Sam and Dr. Stewart continue their conversation. Sam asks if she believes in soul mates.
"As a matter of fact, I do. Why? Is Emma your soul mate?"
"I think so. I've thought about that too, read up on it. I study any subject that interests me. In juvie, about all I had to keep me going was reading. There are a lot of opinions, pro and con, but I believe it with all my heart. I don't know if we've always been so tortured, but we've always been together—me taking care of Emma."
"Never the other way around?"
He shook his head, shrugging. "I never thought of that. I don't think so. But hell, what do I know? I'm a troubled teen." He made quote marks by his head.
"Is that how you see yourself?"
"Nope, that's how I'm labeled."
"How do you see yourself?"
He sat straighter in his chair, sitting up tall and strong. "Sir Galahad."
Dr. Stewart saw his entire aspect change. He went from a nervous boy to a confident man in seconds. She directed the conversation away from Emma and focused on Sam's beliefs instead. They talked about karma and reincarnation for the remainder of the session. Sam surprised the doctor with his knowledge and his ability to quote several different authors accurately. She had done a lot of studying of it herself and realized that he knew nearly as much as she did on the subject. She found herself liking Sam a great deal and hoped he would be able to accomplish the goals he had set for himself. If anyone could help set Emma on the right path, it was he. The only chink in his armor was the fear of losing Emma. If he did, Dr. Stewart suspected his entire world would fall apart.
He was just leaving when Robbie brought Emma in. They met at the door. Emma looked terrified until Sam took her hand, squeezing her fingers reassuringly. He kissed her cheek, mumbling something that the doctor couldn't hear. Emma visibly relaxed, walking into the office with more confidence than she had first shown. Sam waved at her, closing the door behind him.
Emma sat in a very guarded position, ankles crossed, arms folded over her chest, head down. Robbie introduced them like she had Sam. Instead of leaving right away, she glanced at the doctor, shrugging one shoulder. The two women had worked together long enough to have developed a non-verbal shorthand. That gesture meant, Want me to stay?
Dr. Stewart leaned toward Emma, hands folded on her desk. "Emma, would you feel more comfortable if Robbie stayed? She won't say anything about what goes on here. She's bound by the same rules I am."
Emma's head popped up, eyes wide and expectant. "Can she?"
"Sure. I'm not busy right now. If you want me to, I'll stay."
"Please? Can I ask what Sam said?" Emma asked nervously. "About—about me?"
"I can only answer about things directly pertaining to you, not him."
"Did he tell you—about my—father?"
"Yes. Would you like to start there?"
Emma burst into tears, pulling her feet onto the chair, curling up in a ball. It took several minutes for her to calm down, but the women let her cry. Robbie held her, Dr. Stewart handed her tissues. Neither of them said anything, letting her vent a little. It seemed to help having them accept her grief quietly, non-judgmentally. Emma eventually calmed down enough to talk. She spoke openly of her father's abuse.
"The first time he did it, he brought me Oreo cookies and milk and talked to me while I cried. I threw up. I haven't had Oreos since. Even thinking about them makes me sick. What did I do to make him think that was okay? Is it my fault that he raped me over and over again?"
"No, Emma. You never did anything wrong. Your father has a problem. Very likely, he was abused when he was a child."
"Does that mean I'll do the same thing when Sam and I have kids?"
Dr. Stewart found it interesting that she made that assumption. Good. She had a thought of stability and staying with Sam.
©2020 Dellani Oakes