Fallen Star (part 17)

When her father told her, “We think it would help you and Stacy if you saw a counselor. Just for a while. Someone who’s been trained to help people get through the kind of … trauma that you’ve been through,” it was a relief. Maybe her father had found someone who could help her understand what had happened that day at the street fair—how she had known their mom had been killed. It was the first time she’d felt anything other than sad or numb for weeks.

“I’ll be here to get you in an hour,” their father had said before he slipped out the door and left them alone with Dr. Mitchell.

Dr. Mitchell was an older man with wispy graying hair, small eyes and a very large nose and mouth. He wore round rimless glasses that obscured his eyes most of the time. Jodi thought he looked like a bug.

He bade them sit, offered them water or tea, which they both declined, and introduced himself. “I’ve helped people of all ages recover from post traumatic stress syndrome and all forms of trauma for over thirty years.” He went on to tell them that he’d had the same office for thirty years as well. Jodi wasn’t surprised by that. Dr. Mitchell and his office had the same look—flat and colorless. There was exactly one decoration on the off-white walls, an over-sized, dusty diploma.

Stacy took her hand. Jodi squeezed gently and didn’t let go.

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