Chapter 9: A Talk With Dr. Anderson

"Good morning, Bryce," Dr. Jill Anderson said, cheerfully. Her face fell, however, when she saw the dull, exhausted look on his face. "What's wrong?"

"Nightmare," Bryce replied, yawning.

"Why don't you tell me about it?" Dr. Anderson suggested. "Now that the drug's been out of you system for a week, it may be a part of your memory is starting to resurface."

"I don't remember a lot about it," Bryce admitted. "Just fragments. There was a fire. And I was trying to find someone."

"Were you in the fire or calling from outside of it?"

"I was in it. My lungs were hurting."

"Have you been in any fires recently?"

"No," Bryce shook his head. Something painful jogged his memory, nudging it just a bit, but that was all.

"What's wrong?" Dr. Anderson asked. "You flinched for a moment. Was it a memory?"

"Sort of," Bryce said, sounding bewildered. "But not a memory of words or images."

"A memory of the feelings you had about something?"

"I try to suppress those," Bryce admitted. "But yes. I think so."

"Why do you prefer to suppress your feelings?"

"It's hard to be professional about things if I let my feelings cloud my judgement."

Dr. Anderson frowned at Bryce. "So, why not let yourself indulge a little in some emotional involvement when you're not working?"

"I should've," Bryce said, darkly. "Maybe things would've turned out differently if I had."

"What things, Bryce?"

"I'm not sure," Bryce told her.

"Something to do with the fire in your dream?"

"I think so. But I'm not sure how the feeling is connected."

"Why don't you describe the feeling?"

"It's not sadness, but it's kind of like it. Like being sorry but you did nothing wrong."


Bryce considered for a moment. He couldn't recall having felt regret in the past himself, but he had seen it played out on TV and the usual character reactions seemed close to his own. "Maybe. I'm not sure. But what would I have to regret?"

"That's something we're just going to have to wait to find out." Dr. Anderson told him.

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