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 appointments [closed]

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

11/08/37

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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