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Olivia's Nightmares

Lesa Hayes


 

 

Olivia stared at the tall building, debating whether or not she should enter.  She hated this place and had only agreed to come here once a week because she knew how much it meant to Todd.  She inhaled deeply and made her way inside the cold steel building.  She felt her pulse racing at unhealthy rates when she stepped inside the elevator and watched the numbers as they went up, delivering her destination.  She didn't know why she always got so nervous.  She was usually a pretty confident person, but there was something about Dr. Klauss that made her feel uneasy.  Perhaps it was that she always had a way of telling Olivia how wrong she was.  Criticism was not something that Olivia took very well, especially from another female.
            "Dr. Alyssa Klauss, please,"  she managed to squeek out when she approached the receptionist.
            "Oh yes.  Olivia.  It will only be a minute, if you'll just have a seat,"  replied the pleasant older woman seated behind a large circular desk.
            Olivia had just managed to get to a plush seat when she was called back. 
            "Wow!" she thought to herself, "That was fast.  Usually that woman makes me wait for at least half an hour."
            "Olivia!  Its so good to see you again!"  Dr. Alyssa Klauss pleasantly greated her patient,  "I guess I didn't realize that this was an individual meeting, I thought for sure that Todd would be here as well."  Alyssa commented, sounding rather disappointed. 
            "No.  Its just me.  Couples therapy is on Wednesdays, remember?"  Olivia retorted, quite snappily.  This was yet another reason Olivia did not trust her doctor.  Alyssa never came right out and said it, but Olivia always thought that the good doctor was harboring feelings Todd, her boyfriend of two years.  She always had a way of asking about him that made Olivia feel uneasy.
           
            "Oh yes.  My schedule is so busy I tend to forget my days!  It was just such a fast, furious weekend, ya know?  Oh what am I saying," she laughed, "enough about me!  It is too bad that its not a Wednesday though, there were a few things I had been thinking about regarding the two of you and I would like it if both of you were present, but I understand!  Now, where were we....oh yes...the nightmares.  Are you still having them?"
           
            "Yes, actually I am.  And, although I don't necessarily agree with it, I have been taking the pills you have perscribed rather religiously and I must say, I think that the problem has worsened.  I have these horrible dreams about Todd and I nearly every night.  And although I try not to let it interfere with our relationship, they feel so real that I can't help it.  Its like I can't tell what is real and what is fantasy any longer."  Olivia explained.  Although it was usually difficult to come to the sessions at first, after they started discussing the dreams the thoughts just seemed to flow out of her.  They were very disturbing dreams, often very violent, involving her and her boyfriend Todd.
           
            "Hmmm.  That is strange.  I really thought they would work this time.  Can you recall, with very much detail, what your last dream was like?"  The doctor questioned.
           
            "Well, you know, they're all pretty much the same, just different settings.  This time I was at my parents old house, the one I grew up in.  It must have been like a holiday or something, because we were in the dining room, sitting at the table and in the center of the table was a huge turkey.  But it was strange, because none of my family was there.  It was just Todd and I, sitting across from one another, staring at the monster of a turkey.  I had the knife, and it appeared as though I was going to carve the turkey for us.  I was headed for the turkey, then all of a sudden, I snapped.  I lunged at him and held the knife to his throught.  I did not act quick enough though, as he still had time to put up a struggle.  Once again, I did not actually follow through with the murder.  I woke up, with Todd laying on top of me, restraining me.  I hadn't realized it, but I was attempting to strangle him in his sleep..."  Olivia trailed off, feeling quite ashamed of her actions.
           
            "Is Todd okay?!"  Alyssa blurted out, then catching herself, added, "I mean, neither one of you were hurt, correct?"
           
            "Yeah.  Everything was fine, physically anyway.  But of course, my actions started a huge fight.  I can't necessarily say that I blame him, I just wish he would understand.  I don't know what is wrong with me.  I love him, so why is this happening?"  Olivia's voice trembled as she tried to hold back the tears.
           
            "Well, maybe Todd really isn't the one for you.  Have you ever considered that you are only holding on to him for security?  Maybe its time to let go."  She offered.
           
            Olivia was agahst at this comment.  "What?!"  She blurted, "That's your advice?  I just told you, I love him.  I dont' want anything else.  This is why I hate coming here.  It just doesn't feel like you really listen to what I am saying!"  By this time Olivia was outraged and didn't care who knew.
           
            "Okay, Okay.  I'm sorry"  Alyssa tried to consule her, "It was just a suggestion.  Seeing your reaction to this particular suggestion lets me realize that your feeling are quite genuine."  Alyssa glanced quickly at the clock hanging on the farside of the room.  "Well, Olivia, it seems as though our time is almost up.  I'm sorry we haven't come to any real clear conclusions, but I do have something that I think may help you.  The pills I gave you last time were quite weak.  There are some new ones out, that are extremely potent."
           
            "I'll try anything!"  Olivia stated, with a look of desperation in her eyes.
           
            "Okay.  Well, its not that easy.  There are some undesireable side effects that may curb your eagerness.  They help you sleep incredibly well, and may prove to be helpful regarding your numerous nightmares.  Many who take the drug report that they do not remember anything during the night, yet feel quite refreshed in the morning."  She explained.
           
            "So?  It sounds like a miracle drug to me!"  Olivia exclaimed.
           
            "Well, you know Olivia, its not a cure.  Its only a temporary solution, and it can be quite addictive." 
           
            "Well.  I'm willing to take that chance.  If only for a while, you know?  I mean, I'm a wreck.  I need the sleep."
           
            Alyssa sighed heavily.  "Okay, if you insist."  She readily wrote out the perscription to Olivia, neglecting to tell her about the worst side effect.  Many patients who took this new drug also reported disturbing bouts of sleepwalking.  Since they were completely knocked out, they really didn't know what they were doing and often woke up in strange places.
           
           
 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
           
            Olivia was back at her home, staring at the mysterious wonder drug, contemplating whether or not she had gone too far when the phone rang.  She glanced over at the caller ID and her knees instantly went weak.  It was Todd.  She was shocked to see his name on the screen because they had previously agreed that they both needed a break from one another.  Well, actually it was all his idea.  He was having a hard time dealing with her emotional issues.  She merely agreed to be apart from one another because she was willing to do anything to please him at this point.
           
            "Hello?"  She answered nonchalantly, as if it wasn't obvious that she was elated to hear from him.
           
            "Oh, hey Olivia.  Ummm its Todd."  he nervously replied, making the situation even more awkward than it already was.
           
            "Yeah, I know," she laughed back nervously, "So....what's going on?"
           
            "Well, Olivia, I was just, uh, wondering, uh, I know we said we'd take a break for a while, but umm I thought maybe you would like to join me for dinner tonight.  I know its short notice, but uh..."
           
            "Sure!"  She exclaimed, not even letting Todd finish his rambling.  "What time should I be there?"
           
            "Um I'll come get you at seven thirty.  Its within walking distance.  Giavonni's on 3rd.  So, I guess I'll see you then!"
           
            "Um, yeah, sure!  See ya then!"  Olivia was in shock.  She could not believe her good fortune.  She saw this as a sign that Todd definately wanted her back.  As it was already 6:45, she hurridly made her way to her closet to find something to wear.  She settled on a little black dress that he had always liked and waited patiently for his arrival.
           
            ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
           
            As she and Todd walked down the sidewalk at a steady clip, Olivia tried to put the last ten minutes of events into perspective, but thinking about it only caused her head to throb and the tears in her eyes to well up once more.  She had thought that tonight would be a great night.  Todd had asked her out to dinner, the same restaurant that they had met at two years ago on their blind date.  They had hit it off immediately, never spending a day apart since then.  This is why Olivia was so perplexed when Todd did not proclaim his never ending love to her tonight.  What actually happened was, in fact, the complete opposite.  He was ending it.  He would be moving to Chicago in a week, alone.  He was offered a job at a powerful firm there and accepted it.  He wanted, no, as he put it, needed, to start his life over.  Oliva's world, as she knew it, came to a startling halt.  She thought she had known it all, about her life that is.  Now, with a single sentence from his lips, she felt as though she no longer knew anything about herself.  The only thing she now knew was the fact that she was no longer the same person she was fifteen minutes ago, and never would be again. 
           
           
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
           
            It had only been a short walk to her door, but it felt as if she had been walking for ages.  Time was moving so fast, yet so slow, and her mind was trying to keep pace, but was going out of control.  Todd softly brushed her soft ash blonde hair out of the way with his gentle hands and kissed her sweetly on her forehead, then without a word, turned and disappeared into the darkness of the night.  He had decided on going home the long way this evening, to clear his head and try to make sense of his new life.  He needed a walk and the clear summer night was perfect.  The night sky seemed perfectly inviting, shining brightly with the stars and moon, not a cloud in sight.  As he walked, he reminded himself that what he did was in everyone's best interest.  It had to be done, though it was hard.  They had grown apart.  Olivia was an emotional rollercoaster that Todd, try as he may, could never tame.  Nothing he said ever helped, only furthered her rage.  It was taking its toll on his mental health as well.  She had dreams at night.  Crazy, wild dreams that would leave her either screaming in pain, or wandering from his bed.  She was a very prideful person, insisting nothing was wrong, and had refused to see their couples counselor with an open mind, telling Todd that she was a quack and wasn't helping their relationship anyway.  After long private discussions with Alyssa, their psychiatrist, he had decided that it was time to let go.  Alyssa had convinced him that Olivia was a lost case.  The best thing was to let her sort through her own problems on her own.  He figured that by ending it, she would feel better in the long run, and he would as well. 
           
            Olivia only stood there, dumbfounded and facing her door.  Hot tears finally escaped from her eyes, searing her cheeks on their way down.  She stood for what seemed like hours, trying not to think about what just happened.  She stood on her stoop for so long she didn't even realize what was going on around her. 
           
            Olivia woke up, several hours later, in a luke warm bathtub in her upstairs bathroom, surrounded by puddles of wax and a lingering scent of lavender from her candles.  It was already morning.  How could this be?  What happened?  She slowly started to wake up, hoping that the following night had only been a dream, she soon realized that was not the case and gingerly crawled out of the cool tub and lethargically made her way towards her bedroom.  She collapsed into her luxurious bed.  There was no way she would be able to go to work today.
           
            This is where, for the next week and a half, Olivia spent most of her time.  She would trudge to the bathroom when it was neccessary, and very early in the morning she would find herself in an almost dreamlike state in her kitchen binging on everything in sight as if she was a mad wolf.  This was her life now.
           
            Olivia woke with a start to the sounds of her telephone ringing off the hook and loud knocks at her front door.  She started with the phone, since it was closer to the bed and required a lesser amount of movement on her part.
           
            "Hello?"  She groggily answerd.
           
            "Baby!  Oh my baby!  You are alive, thank heavens!!"  Shouted her estatic mother into the reciever, causing Olivia to hold it far from her sensitive ear, all of the sleep she had gotten had given her a massive headache
            .
            "What is wrong with you, woman!  Of course I'm alive!!  What do you want?"  She snapped at her mother.  She was extremely irritated and didn't want to deal with her mother at this point.
           
            "I was just watching the news the other night and I got so concerned!  Oh dear, you must be a wreck!"  Her mother continued on, ignoring her daughter's comments.
           
            Olivia became incresingly frustrated with her mother's unrelenting rambling.  "I'm confused," she said, "call me back after you've taken your medication and can talk like a reasonable adult."  There was a brief pause at the other end of the line that seemed like ages.
           
            "Oh my....you don't know, do you?"  Her mother softly replied.
           
            "Know what?  Well, I probably don't know much of anything, I've been living in my own coccoon of self sympathy for the past week."
           
            "Oh, so you do know??  I'm confused...." 
           
            "You're confused?!  Know WHAT?!  What is going on?!"  By this time Olivia was beside herself and unable to control her already fragile emotions.
           
            "Well, Todd had been missing from work for the past few days.  No one knew where he was, there was a report filed.  They were able to search his apartment and finally Todd's body was found burried within his clothes on the floor of his closet.  He was completely disfigured.  Its so sad.  But I'm so relieved to finally talk to you, I've been calling you nonstop, just praying you'll answer.  I knew you two were always together and I just have been worried out of my mind. .." She sobbed almost incoherently.
           
            Olivia just sat there, stunned.  She couldn't believe it.  This couldn't be happening.  She hung up the phone, took a handfull of pills left over from her therapy sessions, and fell into a deep sleep again.  If this was reality, she didn't want any part of it.
           
            She awoke, yet again, to the sound of people attempting to take her door down by knocking so hard.  This time, she dragged her body, still a little doped up, down the stairs to the front door.  She glanced out the peep hole, as a matter of habit and was shocked at what she saw.  There were three men in blue suits and sunglasses standing outside her door.  Slightly nervous at the sight, she cautiously opened the door. 
           
            "Can I help you?"  She asked.
           
            "Yes ma'am, my name is detective Stone" the officer said flashing his badge, "I'd like to ask you a few questions if I could."
           
            "Uhh...Sure, come on in"  She said as she slowly opened the door for the men.  "Have a seat."  She offered as they entered the room.
           
            "You had relations with Mr. Todd Wilkins, did you not?"
           
            "Yes.  He was my boyfriend for two years, why?"
           
            "You've no doubt heard of what's happened.  We knew you two were very close and that you were together the night of his death.  We would like to know what you did after your meeting with the victim."
           
            "Well, he walked me to my door at about 9:30 p.m.  Then I came inside and took a warm bath to calm my nerves.  I took a couple of the pills my doctor had given me, to help me sleep at night, and I must have passed out in my bathtub.  I woke up the next morning at about 7:30 a.m.  I then dressed and went back to my room and slept some more.  I've not been out of my house ever since."  She failed to mention the large amount of pills she had taken, resulting in memory blanks.
           
            "Are you sure about that?  Your neighbors have reported to us that they have seen you wandering around late at night.  We also found a scrap of clothing, that does not match the victim's, within the swarm of clothes surrounding the victim's body.  We were hoping we could have a look at your closet."
           
            Olivia was stupified.  But, how could this be?  She had slept so soundly, the pills were doing wonders.  She didn't think she was sleep walking anymore.
            "Uhhh...sure...come on up stairs...."  The men followed her to her bedroom and into her huge walk in closet.
           
            "Witnesses at the restaurant claim you were wearing a black cocktail dress the night you met Todd.  May we see that dress?"
           
            "Yes, if I can find it."  She was in such a daze that night that she didn't even remember taking her clothes off and climbing into the tub.  She searched the bed room, to no avail.  She then went into the bathroom, looking in the clothes hamper.  There it was, crumpled at the bottom, a horrid smell escaped the hamper after being trapped for so long. 
            "Olivia gasped in horror at the sight, while the three men held their jackets to their noses to protect themselves from the putrid scent.
           
            "But, but...."She stammered, "It can't be possible!  I must have been framed, I don't recall....!"
           
            "I think this is all the evidence we need ma'am, to book you on charges."  The officer began to read Olivia her rights and slapped a pair of cuffs on her as she sobbed violently.
           
            The next day the story was printed in the town paper.  Olivia had been charged with murder, and it was quite obvious she would not be let off.  By reviewing the evidence, it was quite clear to most people that she had commited the crime.  She definately had a motive.  The soiled dress had sealed her fate.  After a short trial, she would be locked away forever.  After a period of time, even Olivia had convinced herself that she must have been the murderer.  There was no doubt that justice had been served
           
            Alyssa smugly set the paper down.  She did not know how to feel.  She was off the hook, that was for sure, for Olivia, and the rest of the world, knew she was crazy.  No fault but her own, and her own screwy head.  Still, Alyssa felt some pangs of guilt.  True, it had been Olivia that killed Todd and not Alyssa.  But Olivia was not crazy.  It was the pills that Alyssa perscribed to her that made her crazy and black out.  Alyssa had hoped that these pills would only drive Todd away from Olivia, hopefully into Alyssa's open arms, not kill him.  Oh well, she sighed.  You can't win 'em all I guess.
           


 
            Acknowledgments:  I would like to thank Terry Heller and the rest of my Creative Writing class this semester for giving me lots of new ideas and recomendations.  I would also like to thank my roommates for all of their help.  Thanks for listening to my crazy stories!  I would also like to thank my boyfriend, who gave me lots of ideas and listened to me read out loud many times.


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