The waiting room smelled of bleach and cheap air freshener. The overhead fan creating a calm whooshing sound above Lucy's head. Her shoulders were dropping, her eyes shutting slowly. She caught a glimpse of something in her peripheral of her eyelids and snapped awake.
“Stay awake,” she muttered, rubbing the bottom of her palms furiously into her eyes. When she dropped them she could see tiny eyelashes on her hands. She shook them and readjusted herself on the thin cushioned chair. Everything in the small room was bland. The furniture was simplistic and she suspected it was all Ikea in origin. In front of her were more chairs and above that a picturesque painting of two people walking along a dirt-trodden path into the sunset. To the right she spied the small black speakers that were quietly humming peaceful tones and harmonies.
None of it helped her to relax though. She was here mostly against her will, but after four years she had accepted this part of her life. She wasn't in secondary school anymore though, the benefit of skipping drama had faded. She had hated hat class, hated stepping into the spotlight. Her drama teacher had a habit of throwing her there. Lucy was sure it was an good intentioned attempt to 'bring her out of her shell', but honestly, what was so wrong with being a little socially skittish? She had been and still was a lot happier reading books in the library on her own. The door into the waiting room opened with a squeak and Lucy glanced up. Cynthia waved at her before settling behind the reception desk. Lucy gave a awkward smile back and focussed on her lap. Her black jeans were certainly more interesting than social interaction. The door opened again and stayed held open. Lucy looked up and saw Dr Franklin.
“Hello Lucy,” he said, a genuine smile on his face. Lucy returned her usual awkward one and stood up, her hands clinging to the strap of her backpack as she followed him through the small corridor and into his familiar office. She preferred this room to the waiting room. He had two neat shelves filled with books. Granted there were on psychology rather than old civilizations or tattoos, but she'd still give them a read. His desk was modestly sized and made of dark oak. It had a small laptop and some thick brown files on it. Lucy knew without having to ask that the biggest one that he quickly walked over and closed was hers.
“Take a seat,” he said, his greying curly hair falling between his glasses to half block his vision. Lucy sat in the large black plush chair. Dr Franklin left his desk to sit in the chair opposite, friendly smile in place. He was another reason Lucy wasn't so fussed about being here. After the 'incident' dad had a hard time finding her a psychiatrist, and she was far from open to the idea. Eventually they found Dr Franklin and he just laughed and made jokes about her wilful thirteen year old self. With her developing sarcasm, they got along extremely well.
“So,” he began, leaning back with his feet crossed. His eyes quickly accessing her as always.
“How are you?” Lucy asked, wanting to avoid the obvious.
“I'm good, thanks you,” he said, his smile saying he knew exactly what she was doing. By that point they both knew the routine. “You look tired,” he stated. Lucy breathed a humourless laugh, her face dipping downwards so her black curls half-hid her face.