The therapist crossed her legs and clicked her pen a few more times. The impatience in her otherwise professional demeanor was obvious, but he couldn’t help it…. It was really difficult to get comfortable on that silly little couch.
Why did therapists’ offices come with couches anyway? Were they fainting couches? How many people passed out in their therapist’s office, exactly, to make such a thing necessary?
He flared his nostrils and drew a deep breath, wriggling on the couch in an attempt to find a position that didn’t crumple his wings beneath him…. As it was, he’d already shed feathers all over the tastefully decorated office.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “Would it be possible to have our next session outside?”
“I’ll look into that,” she said, mouth turning downward in a slight frown.
He bet she would. Cleaning up feathers was irritating enough. Glittery feathers made the situation much more unpleasant.
She let the silence hang for a minute, clearly waiting for him to break it, before she started speaking again.
“So,” she began. “You mentioned on the phone that you had some specific issues to discuss? Why don’t you elaborate a little on that?”
Have you ever seen a winged unicorn cry, reader? Because it isn’t pretty. And this one in particular turned an unattractive blotchy pink as tears leaked down his long face.
“I’m sorry,” he said, avoiding eye contact. “I’ve wanted to talk about this to someone for a while.”
She kept her tone level as she answered.
“Talk about what, exactly?”
“My self-esteem issues,” he sniffled. “They’re really started to affect my life.”
“Self esteem issues?” she said.
Most of her clients were, admittedly, conventional…. She’d dealt with depression and paranoia and all manner of things. Self esteem issues were run-of-the-mill. But what kind of self esteem issues did a freakin’ unicorn have?
“Yes,” he said, shamefully. “I find myself feeling really inadequate. I don’t spend as much time with my friends as I want to, because I’m constantly comparing myself to them. And I feel like I just don’t measure up.”
“According to the medical information you submitted, you’re in perfect health,” she said. “Where do these feelings of inadequacy stem from?”
“Well…..” He blushed a bright pink all over, clearly embarrassed by what he was going to admit. “It has to do with my horn.”
“Your horn?” She did her best to keep her tone neutral.
“Yes,” he said. “I just…. I feel like my horn isn’t big enough. It’s too small…. And my friends…. They all seem to have these big, huge horns…. It just seems unfair.”
“Your horn looks perfectly fine to me,” she said.
“Well, it would…” he said. “I guess… I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it. And I shouldn’t feel inadequate about it. And, you know, everyone says that size doesn’t matter.”
“Does it matter to you?”
“It does,” he said, a little louder than he meant to. “I just feel like, whenever I’m around people…. That they’re staring at it. That everyone’s thinking about it.”
“Has anyone ever commented on it?”
“No… but I always feel like they’re thinking about it,” he said. “Like they’re looking at me. And they’re judging me.”
“Why do you think that?”
“I…. I don’t know.”
“Have you always felt that way?”
“No… but for the past few years, the feeling’s gotten stronger and stronger.”
She pursed her lips and looked at him critically, hooves, wings, too-small horn and all.
“I think that this issue will take some time for us to unpack,” she said.
She pasted a bright, professional smile onto her face, and looked directly into his dark brown, horsey eyes.
“Our time is up for today, but I would like to pick up this thread up again next week,” she said. “And we can arrange to meet outside next time.”
“Thank you, Doctor.”
“Of course,” she said. “Your comfort is of utmost importance to me.”
“Thank you, Doctor… You don’t know how much this means to me.”
“Just remember,” she said. “You are worthy of love and respect. You are beautiful.”
“Thank you,” he said quietly.
“Same time next week?” she asked.
He nodded, whinnying, as he cantered out of the office.
She pushed away from her desk, standing up and walking to the window just in time to see him galloping across the field that butted up against her office.
“That,” she said. “Is one crazy horse.”
(write for) 15 minutes * A Mythical Creature or Idea * unresolved issues
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