Chap. 47

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Shane's POV

"Hi Shane," Dr. Greene said, as I walked into the room.

"Morning," I answered, taking my usual seat. I waved goodbye to Nurse Trudy.

"Nice pants," Carrie said, with a smile.

"I can sense your jealousy," I teased.

"What are those?"

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."

"You got downgraded," Terrence said, sitting on the other side of me.

I looked down at my arms. The gauze was gone, replaced by tape. "Is this a downgrade?"

He showed me his arms, which were covered by tape last week and today they were clear. His scars were still fresh, and it made my stomach churn. "Sure is."

"Well as long as I have that to look forward to," I said, looking at my tape. That's what my scars look like under the tape. They're no longer scars but wounds.

"So let's talk about the week," Dr. Greene said. "Ups, downs, lay it out there."

"I had an up," Terrence said, holding up his arms.

We all clapped for him.

"I had a down," Kylie said. "Yesterday was the anniversary of my sister's suicide."

We all clapped for her.

I'd never shared during this time. I knew all of these teenagers by name, I even talk to a few of them outside of this group therapy, but I never felt comfortable enough to share my innermost feelings with them.

"I had a down," Mark said, his eyes heavy, "my dad told me that my little brother said I was his role model."

That was always a hard one. Dr. Greene always tried to tell those with siblings that it was an honor to be a role model, but it was hard to convince yourself of that when you were sitting in the Psychiatric Ward of the hospital.

We all clapped for him.

"I had an up," Carrie said. "A couple of days ago my little sister came in and sang some song she learned for her school play, and it put the biggest smile on my face. I felt happiness for days."

We all clapped for her.

No one else raised their hands.

"Anyone else?" Dr. Greene asked, looking around the circle. His eyes paused on me for a moment.

I wanted things to work this time. I wanted to leave here with the feeling that I'd never be back, that I was changed.

"I had a down," I blurted, my heart pounding.

Dr. Greene smiled at me, and I took a moment to take in a deep breath.

"My mom's birthday was two days ago," I said, looking around at all the teenagers who knew nothing about my personal life. "She died last year."

They all clapped for me.

~*~

"Hey honey," Momma King said, as I came into my hospital room, followed by Nurse Trudy.

"Hey," I answered, lying down in my bed. I propped my neck up on some pillows.

"How was physical therapy?"

"Brutal."

"Do you need your neck brace?"

I scoffed. "No thanks."

"The physical therapist said he needs to be wearing it 12 hours a day," Nurse Trudy said.

"That's what I thought," Momma King said. "I'll have Tyler bring it up."

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