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hs39150.jpgbuy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 39

The bottom half of a Russian nesting doll sat atop the trash in Dr. Tuttle’s office, glued to the remains of a giant cinnamon bun bought at Andrea Thompson’s bakery at the recently renamed Solid Gold Sasquatch Lodge.

Dr. Tuttle sat across from Rebecca picking at a fresh cinnamon bun. “I can never finish one of these things. I don’t know why I buy them,” she said. “But I just can’t resist.”

Rebecca stared at the half-doll in the trash. “What happened?”

Dr. Tuttle cleared her throat and picked small sticky gobs of white icing from the corners of her mouth. She smiled. It was the first time Rebecca had asked her anything. “It’s a matryoshka doll. My husband – ex-husband – bought it in the Ukraine years ago.”

“What happened to it?” Dr. Tuttle noted the panicked look in Rebecca’s eyes; her concern was palpable. She’d heard about Rebecca’s her empathetic episodes. from her father, from Lisa, from a begrudging Julie who preferred to use her time with Dr. Tuttle to discuss her relationship with Stew and how her feelings about him were affected by his recent, terrible haircut.

“One of my clients has a hard time keeping their hands off my things,” Dr. Tuttle said with a warm sigh, as if she were talking about a toddler who perpetually got into his mother’s expensive lipsticks. “I used to have the whole set, but that’s all that’s left. And what’s the point of keeping half a doll?”

“Can I have it?”

Dr. Tuttle shrugged. “Sure. Of course. What are you thinking of using it for?”

“I don’t know. Something, I guess.”

Once their hour together passed, the doctor walked Rebecca to the door, and shook her hand. It was all very official, professional.

The Rebecca situation accounted for a significant percentage of Dr. Tuttle’s current clientele. Kids Rebecca had never met were seeking counseling at the behest of their parents — or to spite them. And according to the local news, the town had at once been ROCKED BY SCANDAL, THRUST INTO THE SPOTLIGHT OF THE WORLD STAGE, its residents readying themselves to LET THE HEALING BEGIN.

Dave was waiting for Rebecca in the parking lot of Dr. Tuttle’s office. He leaned back against the SOLID GOLD Lincoln.

“Christ!” Rebecca took one look at Dave and started in the opposite direction. Since the day they had sex and her father broke his hand on Dave’s head, Dave called and e-mailed daily, but she didn’t respond.
Dave jogged to catch up with her. “Rebecca! Wait! We need to talk.”

“No we don’t.”

“Come on, Becks, this is stupid. Look, I’m sorry. I am. I’m sorry about everything.”

Rebecca stopped and turned to face Dave. “You should be,” she said quietly.

“You know I am. I’m so sorry. I just…it’s all so fucked. I just want things to go back to the way they were.”
Across the street stood a pack of tourists, each jostling for position, cameras drawn, long lenses affixed.

“That’s never going to happen.”

tomorrow: Rebecca receives a special gift.    

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                                                                                                                                                          ©2008 pamela klaffke