“I will never forget.”
“Maybe, one day, you will.”
“I never will forget.”
“Time steals memories as they say.”
“But time will make me keep mine.” The young girl stares at the man. “I will always remember.”
“Maybe you are supposed to.”
Sitting across from a girl barely fourteen, Doctor Smith jots something down in his notepad. His soft, brown eyes move back to the girl. Crossing one leg over the other, he studies her for a moment. “You do know why you are here, don’t you, Casey?” The girl nods. “A lot of people including myself would like to know how you knew.”
“I just did.”
“Did you see it in a dream?” The girl shakes her head. “Did you see a ghost?” The girl shakes her head. “How did you know?”
“I just did.”
“Casey, you have to know by some way.”
“Would it bother you if I didn’t?” She smiles at the doctor’s uncomfortable shift in his seat. “I guess it would.” She looks down at her hands. “I’m not crazy.” She looks back at him.
“I never said that you were.”
“But you were talking to my parents about having me committed.” She studies his expression for a moment. “Before it happened, you almost had me committed, and I was not crazy. I just knew.”
“Most normal people,” she corrected Doctor Smith.
“Most normal people would not know such things.”
“They would, but they are afraid of that part of themselves. They turn it off, and when someone like me has it on, it scares them. That’s why my parents made me see you again, but this will be our last conversation, doctor.”
“That sounds final, Casey, but your parents have the final say.”
“No, they don’t.” Casey stares at the doctor. “This will be the last session, where I speak to you. You want to see me again? Fine. It’s your waste of time and a waste of my parents’ money.”
“You will speak to me again.” The doctor is unnerved by Casey’s stare. “So…” He looks away for a moment. “Why did you agree to talk with me now?”
“Because I was right. I was not lashing out like you said. I didn’t want my classmates dead. I know that I am outcast. I know that they hated me, but I did not want them dead!”
“It was an accident. You do remember that?”
“Of course. I would have to have some power to make that school bus flip over like it did.” She watches the color drain from the doctor’s face. “Was it coincidence that I got pulled off that bus the same day and put onto another one?” He doesn’t answer her. “See? You don’t have the answer now, do you?”
“It was coincidence.”
“There’s no such thing.”
“Casey, how did you know about the bus accident?”
“I just did.”
“I just did.”
“How!” She winces at Doctor Smith’s yell. “I’m sorry.” He tries to compose himself. “I’m sorry.”
“A few years ago, my father took me to this museum, where they had a room of all these arcade games. I wandered to the back of the room, where I found a fortuneteller machine. I slipped in my coin, watched her raise her head, and saw her eyes glow. After she moves her hand, a card came out of a slot, and I pulled it out.”
“What did the card say?”
“That’s the weird thing. I couldn’t read it. It was right there in black and white, and I could read. But I couldn’t read the card.”
“What did you do?”
“I took it to my father, and he read it. And it scared him so badly that he made me take him to the machine, but we couldn’t find it. We looked and looked, but it was gone.”
“Maybe you imagined it.”
“Then, how was my father holding the card?” The doctor looks down at his notepad.
“Did he tell you what the card said?”
“No. He put it in his pants pocket, and then he kept me very close to him. He wouldn’t let me leave his sight again.”
“Why do you think that he did that?”
“I don’t know, but I think that he was afraid of something. There are days when I wonder about what that card said.”
“I could always hypnotize you…”
“No! I think now after everything that I am not supposed to know what the card said, and part of me doesn’t want to know.”
“But you think about it.” The girl nods. “Ever think there might come a day when you would want to know?”
“It will be the same day when I learn the meaning of my life.” She looks straight at the doctor. “We know, doctor.”
“We know what, Casey?”
“We both know that I am not like anyone else.” She finally looks at the clock on the wall. “Time’s up.” She stands up from her chair. “Thank you for everything.”
“What are you thanking me for?”
“For proving me right.” She starts to walk toward the door.
“I’ll see you next week, Casey.” He stands up from his chair.
“No, Doctor Smith, next week and the weeks after will be spent in silence.” She puts her hand on the doorknob before looking back at him. “I’m finished with you.” She leaves the room. “Good-bye.” She slams the door closed behind her as the doctor remains standing by his seat.
Melissa R. Mendelson wrote for multiple newspapers and Wild Sound, a film-making website. Her short stories and poetry continues to be published by online literary magazines as well as in print by Hampton Literary Journal; India’s The Eternity Magazine; and in Names in a Jar: A Poetry Collection by 100 American Contemporary Poets.
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