Dr Ruiz stared at Ryan for a long moment before he spoke another word. ‘How long have you been having these dreams?’
‘I don’t know. A year, maybe.’
‘Since when did you notice that they were special perhaps?’ As he jotted down few things on the notepad.
Ryan got off his seat and reached for the scratch on the leg of the coffee table. He licked his thumb and started rubbing at the defect as if he could erase it.
‘It’s just a little scratch. Easy fix doctor. I can bring my kit next week and fill it up.’
‘Please sit back down, Ryan. I would like you to focus on our session right now. The table can wait.’ Ryan did as he was told and sat there staring at the glaring damage only he could see. ‘When did you notice, or rather what made you notice that these dreams were perhaps special?’
Ryan twitched, and squirmed in his seat. ‘I had a few drinks at a friends party and I saw a murder that night…’
Ryan met his gaze for the first time. Transfixed. As if a thousand thoughts were running through his head. ‘Yes,’ he began calmly. ‘She was walking home at night. She walks home every night. Takes her exactly 5 minutes from door to door. That night she closed up shop and started walking but never reached home.’
Ryan stood up uncertain. ‘He came up behind her. Too dark to see. And there was something shinny in his hand. She never heard him coming.’ He fisted his hand and brought it up slowly, high above his head, and plunged it down suddenly, as if stabbing at something. ‘Like this. He kept going till she collapsed.’
Ryan fell quiet and stared at a spot on the floor as if in search of something. ‘He severed her artery.’
It all made Dr Ruiz uneasy but he said nothing. Ryan broke his gaze from the floor and slumped back onto the sofa, only to remember his manners and straighten up.
Dr Ruiz cleared his throat. ‘So you saw a girl get stabbed in your dream, minutes away from her home, which according to you, only takes her 5 minutes to reach?’ Ryan nodded. ‘How do you know it takes her exactly 5 minutes, Ryan?’
Ryan reached inside his jacket and brought out a notebook. He flipped through a few pages and then handed it over to the doctor.
It was a newspaper clipping from 1997, about a young girl found 10 houses down from her home with several deep stab wounds around her neck and chest: Darling Daughter brutally slain meters from home. All the details were there, how long it took her to get home normally, what shift she was doing, the style of stabbing and the cause of death.
‘I saw the dream a year before it happened.’ Ryan volunteered. ‘I was nine years old.’ He saw the disbelief on the doctor’s face. ‘The girl’s name was Magda.’
‘Your first special dream?’ Dr Ruiz scanned the article again to try and confirm the information but there were no names mentioned in it. ‘The police never revealed her name.’
Dr Ruiz cleared his throat, trying not to look shaken at all. ‘Ok. Say it is the same girl you saw in your dreams. You still haven’t told me what made you think the dream was somewhat special?’
Ruiz scratched at his wrist, just below the leather band of his watch. It itches so bad some days he wished he could take it off, but then again it was the only thing of his dad he had left.
‘I saw it.’
Dr Ruiz nodded. ‘That you said.’
Ryan shook his head. ‘No. I mean I saw it.’ He pointed at his two eyes with his finger. ‘I saw it.’
For the first time, Dr Ruiz felt a strange curiosity. ‘You mean, you saw it through the eyes of the attacker?’
‘No, I was the eyes.’
Dr Ruiz nodded. ‘How do you know her name, Ryan?’
‘She told me.’ He pointed at the lapel of his shirt.
‘She wore a badge?’ The doctor noted a few things down on his note pad.
‘Every time I saw her.’
‘So you knew her?’
For the third time that day, Ryan Priestly hesitated. ‘Yes sir. I used to dream about her.’ He waited for the doctor to say something, but then a moment later continued. ‘For a whole month.’
Dr Ruiz scribbled some more on his note pad before looking up, just in time for his secretary to pop her head in.
‘Are you almost done, Dr Ruiz? You next patient is waiting.’
Doctor nodded at her and she closed the door. ‘Ok. Say everything is as you say, you see a dream and it comes true. Perhaps articles like these are not helping you. What I want you to do Ryan for the next month is to make a diary of every dream you have. Every single one, and on your way out, ask the receptionist to book you in for another session in a month.’
‘I need you to make them stop Doc.’
‘Yes we will. But we need to get to the bottom of these dreams and find out why you see them before that happens.’
By the time Ryan got up, Dr Ruiz was already at the door. ‘I am really sorry Ryan but we cannot extend this session out. Next time, let’s book the last session and we can go over the hour then. Good day, Ryan. Don’t forget to keep that diary and bring it with you.’
Dr Ruiz led Ryan to the foyer and collected his next patient. ‘Book in, Ryan.’
That evening, as Dr Ruiz packed up for the night, Ryan’s article suddenly came to mind. Magda? He dialed a number and waited for it to connect.
‘Hello,’ Dr Ruiz responded. ‘I need to talk to Harry. Is he there?’