Richard just sat there, scratching his head. He fixed his eyes on the laces of his shoes, and had already decided he wasn’t going to look up for a while. He could feel his ears start to get really hot and he was overcome with the urge to swallow. Some sweat was starting to bead on his forehead. He swallowed again, and just kept scratching his head.
“Richard!” Said Dr Lewis; her voice sounding a bit too much like a frustrated school teacher. She had been treating this poor, confused man for long enough to know he needed a few minutes to deal with his embarrassment, but she was not feeling very generous today. Richard’s story frustrated her so much. “I get that you’re feeling some shame and some guilt but I’ve warned you for so long about this kind of behaviour.”
“I don’t know what I was thinking, actually. People seem so fake, so self-righteous; walking around like they are better than everyone, and if they are Christians, they are the worst!”
“Richard, what you did was horrible! How could doing something like that actually benefit some weird, sick, agenda? I’ve never seen you like this! To be honest, I’ve not even seen the slightest inclination in all our session together that would suggest you could do something like this!”
What had started out as an act of principle, now seemed to have taken a rather dramatic turn. People were so fake; with their smiles, and their neat clothes, hiding what was really underneath. Add all the thoughts about Christmas, that all seemed so fake too, and all he could see around him was a giant theatrical show of fake people living fake lives, spending money they probably didn’t have to celebrate something that they can’t seem to fight against, and they were like sheep! He could feel the anger rise.
“What I did was expose the truth!” Richard’s voice was starting to get a bit too loud for the size of the room they were in. “I did them all a favour! Now they can see that people are all just walking lies, that spend time with other liars, living this life that is paid for with plastic cards to impress people they don’t even like!”
“Richard; so you thought inviting people to a Christmas party and presenting each one with a card containing the most intimate details of the other people at the table, was a clever idea? What exactly did you expect might happen? Oh my goodness, I’m shocked all over again!” Dr Lewis ran her fingers through her hair and shook her head almost violently from side to side. She forgot her hair was tied up and pulled a handful of her mousy brown hair loose from the hair clip. Now wasn’t the time to be concerned about how she looked. She stopped pacing and looked up. She was angry. Her hands were in fists now and she felt her nails pinching the skin in her palms. She knew how hard it was for people to deal with their ‘sins’; how guilty people can be and how long it can take to deal with something, or even to forget, and here, a man she thought was always very pleasant, was just so hurt himself that it seemed quite okay to hurt someone else. She actually felt ashamed of herself for having liked him.
Richard was now standing up straight, again believing in what he had done, despite the rebuke Dr Lewis was spewing at him from behind that now messy hair. He started to wonder if she saw truth in what he was saying but was too afraid to admit it!
“People have taken years to deal with some of those things you just threw back in their faces! Years of pain and regret; even struggling to forgive themselves and other people! Years!” Dr Lewis felt herself spit as she spoke but she didn’t care. “Why would you do this to them!” She could feel the tears start to well up in her eyes but she wasn’t going to make any effort to stop herself from crying.
Richard suddenly felt a strange emotion coming over him. His voice came out almost like a squeak. “I just wanted these people to know they’re not as perfect as they pretend”.
To be continued…