Chapter 1: Therapy Session
The room was pearly grey, and was rather bland with the exception of a few inspirational posters littering the walls. I sat in the middle of a stiff white sofa, trying to take up as little space as possible. It was almost comical, I felt so confined here. Wasn’t that the whole point of therapy? To feel “comfortable” enough to open up? I felt utterly dead inside. I knew for damn sure that sitting here wasn’t going to fix me. It wouldn’t change what happened or how I feel about it. I had lost the one thing I was supposed to be able to control; my emotions. So here I am, fidgeting with the hem of my shirt, trying to block out whatever was being said to me.
Dr. Flickerray was an older, chubby woman. She wore a floral blouse with a light, Easter-green skirt. She had her thin grey hair down and had perfected each curl. Dr. Flickerray shifted in her seat, inhaling deeply before speaking, "Why don't you start from the beginning? I will pretend I don't know anything about you or Slyvale. I'm here to help, so don't feel the need to censor yourself from the situation. We have all day. Okay?"
Yeah, that’s exactly what I needed, to relive it again. How is re-digging the hole supposed to fill the emptiness inside me? Whatever, the Council didn’t give me much of a choice anyway.
I took a deep breathe in, closing my eyes and exhaling. Okay, I can do this, right? If I just focused on her terribly bright pink lipstick maybe I could get through this without sobbing.
"Alright, well, I was 15 when my mother died. I was a year behind the others at the Academy since training started at 14. The professors helped me catch up my first year so that by the time I turned 16, I was right where I needed to be. I didn't make very many friends at school. I had Kali, but that was about it. She was my bunkmate, and we practically did everything together. Over holidays I would go stay with her family since my father was out of the picture. I made fairly good grades, Kali did as well. We always had this idea that we would graduate and go live in the east part of Slyvale together, working until we found someone special. She was everything I wasn’t. She had this aura of confidence, beautiful sleek black hair and baby blue eyes. Kali always knew what to say, I guess being an empath helped her with that but I still envied her. Kali had two older brothers that became Guardians, I'm assuming that's why she has always been more outgoing than me. The teasing growing up must have given her tougher skin. In school she stuck up for the both of us. We graduated at 18, and lived out our dream and got a place downtown. It was a cozy little stone cottage, just a block from the square.
Being a Mythic is nothing short of strange, as you know. It's kind of like being a fairy, minus the wings, and we actually put our talents to use. Guardians are the warriors of Slyvale, they protect the Mythics from the Others. The Others are Mythics who turned bad, use their abilities for harm. Mythics range in different types of abilities: empaths, elementals, mind readers, shadow control, electricity, the list goes on. Whatever your ability is, you are trained and put to work. I was born with projection abilities. It's not quite an empath, it's more like the ability to make others feel the emotions you want them to.
The Mythics with elemental abilities are sent to preserve the land. Those with naturistic or animalistic abilities are sent to care for the life that surrounds Our World. Oh- I almost forgot. Our World is separate from Earth; same planet, different realms. You have to be an Astrolite to have access to the portals to cross over.
So yeah, I was trained in the Academy to be an Astrolite. Our job is to take care of the Broken Ones. They are Normies, non-magical folk, that are unaware of Our World. The Broken Ones are special though, cursed and damaged by the Others. Astrolites clean up any mess that the Others make.
That's why I think my job is the most important. We take care of the Broken Ones. Watch over them, visit them, try to cure them the best we can. The hardest part is always leaving. You grow connected to them, and they remember you. Thankfully they never talk about Mystics to any other Normies; they’re too scared of judgement. Everyone would call them crazy and lock them up.
This is where my story really begins. Well, actually it's where it started to end. I.....I..don't think I can do this"
I could feel my lungs starting to constrict. The air felt like it was trapped somewhere inside of me, banging on the walls of my chest trying to escape. I felt tears pricking at the corners of my eyes but I refused to blink. I was wringing my hands over and over again trying to focus on anything other than the panic rising in me.
"I didn't want to suggest this, but I can put you under. We can see for ourselves, so you don't have to tell me. But you will live through it again in your mind. The choice is yours, Evolet."
I ran my fingers through my hair, debating. Therapist Mystics suck. Going in and taking control of your mind. I wish I didn't have to do any of this. If she went in, at least I wouldn't have to sit here and fight off panic attacks every few minutes. If she went in...I would get to see him again. Kiss him again. Love him all over again. Without knowing how the story ends. Without realizing my mistakes before I make them. But then I'd also have to lose him again. Feel the pain all over again. Worst of all, I'd have to wake up. The question hung in the air: was it worth it?
Yes. I wanted to see him again. I realized then that I would do anything for him. Give my life for him. Kill for him.
"Ok? Let's go get you ready then,"
I knew that going under would mean I'd have to be in the chamber. I would have to wear one of those horrid grey gowns I always use to pity seeing other people in. It would only take a few hours, but in my head I'd live a lifetime. Nothing would prepare me, nothing could prepare me, and I knew that. I took the folded up gown she handed me and shuffled into the bathroom to change. I looked at myself in the mirror, the bags under my eyes, how thin my once thick blonde hair had become. My skin looked drained of color. I knew I hadn't slept in a few days but I wasn't aware of how shitty I really looked. Maybe it was just the lighting in here. I put my clothes into a plastic patient bag and walked out wearing the ashen grey gown and my white ankle socks.
She was waiting for me at the chamber doors, wearing a pitiful smile on her face. I didn't bother trying to form a smile back. Instead I studied the white marble floor in the office. It looked like the kind you would find in a city hall, or a nice bank. I walked in the room and immediately noticed how dark it was. The walls were painted black, I'm sure of it. The floors were still the same marble as before, but it no longer looked beautiful and sleek. The actual chambers were at the back of the room. There were three chambers total, two already occupied. I could see the other patients inside of them, floating. The chamber was a tall, ten foot cylindrical tank of water with a small light shining at the bottom. There were ladders on the side of the tanks, and small feeble chairs at the top. The other therapists were sitting in chairs beside the chamber with their patient inside, eyes closed but not asleep. They all had wires attached to nearly every part of their heads. I followed Dr. Flickerray to the middle, empty chamber.
"Okay Evolet, here's what's going to happen. You'll climb the little ladder here to the top where the chair is. You'll sit down and make yourself comfortable and tell me when you're ready. I will hook up the monitors and then inject the serum to put you under so that your body will remain unharmed in the chamber. After the injection, you'll begin to feel sleepy. Go ahead and close your eyes and once you're under I will lower you down into the chamber, Okay?"
I could feel my body involuntarily shaking. The only bad part about being a projection Mystic was that you couldn't alter your own state of mind, although you were significantly better at controlling your emotions. Although I had lost all control over mine long ago. I hesitantly nodded my head and walked slowly to the ladder. I looked back at Dr. Flickerray, who was standing next to her chair, still smiling sadly at me.
I grabbed the metal of the ladder, letting my mind focus on how cold it was rather than the thought of being unconscious underwater. I began climbing, step by step slowly until I reached the top. I focused hard on how the metal felt under my feet, how the socks I was wearing didn't seem to keep the cold from reaching me. I grabbed onto the arm rest of the chair and looked below me into the water. I sat down quickly to avoid passing out thinking about the water. I wiggled in the chair a few times, trying to find the most comfortable position. I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths. When I opened my eyes, Dr. Flickerray was standing at the top of the ladder beside me. She was holding a syringe with a blue liquid inside, and an array of wires.
I swallowed hard, forcing myself to stop fidgeting with the hem of my gown as I searched for my voice. "Yes."
I moved my left arm out toward her, knowing the injection had to go into the vein on the inner side of my elbow. After attaching the wires to me, she held the syringe up to the light and flicked it a few times to remove any air bubbles. I looked away as she stuck the needle into my arm. I tried to relax my mind. I thought of him. How I would see him soon. For the last time maybe. When I looked back over she was already descending the ladder. I could just barely see her positioning herself in her own chair once she reached the floor. I looked over at the patients in the other chambers, they looked so peaceful. I laid my head back in my chair and felt my eyelids growing heavy. I took one more deep breath before I felt my mind drifting into a peaceful slumber.