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 appointments [closed]

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PostSubject: appointments [closed]   Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:42 pm


His palms were slick as he wrung his hands together.

They always were before he went in.

Roderick hated medical facilities. He hated the white. He hated the smell. He hated being prodded and poked and pinched. He felt exposed - naked, almost. Occasionally he'd run his finger along the neckline of his shirt to make sure it was still there.. That the piercing gaze of the nurse behind the counter hadn't somehow made it disintegrate into thin air while he was still wearing it. This anxiety had become so profound in one trip to a walk-in clinic that it had actually driven him out.

God, did they not want him there? The longer he sat in the waiting room, the more he felt like he'd done something unpleasant. This appointment was beginning to feel a lot more like a punishment than an appointment.

What had he done wrong? Was the nurse at the counter scrutinizing everyone? Was it just him? It was just him, wasn't it? How long had she been looking? With every glance at her his discomfort mounted, until finally, he forced his eyes to settle on the floor, unable to take it anymore. Jesus, he was just making it worse by looking, wasn't he? Roderick swallowed the lump in his throat, his fingertips going a little purple as he squeezed them tighter.

Were her suspicions rising for whatever wrongdoing he'd committed? Had he forgotten about something he'd said or done the other night? Was she going to call him over? Was she going to--

"Hello, Roderick."

In a split second, the sudden voice pulled him right out of his evolving delusion. He raised his head to meet a familiar face.

She hadn't changed much - or, at all, really - since he'd last saw her. Deep creases along her mouth and eyes still formed as she smiled down at him. The same tiny, golden bird brooch was fastened along the lapel of her coat. Her glasses, thick-rimmed and wide, had wandered half-way down her nose, as they so often did. Her lipstick and nail polish continued to match impeccably. Her hair was still a rather even blend of salt and pepper - only it was cut neatly above her shoulders, now.

"Oh, ah.." Roderick scrambled to find his voice, trying very hard to recover from the little fantasy he'd worked himself into. ".. Hello, I.. I didn't.."

"Didn't notice me come over?" She chuckled softly and stepped back, gesturing for him to follow. "I was a little sneaky, I suppose. It's been a while, too, hasn't it?"

It had.

"So how do you like it here?"

"Fine, I 'spose."

He was glad to be out of the waiting room, away from the gawk of the woman at the counter. In was quiet in here. It wasn't white, and didn't smell particularly of medicine, and in place of uncomfortable, unpadded plastic chairs were plush, leather couches. It was warmer, and more welcoming - especially with Dr. Walsh present. Still, though, Roderick couldn't help but continue to wring his hands together with a persistent, lingering anxiety.

She blinked slowly. "Classes, people, your dorm room.. It's been alright so far?"

Since moving from home, Roderick hadn't kept track of how long it'd been since he'd last spoken to Dr. Walsh. He'd gone to see her once a week while he'd lived in New Zealand, but it'd been months between now and their last appointment back there. His mother had arranged a new therapist for him once he'd settled in, but he couldn't say that he liked her very much.. Though she had been helping him keep track of his medication, at least. Pills seemed to have a desire to be lost. "Yeah, I'd.. I'd say so. I haven't had good tea in a while." That, and he missed living so close to the coast. Other than a handful of minor quips, it wasn't all that bad.

The worst thing thus far been his wait in the infirmary in this very day, as a matter of fact.

Dr. Walsh smiled again and leaned back into her armchair, interlocking her fingers neatly over her lap. "That's good to hear. Mum and dad were worried about you moving off so far from home. I'm sure they're happy to know you've been getting on well."

"Mum called the other night." It'd taken three tries, but she'd eventually reached him. "

"Good, good." The therapist reached off to the side to take up her clipboard. She leafed through a couple of papers and gave her pen a click. "Well, I spoke to the academy's counselor earlier today, and she says you've been keeping up with medication. Not super into chat sessions, though?"

The Winter opened his mouth and then closed it again, eyes darting from the ground, to Dr. Walsh, and then back down.

Her smile softened. "Like I always say, I think talking is one of the best ways to unravel if you leave things unsaid for long periods of time, but if you've been doing okay with just what was prescribed to you, then that's perfectly alright. It's your choice."

Roderick managed a faint grin of his own, eyes floating back up.

She was right. Talking - or even just listening to advice, if it was one of those days where he had trouble finding his words - did seem to alleviate some of his worries and stresses sometimes. Excluding the past hour in the infirmary lobby, lately he'd felt.. Good. It was summer - warm breezes, cool afternoons, and everything was green.. Not to mention he now had three boisterous kittens to look after. He hadn't felt much need to ''talk', or 'unravel'.

He was glad that Dr. Walsh had come to America for a visit, though. It'd felt like an age since he'd heard a proper Kiwi accent.

"Well, I'd best not keep you here too long. I'll still be here for the rest of the month, so there's no rush."

Roderick's remaining nerves about the waiting room had seemed to fade more and more the longer he and Dr. Walsh spoke. By the time they'd finished up, a little over an hour had passed. Dr. Walsh hooked her pen to her clipboard, flattened the wrinkles in her skirt, and rose from her armchair. "It was very nice seeing you again after so long, Roderick. I'm glad to hear you've adjusted to this place and met new people." She stepped towards the door and pushed it open for him. "I'll gave you a call so we can schedule another appointment for next week. That sound alright?"

The Winter stood along with her, swiped his palm briefly on his jeans to rid it of any residual sweat, and shook her hand lightly in return. "Sounds alright."

He breathed in deeply as he stepped out the door. He really did feel good.
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PostSubject: Re: appointments [closed]   Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:17 pm


He could still see her back turning sharply to him, cold words like swift kicks to the gut. He could still hear the hostile voices rising in unison, condemning him for being so stupid, and useless, and reminding him of how many friendships he'd damaged. Threaded between them were the dreams and thoughts of other people, crashing into his mind as his focus slipped and his anger boiled, surrounding him, swallowing him, destroying his composure..

"Roderick? Hey, are you still with me?"

Dr. Walsh's words, though soft and patient - in sharp contrast to the girl he'd been imagining - shattered his train of thought and pulled him forcibly back into the present. Roderick's eyes snapped up to the psychologist's immediately, betraying a flash of alarm, not quite having realized how deep into his own mind he'd sank. "I.. Sorry," he croaked, swallowing an uncomfortable lump in his throat and making himself look back up at her.

She studied him, then - not in a skeptical manner, perhaps, but still with a degree of concern. "You seem a little tense. Is there anything else you want to tell me tod--"

"I'm not tense," the Winter insisted far more abruptly than necessary. He hadn't meant to snap at her, and he could feel instant shame washing over him at his abrupt response. Roderick pressed his thumbs together tightly on his lap, biting back another empty apology. "It's--I'm not tense. I'm alright."

She pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose as if to get a better look at him. It was always impossible to discern what she was thinking solely from looking at her face, always so still, and flat, like a porcelain figure. "I'm not going to push you to talk if you don't want to. I never will, you know that."

Roderick averted his eyes to stare out the window, which had frosted over with the ever-increasing cold of late October. She never did push him to talk, that much was true, but it was hard to ignore the doubt radiating off of her sometimes. Roderick wasn't even sure of his own feelings, so how she presumed to know better than he did, he didn't understand. It was laughably ironic, considering his telepathic abilities.

"But I am here to help you, though. You're in a new country and a new school, and I know changes like that can make things twice as difficult." Her voice softened a degree as she went on, leaning forward a little. "If you've got things going wrong and let them bottle up, it'll make it even harder to cope with these changes."

He could feel a restlessness building in inside of him as she spoke to him, watched him. His eyes flickered over her again, not having registered a single word she'd said. "Yeah, yeah."

Again, another long, quiet pause, and he glanced away again. Something about meeting her eye-to-eye was disconcerting.

Why? He trusted her. Confiding in her was relaxing.

She wove her fingers together over her clipboard, very still, and searching. An oppressive silence fell over the room. Roderick could have swore that he could feel it weighing down on him like a tangible object, and he wrung his fingers together more tightly as it sank into him. There was something different about this visit, and he couldn't pin it down, but it was unmistakable.. Unnerving. Dr. Walsh was the same as she always was - what was the deal?

"Have you been.. Hearing any sort of strange voices lately? Like someone's talking to you, but they're not there?"

A hot bolt plunged through Roderick's system, every muscle in his body tensing with alarm.

What? What had she said? A high-pitched, seamless screech of white noise suddenly filled his ears, cleaving through the relative calm his mind like a knife. He looked to his therapist as if she'd sprouted a second head, bubbling over confusion and dread. ".. What did.. S-Sorry?"

This again? Where had she even remotely gotten this idea? How could she know anything about his mind? Why did she always presume to understand him?

Could she know? Could she read his thoughts?

As if on cue, the woman seemed to immediately sense his apprehension, the questioning aura surrounding her melding into a knowing concern. "Roderick? Are you alright? I'm not accusing you of anything, I'm only asking. We don't have to talk about it if you're--"

"Talk about what?" he barked, shooting to his feet. Dr. Walsh flinched - visibly flinched - at the jarring spike of his voice. "How would you know, you can't see into my head. Stop pretending you can." In the blink of an eye, his fear turned into fury as a swarm of negative words, unspoken but still audible, began to hiss into his ears.

'Freak, freak.'

'You're a worthless freak, and she knows it. She knows, she can see it.'

He believed them.

The air around him suddenly became suffocating.

Dr. Walsh said something as he whipped around to flee the room, but Roderick didn't hear it. White and wicked muttering noise drowned out everything - her words, the chatter in the infirmary lobby, the sound of his own footsteps, his coherent thoughts.

He swore he could see demons in the corners of the room, nodding at him as he ran, faces twisted with satisfaction as his terror consumed him.
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