“I always am,” she replied dryly.
“Are the nightmares still happening then?” he asked, quickly writing in his notepad, adding to her already copious amount of psych notes.
“They never end doc,” she replied, shrugging with a grim smile. He nodded, frowning down as he wrote. He flipped through previous session notes. Lucy wondered how many other drugs he could possible give her to try.
“Have you been able to re-take control this past week?” he asked. He was referring to lucid dreams, where Lucy had control.
“Only a few times, but then it's like …” Lucy trailed off, unsure what to say.
“Take as long as you like to explain,” he murmured. Lucy already knew this. No one became a psychologist without a whole lot of patience.
“Even when I'm in control, I can only pause what will happen. I can stay where I am and halt the story, but eventually I have to walk through the door,” Lucy explained.
“How does that make you feel?” he asked. Lucy fought down the urge to compare him to various sitcoms.
“It's frustrating and terrifying,” she said, pulling her arms and legs closer to herself.
“How has school been?” he asked. Lucy blinked at the subject change, but she was used to this.
“Same,” she shrugged. “Do well in most of my subjects, but my teachers still nag me. They keep saying I can do better and be something. It's parents evening tomorrow and I just know they'll say the same crap to my dad. And then he'll be on my back too, encouraging me to research careers and make a decision,” Lucy ranted, her cheeks flushing in annoyance. Dr Franklin nodded, his curly mane bopping in time.
“This night mare has been recurring for a few weeks now. When did you find out about the parents evening?” he asked.
“About three months ago, why?” she asked, confused.
“it's sounds like the two would coincide. Do you think your nightmare could be connected to your current concerns?” he asked. Lucy chewed her lower lip, thinking over what he was saying. He gave her a pointed look and she stopped. It was one of many anxiety driven habits she needed to stop. She had lost count of how many times she'd chew them to bleeding and be left with a swollen lip.
“I guess one doorway would match up with feeling like I'm being forced down a particular path by my dad. He's always encouraging me to read science journals and stuff. He's even seeing if I can do an internship at his lab for my planned gap year,” Lucy said, rolling her eyes as she said 'gap year'.
“Are you still having second thoughts about university?” He asked. Lucy hesitated, sighing and frowning a few times.
“It's not that I don't want to go to university and get a degree. I just don't know what in. I wish I could travel and see the world first, but I don't see myself managing that one,” Lucy said, another humourless laugh leaving her lips. Dr Franklin pursed his lips, glancing down at her old notes.
“You shouldn't underestimate yourself. You've come a long way. I see no reason why you couldn't travel once you finish sixth form college,” he said.
“I think I need more than a year to manage that doc,” Lucy laughed, shaking her head.
“Is there anyone at college you would like to get to know better?” he asked. Lucy thought of all the people she had encountered so far in her classes. There were a few very interesting characters. If she found the whole talking thing easier, maybe she would've done more than murmur a 'hi' or hide behind sarcastic remarks.
“There's a girl in my English Lit class,” she said, her voice wavering with caution.
“Okay then,” Dr Franklin began, readjusting his position and touching pen to paper. “Your task for this week is to make a friend. Perhaps through her you can make some more, who knows,” he said, smiling jovially. “If you discover the two of you aren't compatible, then that's fine. Just try to find someone you can talk to,” he finished.
“But I have you for that,” Lucy half-joked. He shook his head, glancing at the clock. “Do you think I should talk to my dad?” she asked. Dr Franklin hesitated, frowning.
“We have tried joint sessions before. We both agreed he was slowing your progress. I think if you want to quietly explain you have other wishes for your gap year, you should go ahead. If it goes badly, you have my mobile.”
“Thanks,” she said.