“I don’t,” Angela said.
“You seem like you do,” Brooke responded, with the same compassion in her voice she had when they first started the session.
They were sitting in the counselor’s office at school, where Brooke had been given permission to hold a few of her sessions, since most of them would be held outside of school. Angela had agreed this was easier for her. She wouldn’t be able to keep up the facade for long if Brooke suggested driving her home or anything like that. She had told herself to just get it done and over with.
The office made Angela feel more overwhelmed than when she spent time inside the shelter. There were pictures on the wall of past students who had died of something, be it substance abuse or car accidents. The flowers, yellow tulips, were the brightest thing in the room. Even the wall was painted a pale gray. If this place was supposed to lighten your mood and make you feel better, Angela wasn’t sure the interior designer had done a good job.
“Okay,” Angela sighed, annoyed already. It had only been ten minutes. “Then, you tell me what’s wrong with me? You’re the psych right?”
Although she was sure she was being difficult, she didn’t like that Brooke assumed she had some things going on. She could at least start off slow.
“Actually, I’m just a mentor,” Brooke said, giggling. “I guess I shouldn’t be so presumptuous. There are just a few things that I noticed that make me believe you have some things on your mind. I’m not saying you’re crazy. Or are you?”
Angela smiled, knowing that Brooke was just trying to break the ice. She just didn’t know where to start.
“Okay, let’s say I did have something going on,” Angela said quizzical. “What would you be able to do?”
“I would try my best to help you.”
Angela rolled her eyes in the ear. How generic.
“Okay, you don’t believe me?”
Raising her left eyebrow, Angela smirked.
“Let me show you. Give me one of your problems and I’ll do my best to find a solution, resource or just be here to listen if that’s what you want.”
“Before you have to tell me?
“Before you find me help. One day? One week?”
“One week. Maybe less.”
“Playing it safe?”
“Making good on my word.”
Angela had to give it to Brooke, she was convincing. She could tell that she was taking this more serious and more personal than Angela thought she would. At first, she thought she would be a guinea pig project. But Brooke had a look in her eyes. It was one Angela had seen growing up and was sure that it meant something now more than ever. She had the same look her mother and father would give her when they had concerns about something. That look that told her she could tell them anything and they wouldn’t judge her or make her feel bad. It was a look of safety.
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