By Matt Shaner
“You need to revisit the situation,” my therapist says. He has a son who attends USC Film School. He sells his son the stories of his clients. “You need to go back with the authority you have now.”
He also records his sessions. I found the recorder hiding on his desk one day while he was in the bathroom.
So, mentally, I take myself to the living room of the old house. My parents argue. I’m standing there, four years old, watching. They yell about divorce.
“What are you doing here?” the younger version of me asks. My parents do not notice.
“I’m revisiting the situation.” He thinks for a second.
“So I can own it.”
“You can’t. It’s mine,” he says. He’s starting to intimidate me.
“We’re the same person.”
“No. You are much different.” The volume of the argument increases. Something is thrown.
“Can I do anything to help you?” I’m grasping at straws here.
“Just don’t hurt me anymore,” he says. The word AFFAIR bounces off the living room walls.
“Get out,” he says.
“I’m sorry.” I want to hug him. I want to tell him it’s all a mistake. I want to apologize for all the pain.
“Just go.” He hangs his head.
A year later, I see this same situation in a blockbuster movie. The kid looks nothing like me. I sit in the theater and realize that; maybe, the pain wasn’t mine all along.
Matt Shaner is a writer from Reading, PA. He has thirteen short stories online including one published in Issue 3 of Clockwise Cat (The Offer). His novella, The Ancient Ones, was published in January by R.S. Publishin