Monday, July 15, 2013
Henry was beginning to think there was no point in these weekly visits to Dr. Howe's office. It wasn't that he'd exactly shared anything with her, and she hadn't demanded anything from him. As usual she was her casual self in her quirky office full of natural sunlight and posters of beautiful beaches and sunflowers.
"So, how is everything this week?" She started like always.
"Fine." He hoped she didn't ask about the past. He didn't want to talk about it.
"Just fine? Anything new going on?" She wasn't really pressing him for answers, but she wasn't behind her desk, either. Neither were on the love seat she offered. She looked to be all casual in her Ellen Degeneres' sweater and slacks. She was even sporting purple Chuck Taylors.
"I met someone." He shrugged slightly, but he wouldn't look at her. He picked up a magazine on solar power. Not exactly what he considered magazine reading. He put it down.
"How's that going?" The doctor asked as she looked at him.
"OK." He was quick, as he hugged himself.
"Tell me something about this...person." Dr. Howe prodded.
"God..." Henry rolled his eyes. "She's nice. Really, nice to me. I think Mom wants to hire her for my babysitter, so Mom won't have to worry where my afternoons might be going."
They'd talked last week about his Mom's job at a dental office. She'd gotten on full time. His Dad was working the lunch rush where Aidan worked.
"So you like..." She left him to fill in the blank.
"Vada. Yeah, she's fun. She likes make believe." He thought of her in the short prom dress. She was still wearing those white leggins of hers. The dress was so short and strapless. She wore a simple white tee-shirt underneath it.
He'd brought scones for the tea-party. Oddly, she'd never had scones. He couldn't admit it right now, but it was a good feeling that he could actually make something someone would want.
"She's not crazy, nothing like that." Henry licked his dry bottom lip before he bit it. "She's..in to Star Wars. She really, really loves Star Wars."
"And how did you meet this new friend of yours?"
He explained how it was on the Fourth and a pure accident. Then he accidentally mentioned Derrick.
"How was that?" Dr. Howe asked.
"It was..nothing..nothing really, he..he has a new boyfriend." Henry looked at the woman straight on, as if nothing was going to bother him. It didn't really bother him that Derrick was seeing someone new. "I don't like talking to..to people, who knew me."
Here, he was hugging himself, again. It felt as if he was suddenly falling into a black hole. He knew it was all his fault. And if they really really knew how it was, with Al, they would hate him. In fact, he hated himself, too.
"I know, I shouldn't go out. I shouldn't. I can't believe I got out of the house like I did..and..and I walked all the way to Vada's house. I wasn't thinking." He suddenly felt as if a panic attack was about to happen. "Vada was so afraid, I was going to get lost. I..I could have gotten lost, but she met me half way."
He breathed in and out as if there was nothing to worry about. Nothing at all.
"I think, she's going to start coming over, afternoons. Cause, I don't really sleep at night, anyway, and you know, I sleep in. And she has to help out at her house in the morning. Vada lives with a lot of kids. She's in a foster home." Henry liked that he could talk about Vada, but not about himself.