She was the only person in the waiting room. It was sparse; a few chairs, some nicely ironic parenting magazines. The nice motherly-looking nurse called her name. Down the short hall, she walked into his office and shook his hand. They sat down.
Vague introductions, how are yous, what did you do todays were exchanged. Finally, he got to the meat of it: how do you feel? A one word answer: Fine.
"So, have you had any thoughts of hurting yourself?" the shrink asks, pen at the ready. She wordlessly yanks her arm up and rips down the sleeve of her hoodie. He sees the jagged tears, some half-healed, some just fresh. They crisscrossed the length of her forearm. She very carefully kept her face unconcerned, staring just left of his cheek, directly at his ear, silently daring him to question her indifference.
"I see," he said. He scribbled in his notebook. "And why did you do this?" She shrugs, not wanting to explain to a stranger. Not that she wanted to explain herself to anyone she knew, either.
"Alright. How long have you been cutting yourself?" And she didn't like that wording. It made it sound desperate; almost childish. "Awhile. 7th grade." She's unsure. Feelings are not her forte and this may be the worst thing she's ever experienced, being stuck in a cold room with a man she doesn't know, being expected to share. The seemingly constant stomachache is present; the gut twisting, clenching rage made of guilt and worthlessness that she can always depend on. Her intestines are writhing like a snake above a flame and all she really wants is to be the perfect kid.
She fights hard to keep her game face. Thinking about this is not an option. She focuses on the shrink's degrees that proudly proclaim how clever he is. How clever she's not. Not anymore.
"I think we'll get you started on Prozac. I'll see you back here in about a month, for starters." She nods. Anything to get out faster. She walks to the door, prescription clutched in sweaty hands. She smiles coldly at her mother, willing her to see that she's fine, mentally apologizing all the time for being fucked up, being crazy, losing both her mind and her potential.