tagMind ControlHypnothe-Rapist: Starr Scores Ch. 07

Hypnothe-Rapist: Starr Scores Ch. 07

bySmokey125©

To every gentleman in need of female companionship and affection...your dream doctor. Literally.

***Dr. Angela Starr: The Hypnothe-Rapist***

SS44: STARR SCORES VII—"Divorce Awakens"

***

January 16th, 3:23 p.m.

HEY HEY STARR! LAST CHERUB OF THE DAY HAS JUST LANDED AT OUR DOOR. NEWBIE: MR. SEAN MCMANUS. FILLING OUT HIS FORM RIGHT NOW. ID AND INSURANCE XEROXED, JUST NEED YOUR O.K. TO SEND HIM BACK.

THANKS, NICE LADY!! JUST FINISHING UP WITH MR. BROCKWELL RIGHT NOW, SO AS SOON AS HE COMES OUT TO SCHEDULE HIS NEXT APPT., MR. MCMANUS CAN SWING RIGHT ON BY!

ROGER THAT, STARR-FISH.

OH, AND P.S., P.S. YOU'RE THE BEST.

I KNOW.

Paula minimized the IM window and peeked over her monitor to where Mr. Sean McManus sat filling out his new patient form. He'd wisely arrived ten minutes before his scheduled appointment, ample time for everything to be squared away: Dr. Angela Starr finishing up with her current appointment, Paula doing her thing behind the recep desk and the ever so polite Brits on the waiting room TV's public broadcast programming sipping their tea and munching their crumpets.

He finished the form with about three to four minutes to spare. He didn't feel much like watching the television. There was a pretty decent and varied assortment of magazines around, but he didn't exactly have a huge urge to pick up one of them either. He had difficulty imagining anything could cheer him up right now. As Paula had greeted him when he came in, she thought it might have just been her, but sensed something was troubling him. She was semi-accustomed to seeing clients—new and returning—at less than their best, but even so, this gentleman appeared a bit more under the mental weather than most.

Proper office etiquette of course prevented her from indulging her curiosity, but she wasn't wrong. Sean McManus had come into the office on this day looking particularly sad and downtrodden because he was. Paula was willing to wager something was eating at him, having a hunch about these things, and it sometimes plagued her wondering what sort of maladies the more crestfallen, downcast individuals grappled with. Sometimes her curiosity almost got the better of her. But, she had signed on to be the receptionist here, a position which did not grant her the perk of client privity. So oftentimes, just to satisfy her interest, she found herself making up stories in her mind about the patients, which she was simply obliged to keep to herself.

In a case like this, however, Sean McManus got her more curious than normal. She wasn't the therapist, she knew her place in the clinic, but one quality Angie and Paula had shared since the beginning was a sincere concern for the patients' collective well-being. It was a point on which Paula stood adamantly, bringing it up herself to Angela in their initial interview five years ago, and one of the persuasive traits that swayed Angela her way and asked if she could please start the following Monday.

At the same time, her curiosity regarding patient conditions more often than not simply dissipated without being satisfied. Which was fine; she'd seen dozens and dozens of folks waltz their way into the clinic, right past her down the hall to see the wizardess, and she could barely if ever remember any patients not emerging feeling better. There'd never been any question about it—as Paula reminded herself time and time again, the Starr had a true gift of brilliance. After six years in the therapeutic arts, she'd gotten fairly famous around town. City-wide, Angie's powers of healing could by this point be considered almost legendary. So Paula told herself not to worry too much about Mr. McManus; she was certain he'd be okay a couple of hours later, or at least bucked up a little.

Finally at 3:28, Mr. Jim Brockwell strutted his stuff back out towards the waiting area to meet up with Paula, who subsequently gave Sean permission to see the doctor, and set up Jim's follow-up bimonthly session. Sean followed the hallway until he came to the restroom, turned across from it, and there sat...

...A chestnut-haired woman...with slippers...giraffe-speckled pajamas...and a pale blue ribbon on her head...scribbling something on a pad, and then turning to a laptop to tap a few keys. Interesting, he thought. ...This is the doctor? He understood he was coming to a hypnotherapy clinic, but he wasn't positive this was what he'd had in mind. Hesitantly, he gave a double-rap on the door.

"'Lo?"

The woman turned to see him, and he caught first sight of her bright, kind, tender, sweet and attentive green eyes. The next thing he knew, she popped right up from her seat and welcomed him in with a two-palmed handshake and a glowing smile.

"Hi there!" she greeted, looking happier than he could believe a human was capable. "Bienvenue! You've gotta be Mr. McManus?"

"Yyyyyep," he confirmed uncertainly. "'S me."

"Fantastic!" she beamed. "Dr. Angela Starr! I'm so happy to meet you! Welcome, and thanks for coming to my healing palace!"

She gestured around to show him her enormous office.

...Wow, Sean thought to himself, marveling at her über-cheerful demeanor. Did...you used to work at the North Pole?

But he didn't say this. He was in sure need of some healing, and it made sense that he wanted a quite happy person to cure his sadness. And he was certain smart remarks wouldn't win him any points. He worked his facial muscles into a smirk.

"Thank you," he uttered. He made his own gesticulation, towards the sofa. "So, should I, eh..."

"Oh! Yes! Yes, of course, by all means!" Angie granted him a clear path to the sofa bed with a flourish, accepting the patient form. "Why don't you let me please take that for ya, and do sit down, my friend. Or lie. Whichever makes you comfier."

He began to thank her again. She encouraged him further.

"That's it, get cozy," she smiled. "Kick off your shoes! Make yourself at home. I like my patient sessions to simulate just hanging out with a good friend. The only differences are, the conversation's kinda one-sided, and I'm writing stuff down as we go."

"Okay," chuckled Sean, removing his shoes, settling in to stretch out and lounge on the sofa.

"'Atta lad!" she said, plopping back down in her chair and starting a new hard copy file for him. She performed her signature Sharon Stone-esque leg cross and slipped on her eyeglasses, halfway up the bridge of her nose. "Well, like I said, my name's Angela...I like to be called Angie, but you can call me whichever works for you. So what is your preference, Mr. McManus?"

"Oh, Sean. Just Sean."

"Just Sean it is. Okay! Well, Just Sean, Dr. Angie's in. And this is our introductory interview session, so as with all my new patients, I'm gonna give you a max of three hours today, instead of the normal two. First, I wanna talk to you, get to know you, so forth, then should you decide you'd like to proceed from there, I'll explain the rest.

"So then, Sean, consider me your best buddy, and tell me, what's on your mind? Lay it on me."

Well, so far, this wasn't too bad. This lady seemed to have a way of being extra friendly with practically zero effort.

"Well, uh...okay. Basically..." He held up his naked hand to show her the faint tan line where his ring used to be. "My wife and I separated a while ago, and the divorce was finalized just recently. It's all the way through now, and...and...I'm-I'm not having money troubles or anything like that. I just...I'm trying to get myself through the whole transition: relocating, living alone, starting over..."

He paused, tossing out a sigh and letting his face drop into his palm as Angie sympathetically furrowed her brow.

"...And it is just...so hard...just knowing the rest of my life is turning out to be something so dramatically different from...y'know, how and what I thought it was gonna be."

Letting her eyes drop like ping-pong balls down to her pad, she quietly scribbled a quickhand version. Glancing at the top of his patient form, she noted the date of birth field, where he'd written: 4-28-77. Oh, he's my age, thought Angela, doing the math in her head. Thirty-seven. She was actually a little disappointed he wasn't younger, knowing it could be harder to begin life anew and move on at a later age—not that it was a piece of cake at any age—but luckily she was here to coddle and console him to recovery.

"Aww...Sean, I'm so sorry to hear that."

"I...I-I just...we-we really got into it—I mean violently, Miss Angie—like, things were actually thrown—especially toward the last couple months, and I thought, at the time, I just wanted out. But, now that I am out...

"...I...guess like the old adage says, I didn't know what I had till...till it was gone."

Angie nodded solemnly. "I understand. Okay, well, Sean, just so I've got a handle on your therapy goals at the moment, I presume you're coming to see me on your own—i.e., you're not planning to seek therapy together with your ex-wife?"

"Oh, no. You're absolutely right," Sean assured her. "It's definitely over between us."

"Gosh," Angela shut her eyes, shaking her head. "I'm really sorry, Sean. How heartbreaking. I always find it a true shame when such a union of love is severed. But as with all my patients-slash-pals, I'm so glad you've come to me so I can help you through this."

"Yeah, I just thought it would help to talk to someone about it," Sean shared. "A friend of mine told me about you and gave me your name and number, and I just thought..." He gave a shrug. "...What the hell."

"Oh, really?" Angie asked, secretly feeling flattered as she always did upon finding out she'd been referred. "May I ask who it was?

"I make that inquiry only for my own edification," she added, "As by comparing notes in the common denominators, it's possible I may be able to offer more help to all parties involved. But you don't have to tell me this, or anything else you don't wish to."

"No, no, that's okay. His name's Mike Sandbern."

Okay, good, she thought, noting it. She'd have to remember to look him up in her patient database once finishing up with Sean.

"All right, thank you. And that's an important point that bears repeating: if you feel uncomfy discussing anything with me, I won't make you. At the same time, though, the more you tell me, the more I can do to take care of you. Just something to keep in mind.

"So then, Sean, the next thing I'd like to ask you is, can you tell me what you really want right now, as a result of this? In what direction you'd like your transition to be taken?"

"Well, I mean, I definitely wanna achieve some closure," Sean confided. "It's-it's kinda weird, 'cause even though our marriage ended in such a mess, and there was some physical and verbal abuse going on...somehow, there was always still passion there. And I do miss that about her. Things were good sometimes, and they were bad sometimes...but they were never boring."

Angie gave him another nod. "Gotcha. How long were you married?"

"Three years—...well, two and a half, technically. Although we were already together four years before that."

"I see...did you know her for very long before you started dating?"

"No, actually, someone set us up on a blind date," he told her. "So we actually met as we started dating."

Ahhh, thought Angie, arching her eyebrows as she jotted down this tid. That explains a good little bit. She did another mental calculation and determined this meant Sean had met the woman when he was about thirty. So it seemed he wasn't the type to rush into things with a girlfriend. And Angie had never felt there should be a standard statute of time to elapse, long or short, prior to marriage. Maybe one of them pressured the other into commitment, maybe there were other outside factors involved...anything was possible. Oh well, there would be plenty of time to pare away at it later on, in this or future sessions.

"Well, it must have been a pretty good initial blind date if it got you two going to the point that you decided to get married," said Angie. "Tell me something, Sean: have you done a lot of dating in the past?"

He waved his hand. "A little...you might say...but I don't know if I'd say I've done my share. It hasn't been quite that much."

"Okay. Well, I'm not saying this is true in your case, but sometimes if we don't date very much, and then along comes a really good prospect—a potential mate for life—it's a little easier for the mind to wanna pursue that. Y'know, maybe your mind says, 'Hey, I think I really like this person,' or maybe you're scared that if you let this go, you might not find someone as good again. Bottom line, though, Sean, is the simple fact that nobody's perfect. You follow me?"

"Yeah, but you know, it's funny you should bring that up," Sean remarked. "I was kind of scared I wouldn't find anybody else again. Even when things got ugly, I would keep catching myself thinking, wow, thank God I'm married. I just don't wanna be alone."

"Well, that's understandable. Have you thought about whether you're ready to date again or not now that you're divorced?"

"I don't know," he admitted. "When I was with my wife, sometimes I was upset, and even scared for my safety...but I was never lonely. She always stood by me. I kept trying to figure out why, you know, what it was I had to offer in our relationship.

"You know, Miss Angie," he went on, "When she and I first met, I knew the moment I was falling in love with her. I was lying in bed by myself that night, and I couldn't sleep. She was literally all I could think about. I was just lying awake practically that whole night—and probably for a few more nights after that—just dreaming about what could one day be our life together.

"But, now...I've had to get used to sleeping alone again, and that's no fun. Just feels so solitary now. I really don't like it."

"I'm sorry to hear that," Angie told him sincerely. "What do you do for a living?"

"Oh, just stocks. Nothing really Earth-shattering."

"Okay. Do you and-or your ex-wife have any kids?"

"No. We thought about it, maybe, one day, but...no."

"Pets?"

"No. My lease doesn't allow them."

"That's too bad. Do you have many relatives?"

"Yeah, a decent amount...here and there."

"Good relationship with them?"

"Good enough, I guess...although, just between us, I think we kinda all have that relative or two we could live without seeing again...not naming any names or anything, but, y'know, you love them. They're family."

"I hear ya," she chuckled. "Okay, then; do you have many friends?"

"A couple...some of 'em are probably more just acquaintances than real friends."

"Well, still better than none," Angela rejoined. "Depending on the nature and extent of your friendships, one idea that comes to mind is to simply ask a friend to stay over. Not in the same bed, of course, but just to have someone else around so you're not focused on being lonely. Of course, that's my idea of fun for you: being a hypnotherapist, I'm very big on sleepovers."

"Eh..." He shrugged. "I...guess, but...somehow, I just don't think it'd be the same as having my wife with me."

"Well, certainly not. It's very important to know where to draw the line between friends and romantic or sexual partners. Your friends can be there for you if things go awry with your significant other, and vice versa. I'm your friend, Sean; I'm here for you. As I'm sure are your other loved ones. I think there are more friends around than you may realize."

He worked his facial muscles up into a half-smile for the first time since having arrived at the clinic.

"Thanks, Doc...Angie."

She smiled her warm, loving smile. "Of course. Well, then, Sean, I think I have a better handle on you now: your current situation, your future goals and so forth. Now, if you still wanna continue with me, the next batch of questions I'd like to ask you are pretty standard and routine, things I ask all my patients. Health-related. Shall we?"

"Sure, why not; fire away."

"Very good, a'righty then...ever been hypnotized before?"

Sean shook his head. "No."

"Do you have any allergies?"

"Peanuts."

"All right, well, there are no peanuts before, so we shan't have to worry about that...mental issues or neurological disorders?"

"I...don't know."

"Okay, we can explore that some more later on.

"Any diseases, hereditary, physical or STD-related?"

"God, I hope not."

"I'll take that as a no. How's your appetite?"

"Normal."

"Eating habits?"

"Well, I mean, I've been eating alone since...y'know...but otherwise, normal."

"Got it. How much did you sleep last night?"

"Oh...nine hours, probably?"

"Oh, good. Very good. Okay, how's your libido-slash-sex drive?"

"Ummm..."

"It's perfectly okay to say you don't want to talk about it if it makes you uncomfortable, Sean."

"...Well, it's not really that, so much as...I guess I...don't really know anymore. I haven't been with anybody since my wife. I...have to presume everything's still, uh...in working order...I just haven't really been able to summon the will to find out."

"I see. Okay, well, that's something else we can go more into at another time." The folder, pen and glasses were returned to the desk, as status quo by this juncture. "All right, now, Sean, that's all the questions I have at this time, so if you're potentially interested in the hypnosis procedure, I'll explain it to you...

"Unless you have any questions for me before we go on?" she checked.

"I'll probably think of them later," he answered. "You know, it's one of those things where I'll probably leave, and then as soon as I get in my car I'll think of fifty things I wanted to know."

Angie laughed, good-naturedly as always. "Well, feel free to write them down if you plan to see me again, and we can tackle them at your next session. I strive to make my patients feel that they can talk to me or ask me about absolutely anything.

"Well, then, shall I go on about the hypnotherapy?"

"Sure, let 'er rip."

Angela giggled again. "Right. Well, Sean, first and foremost, you've got nothing to be alarmed about. Some patients go right ahead with the hypnosis from session one onward, and some prefer to skip the hypnosis the first time and try it at a future date. But I'm totally cool with your decision either way, Sean. The patient has the final word on that. So if you'd like to go ahead with the hypnosis right now, that's perfectly fine. If you'd like to wait on it or think about it, then we can just continue talking; that's perfectly fine too. Please don't let me influence your choice one way or the other."

Sean shrugged. "Well, that was pretty much what I came here for today, right?"

"Okay, well, hang on first, because there's more I need to tell you," said Angie. "The procedure is completely safe, you're under my care, I won't let anything harmful happen to you or your subconscious. I've been running business in this clinic for six years. And making this sound as modest as I possibly can, I am the number-one hypnotherapist in town."

"Oh, I know," he agreed. "You don't have to tell me; Mike gave me an article on you to read."

"Oh, really?" Angie beamed. "Well, how nice! Thank you, Sean, I really appreciate that!

"All right, well, I'll just continue then. I've treated hundreds and hundreds of patients, most of whom I've seen multiple times, and I've never lost a patient until I felt they were ready to stop. If you would like the treatment, again, it's a hundred percent up to you whether or not you wish to cease. If at any point things begin to feel uneasy, or you get scared for any reason, you can tell me to stop, and I'll gladly honor your wishes, and refund your fee. Cool?"

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