"The office looks good," Julian acknowledged.
The Doctor didn't respond. The echo in the room was familiar; the silence was awkward. The room was now more presentable. The sofa was clean, and the metal chairs were arranged neatly with seat cushions. The lampshade that was torn was replaced. Julian noticed a new accent chair. Though, there was one thing missing; the ashtray on top of the table. The walls were still bare. The Doctor's Diploma from the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico was the only object hanging on the wall.
Julian pulled out his cigarette case and removed a cigarette. He took a matchstick from the matchbox and proceeded to light it.
"No por favor." The Doctor begged.
Julian was surprised by the Doctor's response.
"What do you mean?" Julian replied, confused.
"After our last encounter, I've decided to quit smoking."
Julian noticed the -NO FUMAR- sign on the door. He turned his back to the Doctor and walked towards the sofa. He had now put away the cigarette but held onto the burned-out match and placed it between his lips.
"¿Donde me siento?" Julian asked where to sit.
The Doctor nodded for Julian to sit on the sofa. The Doctor opted for the accent chair.
The Doctor reached over to the table and picked up a leather-bound notebook, and began writing. The room was still mostly silent, with only the sound of the Doctor's pen firmly notating on the paper.
"So, tell me. You wanted to talk about why you are having trouble sleeping." The therapy has now started.
"Yes, but I have to be honest with you." Julian replied.
"That's what I prefer, if this is going to work out." The Doctor answered.
"Ok, but I just want you to once again assure me that this conversation never happened." Julian replied.
The Doctor seemed somewhat confused by Julian's request.
"If you mean that if it's going to be confidential, I assure you it will be." The Doctor confirmed.
Julian raised his voice and once again expressed slowly,
"No, I, was never here."
The Doctor kept still for a moment, then replied in agreement and went along with his patient's request. After all, he was dealing with someone who was not mentally stable.
"Ok, Jose, then let us get started."
"Yes, let's start with that, my name is not Jose, it's Julian."
"How long is the therapy?" Julian asked.
"It's only an hour. I have other patients to attend to." the Doctor replied.
Julian looked at the Doctor with a look of disbelief. He pulled out his wallet and removed several bills, and placed them on the table. The Doctor squinted and made out ten one hundred dollar bills. He then looked up at Julian.
"Ok, that buys you a whole week".
"Good," Julian replied with a smirk on his face.
Julian couldn't pass an opportunity to get more comfortable, so he picked up his feet and laid down on the sofa. He placed a throw pillow behind his head. He closed his eyes and fell asleep.