I was 10 minutes early, as usual. I saw her come in and was led to the semi-private booth where I was at the side of the cafe. She looked like she could use a few more pounds to her lanky frame. Dark glasses, white shirt, dark jeans, loafers. Nothing out of the ordinary, until you see her eyes. People could drown there.
“I want you to tell my story.”
That was her request when she first called me a couple of weeks ago. Being in this line of work, I know that everybody has a story to tell. She is no different, but who am I to judge. Today, it’s her turn to be heard.
“I’m pretty fucked up in the head,” she started calmly, lighting up a cigarette in the process. For the umpteenth time, I wonder why the people I meet are mostly chain smokers.
She told me she started seeing an analyst when she was 19, about the time her parents split up. Her mother had been a successful lawyer and her father had his own IT company. It turned out that her mother had asked for the divorce, she was having an affair with a judge. And the dad retaliated by going off with a girl 20 years his junior.
“She was about my brother’s age, you know.” Ever since I started this job I’ve thought that the problems of an upper middle class KL family may seem a bit too far fetched sometimes. But they actually happen to people.
I let her talk for almost an hour when she paused, to reflect maybe. The silence was not uncomfortable and I left her with her thoughts while contemplating whether we should continue or not. She made the choice for me when her phone rang and she ended the call with “I’ll see you shortly.”
After she left, I stayed in my seat, pondering on what she have said so far. And her statement about being mentally screwed seem like an exaggeration because she seemed to be lucid and fully aware of what she was saying. But the scars told a different story. Physical or otherwise.
I wonder if my boss had assigned me to her because of my background. But then, he’s just likely to give it to someone else if he thought that person could do a better job of it. I hate the fact that I feel like I have to keep proving my worth to the company even when I don’t need to, when my work alone could speak for me.
I drove back to the office still thinking about the young woman. A follow-up interview would be needed to put everything together and a final meeting for clarification purposes.