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My name is Johan Clausen, and I am studying in the psychology department at Harvard University. For my final examination, I shall have one-on-one time with a special man. The details of this patient have not fully been revealed to me, as I am expected by the psychology committee to discern the inner problems of this man on my own.
The man, going by his self-proposed nickname "Biels", entered my office and sat on the patient's recliner. He studied me with glowing blue eyes that pierced me like spears. His face was marred by a wicked scar that stretched from his right ear to the tip of his chin. When he smiled at me with a toothy grin, the scar contorted into an arc, and I had to avert my gaze to avoid puking.
"So, Biels, let me start off our time together by asking you some questions about your personal life."
"Go ahead." Biels' curtness and frank tone of voice caught me off guard.
"Well, do you have any surviving family members?"
"Why don't you consult your patients' files and find out for yourself?"
Biels was proving to be an especially stubborn, rude man. With each response, I noticed that his eyes illuminated with a faint blue light. If I looked close enough, I swear I could have seen a...
"Excuse me, sir, but I would rather not have you check me out. I know I'm handsome, but please, calm yourself."
"Pardon me. I thought I recognized something in your eyes. Something I had seen before."
In my embarrassment, I ducked my head, and beads of sweat formed on my forehead. Biels leaned towards me and whispered,
"I know what you mean."
I looked at the patient, startled by his solemnity.
He reclined in his chair, obviously unwilling to part with any more information.
"As you might have guessed, I am unwilling to part with any more information. I believe this session has effectively concluded. Don't worry: I'll pay you back in full, one way or another." With that, Biels arose from his chair and departed from the room, leaving me sitting there, chills racking my body.
Over the past couple of days, Biels has been exceptionally cooperative, almost unnervingly so. He told me that he used to have a great, God-fearing family, but that circumstances forced him to part ways. According to Biels, he has made many attempts to reach out and form mutual relationships; however, he has inadvertently repelled people. Even worse, he has attracted the attention of less-than-stellar folk with flimsier morals than most.
"Life's been tough for me, you know. I'm not a guy that's liked by many."
"Have you given thought to attending some seminars that might improve your social skills?"
"Not really. I figured you, of all people, could help me."
I did not understand what Biels was trying to say to me. Unfortunately, I was not given much time to think about it before I suddenly plunged into a state of unconsciousness.
A green pasture appeared before my eyes. Luscious grass lined the soil, and families were gathered around picnic tables, laughing and rejoicing under the clear skies. However, from where I was standing, I could see a young boy, with fair blond hair, huddled under an oak tree. As I walked up to the boy, I noticed that tears streaked down his face. A bruise discolored his left cheek, and he was making pitiful whimpering noises. I tried to stir him from his sad state, but no amount of effort could stem the flow of tears. Disheartened, I walked over to a serene, unmoving lake. Looking into the reflective water, I noticed a large bruise on my left cheek.
Let me explain myself. The previous day, I had somehow passed out in the middle of a routine session. Apparently, in my trance, Biels left the room. Once I awoke from my stupor, I asked other psychologists if they noticed Biels' departure. Oddly enough, none of them recalled seeing the man leave the building. Puzzled, I returned home; after having taking a refreshing shower to fully arouse my senses, I looked into my bathroom mirror. An ugly, black-and-blue bruise had formed on my left cheek. Shocked beyond words, I blinked a couple of times, and even pinched myself in case this was merely an extension of my earlier dream. No matter what, the bruise remained.
"Does he know...?"
My thoughts trailed off.
He couldn't know about that.
I never told him!
Maybe I did...
I stopped myself. This was madness, insanity. There was no way Biels could tap into my mind. No way he could harness...
Harness my memories of the past.
The doorbell rang. I ran to the sound and found an envelope at the base of my door. Clearly, whoever left this note had little regard for mailboxes. I opened the envelope in an intense frenzy, and I read the bone-chilling words scrawled in black ink.
"I was there."
Biels entered the room leisurely as I fiddled with a pencil by my desk. Swiveling around in my chair, I greeted him half-heartedly, as I was more focused on the letter in my hand than on him.
"I must ask you something, Biels."
Biels did not move as he said this, clearly relaxed, and even almost smiling.
"Did you write this letter to me?"
I opened the letter and showed it to Biels, who studied it for a few seconds before laughing at me.
"And if I did, what would you say?"
He was toying with me, expecting an answer. By now I was livid; I was not going to play nice anymore.
"Are you trying to mess with me, Biels? Because this is a piss-poor joke."
"No, of course not! Why would you assume that?"
Biels sounded genuinely offended. Hastily, I tried to appease him, as I still needed to tend to him as a patient.
"Excuse me, Biels. I have just been on edge lately."
His inquisitiveness and lack of respect for my personal boundaries should have enraged me. But there was something about him that I liked. Something in his eyes comforted me, told me everything will be alright.
"I have just been experiencing some private issues lately."
Again, Biels' disregard for my private life would have appalled anyone else. I suppose I was blinded by the glare of the sunlight off the crown that appeared on his head.
"My relationship with my significant other has gone sour."
"She dumped you."
This was not a question. Nothing about it suggested the possibility of a question. Biels stated this like a fact. Like he knew what happened. He probably could have told me just why Katharine kicked me to the wayside.
"She's been having an affair, hasn't she?"
What? How? How did he know? My shocked expression obviously appealed to Biels, as he leaned back into his chair, with a satisfied grin contorting his scar.
"I'm good at judging people, Johan. I know the things that you won't share with me. So go on, tell me more about Katharine."
"I'm sorry, I believe I have to end this session early. I'm feeling a little under the weather right now."
Biels was not angered by my statement. In fact, he smiled at me, with a subtle hint of victory over me.
"Never fear, Mr. Clausen. They all come around sooner or later."
With that, Biels left.
The previous session, I cracked. I told Biels my personal life. I had sworn that I would keep my own life sacred and secluded, because by God, I was the only one with any respect for me. He found out about my failed relationship with Katharine, the absolute hell that my older brother gave me, but I withheld one thing. One thing was untainted by Biels' questions. In fact, Biels never specifically asked about this one piece of me. He never inquired about my bad streak, my tendency to do wrong. It was as if he knew, as if he silently relished in it.
Today, when Biels sat down in the patient's chair, I decided to delve into his life a little further.
"Where exactly did you find the inspiration for your nickname of Biels?"
"I'm an, 'admirer' of Jessica Biel."
Alright. So Biels is a creepy stalker with an obsession for Jessica Biel.
"I'm not obsessed, I'm impressed."
"Here, let me explain."
Biels cleared his throat, then proceeded to tell me these words.
"You see, I'm not a man of great opulence. I'm just a simple guy, just your Average Joe. However, I've always taken a sort of a fancy to the lives of celebrities. The fact that I chose Jessica Biel to provide my alias, I'll get to that. But first, I must tell you that I am personally astounded by celebrities. I don't look up to them as role models, or anything of that nature; instead, I see them as straight-up human feces. The idea that they could be so blatantly blind to the average world strikes me like a fist. To top it off, they're all the same. Every last one of them. Extravagant, elitist, condescending; they all mirror each other. Which is why I've taken to calling all celebrities 'Biels.' Besides, the sound of Biels has a particularly special place in my life, a nice abbreviation for a name that suits me well."
Having finished, Biels reclined in his chair.
"Is that a decent enough explanation for you? Does that clear the cloud of mystery around me a little more?"
"Yes. I do appreciate you taking the time to share personal information and beliefs of yours. That is something most people are unwilling to do."
"True. That's strange to me, however, as I honestly see myself as the combination of many people; therefore, you would think I mirror them, as they would me."
Biels departed. Just like that, he was gone. No good-bye, no explanation. I was perplexed by his final statements. He was the combination of many people? What sense does that make? I racked my brain for an answer, but I drew blanks. As I packed my belongings, I looked out the window, and saw Biels staring at me. As he smiled and turned away, I swore I caught a glimpse of him wearing royal robes. Maybe it was just the sunlight playing tricks on me.
Biels and I did not meet today. I waited at my office for him to arrive, but an hour had passed, and he did not show. I was disappointed. Biels was an interesting fellow, a man of simplicity yet one with an aura of confidence. I wished to know him better, but he was elusive and dubious.
I am writing this section to inform you, the committee of psychology, of a phenomenon that I experienced. I figured that if I described what happened to me, then some research could be done to explain the causes behind it. It happened when I returned home from the office; as you are aware, Biels did not come. Taking advantage of the situation, I fell on my bed and drifted into a nice nap.
I opened my eyes, and saw that I was standing in the room of a king. Regal banners depicting glorious battles hung from the side walls, and massive windows on the opposite side of the room showed a vista of a desolate city. The sky was red, as if it was discolored by a perpetual sunset, and a dense fog clouded the cityscape. In front of the windows stood an imposing throne, with a smaller, but equally bejeweled, chair to the right. On this chair, I saw the figure of Biels. However, his face was no longer afflicted by that awful scar. Instead, he was quite handsome, in a non-homoerotic way; with close-cropped blond hair, bright blue eyes, and a crown atop his head, Biels faintly resembled a Roman emperor. He arose from his chair and approached me, his robes streaming along the ground behind him.
"Welcome to my temple, Johan. I've been awaiting you."
Biels stretched his hand out, silently welcoming me to take it. I did; I took his hand, and he led me to the massive throne. With a great hoist, Biels placed me onto the seat of the throne, and gave me a crown greater than his to wear upon my head.
"I have all you could ever want, don't I, Johan? I care about your life, your very existence. Together, we can accomplish great feats. I'm giving you now the chance to work for something greater, towards something greater. What say you?"
"I accept fully."
"Alright. I take it that you are serious in your commitment."
Biels backed away, and knelt before my feet. I felt like I was on top of the world.
I was the center of focus.
I grew, as he shrank.
Biels has not appeared at my office over the past five days. Instead, while I'm at my office during the time when we were supposed to meet, a voice would come into my head. Deep, rumbling, and strangely soothing, this voice would talk to me.
"Your day of reckoning is on the horizon, Johan."
"How will I know when it's near?"
"You'll have all the answers soon enough."
I trusted the voice.
The voice never lied to me. It could tell me my deepest, darkest secrets; it knew all. It was right, and I was right, We, in tandem, were always right. I pulled the Smith and Wesson pistol out from one of my drawers, and I stroked it. It would serve me well in the days to come. I just knew it.
"Tonight on ABC: police finally found the man behind the latest killing spree. Over the past week, he has murdered a staggering 15 innocent people. This man, Johan Clausen, when asked by reporters as to why he could do the things he did, simply referred to a man named Biels. Police have investigated the whereabouts of this Biels, but no progress has been made. Clausen will be sent to a maximum security prison, and this mysterious Biels figure will be revealed in due course."
The TV was turned off. A man stood behind his couch with the remote, and a young girl sat in front of him. After he shut the television off, the girl turned around. With her big eyes and innocent face, she asked the man a question.
"Daddy, why did that man hurt those people?"
The man looked at her with piercing blue eyes and said,
"Don't worry, child; you'll know soon enough."