The doctor waltzed into his office with a swing in his step. His spectacles sitting on the bridge of his nose as he swiveled around once in the room. He eyed Priestly from over the top of his glasses and warmly smiled. ‘Please, take a seat. I’ll just get myself ready.’
Priestly stepped into the office with a little more than disdain for what he was about to do.
‘Do close the door,’ the doctor rumbled around his desk without a glance. ‘I take it this is your first visit to our clinic?’
Priestly eyed the shiny brown leather chairs around a small comfortable little coffee table. He had been expecting a chase of some sort where he would be made to lie down and divulge his deepest darkest fears. He looked rather lost when the doctor joined him with a note pad and pen.
‘Please sit.’ Priestly did as he was told and the chair squeaked beneath him. ‘So this is your first visit with us?’ The doctor sat in the opposite chair. ‘Have you ever seen a psychologist prior to this?’
Priestly shook his head. ‘No.’
‘Right,’ the doctor put down his tools and turned his full attention to his patient. ‘So what brings you here Ryan?’
‘Um,’ Priestly shifted uncomfortably. ‘I’ve been having…dreams.’ The doctor nodded, waiting. Priestly shifted his weight again. ‘Sometimes they seem normal…and sometimes not so.’ The doctor nodded again with a hmmph thrown it. ‘I need them to stop. The latter ones I mean.’
Doctor Ruiz pouted in thought. ‘Everyone has odd dreams. Dreams themselves are nothing more than chemical reactions in our brain while we sleep. Who knows how our brain works truly. But what makes you say some of your dreams are normal and some are not?’
‘They feel different.’
‘And how do they feel?’
Priestly stared at the doctor and then at the tip of his shoes where the leather had scuffed over the years. They needed a polish. ‘The normal ones are normal. When I wake up I feel normal.’
‘And what of the other ones?’
The scuff marks looked really bad he had to admit. If his father were around, there would be no excuses but to grab the leather polish and brush and get to work. Sign of badly kept shoes said a lot about the man who wears them. ‘The other ones make me feel sick when I wake up. Like I’ve been drinking all night and barely slept at all.’
Hmm. The doctor nodded once more. ‘And would you have been drinking the night before on such occasions?’
Priestly narrowed his eyes. ‘I don’t drink doctor.’ Not since the accident ten years ago, he thought.
‘Is there anything else different about these dreams other than that they make you feel sick in the morning?’
‘Yes.’ Priestly diverted his eyes to the rug beneath his shoes, trying to find faults in it. ‘They feel real.’
‘You mean they are vivid?’ Priestly nodded. He couldn’t see the rug at fault. ‘And how often do you have these?’
‘Sometimes couple a week, sometimes nothing for months.’
‘Have you noticed any particular things that coincide with these occurrences? For example, stress at work, a fight with a family member, or you’re over tired etcetera?’
‘I don’t know. I’m not sure.’
‘So you have these random vivid dreams every so often without an obvious trigger. What happens in these dreams?’
Priestly stared at the light scratch he found on the leg of the coffee table and it irked him. Why hadn’t he brought his tool kit with him. It was an easy fix. ‘Different things.
‘Like what? Give me an example.’
‘Sometimes I see happy things. Like the lotto winner, or the parents who found their lost kid, or a child who got his favorite toy in a gift.’
Priestly shifted his weight again and his gaze drifted back to the scratch. ‘And sometimes I see bad things.’
He nodded. ‘Yeah. Like someone lost his mum’s wedding ring, or a man broke his bone in a car crash, or a woman jump to her death. They feel so real.’
The doctor remained quiet for a long moment. ‘But these are dreams, Ryan. Simple chemical reactions in your brain.’
Priestly looked up to the doctor finally. ‘You ever heard the news about that elderly woman down in town who got robbed at knife point in a parking lot for 50 bucks, Doctor Ruiz? That she actually passed away after the incident was reported to the police from a heart attack?’ The doctor nodded.
Priestly smile turned into a frown. ‘I dreamt that the night before.’
‘You dreamt it?’
‘Exactly as it happened.’ He nodded. ‘You remember that couple who got lost bushwalking last month? They were found almost a week later?’ Dr Ruiz nodded. ‘I dreamt it a week before it happened.’
‘Exactly as it happened?’
Priestly nodded. ‘I need you to stop them for me.’
Because, I don’t wanna die. Priestly stood up calmly. ‘I’m tired of having them. I just want to sleep.’