Back To Square One

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Chapter 4

Stupid, stupid, stupid! How couldI lose track of time like that? I never lose track of time! More to the point, why am I daydreaming about kissing Brandon Gillen? I should most definitely not be fantasizing about him. He is totally out of my league and I have a hell of a lot of issues that a guy like him wouldn’t want to deal with. Why am I even thinking about that?

Kimberly will have my head on a stick if I try tomake a move on Brandon. Not that I want to make a move, because I don’t. I am so over him, and I hate men and love, and I don’t trust anybody.

As I reached my car I pulled out my cell and hit my speed dial button.

“Dr. Trammel’s office, good day, Lucy speaking. How may I help you?” Lucy was a really nice receptionist. I liked her the most of all the receptionists I had to deal with over the past three years.

“Luce, it’s Sam, I’m running late, I lost track of time. Please tell me it won’t be an issue. I really need this appointment. I cannot wait until next week!”

“Calm down Sam, take deep breaths. It’s not the end of the world. You have a double appointment today, remember, so you’re just going lose a bit of time. I’ll let the doctor know you are running late. Just drive calmly and we will see you in a bit.”

Taking deep, calming breaths as she suggested I thanked her, dropped the phone into my lap and sped off towards the city. I drove as fast as I could, trying not to break the speed limit and other road rules too badly. In the end I did skip a few lights and pushed my old VW Bug to its max at one or two points, but I finally pulled into the parking lot only ten minutes late for my appointment.

Jumping out of the car and making a run for the stairs, I took them two at a time, flying up as fast as I could manage. As I burst through the office doors I saw Lucy sitting behind her desk, completely startled by my sudden appearance in the doorway.

“Sam, I told you to be calm. It is only a few minutes and he is also running late with his last appointment. So have a drink of water and take a seat,” she ordered me before I could say a word. Under her breath I heard her mumbling something about me always having to run everywhere I go, not able to calmly assess a situation.

Taking a drink of water and a seat as I was told, I tried to calm myself down and think about my appointment. That day was a big day for me. If Dr. Trammel was happy with my progress he would be taking me off my anti-depressants. For me that was huge, as I really wanted to do without using the ‘happy pills’ that helped me to be myself.

I saw the office door open, signaling the end of his session. I dropped my cup in the trash and was approaching the open door when I froze. Coming out of his office was none other than the one girl who tried so hard to be the most perfect person in the entire school: Kimberly Hirst. Kimberly also stopped dead in her tracks when she saw me. I couldn’t keep the surprise off my face this time. Who knew that Miss Perfect wasn’t so perfect after all?

After the awkward situation of Kimberly and I in the hallway I finally took my seat in Dr. Trammel’s office.

“Hi Sam. How are you today?”

“Kimberly Hirst comes to therapy?” I asked, without even listening to his question.

“Um, yeah,” he answered a bit awkwardly, “but we are not here to talk about Kimberly. We are here to talk about you and how you are doing. So, how are you? How have your first two weeks been back at school?”

With the encounter with Kimberly in the hallway still running through my head, I forced my mind back to focus on myself and answered him. “It has been good, but weird in some sense. And even though we are not here to talk about Kimberly – I hate to burst your bubble –we are going to talk about her, due to the fact that she hates me and could cause me a hell of a lot of problems in the future. Especially now that I saw her here today, because I suspect that she doesn’t want anybody to know that she comes to therapy. Anyway, why does she need to come to therapy?”

“Sam!” Dr. Trammel’s voice was firm. “That, for one, is confidential. So let’s focus on you for a bit, okay? Tell me about the two weeks at school. Why has it been weird and why do you think she hates you?”

“Oh, it was weird because nobody except the teachers knew who I was up until today. Nobody recognised me. Not even Kimberly, and she even talked to me last week. Made a stupid comment about how she wanted to show me round as I was the new kid. I declined, knowing Kimberly. She wasn’t happy about it, and when Brandon started paying attention to me she practically burst a vein in her head.”

Nodding his head, he made a few notes in his book.

“That’s all very interesting and we will get back to that in a sec. But tell me how you have been feeling emotionally. It is a lot coming back here after three years, after everything that happened, and seeing your old crush again. I remembered you said you were a bit worried about that. So how is all that going?”

“Oh, Brandon. He is great. Our maths teacher paired us up again. So I am now tutoring him again twice a week. That’s why I was late today; I was at his house. That’s when he recognised me again. I mean his mom recognised me and then he did after she mentioned it,” I said, laughing. “He made this comment about how it can’t be me because I am hot now and the Samantha that he knew wasn’t hot. Oh, and he asked me to go and watch him play rug-”

“Sam!” interjected Dr. Trammel. “That is not what I asked you. I want to know how you are feeling emotionally.”

Taking a deep breath tofocus myself, I answered his question.

“I am confused. Emotionally I am on a bit of a rollercoaster. But not so bad that I want to, or need to, up my meds or anything.” I added the last sentence quickly. “I am still getting used to being back at school. And yeah, it actually helps that nobody knows who I am. Because this way I kind of get to deal with everything, and then, when they do figure out who I am, it will not hit so hard. Or so I think. I nearly fell back into my stupid crush thing with Brandon today. But I stopped myself before my thoughts could run away from me.”

“Being a bit confused and having your emotions seesawing a bit isn’t a sign of you moving backwards again. It’s to be expected after everything you left behind three years ago. The fact that you dealt with this without taking the higher dosage of medication again is a good sign. It shows you are learning to deal with the problem and not trying to hide it. But why are you so scared of still having a crush, as you call it, on Brandon. From what you told me he isn’t a bad guy?”

“I know he isn’t. But I am totally out of his league and he doesn’t want a girl with as many issues as I have. Plus he belongs to Kimberly. And she will kill me if I make a move. She doesn’t even know who I am yet and she already hates me because I am tutoring him. And, like I said, I am over him. Not going back there, I have enough to deal with as it is.”

He was not going to win with that argument, so he tried adifferent approach.“Have you been to see your brother and father’s graves yet, or how about just going to visit your mom?”

Seeing he hit the nail on the head, he tried again.“Sam, we talked about this. We said we would look at dropping the medication. But I cannot do that if you cannot deal with the graves of your brother and father. I know the issue with your mom is going to take time and we will work on it together, but the graves cannot talk back. Why don’t you just go to drop off flowers? You don’t need to stay. Just leave the flowers and then go straight home. That would beseen as progress.”

“I . . .I can’t see my mom yet. Maybe later this year, but not now. And why are graves so important? My family is not there anymore. They are just bones in a box under a massive amount of ground. I have the memories and that’s all I need. I don’t need a reminder of them being dead. I know they are dead. Believe me, I cannot forget it.”

Shaking his head at me, he scanned through his notes again before starting again.

The rest of the session went on in the same way it began. We bounced back and forth between seeing my mom and confronting the graves. He didn’t take me off my meds but he kept the dosage low. I think I drove past the cemetery about three times that afternoon. My goal before my next session was to go to visit my brother and father. But I just couldn’t make myself stop the car and go into the graveyard.

I did go to Brandon’s rugby game that Saturday. I just never made it further than the trees in the parking lot. I couldn’t bring myself to walk up to the pavilion, take a seat and enjoy the game.

I loved rugby, and watched it on TV every chance I got. I followed the major rugby events when they were on, and even went to a few games when I could. But for some reason I couldn’t make myself go to watch Brandon play.

I felt like the old Sam standing behind the trees. I used to always come to his games and watch him play, then get crazy with jealousy when he ran up to Kimberly at the end of a game to kiss her.

So instead I stayed hidden by the trees and watched from afar. They played a great game and won easily. Brandon scored the last try of the game and the entire team hoisted him up on their shoulders, chanting his name. Like that try was the try that ensured they won, when in actual fact they didn’t even need that try as they were so far ahead.

I left right after everyone went off the field. I didn’t want to watch Kimberly drape herself over him again. I got into my Bug and made my way home.

But not before driving past the cemetery again a few times.

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