Guilt Therapy

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You wonder about her sometimes, about where it went wrong. 

The week before you remember sitting together in your office's mismatched chairs. She'd sounded better, and you had commented on her progress. 

She cried but she talked too, and you knew she was holding back, but that was okay because getting better was a process and she was trying. 

She seemed optimistic about life, looking toward the future. You remember noticing that. 

You recommended she watch Midnight in Paris before next appointment. She told you she would. 

You talked about her life: she had finals coming up, and then she'd head back to her parents. She said she didn't want to go home, but she was looking forward to leaving school after the semester. 

She'd asked about your plans. Most people didn't ask - so you told her about finishing grad school, maybe opening a place of your own. She said she thought that was cool. 

You exchanged pleasantries after scheduling another appointment - next Tuesday at 10 - and she headed out. 

She didn't show up that next Tuesday, because by then she'd been dead. 

They told you this was part of the job, and that there was nothing more you could have done. They told you it was by hanging. 

This surprised you. You had expected it to be pills. 

They said it wasn't your fault, but somehow you felt like it was. You were suppose to be helping her.

You knew more about her than her family, friends, or anyone in her life. You weren't invited to her funeral.

You think about her a lot, like you are now. You think about it on good days and bad days and strange days, and you think about how trapped she'd said she felt by all these people mourning her. 

She was your one, like most in the profession have. The case they got attached to, the one that went wrong. 

You open up your own business, like you told her you would, after you graduate in July.

You try and make a difference. That's all you can do. Maybe you couldn't save her, but it's not too late to help other people struggling. At least, that's what you tell yourself on days like these. 

Your mind always comes back to that last appointment. God. You should have done more.

You know it's not your fault.

But you still fucking wish you'd done more.