Episode 23 Transcript

23 - Patient #11-A-7 (Caleb)
Lauren Shippen

[sfx: click of a recorder]

Dr. Bright: Okay, Caleb, take a seat.

[sfx: closing door'

Caleb: Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, Dr. Bright. I didn’t really know who else to talk to.

Dr. Bright: I’m happy to do it, Caleb. You sounded very distressed on the phone. What’s going on?

Caleb: Okay, so you know how Chloe has been hanging out a bit with me and Adam recently?

Dr. Bright: Yes. And while I’m happy the two of you are bonding, I am still not pleased with the circumstances of your first meeting.

Caleb: I know. And I’m sorry about that - Adam and I have stopped hanging out by your office, I promise.

Dr. Bright: Caleb, I understand the curiosity, but some of the people in my world are- well, there are some people I would rather you didn’t come into contact with. I’m just trying to look out for you.

Caleb: I know, I know. And I get there’s still a lot I don’t know about typicals or whatever. But that’s sort of why I’m here.

Dr. Bright: You haven’t run into Damien again have you?

Caleb: No, no it’s not that. So - Chloe ran into Adam and his parents today. And they were talking and. Well, wait, I guess I should go back a bit first. I’ve been - okay, so I've been going to art therapy with Chloe every now and then. Sometimes we go just the two of us - she said it really helps clear her mind and kind of calm down, and it’s actually been doing the same for me. There’s always a group of people there, but with everyone focused on their art, the emotions are, like, easier to handle. Well, like, most of the time anyway. I mean, sometimes someone is putting all their anger or stress or whatever into their art and that’s tough but - do you remember that homeless guy I told you about? The one that Chloe also knows?

Dr. Bright: Yes. Frank.

Caleb: Right. So he comes sometimes too. You know that Chloe is helping him out and stuff.

Dr. Bright: Yes, she’s told me about their art sessions. It sounds like it’s helping him quite a bit.

Caleb: Yeah, I think it’s, like, really good for him. But like, when he’s there it’s kind of the same thing that I experienced the first time I saw him - these, like, really strong, really confused emotions. Like, the dude is all over the place.

Dr. Bright: Have you been able to balance them at all over time?

Caleb: No, like, not at all. It’s like...ugh, I don’t know how to describe it. It's like, the longer I’m around him, the worse it actually gets. I want to help Chloe help him, but I’ve stopped going when she’s there with him. It- I get these terrible headaches and feel, like, all dizzy and nauseous after like, 15 minutes of being around him.

Dr. Bright: Really? That’s quite an extreme physical reaction. You haven’t experienced anything like that since your ability first presented.

Caleb: Yeah, I know. And this is, like, so much worse. It’s like - you know when you put- okay, you know when you put a microphone near a speaker and there’s this horrible feedback screech-y sound?

Dr. Bright: Yes, I think I’m familiar.

Caleb: It’s like, totally like that.

Dr. Bright: Hm. I’ve never heard of anything like that happening in an empath before. But I don’t follow - what does this have to do with Chloe and Adam?

Caleb: Right. So Chloe ran into Adam and his parents and they were, you know, making nice small talk and stuff I guess, and Chloe was mentioning how she was going to go paint with Frank. And I guess Adam’s parents were asking about that and Chloe mentioned that Frank was an ex-marine who had all these emotional problems and that’s when- that’s when she saw some stuff in Mr. and Mrs. Hayes’ heads. Or, Dr. and Dr. Hayes I guess. What do you call a couple who are both doctors?

Dr. Bright: The Drs. Hayes, I suppose. What did Chloe see?

Caleb: She wasn’t totally sure, but I guess mentioning the Marines made the Hayes think about their work - I guess they work with the military? I didn’t know that. I just always assumed they worked at a hospital.

Dr. Bright: It isn’t unusual for the military to hire scientists.

Caleb: No, I know that, but Adam’s never mentioned it. I feel like that’s a pretty big thing to leave out. Especially since Adam has a lot of opinions about the military.

Dr. Bright: Is that what’s causing you concern? That Adam’s parents work in an area he doesn’t approve of?

Caleb: No it’s - it’s the kind of work they’re doing. Chloe, she only got glimpses so she can’t be sure, but she said she saw a lot of not good stuff. They were thinking about Marines they’d worked with- or no, they worked on. They were experimenting with them- on them- ugh, I don’t know. But she saw Frank. In the Hayes’ head. They were doing something to him. She said it was a different Frank too - like, younger, healthier. And the Hayes’ and some other scientists were doing something to him and a bunch of other soldiers but the soldiers knew about it. So, I don’t fucking know what that means.

Dr. Bright: Chloe got all this from their thoughts by mentioning Frank?

Caleb: Well, no. After she saw the first bit of something, she started talking about Frank more and asking some questions. She’s gotten really good at making people think of certain things.

Dr. Bright: I didn’t know that.

Caleb: Yeah, it’s actually - it's pretty cool. And apparently when she started talking about other organizations that she’s looked into to help Frank - like the art therapy place and the VA and the vet center and all that - that’s when she saw this symbol in the Hayes’ thoughts. Apparently it’s like, the same logo or whatever that she saw in that Agent’s head - the- the PM or whatever?

Dr. Bright: The AM? Chloe saw The AM’s logo in the Hayes’ thoughts?

Caleb: I guess.
Dr. Bright: Is she certain?

Caleb: She seemed pretty certain.

Dr. Bright: She should have called me.

Caleb: It just happened this morning. And she called me right away to tell me.

Dr. Bright: I understand that impulse. If your boyfriend’s parents work for The AM then-

Caleb: No, no they don’t work for them. They just- they work with them.

Dr. Bright: I’m sorry?

Caleb: Chloe was pretty sure about that. They don’t work for The AM or whatever it’s called but they’ve been working with them on the soldier experiments that they’re doing. And Chloe is worried it might have something to do with us.

Dr. Bright: What?

Caleb: Well, she said that she saw the organization logo thing and then a bunch of stuff about Class A. And she says that’s what we are. In the categorization of atypicals or something, that's I'm a Class A, we're Class As.

Dr. Bright: Yes. Yes that’s true. So Adam’s parents are working with the military and The AM to experiment with Class A atypicals who are also soldiers? I’m sorry, that’s a bit of a hard story to swallow. I don’t think there are enough known Class A atypicals to populate the military.

Caleb: No, the soldiers aren’t special like us. Chloe thinks they were using atypicals to experiment on the Marines. She thinks they did something to Frank.

Dr. Bright: That’s a pretty serious accusation.

Caleb: I know. But, look, I trust her. She knows that she can’t be one hundred percent sure without talking to them more, but Chloe thinks that’s why I have such a strong reaction to Frank. Because they, like, did something with his empathy.

Dr. Bright: That’s what she saw in the Hayes’ thoughts? That they were experimenting on Frank’s empathy?

Caleb: Yeah, I guess so.

Dr. Bright: Well, I’ll have to follow up with Chloe myself but this is certainly cause for concern.

Caleb: I know. And I don’t know what to do.

Dr. Bright: Have you talked to Adam?

Caleb: I texted him earlier. But he and his parents were on their way to have lunch with his aunt and apparently that’s usually a pretty drawn-out thing so I don’t- I don't think he’s checking his phone.

Dr. Bright: What did you text him?

Caleb: Just that I’m really freaked out. That I’m worried his parents are dangerous. I don’t know, it didn’t feel like this before, it- But now that I know Chloe and I know there are other people out there like me, it feels like a them-and-us situation, you know? Like, what if his parents are against people like me?

Dr. Bright: I don’t want you to grow paranoid Caleb. I know that Chloe has learned a lot about The AM in these past few weeks - and I’m very much responsible for that - but I don’t want her filling your head with fears.

Caleb: No, no, she’s not. But I’m still, like, totally freaked out. If Adam’s parents see people like me as something to be experimented on, then how can I know he won’t eventually feel the exact same way?

Dr. Bright: Have Adam’s parents ever treated you differently?

Caleb: No, not really. But I mean, I’ve barely met them - they’re hardly ever around. And I don’t think Adam has told them much about me.

Dr. Bright: That’s good. I don’t want you to fret too much Caleb, but it might be good to keep the Hayes ignorant of your ability. At least until we found out more.

Caleb: Are you- are you gonna look into it?

Dr. Bright: I’ll make some inquiries. Your safety is very important to me.

Caleb: Okay, thanks Dr. Bright. I just hope it’s important to Adam too.

Dr. Bright: I understand your worry, Caleb, I do. But from everything you’ve told me, Adam cares for you very much. I don’t think he would let his parents’ work affect your relationship.

Caleb: Yeah, I know. But-

[sfx: text tone]

Caleb: Oh god, that’s him. He says he has no idea what I’m talking about. And he’s wondering where I am.

[sfx: text sending]

Dr. Bright: Did you tell him?

Caleb: Yeah, maybe we can talk after this or something.

Dr. Bright: I think that would be a good idea. How have things been going with you two in general?

Caleb: They’ve been good. Well, actually, they’ve been okay. The past- the past few weeks have been tough.

Dr. Bright: How so?

Caleb: Well, ever since we ran into Damien, things have been a little, like strained. Like, when we first started hanging out outside your office, it was just for fun. He thought the whole atypical thing was kind of cool and we had, like, a really good time coming up with crazy theories. But, I don’t know, meeting Damien - and Chloe even - it just, it made it a lot more real. Like, this is my life. I’m part of this group of people that are so different from everybody else. For years I’ve felt like a total freak and now, well, Adam made it better. He makes it better. But there’s this whole other world out there that I’m just learning about.

Dr. Bright: And that’s causing tension between you two?

Caleb: Yeah. Because he can’t really understand. And there’s stuff I really don’t understand about him. Like how sad he gets sometimes - even though I feel it too, I just - I don’t fucking get it.

Dr. Bright: I know he was sad before you two started spending time together,  but I thought it had improved somewhat?

Caleb: Yeah, it definitely did at first. But it comes and goes. He just gets really- he has depression. And we haven’t talked about it much, but I can tell when he’s having a bad time. Obviously. And he hates that I can tell and there’s nothing I can do to make it better so we’re just, I don’t know, it’s not as easy as it was at first.

Dr. Bright: How long have you two been dating?

Caleb: Almost three months.

Dr. Bright: Ah, yes. That sounds about right.

Caleb: What?

Dr. Bright: The honeymoon period is over. When you first start a relationship with someone, everything is new and exciting. It’s easy to ignore the things that might complicate the relationship. Now that you two are settled into it a bit, life is starting to come back into play. Neither your nor Adam’s personal challenges disappear just because you’re together.

Caleb: Yeah, I guess. It just sort of felt like that at first though.

Dr. Bright: I know. Just remember to communicate. You may never be able to understand his depression and he may never understand what it’s like to have an ability like yours, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be there for each other.

Caleb: Yeah. Yeah, no, you’re right. And you were right before too - he cares about me. He would never ever tell my secret to anyone. God, just everything Chloe saw had me so fucking scared. I got it in my head that everyone was plotting against me, you know?

Dr. Bright: I’m familiar with the feeling. Was that the door?

Adam: (through the door) Hello? Caleb?

[sfx: opening door]

Dr. Bright: You must be Adam. I’m Dr. Bright. Caleb is in here.

Caleb: Adam, what are you doing here?

Adam: I walked over here from my aunt’s house. What the hell happened with Chloe today? She was acting sort of strange when we saw her earlier but I just kind of assumed it was Chloe being Chloe.

Caleb: She saw all this stuff in your parents’ thoughts-

 Adam: Yeah, that they work for the military? That’s ridiculous.

Caleb: Well, where do they work?

Adam: They work at a hospital. Because they’re doctors.

Caleb: What hospital?

Adam: The- the one over on First. I don’t know, does it matter?

Caleb: How do you not know where your parents work?

Adam: They don’t talk about it - a lot of the research they do is confidential.

Caleb: See what I mean? Who knows what shady shit they’re up to?

Adam: Hey, those are my parents!

Dr. Bright: Gentlemen, let’s try to remain civil please.

Caleb: Sorry, Dr. Bright. I sort of forgot you were there.

Adam: Yeah, sorry.

Caleb: Actually, could you just give us a minute?

Dr. Bright: Of course. I have some files that need sorting anyway.

[sfx: door closing]

Caleb: I’m sorry. The texting earlier - I overreacted. Chloe saw a bunch of stuff but we don’t know anything for sure. And it’s not like you’ve told your parents about me, so even if they were experimenting on people- what? Wait, Adam, why do you feel scared?

Adam: I- I did tell them about you.

Caleb: What?

Adam: Well, after I first found out, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going completely crazy so I asked my mom if it was neurologically possible. And she talked about all this theoretical stuff that mostly went over my head but it made me realize that you weren’t messing with me.

Caleb: But you never asked her about it again, right? So there’s no reason for her to think it has anything to do with me?Adam.

Adam: You haven’t given me a lot to go on, okay, Caleb? You don’t tell me how I can make things easier for you so I had to do some independent research. I was trying to be a good boyfriend.

Caleb: By going behind my back and telling your mom my biggest secret? I mean, how could you do that?

Adam: I’m sorry, I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. It’s just my mom! It’s not like I told the whole world.

Caleb: Yeah, but it’s your mom who might just be, like, an evil scientist who totally fucked with Frank’s head!

Adam: What the hell are you talking about? Caleb, my parents aren’t dangerous, they would never hurt you-

Caleb: I don’t believe you! I can feel you panicking and I can feel Dr. Bright worried sick and I just - I can’t do this right now, okay?

Adam: What do you mean?

Caleb: It’s too much! I’m barely dealing with my own feelings and then everything that’s been going on with you, I just- I
can’t have all this stuff hanging over my head and fucking me up. What if I totally crack - what if your parents or The AM or Damien do something to me and I end up like Frank, my emotions totally out of control-

Adam: Caleb, nothing’s going to happen to you-

Caleb: No, don’t - I just, I need to go be alone for a while, alright?

Adam: Okay, I’ll walk you home-

Caleb: No, I need to be alone, alone. Just- just let me be for a little while okay? And- and don’t tell your parents about me.

Adam: Caleb, you’re acting like I betrayed you. I didn’t do anything wrong, I lo- I- you mean a lot to me. I don’t want you to shut out-

Caleb: I’m sorry-

[sfx: opening door]

Adam: Caleb-

Dr. Bright: Caleb, is everything all right?

Caleb: I’m just gonna go home. Thanks for seeing me so last minute, Dr. Bright.

Dr. Bright: It’s no problem. Are you going to be okay getting home?

Caleb: Yeah, my mom’s been waiting outside the whole time. She was worried.

Dr. Bright: Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow for your regular session.

Caleb: Yeah, sure.

Adam: Caleb, please, I don’t know what’s going on. Can you please just talk to me?

[sfx: opening door]

Caleb: I- I’ll see you in school.

[sfx: closing door]

Dr. Bright: Would you like to sit down, Adam? You look a little faint.

Adam: Yeah. Yeah, that would be good. What just happened?

Dr. Bright: I’m afraid I don’t know. I couldn’t hear what the two of you were discussing.

Adam: I think he maybe just broke up with me.

Dr. Bright: Caleb has had a stressful day. Just give him some space and I’m sure you two will be able to sort things out. Would you like to me call someone to come pick you up?

Adam: What? Oh, um, no, that’s okay. I’ll text my parents. They should be on their way back from my aunt’s anyway.

[sfx: text sending]

Adam: What did he tell you? What did Chloe see?

Dr. Bright: I’m sorry, I can’t tell you what Caleb said in our session.

Adam: Right, of course, sorry. The whole therapist code and everything. My parents keep trying to get me to see a therapist.

Dr. Bright: You don’t want to?

Adam: I don’t know. I mean, I know you’ve helped Caleb a lot. But that’s Caleb. He doesn’t have emotional problems, he just feels the emotional problems of others. It’s different.

Dr. Bright: Just because someone is an atypical doesn’t mean they don’t have their own burdens to bear. Talking to someone can be helpful no matter what you’re going through.

Adam: I guess. But whenever my parents bring it up, they talk about all this stuff - CBT and group therapy and medication and it’s all a bit...

Dr. Bright: Scary?

Adam: What? No, I’m not scared. I just don’t think I need all that stuff.

Dr. Bright: Going to therapy or using medication doesn’t make you a weak person, Adam.

Adam: Yeah, but Caleb doesn’t do group or take meds or any of that stuff. I know he and his mom asked when he first started seeing you. But not like the golden boy needs meds or anything.

Dr. Bright: My patients are unique. Sometimes frustratingly so. While medication isn’t always the solution, it can be very helpful for certain individuals. But science hasn’t quite caught up to atypicals. I’ve met many atypicals who would benefit from pharmaceuticals, but they just don’t work. We don’t have a good enough understanding of the neurology yet. But regardless of what Caleb’s options or modes of coping are, you and he are not the same person. You can’t compare your situation with another’s - your difficulties are different and so your ways of dealing with them will be different too. But not dealing with them at all will get you nowhere.

Adam: So you think I should listen to my parents?

Dr. Bright: I think you shouldn’t feel afraid to seek help. I can’t offer any official advice - I’m not your therapist nor could I be. I am very specialized, after all. But I can give you some names, if you’d like.

Adam: Yeah, okay. Do you think Caleb will stay my boyfriend if I stop being depressed?

Dr. Bright: I think Caleb cares about you as the complete person you are. But he’s not a superhero. He won’t always be able to make you feel better. And that’s okay. Atypical or no, you’re both human. You’re going to make mistakes; just go easy on each other.

[sfx: text tone]

Adam: That’s my mom. Thanks, Dr. Bright. It was nice talking to you.

Dr. Bright: You’re welcome, Adam.

[sfx: opening door]

Adam: Caleb’s not in danger, right? I mean, he’s just being paranoid.

Dr. Bright: I don’t know, Adam.

Adam: Okay.

[sfx: closing door]

Dr. Bright: End of session- I’m not sure what to do, honestly. I’ll have to...I’ll look into it.

[sfx: click of recorder]

[music & credits]

Lauren Shippen: Thank you for listening to The Bright Sessions. Today’s episode was written and directed by Lauren Shippen and produced by Mischa Stanton. The voice of Dr. Bright is Julia Morizawa. The voice of Caleb is Briggon Snow. The voice of Adam is Alex Gallner. Thank you to everyone who has left a review for our show on iTunes. If you’re a fan of the podcast, please rate and review us - it helps us stay on the charts so more audio drama lovers can find us. If you want to help us make more of the show, you can support us on Patreon at patron.com/thebrightsessions. And make sure to check out our website at thebrightsessions.com for special bonus content and information about the cast and crew. For now, thanks for listening and stay strange.