"Mackenzie Thomason. Nice to meet you," said Ms. Merrymore.
I didn't say anything.
"So... you wanna talk about anything?"
I shook my head. I was only here because my grandma and the principal made me come.
"Let me guess. Someone made you come here?"
I shook my head yes.
"Well, you better get used to it. Until you start talking, you'll be seeing me more and more."
Again, I said nothing.
"Mackenzie... I'm here to help you. We can talk women to women. Look, I even need some help sometimes."
She was pacing around the room. She was real young for a psychologist. Probably only like twenty five.
"It might help that I'm not much older than you are. I kinda know what you're going through. High school... I remember high school like it was yesterday. The boys, the parties, the clicky groups."
She seemed pretty cool. I wasn't going to tell her my story though.
"Don't worry. Anything that we talk about in here stays in here."
I started pulling out my phone to text.
"Who are you texting?"
I didn't answer. I was texting instead. hey chels. whats up sis?
"Are you texting Chelsea?" she asked again.
"Yeah," I said. "So...?"
"Why do you text her?"
"Because I'm waiting for her to answer," I said.
"Well, why don't you put it away for now," she said. "You can text later."
I put my phone on the chair next to me.
"Look Mackenzie. Let's just talk. In general. How has your week been?"
"Awful," I said. It was only the truth.
"Lots of things," I said.
"What kinds of things?"
"I don't know. The fact that I have to come here."
"Yeah, my teacher is a dick," I said.
"Well, let's not get there," said Ms. Merryrose. "What else happened?"
"I ripped my pants," I said.
"You... ripped your pants?"
"Yeah, like really bad. During class."
"I bet it wasn't that bad," said Ms. Merryrose.
"Trust me, it was."
"Don't tell me you went commando?" I can't believe she was asking this. She creeped me out.
"No," I said.
"Well then it wasn't so bad, was it?"
"I was wearing a thong," I said.
"Ouch," she said. "I guess that is pretty bad. I'm sorry."
I didn't say anything.
"Well, things like that happen," said Ms. Merryrose. "Wanna hear my embarrassing moment?"
"I guess," I said.
"Okay, well," she started. "I can't believe I'm telling you this... but back when I was about your age, my friends and I went to this water park to ride on this massive water slide. I was wearing a bikini, just like all my friends. About halfway down the slide my top came off. When I got to the bottom, I was welcomed by a large group of college guys. And I never found my top."
I didn't say anything. I just smiled. She was pretty cool to tell me that.
"So, don't worry about your embarrassing moment," said Ms. Merryrose. "We all have them."
"But I tend to have lots of them," I said.
"You wanna tell me?" asked Ms. Merryrose.
"I don't really care," I said.
"Well it's up to you," said Ms. Merryrose. "Remember, nothing leaves this room."
"I have too many," I said. "I got nicknamed Mackencheez in fourth grade when I spilled macaroni on myself... I've tripped several times. One time in church, another in dog poop, oh, and on top of a cheerleading pyramid during tryouts. I ended up breaking my arm and not making the team."
"Well, that's quite a lengthy list of embarrassing moments," smiled Ms. Merryrose. "But you got over them, right?"
"Some of them," I said.
"Well I guess it doesn't really matter," said Ms. Merryrose. She looked at the clock. "Well, it's been quite some time already. I think you can go now. We've talked enough for today. I'll see you tomorrow... and if there's anything you need at all, you know where I am, girl." She winked at me, which I found to be kind of weird. I grabbed my backpack and left her office.
So, I've had a ton of embarrassing moments, but none of them added up to what happened the day I split open Chelsea's jeans. I'm still trying to live that down. When I got home that day after school, I kept those jeans. I wasn't going to throw Chelsea's jeans away. Instead, I shoved them under my bed, not wanting to look at the gaping hole which practically covered the whole right ass cheek.
I skipped eating meals. I told myself I was fat, that I should have gotten my weight down before shoving myself in those jeans. Of course it wasn't true, but I wasn't accepting the fact. I had to place the blame somewhere.
The second week I started seeing Ms. Merrymore, things were different. "Okay Mackenzie," said Ms. Merrymore. She looked nice today. She was wearing this red dress which matched nicely with her red hair. "So, we need to talk… women to women."
"About what?" I asked.
"About you… about your relationship with your sister," said Ms. Merrymore.
"But… that's my business," I said.
"Look. I can't help you if you don't tell me," said Ms. Merrymore.
If there was any adult in the school I'd like to tell my story to, it would be Ms. Merrymore. In just a week, I had grown a mutual relationship with her. She was smart and funny and she dressed like one of the girls. I guessed that she had to be about twenty five. No matter how cool she was, I still felt uncomfortable talking about my personal life.
"Please, Mackenzie," said Ms. Merrymore.
"Fine. But I might cry," I said. The tears were already starting as thoughts of Chelsea clouded throughout my brain.
"It's okay if you cry, Mackenzie," said Ms. Merrymore.
"Okay… well, where to start?"
"How close were you two together?"
"Well, I've been with Chelsea since the start. Obviously, because we're twin sisters. She's like thirty seconds older than I am. It was weird. We grew up best friends. We knew everything about each other. It's like we had some twin mind-reading power. I'm not even kidding… when we'd go to the mall, we knew what each other would want to get before we actually got it. Whenever either one of us were gone, we could detect where each other were. So, we had a pretty good relationship. We still had our friends too, though."
"What kinds of friends?"
"Chelsea was always the 'popular' one. She had tons of friends, boys and girls. She was like the princess of our entire school. They crowned her princess at the eighth grade dance. As for me, I didn't have too many friends. I had my small group of girls, and the boys that I used to play videogames with. That was until I reached Middle School when I decided a tom boy wasn't me."
"Were you ever jealous of your sister's popularity?"
"Yeah, I was. But I was also proud of her. She was the best sister ever." Tears rolled down my cheeks. By the time I was done with this session, I'd have a lake of water beneath me. "She'd go off with her popular friends, and she'd let me come, even though all her friends hated me."
"Why did they hate you?"
"I don't know really. I didn't look as good as Chelsea. Sure, we were identical twins, but she had this glimmer to her image that I didn't have. Also, I wasn't as smart as her. She was like third in our class in highest GPA. I was nowhere near. I don't know why her friends hated me, they just did I guess. They thought I was an outcast."
"When she let you come with her friends, how was that like?"
"Chelsea was never mean to me. I remember one time we all went to the mall together. Lydia Cowles, who between you and me is a complete prissy-faced whore, said to my sister, while pointing at me, 'Why did you bring her?' And then Heather Jolly told everyone that I needed the fashion police, that I dressed like a girl that just fell into a trash can, and all this other shit. Well, my sister Chelsea…" I wiped my tears away but they kept rolling down my face. "Chelsea stuck up for me. She said I was her sister, that she wasn't going to leave me out. And this actually pissed off the other girls, but they didn't do anything because they all looked up to Chelsea."
"Well, it sounds like you and your sister had a great relationship together," said Ms. Merrymore. "So, what happened to Chelsea?"
This was the part that I wasn't sure I could put into words. It was just too hard knowing that she disappeared. "I…I can't."
"You can't tell me?"
"No," I put my head in my hands and continued crying.
"Alright, alright..." said Ms. Merrymore. "I got enough out of you today. You can go. We'll talk later."
I wiped away my tears and left without uttering a word.