chapter fourty-one

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JENNIE

"I didn't expect that you will be willing to see me so soon, but I have to say that it's nice to see you again." Judith smiles at me as we both sit at our respective seats. "How are you, Jennie?"

I force a smile and turn my hands into fists. She can't see how nervous I am because her large desk prevents her from seeing my hands trembling.

"I've been... thinking a lot lately," I tell her before chuckling softly. "I didn't get much sleep because of... these overthinking shits."

I feel like for the past few days I've been stuck in endless nights. I asked myself a thousand questions before the sun comes up. It has become a routine, but I can't handle it any longer. I need help and I think she is the one that I need.

"Can you tell me what kind of thoughts did you have?"

I take a deep sigh and look at the ceiling before shrugging, "I don't know... It was..., well, let's say overwhelming. I was thinking about my past, my parents, my friends and... life in general. It's hard to explain. I-... I feel like I don't even know myself anymore and it feels... I don't know. Weird, maybe?"

She nods lightly before putting her elbows on her desk.

"Do you feel lost?"

Her simple question makes my heart race and I don't feel safe here anymore. I hate the way she is looking at me as if I was not normal.

All I wanted in life was to be no different from others.

"I don't know," I lie.

"In our last session, I told you I wanted to dig about something in your past. So, can you tell me a little bit about your past?"

"What do you want to know?" I frown.

She crosses her arms and shrugs.

"What's your relationship with your parents for example," she suggests.

"I'm close to them, well, I'm trying actually. My mum always tells me that I don't spend enough time with them and my dad doesn't really care about what I like in general. I don't mind because that's how he is. He is not the most talkative person on earth and he only likes to talk about politics and religion."

I already talked to her about my parents but I guess she wants more details. The more time goes by the harder it becomes difficult for me to stay still. I keep shifting on the chair every time her eyes lay on me.

"Have you ever threw a tantrum when you were a child?"

I shake my head.

I've never been rude towards my parents even when I was little. My mother always told me I was kind and well-behaved with them, unlike my little brother.

Judith gives me a small smile before writing something on her notebook and I would be lying if I say I don't want to read her notes about me.

"Jennie?" she calls me with a soft voice.

I tilt my head, "Mmh?"

"I'm your psychologist and I'm here to help you. I know it's hard to say it out loud--"

I cut her off right away.

"What's your point?"

"Are you scared of your parents ?"

There's a beat of silence between us. I feel like someone is trying to crush my throat and I'm praying for the pain to fade away. 

What is she doing to me?

It seems like she's looking right into my soul to find something that I don't want to share and I feel like it's working.

"No. Of course not," I respond.

She inhales deeply and shakes her head. My answer doesn't please her because the look in her eyes shows disappointment.

"You're lying to me and I've been wondering... for a while now, well how long have you been pretending to be someone you're not?" she says.

"I'm not ly--"

It's her turn to cut me off.

"How many times have you cried at night because of them?"

I clench my jaw, "Stop."

She continues, "How many times have you said yes for something you didn't want to do?"

"Please stop," I say almost like a whisper.

"How many times have you hurt Lisa because you thought it was the right thing?"

It was the question that crossed the line as I feel a terrible pang inside my chest. It literally took my breath away and I find myself, staring at her with a death glare. I get up from the chair and takes a deep breath before speaking.

"Fine! It's not that I'm scared of my parents, I'm just... I don't want to disappoint them." I admit with hands turn into fists. "If they find out about...," I stop because I know deep inside me that I wouldn't be able to finish this sentence. "I can't... I just can't."

The sunlight casts her face illuminating the quirk smile on her thin lips. Judith tilts her head slightly while looking at me with her piercing blue eyes. I clench my jaw and regain my seat. I have said too much. Judith is the most insightful and knowledgeable person I have ever met in my life. I bet she already knows what I was trying to say.

"You can, Jennie. You can say it," she encourages me.

I shake my head and inhales deeply. I curse mentally at myself when I feel warm tears scrolling on both of my cheeks. I don't want to say it because my father always told me that sometimes it's better to leave things unsaid when it's too hard to bear.

Though the tension between us is still tense, she smiles at me and puts her pen on the desk. A part of me is saying that she is just trying to help me, but here I am, doubting her intentions. I grab my thighs and squeeze them to ease the anxiety flooding through me.

"I... I really can't," I say but the sound of my voice came out like a whisper. "Why is it so hard?"

I don't know if she knows what I can't put into words, but I feel like she has known it for a while. She is looking at me as if she wanted to pull me into a hug, but she's holding herself not to do it.

"Because you never said it out loud."

With each passing second, I find it harder to breathe. Judith gives me a reassuring look, concern shining through her eyes. I feel like someone is trying to crush my throat and I can't stop the tears from blurring my eyes. I use the sleeve of my sweater to wipe my cheeks.

"Gosh, I need tissues."

The second later, she slides a box of tissues in front of me. I thank her while there's a hint of a smile plastered on her wrinkled eyes. I sweep away a tear with a tissue and grit my teeth. I'm not the type of girl who easily cry, but I guess she hit a sensitive point.

"What's the thing you're the most afraid of?" she asks, innocently.

"Lisa," I say without a second thought.

I feel her gaze on me but I keep on staring at my fingers. There's a silence until I speak up once again.

My body trembles from anticipation as my blood rushes madly in my veins. Judith stays silent as if she was waiting for an explanation or something that could fill the silence between us. She already knows what kind of person Lisa is. On our first meeting, I needed to introduce her to everyone who has a part in my life and therefore, I presented Lisa as my best friend's little sister who's also a close friend of mine.

I grit my teeth and speak up, "I don't think I like her."

Her blue eye catches mine as I give her the explanation she is waiting for.

"I think I'm falling in love with her."

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