Rusty-

As a result of my "attempted suicide" and the antics with the military school, I had to go to therapy. Yeah, I was NOT happy with that, and when not happy with things, I try to make them fun and would not take anyone seriously. I could name a hundred people who needed therapy ten times more than me, more than half were my family.

I had to do interviews and take stupid mind tests for them to find something wrong with me and assign me a therapist who specializes with my "type".

Another thing about me was that no one could categorize me. Categorize me and I'd change right before your eyes and prove you wrong. So help me, I'd do literally anything to avoid falling into a category; there were no limits to how far I'd go to keep myself a mystery.

What was so wrong with being categorized? See the thing many didn't see was that once categorized, a person is trapped. They define themselves to a cliché and in the process forget who they really are.

Like Runt, he was the only one I knew who wanted to be nerd, who liked being a nerd. He treated it like a special fraternity. And unbeknownst to him, he wasn't one of them. But here he was trying his best to fit in that role and be accepted by them. His whole world revolved around that and could easily crumble by a tiny slew of rejections. The actual "nerds" knew the truth about Runt; they were the ones who secretly helped me keep Runt's status. And knowing the truth, they subtlety but cruelly rejected him time after time.

And I know, I'm sounding like a hypocrite because my whole life was playing roles.

Here's the real reason why I really didn't like being officially categorized, well it was more than categorized that made me against therapy, it was the scary idea of revealing myself.

My protection was being unknown. See when you're unknown to everyone, a mystery, you're invincible. No one can hurt you when they don't know you enough to make a dent. No one can get into your head and warp your views. And being unknown also gives a person freedom to be anyone and do anything. It was the factor that made me fearless.

My addiction wasn't just caffeine, it was role playing. And the thought of being myself, even in front of one person and in confidentiality, was unthinkable.

I sat there with a smug look on my face, looking the therapist up and down. He was a forty-year-old version of Runt, literally. Easy to fool and manipulate. There was no way he could get the real me out.

Therapist #1: Do you see yourself as a harm to yourself and others?

Rusty: Only when I'm sober.

He looked at me wanting to strangle me as I sat there smiling.

Therapist #1: Do you like animals?

Rusty: Oh yeah, they're fun to torture!

I was answering his questions the way I'd believe Patrick would answer them.

Therapist #1: Damn it, I want a serious answer!

Rusty: And I want a serious professional, but we all can't get what we want, now can we?

He sighed, trying hard not to kill me and to restrain himself enough to ask more questions.

Therapist #1: Tell me why do you think you're here?

Rusty: Why do you think I'm here?

Therapist #1: I asked you.

Rusty: I know, I heard you, I just want to your opinion before I give you mine.

Therapist #1: You don't want the opinion from the unserious professional.

Rusty: Oh, so now you're telling me my opinion then.

Therapist #1: I was quoting you.

Rusty: So that's how your job is done.

Therapist #1: Kid, I don't want to be here anymore than you do. The sooner you cooperate, the sooner both of us can leave.

Rusty: And now you're ripping my father off, I mean he is pre-paying you by the hour. This is an hour session isn't it?

Therapist #1: This isn't a session, it's a placement interview.

Suddenly there was a knock on the door, and he got up and left me alone in the room. I'm not stupid, I know this room had a double way mirror and I was being watched. I took the sheet of drawling paper and crayons they gave me earlier for the "draw your family" test, and wrote "hello" on the paper and held it up to mirror waving.

Then the unexpected happened; the door opened and in walked Mrs. Calvert. My smug look dropped right there. I didn't know she was a therapist. The last time I had seen her was when I was ten. The first time we met was the time my mom had to go out of town for the day and couldn't take me so she put me in a small household daycare, her daycare. I was a nasty brat to her who screamed in an attempt to get her to drive me to Baskin Robbins, because Fridays were Baskin Robbins day to me then and I had to have my double scoop of brownie fudge ice cream. She didn't respond to my tantrum and had me screaming my lungs out till I lost my voice and after that she all the seven daycare kids and me to Baskin Robbins and she didn't buy me my double scoop of brownie fudge and explained that I didn't ask nicely for it. I don't care how nasty of a tyrannical brat I was, that was just plain cruel. The second time was one of the times I ran away. It was her house I ran away to and she fed me ice cream, called my dad behind my back and let me stay overnight.

She didn't know me like Ashley did, but still… his woman was someone who could get the truth out of me; someone who wouldn't let me get away with an act.

Rusty: I didn't know you are a therapist.

Mrs. Calvert: I'm not, I'm a psychiatrist.

Rusty: Since when?

Mrs. Calvert: For awhile, I got my license three years ago after going to night school for four years. So what finally brings you here? It's pretty obvious you're here against your will.

Rusty: A prank gone wrong and mistaken for a suicide attempt and running away and getting kicked out of a school or two…

Mrs. Calvert: Really? I think it's more than that. So how far did you get?

Rusty: You'd be surprised, I nearly made it to New York.

I bragged like it was an achievement, because it was to me.

Mrs. Calvert: You sound proud, why is that?

Rusty: Come on, it was nearly a couple thousand miles and didn't cost me nearly a thing. Not everyone can do that.

Mrs. Calvert: Certainly no one without issues. What exactly were you running away from this time? Or was this running away something more than getting away?

Damn it. She could trap me so easily. I felt like I was being interviewed by Barbara Walters.

Rusty: Okay, I was running because I was bored and my kind of fun is traveling on a whim with no plan of destination. It was for fun.

Mrs. Calvert: Seems like another one of your tantrums for attention.

I breathed in relief that she didn't mention my mother. My issues with my dad I can talk about openly, but my mom…I didn't care who she was, I wasn't going there.

Rusty: What makes you think I haven't learned by now that tantrums are the wrong way to get attention?

Mrs. Calvert: Oh I see now…

I didn't like how she said that, like she figured me out.

Rusty: See what?

Mrs. Calvert: All this, this running away, getting kicked out of schools, pranks, and how you brag about them. It's like you traded tantrums with something else…I'm on to you.

Rusty: What do you see?

I was impatient and in suspense, wanting to know that instant.

Mrs. Calvert: What do you think I see? You tell me in our next appointment.

Rusty: There's not going to be a next appointment.

I didn't know what else to say because I knew I couldn't get myself out of it.

Mrs. Calvert: Oh yes there is, so what weekday and time is best for you?

Rusty: Fine, but I won't say anything.

Mrs. Calvert: Just as long as you don't scream.

Rusty: Is whatever I tell you, confidential?

Mrs. Calvert: Yes, unless you tell me you're going to kill yourself or commit murder. Then I have no choice but to sing like bird. But besides that you can trust me, you know. No one here is out to persecute you. I want to help, but I can't help you till you decide to let down your guard.

Rusty: I'm perfectly fine, there's nothing wrong with me. I'm not crazy.

Mrs. Calvert: I'm not saying you are, I'm saying you need help. There's nothing wrong with you, but you do have major repressed issues that need to be addressed before... You father loves you and is worried about you ever since---

I got up immediately, cutting her off.

Rusty: Fridays, four pm.

I said leaving in a mad rush. She was about to say it; about to bring up my mother's death.


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Jules