Waiting for a Warm Word

The patter of rain beckons me to look outside the window. Spring rain is as precious as oil and it makes everything lively. Although it is a light rain, the sound of raindrops falling down is still loud and clear in my mind. In fact, all kinds of rain can exert on me a sense of depression. When I was 14 years old, I had difficulty in breathing in the raining weather. Now I am 34, I am still sensitive to rain, but I can at least breathe normally when it is raining.

I know that the reason why I hate rain is that rain always conjures up some terrible memories. About 20 years ago, I was a junior school student, and my parents were always busy, so that I had to walk home alone. It was a rainy night, and I was walking home by myself, as usual. The heavy rain made people in the street quicken their steps. Maybe it was the big umbrella that obstructed my view. I did not notice that a car was coming when I was crossing the road. Then the tragedy happened. The accident took away my legs forever. However, the car drove off, and I have not found who the person was so far because of no witnesses and no monitors being at the scene. I knew that I had to face cruel reality, and I persisted in studying while sitting in a wheelchair. I never thought of giving up on my education, and I wanted to spread my positive spirit to others, so I decided to specialize in psychology in a local medical university.

And now, I am a psychiatrist, and I have helped numerous clients relieve their confusion and agony. I love my job because I get a great deal of pleasure from my clients’ smiles. Anyone who has any psychological confusion can have psychological consultations with me, and I enjoy the process of talking with and helping them.

John was my client and had had serious insomnia for a long time; he could not fell asleep without taking medicine. We had had several psychological consultations, but it seemed that the condition of insomnia had not been alleviated. So we had to have another psychological consultation yesterday.

This time, I had hoped John could talk more about himself, and I knew I should not force him to reveal his secrets. However, it was vital for him to let go of his burden. And it was also very significant for me to know what his burden was, so that I could help him get rid of insomnia.

When I was thinking about what I should talk with him, he knocked on the door faintly and apologized for being late. Although he was quiet, he was always polite to everyone.

“How do you feel today, John? You look so tired. What’s going on with you? You can talk with me. You know, you words will become our secrets.” I anticipated his response.

“Last night, I had a nightmare in which I escaped after I hit a girl with my car.” His voice was tremulous.

“That’s fine. It’s just a dream. But, does it remind you of anything?” I asked him slowly because I knew the dream must have frightened him.

“I have had the same dream so many times, but it’s not actually a dream. It’s something that I have done,” he said calmly and lowered his head.

“The past is the past; do you remember any details?” I put on my glasses, and I could feel my heartbeat speeding up.

“About 20 years ago, when I was 26, I had just succeeded in passing the driving license that day. I never thought that would happen. I was afraid. So I …” He was so upset that tears interrupted his words.

“Now, do you feel relaxed? You can say more. It’s fine.” I tried to control my expression because my intuition told me that he was culprit that I had been looking for all of this time. I was eager to check my guess, so I asked him: “Was that the terrible weather that caused you to hit her?”

“The heavy snow made the wheels slip suddenly. But that’s no the excuse for my running off.” He wiped tears.

“I know you feel regret, but did you think of turning yourself in?” I took a deep breath; I wanted to know the reason.

“I have a family to take care of; I know I am selfish.” He sadly shrugged his shoulders.

“Confession is the only way to get relief and break the pattern of insomnia. You should take the responsibility for your mistake. You can see I don’t have legs. I was hit by a car when I was 14, and the driver also escaped. However, the driver chose to turn himself in after 5 years. Everyone feels afraid when this kind of terrible thing happens to them. It took 5 years to for him to gather up his courage to take the responsibility for his mistake. Of course, I forgave him.” I told a lie to persuade him to incriminate himself.

“Maybe I should. The accident changed the girl’s life, and it’s unfair that I got away and lived a fairly happy life.” He was totally moved by my words.

After a silent moment, he said thanks to me and left. When I saw his back, I hoped I had helped him and the girl who had the similar fate as me. I imagined that if he was actually the driver who had hit me, I probably be incensed. Although I knew nothing would be changed now, I still wanted to hear an apology from the driver.

This morning, John told me that he had turned himself in. I assume that he knew he should confess himself, but he had thought too much and hesitated for a long time. If he stood up that night instead of thinking too much and fleeing, he would be free now and never have been trapped in insomnia.

Admitting and being responsible for mistakes as quickly as possible is the only and best way to make up the mistake to victims. Although nothing can make up for what they have suffered, please do not break their hearts after all of the physical pain. In fact, in most cases, what victims need is just a warm word. Maybe someday I will meet the driver who hit me as the way I met John because he may have not had a good sleep for 20 years as well.

   Name: Flora      刘畅   

Number: 140110101