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Therapy 1

“I am just concerned that you don’t want to see the therapist any more.” Chad stated.

“It’s not something I want to do right now.” Greg responded. “I don’t want to do something I forced into in the first place.”

The anger in Chad began to rise. Slowly he could feel the chemicals firing in his mind. The beer helped to slow the process, but added the element of confusion when in such a profound situation.  Forced! Never forced. Encouraged! Where was this coming from?

“You were never forced.” Chad said.

Greg responded with a deep exhale and dropped his head to look at Chad. Both men were smoking a cigarette on the deck. A small flame from a tiki torch supplied the light that played trickily among their faces. The air, though cold, was far from the first thought the men thought of.

“Please,” Greg begged. “When’s the last time anything I did was good enough for you?” He placed his hand atop the glass that held the wine he swirled not moments earlier.

“You always do good for me.” Chad responded. He watched the intent of Greg carefully. There had to be a root to the problem. Only seconds earlier they were talking about the issues the landlord might have had with them.

“I haven’t heard anything good.”

“I always tell you.”

“You can’t use words like always, because you don’t always tell me I’m good.”

“Okay,” it was about the only word that Chad could get out. Always was a strong word. There have been a lot of things that have irritated him to the point of vocalizing the dissent. Many things in the past few weeks. But why this? Why would Greg stop going now?

“That’s it?” Greg maundered. The puff he took from the cigarette showed he already changed his mode. This was not going to be about his problems. He heard too much about “his problems“. The smack of his lips, followed with the plume of smoke revealed a side of him Chad knew to carefully walk around. “All of this, for ‘okay‘?” He plunged the cigarette into the ash tray.

Chad considered this side of Greg. It was the menacing side that harbored a small portion of his beloved Partner. It saddled itself comfortably into his psyche. When something was about to be his fault, this would come out.

“Look,” Chad began. Greg sat back taking another drawl of the cigarette. He smiled knowing nothing Chad had to say would be able to affect him now. “All I know is that you weren’t forced, and that…”


“…and that I didn’t know where to go with what you were telling me at the time, so I suggested help.” Chad looked sadly at him. Remembering the conversation that initiated the therapy came a night after witnessing a horrid outburst, followed with a vicious attack. Chad hadn’t suffered any bruises from that night. He was too quick to restrain Greg, however, wondering what would have happened if he didn’t restrain him. It made him think. It made him worry. Greg blamed the entire episode on Depression. Then revealed how the night prior he seriously considered running off the guardrail on the bridge and plummeting to his death. “I don’t do well with that kind of stuff.”

Greg looked concerned for only a moment. “Then you said help, or you leave.”

*****               **********                  **************              ***********************       ********************************

I did. I said it then, and now unfortunately, I may have to say it again. Not forced. Not ever forced. Encouraged.


Thank you for Reading

Caleb A. Mertz