Jared was not having it. Knitting group? Please. Morgan had had all kinds of insane ideas, but this one took the goddamn cake. And unfortunately, she seemed to be serious this time. Or she was serious every time and this time she was just not being receptive to his clever dances of avoidance. Which sucked. Big time. She'd even gone and gotten his mom involved. Something about "insurance" and "participation" and "mandatory". He said "Participation can go to hell", and she said, "Jared, count to ten and control yourself." Jared sucked at controlling himself. He rolled his eyes and counted to ten. Therapists.
"Can I do something else instead?" he asked, leaning back in the leather armchair in her office he was sitting in.
"Like what?" Morgan asked.
"I don't know, wrestling? Or martial arts? That ought to get some anger out, right?" he suggested. Beating the crap out of things without getting in trouble. Yeah.
"No," Morgan said firmly. "You're here because you need to learn to control your anger, not let it out."
He crossed his arms. "And sitting in a room with a bunch of frumpy dorks is going to teach me to control my anger?"
"It will help, yes. Knitting is theraputic. You'll see."
He rolled his eyes again. "Well thank god you can't really make me go," he said. She had no power over him.
Morgan raised an eyebrow and sat up, resting her elbows on the surface of her messy desk, overflowing with papers spilling from manilla envelopes. "Oh, you're going," she said. "We're going to talk to your mom and to your school, and it will be put on your schedule as an addition to your school day a few times a week."
"You can't talk to my mom. Doctor-patient confidentality."
"As she's your legal guardian and I'm a liscenced, practicing psychiatrist, I can reccomend treatment to her."
"What if I tell you not to?"
"Then I'll show you my legal rights as your doctor and reccomend it to your mom anyway."
"You can't do that!" Jared's face started to redden, and his fists curled up next to his legs. "I will not go to any f***ing knitting group!"
Morgan looked at him, serious. "Jared," she said. "You need help managing your anger, and I'm here to help you help you help yourself do that. But it's never going to happen if you don't make some sacrifices and do as I say."
"What if I don't want to 'make sacrifices'? What are you going to do, huh? Lock me up? I haven't done anything wrong. Send me away? We both know my mom isn't going to ship me off to the militairy, not after what happened to Dad, so as far as I'm concerned, you can f*** off and let me live my life," he sat back and crossed his arms.
Morgan smiled. "Look at that, you ranted without throwing anything. Good work."
"Does that mean I don't have to go to knitting group?"
She laughed. "Your first meeting is Monday."
And so, on Monday, he went to knitting group. He told his friends he had detention and headed off to the little room. He thought about skipping, but he was pretty sure that his mom and Morgan had had a meeting with Coach Drina about how he was "troubled" and whatever, so he went. He did not enjoy it.
At his counseling session on Tuesday, Morgan asked how it went.
"I'm barely alive," he said. "All those maniac caveman animals with pointy sticks. Seems like a bad environment, don't you think you should pull me out? Sign me up for some yoga or something?"
"Ha ha ha," Morgan said with a smile. "I know Andrina. Nobody in her groups would be allowed to go feral."
"So no on the yoga, then?"
"If you want to do yoga, go right ahead," Morgan said. "But I'm not pulling you out of knitting group."
"Fine," Jared said. "But how do you know Coach Drina?" He got the feeling there was some kind of secret scheme or something he was missing out on. Like he was a little 'x' in some football play he wasn't allowed to see.
Morgan smiled. "We went to school together. She has her undergrad in youth counselling, you know."
Ah, Jared got it now. Morgan wasn't forcing him to knit because therapy, he was shipping him off to some other shrink. "I see," he said, sitting up sharply, his eyes sending throwing stars every which way. "Sending me off to your friend who's also a shrink? What are you guys doing? Gossiping? Comparing notes on how to manipulate my brain?"
"Jared, you know I'm not allowed to talk about your case to anyone but you and sometimes to your mom."
"Sure, that's what you say. I know what's really going on. Well, the joke's on you, I'm not learning to knit," he sat back, triumphant.
Morgan smiled, which only made him angrier. "You might eventually," she said. "Keep going to the meetings. Maybe you'll learn something else while you're not knitting."
He scoffed. "I doubt it."
"Mmhmm," she said, like she'd heard the same things millions of times before. "Give it time."
"If I ever find myself knitting, I will shoot myself," he said.
"Oh?" She studied him. "Do you have any other suicidal inclinations?"
"Don't get all shrinky on me, I was kidding. You've heard of that, right?"
"Answer the question, Jared," she looked at him seriously over her blocky, black glasses.
"Fine, fine. No, I don't have any "suicidal inclincations". God."
"You're sure? No lack of feeling of self worth? Everything at home is fine? With friends? Annabel?"
"Yeah, everything's fine." He rolled his eyes. Therapists. No sense of humor.
"Okay," she said, still eyeing him. She glanced at the clock. "Well, it's about that time. Go to knitting group tomorrow. I'll see you on Thursday."
Jared stood up quickly and left without saying goodbye. His mom was waiting for him in the waiting room.
"H0w was it?" she asked, waving at the desk clerk as they left, like usual.
"Fine," he replied, as usual. "Let's get out of here."