The Five Year Anniversary of the Most Important Day of Achebe Okoro's Life
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Achebe Okoro knocked on the door to his therapist's office. He was excited to talk this session, though it wasn't like he didn't like the sessions in the first place. This week, he had something that he really wanted to bring up, something that he was aching to tell someone.

Before he could finish his own thought, he heard the sound of the restroom door opening to his left, followed by his therapist swiftly walking down the hallway.

"I hope I didn't leave you standing here too long!" she said as she hurried along.

Achebe laughed quietly. "Not a problem Madame Coffey, I had only just gotten here."

She sighed and smiled, taking out the key to her office. Achebe stepped to the side so she could unlock her door, and the two of them stepped inside. Dr. Coffey took her seat at her desk, cluttered with multi-colored files and a laptop currently in sleep mode. Achebe sat down on the couch, making sure to sit on the cushion that was the firmest. Obviously, he avoided the middle cushion.

Dr. Coffey fixed her bun, adjusting the band that held it all together using the laptop as a mirror. Once she was satisfied, she wiggled the mouse and the screen shone to life. She turned to Achebe with a satisfied sigh.

"The week has gone by fast. Can you believe it's already Thursday?" Dr. Coffey said. "How was your father's birthday? You never told me how that went on our last session."

Achebe smiled and laughed. "Oh, did I not? Desolé, Madame Coffey! He is doing well, my sisters and I worked hard to make sure he could appreciate it this year. For once, he did not fall asleep until after the dinner!"

"Oh, lovely! What did you make?" Dr. Coffey asked.

"Orisa and Ginika made the main course, and of course I made the dessert. A pear and dark chocolate Charlotte, I was quite proud of it."

"You are an incredible baker, after all," Dr. Coffey remarked. "I apologize for sating my personal curiosity first. Do you want to keep talking about this or is there something else on your mind?" Dr. Coffey asked.

Achebe paused, placing his hands on his knees. He wasn't sure if it was worth bringing this up, but he had an itching need to talk about something.

"It is… stupid, but there is something," Achebe said.

"I do not ever think your experiences are stupid. We are all human, and fallible - we may be misled, we may be mistaken. But our feelings and thoughts have intrinsic value, and I am interested in yours," Dr. Coffey said with a smile.

"I am not a normally superstitious person, but… I had a dream on Monday," Achebe explained. "Monday was five years after my holiday to America."

Dr. Coffey nodded knowingly, moving her laptop to her lap and beginning to type. "How much of the dream do you remember?"

Achebe broke eye contact with Dr. Coffey. "The thing is, I remember it completely. It was incredibly real, it was… it was…"

There was a silence between the two before Dr. Coffey broke it. "Why don't you try telling me what happened? I'm not exactly a medium, but just talking about it will help if something is weighing on your mind."

Achebe sighed, looking down at his lap. "I was back in America. Everything around me was in ruins, completely broken and destroyed. I could not see much through the smoke, but I was walking forward, as if I knew where I was going. I did not recognize the streets."

Dr. Coffey nodded.

"Then in front of me, I saw a statue. It was that man. The one who died."

"The one that saved your life?" Dr. Coffey asked for clarification.


"Sorry, please continue," Dr. Coffey apologized, continuing to type on her laptop.

"Behind me I heard a voice. I did not know what it was saying, but I responded anyway. I said that this was where he died. The voice said something else and then I apologized. I did not see who was speaking but I heard it walking away."

Once again there was silence between the two as Dr. Coffey waited for Achebe to continue. Dr. Coffey wanted to be sure that Achebe could speak his mind fully, first.

Achebe finally spoke again, "I feel like… I feel like maybe it had something to do with the day? I knew that the anniversary was coming the night I fell asleep, so I feel like that could be why I remembered it so vividly."

Dr. Coffey nodded, continuing to type but not saying anything.

"I feel like I have made progress, I really do. But when I have experiences like that, well…" Achebe sighed. "Do you think that this is just me… falling back?"

Dr. Coffey stopped typing, keeping her hands still. "You're openly talking about your trauma, which is something that many people can't attest to. You've come a long way in five years, Achebe."

Achebe sighed. "I could not be here without you. Even talking about the day is helpful."

"What do you feel would help you, Achebe? Do you think that this was just something that happened on the day or do you feel like you need something more?" Dr. Coffey asked.

Achebe paused, thinking. After minutes of silence Achebe spoke again. "I heard that that man has children in America. I did not attend the funeral, so I should go on another holiday and visit them. Maybe bring something."

Dr. Coffey leaned forward. "That is an incredible idea, Achebe. If you feel like that's something you need, I fully support this."

Achebe laughed lightly. "I would likely miss a session, I hope you can live without me on a Thursday."

Dr. Coffey placed a hand on her chest, speaking in an overly-dramatic voice, "I don't know if my heart will take it, but I can try."

Achebe didn't hold back his laugh this time. Dr. Coffey laughed in return.

"Alright, alright, if you will live, I will go," Achebe said.

"Good," Dr. Coffey said, leaning back in her chair. "I feel like this will be good for you. Another important step to recovery is closure."

"I agree," Achebe said. "But now with that out of the way, I have more important news to tell you about the bakery!"

"Oh, do tell!" Dr. Coffey said, ready to listen.

Achebe sat in front of his laptop computer, looking at the checkout screen for a ticket to Portland, Maine. At his therapy session he spoke about it with conviction, but now that he was here he felt his hand waver. Memories of that evening came back to him, the blood splattered on his shirt, the sound of a body hitting the ground, the mugger's footsteps fading away in the distance.

What was the point of going back? Sure, he might get closure but he really wasn't sure if he needed it. He had already made a lot of progress; he wasn't going into a panic attack just thinking about that day! Surely he was completely fine!

He slowly moved the mouse cursor to exit, but hesitated again. Dr. Coffey seemed happy that he was doing this, and she hadn't lead him astray before. Maybe it was the right thing to do? His indecisiveness was killing him; he fell back in his seat with an audible groan. The laptop stared back, unfeeling.

Achebe wiped his chin and thought about what to do. Was this really the most important thing for him to do right now? He had success at the bakery, he was enjoying his life, he was happy… then he thought back on the dream.

Surely there must have been a reason that he had that dream. It all felt like there was a purposeful reason that he had that dream beyond it being the anniversary. He put his fists to his forehead and closed his eyes, thinking about the dream, replaying it in his head.

He wasn't quite sure what it was, but something felt clearer about it; like he could understand it more, understand what was going on. He knew that the voice behind him was a friend, and that the streets they were walking down were in America. He knew that the friend knew the old man, and that they were close, it and the old man.

He put down his hands and opened his eyes. It had to be a sign that he had to visit the old man's kids. He felt motivated to, like it actually was something he needed to do. He leaned forwards and moved the cursor. With a click, he bought the ticket.

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