Chapter 01: Karim
“In what ways would the world be different if you hadn’t been born?”
“I don’t know.”
“Come on Karim, give it a little thought.”
Karim stared at him for a minute then sighed.
“I have no idea.”
“I cannot help you if you don’t try a little harder. We talked about this.”
He put his glasses back on and wrote down few notes.
“You write something every time I don’t ‘participate’.”
He kept on writing, paying no attention to Karim.
“I’m miserable, doc’!”
He let go of the pen then removed his glasses.
“Why is that, Karim?”
“I’ll never be good enough to anyone.”
“You shouldn’t say that.”
“Why not? It’s true. I’m only a disappointment to everyone around me.”
“I think you’re exaggerating a little. A lot.”
“That’s what they all tell me.”
“Maybe they have a point. I mean, maybe you should try to trust a little more. Maybe try to be a little more confident or see things from a different perspective. A more optimistic perspective.”
“They tell me that too.”
Karim stood up and started walking around the room under his observing eyes.
“It’s not like I’m not trying, you know? Actually, I don’t know. I’m just giving up.”
He looked at his patient.
“We all have these moments. I promise you that it will pass.”
Karim nodded as he looked at the huge bookshelves surrounding the office. He stared at him for a moment, trying to keep the conversation going.
“It’s a technique I learned.”
Karim turned to him.
“What? What technique?”
“I pretend to take notes and you immediately start talking. And you spill out whatever’s on your mind.”
“What other techniques do you use on me?”
“Ah plenty, but like a good magician, I must never reveal my tricks. I already jeopardized a lot by telling you this small secret.”
They both laughed. His phone beeped. He looked at it.
“Well our time is up for today, but I want you to think about what I asked you earlier.”
He stood up as Karim came closer to him.
“How the world would be different if you weren’t born?”
“A happier place, probably.
Karim had the saddest smile on his face.
“Good night, doc’. Drive safe.”
He watched as Karim left the room defeated. He probably shouldn’t have said that. He should never have given him the opportunity to end on a bad note
“I’m expecting you at 8 on Friday.”
“Of course. I wouldn’t miss it, you know that. See you then!”
Karim left the room as the shrink took a breath of relief. Suicide postponed. At least until Friday.
He sat behind his desk.
Done for the day but he just wasn’t ready to go home. He opened one of his drawers and took out his favorite Scotch. He took the remote and turned on his stereo. And as Jazz started to play, he started to drink.
He drank to the tunes and never got up until hours later. He put everything back in order and stood by the window.
“How the world would be different if I hadn’t been born?”
He thought about that for a moment and as he looked at the view from the twentieth floor, the lights went out all over the city.
“Midnight. Right on queue” he mumbled. “Better head home then.”
End of Chapter 01