is it us?
It had been a typical Thursday; Jason had clients he needed to see and then he had decided to go to dinner with Julia. It was merely professional, he kept telling himself, though he wasn’t quite sure if she had felt the same way. It wasn’t even a fancy restaurant that they were going on but he wondered if she had assumed it was some sort of date. Jason hadn’t been on a proper date since…. well, it had been a while. He didn’t need to go down that route again. After what had happened last month, though, Jason knew that he needed to appeal to her in ways that he hadn’t needed to before. Crane had been kind of enough to leave Jason a note for when he disappeared explaining the situation, in very little detail, and Julia had filled in the rest when Jason had decided that he was having a foggy memory and needed a reminder. It wasn’t a lie, of course, but he also knew that he would never tell he the full truth. She never needed to know what was truly going on.

If this had truly been a date, perhaps Jason would have gone to meet Julia at her home but they had opted to meet at the restaurant instead. Jason had arrived first, he had always been extremely punctual, and he grabbed a hightop table by the bar and ordered a whiskey on the rocks for himself. Then she arrived, in the outfit that he was sure she wore during the day for work, and he breathed a sigh of relief. “Hello,” she said, offering a smile, as she hung her large purse on the chair behind her, before going over to kiss his cheek. “I shouldn’t have agreed to even meet you for dinner because you cancelled our session yesterday.” He sighed and shook his head and watched as she sat down. “I actually had an emergency meeting with my own client. My work needs to come before my own sanity, you know this.” Her eyes narrowed slightly and she pursed her lips together. “It shouldn’t be that way but I understand why you think that.”

If she didn’t understand, she was crazy. Frankly, Jason thought that Julia needed to be in therapy as well, considering that her divorce was eating away at her but he also knew she was extremely proud and wouldn’t do that unless she thought she needed to. His pride had gotten in the way of his own therapy for a long time too but he had made a decision he should have made years ago and bit the bullet. Was his therapy actually working? That was anyone’s guess, since he was still lying to her about a good portion of what was going on with him, but it did help him, in a very roundabout way. Being able to voice his frustrations over his lost memories was refreshing and comforting. He could have talked to Joe, perhaps, but his best friend was battling his own demons, ones far worse than Jason’s. There had been plenty of times where he wished that he could be there for Joe in a larger role but he wasn’t sure how he could help him, which was frustrating in its own right.

They had both ordered drinks and food and suddenly, Jason was struck with a pain in his head that was reminiscent of a headache that he knew far too well. Panic flowed through him because it was too early for this. If it was going to happen it would happen on a Sunday, not a Thursday, and not during dinner time. Oh, hello dear Jason. It was Crane in his head and he tried to not look suspicious but he knew he had failed when he looked over at her. “Are you feeling okay? Are you experiencing one of those headaches you told me about?” He simply nodded at her question and swallowed hard. “I think I just need to go to the restroom. Excuse me a moment.” She nodded and he was off to the restroom to figure out what was going on.

When he arrived there was one other gentlemen in there, wrapping up, and Jason splashed some water on his face from the sink, getting a look from the other gentlemen. A sneer was all Jason could manage and when he was gone he looked straight into the mirror. “What the hell are you doing here right now?” I’m honestly unsure why I’m here but I’m quite enjoying it. Do you frequently go on dinner dates with your psychologists? I wouldn’t beg you for that kind of man. If only Jason could punch the man he had living in his head without hurting himself, he would have done it ages ago. “It’s not a date but that is beside the point. Do you honestly think that now is the time for this?” Crane sighed heavily and then it turned into a laugh. If you honestly think that I want to be around right now, you’re sorely mistaken. I didn’t decide to appear and here I am. I had no choice or say in this. Perhaps I’m not even here, perhaps you are simply going insane. Wouldn’t that be something? Did you get into the fear gas, Carew? The one thing you used to fear most was yourself, is it me now? Or is it us?

Just then the door flung open and another gentlemen came into use the restroom. Jason looked in the mirror and shook his head but Crane knew better. There was no lying to each other, not now. They had been sharing a space long enough for him to know exactly what had been going on in Jason’s head. He could tell that Jason also wanted desperately to defend himself but it would have to wait and he made his way out of the bathroom, muttering under his breath. “Please, keep it together.” Oh, don’t you worry about that. Then a smile came across his face as he saw Julia across the table, looking at her phone. “I think I’m better now. Just needed to splash some water on my face.” She smiled and so did Jason… and Crane.