» prologue «

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"Calum, I really think this is for your good. You never talk to me."

I huffed, rolling my eyes. I never talked to my therapist for a reason. She didn't need to know about my life. I wasn't broken. I didn't have any problems. This is how I am. This is how I'm supposed to be.

Sure, I didn't talk much and didn't have too many friends. Actually, I didn't have any friends, come to think of it. Maybe just a few people I talked to now and again on Tumblr, but that was about it.

But I've never hurt myself, and I didn't starve myself... Anymore, at least. It freaked me out to talk to new people face to face, my parents on the phone, and the cashiers at convenience stores, but everyone got like that, right?

Other than that, I'm fine. I'm normal.

"It'll be good for you," Ms. Phelps repeated, smiling at me. "It'll get you to talk to someone, at least."

"What's the point?" I shrugged. "It's not like you can monitor what I write."

"That's the point. You can write what you want. Stop bottling things up and actually talk to someone about it."

"So they can tell you everything I tell them," I scoffed. "Sounds wonderful."

"It's fully confidential, Calum," she sighed, rummaging through her drawer. She handed me the slip of paper, her neat handwriting visible on it. "It's only for your benefit."

With an eye roll, I took the paper, reading the name and address. "Lucas Hemmings," I read, before snorting. "Yeah, sounds like real wonderful person."

"Calum," she scolded. "He's part of the same program as you. I've talked to his therapist and he's very interested in getting to know you."

"I bet he is," I muttered under my breath, before standing up. "Fine. I'll do this stupid pen pal thing. I'll write this kid a goddamned letter. It's not going to change anything, but I'll do it. Only because I know my parents are paying you a lot for this."

She was about to open her mouth again, but I cut her off. "It's 5:00. Time for me to go. See you next week, Ms. Phelps."

I swung my bag over my shoulder before taking my leave. As I walked home, I looked at the slip of paper in my hand, reading it over once more before rolling my eyes. Lucas Hemmings. What a fucking pretentious name.

But whatever. I'd write him a goddamn letter. Anything to get Ms. Phelps and my parents off my case. No one told me I had to make the letters long or interesting anyways, right?

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