
I'm falling even more in love with you,
Claire couldn't help but almost smile.
"Trevor... you look pretty ridiculous. Did you forget how to dance too? Why does the image of a kangaroo having seizures come to mind..."
Letting go of all I've held on to...
The critique didn't bother him. "It would have to be one hell of a sexy kangaroo. Why don't you join in? Come on Sparky. Maybe we'll spark a memory or two. Preferably something of the naked variety. How about easing up on the questions and analysis. You can plan for the future, but you can only live in the moment. Just let loose and let all those marvelous body parts of yours fly. Who cares what people think..."
He was still throwing his arms wildly, jerking back and forth as more people started to watch.
I'm standing here until you make me move,
I'm hanging by a moment here with you...
Claire started feeling the growing number of eyes that were on them. "Trevor, we shouldn't. I'm-I'm not-"
"Sure you are. They're already watching you anyway."
Without warning Trevor swept her into his arms, spinning her around in time with the music. Claire caught her breath, not expecting that as they spun faster.
"Trevor, wait... Trevor!"
Forgetting all I'm lacking,
Finally she laughed, feeling him twirl her around as the sky and sunlight glittered through the leaves above, whirling over their heads in the afternoon air as Trevor held her in his arms.
I'll take your invitation, you take all of me...
Eventually she was standing alone as Trevor spun away on the grass and continued to dance wildly on his own. More and more people were noticing now, and some of them gathered to watched them, making her pause.
"Oh... hell with it." she whispered.
I'm falling even more in love with you,
letting go of all I've held on to,
With that Claire made a few tiny dance steps, her movements small and unassuming. She finally found a semblance of rhythm under the weight of all the curious stares, but she was dancing demurely and feeling a little self conscious, not used to being the only one dancing, singled out.
"Pathetic..." Trevor commented with a smile. "Here, doctor lady. Let your freak flag fly. Take a leap with the living..."
I'm standing here until you make me move,
hanging by a moment here with you...
He grabbed her arms and started tossing them forcefully up into the air in exaggerated motions, before reaching down to quickly rock her hips back and forth between his hands. Claire laughed, his guidance barely letting her stay on her feet without falling down. All the while Trevor never stopped dancing, circling around her as her inhibitions started to ebb, caught up in his enthusiasm. Finally with a smile she let it all go, hair flying everywhere as she threw her arms back and started dancing wildly up and down, just as exaggerated as Trevor was. The world spun. The sky glowed. Her body moved, tingling... and free.
There's nothing left to lose,
there's nothing else to find...
The music continued, loud and driving them forward. The sparse crowd slowly grew larger and gathered around, looking at them with amusement. A few of the less inhibited among them started dancing on their own at the back. But neither Trevor or Claire cared, too caught up in the simple joy of motion, exertion, and bodies twisting and jumping, caught up in the sensation of living, breathing, reinforced with each enthusiastic move, giving in to the dance fully.
There's nothing in the world,
that could change my mind,
There is nothing else...
Out of breath, Trevor finally stopped as the song played on. Breathing heavily, he watched Claire instead. She was dancing in her own little world, spinning and moving enthusiastically without fear, not even noticing that he had stopped, lost in the music. He couldn't take his eyes off her, amazed as he watched her dance. She was so beautiful, so vibrant and alive. The sun was bright on her face, her smile was full and happy, her hair flying everywhere around her. He didn't know what he was feeling, or why. But he knew he liked it.
I'm falling even more in love with you,
Letting go of all I held onto...
An older woman who was still watching Claire came closer, stepping up beside him and speaking to Trevor quietly. "You two make a beautiful couple..."
He blinked at the woman, wondering why she had said that. In the end he said nothing, watching Claire again with a smile.
I'm living for the only thing I know,
I'm running and not quite sure where to go,
Finally Claire slowed too, halting to catch her breath, her hair frazzled and falling in front of her smiling, panting face in the sunshine. Her eyes sparkled like she was a kid again, as she happily took in the expression on Trevor's face as he gazed at her.
"What?" she asked.
And I don't know what I'm diving into,
just hanging by a moment here with you...
He nodded, satisfied. "Nothing. Just that this feels familiar somehow. Us. Dancing like this. I remember a name now. Who's Jack Conathan?"
That sobered Claire a little bit as the music began to fade. "Umm... No one. Just an old friend of mine. I'm surprised you remembered him. You never met him."
"I remembered it just now for some reason."
She smiled enigmatically. "Then I guess it's more than just flirting that makes you remember."
"Guess so. See... you were wrong, Claire. Other things were more important to me after all..." He watched her with a smile. "I don't remember a lot. I remember you dancing in the sun, close to me. Holding you in my arms, dancing on the grass. We were next to a stone pillar or something..."
She didn't know how to feel, having hoped for something from a little further back, but touched that she was the first thing he was able to remember. "Well, that's something."
Still panting slightly from their exertion, he looked at her. "He's not the one, though."
"The idiot who hurt you. That's somebody else..."
"Trevor, I-... I think it's time we got back to the office..."
"Sure." He turned to the woman who had been watching them from her blanket. "Thanks for the music..."
"No problem..." she replied good naturedly, amused at the show.
Trevor and Claire walked together through the ring of on-lookers that had circled in close to watch, stepping onto the sidewalk and moving away. As they headed out of the park the sunlight fell warmly onto their shoulders. Behind them the crowd began to disperse, but a few remained behind, dancing to the next song that came on the radio.
Trevor was still watching Claire with a smile. "Don't worry, Claire. I'll figure you out yet."
She leaned in close, feeling comfortable with him as she playfully bumped her shoulder into his and threw him off step. "You have that backwards, Trevor. I'm the one who'll figure you out."
"We'll see." Throwing a leg forward, he tried to trip her steps in a playful way, but she easily stepped around it with a smile. As they walked further away their words were softer.
"So how did I look back there, Claire?"
She chuckled. "Asinine."
"Thanks." Leaning back, he took a peek at her. "Yours is a ten..."
"I could use a hot shower, Trevor."
"Believe me, Claire. Any shower you take would be hot..."
Their voices finally began to fade into the distance as they walked side by side in the sunlight, growing smaller as together they left the park behind.
Claire felt content as she walked across her living room, still caught up in the warm afterglow she felt from her afternoon with Trevor. The interior of her house was softly lit by the day's fading light. Claire sighed, starting to relax, winding down for the remainder of the day. She was dressed in some comfortable sweats after a quick shower, having been eager to get out of her work clothes. Her hair was still wet, and she dried it off with a towel as she smiled, realizing she couldn't stop thinking about Trevor, and their day in the park.
It had felt so good to do that, to spend that time with him, regardless of the circumstances. Even with his memory loss, it was just what she had needed after her long search for him, just being with him. There was a glow in her face which she couldn't deny, and she had to admit... that she felt happier than she had in months.
As Claire passed her television, she absently turned it on, its screen brightening behind her, tuned in to a cable news channel. It displayed an image of a pretty brunette who was droning on about the day's news. Claire wasn't really listening anyway, not paying attention as she walked to the other side of her living room, tossing her towel aside and humming to herself as she moved towards her desk.
"I"m falling even more in love with you..." she sang softly, not realizing that she was doing it.
Looking down, she gazed absently at her laptop computer. Beside it, her quickly scribble notes from today's session with Trevor were clearly visible on the notebook laying on the desk. She had planned to organize and expand on her notes later on tonight when she entered them into Trevor's file. But now, as she thought pleasantly about what had happened, she wondered how much of it she would be able to convey, at least in any adequate way.
With a smile Claire sat eagerly down, realizing she couldn't wait until later, not wanting to lose the moment, or what she was feeling right now, still close to the experience of their time together and feeling warm and content.
Pressing the power switch, her computer screen winked on as the television set still droned on in the background on the other side of the room. Claire leaned happily forward as her fingers settled over the keyboard and she began to type. The line of words flowed smoothly onto her display as she tried to capture the sensations moving through her in some sort of useful, coherent way.
I had my first session with Trevor today.
Claire thought for a moment, looking at the screen quietly. She tried to examine what had happened, and to judge the significance to Trevor's situation, before she continued.
As was to be expected, there was a momentary awkwardness to the new circumstances we found ourselves in, but it seemed to pass quickly. Our interactions still hold an ease and comfort level to them which I did not anticipate, considering everything... It surprised me. And true to form, even without his memory Trevor seemed to cope well, acclimating and adapting to the situation quickly. This is wholly consistent with characteristic's Trevor has exhibited in the past, suggesting that his core memory is still there, submerged. It is obvious from my observations that his aptitudes and affability have in no way been diminished. He is still as manipulative as ever. Trevor quickly managed to steer our session more to his liking, opting for the openness of the park and foregoing the perceived limitations of my office, which may reveal a subconscious reluctance, or perhaps familiarity, with the trappings of conventional therapeutic methods beyond what we shared before. Though I did give him some leniency on the issue, this ability to adapt still bodes well for Trevor's eventual recovery, perhaps even beyond his previous delusion. It was encouraging, even if in this case I felt like the one who was being steered.
My only disappointment was that the fragments of memory Trevor was able to recover were only focused primarily on my time with him and not on his more distant experiences. While I didn't gain any substantial new knowledge of his past, I felt it was a promising beginning, regardless. On many levels...
As Claire paused again, she thought about what she had written. The house was silent and empty around her except for the television still droning across the living room. As she read her words, they didn't seem complete. They didn't do Trevor justice, or express what she truly felt. Thinking about him, a warm flush passed through her and she smiled. Maybe Trevor was right, and she should really open up, be honest with what she was feeling. Maybe she didn't have to hide her feelings away anymore.
Still looking at her screen, she started typing again, this time not second guessing herself, trying to be completely open and honest.
On a personal note, I was amazed at how easily Trevor and I fell into our old dynamics and rapport, even though from his perspective at least, we're complete strangers. The affect his charm has on me hasn't changed. Pigheaded and stubborn as always, he still has the same innate qualities which make people like him, and I'm as susceptible as any. Perhaps even more so. Our relationship has always remained doctor-patient, but it has always been something more as well, which I have never openly admitted before. Trevor has a way of winning people over, and I guess he won me over a long time ago.
Claire read it again softly, before her eyes widened in disbelief when she realized she had actually written that into Trevor's case file. It was insane. She couldn't write that! Even if it all was true, she knew she couldn't let any one read it.
There's no doubt that Trevor still needs help. But I find that there is a fine line which I'm walking. A line between the delusional man I knew and missed, and the emotionally resolved man I still hope to turn him into. A line between the man I have deep substantial feelings for, and the man Trevor needs to be. That line seems hazier ever day. Can I continue his treatment without personal bias? Without him slipping into his delusion again because, in some way, that's what I really want? I wonder... Yet no matter how much better a normal, cured Trevor would be, it is the delusional man which I miss most. The one I need the most.
Trying not to overstate it, Trevor makes my heart... soar, when I'm with him. Ok, that overstated it. But it's true. I was afraid these feelings meant I would have no place in his recuperation, and maybe they do. But it's ironic that those same feelings are the tether that is bringing his old life back. But which life? The usefulness of the connection between me and Trevor is undeniable, as is the danger of that very connection causing a relapse into his previous delusion. Should I mold him back into the man he was before because that's who I miss, at the expense of getting better? Is that selfish? Or right? SHould I tell him who he was? How we felt about each other?
What if Trevor was really okay the way he was before? So what if he thinks he's Cupid... What's the harm in embracing love, in trying to find love for others, and in maybe finding it for himself? Is that so wrong? Is that really what we should call delusional? Every clinical part of me says yes, but my heart still says something else.
Because somehow, clinical concerns don't seem to matter right now. Not above what we feel about each other. Or could feel about each other again. I was the one who was supposed to heal him, but maybe he's the one healing me. I don't know if I should be writing this, being so honest with what is actually happening, chronicling what I feel as a person and not a doctor. Revealing so openly that I've fallen. Fallen in love with Trevor. Long before even I realized it. Even today, I can't stop falling. And I'm no longer so sure that I want to.
I never truly envisioned a realistic future for me and Trevor. But for the first time today, I allowed myself to wonder, to envision just what that future might be like. To imagine what our lives would be if I just gave in to my heart. Or if we gave in to each other. But is that wish for Trevor's betterment or my own? I don't know. But today... I believed. That maybe it is possible for us to someday be together. I know it's not the most professional of responses. But it is human. And for the first time in what seems a long time, I've found something. Something I never thought I would find.
Then she thought about that possibility too.
"So what if they do..." Claire laughed, not believing that she was actually considering this. Her face brightened as she thought about Trevor, swimming in what she was feeling. She almost felt like standing and dancing on the spot, spreading her arms out to a world of possibilities in that one shining moment. Maybe it really could work.
The television was still droning coldly at the edge of Claire's hearing. Then something the anchor woman was saying caught her attention and she looked over from her laptop, listening to the news story that was being reported.
The pretty announcer was bracketed on one side by the image of an older professional looking man. As Claire started to pick up on the details of the news story, her face fell.
"And in New York City today, rumors continue of possible allegations of misconduct against one of the city's pre-eminent psychologists, Dr. Humphrey Martin. While no official sources have elaborated on the allegations, it is believed that Dr. Martin is being investigated by an ethics board for unprofessional conduct, stemming from several claims that he may have been having sexual relations with several of his female patients, including the wife of a prominent politician. The allegations have caused a scandal in the city's psychiatric community. While not inherently illegal, the conduct is considered a severe breach of ethics, especially on the scope of which has been alleged in Dr. Martin's case. A spokesman for the city's psychiatric oversight board is quoted as saying that 'If true, this is a blatant abuse of position and an obvious conflict of interest. The doctor patient relationship is sacrosanct and should never be tainted for personal ends by the power and suggestion a professional therapist has over his patients.' While declining further comment, the spokesman confirmed that they are looking into the allegations as they consider whether professional censure and dismissal might be appropriate once they investigate the matter. Dr. Humphrey Martin was unavailable for comment today.... And now for the day's sports news. The city's top free agent has finally signed with--"
Claire slowly pulled back in shock, thinking about what she had just heard. Her eyes looked frightened as they read over the report she had just written, and all that she admitted in it about how she felt about Trevor. Suddenly her certainty from a moment ago was gone, and her honest approach no longer seemed like such a good idea.
Without saying a word, Claire slowly stood up. With a sad look on her face she turned off her computer without saving any of her work, her screen going dark before she finally walked away into the rest of her empty house, the elation she had felt long gone.