Safe Places |Draft 1 Story | The Makings of Steve

*Trigger Warning*: Mentions of suicide/OCD. Written 10.13.2014 Fall semester. This is the first draft of a prose I created to describe my therapeutic relationship with my therapist at the time in my university’s counseling center. This is where Steve got his name. I’ve been wanting to share this piece for a while. Later this week will be the full-fledged final piece. They look quite a bit different. 🙂 Enjoy some creative writing! 😀

Weekly Writing Assignment #6:

Safe Places

 S    i    l    e     n     c     e     .  

It hung in the air.

He was staring at me intently, intently from his green backed chair. The chair that reminded me of sunny spring days and comfort, the whole room breathed with comfort. He had green eyes too, Steve did, and he was staring at me with them now. He was waiting, patiently, waiting for the words to come tumbling from my lips since we both knew they would, they were just a little choked up behind the barely controlled rivers of emotion.

My eyes, cold and vulnerably blue, were staring intently at the edge of his desk. He had a nice desk, silver with brown flecks and dashes, and it was calming, too, but I only stared at the part of the desk that met the floor, the part that was the farthest away from him. Because in my thinking, in my re-imagining, in my re-opening of freshly past wounds, I could not look at him, but I knew that he was there.

He was there, and staring, and waiting patiently as his very presence exuded a lack of judgment. He was Steve and I was Clara and Clara was eventually going to unhinge her mouth and explain to Steve why this silence had come about.

Clara was going to say what she needed to say, she had to. But it was so difficult to say it.

“It’s okay, take your time,” was Steve’s ever so calming, sweet reply. I bit my lip and chuckled softly. My eyes blinked away the forming tears, trying to control the emotion, control the tide, control the flow, the rivers won’t take me, the rivers won’t take me, no, no, they won’t.

“I don’t know…” I began softly, my voice sounding hollow, empty, and desperate. “I — I don’t know…” I shifted mildly, moving my feet to a curling position around the other green chair’s legs. Grounding yourself, that’s what you’re doing, you’re grounding yourself. I couldn’t find the words, I couldn’t…

“It’s like I can’t get out, no matter what I do – which isn’t true – it’s… aggravating. There’s…no way out…” My lips pout in annoyance, that description wasn’t right either.

“Would you say you feel trapped?”

Steve’s voice.

I look to him, suddenly; I forgot that he was there. I forgot I was here. I shudder.

“Yeah, I… I feel trapped. But, that shouldn’t make me want to do it, should it?” A rush of worry and uncertainty swelled up inside me as the tide threatened to push and break me, once again. My fingers pinched and curled and fumbled with each other, a tussle of thin, jewelry clad fingers that clanked and banged together. I was creating an orchestra of sound with these innocent, little nubs and instead of taking solace in that, I was focusing so heavily, so distractedly on all the negative power they could possess. They could totally possess a lot of negative power. If my imaginings of fire, death, destruction and jumping off buildings was any indication, than yes, they were capable of much dark power.

Steve spoke again, and his voice pulled me back to the present.

“Do what?”

I chuckled breathily in response, rolling my eyes but understanding that he needed me to be explicit, that even I needed myself to be explicit. Except being explicit felt like being too explicit, it made me feel uncomfortable because I didn’t want to be saying what I was saying. And I certainly didn’t want to be thinking what I was thinking. I wished my mouth had just stayed shut as it always had been, clamped shut like the Jaws of Life on a wrecked vehicle, but ohohoh, no; I just had to open it up and say something about it.

“Kill myself,” I sighed, this was getting exhausting. My gaze stuck with Steve’s, fluttered down and then returned again. I swallowed reflexively, the shivers curtailing around my shoulders and settling with tension in my neck. My forehead pounded like hammers, and I shifted in the green chair again.

Green: calming, safe, nonjudgmental.

I could share these thoughts and unfounded worries with Steve, even when my mouth and the angry part of my mind screamed at me not to say any of them, I knew their strengthening protests would allow the rational part of me enough time to loosen the screws so that I could open up about all the things that were swimming about in my mind.

Steve reminded me again of how thoughts were just thoughts and he listened to my insistent telling that I really, actually, didn’t want these thoughts and these ideas and I didn’t want to do them. He would nod, and listen, and with those damn green eyes of his, he made me feel better, safer. Even when I couldn’t find an answer to his question, the one that unveiled the silence and the layers of uncertainty. I didn’t know what I was trying to run away from, but Steve assured me that what I was doing – asking for help, reaching out – was good.

Steve and his green eyes and green chairs and silver desk with brown flecks, made me feel safe and certain that someday I’d be okay with the uncertainty and let the thoughts just be.

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