18; The Unwonted
"I want to go back to the topic of guilt today." Ms. Morrell said and El internally groaned as she sunk down deeper in the plastic chair.
She had never liked these group therapies but now she was feeling even more annoyed by it than usual. A bunch of people sat in a circle including Stiles, Oliver, Mandy, the Malia girl, El, and the enemy herself; Meredith. The only one who truly seemed to be paying attention was Mandy.
She always participated 100% in these kinds of things thinking her cooperation to mend her mental health would get her one step closer to being released, but she'd already been doing that for the past nine years and nothing had changed. She didn't lose hope though. El knew it was pointless of her to be so involved, but never once did she tell her best friend that.
While Mandy was doing everything in her power to fix herself, El wanted nothing more than to convince her she wasn't broken.
"It might surprise you to hear me say that guilt is a good thing. It's a rather mature emotion." El hummed in amusement as she noticed the awkward glances exchanged between Stiles and Malia.
El looked down at her hands, her attention drifting to her bitten nails and unattended cuticles. "El, what about you? How does guilt make you feel?"
"El," Ms. Morrell called again, a strictness to her tone.
The brunettes eyes snapped up, feeling a blush rush to her cheeks at all the pairs of eyes staring at her expectantly. "I'm sorry, what?"
Ms. Morrell narrowed her eyes on the girl. "What does guilt make you feel?"
It was an easy answer because it was a feeling she had often. "Scared."
"Like something bad will come out of it?"
El nodded wordlessly.
"The fear that something will happen in return for what you've done." Morrell continued but she hadn't quite understood what El meant.
"More like the fear of what people will think. That I'll prove to everyone what they already think of me."
A silence filled the circle that no one dared break. Not everyone felt the same way as she did but in some ways they could all relate to her words.
"I'm sorry everyone but we need to take a break." Morrell interrupted in a hurried voice. Confusedly, everyone watched as she got up and stood before Stiles. He was rubbing his neck nervously and El faintly saw the red lines crawling up the side of his throat. "Come with me Stiles?" she asked but it sounded more like an order. "I'd like to talk to you for a minute."
"You too El." she added in quickly as she walked out of the gathering room. Stiles shot El a confused look as the two slowly stood from their chairs and followed after the shrink. El turned to look back at Miranda and shrugged, "see you in the lunch line."
"What did you do?" El hissed as she and Stiles walked behind Ms. Morrell to her office. "What? Me? I didn't do anything!" he insisted but the look of doubt on his face said he didn't fully believe his own words.
She frowned pointing at the red marks across his pale skin. "Well it must have something to do with that."
"You're right Ms. Paxton, it does." Morrell agreed ushering the two teenagers into her office before shutting the door behind them.
"Lift up your shirt Stiles." she commanded and his eyes widened as he glanced between the two girls.
El rolled her eyes, crossing her arms over her chest. "Just lift up your shirt Stiles. I promise we'll contain our sexual urges."
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