Stream of Consciousness

Jarrel glanced back at Luke. “You walk pretty good with that new leg, Luke. I’m glad that you at least are able to walk. I heard about you losing your leg, and I felt really sad for you. I cried a lot about that because it made me so sad.”

Luke looked at Jarrel in surprise. “You cried for me?”

Jarrel nodded. “Yeah. Well, I did for all three of you, because you were hurt so bad by your mean uncle, but especially for you losing your leg. I think I would have been really scared if I lost my leg. Were you scared, Luke?”

Luke nodded. “Yeah, I was really scared. Now, I’m just angry. I was angry before, but even more now. I don’t know how to not be angry about everything that happened. Dr. Lipkin kept telling me that I need to work on my anger, to let it go, but I don’t know how to do that.”

Jarrel made a face. “Dr. Lipkin. He’s my doctor, and he’s always talking nonsense. You go ahead and be angry if you feel angry, and if you get over it on your own, that’s great but don’t let anyone tell you not to feel what you’re feeling. My brother kept being mad at me for feeling sad about you because I’m not directly related to you, but that doesn’t matter to me. That’s why I used to work with children. I like children, and I don’t like it when they’re scared and angry and in pain. No one wants to feel that way, so they need someone to help them feel better, but not by telling them that they shouldn’t be feeling the way they feel. That doesn’t help at all.”

“So, do you think you can help me not be angry, Jarrel?” Luke asked, not sarcastically, but merely curious, though personally, he didn’t think it possible.

Jarrel shook his head. “I don’t think you can really help someone feel anything, Luke. Everyone feels the way they feel because it’s simply what they are feeling at that moment. But maybe what I can do is to help you look at things differently than you do right now, and help you to find other emotions to feel, so that at least maybe you won’t be angry all the time.”

“Did you boys do anything fun in the city over the past year?” Jarrel asked, changing the topic from Luke’s anger. “I know that a lot of that time was healing and going through therapy, but did you have any fun in-between all of that?”

“They had toys at the healing center we were at. Your brother made sure we got sent to the best place possible. There was television, and video games, outdoor toys…” Luke frowned. “I couldn’t play on any of them though…”

Jarrel looked at Luke in surprise. “Why not? You don’t need two legs to swing on a swing, and monkey bars, you use your hands. I bet there’s a lot you can do that you don’t even know you can do. But you can do anything you put your mind to, Luke. You know I once saw a man who was missing both legs, and he walked on his hands, and he had really strong upper body strength and could pull himself up to reach things and he was even able to drive a car with a specially made car that had the gas and brake as hand levers. Don’t you worry, we’re going to have some fun and find out just how much you really can do. Now that you’re home and not under Dr. Lipkin’s magnifying glass.”

That made Mike and Luke laugh a little and Wade even smiled in response, as the analogy was pretty accurate. Jarrel then whispered. “Dr. Lipkin is a quack. He says I’m insane, but I’m really not.” The boys weren’t quite so sure about that but they didn’t argue that their shrink was a quack. None of them had liked the psychiatrist at all.

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