Angela On The Couch
Dr Helga Pataki, 24-year-old college graduate, faces her first challenge as PS118's new child psychologist – counselling Angela Sanderson, the very mirror image of Helga's younger self.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters.I would especially like to own Helga, but alas, I do not. If I owned Helga she would have herself a Jungle Movie and a wonderful jungle kiss. I don't even really own the characters of Angela and the other kids, cause, they're kinda carbon copies really ;)
Helga Pataki stepped forward through the bright yellow doors and into the creamy coloured corridor with the deep green lockers plastered along the walls; everything seemed exactly the way she remembered. Possibly, the only thing that had changed was her, but that was inevitable, thirteen years had passed after all. Last time she had set foot in these hallways she was a child, the undisputed ruler of her grade with two blonde pigtails and a big pink bow. Now, she was a woman, standing six feet tall, even taller today in her white heels and her long blonde hair cascaded down her back in loose waves.
Helga's attention was suddenly averted from the chipping paint on the elementary school walls, by the sounds of children being pushed against their lockers. Making her way through the corridor was a thin girl with long black hair that had been pulled into a messy ponytail, held back with a thick green headband. She alternated between staring down her fellow students and simply shoving a hand out into their chests, sending them rocketing out of her path. Helga studied the frowning girl as she passed, taking note of the oversized green sweater she wore and the small red-headed girl who offered her a friendly good morning and scurried after her as she walked on.
Once the girl had disappeared from sight, Helga focussed her attention back on her initial task for the day and thus, took a left down the brightly lit hallway. She would be lying if she said returning here wasn't difficult, every inch of PS118 held strong childhood memories, many that she didn't care to relive. Soon, she arrived at large brown door, with the familiar sign that read 'Mr. Wartz – Principal'.
"Come in." came a gruff voice, as Helga lightly tapped against the wooden door.
Prinicpal Wartz peered up from his small toy animals, his face far older than Helga remembered and his once sparse grey hair now completely gone. "Ah, good morning Miss Pataki." he greeted her, quickly shoving the small giraffe and zebra back into the top drawer of his cabinets.
Helga moved to sit in the chair before his desk, "Doctor Pataki." she reminded him bluntly.
"Yes, yes of course." Prinicpal Wartz mused, "You're here to resume Dr Bliss' former role as our resident child psychologist if I recall correctly."
"Correct." she confirmed.
Prinzipal Wartz leant forward onto his desk, "Well, feel free to move around the classrooms as you wish." he granted her.
"I did have one question." Helga said, pulling out her clipboard from the leather briefcase at her side, "The girl with the green headband and the long black hair, what's her name?"
The older man sat back into his chair, "Angela Sanderson." he said thoughtfully, "Fifth grade, a constant menace. Her actions directly violate the school constitution at every turn."
Helga rolled her eyes at her former principal, "Could you give me her classroom number?" she asked.
"Yes, of course." he agreed, sitting forward to flip through a series of index cards on his desk before pulling one out and holding it out in her direction.
Room 715 she read as she flipped the card over in her hands, "Thank you."
"I hope you can straighten her out Dr Pataki." Principal Wartz said casually, "Kids like that grow up to be addicts and drop-outs."
Fixing him with an unsettling glare, she stood from the chair, "I was a kid like that, and I grew up fine." she reminded him, as she exited his small, dark office.
Helga confidently made her way through the hallways, the tap of her tall heels as she went, toward Room715, her old sixth grade classroom. Pushing the old green door open, her eyes fell upon a short plump lady with greying curly hair standing before the whiteboard.
"Hello." the teacher said politely, making her way over to Helga, "I am Mrs. Varkel, and you are?"
"Doctor Pataki." she said with a smile, "Childhood behavioural psychologist, I'm here to observe your students."
"Lovely to meet you, Doctor." Mrs Varkel exclaimed brightly, before turning her attention back to the class full of young students, "Okay, listen up class, I'd like to introduce you to Doctor Pataki, she will be joining us during our lessons this morning."
Helga offered a smile to the class and took note of those who smiled back, those who called out friendly hello's and of that fact that Angela simply continued to frown. Mrs Varkel moved back over in front of the large whiteboard, which was littered with various mathematics problems as Helga took a seat by the teachers desk. Drawing out her clipboard, Helga focused her attention on Angela who sat in the third row, and as expected, she didn't have to wait long for the young girl to begin causing trouble.
"Okay, Angela..." Mrs Varkel began sweetly, pointing toward a particularly simply equation on the whiteboard, "...could you help me solve this problem?"
Angela rolled her dark brown eyes and scoffed at the older lady, "I'd rather die." she stated simply.
"Oh, stop being so grumpy." whined a tall boy at the front of the classroom with shaggy blonde hair, who had turned around to face her.
"Suck it, Meatball!" Angela shot back, throwing a balled up piece of notepaper at the boys head, which seemed to sufficiently subdue him enough for there to be no further response more than a few choice words muttered underneath his breath.
Mrs Varkel simply sighed at the exchange, and picked out a studious looking young man in the back row to answer her question instead. Helga was halfway through a thought process on the inability of the older woman to stand up to her students when something caught her eye.
"Ow." muttered a boy in the second row, reaching around to rub his neck, his bright blue eyes drifting toward Angela, who sat behind him.
Angela glared at the brunette boy with the ringlet curls in his hair, "Shut up." she hissed, continuing to stare him down until he gave in with a sigh and turned back around to face the front of the class.
Moments later, when the dark haired girl cut another chunk from her eraser with a sharp pair of scissors, Helga's eyes lit up with recognition and the small eraser portion was hurled directly into the back of the brunette boys head. Helga slowly lowered her pen from the paper, she almost felt like she was stuck in a dream. She had studied these behavioural trends from the inside out, in fact she had lived them, but she had never actually witnessed something that so strongly reflected her own childhood.
Half an hour later, when the bell sounded for recess, Helga still felt as though she was frozen to her seat and as she watched Angela quickly tape a 'kick me' sign to the blue-eyed boys back, she knew what she needed to do.
Mrs Varkel slipped into the chair behind her desk, and looked expectantly in Helga's direction, as though she was possibly expecting a through status report. "How did you observations go, Doctor Pataki?" she enquired kindly, as she took a sip from her coffee cup.
Helga pursed her lips together, "I noticed that Angela seems to be very restless."
"Angela seems to be a very gifted girl." Mrs Varkel explained quickly, "She simply refuses to show it to anybody."
Nodding in understanding, Helga continued, "I'd like to suggest that Angela undertake private sessions with me, I think it will help her." she explained.
"I certainly wouldn't disagree," Mrs Varkel concurred, "but I am actually only a substitute teacher for this class, their regular teacher has been away on vacation and is returning on Monday."
Helga flipped the page of her organiser, "I have Monday morning free..." she mused, "do you think they would have time to speak with me before school?"
The older lady smiled and nodded eagerly, "Certainly!" she began, "I think you'll find them very receptive to the idea Doctor Pataki. Angela's behaviour was explained to me with great concern when I arrived to take over the class; I think your offer will surely be welcomed."
"Thank you." Helga smiled warmly, as she pushed her clipboard and organiser back into her large briefcase and headed for the doorway, "I appreciate your help."
"No problem, Doctor." Mrs Varkel called out after her, as the green classroom door shut and Helga once again found herself within the hallways of the elementary school.
Helga wondered as she roamed the corridors, how long it would take before it no longer felt strange to be here, or how long it would take to stop looking into the Janitor's Closets and recalling all the 'meetings' she'd held there. However, she was awoken from her thoughts when she stumbled upon two large doors, figuring a bit of air may benefit her, she stepped out into the playground she once ruled.
Everything was the same, but that no longer surprised her, it seemed irony was having a field day with her today and she was just simply going to let it. Angela was crouched over, underneath a bench in the far corner of the playground, hovering over some small object that Helga couldn't quite see. The boy with the brunette curls was climbing the jungle gym with two blondes, one a tall boy wearing blue and the other a pretty girl with a charming smile.
Helga groaned as she noticed a short kid with high trousers and big braces walking slowly toward Angela's location. Just as expected, two seconds later the nerdy looking kid was face first on the ground, after receiving a good kick behind the knees. Looking further annoyed than usual, Angela trudged her way over to lean against the wall by Helga, scowling at her classmates on the playground and sneaking dreamy glances at the curly haired boy.
"Does that kid follow you around a lot?" Helga asked, turning her head to face the angsty young girl.
"Guess so." Angela shrugged grumpily, "He just walks up to me all the time. I'm Angela Sanderson, people don't just get to walk up to me whenever they feel like it."
Helga laughed a little, "So, he doesn't appear behind you at the strangest times, breathing heavily and refusing to speak coherent English?"
Angela immediately turned to face her, "Why the heck would anyone do that?" she frowned.
"You know what..." Helga sighed, "to this day I'm still honestly not entirely sure..."
Angela raised an eyebrow at her, "You're weird." she stated bluntly, before stalking off in the opposite direction and crawling underneath yet another playground bench.
Helga bit her lip a little, this was going to be a tough assignment, and not just because of Angela's attitude.