The RemovedMature

After Jude had finished telling me he was also a patient of Dr. Alder's, I asked why he was there, like it was the most normal question in the world. Even though I hadn't answered him when he asked, he still gave me some insight to who he was.

"My dad thought there was something wrong with me because I didn't like spending all of my free time with him. I wanted to go out with my friends and go to parties, and when I came home drunk once, he said he'd had enough. He called my mom the next morning and they both agreed that I should go see someone. Unfortunately for me, Dallas is an old friend of the family. Doesn't that make my visits all the more special?"

It struck me as odd that he'd call his psychiatrist by her first name, but I didn't say anything about it. Instead I asked, "Does that make it weird?"

"What?" He was in the process of shredding a napkin up and hadn't heard me.

"With her being a family friend. Isn't it strange? I mean, if she's so close, wouldn't she have known your problems before you got an appointment with her?"

"My parents didn't tell her anything. That would be kind of stupid, wouldn't it?"

"But didn't your parents have to call her?"

Jude looked at me, the torn napkin forgotten. His eyes held mine for a minute before he said, "Are you trying to ruin my explanation or something? You're the one who asked for it, remember?"

I frowned. "Sorry. Go on."

He smiled, but only slightly, like he was silently thanking me for letting him continue.

"Anyway, you should have seen her face when I walked into her office. She looked like she forgot who was coming in that day. But when we started talking, she understood things very quickly. I was actually surprised, but I guess in her line of work, she got a lot of nut jobs."

I stiffened.

He blinked at me. "Oh, shit. I'm sorry, Kendall. I didn't mean it like that."

"It's okay." But it wasn't. I just didn't want him to know that.

Jude looked at me, his head tilted slightly, like he was trying to figure me out. He was going to fail with that one. Then he let out a long sigh and picked up his mug, draining his coffee.

"Listen," he said after he finished, "I'm not going to judge you or anything if you tell me your secret. It's not a big deal, really. I bet you're normal compared to some of the patients Dallas gets."

"It's not that simple," I said, though my voice was now tight, small. "If I tell you, you might get hurt."

That was when Jude laughed. When he stopped he said, "Please. How the hell can what's already happened hurt me?"

"You don't understand!" I practically shouted in his face, my vision blurring. "I can't tell you what happens because then you're going to go away."

"Wait." His eyes widened and he leaned forward. "What do you mean 'happens'? Kendall, what's going on?" He reached across the table for my hand, and I let him take it. He squeezed my fingers.

I looked up at him. I could feel the tears running down my cheeks now. I took a breath and finally told him. Then I wished I hadn't opened my mouth.

"I have dreams almost every night about killing people, only they aren't my dreams, and now I'm afraid you're going to die, too."

Before he could reply, I stood up and ran out. But something stopped me halfway out of the shop. The window, there was something taped to it. I wiped my eyes and looked at the white piece of paper. The words MISSING PERSON were typed in big, bold letters on the top of the page, and underneath was a picture. A picture of someone I knew.

The End

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