A/N: Sorry, this really took a long time. RL caught up with me and kept me from writing, this and a major writer’s block for Twilight. But when I finally watched Breaking Dawn Part 2 last night, I suddenly found the words to finish this one-shot (which I had already started months ago). So, enjoy! Shrink EPOV January 24, 2007
I couldn’t believe that I had let Xander talk me into this. Never in my life and unlife had I imagined that it would come to this, but here I was, pacing in front of a wooden door at the Watchers Council. I had been here right on time, but now almost five minutes had passed, since I just couldn’t summon the courage it took to knock on that infernal door.
Still, I couldn’t procrastinate anymore and I had promised Xander that I would at least give it a try. So, with a deep sigh, I finally raised my hand, knocked and then opened the door. Even here at the Council, where the security was one of the best, no one invited other persons in. If someone didn’t want you to come in, they simply locked the door.
Inside, sitting at her desk, was a middle-aged woman with deep auburn hair pulled into a simple ponytail. She pushed her dark-rimmed glasses up her nose, when she heard me come in and smiled at me. “Mr. Cullen,” she said, still smiling welcomingly, as she got up to shake my hand. “It’s nice to finally meet you.”
“Ms. Catterham,” I replied, taking her hand in my own. “How do you do?”
“Please, sit down…” She motioned to the comfortable looking chair in front of her desk, and I complied, swallowing hard, sitting down. She took again her own seat and smiled at me. Almost as if she was waiting for me to say something. Something I couldn’t do. My hands felt clammy and basically the only thing I wanted to do was leave this room and never come back. “So… How can I help you?”
Shaking my head, I replied, “I don’t know. Xander… Mr. Harris, he thought that it would be a good idea for me to come to talk to you… that he’d had similar problems and that you have helped him.”
“What Xander and I talked about is something I cannot tell you, as you surely understand, but yes, I believe that your… problem
… might be similar to his.”
“How do you know?”
“Mr. Cullen… may I call you Edward?” I nodded, slowly getting used to the growing informality among the employees of the New Watchers Council. “Good… then call me Sylvia, please. Edward, I believe there is no one at the Council who doesn’t know your story… what’s happened to you. I image that it can’t be easy. I mean the changes you have gone through.”
I exhaled deeply, still not really wanting to talk about anything. I couldn’t imagine that just talking about it could help me. In fact, I still refused to admit that there even was a problem. I had just come here as a favor to Xander, nothing else. “I’m fine. Honestly. I mean… I’m human. That’s all I ever wanted for Bella and me. That we could grow old together, have kids… everything we couldn’t have had, if I had changed her and we were vampires. So…” I trailed off, not knowing what more to say, and hoping that I could finally go again.
“So… you don’t mind that Bella is now stronger than you?”
“No,” I told her, shaking my head vehemently. And it was true. It wasn’t that Bella was stronger than me… it was… “I… Argh….”
I suddenly jumped up from the chair and began to walk around the room, first now noticing all the different kinds of books on her shelves. There was a lot of literature about psychology, but there were also normal novels, even this series about a young girl falling in love with a vampire, which was all the rage with the Slayers nowadays. I hadn’t read them, but according to what I heard the girls talk about, it reminded me a bit of Bella’s and my story.
Out of the corners of my eyes, I saw Ms. Catterham – Sylvia – watching me, but I ignored her. Instead, I pulled a book from the shelves without asking. It was called Psych 101 and had somehow caught my attention. However, while I was flipping through the book, recognizing some names of renowned psychologist, I suddenly started to talk quietly, “It isn’t that Bella’s stronger than me… What bothers me… is that… I’m weak….”
I glanced at Sylvia and she nodded at me encouragingly. With a sigh, I closed the book. However, I didn’t sit down again. I was too agitated to sit still.
So, still speaking quietly, I forced myself to continue. “I barely remember my first human life. I basically only know what I saw in Carlisle’s mind. So all I’ve ever really known was being a vampire, being strong, fast… almost invincible. And now… as much as I love being human, I hate that I’m so weak. I hate that I can’t protect Bella anymore… although she doesn’t need any protecting. Every time she goes off to patrol… I feel so helpless. Every time I’m with my brothers, I feel like an idiot. I can’t keep up with them anymore. I feel as if I don’t belong in their world anymore.”
I sighed, realizing that I had revealed more than I had wanted to tell her. I had planned to go to Ms. Catterham and tell her that I didn’t need her help, so that I could quickly leave again and go back to my life. But inwardly, I must have needed to tell someone this more than I had thought. Someone who wasn’t involved in my life. Someone who could help me.
“Thank you, Edward,” her gentle voice tore me out of my thoughts. “For opening up… For taking this first step. This is something we can work with in the future… if you wish to see me again.”
Did I want to see her again? Hell no! Never in my life had I wanted to go to a shrink. But I needed to see her. I needed to get a grip on my insecurities, so that I could be the man that Bella deserved. “Okay…” I agreed simply. “Is next week, the same time okay?”
Sylvia looked into her diary for a moment, before answering, “Sounds good. So, I’ll see you next week.”
Nodding, I turned to go, almost forgetting that I was still holding the book in my hands. However, just as I wanted to put it back on the shelf, Sylvia’s voice stopped me. “You can borrow it, if you want. I’ve heard that you’re pretty good at reading people.”
“Yes… many people say this…” I told her. “When I was a vampire, this… ability… transformed into the power of mindreading.”
There was a secretive smile on her face, as she told me, “Then read the book, Edward. Maybe this will help you to choose in which direction your medical studies will take you.”
“Thank you,” I said to her, meaning it.
As I left the office, I was already feeling a lot calmer than before, and knew that the next time, it wouldn’t take as much courage to come back. If Sylvia could really help me to become someone who could fully accept what being a human meant, with all the strengths and weaknesses, I needed to come back.
But even though I knew that it could take a long time until I saw some progress, until I no longer was so angry, so distressed about being so weak, so helpless, I knew that with her help, I could make it, that I could eventually be only
human and without regretting or missing anything.