Chapter Eight: Bruxism:
Anna made the appointment after Tsuzuki left. She would see a therapist tomorrow morning. Tsuzuki still didnâ€™t think it was a good idea, but he didnâ€™t try to discourage her from it; he promised after all. The next morning, Anna was heading out when she found Rihoko waiting at the front door.
â€œSure about this?â€ she asked.
â€œYes,â€ Anna replied without a thought. Rihoko put on a brave face as she went quiet.
â€œBe careful,â€ she murmured.
â€œI will,â€ her roommate replied before she headed out the door.
Tokyo Counseling Services was in downtown Tokyo. Anna kept her face low the whole time as she took the subway. Japan thought her to be dead. It would cause rather a shock to find her alive and walking around. She made sure not to talk to anybody because of that little fact. The woman looked out the window instead. Anna got off with the flood of people. It was so easy to disappear among them after being â€œdead.â€ She paid with cash and walked the rest of the way there. Anna breezed through the front doors of the clinic. The woman filled out the paperwork and the receptionist looked over it before she glanced at Anna.
â€œTake a seat, Niwa-san,â€ she said.
â€œThank you,â€ Anna said with a bow. She sat down in one of the chairs. Anna looked all around her. Nice enough-looking room she was in. Not many people here today; just an elderly couple and a mom with a zoned-out child. Anna looked up at the ceiling.
Looks the same as his office in the US, she thought aimlessly. Only, this ceiling was creepy clean. Anna looked over at the direction of the sound of a door opening wide. A young man in a new business suit came out with a chart in his hand. He looked about a year younger than she was. The man looked at her for a moment.
â€œNiwa Midori,â€ he called off the chart. Anna sat up in her seat.
â€œRight here,â€ she said.
â€œPlease follow me,â€ the young man told her. He went back towards his office with Anna following behind. The young man opened the door and they went inside. Anna examined the room. She found the setting rather puzzling. This office looked rather like someoneâ€™s living room with the furniture, carpet, and dÃ©cor. Nothing about this place even looked remotely professional. Even the man had pictures of his family all over the walls. The woman turned to the doctor.
â€œIs this someoneâ€™s living room?â€ she asked. The young man gave her a little smile.
â€œWeâ€™re trying out a new approach with the atmosphere,â€ he explained, â€œHelps people open up more without the distractions of a psychiatristâ€™s office; take a seat.â€
â€œAh,â€ Anna said before she sat down. The color scheme of bright yellow and white felt a little too personal for her taste to be honest with her. However, this was the best clinic nearby and she decided to make the most of for the time being. The doctor sat down on the other side of the coffee table. Anna watched from the couch as he pulled out a tape recorder and his notebook. The young doctor looked up at her from his black leather armchair.
â€œDo you mind if I tape this session?â€ he asked.
â€œNo, go ahead,â€ Anna replied. The therapist put in a fresh tape and hit record.
â€œAugust 7th, 2009. I am Dr. Fujimiya and Iâ€™m with a patient. Please state your name.â€
â€œPlease tell me your age.â€
â€œTell me about these dreams youâ€™ve been having.â€
â€œWell, they started nine years ago. I was in college when they started.â€
â€œHow old were you at the time?â€
â€œGo on. What else about these dreams?â€
â€œThey are kind of hard to explain.â€
â€œOkay, they switch all around. Sometimes, I dreamt of this woman with white wings naked and tangled up in many red ribbons.â€
â€œWho is she to you?â€
She paused on the tape. â€œI canâ€™t say; I donâ€™t know and Iâ€™ve never seen her before, but Iâ€™m lucky.â€
â€œWhy is that?â€
â€œSheâ€™s a benevolent dream.â€
â€œBenevolent? What would you consider malevolent?â€
She paused again on the tape. â€œFive summers ago, I saw a murder. This man savagely raped and killed this woman. Afterwards, he turned and saw me. I panicked, but he let me go that night. Since then, Iâ€™ve had nightmare about him.â€
â€œOkay, so what exactly do you want?â€
â€œThey have come back. I want to know why and how to stop them.â€
The therapist scribbled down some notes to paper. â€œHm, any other traumatic events other than what you wrote on the form?â€
â€œNot really; just my fatherâ€™s death on Halloween in 1999 and nearly being raped by my swim captain days before we graduated. I already went over those years ago.â€
He took more notes after her answer. â€œI see.â€
â€œSo? What does this mean?â€
â€œBy the looks of it, I will need a little assistance. Listen closely; Iâ€™m going to refer you to a colleague of mine in Kyoto. He is a dream specialist and can help you better with this than I can.â€
â€œWhy is that?â€
â€œHe was my mentor; my field is more general. Here, this is the address of his practice.â€
â€œThank you.â€ Anna paused as she read over the card. â€œAre we done, doctor?â€
â€œYes, Niwa-san, you may go.â€ He hit stop on the tape recorder.