I cross my ankles atop Sarah’s desk as I sit reading over her precious little journal. I had destroyed her file cabinet, and papers were everywhere on her desk. I was gathering as much information as I could on her, her clients, and of course, me. I am currently reading over the results of our last few sessions when the audible gasp alerts me that she has arrived.
“Atë, what are you doing here?” she asks, taking in the broken doorknob, messy room, and my posture.
She is in her normal business attire holding a coffee and more paperwork. She comes in, fully closing the door behind her as I flip another page.
“Oh, you know I was bored, and then I decided to visit an old pal in the Underworld.” I flip another page as she walks a step further into the room and stops. “You know my nightmares have been getting worse. I can’t sleep, eat really or think, and I thought maybe I should try and find out why I got out, you know?” I look at her out of the corner of my eye, smiling slightly, which only unnerved her more.
She shakes her head once, but fear radiates off of her. “I understand that, and we can definitely talk about that, but your session is not for a few more days.”
“No, I think my session is now. Don’t you? I mean, what’s the point in this? This was Persephone’s gig, right? And she gave up on me, too?” I tilt my head once before going back to my reading. “I mean, no hard feelings. It’s not you. It’s me. Also, I think this will be the last session I have.”
“Atë, you kn—” she starts before I cut her off.
“She shows no signs of regret or remorse. I’m afraid her treatment won’t work.” I respond using the words she wrote about me. “She lacks control, and I am even afraid Erebus, as strong as he is, can’t save her. After her recent outburst, I have begun preparations for her return to Tartarus should she slip further. Gosh, Doc, that really hurts. Already giving up on me, are we?”
She swallows what is probably a growing lump in her throat as she backs up a hair. “You are not supposed to see those. Those are private, and yes, I have to do what’s best for everyone.”
“That’s cute.” I close the book, slamming it down on the desk as I stand. “Looking out for others because you feel it’s right, huh? But that’s not who you are. Trying to show everyone you worked so hard for where you are when you have been piggybacking off your very rich and important family. Did Daddy’s money get you here? No judgment from me. I appreciate those who step on others to get where they are. Hell, half of them, I have helped.”
I move around the desk, slowly dragging my nails across it as her eyes follow my hand then dart back to my face.
“Listen, the preparations were if you failed, ok? We still have plenty of time. I believe there is something inside of you that wants to get better. Otherwise, why agree to this in the first place? You could have left and disappeared like you had in the past when you fell. I know some part of you somewhere in there regrets something.”
She backed up the entire time she was talking as I kept approaching her that now her back was to the closed door. I stop a few feet in front of her as her words play over in my head.
“You know, I do have one regret if I am honest.” I close the book loudly. “Kinda cynical. And no, it’s not about my fall. I played a trick. I will always play tricks. Sure the punishment was a little extra, but I came back and raised complete destruction. It’s who I am. But sometimes, I think back to when Erebus visited me in my cold, empty prison, and I think what would be different had I just made him stay, you know? I was trying to be good then. I wanted to change, in some way, I think. Be selfless with him, not burden him with an eternity of waiting for me. And you know what I got in return?” My hand shoots out, my fingers digging into her cheeks as I hold her face close to mine and lean towards her ear, hissing, “A bullshit excuse of coming back after I slaughtered every single bitch that touched him.” I pull back and tilt my head sideways. “I think you are right, Doc. There is no hope for me.”
“Pl-please don’t kill me.”
I snicker, letting her go and fixing the collar of her shirt. “I’m not going to kill you, silly. I need you. Plus, if I wanted you dead, well, you know the rest. Besides, you have to be here pretending we are still in session.”
I smiled, rolling my eyes. “Because if you don’t, and anyone finds out we aren’t playing doctor, I’ll kill your family, your friends blah blah blah you know the usual stuff. Sounds good?”
She slowly nods before I clap my hands together. “Lovely. Well, I’ll leave you to your stuff, Doc. It’s been real fun, and it looks like you have a mess to clean up anyways. See ya around.”
I head out of the front door, not giving her a second glance as my phone dings. Taking it out of my pocket as I close the broken door behind me, I look down at a number I don’t recognize. It soon makes sense when I see a single name and coordinates. Bingo. It looks like Alejandro did come through for me.