"So, what's wrong with life?"
"Phil came back. He ran away from his parents and came to see me. I had all of a week with him before his parents came and took him back," I talk to his hands. He's holding them in front of him, his fingers intertwined. Sometimes he wears a wedding ring. Sometimes it's gone. Today, it's gone again. I don't understand why the guy's a psychiatrist when he's got so much of his own shit to deal with. He nods, urging me to continue. "I didn't even get to say goodbye. That bastard Kyle cornered me after school and held me up. I might've been there for Phil if it hadn't been for him." I pick up his name plaque and turn it in my fingers, watching the light reflect off the metal front. Frank K Campbell.
"What happened after that?"
"I spent a few hours on the highway, hoping that I'd get hit." He nods, making a note on his clipboard. He's pulled out my file. It's embarrassingly full. I look away from it, back at the plaque in my hands.
"Wanna talk about that?"
"Not really." He nods again and sits back, regarding me for a moment.
"How're other things going? The drugs and self harm, I mean." I sigh.
"Taken many drugs lately?"
"Some heroin and weed. Not as much as normal, I guess." I lift my head, sitting back. He smiles slightly, like that's some kind of achievement.
"And the self harm?"
"You can see for yourself," I mutter, taking off my hoodie slowly and lifting my shirt off. He arches an eyebrow at the bruises that cling to me angrily, but I guess he'll come to those later. He's more interested in the cuts and scars that slice across my stomach and arms. There're more, but I'm not stripping completely for him, even if I am bi. His eyes are drawn in particular to the bandage I tied around my left wrist. I glance at him and unwrap it with a small sigh, revealing a long cut down my wrist that follows my vein closely. "I might have been on a come down when I did that one," I tell him quietly.
"When did you do that one?"
"The other day."
"And Phil... he didn't stop you?"
"I said I needed to throw up and locked myself in the bathroom." He nods to himself, making a couple of notes. I bandage it back up when he's done looking at it.
"I'll get a nurse to clean that for you before you leave."
"S'okay. I don't care." He kind of looks at me like ‘exactly' and makes another note. I fiddle with the name plaque in the silence, running my thumb over the name embossed on its surface. I don't say much else to him after that. He tries to ask me about where the bruises came from, but he knows when I've had enough of talking. He's learnt not to push it.
When my mom arrives, I'm still sat there with my shirt off, and when I look up, the first I see of her is the horrified expression plastered on her face. I don't think she's ever seen more self harm than my arms. Just as well I didn't decide to show him the cuts on my hips and legs, then.
"Damien, honey!" she gasps. I fix my gaze on the floor, feeling her eyes on my body, taking in the damage done to me by others and myself.
"Mrs. Cross," Campbell greets her in this sober voice that he uses around parents. To his patients, he's kindly and soft, and more importantly, pretty easy to talk to. But his manner around parents is so different. It makes me go kinda quiet. I don't want to know him when he talks like that. "I think I need to discuss some things with you about Damien." She still looks kind of horrified, but I've already put my clothes back on. I slouch off to the couch and lay down on it, half listening to their conversation.
He wants to put me on antidepressants and keep me in for ‘observation' for the first two weeks. He says that I'll have access to methadone too, to help me with my addictions. I can't help wondering how much this is gonna cost my mom and close my eyes, trying not to think about it.
Mom kind of gives in and slumps a little as she agrees to the antidepressants.