I don’t care what Dr. Crowe called it, it was clearly a dog collar. It even had the extra hook where you could attach a leash to it. I suspected that she had the thing custom made.
When I got home that night, I started reading one of the books on training yourself to be bling while my mom made us dinner. It talked a lot about making sure that everything had a place, and that you have to practice putting things in their proper placed every time you are done with them. Otherwise, you will spend hours looking for something you need right now.
One good thing about packing everything for a cross country trip is that you have to eat all of the ice cream in the house before you go. So after dinner each night, my mom and I got to eat one thing from the ice cream shelf in the freezer. As happy as that made me, I was still overly stressed about Dr. Crowe’s idea.
That night, before I went to bed, I took the long scarf she had given me and tied it to the bed. I tied the other end to the hook on the dog collar and put it on. I hoped that, when Sophie got up to play tonight, she would realize that she was tied up and go back to bed. Or at the very least, her tugging on the thing would wake me up.
Unfortunately, that didn’t work. I still felt like it was a dream, but I was becoming more aware of what she was up to. It really felt like I was a passenger in someone else’s head. Sophie got up and didn’t realize the leash was there. When she got to the end of it, I felt it tug on our neck. *OUTCH* I thought. I Sophie tugged two more times before my knot came loose and then she was free.
She wandered around my bedroom looking at things for a while. I could feel what she felt. My pajamas made her feel itchy for some reason. She started pulling them off one by one until we were naked. Then I felt what I can only describe as joy. Like the way a six year old feels Christmas morning. Sophie was happy and wanted to go play.
I had no control of this situation. I could only watch as Sophie fiddled with the door. I had locked it, and she was having trouble figuring out how to open it. After a few minutes, she figured it out and we headed down stairs. The house door has one of those handles that automatically unlocks when you open it from the inside.
The thought that, had my dad bought a different kind of lock that lets you out but remains locked after, I would have been waking up locked out of my house naked every morning. That thought made me shutter.
I could hear Sophie’s thoughts as we ran through the neighborhood. Cars drove past us and she didn’t care. Some even honked their horns, which caused Sophie to hide in the bushes for a few minutes until they were no longer in sight. I could tell that it was the sound of the horn that scared her, not of getting caught or anything.
She also didn’t shy away from people. We came across Mr. Fitzpatrick walking Benny again. Sophie stopped to play with the little schnauzer. And not play the way a person plays with a dog, but the way dogs play with one another. Getting down on our hands and knees and pouncing. Mr. Fitzpatrick thought it was a delight to see me naked and playing with his dog.
After several minutes, Sophie decided she had more places to visit and promptly got up and ran away. I heard Mr. Fitzpatrick say “Nice to see you again, Annie.”, as we left. Next, we were at the playground. Images of me and Craig playing here as kids floated in my mind. It was a strange experience though, because it was Sophie remembering those thing, I just was aware of them.
We started on the swing set. I had long since outgrown everything here, but Sophie didn’t seem to notice. We swung on the swing set. We went down the slide. We went on the merry-go-round. Everything I had done as a kid, Sophie was doing now.
I lost track of time, she just kept running around and playing like I was still a little girl. Suddenly she stopped and looked around. She heard it before me, but soon Andrew, Josh and Billy had arrived at the park. They were a couple of years younger than me, but we had been friends for quite a while.
They were expecting to find her here. “Annie!” I heard Josh yell, followed by Billy and then Andrew. For her part, as soon as she heard my name, she went running happily as can be straight toward them. When we caught up to them they all hugged me, or hugged Sophie at least. She wanted to run, but was waiting for them to do… something.
Andrew took her arm, “Annie… I know you said you’re not yourself at night. Let me know if you need my help.” Sophie looked at him like he was insane. No thought, just surprise at what he had just said. Suddenly, Billy touched my right breast and said, “You’re it!” and took off running. All three boys took off and Sophie chased after then.
I could tell they wanted to get caught, every time they got too far ahead, they would turn around and wait for her. Within 30 seconds, Andrew was ‘it’ and Sophie was running the other way. For some reason, the game was Annie against the boys as they all started chasing her. It seemed the goal was to see which one could catch her. The winner got to touch her breasts and then it was her turn to chase them. This was a very naughty game of tag!
After about 10 minutes or so, everyone was exhausted and rolling on the ground laughing with each other. Once they rested, they began tickling us. I am very ticklish, and I really hate it when people do it. Sophie, on the other hand, loves being tickled. For me, this was the ultimate torture. I could feel myself being tickled, but instead of trying to get away or stop it, she just kept raising her arms and laughing her head off. I could do nothing but lay there and be tickled while Sophie was in charge.
Inevitably, as happened whenever Craig used to tickle torture me, Sophie peed. Once she started spraying all over the place, the boys jumped back to keep from getting any on them.
“Annie, Gross!” exclaimed Andrew. Billy on the other hand thought it was hilarious.
Pulling out a paper towel, apparently, this was not the first time Sophie had peed, Billy said, “Here. Let me dry you off.”
As he got closer, Sophie began growling. “Careful,” Josh warned. “She’s gonna bite you again.”
I could see what Sophie was thinking, and I didn’t blame her. If he touched my pussy again, he was going to get bit for sure. Again? I was starting to remember this happening before. I remembered biting his arm and the other two had to save him before I drew blood.
I heard a car coming. At first, I wasn’t paying attention to it, as I expect cars probably drove past here all the time, but it wasn’t driving past. Instead, after 30 seconds or so, it had turned in to face the park. Its headlights were almost shining toward us. I heard one of the boys say “Run” and they all sprinted into the woods. Sophie wasn’t afraid. I could see she was just curious as to who else was here to ‘play’ with her.
I was suddenly terrified as Sophie began jogging toward the car. I don’t think they could see us yet, but in a few seconds we would be right on top of them. Worse, depending who it was, they might be on top of us a minute later.
‘STOP’ I screamed in my own head. Of all the things that had happened tonight, what frightened me the most was that she listened. Sophie was somehow aware of my presence in her head, and she listened when I told her to stop.
The car was still moving closer. We were almost in plain view of their headlights. I wanted to tell her to run, but was afraid she would misinterpret that and run toward the car. While I was thinking of how to word my next command, someone grabbed our arm and pulled us into the woods. If I was in control, I would have screamed. But since it was Sophie, she bit whomever it was really hard.
“Ouch! Annie, stop. It’s me, Josh.” He said in a rumbling whisper.
Sophie went from anger to joy without a moment of hesitation. I swear it was like she hadn’t seen him in a year and was so excited to be reunited. Sophie jumped into Josh’s arms, causing us to tumble to the ground. I heard Josh grunt as we landed on top of him.
“Shhh!” Josh said. Sophie knew that command. We all ducked down and watched as the car began driving donuts around the grassy field in the park. They were there for 15 minutes messing around before peeling out and back onto the street.
Billy and Andrew were long gone, but Josh stayed with us until it was over. He then escorted us back to my house. “Do you want me to walk you in?”
Sophie gave him a tight hug, smashing my boobs into his face in the process and then bounded into the house without a sound. She then crawled into bed and fell asleep. The funny thing is, when she fell asleep, so did I.
The next morning, I lay in bed for a while remembering everything that I had experienced. Did Sophie really hear me or did she stop on her own? I had no way to know. At least it felt as though I had gotten more sleep. I’ve no idea what time we got home last night.
I was trying to decide if it was more stressful being aware of what Sophie was up to or just waking up naked and covered in mud without a clue as to what had happened. Thinking about what might have happened if whoever was in that car had seen us left me trembling in fear.
I decided to get up and at least wash my sheets and get cleaned up before my mom say how filthy I was. She still thought I was wetting the bed each night. There was going to be another full day of sorting and packing after breakfast.
Once I was out of the shower and dressed, I went down to have breakfast. My mom had made us oatmeal with blueberries and cream on top.
“What’s the matter, Annie? You look like you’ve seen a ghost or something.” My mom said as soon as I sat down to eat.
I closed my eyes and tried to focus on how I was feeling. It took a second to realize that I was still scared by that car in the park. “Mom. I don’t want to move to New York. I really need to keep seeing Dr. Crowe.” I said.
“I know you do, honey. We’ll find you a new therapist when we get there. I think your father has already started searching for a good one.” She tried assuring me.
“Isn’t there anyway I can just stay here while you and dad move to Syracuse?” I asked.
Sweetie, you can’t live alone. Remember what happened at the mall? Who would look after you?” She asked.
“No, not by myself. Why can’t I stay with Dr. Crowe?” I continued.
My mom laughed at that. “I really don’t think that Dr. Crowe wants one of her patients going home with her.”
“I think she will. She said I am a fascinating case. She wants to study me. What better way to study me than at her house?” I pressed.
“Annie, no. Don’t get your hopes up on something like this. Syracuse has plenty of therapists, and you will be fine there.” My mom said firmly.
“But mom, just ask her. Please. She told me she owes Dad a favor. Have him ask her. Please.” I begged.
“Stop whining. I said no. If you keep pressing on this, you’ll be working through lunch today.” She told me. I could hear the anger in her voice as she spoke. I was mad too. I knew if they asked, Dr. Crowe would say yes, but if she won’t ask then I’m screwed.
I lowered my eyes and pouted while I finished breakfast. Maybe I could call my dad later and ask him to call her. I could usually get him to do small things for me by sitting on his lap and smiling. But he was across the country, so I would have to try and be cute on the phone somehow.
After breakfast, we went to my dad’s study. He had a lot of books for us to pack up. We could only add the books to the boxes. Once the boxes were full, neither of us could lift them, so we had to prestack the boxes first and add books.
I had never noticed it before, mostly because I don’t come in here and I never looked at his book shelf before, but my dad had seven books all written by Dr. Sheila Crowe. I had no idea she had written so many books. All of these books were on psychology, self-control and behavioral therapy.
My dad was a physics professor, I have no idea why he had so many books on psychology. I asked my mom, but she didn’t know about them either.
It took us most of the day to finish packing up his office. After that we decided to take a break for the night. My mom said she needed to go shopping, and I wanted to go see Josh. After last night, I owed him one.
“Annie!” He said when he saw me. “Did you…” he started and then lowered to a whisper, “want to talk?”
I took his hand and walked us away from his house. “Josh.” I said when we were far away from any other people. “You have to keep this to yourself. Don’t even tell Billy or Andrew.”
“Okay, I won’t” he agreed.
“Promise?” I asked.
“I promise. For real. Just you and me, okay?” he said.
I nodded. “Do you remember last year when… Tabitha had me walk around the neighborhood on a leash?”
“Of course!” he exclaimed.
“Hush, let me finish.” I scolded. Why did he have to be so loud? “At that time, I was seeing a therapist who was helping me with some body image issued I had.”
“Body image? Your body is fantastic!” he said.
“Quiet!” I whispered furiously. “Enough of that. Let me finish. She was using hypnosis on me.” Josh looked like he wanted to jump in, but I could see him bite his tongue to keep from blurting something stupid out.
“Without getting into too many details, one of the things she hypnotized me to do was to ‘accept’ things that were happening around me more easily. Tabitha took advantage of that, and was very abusive to me. She made me believe that I was her pet. Even though she never called me a dog, under hypnosis, I ‘accepted’ that this was normal and believed that I was her dog. She even had a name she gave me.” I said.
“Oh, I remember. She called you Sophie!” he said. “Are you okay?”
When Josh blurted out the name Sophie, I could suddenly feel her in my head. She clearly recognized Josh and wanted to play. I felt dizzy as I was trying to maintain control of my own brain. My clothes even started feeling itchy.
After about a minute, I steadied myself and was somehow able to push her to the back of my head again. “I’m fine, but please don’t mention her name right now.” I said.
Josh nodded, but still gave me a questioning look as I continued.
“I thought that this was dealt with last year, but… I’ve had a lot of stress lately and…” I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to say this, but he had helped me last night, so I thought I owed him this at least. “You see. When that was happening, I actually believed that I was… well, you know who.”
Josh nodded again, but now he looked very concerned.
“Lately, at night, she has resurfaced. She waked up in the middle of the night and strips me naked and then goes outside to play. Do you understand?” I asked.
“That makes so much sense now. You… she doesn’t speak. She just wants to play games and run around like a lost puppy.” He said slowly.
“Do not tell anybody about this. Even my parents don’t know. I am seeing a psychiatrist and trying to get this resolved. I just wanted to tell you because you… helped me last night.” I said.
“You remember last night?” he exclaimed.
“Yes, last night I was sort of a passenger in Sophie’s head. Sorry for biting you, by the way.” I said sullenly.
“It still hurts!” Josh said, and raised is arm up so I could see a perfect half circle on his forearm that would perfectly match the same of my teeth. At least it didn’t look like I broke the skin.
“Sorry.” I repeated.
Josh nodded. “So what now?”
“I don’t know. My parents are moving us to New York in a couple of weeks. If I can’t get out of it, I am afraid what will happen. Sophie has my childhood memories, from what I can tell. If she wakes up in a strange city, who knows what she will do?”
I saw as Josh’s jaw dropped. “You’re moving?”
“I’m trying to get out of it, but uh, yeah. I guess either way I am moving. Hopefully I can stay near here and keep seeing Dr. Crowe.” I said. “But right now, I don’t know.”
I didn’t realize that I was dropping a bomb on a close friend until I saw him reel back and start crying. I cried too. A lot of anxiety and stress had really suppressed the sadness I was feeling about leaving my childhood home. I would miss Josh… and Billy and Andrew and a dozen other people. I have him a big hug and we cried together for a while. Eventually, I went home to some happy news.
“She said okay.” My mom said as I walked into the house.
“Who?” I asked.
“Dr. Crowe. She told your father that, if you want to stay here instead of move to Syracuse with us, it would be okay for you to stay with her.” My mom said flatly.
“Mom, I… thank you for asking her.” I said and began crying. It suddenly felt like a 1,000 pound weight had just been lifted off of my shoulders. “What did dad say?”
“Nothing. I told him about your bed wetting issue and how you have been so stressed out over this move. I mentioned that you asked to stay with Dr. Crowe and… he called her. While I was still on the phone, he just added her to the call.”
“He did? Then what?” I asked.
“She sounded… amused, when he asked if you could stay with her, she laughed softly and then said, ‘of course, Annie is welcome to stay as long as she likes’.”
I gave my mom a big hug. “I love you mommy. I love you so much! I need to stay here for a while, but I love you and daddy more than anything in the world!”
“I know honey. We love you too. Just, get better soon so you can come stay with us some more. I’ll miss you more than anything!” she said. We hugged for a long time.