"So Adrian, is there anything special that you want to talk about today?" Dr. Kroger asked as they began their session.
Adrian couldn't help himself. He grinned.
Seeing Adrian's expression made Dr. Kroger smile. "Adrian, did something happen?"
Adrian laughed softly and stared out at the large window. From it he could see the water sculpture, surrounded by lush, green foliage.
"Nothing happened. Why?"
Dr. Kroger looked at his patient thoughtfully. "You seem... happy. It's nice."
"No... It's not." Adrian said in a sullen voice.
"Now why would you say that?" Dr. Kroger asked.
"It's not... normal." Adrian said.
"Well, Adrian maybe it's not normal to be happy all the time, but for you to be sitting here, laughing. Well... it's a nice change."
Adrian sighed. "I hate change. Change is the worst."
"So why don't you tell me what's made you so happy." Dr. Kroger asked. When he looked at Adrian, he was bewildered to find that Adrian was blushing.
"I had a dream last night." Adrian confessed.
"Mmmm Hmmmm..." Adrian replied; nodding his head.
"Well, would you like to talk about it?" Dr. Kroger asked.
Adrian began to stir in his seat.
"A-All right." Dr. Kroger said, flipping through his notes. "Why don't we move on to something else? How are things going? Any new investigations on the horizon?"
His question was met with silence.
"We were dancing... on the beach." Adrian said.
Confused, Dr. Kroger looked up to find his patient in a tranquil state.
"Oh, your dream." Quickly, he began writing in his notepad. "So you were dancing on the beach..."
"... And the moon was full and the stars were out." Adrian's voice became mellow and wistful.
"Well that sounds lovely, Adrian." Dr. Kroger said.
"Our song was playing. It was just the two of us. No one else was there. The song went on forever and ever."
Then an even longer silence...
"And then... we kissed." Adrian said as his voice broke.
Dr. Kroger leaned foreword in his chair, watching Adrian in amazement. He'd never seen his patient quite like this before. "That sounds like a wonderful dream. What do you think it means?"
"It means that I still love her." Adrian said.
Dr. Kroger smiled. "Of course you still love her. You always will." Just then he noticed that Adrian seemed distracted.
"Adrian, what are you doing?"
Startled, Adrian looked up. "What?"
"You seem to be fidgeting with something in your pocket."
"Oh..." said Adrian, immediately withdrawing his hand.
"What do you have in your pocket?" Dr. Kroger asked.
Adrian hesitated, feeling the smooth object hidden deep in his pocket. He had never shown the object inside to anyone.
Dr. Kroger wrote on his notepad. "Well, whatever it is, it must be pretty special."
Adrian looked up, expecting Dr. Kroger to be irritated with him. To his surprise, he was met with a warm smile.
Suddenly, Adrian realized that he trusted Dr. Kroger with his life.
He took a deep breath.
You can do this, Adrian. He could almost imagine Trudy saying the words.
His hand shook as he reached into his pocked and pulled out the small blue velvet box.
Dr. Kroger nodded in understanding and held out his hand. "May I?"
"Okay..." Adrian said nervously. With an unsteady hand, he gave the box to Dr. Kroger. He watched as his friend opened the box, and removed the mysterious treasure.
There in the good doctor's palm lay an exquisite gold ring, adorned with three diamonds.
For a moment, Dr. Kroger was speechless. "Adrian this... this is beautiful. Was it Trudy's?"
Adrian wasn't sure how to answer.
"I've never seen anything like this before. Where did you find it?"
"I-I had it custom-made for Tru-"Adrian winced, wondering why he found it so hard to say her name.
"Really?" Dr. Kroger exclaimed. "You had this made for Trudy?"
Adrian began to feel light-headed. As much as he trusted Dr. Kroger, he knew it was a mistake to show him the ring. It brought back so many painful memories. Why didn't he just keep it to himself?
"Adrian? Are you okay?" Dr. Kroger was asking.
"Sure, I'm fine." Adrian said.
"So you had this beautiful ring made for Trudy?"
Adrian swallowed hard, silently praying that there would be no more questions.
"So what was her reaction when you gave her the ring?" Dr, Kroger asked.
Adrian knew this was coming and yet the directness of the question hit him like a freight train.
"I-I didn't get a chance to give it to her."