Daley’s Eight 13

Lutrosnjak was a tiny island, less than a half mile in diameter, really no more than a hill sticking out of the sea. It had no beaches, only a steep, rocky shore on all sides. The ground was covered in grass and shrubbery and had nothing taller than a few stunted trees.

Timothy had walked every square inch of the island numerous times. How could he not? He had spent four years on this rock, his own private St. Helena, only smaller – in proportion to his importance. His mother had built a grand villa, complete with all the amenities, including running water and electricity via generator. He had regular visitors, but he wasn’t allowed to leave.

The man approaching him was Dr. Gonzalez. He was a pudgy, bald man with dark hair and eyes and deeply tan skin that Timothy could only envy. He was well into his forties and moved with short, hasty steps, taking his hat within his hand as he walked due to the winds from the sea that blew hard across the bare island. Dr. Gonzalez had a comforting, agreeable manner, and he was well regarded for his ability to get even his most introverted and stubborn patients to open up to him. Timothy, however, had been an altogether different challenge for him.

Timothy was fair and slender, with a boyish face, narrow eyes, and a slight, haughty smile. His body was lightly bronzed and hairless, and he had the look of a swimmer, partly due to him spending many hours swimming circuits around the island every day.

Timothy waited until Dr. Gonzalez was within reach before he sprang to life. A full smile spread across his face, and he leaned towards the psychologist, staring at him eagerly and reaching out his hand for a shake.

“It’s so great to see you, Hector. I see your doing well. That diet looks like it’s really paying off,” Timothy said.

“That’s what my wife said. I’m liking it myself too,” Dr. Gonzalez said as he stepped onto the porch and out of the sun. It was sheltered from the wind, and he had a chance to smooth his thin but disordered hair.

“I’ll go put something on while you sit down,” Timothy said as he turned toward the front door of his house.

“No need, no need at all,” the psychologist said. “I’m not really here for a proper session. In fact, you already had your last session the day before yesterday, your last session with me that is.”

“Your not leaving me, doctor? No one could ever replace you. This connection you and I have and all the progress we’ve made, it’s transformed my life. You’ve been like a savior to me.”

“Well thank you,” Dr. Gonzalez said, “It’s been great working with you too. However, it’s you who’s leaving me.”

At this point, Dr. Gonzalez pulled Timothy’s passport and an envelope with cash and a plane ticket out of his pocket, and he handed it to him.

“You’ll want to continue therapy when you return home, of course. Though you and I have found our way through the most difficult steps, therapy is a life-long process, and I think you will continue to benefit from weekly or even just biweekly sessions for the next few years. I can give you some references. I know a great therapist who teaches at Johns Hopkins, which isn’t too far from where you are. So, I’ll –”

The psychologist was cut off in the middle of his sentence when Timothy reached out and embraced him in a firm hug. Tears were streaming down his cheeks, and he’d been barely listening to the psychologist’s words.

As soon as he pulled away, Timothy said, “I’m sorry. That was too forward of me. We haven’t reached that level of intimacy, but I was just caught up in the moment.”

“No apologies necessary. We’ve been through a lot together. Right now, you should just go in and pack. I’ll give you a ride back to the mainland, and we can then arrange you a taxi to the airport.”

“Yes, thank you,” Timothy said, and he ran inside, walking up to the second floor where his bedroom was. He was quickly changed and packed. He only packed a small carry-on bag, since he knew that everything that belonged to him would be shipped back home for him or he would just buy something new to replace it (that was always the way it was whenever he travelled).

He walked down the stairs in a light shirt and slacks, wearing a hat just like the the doctor’s and rolling a small suitcase behind him.

“Lead the way, doctor,” Timothy said with a huge smile on his face, and they walked down to the dock.

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