Chapter Nine:

Office of Dr. Bellany, PhD, Present Day

"And, well, you know the rest. The investigations, the questionings, the death toll... all that stuff was in the paper. S.W.A.T let me go and everyone started hailing me as some sort of hero, but it doesn't matter. I feel like shit anyway."

"Because you killed Veronica?" Dr. Bellany asked.

"Because I killed someone period. I mean, I kept telling Michael about how even bullies don't deserve to die... and then I went and shot someone. The ultimate bully, I guess."

"There's a difference, Anna." Dr. Bellany adjusted her glasses on her nose and leaned forwards again. "There were human lives in the balance. Bullying in school definitely has detrimental effects on the victims, but they have a chance to recover. They have a chance to find friends that love them and rebuild, a chance to move on. If you kill someone, they don't have that chance."

"I took that chance away from Veronica..."

"But you saved it for dozens of other kids. You, the rest of the students in the room, that chance would have been gone for all of you. You didn't have many other options."

Anna lowered her eyes, her face hardening. "I know I was only doing what I had to do, but that doesn't make me feel any better. It's something I have to get used to, I guess."

"Death tends to linger. It's not an easy thing to shake, no matter how hard you try. I'm still coping with my daughter's suicide, even after ten years."

"Do you think I'll still be haunted by this ten years from now?"

"I don't know," Bellany said. "I think you'll have progressed from where you are now, but I can't say for sure if you'll ever truly be able to put it all behind you. But you will be able to cope. You'll be able to survive."

"At least I have friends to help me."

"Oh, so there is a silver lining to this dark cloud," Dr. Bellany said with a smile. "What new friends have you made?"

"Kelly, for one. She's been great these past few months. I visited her almost every day after all the investigations were done. She's going to get out of the hospital soon."

"That's excellent," Dr. Bellany said, sounding genuinely pleased.

"They'll probably do a story about it in the paper," Anna started to say. Her face fell. "God, the papers. I can't even look at a newspaper anymore."

"I don't blame you."

"I'm just glad they haven't found out the real end of the story," Anna said, a small smile darting across her lips.

"There's more?"

"Yeah. I have a new girlfriend."

"Really?"

"Yeah."

"What's her name?"

"I already mentioned her. Rosie."

"I thought that she was shot," Dr. Bellany said, furrowing her eyebrows.

"She was, but she ended up okay. I guess James and Veronica weren't as good as they thought they were. Well, anyway, I got to see her, and she apologized... it turns out that she was totally in the closet."

"I wondered about that," she said, partially to herself. "Best friends usually don't turn on each other that quickly unless they have something to hide."

"When I told her I liked her, she completely freaked out. She only made fun of me so no one would suspect she was secretly in love with me," Anna said, clutching her chest dramatically and giving Dr. Bellany her most tragic soap-opera face.

"I'm glad you two made up."

"We're good together," Anna agreed. "Even my Mom sort of likes her. I mean, she's known Rosie for years, so I guess it's slightly better than bringing a strange girl home. And she wears this awesome lipgloss that tastes really good."

"Lipgloss?" Bellany laughed.

"Strawberry."

Bellany looked at her watch, and then pulled her notebook out from under the chair. "Alright, Anna, it's time to go. I think you've had a great first session. What do you think?"

"It feels good to talk to someone that isn't judging me."

"Not as bad as you thought it would be?"

"No." Anna stood up and shook Bellany's hand again, and then started towards the door.

"Same time next week?" Bellany asked.

"I'll be here," said Anna.

The End


Hello, everyone. Thanks for reviewing my story and even just reading it if you didn't bother sending me a note (which you SHOULD have done, but I still love you). This is my shortest 'novel/novella' to date, and the next one will probably be a little longer. I have several in the works, but the next one to be posted is about a girl accused of murder. Here's the summary, please check it out!

Dana Gayle's life has been messed up ever since Erika North was murdered. She's on trial for her life with three of her classmates- Danny, a drug addicted jock; Jeff, a twisted psychopath; and Karley, a malicious prom-queen/closet lesbian that wants nothing more than to get in her pants. Between the possibility that she might spend the rest of her life in jail, her not-so-secret crush on her (female) best friend, Riley, and her missing father, Dana has to convince the jury that she's innocent and put Erika's killers behind bars... if she doesn't lose her sanity first. (Status: First Draft, near the end) Romance/Mystery/Suspense

Note: Some of you CoughMaricough pointed out that Rosie 'died' in the seventh chapter. She was originally supposed to die in the VERY first draft, but by the time I got to the last chapter, I changed my mind. Veronica and James SAY that they kill Rosie in the seventh chapter, but she actually survived. Just in case there was any confusion.