“Same condition as the boy? He also likes to visit Haunted Houses?” Doctor Gao had managed to pique Chen Ge’s curiosity.
“Low spirited with occasional outbursts. Prefers to be alone in dark places because it gives him a sense of security. Whether he likes to visit Haunted Houses or not, I’m not so sure.” Doctor Gao moved to the side to reveal the young man behind him. “Men Nan, my student, he came to me with his illness about three weeks ago.”
The person behind Doctor Gao was in his twenties, slight of frame, had a tense face, high cheek bones, and dark circles around his eyes. Standing under the sun, tiny droplets of sweat seeped out of his forehead. The young man seemed to be in a tense state, with his head lowered, unable to meet any one’s eyes.
“Surname Men?” Chen Ge tried to make conversation. “That’s rare, nice to meet you.”
The young man’s reaction was weird. He kept his head lowered, and his eyes scanned Chen Ge quickly before softly replying, “Nice to meet you.”
After examining the young man for some time, Chen Ge pulled Doctor Gao to the side. “But, Doctor Gao, why did you bring him here? If you plan to let him visit the Haunted House, I’m not responsible if anything happens to him.”
“Men Nan was a cheerful, confident child, one of my brightest students. He is incredibly talented in the field of personality psychology.”
“One of the branches of psychology. Generally speaking, it is the science of understanding human behavior.”
“Okay.” Chen Ge nodded even though he still did not quite get it.
“His symptoms appeared three weeks ago without any warning. There is usually a trigger to psychological illnesses, mostly related to one’s family or living environment. However, Men Nan lives alone, and his environment has not undergone any changes recently, so I’m stumped,” Doctor Gao whispered, obviously trying to not let Men Nan hear him.
“After many sessions, his condition has not improved. If anything, it is deteriorating. The young man has always been a patient fellow, but recently, he has been experiencing violent mood swings. He got into a scuffle recently with a classmate simply because the animal patterns on the curtain did not match, and he injured a random stranger simply because the number of sesame seeds on the bun kept changing whenever he counted them.”
“The reasons for his anger sure are unique.”
“Whenever one is under the torment of psychological pressure, even the smallest provocation can lead to an explosion of emotions. Men Nan’s actions made me realize he was in deep pain.”
“But why would you bring him to me?” Chen Ge looked at Doctor Gao and Men Nan. The special visitor was probably one of them.
“Wang Xin’s illness has improved greatly. Her symptoms that were deteriorating improved after meeting you,” Doctor Gao said with a smile. “I’m not a stubborn person. No matter the method, as long as it can cure the patient, it is a good method. I am deeply disturbed by the pain he is in, so I wish for you to lend me a hand.”
“Go on then.” Chen Ge did not reject Doctor Gao.
“Can you repeat what you did for Wang Xin on Men Nan? After all, from what we know so far, Men Nan, Wang Xin, and the boy we discussed about before all suffer from the same illness.”
Chen Ge hesitated after hearing Doctor Gao’s words. He did not expect that would be the reason behind the doctor’s visit. What he had done for Wang Xin had probably greatly impressed the senior psychologist, and that was why he had come up with this request.
However, Chen Ge knew the truth. The only reason Chen Ge could help Wang Xin was because he knew the past from the Pen Spirit, and the Pen Spirit herself had come to assist Wang Xin. The method could not be copied; it was specific to the case.
“Is it going to be a problem for you?” Doctor Gao saw the hesitation on Chen Ge’s face. “If it’s too much trouble, then forget I ever ask. After all, I’m just hoping for the best here. This child has immense talent, but if I put him under medication, it will cause great side effects on his body and mind; I’m afraid it will ruin his future.”
“It’s difficult but not impossible. If you want me to help, at least let me know a little bit more about him.” Chen Ge did not reject directly. One of them was the special visitor, and every special visitor was a hidden treasure who he must not let go easily.
“Then I will thank you in advanced on behalf of the child.” The smile returned to Doctor Gao’s face as he called Men Nan over. “Men Nan, come and tell us what has been bothering you.”
The young man kept his head lowered. No matter who he was talking to, his head remained in that posture, like someone was pressing him down on his skull.
Noting the young man’s silence, Doctor Gao sighed before filling in for him. “Three weeks ago, he suddenly came to see me, saying he suspected that he was suffering from depression. We are professionals ourselves, and after an afternoon of diagnosis, I discovered that his symptoms were different from normal depression. At most, he was feeling overly agitated and tired. At the time, I did not think too much of it, but his situation worsened. He would spend the whole day not saying a single word and get into altercations with the slightest provocation. I analyzed it for a long time before coming to a conclusion that he would not admit—he is afraid, very afraid of something that is hidden inside his heart!
“I suspect that he is suffering from a fear complex, but when I examine his surroundings, I cannot find anything that could cause fear. After I asked him again and again, he finally admitted the truth.” Doctor Gao looked at Men Nan with concern in his eyes. “Starting three weeks ago, he has been having the same dream every night.”
The mention of the dream made Men Nan shudder; this was something he was afraid of facing the most.
“What kind of dream?” Chen Ge had imagined many scary scenarios, but Doctor Gao’s answer surprised him.
“He dreamed about washing his hair.”
“Washing his hair?” Chen Ge did not know what to say.
“I’ll let him fill you in on the rest.” Doctor Gao placed his hand on Men Nan’s shoulder and nudged him slightly, probably to make him relax.
After a long time, Men Nan opened his lips. “It is the same dream every time, and it is becoming clearer and clearer. Soon, I’ll be able to see the person’s face.”
His voice sounded raw, like his throat had been burned.
“Who is this person? There’s another person in your dream?”
“Yes, he always appears beside me to watch me wash my hair. He looks scary and dangerous, as if the moment I close my eyes, he will rush over to strangle me.”