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Illusion or Reality?

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[Illusion or Reality?
**]By DK Fire

Published by DK Fire at Shakespir

Copyright 2017 DK Fire

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Chris, my friend, works as a psychiatrist in the regional hospital. And, like any other psychiatrist, he has interesting patients and cases from his practice. There are not as many as it seems, but some characters seem to escape straight from a horror movie. Most of them are sad cases, not from a good life people lose their minds and not by choice. For example, Chris talked about a woman. If you meet her on the street – you’ll never guess something is wrong. She just walks with the stroller, smiling. Sometimes she picks the baby up and holds it. But if you come closer you will see that it’s just a plastic doll. The woman has gone crazy due to the tragic death of her daughter. She’s undergone treatment, but now she looks unhappier than ever. Makes you think what’s better–live in illusion or reality?

At seven in the evening, as per our usual schedule, Chris came over to my bachelor pad, jabbing bottles of beer.

“Hey, can I ask you a question?” he asked with the serious voice. “Do you know about the theory “multi-world interpretation”?

“Multi-world…what?” I asked confused

“It’s one of many theories of quantum physics that asserts the objective reality of the universal wave function and denies the actuality of wavefunction collapse.”

I look even more baffled than before.

“In a nutshell, it means that perhaps there are an infinite number of worlds similar to ours. Differences can be small such as in one of the worlds you ate a burger for dinner, and in another–fish. Or they could be so great that not only our world is different, but the whole galaxy or universe, “Chris concluded.

“I knew that eventually, you would go crazy with your job.”

“Oh shut up! I’m trying to enlighten you! Anyway, this is the question that one of my patients who I want to tell you about asked me

***

“Yes, I know about this theory. But I would like to ask why are you here?” I asked a young, well-dressed man who came to see me. I quickly scanned through his file: 25 years old, never been to a psychiatrist before, undergone an amputation of a thumb on the right hand, other than that is perfectly healthy.

“You see, there are two variations of events that happen to me. Either this theory is correct, except that these worlds actually intersect or I’m going crazy, and I need your help,” he said calmly, showing no signs of anxiety or fear. It’s clear that he put a lot of thought into his visit.

“Please tell me what worries you, and I’ll try to help.”

He was my last patient for that day, and I was actually hoping to leave early.

“I’ll start with the moments when it begun, but I chose to ignore it,” the patient said.

“As you wish” hope to leave work early dissolved in an instance.

  • * *

“It started three years ago. One day I left my house and noticed that something was different. I couldn’t point out exactly what it was, but the feeling never disappeared. When I began to analyze that moment two years later, I remembered that big oak tree occupied my neighbor’s yard, with its big thick branches and strong roots. I used to climb it when I was a kid but now there is a completely different tree!

People are very afraid of changing their world. They find it easier to believe in a lie that supports its existence than in the truth that will destroy it. I also did it, convincing myself that there was no oak, there was always a different tree. Remembering all these moments now, I realize how stupid I was. Constantly urging myself not to notice the truth, not believing my eyes and memories, I was getting closer to collapsing. After that, there were many moments of that kind. Many were so insignificant that I don’t even remember them. I’ll tell you about a few memorable ones.

One day, I was with a friend, and we remembered our teacher back from high school, and I could have sworn his name was Mr. Thompson, but to my surprise, my friend said that his name was Mr. Morris. I thought he was pulling my leg, but then I’ve spoken to a couple of my high school friends and turns out the teacher’s name was Mr. Morris.

Then I ran into one of the acquaintances who didn’t recognize me and was very surprised to know that I know his name and have his phone number.

Such events started to happen more and more frequent, and changes were bigger and bigger. I could not justify them anymore by my forgetfulness or changeable memory. And yet I tried not to think about it. I wanted my world to last, even when it was all in patches and cracked at the seams.

The last event wasn’t unexpected, quite the opposite, it was predictable. One day when I came home, an unusual silence and darkness welcomed me. There was no noise from the TV, no smell of cooked dinner. Most importantly, my dear beloved wife Michelle wasn’t there. If she went out with her friends, she would have called or messaged me. When I looked around my house, I noticed the new couch was missing; moreover, all the things we bought together for the house were missing. I was awakened from the state of the shock by a phone call.

“Why did you leave work early?” I recognized that voice; it belonged to my former boss from my previous workplace that I left a couple of years ago, due to the new employment.

“I quit a long time ago, what are you talking about?” I was confused

“I’m not sure what you are going on about, but next time it will lead to disciplinary action.”

I couldn’t understand what was happening. I don’t know how much time passed before I calmed down and my head started to work again. First of all, I called my work, friends, Michelle. At work, no one knew who I was. Friends and acquaintances did not even know that I got married, although they all attended my wedding. And Michelle … Michelle did not recognize me, or perhaps she just pretended not to know me. She freaked out and blocked my number.

I began to analyze what was happening to me. And I came up with two things: Either I’ve gone crazy, which is most likely, or I somehow travel between worlds, imperceptibly passing from one to another. These worlds are not much different, just one had the oak tree, and the other had a different tree, one had a teacher by the name of Mr. Thompson, and in the other was Mr. Morris. And, finally, in one of them, I missed the bus, which closed the doors in front of my face and met a beautiful girl named Michelle on a bus stop. And in another world, I probably managed to get on a bus and missed Michelle.

Of course, I could find her again, ask her out and then marry her. But what’s the point, if I’m crazy or a traveler between the worlds?

  • * *

I never heard anything like that.

At first glance, I thought perhaps the patient came up with these “memories” in order to escape his lonely reality. But things didn’t match. How does he know so much about his “wife”? Weird story.

I advised him to talk to his friends and find out how he might know her. Possibly he knew her husband or relatives, learnt everything about her and made himself believe that she’s his wife.

After our session, I shook his hand and said goodbye. He never came back to see me again.

A couple of weeks have passed, and I found his file, so I decided to call him to follow up. When I talked to him, he didn’t know who I was and why I’m calling him. He was telling me that he never went to see a psychiatrist, and he’s not married. He actually thought someone was playing a joke on him, but I managed to convince him to come and see me. When he did and extended his hand, I remembered a small detail from his file. This guy was missing the big finger when the other one that came to see me a couple of weeks had all his fingers.

  • * *

After Chris had finished telling me the story, we both were silent, just drank our beer. We both thought one thing. Are there worlds apart from ours? If they are, what are they? What decisions did we make there?

“Do you remember how I feel off the tree and broke my leg? And you dragged me to my house? My parents do not remember this” I said trying to defuse intense silence.

“That never happened,” Chris said surprised.

We looked at each other anxiously but said nothing. None of us wanted to destroy our worlds.

6

 


Illusion or Reality?

  • Author: DK Fire
  • Published: 2017-05-09 15:20:15
  • Words: 1615
Illusion or Reality? Illusion or Reality?