This is a piece I decided to write a while ago. There are many interpretations to it.
“I’ll never forget that September day. The sun was out, but it was still cold. I was five years old in the park with my mother. I was eating ice cream, I begged her for it even though the day was so cold, I don’t know why” Paul said. He looked from the ceiling to the window and stared out it blankly. His therapist didn't look up from the clipboard, scribbling furiously.
“My mother loved me.” He rose his left hand to cheek. “I had a bit of cream on my face and she wiped it away with a tissue from her pocket. She licked it first, I always hated when she did this.” Paul sat up on the couch while ruffling his hair deep in thought. The therapist looked up from the clipboard.
“Are you okay Paul?”
“Yes, I just remember that being one of the last times I was happy.” His therapist looked back down at the clipboard and commenced writing. Paul laid back down in the seat.
“I asked my mother where my father was that day, why he never came round anymore. She told me that he had fallen in love with a barmaid, dancer, air hostess, pilot, it was always a different story every time I brought it up. But however it ended, he was still gone.”
“And how does that make you feel Paul?” his therapist said while looking up from the clipboard.
“I vowed to never fall in love. I was a bit relieved to be quite honest. I suppose in elementary school I had no need for women. And I grew up, I focused on my studies and my mates.”
“And now I’m a thirty-four year old man with no kids, no family, and with a desire for neither. I’m where I want to be in my career, I would say I’m content. All my friends have grown up, they have wives and families to look after, and I have myself. A man my age should want a family? But I feel…”
“Detached from those emotions,” the therapist said while placing the clipboard on down. When you’re alone for so long, loneliness no longer seems like the enemy. You've adapted Paul.”
“What should I do?”
The room was silent for a few moments, and all that could be heard was the whoosh of the ceiling fan. The therapist began writing on the clipboard again and Paul looked over and sat up.
“Have you ever been in love Paul?”
“I told you I detached myself from every relationship I've ever had”
Paul stared confused and angry at his therapist. His brow furrowed then relaxed. He leaned all the way back on the couch and looked up at the ceiling fan.
“There was a girl in college I knew, her name was Grace”. The therapist busily began writing on the clipboard.
“So you loved her?”
“If I was to ever have loved once, I believed Grace to be the one who gained all my affection. She was everything in a woman that I wasn't in a man, and left me terrified with vulnerable stammers in her presence. She was a shooting star, and I merely in her orbit for a mere few minutes that felt like seconds. She was the queen of hearts and I was no more than a joker. She knew things about me I didn't know, and things I didn't show. When she would look at me, the momentary intimacy was beyond words.”
“How did you feel the first time she talked to you?”
“Sick, she was asking a question about the chemistry lecture we were just in. When she was asking I zoned in on her lips, her eyes, her breasts. The palpitations of my heart beat quickened, and my hands were clammy. At the time I believed I was undergoing a heart attack. I didn't want to alarm her so I planned on going to the clinic after she walked away. When she did finally leave the symptoms reduced and I realized they were woman induced.” The therapist looked up from the clipboard and laughed a little.
“Did you ever consider pursuing her?”
“No, I told you love is something I didn't want. We had one semester of chemistry and I never saw her again”.
“You’re a coward”.
Paul looked up at his therapist and sat up on the couch.
“I wasn't afraid of her”
“Of course not, you were afraid of love”.
Paul felt hot with anger and embarrassment and rose to his two feet.
“I’m not afraid, I just don’t want it!”
Without looking up from the clipboard the therapist kept scribbling down notes.
“You’re afraid to trust anyone with your emotions, and when you found the one person who could make you feel anything you retreated. That’s pretty cowardice.”
“Listen here Dr. Kline,” Paul yelled.
Dr. Kline looked up from the clipboard. Paul settled down and became calm. He sat back down in his chair. Dr. Kline stood up and put the clipboard on the seat. Paul watched his therapist quietly walk towards the bookshelf scanning for a book. Dr. Kline chose one from the shelf, came over, and dropped it on his lap.
“What am I supposed to do with a phone book?”
Without looking back at Paul Dr. Kline sat back down and wrote down more notes.
“I’d advise you to find your girl.”