‘I understand why you might be embarrassed to tell Dr Andy, Tobias,’ his mother had been saying in various different ways, ‘but why can’t you tell me or your father?’
Tobias was sat in the same spot on one of the two sofas that were placed in the living room, in almost exactly the same position as he had been for just over an hour now. Over the constant whisper of the Voices – which had not taken a break since the outcry earlier – Tobias tried to home in on what was being said in the kitchen, the conversation between Dr Andy and Tobias’ father, obviously regarding the current medical or maybe psychological situation.
Tobias had barely been listening to his mother repeat herself again and again, and although he was giving her no signals of either wanting to answer or intending to answer, she continued to question him in this repetitive manner.
Woven into the endless stream of what was now almost inaudible noise being produced by the Voices, Tobias occasionally heard them warn him not to share any of the information they had imparted upon him. Even if he wanted to, there wouldn’t have been much to share, so he didn’t understand their desperation to keep their host silent.
‘Look, I know this isn’t the same as the last time you had nightmares, and you’re scared to think about it, let alone talk about it, but please darling, if you maybe just talk to us, get it off your chest … you could feel so much better about it.’
There was a long pause whilst Tobias tried not to give in to him mother’s sympathetic tone of voice. It was almost as if she was trying to evoke some feeling of guilt in her son, but Tobias was not letting the feeling wash over him.
‘I just think that if you maybe talk to us, we can help, like we did last time.’
Tobias spoke now, eager to end the interrogation.
‘It’s not the same as last time.’
‘I know, honey, but maybe the same techniques can help…’‘It’s not the same at all!’ Tobias screamed at his mother, as if she were responsible for the Voices in his head. Jumping to his feet, he pushed her angrily out of his way, as she had been perched only a foot away on the edge of the coffee table. Tobias ignored his father and Dr Andy as they appeared from the kitchen, eager to know what the fuss was about. Tobias stomped up the stairs, letting his anger drain out of his body and be replaced with unexplained tears. His parents didn’t understand, and they never could. The Voices were right. He couldn’t tell anybody. He wouldn’t tell anybody.