Today has been a pretty eventful day.
The girl that had been missing for a year was found earlier this morning.
Her story was all over the news for the past months and I'm glad that she is safe now.
Y/n, I believe, was found on the side of the road, covered in dirt and bruises. She was taken to the hospital and police tried to find out what happened, but y/n didn't say a word. I was in the room as well, to evaluate her mental state and it pained me to see all of the fear and mistrust in her big e/c eyes.
It was decided that she would join the mental health program that I'm leading at the moment. I decided against group therapy in her case, because I don't think she's ready to open up to anyone yet, let alone a small group of people. So my best bet is to win her trust and take it from there.
Hopefully, I'll get her to open up, so her case can eventually be solved, but more importantly, she can go on with her life. I really hope that I can help y/n.
Currently, she's staying at the hospital and her injuries are being treated.
Also, nobody really knows where she lives, because she doesn't seem to have any family or friends. The person that reported her missing was her boss, because she didn't show up to work for a week. However, not even he has her address.
After reading her file, I close it and place it on my nightstand, before standing up and getting ready for bed.
I'm scared. I'm scared. I'm scared.
I look at the wall opposite the hospital bed I'm lying in. The room appears to get smaller and smaller each second and I can't take it.
I curl into a ball, hugging my knees, and pray for all of this to be over. Tears fall down my cheeks and my breathing quickens.
I jump as I hear a noise from outside my room and get out of bed. Sitting down in the corner of the room, I hug myself, my whole body trembling. I try to calm down, but I fail.
Eventually, my body shuts down, all of its energy used up, and I fall asleep.
In the middle of the night, I feel a pair of hands touch my shoulders. I snap my eyes open and flinch, tears gathering in my eyes again.
"I'm sorry that I startled you, but you should sleep in your bed." a brunette nurse tells me. I swallow the lump in my throat, and nod, slowly getting up, and walking towards the bed. Lying down, I pull the covers up to my chin and the nurse smiles at me softly before leaving the room again.
I look at the white ceiling and try to block out the memories of the past 365 days. Closing my eyes, all I see is his face, his smile, and the glint in his eyes. I cry myself to sleep, and hope that I'll never wake up again.
The next morning, I have my first session with y/n. I'm waiting in my office at the hospital for a nurse to go fetch her.
Once y/n is standing in my room, I can clearly see that she does not want to be here. Her body language is practically screaming 'help', so I make it my mission to make her feel more comfortable around me.
I give the nurse a sign that she is allowed to leave now, and once we're alone in my office, I offer y/n a seat on the couch. She hesitantly sits down, pulling her knees immediately up to her chest before looking at me with scared eyes.
"Hello, y/n. I'm Dr. Claire McCrae, but you can call me Claire. I'm here to try and help you cope with what you went through," I tell her, and she only hugs her legs tighter, closing her eyes, and burying her face between her knees. I get up slowly and sit down next to her, not touching her.
"I know that it is difficult to talk about the things you went through, but believe me, it will feel so much better once you do."
She just shakes her head, and I smile softly.
I doubted that she would open up in the first session anyways.
"Let me tell you something about myself. Can you guess why I decided to become a psychiatrist?" I ask her, and she looks up, shaking her head.
Good. I have her attention.
"Well, I always wanted to help people since I was a child, but the event that really pushed me in the right direction was the fact that my little sister got sick. She started banging her head against the wall, and she wouldn't stop screaming. My mother and I were helpless. We tried to stop her, but she wouldn't stop."
Y/n grabs a pen and paper and writes something down.
What did she have?
"Nobody knows. She ran in front of a bus when she was 14, and her case was closed shortly after," I say, wiping a tear from my cheek.
"And that's when I decided to become a psychiatrist, to try and save lives, even if I couldn't save hers. But that's enough about me. Do you want to tell me something about yourself?"
She shakes her head vehemently, tears gathering in her eyes.
"Why not? Are you afraid of what might happen if you do?" I ask, and she nods hesitantly.
"Okay, why don't we start with simple 'yes or no' questions? Would that be alright? If you feel uncomfortable with a question, we'll just skip that one, okay?"
She nods slowly, the fear still evident in her eyes.
Claire really seems to be nice, but I just can't tell her what happened.
She's asking me her 'yes or no' questions, and I try to answer as many as I feel comfortable with, either nodding or shaking my head.
Most questions are about my well-being, how I feel, and these things. She doesn't ask me anything that would tell her where I have been in the past year, and I'm grateful for that, because I'm just not ready for these kind of questions yet.
A little while later, our session is over and Claire smiles softly, asking me if she should get the nurse to walk me back to my room or if I want to go with her, seeing as she will go in the same direction. I hesitantly point at her, and she smiles again, genuinely, opening the door, and leading me to my room.
"I'll see you tomorrow, y/n. Try to rest some more," Claire speaks gently, and exits the room.
Once she's gone, I curl into a ball on my bed, and the memories of last year pollute my mind. I tremble from anxiety, my breathing becoming irregular, but then I try my hardest to think about something, anything positive, and Claire's face pops into my mind.
She's really kind and understanding for a doctor of her profession.
However, it doesn't take long before his face disrupts my temporary state of peace, and I start to cry into my pillow.
I startle as I feel a hand on my arm and I flinch away, jumping out of the bed, and rushing to the bathroom, trying to lock the door, but there is no lock.
The bathroom door opens, and a raven-haired nurse stands in the doorway. All I see is him in the doorway, and I begin to scream, cowering in the corner of the shower, hiding my face in my hands.
I don't know how much time has passed, but suddenly, I hear the clacking of high heels against the tiled floor, and I peek through my fingers to see who it is. As I see Claire's silky blond hair, and her chocolate-brown eyes, which are filled with worry and concern, I relax a little, even if it's just a tiny bit.
"Y/n, can you hear my voice?" she asks softly, and I nod lightly, still sitting in the corner of the shower.
"You are safe here, y/n. I know that's probably hard to believe, but you have to trust me on that. You are safe, y/n." Her soothing voice rings in my ears, but I don't know if I should trust her.
"Why don't you rest a little longer in your bed, hm?" she says, and the nurse from earlier moves towards me as if wanting to help me up, and I push myself further into the tiled shower. Claire grabs the nurse's arm, and stops her.
"Don't touch her. It might be triggering."
I slowly crotch down and look at y/n's terror-filled eyes.
"Do you want to come with me to your bed?" I whisper, not wanting to startle her by speaking too loudly. Y/n shakes her head, and I nod lightly.
"That's alright, y/n. Take your time."
I stand up again and tell the nurse to leave because I can handle y/n, and she only seems to make the girl more nervous.
"Do you want me to wait outside for when you are comfortable with leaving the bathroom again?" I ask in a soothing voice. Y/n looks up, her eyes meeting mine, before they focus on the floor in front of her, shaking her head.
"Okay." I sit down on the tiled floor and observe y/n for a little while. She looks so fragile and vulnerable.
"I know that you probably don't want to talk about what happened to you, but you can't keep on living like this. Let me help you, y/n," I say in a soothing tone. Y/n looks up, her e/c eyes meet my brown ones, and I melt upon seeing the fear in them.
Suddenly, she does something completely unexpected. She crawls towards me, lays her head on my lap, hugging my legs, and starts crying. I'm shocked, but I'm glad that she seems to trust me. A few minutes later, y/n sits up and looks down, seemingly embarrassed by her behavior.
"Are you feeling a little bit better now?" I ask softly, and y/n nods hesitantly. I smile and stand up slowly, holding out my hands to help her up if she wants my help. Y/n hesitantly slips her hands into mine, and I gently pull her up before leading her back to her bed. I make sure that she is resting as peacefully as possible in her situation before I leave her room and go back to my office.
Claire is really nice.
She helped me through my episode of anxiety, and I'm really grateful that she was there.
Now, I'm lying in my bed, and for the first time since my escape, I think about someone other than him. My thoughts drift to silky blond hair, beautiful brown orbs, genuine smiles, and soft, helping hands. I sigh as I hug my pillow tight, trying to fall asleep but my thoughts keep me up.
Maybe I can trust her? Will she judge me if I tell her what happened? What if she'll hate me?
I start to cry softly as all these thoughts flow through my head. I just know that I need to tell someone, otherwise this guilt will destroy me from the inside.
And Claire is my best bet.
Maybe she'll understand.
I leave y/n's room with a spark of hope. I might be able to get her to open up to me. She does seem to like me, at least a little bit, and that makes me believe that I'll be able to help her through whatever trauma she experienced in the past year.
Over the next few weeks, I get y/n to open up more. However, she still doesn't really talk about what happened to her. When I try to go in that direction, she lowers her head and refuses to write down anything.
Today is different though. Y/n is even more nervous than usual, her hands trembling as she writes. I wait patiently for her to finish her writing and take the notebook once she gives it to me.
On the notebook, there is a long text explaining what had happened to her in the past year, no details of course, but kind of an overview. Tears sting in my eyes as I read words like 'punched me', 'sliced up my arm', and 'rape'. I look up to see y/n crying quietly. Slowly, I move towards her and sit down next to her, which startles her. Her big, puffy eyes look at me.
I talk to her for a while, and she hugs me afterwards, taking me by surprise. With my arms wrapped around her, I try to soothe her as more and more tears escape her eyes.
Over the next few weeks, I manage to get her to open up even more, helping her process what happened. However, her behavior suddenly changes as I tell her that they found the place she had been held captive for so long and that the man that did all these horrible things to her is dead. She looks scared, frozen in place as her whole body starts to tremble. I walk over to her, concerned. She scribbles something on her notebook, and shows it to me.
How did he die?
"They don't know yet, but I'm sure they will soon. You don't have to worry about that, y/n," I try to soothe her. However, this only seems to cause her more anxiety.
"What's going on, y/n? Is there something you want to tell me?"
"I-" she croaks, and my eyes widen. I lean closer and nod encouragingly.
"I-I k-killed h-him," she whispers before becoming a sobbing mess.
I just told Claire the secret that has been plaguing me for weeks. Fear and anxiety capture me, and I pull my knees towards my chest, hiding my face as tears stream down my flushed cheeks.
Suddenly, I feel a hand on my shoulder and flinch, looking up to see the blonde looking at me, no disgust or hate visible in her eyes. She reassures me that no matter what happened, she's sure that I did the right thing.
After she helps me calm down a little, I tell her in my newfound, shaky voice what exactly happened the day I escaped. All through the story, I'm holding on to Claire's hand, and she squeezes mine encouragingly every once in a while.
She tells me that I had every right to defend myself after what he did to me and that no court would think otherwise. Claire offers me to take care of this issue if I want her to, and I nod hesitantly.
A few months later, everything turned out better than expected. I'm still in therapy, talking to Claire every week but I feel much better. I even started a new job at a museum, which I enjoy.
However, a new problem has come up: I'm falling in love with my therapist.
Claire and I have become friends over the last months, and I really can't imagine my life without her by my side but I also know that I'm just another patient to her, which saddens me.
She noticed my sadness and convinced me to tell her what's going on, so I told her that I like someone who wouldn't like me back. After a long talk of Claire telling me that there is nothing to dislike about me, she told me to just tell the person, and I promised her that I will. I couldn't though because it's her.
In the next sessions, she keeps encouraging me to just tell them because she's sure that they'd like me too. Today, is also such a session, and I just can't take it anymore.
"It's you, Claire," I say and run out of her office, not wanting to see the disgust or pity in her eyes. She calls me on my phone but I don't pick up. Instead, I turn it off and walk home to welcome my next episode of depression. Once I'm in my apartment, I walk towards my bedroom and curl up in my bed, no intention of leaving it in the next few days.
I don't know how long it has been when I'm disturbed by a knock. Groaning, I ignore it but the person is quite insistent, so I get up and shuffle towards the door. My tired eyes widen as I see a certain blond therapist standing in front of me.
As y/n opens the door, I notice that she is still in the same clothes in which she left my office days ago. She's about to close the door but I stop her by placing my hand against it.
"Please go, I-I c-can't handle re-rejection right now," she stutters, and my heart breaks.
"I'm not here to reject you, y/n. I'm here to talk," I reassure her. Eventually, she nods and leads me inside her apartment. We sit down on her couch, and I start to talk. After realizing that y/n is just staring blankly at the wall, probably not hearing a word I say, I stop and place my hand on her arm, which causes her to flinch. Her eyes meet mine, and she tears up.
"Oh, y/n. Come here," I say and open my arms. She rushes to embrace me, burying her face in the nape of my neck. Her grip on me tightens slightly as she sobs. I rub her back soothingly and stroke her hair gently. After a few minutes she backs away, apologizing for her behavior.
"Don't apologize, sweetheart. There's no reason for that. How about you take a nice warm shower and relax while I prepare us something to eat?"
"Oh God, I must smell really bad. I'm so sorry," y/n whispers and blushes. I just shake my head and peck her cheek, which causes her cheeks to turn even a brighter shade of red. Then, she rushes towards what I assume is her bedroom, and I look around the kitchen to find something edible.
Half an hour later, y/n joins me in the kitchen, wearing fresh clothes and fuzzy socks. I smile at her, and she blushes again. While y/n has been in the shower, I managed to make a simple pasta dish, which is now ready to be eaten.
We sit at the table and eat in silence but I can see y/n looking at me when she thinks I'm not aware of her lingering gaze. I'm conflicted. On the one hand, she is my patient and on the other hand, I really like her in a way a therapist should not like their patients. At the end of our meal, I have made a decision.
"I can no longer be your therapist, y/n," I tell her and can already see tears gathering in her eyes.
"I can, however, be your girlfriend, who you can talk you," I add quickly. She stares at me with shock in her eyes.
"R-really?" she stutters, and I nod.
The rest of the night, we talk about everything, and I hold her as tightly as she will let me. I will never let anyone hurt my y/n ever again, and I'm determined to make her feel loved every second for the rest of her life.