Same Time Next Week?

(Takes place Tues during the school day)

Dr. Sydney Williams had now interviewed other people, people who had found Melissa the night of the incident. She had interviewed Carter, a boy whose life had focused around sports for most of it but wasn’t known to have many problems.

She had also interviewed Doug’s siblings. Dawn the girl who came here, sort of last minute, yet, seemed to be adjusting fairly well. Most of Dawn’s folders had to do with normal things except for the problems with her older brother. Dawn herself seemed fairly typical, if talented. Sydney was aware of the girl’s lifestyle preference but the only concern from the girl’s previous school counselor that had ever been about that was Dawn trying to figure out where she fit in. Something that many teens go through and she figured it out quicker than some.

Zander’s folder was thicker than one might have imagined. Not due to getting into trouble, he never had. Like his sister’s folder, some of it was due to issues with Doug but the main bulk had to do with the multiple testing he had done and the numerous academic awards he had achieved. Getting tested as a genius wasn’t always as easy as some might think but for Zander it had been pretty straightforward. Test after test he had tested high in academics and intellect to the point where the school hadn’t known what to do with him.

She had interviewed them about Doug and their relationship with their older brother; which wasn’t good. She had let them give their impression of Doug and Melissa’s relationship but it was all just opinion. Neither sibling had seen Doug do anything physical to Melissa.

So, now it was on to actually interviewing Doug and Melissa. The doctor made sure to separate the interviews out enough that they couldn’t possibly see each other enter or leave her office. First up was Doug.

Sydney asked Doug to come in and have a seat, which he did. “How are you doing today Doug?” She didn’t want Doug to feel like he was being interrogated figuring she might get more answers out of him this way.

“Fine,” Doug responded without much emotion to his voice.

“I bet you’ll be glad to get off restriction.” The doctor commented.

“Wouldn’t anyone?” Doug was being a little snarky about her commit but she let it slide.

“So, I wanted to check with you. How is this semester going? Any problems with your classes or anything else?” Sydney was trying to feel out if he would tell her what was going on but she knew it was a long shot.

“Nope.” He said though she was sure he was lying.

“Well, then maybe you can tell me if you can add anything to the statement you made about what happened with Melissa Morrison Saturday night.” She asked him.

“Nope. I already made my statement. I don’t know what happened. We got into an argument and I walked away. I shouldn’t have left her on that trail by herself but I don’t know what happened to her, after that.” Doug lied, Sydney knew he was lying but to catch him in the lie would take more time.

“How is your relationship with Melissa?” She asked him.

“Good. No, it’s great really. I wish I could see her more often.” He answered.

Sydney made a few notes and took notice that he never said that they argued a lot but, nearly, everyone else she had talked about their relationship had.

She asked a few questions about his feelings on his siblings being at the school and he responded with nothing negative, more lies. She then gave him a note and sent him back to class.

The notes she had made went into two places, the incident folder, and the ever-growing, already thick folder of Doug. Doug’s folder had enough psychological testing in it to practically have its own folder. Incidents of bullying from previous schools, almost all directed at Zander. HIs parents’ concern about him before he came to this school and all the hoops they jumped through to get him into this school. Doug’s saving grace was probably that he was so good at sports.

She made a side note that possibly his parents would need to be contacted but she had reasons to wait on that until more was known.

She waited having scheduled a few meetings that had nothing to do with Melissa or Doug and then a few hours later into the day she called to Melissa’s class to have her come down.

Melissa’s file was rather full and the thought of pushing it to two folders was in Sydney’s mind. Melissa for one part had seen her share of mental health professionals in the past. Really though Sydney already knew that Melissa wasn’t the type to cause problems for others; mostly she caused them for herself. Her getting into this school had a bunch of appendices to it. Such as Melissa had to have a private room; one so it could be searched at any time and two so if she did fall into old habits it wouldn’t drag any unsuspecting roommate with her. Another was she had to keep her GPA up; at least a B average was preferred No getting into trouble, and so on but one of the big things was Melissa was supposed to see Sydney once a week.

Sydney had a few students on her regular appointment schedule. Some she saw biweekly, some monthly and there were a few she saw weekly. Many of the students she started out seeing weekly did progress and when they made enough progression she would put them to biweekly and then monthly status and eventually she would take them off the regular schedule where they, like any student could come see her anytime but it was more up to them.

Doug was currently on a biweekly schedule but, after her last interview with him, she would be moving him to weekly. Melissa, on the other hand, was already on a weekly schedule.

The doctor had purposedly not done any appointments last week to give the students time to settle into school. So, she hadn’t personally met with Melissa but she had read the girl’s folder twice. She knew she had to be delicate or it could unravel their doctor/patient relationship before there really was one.

When Melissa arrived, she was offered a seat which she took, and offered a footstool to prop her injured ankle upon, which the girl also took.

“How are you doing today Melissa?” Sydney asked.

“Tired of being on crutches but other than that, fine, I suppose,” Melissa answered.

“Are classes going well?”

“Yes,” Melissa responded. “I mean it’s only the second week but I think I’m settling in alright to them.”

“That’s good,” Sydney marked down on her paper. Knows how to answer standard questions. Probably asked them a lot in different sessions.

She wrote it down but wasn’t surprised at all by it, given what she knew of Melissa’s past.

“Well, I want you to know this is a safe space, anything you say will be held in the strictest confidence.” Sydney saw Melissa look around the office and then seem like she was about to say something but didn’t. “Is there something you want to say?”

Melissa sighed. “I know the routine. You tell me that it’s confidential but if if I really tell you anything that you want to tell to the school you will.”

“What makes you say that?” Sydney asked with no judgment in her voice.

“Because that’s what happens with school psychologists. You work for the school first. Which means you can’t really promise that you will hold what I tell you in confidence.” Melissa responded. “You’ve seen my folder, I believe it’s that really thick one in front of you. I’ve been through all this before.”

“I have read your folder and your right but not completely right. Did the school psychologists use your information in a way they shouldn’t have?”

“Yes, they told the school administration things I said. Isn’t that in the folder?” Melissa asked.

“No, it’s not. I’m sorry that happened to you. I promise that unless it’s a matter of your safety or the safety of others, nothing you say will leave this room.” Sydney let that take a moment to sink it. “I don’t expect you to trust me today or next week or next month. I like to build trust, however, long that takes for you is fine with me.”

“What if we never get there?” Melissa answered. “Will, you just say I’m a lost cause and tell the administration I need to go someplace else?”

Sydney got off of her chair and came around to where Melissa was sitting, she moved the other chair next to the girl and then said. “Of course not. I think we will get there but if we don’t there are other therapists that could help you. Other things we could try. I know that things haven’t been easy for you; I just want you to know that I’m here for you. Now, it’s up to you if you want to make an appointment for next week or not. If not I do have to recommend another psychologist, one in private practice because of the agreement made with the school to let you attend here but I think your far from not being able to be helped.”

“I thought you called me down here to talk about Saturday night,” Melissa said after a long pause.

“Is there anything you want to change or add to your account of that or anything you want to talk about regarding your relationship with Doug?” Sydney asked.

“No,” Was Melissa’s only response.

“Then that’s all I had. Unless you have anything else you want to talk about.” Doctor Williams knew there were probably a lot of things Melissa wanted to say, to ask, to talk about but when Melissa responded with another ‘no’ she wasn’t surprised. “Well, then do you want to make another appointment with me and we can try to work things together or not? It’s up to you?”

Melissa seemed to remain quiet for a long time then she said. “Same time next week?”

Sydney smiled gently at the girl, “Yes, I’ll put it down in my calendar.” She showed the girl out and sat back down. Gaining Melissa’s trust was going to take a lot of work but she had meant what she said; if Melissa was willing, Sydney thought she could help her.

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