Wanting to try something a little different, I would like to share some of my shorter works on the blog
So here goes the first one. I wrote this story after I realized that Dennis had emdued himself into my soul and I will never be rid of him.
Written by Elizabeth Guizzetti (aka me!)
“I want you to get rid of my fiancé.” I tell the man behind the faux granite counter as I pull out my medical card. “You take insurance?”
The man glances up from his computer. “No ma’am, an extraction is considered elective surgery…”
“Elective? Are you kidding? I got to get him out of my head,” I say.
The man glances nervously at someone behind me. I feel the presence of a security guard edging closer, wondering if I am going to cause a scene. “Ma’am, insurance only pays for it if a licensed psychologist writes you a prescription and only in cases of PTSD.”
I decide not to be surprised by this. My insurance will pay for a psychologist. I thank the man and leave.
Within two hours, I sit on a chair with Hugh Daniels MD, PsyD leaning towards me. He smokes by the smell of him. He calls me Samantha and tells me I can call him Hugh if that makes me more comfortable.
“I want a brain wipe.” I say though it’s a betrayal of our past love to lose Jack this way.
He looks at my form. “Samantha, the extraction of memories isn’t a simple process and shouldn’t be approached lightly. Why do you hang on to Jack?”
I say, “I threw all his shit away, but he’s infused into our house. I’m upside down in my mortgage, but I can’t move. I can’t sleep on the bed anymore.”
“Then buy a new bed, it is cheaper than an extraction,” Hugh says.
“I cut myself.” Trying to prove it, I show him where I sliced open my hand with the kitchen knife.
Now I have Hugh’s attention. Though not for the cutting, he knew I was lying. He started with a “Now Samantha,” and spoke gently about my fixation on the brain wipe.
“I need Jack out of my head. I can’t move on.”
“It’s been five years since the car accident. I want to get married and have a family before its too late. I’m thirty-four now. If I wait much longer, I won’t be able to have children.”
“Why can’t you move on, Samantha?”
I decide I hate the way that Hugh says ‘Samantha.’
“I love him…now no one measures up.”
“You still grieve for him,” Hugh says.
Of course I do.
Hugh nods. “How about we set up another appointment?”
I agree to Thursday.
Thursday is more of the same. I repeat my story. Some stressed-out commuter side-swiped us. Jack never regained consciousness, but lived on for six agonizing days. Hugh tells me my heart is wounded and unclean wounds fester.
I talked about how his family was supportive at first. Then they lost touch. My family wonders why I still don’t date. Yes, I got rid of Jack’s things.
Hugh suggests I enter group therapy. I have been to a group! It just made me angry. Hugh says to try another one. He gives me the names of some free grief groups in my area. I promise I’ll go.
Every three days, I beg for a brain wipe and recount how Jack haunts my steps.
“How does Jack haunt your steps?” he asks.
“I can’t sleep on his side of the bed or put stuff in his drawers. It feels like a betrayal. It feels like…” I yammer on about my lack of closet space until the day Hugh writes me a prescription.
At the faux granite counter, I fill out the proper forms. I sign my privilege to sue away. Yammering about the weather, a woman in purple scrubs escorts me to a sterile room. I lie down upon a narrow examination table. She asks if I would like a blanket as she loads a syringe.
I cringe at the injection. Then drift into slumber.
I wake up. The woman in scrubs hands me a small glass of water. My hand shakes as I take a sip.
“Name?” she asks.
“What do you do for a living?”
“How many fingers am I holding up?”
The woman escorts me to the front room. I sign out.
She takes me to the street and hails a taxi. For the first time in five years, I feel lighter though I do not know why. I am Samantha Anderson who is an administrative assistant, but I’m lost. My home is missing from my mind. The woman tells the taxi driver where to take me.
I look on my license. The address concurs with what the woman just said. I remember it normally costs $7 to get up the hill. I pull out a $10.
This place makes no sense. Samantha Anderson lives alone and yet everything seems to be ready for another person.
A large bed and a ten drawer dresser. I turn towards the dresser. On the top left drawer are folded panties and socks. These are mine. I recognize them. Then I open the right top drawer. It is empty.
Below on the left is full of t-shirts and jeans, below on the right is empty.
The closet is also odd. The clothes are a size 8, the shoes 7.5. They are mine and yet something is wrong. It is just the strange way the space is set up. The right side is empty.
In the bathroom, the toothbrush is purple. The hairbrush is a woman’s. There is a box of tampons and a bag of pads. Hand cream and night cream. Makeup. However there is an empty shelf in the medicine cabinet. I don’t seem the type to have many houseguests and even if I was that still doesn’t explain the dresser in my bedroom.
Weird. I pick up the tweezers and stick them on the empty shelf half-expecting a vortex to the underworld is going to open up. That doesn’t happen. Nothing happens. I decide to leave them there.
Two months later, I receive a letter from my insurance company. My claim has been denied. I have to pay it out of pocket. $55,000. Damn.
As I signup for monthly payments of $100, I wonder what hurt me so bad that I was willing to risk a brainwipe and the accompanying debt, which will take a lifetime to pay.
(Wiped: copyright Elizabeth Guizzetti 2012. First electronic publication, May 28, 2012. All characters are works of fiction. Any likeness to real people or evidence are coincidence. Be Honest. Please do not take my work as your own.)