End of the Gods
“I’ve had the dream again,” he whispered. "Running, darkness, something nipping at my heels. The voice is muffled but I know its talking to me. Not threatening me, but warning me. I wish I could make sense of it.” Caden readjusted himself on the plush leather therapist bed. Despite the quality of the material, Caden couldn’t get comfortable. “Before, when I was younger, I understood what it was saying. Most of the time it was right. Now it tells me in visions when I sleep.”
“Having visions in dreams are abstract and usually mean something else. They aren’t meant to be literal,” his doctor replied. “As we grow older, we become more rooted in reality. Our fanciful dreams and childhood habit slide away, letting us move forward and embrace our more responsible and realistic selves.” Caden was very ill-at-ease. Despite the fact that his doctor was trying to help, she didn’t get it.
“Maybe,” he responded.
“I know it isn’t easy being raised by an extended member of the family. Especially in a country where we value the idea of a nuclear family. We’ve talked about our great aunt in detail, do you think this may have to do with the fact you are listening more to her now then before?”
The doctor jotted down something quickly and continued. “How is your relationship with Jana going along? Have you two settled in well together?”
“I guess.” Caden realized he was answering in ‘closed answers’. Readjusting again, he continued. “While everyone else is going out to find themselves, make choices for themselves, I’m at home married to a girl I barely knew.”
“It’s been three years. Have you given her a chance to know you? Let her in and see you for who you are?”
Caden just shrugged.
“Caden, I know you’re life is a very different one than most. Despite knowing people would trade places with you, they don’t understand the unique difficulties you face. But Caden, I can only help if you talk with me.” The tone the doctor took was serious but inviting. She was clearly drawing at straws to grab his attention. “If you want things to change, you should think about facing what bothers you so we can work on solutions together.”
He fell silent for a moment. She was right on some levels, but there were things that couldn’t be changed. His marriage was as political as it was a birthright. The separation from the rest of the populace was as needed too considering his financial worth. The money he possessed was a burden many were willing to hurt or even kill him for. The lavish mansion he lived in felt like a beatific prison. There was no escaping this, and no amount of therapy was going to change those circumstances.
“Maybe we should do this another week,” he muttered. His doctor quietly looked at him, giving Caden a chance to reconsider his idea. When it was clear that he wasn’t she nodded.
“Okay, I hope next week we can take the full time to explore what we can do to help you cope with your situation. Till then, I want you to continue writing in your journal and try to be more expressive in your thoughts. Try to relate feelings in your entries.” The doctor grabbed her things as she talked. Caden only half paid attention to her.
The sun shown over the cliff-side mansion. Ocean waves crashed beneath and the water glistened and shimmered with the midday sun. Caden walked out to see his young wife soaking in the rays. Both were barely able to buy alcohol, not that they would ever be able to walk into a place with security escorting them anywhere. The grandeur of everyday life was complicated by the staff he couldn’t do anything without. His great aunt was insistent about the safety of the family. Caden approached the edge of the balcony. The glass railing stopped anyone from walking off the edge, but that was it. His sight reached out to the crest of the ocean, his mind lost in the numbness of it all.
He was brought out by a gentle touch on his shoulder. The warm, delicate fingers stayed on him as the rest moved against him. Jana spoke in quieter tone to Caden. The concern in her voice was heavy. Despite them both being thrusted into the marriage, she tried her best to make something work for them. He knew she was just as much as a bystander in this as he was. Her broken English still made him smile as she expressed concern. Turning towards her, he kissed her cheek and gave a tired, forced smile as he reassured her he was fine. Caden looked into her eyes as they faced each other. Jana was beautiful.
In the three years they have known each other, they had come to a few arrangements of their own. Despite being married, they still hadn’t slept with each other. Neither felt it was right, and wanted to do so if love actually arose from the betrothal. Both did their best to not be pushy to each other, knowing that the situation was fragile, especially since divorce would be grounds for disavowment.
“I worry about you,” she continued. “You are always so, um sklíčený." Caden looked confused. Jana looked around for the answer to explain what she meant. “Like the Eeyore in the Windey the Pooh.” Caden almost laughed.
“You mean Winnie the Pooh?”
“Yes!” she exclaimed.
“I’m not sad.”
“Not sad, more like,” her expression changed to an over-expressive gloomy.
“Oh, yeah. It’s okay.” Caden thought how to change something when the idea of travel sprang up. “Let’s go on vacation. Anywhere in the world we can go.” Jana thought about it and looked at him. “I would like to go to the New York. See the Liberty Statue.”
“I’ll get the jet ready.” Caden kissed her forehead and walked inside. Perhaps a change of scenery would do him good.