Chapter 3


I have no idea why I make myself run because it’s not something I enjoy but deep down there is this urge that makes me run. Today was different and I woke up with a need to run the extra mile this morning without care that my head was pounding, and my mind was going crazy. 

The broken record and nightmare dream last night were different. I’m not sure if it was a memory or part of my subconscious wanting to remember but it had put me off. I couldn’t sleep after I woke up drenched in sweat after 4 pm. After my run, I decided to go to work early so I can speak to my father who is also my therapist. He is the one who has listened to me for the past 10 years before he decided to adopt me.

No one came looking for me and there was never a case report of a missing 16-year-old in the city. There was an investigation made to search for my biological parents, but it went cold as time progressed. It was as if I did not exist because I was never enrolled in the local schools. I never had anything on social media that was traceable. I was or still am a moving ghost but I’m grateful that someone decided to show interest in me. 

Wayne Parker, the man I call my father. He took me as one of his own and his wife Carol is the best mother I know. I owe everything to them and that’s why being a psychologist came to be my career because I can help people just the same.

When I reached the office, my heels were clicking so loud as I was walking rapidly that I almost dropped the two foam cups of piping hot frappucinos I had in my hands. I was walking with determination and needed to speak to him. I reached for his office and knocked but there was no answer.

“Hello,” I called out, opening the door, “Dad?” I peered my head and walked in. I went to his desk with a sigh and placed his cup on the desk.

“Ki, sweetheart this is a pleasant surprise,” I turned around smiling.

“Hey, I dropped by to say hello,” I walked toward opening my arms for a hug and he took me in a big bear hug, and it felt nice. “And I need to talk to you about something,” I said, releasing my arms from the hug to look at him.

“Everything alright?” he asked, hanging his jacket on the wall and walking “One of this mine?” he added pointing at his desk.

“Yes,” I said with a weak voice before I sipped from the cup and flopped on the patient couch.

He hummed with a nod sipping his hot beverage, “I know this is not a father-daughter visit so what’s going on in that pretty head of yours this time?” He knows me too well.

“Can’t I drop by and have a chat with my dad before patients arrive?” I looked at him.

He smirked, “Then why are you sitting on the patient seat?” he asked. It’s true because I sit on the couch when I need a therapy session of my own.

“Force of habit,” he gave me a pointed look and called me out on my load of bull because he knew he was right, “Ok you a right something happened last night,” I clicked my tongue and sighed.

Every time I look at him, I’m always reminded of how safe and easy it is to open up to him. He has not changed much over the years. He was aging well with his dark brown eyes that always gave me that fatherly glint. He has an active body for a 50-year-old.

He has only worn two colors in the years I have known him. Black or navy suits, brown shoes the only thing he wears differently are his ties because mom took charge and said he needed more color in his life. I smile remembering they have never let me feel out of place from day one.

“Ki, you are zoning off again?” he said looking at me as he sat his cup down before pushing his chair to take a seat.

“My dream was different last night,” I held my cup a little tighter.

There was that silence which meant he was waiting for me to carry on as he sipped twice patiently. Very shrink of him. I do the same with my patients. I took a sip of my own and placed the cup on the table before I cleared my throat.

“I mean, the dream was the same but there was more this time. I saw two figures but couldn’t see their faces and I started to run only to collide with the wall but this time a pin didn’t drop but it was something bigger. I saw it fall but can’t seem to picture what dropped. It's like that part has been scrambled or erased. I tried to focus but before I could have a clear picture there were flashing lights and the screeching sound and then nothing.” I sighed before I held my wrist looking down. I always wrung my wrists every time I talk about my dreams. I forgot to wear my watch again. 

“You forgot to wear your watch today?” He was very observant. I simply nodded. I don’t like wearing a watch because it makes me uncomfortable.

A lot of things make me uncomfortable and it sounds silly, but he has been patient with me. The first time he got me a watch I couldn’t put it on my wrist without shaking. It was as if something in my brain was trying to click but all I ended up having was a terrible headache.

“How many hours of sleep did you get last night?” I looked at him thinking.

 “Three hours at first with the usual dream and another hour where the dream was different. I think four hours tops,” I shrugged, “What does this mean? Do you think it’s a memory?” I asked getting up before I started to pace in his office.

“Four hours of sleep is barely enough rest.”

“Yes, I know,” I said before I stopped pacing, putting my hand on my hips.

“Ki, I understand you want to remember every memory but the dreams,”

I don’t want to hear him say the following words. He is going to say it’s my subconscious trying to remember memories and that I’m projecting my dream to make it more real but in the end.

“In the end, repressed memories can make you think of dreams as real events when in fact dreams are just dreams,” and I knew all this because we have had the same conversations during our sessions whenever I had a memory or dream.

“Please, can you stop treating me like a patient now dad? I hate when you do that.” I crossed my arms with a huff.

“You are right. You are my daughter above all else,”  he smiled, looking at me, “but it’s been ten years, almost eleven since the accident and I know more than anything you want to remember. You didn’t sleep well last night with good reason. How about we talk about what kept you up last night? Tell me about your day yesterday.”

Of course, he was going to make this dream about yesterday, but my gut felt there was more to this and it was like something close at the tip of my tongue and yet so far away to grasp. 

Why couldn’t I remember more than my name if that was even my real name? How come no one reported a missing person’s case about me? Questions I will never stop asking until I know the truth. I sighed and resigned to being a patient as I walked back to sit on the couch choosing sanity over mysteries. 



I hated that once every year I had the same dream of her running into ongoing traffic. I wish I could stop dreaming about her all the time. I needed to put this whole thing behind me somehow but every time I try, I can’t seem to shake the feeling. The dream put me in a mood on top of being late which meant the chief was not going to be happy. I drove into the parking lot and was glad when I saw his car was not in the parking lot which meant that he would not notice I was late again.

“Morning Detective Pega,”

“Morning Sheila,’ I said as I walked into the station to my desk.

“PEGA!” I heard a shout and muttered under my breath, pausing hoping the shout was all in my head, “In my office now,” the chief, Romans, was in the office already.

Why the hell was his car not in the parking lot? I would have pretended to go in the locker room or evidence and come out looking as if I had started work an hour ago. I moved my feet and walked up to his office before closing the door. Not that it would help because the walls were thick and his voice was already high. Reminds me of my PE Coach. Their voice boxes were strong. 

“This is the second time you have been late in a week and not to mention behind on your work,”

“I know chief it’s all -“

“Your fault,” he interjected, “I don’t have time for this. What is happening with the Hernandez case? I got a call from the district attorney and they are on my ass because they are friends with the mayor. What have you found out so far?” He asked, looking at me while leaning behind his chair.

“I’m waiting on a lead,” I lied.

“Work faster. You have until Thursday to close this case.”

“You have to be joking, that’s barely a week?”

“Thursday, Pega,” he responded, focusing on a file he picked from his desk. He wasn’t shouting but that order was loud and clear.

“Fine Thursday,” I nodded, walking out.

“I need it before midday Thursday.”

He had to go there. Really? I spun around looking at him, “You have got to be kidding chief? I said I had a lead and I needed more time,” I continued with the lie.

“Pega, get out of my office and get working on that lead of yours. Thursday midday. This case has to be closed.” He added not looking up at me as he went back to reading his file, “Oh and if you are late again you are getting a written warning.”

I sighed with a nod and walked out without another word. I hated cases that looked like a reality show. This case was the talk of the town because rich Esther Hernandez claims her ex-boyfriend Elijah stole her car, watch, and over thirty grand that was in the glove compartment. The whole story is ridiculous and messy but it still has to be solved.

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