Arnold began the session telling her about something he had been going to skip, a story about his time in an underground cavern with a people called the Redonians. He had decided to search the cave because his watch had been working and he needed to know if he was home now.
He grew thirsty, but passed several pools of water for fear of contamination before they found him. Considering that the Redonians had glowing veins running throughout their bodies he was sure it was the right choice.
He asked his questions and discovered, after a few unsatisfactory answers and odd sights, that he wasn’t home and left. It had not impacted him personally, but Dr. Maddox still took something out of it.
“Why didn’t you at least try the water?”
“How could I know it was safe?” Arnold asked with crossed arms.
“It’s more than that,” the doctor countered. “You didn’t trust the food at the soup kitchen either and you give the same distrust to food here. I think you should be able to eat food prepared by your friends without having to smell it, test it, and fret first. As part of your therapy I’m going to ask that you start trusting your friends more and eating what they offer you.
“And I know you tell yourself that you do it to protect me, and everyone. But really Arnold, the lengths that you go to show me that it’s a neurosis just like all the others. It’s alright to be careful and suspicious of strangers and…some people.” She apparently wouldn’t say Phaedra right off. “But I want you to work at breaking this habit. It’s not healthy for you.”
“I still haven’t forgiven Mr. Harvey yet, and you’re already asking for another miracle,” Arnold grimaced.
“Well, I’m just telling you that you should work on it. I didn’t say I wanted you to go out and eat one of Emerson’s pies…” Looking at him suddenly tense she smiled, “Or anything else the man has ever made.”
“Pie is evil,” Arnold said gripping the side of the couch. “It makes me sing!”
Dr. Maddox laughed and went back to her notes, “So what happened next?”
“I…” Arnold paused and sighed. He had been prepared to omit this part of the story from his therapy for some time. “I found the string that connected me to you. Once I found that I didn’t have to go back to the void, I followed the string and it simply took me places.”
She leaned forward excitedly, “The string that Tepic saw?”
Arnold nodded, “I had seen it…but there was a problem. There were realms in the way.” She waited expectantly for him to continue, but he felt uncomfortable omitting the part of the story where he had discovered the string. He glanced at the clock and said they should call it a night. She agreed and they left the asylum, while he remembered in silence what happened…