In a world where for some people reality is too painful to bear and dreams are as fragile as eggshells, Mia was happy to float between the two. Her world was one of waking dreams.
‘I dream with my eyes open’, she said to the doctor, who was rapidly making notes and tutting a great deal. ‘I walk with fairy folk and elves and creatures from beyond the stars.’
‘I’m sure you do Mia, I’m sure you do.’ The doctor was putting away his notebook and closing his brown leather bag. ‘I’ll give some more sleeping tablets, but only for a few days. They are addictive you know.’
Back at the surgery, Doctor Williams shook his head and spoke to his secretary in a quiet voice so as not be overheard by the usual plethora of sulky kids with buttons up their noses, pensioners who faked illness just so they could have someone to talk to and pregnant women having their blood checked for anaemia.
‘She really believes everything she says, that poor girl. I’d love to get to the bottom of what it is that is keeping her in this floating reality…something traumatic that she won’t face,’ he said.
‘Drugs I expect,’ Julia Fisher replied, ‘She’s on something. Has to be.’
‘Definitely not, I’ve examined her, talked to her, there are no track marks down her arms, I’m sure she doesn’t smoke marijuana, she’s not suicidal. No there’s something else. Something I need to get to the bottom of. Maybe I should regress her….’
‘Then she’ll tell you she was Joan of Arc or Cleopatra in a previous life or some such nonsense.’ Julia was always dismissive of anything slightly spiritual or scientifically doubtful.
‘Not that kind of regression. Not to a ‘previous life’ as you call it. Just to her childhood so we can find out what is hidden there.’
‘A couple of bodies, I expect. She probably murdered her parents and hid them in the cellar.’
‘Now who’s the fantasist?’ Dr Williams laughed.
Mia’s eyes are lightly shut but she is not asleep. ‘They don’t believe in you anymore,’ she says aloud. ‘But it’s no matter. I see you. Like little stars you shine for me and only for me. You sparkle in the night sky and fall to the ground one by one in tiny gossamer droplets of light.’
‘Help us,’ I hear you say. ‘If they stop believing in us, we’ll vanish forever.’
‘I love you,’ she replies. ‘I love you as if you were my own children.’ And the world is shining around her and there are tears in her eyes.
‘I’ll help you, I promise. Trust me.’
‘Everything that has ever happened in your life, Mia, is stored deep in your unconscious mind. Your conscious mind, however, may block these memories because they are too painful. This can give rise to mental illness and emotional disturbances. But I’m here to help you.
‘I am going to take you back to your early childhood.
‘Your eyes are closed and your eyelids are starting to relax. In a few moments, I will count rapidly from ten to one and with each number, your relaxation will increase. 10… 9… 8… Stored deeply in your unconscious mind are memories of other times and other places. 7… 6… 5… Soon you will be able to retrieve those memories and recount them…4… 3… 2… 1.
Then a strange thing happened. He realised that Mia was floating about two feet above the couch. She was surrounded by twinkling lights of silver and gold. They circled her body and then began to circle his head. Round and round they went. They played games like an aerial hide and seek, up and down they flew, now left, now right. They were making him dizzy.
‘Free us,’ they said. ‘Help us….believe…’
He remembered his conversation with Mia only the other day. ‘I walk with fairy folk and elves and creatures from beyond the stars,’ she had told him.
He hadn’t believed her. ‘It’s just a dream, a nightmare or even a hallucination,’ he had told her. But here they were all around him. And he was talking to them.
‘How can I help you?’ he asked them.
‘By believing in Mia,’ they replied.
‘I believe,’ he said and in an instant another believer had been converted and he knew that his life would never be the same.