Patrick vs. David

“I can see the water underneath me. Whoops, ha ha, Patrick you are useless!” said David.

“Shut up, David! Leave me alone!” said Patrick, ‘Stop talking!”

It’s a continuous buzzing. He screams internally within himself.  David was always there, like a wasp stinging into his brain, the constant ‘chatter’ was there. He wanted to switch it off but could not.

“Have you tried mindfulness?’ asked Professor Lofney. The glasses he wore at end the of his long nose looked like a twig. He crossed his legs and sat in the chair. He looked like a regal king and had a touch of superiority with his tone that was pretentious. Patrick winced at the word mindfulness. He had tried the mindful apps like Headspace and Insight Timer but it never worked. It was the new craze that applied around a method to sit down, breathe, concentrate on the here and now. He was frustrated with being told to apply different methods which did not work on settling David down.

David wanted to play.

The darkness: fear, death, and anxiety. This made Patrick  feel sweaty. His heart would race and pound in his chest like a beating drum. Sleep was unable to come and Patrick would lie awake as David would color his attention like a blackness of thick fog that engulfed him as though it was a snake eating him.

“Hmmm. Here are some more pills. Take these instead,” said the professor as he scribbled away in his pad, admiring it as though it was a lover.

Pills, thought Patrick, that’s all he was given. Medication that he didn’t want, nor did it help David to settle down.

Patrick left the Professor’s office and threw the pills in the wastebasket. Patrick met the professor every week, but never felt any better. David could not be controlled.


“Hello Patrick,” she said.

It wasn’t Professor Lofny.

“My name is Susan.”

Patrick looked at her. She didn’t wear a white coat or had a notepad. But was wearing jeans and sat with her legs crossed wearing trainers.

“I can see how you look bothered. Your face looks worn out and tired.” she said.

Patrick hadn’t been sleeping for days. David kept him awake.

“What is troubling you?” she asked.

Patrick didn’t understand, hadn’t she looked at the professor’s notes?

“My notes…” stammered Patrick.

“Oh those… I chucked them in the bin. Your Professor if you may know was called Chunk. Chunk, was his real name.”

Patrick could hear David inside him laughing.

“So I am here for you if you want to share, or if you don’t then that is OK. Oh yes, and you don’t need to call me professor.” she said smiling.

She was grinning. The professor never looked happy. Only when he was writing with his pen into the pad.

“I…feel… worried all the time, flustered…and nauseous…”

“It must be difficult to cope with.”

‘Yes it is. David distracts me all the time.” he accidently blurted out. Damn it!

“Who is David?”

Patrick didn’t say anything, he just sat there in shock. David laughed inside so loud, he could hear him. His palms grew sweaty.

‘She thinks you are loony’ said David inside his mind.

“Patrick, be honest with yourself. I know that you can hear David inside your head, but he isn’t real, Patrick. He died along time ago do you remember?”

Patrick sat there and could hear David laughing inside his head.

“STOP LAUGHING!” he screamed.

“It was an accident, Patrick. David slipped and fell off the bridge. You tried to save him.”

David had been messing around on the Millennium Bridge. He wasn’t thinking about what he was doing. Patrick had tried to grab his hand but couldn’t reach it in time.  Patrick could see David’s body like a sack of potatoes floating on the river Thames. There had been flashes of blue light and people screaming. He was only eleven years old.

“Let the guilt go. You are now thirty years old. It’s the past and David has gone. Let him go. Why do you keep blaming yourself for his death?” Susan asked.

“He was my best friend, my only friend.” Patrick started to cry. “We grew up together. He was always there for me. He still is.”

Patrick wiped his tears away.

“I didn’t mean to let go off his hand.”

“I know Patrick. It wasn’t your fault. This is the first step you have made towards the road to recovery.”

Patrick walked out of the room rubbing the tears from his eyes. He could no longer hear David inside his head. He felt the loss and grief of his friend going away. He was now truly alone but onto mending from the trauma that he had kept hidden from everyone for so many years.

Written by Tavinder Kaur New – London Essex

Feature Photo by Ralph Rabago

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