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And in anticipation of the release of Kindred, here is chapter four- Give it a read and let me know what you think!
Why do people do what they do? I look at Jason and see him acting normal, doing his day-to-day activities, but he's clearly hiding a deep pain. He needs to talk to someone, yet he goes to no one. We are his friends, and we can see the pain he's still in after what that Monster put him through. Jason had not said a word of complaint in his entire ordeal, and had only broken down once.
The concern I feel as he hides his feelings is nothing compared to my near panic attacks when he becomes non-responsive. Each time it happens I worry that he's slipping further into himself...further away from me. That concern is what kept me from speaking up when Dustin pushed him into a corner. His urgent tone told me all he wanted was for Jason to get help, and I couldn't deny that I did too.
Jason's soft confession came after several minutes. "You might be right." I could hear the fear in his quiet acceptance. "I'm not trying to scare you," he said, "but I can't tell when it happens until it ends." He hid his face in his hands. "I slip away, but I can't stop it, and I don't know why it keeps happening."
Dustin spoke up again. "I'm no expert, but what you went through last fall was hugely traumatic. I would be surprised if this wasn't some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder," he hesitated before continuing. He obviously didn't want to push Jason right now, but it was needed. "Jason, it's only going to get worse if you don't get help. PTSD doesn't just go away."
"He's right," I pitched in. "Each time this has happened, it takes longer to pull you back," the desperation I tried to hide showed all too clearly, and Jason cringed.
"I'm sorry," Jason said. He seemed almost surprised by our concern, but didn't shy away from it as he'd done in the past. Instead he turned to Dustin and asked, "Can I come to you?"
That he asked for help was a wonderful first step. I was happy with it, but it didn’t stop me from feeling like he’d punched me in the gut. Why? Why did he feel he couldn’t come to me? He’d come to me before, and had seemed better, if only briefly. Dustin hesitated. "You know I want to, Jason. And I know I offered, but I'm not qualified..."
"I won't go to a shrink," Jason said firmly. "I will not talk about this stuff to a stranger."
Dustin shrugged. "Alright." He'd been given little choice in the matter. Jason wouldn't go to someone else. I should have guessed that. "I'll just have to do more research and talk to some of my professors. Don't worry," he assured Jason when he noticed the worried look on his face. "I won't tell them who I'm talking about. Even though I'm not a doctor yet, I'll give you confidentiality. No one will know about this unless you tell them. I won't talk about our sessions to anybody."
I could see Jason relax at that, and realized he'd gotten very tense at the possibility of anyone else knowing about him. Dustin and I exchanged a look and he gave a small shrug and a half-smile. It looked like he was going to become an expert in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, whether he wanted to or not.
I jumped when Jason clapped his hands together. "Alright, that’s taken care of. Now what should I do about this?" he asked, holding up the note.
"Talk to Alice," I said automatically. My sister would know what to do, or she'd figure something out. "Make it a problem for the police. You have enough to deal with."
Dustin was shaking his head. "Hate to say it, but I agree with her. As much as you want to help, right now you shouldn't get involved. Get yourself right, then you can go back to being a superhero."
Superhero. With his power, I guess it was an appropriate term. But unlike other heroes, he had no superhuman strength or bulletproof skin. He was as human as the rest of us...more than some. Jason had power that scared even him, and he hesitated to use it even before Mason had gotten a hold of him. It was worse now, and the fact that he used it, even just to check for footsteps, surprised me.
I looked at Jason, expecting him to seem upset that we wanted him to sit this out, but he seemed...relieved. I frowned. He'd wanted to go after Kindred before, so what had changed?
End Chapter Four
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