The Therapist

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
After a single tragic accident which caused a young man to have spent months on a wheel chair and eventually attempted in committing a suicide, an eccentric therapist was hired by his parents to help free him from the trauma.

Submitted: May 23, 2016

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Submitted: May 23, 2016

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It was at night. Ryan’s head was on the steering wheel. His eyes were closed. There was blood coming out from his forehead. The indicator light on the dashboard was blinking. As he slowly got his consciousness, he noticed a branch of sharp metal got through his left thigh, where fresh blood was oozing out of it…

Ryan got wide awake all of a sudden. His pajamas was soaked in sweat. He had no idea how many times he had such dream. The next moment he started crying, which he resented himself to have done so.

“I can’t take this anymore,” thought Ryan.

Ryan got up and heaved himself onto the wheelchair next to his bed. He pushed the wheelchair towards the bathroom. When the wheel thudded on the tub, he lifted his body and sat on the edge of the bath tub. The next second he started undressing, and after having no cloth left on his body, he got into the tub and sat there.

The glimpse of Nyla, a woman whom he had been shutting out of his life after the accident, came into his mind.

“I love you, Nyla,” said Ryan sobbing, knowing that he would not be able to say those words himself to the one and only woman he had ever loved.

The pain as he made a first cut on his left wrist with a razor blade he took earlier from the wash bin felt nothing compared to those nightmares and severe anxieties for the past four months after the accident.

“I’m sorry, Mother,” said Ryan again, as he made the second cut at the exact spot. This time, much more blood came out from his artery afterwards.

Ryan leaned on the bath tub and closed his eyes. Tears came out from the corner of his eyes.

“I’m sorry, Father…” said Ryan in a sad voice…

Mother, a middle aged woman carried a tray of breakfast towards Ryan’s room a couple of hours later. She knocked on the door then entered the room. After putting the tray on a table nearby and found his one and only son was not on the bed, she walked towards the bathroom and knocked. Only after the third knock and still no reply, did she call her husband who then decided to break down the bathroom door.

“Ryan!” cried Mother, kneeling next to Ryan who slumped in the bath tub with blood coming out from his left wrist hand.

The next half an hour, Ryan was rushed into the nearest hospital…

 

===

 

“Ryan, it’s time for your medicine.”

Ryan, who had been gazing through the hospital window, turned around when Mother called him. Mother stroked his hair when he took the pill and drink it with a glass of water.

“Ryan, Nyla is outside. She’d like to see you,” said Mother carefully.

Ryan did not respond.

“Nyla cares for you so much, Ryan,” said Mother in a pleading voice. “And she never give…”

Mother stopped in the middle of her sentence when Dr. Reynolds came into the room.

“Mr. and Mrs. Ledger? Do you both have a minute?” said Dr. Reynolds, making a gesture to follow him.

“What is it, Doctor?” said Father worriedly, when they were already outside the room.

“Look, I’m not saying this as Ryan’s doctor but as someone who really cares for him,” said Dr. Reynolds. “I believe that all doctors are not supposed to recommend this therapist since what he will be doing to Ryan is truly outside of medical scope. Nevertheless, it has been proven to have worked for post-traumatic stress disorder patient like your son, Ryan.”

“No matter how complicated and costly the therapy, we’ll go for it, Doctor,” said Father.

Dr. Reynolds spoke as Mother nodded approvingly to what Father just said.

“Here is his contact number, so you can arrange the convenient time to start the therapy,” said Dr. Reynolds. “I highly recommend you call him and have Ryan follow the therapy.”

Dr. Reynolds smiled and nodded before leaving Mother and Father at the hospital corridor. Almost immediately, Father took out his cellphone then dialed the number.

 

===

 

Ryan woke up after a nice nap after he got home from the hospital the following afternoon.

"Hello there," said a voice. “You’re awake.”

Ryan quickly sat bolt upright, right after knowing the fact that the owner of the voice was touching him all over his body.

“Who are you? Wh-what are you doing?” asked Ryan quickly.

“Relax. I’m just measuring your body,” said the man, as he touched Ryan’s left thigh. “And my name is Louis.”

“Where’s my parents?” asked Ryan in suspicious.

“In the dining room,” replied Louis.

“I need to see them,” said Ryan.

Louis, who seemed to be a bit taller than Ryan, pushed Ryan’s body back to the bed when Ryan was about to get up.

“I’m not done yet,” said Louis in an annoyed look of face.

“I need to see my parents,” said Ryan with greeted teeth, throwing Louis’ hand away from his chest.

Louis pushed Ryan’s body again to the bed when he was about to get up.

“You know, I’d love to tie you up on your bed if you ever make the third attempt,” said Louis in an evil tone of voice. “It’s in the contract.”

“Contract? What contract?” asked Ryan, puzzled.

“The contract of how you and things around you will be handled which my employer and your parents agreed with each other,” said Louis. “I was surprised of how much I’m allowed to do for an attempted suicide patient like you.”

Ryan put his hands under the blanket when Louis threw a condescending glance towards a bandage wrapped around Ryan’s wrist hand.

“Whomever my parents hired you or your employer for, I’ll make sure you’ll get fired first thing tomorrow,” said Ryan, throwing a hatred look. “I’ll tell my parents at dinner.”

Louis laughed evilly.

“And you think I will I let you out of your room?” said Louis. He added as he saw the look on Ryan’s face. “This is one of those things I’m allowed to do to you, for your information.”

“I’ll scream and they’ll hear me,” said Ryan.

“Go ahead,” said Louis in a bored voice. “And when they and my employer come in I will tell them that you’ve been refusing me to measure you.”

There was a pause before Louis continued measuring Ryan’s body.

“What are you measuring me for?” asked Ryan afterwards.

“Believe me, I don’t even know why I’m doing this,” said Louis. “All I know is I was told to do it and report it to the psychic.”

“The psychic?” said Ryan, puzzled.

“Yes, the psychic, the one I work for,” Louis added as he saw the look on Ryan’s face. “You’ll see it for yourself.”

Louis then took out a kind of electronic device and put it on Ryan’s right ankle. He spoke when Ryan threw a questioning look.

“And we’re also not allowed to be more than two meters from each other. He believes it would ruin the positive and balanced aura,” said Louis.

“The positive and balanced aura?” said Ryan in disbelief.

“Insane, huh?” said Louis.

Louis took out another electronic device which looked similar to Ryan’s and put it onto his right ankle.

“Come on. Let’s go for dinner. They’re waiting for us in the dining room,” said Louis afterwards.

Ryan threw a puzzled look when Louis pulled the wheelchair next to the bed.

“I thought you weren’t letting me out of this room,” said Ryan, as Louis lifted him from the bed and put him onto the wheel chair.

“Well, that part, it was a joke,” said Louis. “You should see the look on your face when I said that.”

Louis laughed mockingly as he pushed Ryan’s wheel chair out of the room towards the dining room. As they arrived at the dining table, there was already a middle-aged man wearing black robes and pointed hat sitting on one of the dining chairs. His fingers were full of enormous colorful stone rings.

“Ryan,” said Father. “This is Russel, your… “ Father cleared his throat. “… your new therapist.”

Russel stood up and made weird moves before shaking hands with Ryan. Louis, who stood next to Ryan faked his laughter with coughs.

“What’s this smell?” said Ryan, sniffing.

“It’s a scent to purify this house,” said Russel proudly before sitting on the chair followed by Ryan’s parents and Louis. “The house must be purified before we start your therapy. As you may have guessed, my therapy is different from those you had in recent couple of months.”

Russel turned to look at Ryan’s left thigh. For a while he did not stop looking at it, as though he was trying to make a conversation with it telepathically.

“So, Ryan,” said Mother, trying to break the awkward silence when they were finally seated around the dining table. “You’ve met, Louis, your…”

Russel spoke when Mother seemed to be difficult finding the proper words.

“Yang,” said Russel.

“I’m sorry. He’s my what?” asked Ryan, puzzled.

“Louis is your Yang and you are his Ying,” explained Russel. “Together, you are Ying and Yang. People who have limited ability of the mind’s eye like you and your parents usually call it soulmate.”

“Soul mate?” said Ryan, throwing a cringing look towards Louis.

“He will be your Yang, your soulmate, during your therapy,” said Russel, nodding thoughtfully.

Ryan had no idea whether he should be laughing or not. He could see Louis, who sat next to him, rolled his eyes.

“As you might have figured, we had come up with a new therapy plan for your recovery,” said Father. “Russel here will help you…”

“This is bullshit!” said Ryan in a mocked face.

Russel raised his left hand when Mother was about to reply.

“I need to purify the negative air surround us,” said Russel.

Ryan’s parents nodded understandingly when Russel stood up from his seat. He then started making moves and sounds, which seemed to be a mixture of modern dance and someone who just got bitten by a rabies dogs.

 “Why do I need this kind of therapy, Mother?” asked Ryan, trying to suppress his anger when Russel returned back to his seat.

“I know it will be a bit unusual for the three of us, Ryan,” said Mother patiently. “But some people has proven it to have worked. What you did to yourself last week was a horror to us…”

“But Mother,” said Ryan impatiently. “This therapy is completely insane…”

“Oh dear…” said Louis in a low voice, making a face palm when Russel stood up from his seat.

“Again, I need to purify the negative air surround us,” said Russel.

Ryan could hear his stomach grumbling when Russel finally finished with his moves and sound.

“Please,” said Louis, whispering very close to Ryan’s ear. “Whatever the fuck you say or do, don’t give him any reason to repeat that freaking dance. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re all starving here.”

Russel then spoke.

“Soul purification, body balancing, and mind positivity are the main keys to heal you, Ryan,” said Russel. “I’m here to throw away the horror that has lived in your heart in months.”

Russel turned to look at Ryan’s left thigh, again, looking as though he was trying to make a conversation with it telepathically.

Ryan turned to Mother and Father, who seemed to have taken Russel’s words as gospel.

“Let’s have dinner, then,” said Mother after Russel turned to her and nodded.

“This chicken tastes really good, Mrs. Ledger,” said Louis afterwards.

“I can feel some positive air starting to occur surround us,” said Russel.

Louis turned to Ryan and raised his eyebrows.

“Thank you, Louis,” said Mother.

“The positive air is getting stronger,” said Russel. “I’m happy for it.”

The dinner conversation continued with discussing the tasty chicken, the nice weather and all the positivity there was to discuss. It was almost bed time when the dinner finally finished.

“You know, that chicken might have tasted more delicious if we ate it when it was still hot,” said Louis, throwing a blaming glance at Ryan as he pushed Ryan on the wheel chair towards his room.

Ryan did not respond. Clearly, the attempted suicide had made his parents lost their minds.

They finally arrived at the door of Ryan’s bedroom.

“What the hell did you do to my bedroom?” asked Ryan in disbelief after Louis opened the door.

There were hundreds of light up candles throughout the floor, leaving only a small path towards the bed and the bathroom.

“How can I have done all this when we’re not supposed to be more than two meters away from each other?” said Louis, looking offended. “That psychic must have ordered someone to set this up.”

“Why did he do this?” asked Ryan, puzzled.

“Believe me, I’m just as confused as you are right now,” said Louis. “I’m just someone whom he hired to be your Yang, your soulmate, or whatever the fuck it is…”

Louis’ voice faded as he saw Russel and Ryan’s parents approaching.

“It is part of the purification process during your sleep,” said Russel.

“And how am I supposed to go through? My wheel chair won’t fit the path,” said Ryan.

“That is what your Yang is for,” said Russel. “Ying will complete Yang and Yang will complete Ying.”

Louis sighed when Russel and Ryan’s parents had gone out of sight. He then lifted Ryan and carried him towards the bed.

“How long will the purification process last?” asked Ryan, when Louis put him on the bed.

“A night, two nights, a week, I don’t care,” said Louis as he yawned widely.

“What is it that you’re hired for?” asked Ryan, curious. “I mean, what do you do during the therapy?”

“Nothing,” said Louis, shrugging. “I just be by your side twenty four hours in less than two meters. You know, for a jobless person like me, this job is attempting.”

“Hey, what do you think you’re doing?” asked Ryan quickly, when Louis laid next to him.

“What do you think I’m doing?” said Louis.

“You’re not sleeping with me on my bed,” said Ryan in a disapproving tone of voice.

“Look, Ryan,” said Louis impatiently, turning to Ryan. “I brought my sleeping bag with me which I obviously can’t use due to this stupid purifying soul process. I also don’t prefer getting burned up in the middle of the night sleeping on that tiny pathway. I can’t sleep outside because of this stupid electronic tagging device on my fucking ankle and I can’t even sleep in the bath tub because the distance is more than two meters. Now I need to sleep because I had an awesome party last night with my awesome friends. Good night!”

“Well at least you can help me get change,” said Ryan.

“And why do I need to do that?” asked Louis in a bored voice.

“Because I’m your Yang?” said Ryan, trying to find an excuse in his sarcastic tone of voice.

“You’re fucking fine with your outfit,” said Louis. “Now just go to sleep.”

 

===

 

It was already one am and Ryan suddenly got awaken by a habitual urges. By instinct, he reached out below the bed, but his hand touched nothing but air. He quickly peered under the bed.

“Shit,” said Ryan, when he realized that his bed pan was no longer there. He then shook Louis’ body, trying to wake him.

But Louis made no single move.

“Louis, wake up!” said Ryan.

Louis murmured in an annoyed face before turning his back against Ryan.

Ryan sighed before taking a crutch next to his bed. He sighed again before slowly standing up. The pain at his left thigh that followed made him difficult to breathe normally. His clothes already soaked with sweat when he finally arrived at the bathroom door. All of a sudden, he felt a scorching heat on his ankle, followed by a growl coming from the bed.

“Ryan?”

Louis was already walking towards him when Ryan turned around, gasping for breath.

“Thank God, you’re awake,” said Ryan, moaning in pain. “I need your help…”

“You can walk?” said Louis in disbelief. He then added in a disappointed tone of voice. “I can’t believe I’ve been fooled.”

“It hurts when I walk. That’s why I’ve been on the wheel chair,” said Ryan.

“And I can’t believe you’ve been fooling your parents and your doctor by faking the pain,” said Louis.

“I’ve been on the wheel chair for four solid months, how can I have faked the pain and fooled them?” said Ryan.

“Funny I should ask you the same question,” said Louis.

Ryan had no idea which tortured him the worst: the urge to pee, the pain at his left thigh, the stuffy air caused by the light-up candles placed throughout the floor, or the stubborn son of a bitch he had been talking to.

“Hey, we’re not finished yet,” said Louis, when Ryan entered the bathroom, and added when Ryan got out. “I will tell this to your parents and Russel.”

“Go ahead, tell them,” said Ryan.

“Fine, I’ll tell them,” said Louis, watching Ryan walking towards the bed with the crutch.

 

===

 

The following morning, Ryan and Louis were awaken by sound of a trumpet.

“Rise and shine, Ying and Yang…”

Russel already stood in the middle of Ryan’s bedroom with both hands raised in the air. One of them was holding the trumpet. Apparently and fortunately, all the candles had been removed from the floor.

“Ryan, this is your purified cloth,” said Russel, handing a purple shirt, a suit, and a black pants to Ryan. “My inner eye had told me that this combination of outfit was the best to extract the positive aura from your body, mind, and soul.”

Ryan was still pissed at Louis that he did not ask help from Louis to help him get change. He did not even ask Louis’ help to fetch him the wheel chair. Instead, he took his crutch and tried to suppress the pain at his left thigh as he walked out of the room.

“Ryan…”

Mother, who was already seated on one of the seat on the dining table, stood up the moment she saw Ryan.

“I thought I tried walking with the crutch again,” said Ryan, half-lying.

“Does it hurt?” asked Father in a worried face.

“A little but I think I can manage,” said Ryan, glancing at Louis as he said so.

“You can see, the last night’s purification process clearly made a progress,” said Russel proudly.

Louis, who stood behind Russel, rolled his eyes.

“Uhm… Mother, where’s our breakfast?” said Ryan, looking puzzled in front of his breakfast which is a floret of broccoli and a half full small glass of water.

“Those are your purified morning meal,” said Russel. “You shall eat it now, drink the purified water, and return back to your room.”

Ryan and Louis exchanged looks before reluctantly taking the broccoli.

“Your parents and I will meditate at the purified living room,” continued Russel. “No one shall disturb our meditation. We will meet at the dining table to discuss your next therapy in one and a half hour.”

Russel stood up from her seat right after Ryan and Louis finished drinking their water. She then started making moves and sound, which this time seemed to be a mixture of ballet and someone who got tragically drowned on a lake full of alligators.

“I noticed you didn’t tell my parents about me faking the pain,” said Ryan, when they finally returned back to the room.

“And let the psychic purify the air with some stupid dance? No thanks,” said Louis.

Ryan had to admit that Louis had a point.

“I wish I had believed in what my friends told me about taking this job,” said Louis. “I can stand all the craps but a tasteless steamed broccoli for breakfast? That’s torture. It’s against human rights.”

Ryan could hear his stomach grumbling and craving for the real breakfast right after Louis said so.

“What?” said Ryan, when Louis looked at Ryan and seemed to think.

“McDonalds is only two blocks away from here. It’s a ten minute walk, well fifteen minutes,” said Louis, glancing at Ryan’s crutch. “That psychic and your parents will be meditating for the next one hour. I’d say we have enough time for it.”

“And what makes you think I would come along?” said Ryan, when Louis threw a meaningful stare at him.

“I don’t know,” said louis in a sarcastic tone of voice. “Maybe because each of us has this stupid electronic tagging device which would burn our ankles if we’re more than two meters away from each other?”

“We might get caught,” said Ryan afterwards, hating to admit that Louis, once again, had a point. “We have to go through the living room…”

“Not if we take the unusual path,” cut Louis, throwing a glance towards the window.

“Climbing over the windows?” said Ryan, sounded surprised.

“The bar is exactly at your waist level. There shouldn’t be a problem,” said Louis.

Ryan did not reply. Louis crossed both his arm on his chest as he looked at Ryan.

“Why do I get the impression that you’re being a coward right now?” said Louis.

“I’m not being a coward,” said Ryan.

“Oh, I know,” said Louis. “You’re afraid you won’t make it.”

“I can climb over the window alright,” said Ryan.

“Then you’re afraid you won’t make it to the front gate,” said Louis, throwing a condescending gaze at Ryan’s left thigh.

“I can make it alright,” said Ryan, throwing a challenging look at Louis. “Even to McDonalds.”

“Good,” said Louis, before he quickly added. “Make sure you bring your own money. Just because I’m asking you to come along, it doesn’t mean I’m paying you for breakfast.”

Ryan gulped as he watched Louis climb over the window. He sighed deeply before handing his crutch to Louis. At first, Ryan lifted his body to sit first onto the window bar before waving his right feet over. He could feel the severe pain at his left thigh right after his left feet stepped onto the solid ground, but the pain slowly faded as he started walking afterwards.

“Can you walk any slower than that?” said Louis sarcastically, turning to Ryan who was walking behind him. “I believe we have a tight schedule.”

Ryan tried very hard no to hit Louis with his crutch at that very moment.

They arrived at McDonalds fifteen minutes later. They then got seated on a table next to the window and separately ordered what seemed to be breakfast for four people once the waitress came to take their orders.

“We have fifteen minutes then we’re off,” said Louis, when the waitress finally brought their orders fifteen minutes later. Louis then spoke to the waitress. “Can I order three more burgers and three bottles of water for them?”

Louis pointed at a homeless woman and her two children whom they could easily see through the window glass.

“Sure,” said the waitress, smiling.

“What?” said Louis, when noticing that Ryan had been looking at him. “Haven’t you seen someone giving food to the homeless?”

Ryan could not help but feeling light-hearted to see the look on the homeless woman and her two children when receiving the food through the window glass.

“I think we should get going,” said Louis, looking at his watch ten minutes later.

“I thought we had fifteen minutes,” said Ryan, who had not finished with his coke.

“With that long of queuing, paying the bills might take five minutes,” said Louis.

They both stood up from their seats and walked towards the cashier, where they queued for a couple of minutes.

“That will be $3.5, Sir,” said the cashier to Louis, who was the first to pay.

“Shit, I’m short for fifty cent,” said Louis before he turned to the cashier. “Can I go back later on? You can keep my ID card as a guarantee.”

“That wouldn’t be necessary, Sir,” said the cashier, smiling understandingly. “I saw what you did to the homeless woman and her children.”

“Thank you,” said Louis, when the cashier winked at him.

Ryan handed $100 to the cashier when Louis stepped aside.

“We don’t have the change for that yet, Sir. It’s still nine in the morning,” said the cashier. “Do you have smaller cash?”

“I’d like to give that homeless woman and her children free food,” said Ryan. “Is that enough for a month?”

“It will be more than just a month, Sir,” said the cashier, smiling thankfully at Ryan. “Forty two days to be exact.”

“What?” said Ryan when Louis looked at him. “Haven’t you seen someone giving free food for the homeless for forty two days?”

Louis threw a revolted look at Ryan.

“You’ve got salad in your teeth and it’s quite embarrassing,” said Louis.

Ryan was about to reply when someone patted him on the back.

“Ryan?”

Ryan was surprised to see Nyla next to him. But it was nothing compared to the look on Nyla’s face, which showed a tremendous shock.

“Since when you could walk?” asked Nyla, sounded stunned.

“I thought I’d try using the crutch instead of wheelchair,” said Ryan.

“It doesn’t hurt anymore?” said Nyla.

“A little but I think I can manage,” said Ryan, just before Louis made a fake coughs which strangely sounded like saying “Fake! Fake!”

“Well, what are you doing here?” asked Nyla.

“I’m just having some breakfast,” said Ryan, glancing awkwardly towards Louis.

“And just donated $100 to feed those homeless over there for the next forty two days,” said the cashier, who apparently had been following their conversation.

“Wow, Ryan, you changed a lot,” said Nyla in amazement.

Nyla and Ryan looked at each other, followed by a long pause.

Louis cleared his throat.

“Ryan, I do believe we need to be somewhere in twelve minutes,” said Louis impatiently, looking at his watch.

“Hello there,” said Nyla, who now seemed to be interested in Louis. “Are you a friend of Ryan?”

“Sort of,” said Louis shrugging.

“I’m Nyla,” said Nyla cheerfully. “What’s your name?”

“My name is Louis. Bye Nyla. Come on, Ryan,” said Louis.

“I’m sorry, Nyla, but we really need to go,” said Ryan, when he felt a scorching heat on his ankle because Louis had walked away leaving him behind.

“I guess I’ll see you around,” said Nyla.

Ryan did not respond.

“Bye Ryan,” said Nyla again, before Ryan left to follow Louis.

“Walk faster, will you? We only have five minutes left,” said Louis, when they were already half-way home. He then added afterwards. “You know, I think this thing just slow you down.”

Ryan growled angrily. Partly because Louis had just snatched the crutch from Ryan’s hand and partly because it had indeed been true. Although Ryan was still walking limp, he found himself able to walk faster without the crutch.

They arrived at Ryan’s window room five minutes later. Ryan climbed over his window just after Louis and hopped into the room a second before Russel burst into the room.

“Did I just see you hop?” asked Russel to Ryan, almost immediately.

“Yeah, actually we’ve just finished doing our exercise. You know, to smooth our blood circulation,” said Louis, clearly trying to find an excuse.

“How many times did you hop?” asked Russel, throwing a serious look at Louis.

“Fifteen,” said Louis, gulping.

“And how many times did you hop?” asked Russel, turning to Ryan.

“Three,” said Ryan, thinking that the number would of course sound sensible.

“You’re ruining you aura,” said Russel angrily. “You cannot hop both in odd numbers or even numbers. You have to complete each other.”

“So, do we have to repeat the hopping?” asked Louis carefully.

“Fixing the aura is not as simple as that,” said Russel. “And clearly, the air surround here has turned into negative because of what you both just did. Now I will need to purify your room in order to let the positive come in.”

Louis made a face palm whilst Ryan tried to keep his face straight as Russel started making moves and sound, which this time was a mixture of hip hop dance and someone whom cat had just died. When Russel finally finished with his moves, he handed a set of all white long-sleeved shirt and pants to each Ryan and Louis.

“You both shall get changed with this purified meditation clothes,” said Russel. “And I shall wait for both of you in the living room. We shall start our meditation in ten minutes.”

Russel then turned around and left the room.

“Phew! That was close,” said Louis, after Russel closed the door.

Ryan changed his clothes and followed Louis towards the living room, where Russel had just drawn Ying and Yang symbol on the floor.

“Please, have a seat,” said Russel, making a gesture towards the black dot and the white dot to Ryan and Louis respectively.

Russel took his seat, which was facing against the living room huge window glass. Ryan and Louis were facing towards the window glass, where they could see the freshly-mowed green grass on the front yard of the house.

“Close your eyes and broaden your mind with positivity,” said Russel.

Ryan and Louis closed their eyes.

“Now open them,” said Russel.

Ryan and Louis opened their eyes.

“Now, Ryan, what do you see?” asked Russel, looking at Ryan.

“Uhm.. I see the grass?” said Ryan.

Russel threw a sharp glance when Louis giggled. Louis quickly turned the giggle into fake coughs.

“Now, Louis, what do you see?” asked Russel, looking at Louis.

“I see the beautiful green grass that Mr. Ledger has mowed perfectly with all his generous heart,” said Louis.

“Good,” said Russel, before turning to Ryan. “You see, Ryan. Positivity.”

“Now, close your eyes again and broaden your mind with positivity,” said Russel.

Ryan rolled his eyes and closed them.

“Now open them,” said Russel, before turning to Ryan. “Now, Ryan, what do you see?”

Ryan sighed.

“I see the…” Ryan stopped in the middle of this sentence. The front gate just got opened and he saw Nyla coming in. “… the woman I have had the fortune to have ever loved whom I really hope wouldn’t give up all her hope towards me.”

“You see what, Ryan?” asked Russel, interrupted Ryan’s day dreaming.

“I see the beautiful green grass that Father has mowed perfectly with all his generous heart,” said Ryan, copying Louis’s words outright.

“Very good, Ryan,” said Russel. “You see, you have to get used to positivity. Meaning, you act positively, think positively, and speak positively…”

Ryan’s mind was clearly not in the living room to listen to Russel’s positivity speech, but at the front door, where Mother was now greeting Nyla. From the corner of his eyes, Ryan could see Mother talked to Nyla. Nyla smiled and nodded understandingly. Ryan was relieved to find Nyla to have taken a seat at the dining table with Mother, apparently waiting for the meditation session to finish.

Russel then put a floret of steamed broccoli and a half-full small glass of water in front of Ryan and Louis respectively.

“Purified day meal to strengthen and nourish your positivity,” said Russel. “After this you will return to your purified room.”

“Mr. Russel,” called Mother, as Ryan and Louis took the broccoli and reluctantly ate it. “I was wondering if Ryan could have a visitor.”

Mother made a gesture towards Nyla. The next moment, Russel made weird moves before shaking Nyla’s hand.

“That’s what your face actually looked like the other night,” said Louis, whispering to Ryan.

“Now I need to purify the air surround you,” said Russel to Nyla.

“You need to what..?”

Before Nyla could finish her sentence, Russel already making weird moves and sound surrounding Nyla, which was a mixture a robotic dance and high pitched witch laughter.

Ryan could feel the cram in his stomach as he tried his best not to burst into laugh. Louis poked Ryan on the ribs when Russel turned around and threw a sharp look at them.

“You shall return to your purified room now,” said Russel.

Louis stretched his body and yawned as they were walking towards Ryan’s room.

“I think I need some sleep. Wake me up when he comes,” said Louis, laying himself on the bed as they arrived at Ryan’s room.

Ryan looked at the door for a while, waiting for Nyla to come in. He sighed when he thought Russel might have decided to decline Nyla’s proposal to visit him. He then pulled a drawer on the desk nearby and took a small maroon box. A ring was inside the box as he opened it, the one he was supposed to bring to Nyla as he kneeled down in front of her the night of the accident.

A knock on the door startled Ryan, followed by Nyla’s head peering through the door. Ryan quickly and nervously tried to find a pocket on his outfit to hide the box which he failed after realizing that his outfit had none.

“I’m sorry, is this a bad time?” said Nyla, glancing worriedly towards Louis who apparently had slept on the bed.

“No, please come in,” said Ryan, gripping the box tightly inside his palm whilst hoping for Nyla not see it. “Please have a seat.”

Ryan made a gesture and walked towards a nice sofa next to the door.

“Aw..!!”

Ryan fell to his knee as he felt a scorching heat on his ankle.

“You’re okay?” asked Nyla, helping Ryan standing up.

“Yeah, I’m okay,” said Ryan.

“I think you dropped this,” said Nyla, handing a small maroon box to Ryan.

Ryan did not respond as he took the box from Nyla’s hand.

“Here, let me just push the sofa closer to you,” said Nyla.

“Thank you,” said Ryan, awkwardly.

“Your Mother has told me about your therapy and your Yang,” said Nyla, glancing at Louis.

“She did,” said Ryan, who realized he had nothing wiser to say to Nyla.

“Let’s sit, Ryan,” said Nyla.

“Oh, yeah,” said Ryan, seemed to forgot what Nyla had pushed the sofa for.

“You’re so much better now,” said Nyla. “Two days ago you were still on your wheel chair. This morning you’re already using a crutch.”

“Well, yeah, I guess I am so much better now,” said Ryan.

“Look, Ryan,” said Nyla. “I just want you to know that I don’t want to rush you. I mean… I know that you know that I knew you were about to propose me… that night of the accident…”

“Nyla, can we just please not talk about this now?” said Ryan. “Please?”

“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to rush you or anything…” said Nyla. She continued when Ryan did not respond. “I came here to give you this. One of my kindergarten student will have a birthday party this afternoon. I hope you would be allowed and that you would come. With your Yang of course.” Nyla smiled as he threw a glance towards the bed.

“Thank you,” said Ryan, when Nyla put two sheet of Telletubbies birthday invitation card on the sofa.

“I guess I’ll see you this afternoon?” said Nyla, whose hand was already on the door knob.

Ryan did not respond. Nyla threw the last look before she got out of the room and closed the door. Ryan sighed as he opened the box and examined the ring, thinking about what Nyla had just said to him.

Ryan’s daydream was interrupted by the sound of a wide yawn coming from Louis.

“What time is it now?” said Louis, waking up before scratching his bottom.

“Three pm,” replied Ryan.

“I’m hungry,” said Louis, before he quickly added. “What’s this?”

“It’s a birthday party invitation from one of Nyla’s kindergarten student,” said Ryan.

Louis eyes got widened.

“Birthday party,” said Louis. “There will be food there. Let’s sneak out again.”

“We can’t,” said Ryan. “Russel’s in the living room. My father’s in the front yard, and my mother is in the kitchen. We have no safe exit to sneak out.”

“You know, I think I have an idea,” said Louis afterwards. “Let’s ask Russel if we can go.”

“And what makes you think he would let us go?” said Ryan.

“Don’t you remember what he taught us back then when we were doing that stupid meditation?” said Louis. “Broaden your mind with positivity, Ryan. Now come on.”

Ryan took his crutch and followed Louis. Russel was sitting on a couch and reading a newspaper when they arrived at the living room. Louis cleared his throat before he spoke.

“Excuse me, Mr. Russel,” said Louis. Russel looked up at him from behind his newspaper. “We would like to go to a birthday party of a toddler where we can absorb all the joy, all the positivity, and all the cheerfulness of the children there. A generous and caring friend of Ryan gave us the invitation earlier. We don’t want to give negative aura to this dear friend of Ryan by declining the generous offer.”

To Ryan’s surprise, Russel got up from his seat and hugged Louis and Ryan in turns.

“I can feel the positivity coming out from the both of you,” said Russel happily. “Please do go there and absorb all the joy, the positivity, and the cheerfulness.”

Louis bowed down, followed by Ryan, before they left the living room.

“Where’s the address? Is it far from here?” asked Louis, as they were already outside the front gate.

“Quite far, yes,” said Ryan. “We need to take the bus.”

They had to take a five minute walk to get to the nearest bus shelter then took the bus.

“So,” said Louis, as they were already seated on a bus. “Is Nyla a friend hoping to be your girlfriend or your ex-girlfriend hoping to get back to you?”

“Why do you think she’s one of the two?” asked Ryan.

“Come on, Ryan. You have to be very thick not to notice the way she looked at you,” said Louis.

Ryan sighed heavily.

“She’s none of the two,” said Ryan.

“Ex-wife then,” said Louis.

Ryan scoffed.

“What’s wrong with an ex-wife hoping to get back to his ex-husband?” said Louis.

“How about you?” asked Ryan, clearly trying to change the subject.

“How about me what?” asked Louis.

“Any girlfriend, wife, mistress?” said Ryan.

Louis shook his head then added. “I notice you didn’t ask me about having any boyfriend.”

Ryan threw a surprise look at Louis.

“It’s fine having a boyfriend,” said Ryan awkwardly.

“I know it’s fine,” replied Louis.

“So you have a boyfriend then,” said Ryan, curious.

“Ryan, I was just teasing you. For your info, I’m not actually gay,” said Louis, before he quickly added. “That must be the house.”

Ryan pushed the stop button when he saw front yard of a house that had been decorated with colorful telletubbies balloons. The bus then stopped right in front of the house.

“Ryan, you came!” said Nyla, running towards Ryan. “You know, I just knew you would.”

“See, the power of positivity,” said Louis, winking at Ryan.

“Come on in,” said Nyla happily. “The party was about to start.”

“Can’t we just be in the kitchen,” said Louis quickly. “You know, in case there’s something we can help. Preparing the foods and drinks for instance…”

A young woman came to Nyla with a worried look.

“Nyla, we have a situation…” said the young woman. “Dipsy and Lala, they couldn’t make it. My husband can do Dipsy but we need someone else to do Lala.”

“Can’t there be just Tinky Winky and Pooh?” said Nyla.

“No, there has to be the four of them. You know Maddie. She’s a huge fan of Telletubbies,” said the young woman with a desperate look.

The young woman then noticed Ryan, who smiled politely, and Louis, who had just taken the third cookies from the table nearby. She looked at the crutch on Ryan’s hand.

“No, I can’t do it, Ma’am. I’m sorry,” said Louis, when the young woman threw a pleading look at him.

“Please. I’ll pay you double…” said the young woman.

“I’ll do it,” said Ryan suddenly.

“You can’t do it,” said Louis, scoffing.

“Why, because I walk with this?” said Ryan, waving his crutch.

“No, because we’re supposed to be together. We’re inseparable. We’re Ying and Yang. We’re soulmates,” said Ryan, throwing a meaningful stare at Ryan.

“Then we’ll do this together,” said Ryan, ignoring the awkward look from the young woman after having Louis said that.

“No,” said Louis. “I’m here for the free food. Not for being stupid in a stupid costume.”

“Excuse me. I need to speak with him in private,” said Ryan, grabbing Louis on the arm and pulled him away from Nyla and the young woman. He turned to Louis when they were already out of earshot. “You’re so selfish. You don’t care about what she feels.”

“And you think you do?” asked Louis.

“Of course I do,” said Ryan. “That’s why I agreed to help her…”

“I was actually referring to the other woman,” said Louis.

“Nyla? What does she have to do with this?” asked Ryan puzzled.

“I don’t know, you tell me,” said Louis.

“Hey, what’s that supposed to mean?” said Ryan impatiently.

“I know she’s your girlfriend,” said Louis. “I even know that she would’ve been your fiancée if only you hadn’t had the accident.”

“How could you possibly know that?” asked Ryan suspicious.

“We’re soulmate, remember?” said Louis, pulling his right pants upward to show Ryan the electronic tagging device. “I heard her talk when you woke me up.”

Ryan made a face palm. Louis must’ve gotten awakened by the scorching heat.

“And yet she’s still patiently waiting for you,” continued Louis. “Look, why don’t you just break up with her. You know I’d be more than welcome to start hitting on her…”

Louis stopped in the middle of his sentence. Fresh blood just came out of his nose right after Ryan grabbed Louis’ collar and banged his head towards Louis’ face.

“You don’t talk like that about my girlfriend,” said Ryan angrily.

“You know you just gave me one good reason not to do it,” said Louis.

Ryan’s face quickly softened.

“Look, Louis, you gave free food for the homeless this morning. Can’t you just give help to the hopeless mother?” said Ryan in a pleading voice.

“You know I hate to admit that you’re right,” said Louis. He then quickly added. “But I’ll be Dipsy. I’m not doing the female one. And this,” Louis pointed at his nose. “You owed me this.”

“Louis, what happened?” asked Nyla in a worried voice, when Louis and Ryan returned.

“Just a common household quarrel,” said Louis, throwing a hatred look at Ryan.

“He has agreed to do it,” said Ryan to the young woman.

“Thank you, thank you,” said the young woman, handing a green and yellow teletubby costumes to each Louis and Ryan. “By the way, my name is Meg. I’m Maddie’s mother, the one who is celebrating her birthday party.”

“So, basically all we have to do is what?” said Louis.

“Basically, you just give goody bags to the kids after the dance…” said Meg.

“I’m sorry, after the what?” cut Louis, sounded surprised.

“The dance. The telletubby dance,” said Meg.

“Of course. Surely we can’t miss the dance,” said Louis, throwing a blaming look at Ryan.

“I don’t think we know the dance,” said Ryan. “Can’t we just skip it?”

“It’s easy. All you have to do is follow Tinky Winky. He’s the leader,” said Meg encouragingly.

In twenty minutes, Ryan and Louis were already in their Lala and Dipsy costume.

“Again, thank you so much for doing this,” said Meg.

“Don’t worry. I promise I’ll be alright,” said Ryan as he saw the worried look on Nyla’s face. He then handed his crutch and followed Louis towards the podium, where Tinky Winky and Lala had been waiting for them.

 

===

 

“We can’t say how much we thank you for what you both just did.”

Meg and her husband shook Ryan’s and Louis’ hand when the party finally finished and all the kids had gone.

“Especially when you convinced your boyfriend to do it,” continued Meg.

The husband threw a surprise look at Ryan then Louis, who had gone to grab some pizza and coke in the kitchen. Ryan was about to reply when Nyla suddenly spoke.

“You’re alright, aren’t you?” asked Nyla with a worried look.

“Of course, I am. Why you asked?” said Ryan.

Nyla glanced at Louis, making Ryan realized that it had to have been because Louis had purposely knocked him down during the dance and whispered evilly, “That was for the nose.”

“I’m alright, Nyla,” said Ryan smiling, stroking Nyla’s hair.

Ryan stopped smiling when realizing he had just done something he used to do before the accident. He then added awkwardly.

“I think we should be returning home now,” said Ryan.

“Yeah, I think you should,” said Nyla, throwing a longing look at Ryan.

“I guess I’ll see you tomorrow,” thought Ryan. He definitely had no guts to say this words outright to Nyla.

“You know, I’m so full right now that even a floret of broccoli for dinner will not upset me,” said Louis, as they were already in the bus heading towards home.

Russel was in the living room with both hands in the air when they arrived home. Mother and Father stood in front of him, eyeing him with amazement.

“Ying and Yang, you have arrived…”

Russel made weird moves as he saw Ryan and Louis came approaching.

“My inner eye had told me to bring you to a new level of absorbing positivity,” said Russel. He continued when Ryan and Louis looked puzzled. “We shall go to the woods.”

“Woods? In this late of night?” said Louis.

“Yes,” replied Russel, mistaken the tone of Louis’ voice. “You must find the positivity in the fear of darkness surround you. You will spend the night in the woods.”

“Aren’t we supposed to have dinner, before going to the woods?” said Louis, clearly trying to find an excuse to buy some time.

“Of course you are supposed to,” said Russel. “That’s why I have prepared…”

“Purified evening meal,” said Ryan and Louis altogether in a low voice, as they noticed at a floret of broccoli on a plate and small half-full glass of water on the dining table.

In ten minutes, they were already on their way to the woods. Father was driving the car and Mother sat next to him. Russel sat on the back, between Louis and Ryan.

“Remember, you must find positivity in the fear of the darkness,” said Russel, as they arrived at a cabin just outside of the thick dark woods. “We shall pick you up tomorrow morning. Now, off you go. Just follow the arrow signs. You shall stop when you find the small open field where a tent has been provided for both of you. Find the positivity in the fear of the darkness…”

There was a long pause when Russel put both his hands in the air.

“What are you still waiting for? Off you go!” said Russel, throwing a sharp look to both Ryan and Louis.

Ryan and Louis then started walking and following the arrow signs. In fifteen minutes, they already found the tent on a small open field.

“At least they prepared us some snacks and drinks in the tent,” said Louis, as he got out of the tent and threw a bottle of coke, which Ryan quickly caught.

“You’re right, Louis. I haven’t been care of what she feels,” said Ryan afterwards. He then turned to Louis. “By the way, sorry for the nose.”

“Sorry for knocking you down. Twice,” said Louis.

“So, we’re even then?” said Ryan.

“Yeah, we are,” said Louis, smiling.

The next moment, Louis’ smile faded away.

“Did you hear that?” asked Louis, looking terrified.

“Hear what?” asked Ryan, alerted.

The next moment, they heard a grunt.

“That grunt sound,” said Louis, before he quickly added. “You don’t think there’s a wild bear here in the forest, do you?”

Ryan was about to reply when he saw Louis suddenly kneeled down.

“What are you doing?” asked Ryan.

“What do you think I’m doing? I’m trying to take of this stupid tag,” said Louis, trying to force open the electronic tagging device on his right ankle.

“You want to run and leave me here, alone?” said Ryan in disbelief.

“I don’t want to die in vain in this creepy woods,” argued Louis.

“Unbelievable. Just five minutes ago you were being a nice friend,” said Ryan, sounded upset.

“Fuck, I can’t remove this shit,” said Louis, sounded desperate.

The next moment they heard the grunts getting louder.

“Ryan, you’d better run as fast as I do,” said Louis, throwing a terrified look at Ryan as they heard the sound of a big animal running towards them.

The worriedness turned into fear when Ryan saw a glimpse of a monstrous red eyes from a tree right behind them.

“Ryan, run!” cried Louis.

The next moment Ryan felt a scorching heat. It turned out that Louis had run before him.

Ryan could feel his heart beat fast as he started running. The glimpse of Nyla, throwing a longing look at him this afternoon, came into his mind. Just in a couple of minutes, he could not feel the scorching heat again and he was a jar with Louis, running towards the cabin.

“Are we safe now?” asked Ryan, gasping for breath right after Louis slammed the door behind them.

“How the fuck I know?” said Louis, sounded upset.

“Ryan, Louis, why are you here?” asked Russel, who just showed up from the kitchen, followed by Ryan’s parents.

“I quit. I’m not being anyone’s Yang, soulmate, or whatever the fuck you call it,” said Louis, throwing an angry look at Russel.

Russel looked shocked when Louis left him.

“Excuse me,” said Russel to Ryan and Ryan’s parents. “I need to purify the air surround Louis.”

Ryan spoke when Russel had gone out of sight.

“Mother, Father, it doesn’t hurt anymore!” said Ryan in amazement. “My left thigh. It doesn’t hurt anymore…”

 

===

 

“Thank you so much for helping Ryan. Your method of therapy had worked perfectly.”

Mother and Father smiled thankfully to the man sitting in front of them on the dining table.

“You’ve seen all the progress Ryan has made in the video my crew had secretly taped during his therapy,” said the man. “First he was forced to walk using the crutch to the bathroom, second he was forced to walk without the crutch in order to get home on time, third he was unconsciously forced to bend his feet during the telletubby dance, and fourth he had to run from one of my crew wearing a wild bear costume whilst holding a tape recorder.”

“We’re so happy for the result,” said Mother. “It has been a week and Ryan hasn’t felt any pain anymore.”

“I’m happy for the result too,” said the man humbly.

“The bang on the nose,” said Father afterwards. “Was it part of the plan to?”

“No it wasn’t,” said the man. “Until we saw the soon-to-be engagement ring. We thought we’d need to improvise a little bit for the sake of Ryan’s and Nyla’s future.”

The man continued when Mother and Father did not reply.

“I think that’s all,” said the man. “My job is finished. Send my regards to Ms. Nyla Hall, will you? She’d cooperated well in helping Ryan heal from his post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Mother and Father looked up when Ryan came out of his bedroom and joined in.

“Ryan, what’s the occasion?” asked Mother in amazement, looking at Ryan who was fully dressed in suits.

“I want to finish what I started,” said Ryan, taking out a maroon small box from behind his suit and smiled nervously.

“We’re so proud of you, Ryan,” said Father, moved.

Ryan then turned to the man.

“Louis, you’re still here?” said Ryan. “I thought you’d gone with Russel.”

“I felt bad about asking you to sneak out with me the other day,” said Louis. “So I thought I’d come here and come clean to your parents about it.” Louis got up from his seat and added. “I guess I should get going then.”

Louis smiled and nodded to Mother and Father.

“Louis, wait,” said Ryan, as Louis’ hand was already on the door knob.

Louis turned to look at Ryan.

“Thank you,” said Ryan.

“For what?” said Louis, puzzled.

“I don’t know, but my positivity mind just told me to thank you,” said Ryan.

Louis smiled and patted Ryan on his arm.

“Send me the wedding invitation, will you?” said Louis.

“Of course, I will,” said Ryan.

 

===

 

THE END

 

 


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