It stinks in here. Like lavender and something else I can’t quite determine. I suppose the lavender scent is there to calm me down or something. Well it isn’t working. I’m in this room like a tiger in a cage, kicking the wooden leg of the chair with every pulse. I’d leave, if not for my mum sitting right outside the door. I get up and start pacing the room, past the desk, past the chair, past the bookcase. Why is there no window?
On my third trek past the desk, I knock over Dr. Carasco’s photographs one by one. There goes his daughter, his wife, his dog. He sits there placidly, foot tapping to a beat I can’t hear, glasses perched on the end of his nose and a broad grandfatherly smile stretched across his face. I glance at the clock, it’s been fifteen minutes; thirty-five left. I wish I could control time. I can’t, but I can think of a good way to pass it. I stride over to the filing cabinet and turn the small silver key. The doctor is oblivious to what I am doing. In his eyes, I can do no wrong. Carefully I pull out the pile of manilla folders. A bunch of unfiled paperwork…B…C… Ah! There’s me. I slide a nail between the cards and find…nothing. I wasn’t really expecting anything and yet somehow I’m still disappointed. Then I have an idea. I pull the fountain pen out of the pocket of Dr. Carasco’s checkered shirt and flick through one of the other folders. After getting an idea of his handwriting, (Kadie has mild anxiety disorder and Julie has Post Traumatic Stress in case you were interested) I turn back to my own folder and begin to write.
Sasha is a perfectly ordinary 13-year old female and is functioning at a level suited to her age. I see no reason to continue her treatment.
There. Now I won’t have to come to these stupid sessions anymore.
It’s five fifteen. I glance up expectantly at the barrier that I have willingly placed between myself and my daughter. The door opens and I avert my gaze. Sasha and the doctor walk out, both of them look as if they can barely support their own body weight. The doctor’s tiredness I can attribute to his age, but Sasha’s worries me.
“Mrs. Cliffe?” Dr. Carasco asks.
“Can I have a word?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Uh…in private?” He looks pointedly at Sasha.
“Fine! I’ll wait in the car!” She folds her arms into herself and eyes on the ground, storms out of the office. I sigh in exasperation.
“Sorry about that.”
“It’s okay; it’s a relief to see her respond to anyone actually.”
“She…doesn’t respond to you?”
“No. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. It’s been several months since Sasha first started treatment with me. In those months, I haven’t seen any progress. If it’s alright with you, I’d like to refer her to a specialist.”
“What kind of specialist?”
“A child psychiatrist who specializes in working with teenagers. I’m a general psychologist and don’t feel that my expertise are suited to Sasha’s situation.”
“And which situation would that be?”
“Well…err, I’m not exactly certain in this case, hence the suggestion of taking her to see someone who is better suited to taking care of her.”
It has been weeks and weeks since I started bringing her here, why has he not bothered to tell me before now? Burning with anger, I leave the office.
There is no-one in the car for me to change, to control. Which only adds to my already pissed-off mood. Why am I here? Why are they in there talking about me? There is NOTHING wrong with me. I kick my foot against the dashboard and roll down the window. The sun is no longer appropriate; I close my eyes and conjure a brooding storm. When I open them, the sky is an angry purple and I have one of those moments of vivid clarification. I need a boyfriend.
I mean, how hard can it be, right? I already have everyone at school twirled around my little finger. All I would need to do is exert a little more effort. Then he- whoever he is, (I haven’t quite got that far yet) -can stand up to my mother for me. No more sitting here like an incompetent fool while others talk about me and my so called “problem”. Making decisions about my future like they all know what I want. Man. Why didn’t I think of this before! Now all I have to do is choose my future object of affection.
First of all, he needs to be taller than me. Dad, when he was around that is, was shorter than Mum and they just looked completely ridiculous. Hair should have a certain degree of floppiness, preferably blonde. Blue eyes would be a nice bonus, but I could live without them. But most importantly, he has to be convincing. And articulate enough to do what I can’t. That is, control my mother.
17 months ago
I wrinkle my forehead in concentration, considering my options, which are admittedly limited. I mentally run through the list of names which are called out in home class each morning. Andreas. No. Jayden. No. Eli. Definitely not. As important as this is, I just cannot handle a nose picker. Tyler. Maybe. Actually not maybe, yes. Surely any guy who’s on the debating team has to be at the very least mildly convincing. Plus, he definitely meets the physical criteria. Tyler. Satisfied, I lean my head against the headrest and allow the sun to shine once more.