"Stupidity. Not saying no when I should have. I tried to justify the partying by telling myself I was there for Emma, but that wasn't true. I was there because she was there, but I was in it for me, too. I mean, there are a lot of drunk, women at those parties, who are willing to exchange favors."
"I see." She said nothing more.
"Do I need to spell it out for you, Doc?"
"Not unless you think you need to. I know what goes on at the parties."
"You think it's wrong to take advantage of a girl that's drunk or high, don't you?"
"It's not what I think that's the issue. The question is, do you think it's wrong?"
"Right now, I would say yes. At a party with a few drinks in me, I'd give you a resounding no. I'm a guy. I'm going to use whatever I can to my advantage. Drunk and horny isn't a good combination for me, Doctor."
"You're right. Having been that before, I completely understand. I used to be the party girl, willing to do anything. It's not pretty, but the truth so often isn't. I'm not proud of it, but it gives me a unique perspective with my clients. It's easy to get sucked into that life."
"Yeah, incredibly easy. It's very seductive. Easy to forget all my problems when I'm stoned. Life's still shit, but it doesn't matter. I can ignore it as long as I keep that level of inebriation. If it drops too low, the life sucks thing kicks in again and I start all over."
Dr. Stewart nodded. She sat opposite him on a large, comfortable chair, feet pulled up beside her. She leaned against the back of the chair with her head on her hand. Her pose was open, relaxed. Sam eased into a more comfortable position. Dr. Stewart offered him a bottle of water from a small fridge and reached over from her chair.
"Tell me about Emma," she said as she closed the fridge.
"You'll meet her in a little while. But the basics.... Emma's cool. We've been friends since grade school. Before my folks broke up, we lived just up the street from Emma's family. Then a few years later, they moved to a better part of town, and my parents got divorced. But Emma and me, we stayed friends. We've always been there for each other. Then when her dad started in on her, she turned to me."
"Started in on her?" She knew, but she wanted him to say it.
"Yeah. Abusing her sexually. Her dad's a pervert."
"I sense that this has impacted your life as well."
"Emma's my best friend, my girlfriend, my lover. Her dad's a piece of shit on two legs. I can't tell you how many times I've beaten the hell outta him."
"I've got your record here." She pointed to her computer. "All those visits to juvenile detention were attacks on him?"
"No. Some of them were guys I jumped at school. They said something bad about Emma. I couldn't let them do that."
"She has quite a reputation?"
"Look, it's been well earned. She's never treated herself right. But I'm not gonna let some sleazy guy make tacky remarks about her when he doesn't even know her. He doesn't know shit about her, has no idea why she does what she does. That's wrong."
"And beating him up isn't?"
"No, ma'am, that's justice."
"I see. So, do you blame Emma's dad for your problems too?"
Sam scoffed. "No, that would be stupid. His actions have impacted my life, that's for sure. But he's not to blame for the stupid shit I've done. He threatens Emma's well being. What hurts her, affects me."
"Do you blame Emma for your problems?"
"Do I? I don't think so. I did this to myself. I'd love to blame my folks, but they weren't around long enough. Dad left first, then Mom. I was twelve. I spent the night at my friend Grant's house. It was Mother's Day weekend. I had a gift that Grant's folks helped me buy. I walked in the house, and she was gone. She left a note on the fridge telling me she was going to the grocery store. She never came back. Grant's folks took me in for a week or so, but the school ended up calling and reporting me as abandoned. That was the worst day of my life."
©2020 Dellani Oakes