Short Story: Therapy

Torree Garcia, Staff Writer

Moving into my new apartment was such a hassle, I wish to never do it again. As if the boxing, moving and unboxing process wasn’t already unbearable, I have to meet my neighbors. I hate talking small talk, but I don’t want to seem like an absolute hermit. I first met Cynthia, a single mom of three. She was pretty sweet and I told her I was offering tutoring sessions. I was pretty happy when I left there because she said she’d love tutoring sessions for her oldest kid, Johnny. Then I met Cordelia, the oldest lady I’ve ever met. She had steely gray hair, a small stature and was amazingly kind, although I think she forgot what year it was. I asked her if she knew anyone who would be interested in my tutoring service, and her face lit up.  

Well, you moved into the right building! There’s lots of little kids always running around here, it’s perfect! One of them ‘ought to need help.!” She said 

I figured she just didn’t notice that the only kids here were Cynthia’s. 

“Well, how do you think I should advertise or something, besides just going home to home. I mean I could do that but like-“ 

“Well Paul, you can just print out a nice flyer and put it on the bulletin board up front by the door.”  

I thought that that was a really smart idea, so I did just that the next day; I finished my flyer the night before and went to the library down the street to print it out. I got back to my apartment and found the bulletin, which looked almost as old as Cordelia. Everything on it was covered in a thin layer of dust built up over the years and the board was completely covered in papers, from missing pet flyers to bake sales to music lessons. It took me a long while to find an inch by inch square of space for my flyer. One flyer caught my eye though. 

Therapy lessons, $10 per session, 11274 Harrison Rd. with Dr. Ainsworth. No appointments needed! 

The paper looked old and crinkly, but it was like a shining light for me. I took the flyer. 

On Wednesday, rode down the street on my bicycle to the address on the flyer. The building looked almost as old as the flyer in my hand. Chipped paint, dim lights and creaky floors should have given the whole building an eerie feel, but I felt a sense of calm walking in the room. I had to walk down a short hallway and quickly found the room, with the faded name “A. Ainsworth” on it. When I entered the room a tall slim man with short blonde hair sat in a large chair; he stood up and greeted me. 

Hello, my name is Doctor Ainsworth, and you are?” 

“My name is Paul.” 

“Alright Paul, take a seat won’t you?” he said. 

We talked for 1 hour and when I asked about a fee he informed me that our first consultation was free! 

I went back again on Friday, the same day that I got to tutor Johnny on his math homework. It went really well! I’ve been going to Cordelia’s house every day and I bring her groceries on Tuesdays. Things were finally starting to brighten in my life. I was finally starting to get over my ex-girlfriend understand my feelings and feel happier every day! 

After 9 weeks of therapy, I really saw a change in my overall attitude in life, all due to Dr. Ainsworth’s sessions with me. Things started getting weird when one day I had a talk with a local home salesman. He was at the door of the office with 2 women in business suits. 

Uh excuse me…. what are you doing here?” the salesman said 

“Oh I’m sorry, am I in your way?” I said, and held the door. Dr. Ainsworth said doing simple good deeds is a good way to boost my mood. 

“No, no, what are you doing in here? You’re not supposed to be in here?” 

“I just got out of my visit with Dr. Ainsworth, is there a problem?” 

Wait Dr. Ainsworth? That dude has been dead for like, what, 40 years? Are you okay?” He said worriedly. 

“Wait what, I was just speaking to him, what do you mean he’s dead?” 

I showed them hurriedly to his office only to find it empty and covered in dust, except where he and I had been sitting. I think they saw the visible fear and realization on my face as one of the women spoke. 

“We have heard of lots of ghost sightings here…” 

Maybe I need a new therapist.