42) 'Face Your Inner Demons And Free Yourself From The Pain Of The Past' And...

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42) 'Face Your Inner Demons And Free Yourself From The Pain Of The Past' And Other Advice That Thijmen Persistently Pisses On

Thijmen had his occasional meetings with the person that overlooked the program, of whom Benjamin still didn't know the name, and he was indeed doing well. Nobody had mentioned the word 'delinquent' in months. Of all the boys that had shown up to be reformed at the school, Thijmen was one of the very few that didn't even act like one, so people kind of forgot that he was supposed to be one.

Since there wasn't really anything delinquent-y to discuss, Benjamin was curious as to what they even discussed during those meetings, so he asked if he could tag along. And they said yes. So he tagged along.

As it turned out, said meetings were... pretty anticlimactic, actually. If anything, they came across as counseling sessions. Thijmen being Thijmen remained unmoved even as the counselor forced him to talk. Benjamin being Benjamin knew he still held back some things. Many things. Most of them, he'd never really know, and he respected that.

In a way, it was nice to know that he wasn't the only one Thijmen kept secrets from. Maybe Thijmen had even told him more than his counselor. He was his boyfriend after all. That made him special. Did he tell the counselor about why he was a drug dealer?

While this went on, he asked, "Has it been this easy with other, uh, students to be reformed?"

This seemed to take the counselor aback. She glanced at Thijmen (as in, can I continue, patient?), then at what looked like a cabinet. "Well..." she trailed off, "Some of them."

"Like who?"

"Mr. Emsworth, I'm sure one of the conditions for you to be allowed here was to remain silent."

Benjamin bit his lip, then nodded.

It'd been a spur-of-the-moment thing and all, but honestly? He was curious.

Thijmen knew, if the look on his face was anything to go by, but did that mean he was going to do anything about it? No, of course not. He merely sat there, silently. The counselor went on about things he had clearly heard a thousand times before, and Benjamin remained silent. He grew bored. Like the majority of bored teenagers, he grew restless.

He began investigating the area. He didn't know much about decoration, but even Benjamin could tell that the color on the walls was very odd for a counselor's office. Red didn't have a very calming effect on most people. It could very well be a marketing strategy. Angry teenagers = more money. Kind of like modern psychologists and the Barnum Effect.

There was a bunch of documents. There were rules saying touching them was forbidden. Benjamin touched them.

"Mr. Emsworth! I'm going to have to send you away if you can't behave!"

This had Thijmen snorting.

"Is Thijmen civilized now?" he asked.

"Um, when hasn't he been civilized?"

"I mean he came here for a reason, right? How's that going?"

"He's been doing well."

"I'm sitting right here."

Ignoring this, Benjamin continued, "How reformed would you say he is? No drugs?"

The counselor raised her eyebrows. "Drugs?"

"Yeah, you know, those... things. They make you feel weird. At least, I read that somewhere."

"I know what drugs are, Mr. Emsworth. Do you have reason to believe Thijmen is involved with drugs?"

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