Beginning

It’s an old house, big, looming behind a large hedge, at the end of a gravel drive. Each footstep crunches. A shadow appears behind the door, opening it as I reach for the doorbell.

We exchange introductions. She knows my name, of course. I sign in, and I am shown into a waiting room, containing two sofas, tables, but no magazines. I can’t sit. I pace around looking at the leaflets, the press cuttings pinned to the noticeboard. I’ve been offered a drink. And there’s a water cooler.

But I can’t drink. I feel sick. It’s been a rush. A phone message two days ago suggesting there might be available appointments, a call yesterday arranging one for tonight. Tonight. Too much of a rush. I’m not ready.

There is a large plastic box containing toys on the ground. Dolls.

I’m not ready. I’m not

“Hi.”

I turn round. A door with “Staff. Private” closes behind her.

“We’re upstairs.”

I follow her to the meeting room. There is a table with four chairs.

“Where would you like me to?”

“You choose.”

Is it a test? One chair has its back to the door. I’m not sitting there. I want to see the door. I need to see the door.

I sit.

She sits opposite me, takes out forms briefly explains that she will outline the terms of the confidentiality of the meetings, and the limits of that confidentiality.

It’s familiar. And reasonable. And I look around the room.

I’m not ready. I’m not

I can feel her looking at me

“and just some preliminary questions so we can ensure you have the appropriate support. And of course we have to do a risk assessment so I apologise if some of the questions are intrusive.”

I’m not ready.

“I can ask you them, they’re quite tick box. They won’t take long. Or you could just tell me why you’re here, what you’re hoping for from this.”

Well, I want to be

Breathe.

Ready?

“So, would you prefer me to ask the questions or just to talk?”

I nod.

“Talk?”

I nod.

She lifts her pen.

I look to the door, reach down and grasp my calf.

She is staring at me. I can feel her staring at me.

“I. Well, I want to be well.”

“Okay. So, let’s begin.”

 

 

 

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About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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