"So, I'm fine, my mom is fine, my relationship with Kate is fine, and I haven't thought about Ali all week, can I go now?" Hanna Marin quickly said. She had just arrived less than a minute ago and the clock on the wall behind her read 4:47…exactly 17 minutes after her appointment was scheduled to start.
"What do you mean you haven't thought of Alison in a week?" Dr. Sullivan asked, choosing to ignore Hanna's request.
"I mean exactly that."
"Does that mean you haven't gotten any messages?" The therapist pressed.
"Nope," Hanna folded her arms across her chest and leaned back against the couch.
"Why do you think that is?" Dr. Sullivan asked, once again attempting to get the blonde to open up.
"I don't know." Hanna said flatly. She stared across the room at a framed reprint of Van Gogh's Starry Night, waiting for the next question to come. After about a minute of silence went by she glanced at Dr. Sullivan. Her therapist merely titled her head up slightly, implying her desire for Hanna to continue. "I don't know," Hanna repeated, "I guess A is either done with us, or planning something evil. Either way, I'm glad for the break."
"And what about your friends, have they been receiving any messages lately?"
"Don't you have one-on-one meetings like this with them? Can't you just ask them yourself?" Hanna spat, her tone a little more acidic than she had intended, but it got her point across.
Dr. Sullivan leaned back in her chair. "Yes I suppose you are right, but I can't be entirely sure they are telling me the truth, unlike with you Hanna. You like to speak your mind and have your feelings heard." Hanna shot her a confused look and the therapist continued. "Hanna, I don't want you to think of this as an obligation, I want you to just think of me as another person you can talk to. You can tell me anything you need to and I legally can't tell a single other soul, unless you are in danger of hurting yourself or someone else. I want to be here for you Hanna, to tell things to that you can't even tell your friends, but I need you to trust me."
"Yeah, well I can't trust you. I can't trust anyone except for my friends."
"In case you forgot, the past year of my life has been manipulated by some crazy psycho stalker. My best friend was murdered a couple years ago. My evil stepsister might as well have stepped right out of a fairy tale and on top of all of that, no matter how hard I try, my dad will never love me as much as he loves the family he left me and my mom for! So I'm sorry if going to therapy and talking to a complete and total stranger isn't on the top of my to do list but—" Hanna froze. She closed her eyes and took a deep breathe in trying to regain her composure.
"My parents used to abuse me," Dr. Sullivan murmured.
"What?" Hanna's eyes shot open and she stared at the woman in the chair across from her.
"It's true. They got caught and I got put into foster care. About a year later I was adopted and I refused to talk to or go anywhere near my new parents unless necessary."
"So what happened?" Hanna asked, spotting what appeared to be a family portrait framed on Dr. Sullivan's desk.
"Well, much like you, I felt like I couldn't trust anyone, but my parents made me go see a therapist anyway."
"You must have loved that," Hanna smirked. Finally, someone who understood where she was coming from!
"You and I were very similar Hanna. I didn't talk for the first bunch of meetings. I just sat there in silence while my therapist desperately tried to get me to open up to her…" Dr. Sullivan's voice trailed off.
"And you're parents realized how pointless it was for you to go there and they let you stop going," Hanna hopefully filled in the blank.
"No quite," Dr. Sullivan continued. "One day, I just couldn't take it anymore. And I just spilled my guts to her." She paused to look at the blonde whose disposition had changed greatly since her entrance into the office. "I walked out of her office that day, and I couldn't remember ever feeling better. It was like a thousand tons had been lifted off my shoulders."
"What are you trying to say?" Hanna stiffened, suddenly realizing where Dr. Sullivan was going with this.
"I'm not trying to say anything. I just wanted to share a little piece of my life with you. And I want you to know that if you ever need someone to talk to, I'm here."
Hanna pulled her lips into her mouth, "Well, thanks for the offer," she glanced at the clock and immediately stood up, grabbing her bag. "Time to get going!" she quickly made her way to the door and yanked it open. "Maybe we could talk more next time," she added quietly over her shoulder, and without giving her therapist a chance to reply, she quickly turned and scurried out the door.