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The Therapist

By James Ellis

She said it had been traumatic.

               She said not traumatic like explosions or being in a war.  She hadn't been buried alive or anything. It wasn't that sort of traumatic. 

               She said if she didn't talk about it she'd go mad. Not literally mad, of course. She meant she would... fragment. Like glass. 

               She said look, she knew there were people worse off but maybe what was traumatic for one person was... more... or less... for someone else. Some people might like being buried alive. Look at moles.  

               She said cancel that. Moles had nothing to do with it. Moles were equipped with forepaws and preferred a subterranean lifestyle. Obviously she wasn't a mole. Obviously she hadn't been buried alive.  

               Not physically.

               She said sorry, that sounded pathetic. She said the truth was... the truth was... She said the truth was she didn't know why she'd come in the first place. 

               She said she was sorry about the crying. She must have sprung a leak. Why was crying supposed to be good? Wasn't the whole purpose of life to come out of it happy? Maybe not happy in a ha-ha, cartwheeling sort of way… 

               But just to come out of it not crying.

               She said it must be nice to be a therapist.  Sit back and say, oh yes, that’s good, very cathartic, keep crying. That’ll be a hundred pounds, please.

               She said nobody really cared. Not really. Other people's problems didn’t interest other people. It was depressing. Sweep it under the carpet. Forget about it. Man up. Have a drink. Have a laugh. Have a kit-kat. 

               She said she shouldn't have come. Did talking ever help? Really? Everyone said it did, but did it?

               She said it was funny, wasn't it? All this... stuff.

               She said thanks for listening.

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An anthology of poems and stories from our Creative Writing Competition 2015.

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The cover photography on our anthology is by Dawn, who cares for her twins Grace and Ethan.

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