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Damien was surprised to find that he actually felt sad at knowing his father was dead. Even though there was some relief with knowing that meant his mother was safe. She was alone though and he had been ignoring the woman since entering rehab. He wondered why Justin hadn’t bothered to tell him. Though he knew that the male probably felt like it wasn’t really his place or maybe didn’t want to risk affecting Damien’s treatment. The male didn’t have to wonder any longer before there as a knock at his door, Justin announcing it was him. Damien debated on opening the door, though he knew he was violating rules and Justin was being kind and patient enough to even ask to come in besides unlocking the door for himself.
Damien stood then and walked over to the door, stepping on the letters before opening it. Justin sighed out, waiting for Damien to wave for him to enter. Damien say on the bed, Justin taking a seat beside him. It was silent then, him trying to figure out what emotion to tackle. He was upset, he was relieved and yet most of all he was angry. Justin was his friend. He couldn’t believe the doctor hadn’t told him.
“When did you find out?” Damien finally asked.
“A week after the funeral. Your mother was worried – you weren’t returning her calls and that was a breakthrough month for you. I tried to get you to call or write – she wanted to tell you and not me. My intention wasn’t to hurt you.” Damien hung his head, eyes focusing on his hands as they wring together.
“I don’t know what to do.” He admitted with a heavy sigh.
“Look, visitation is coming up soon. Why don’t you give your mother a ring tomorrow and schedule for her to come see you. I really believe you need to take this step Damien.” He hated time hear it, but he knew that Justin was right. Damien stood up then with a sigh.
“Roslyn? How is she?” He asked, hoping to distract himself.
“She’s not in good shape. The trial really took a number on her. I think it would do both you some good to see each other, maybe to for a walk.” The way he watches Damien though led him to think the male knew something was up. “Remember Damien you’re here mentor.” He stood then and patted the male on the back before leaving the room. Damien soon followed, heading to the woman’s dorm area. He signed in and began toward Roslyn’s room.
Roslyn didn't like the idea of putting on a show. She wasn't a very good actress and she never usually liked to have a fuss made of her so to be told that she was expected to appear a certain way in court made her feel nervous.
Time seemed to pass slowly, almost heightening her anxiety as they awaited the trial to begin yet when the lawyer told her it was time to go, she would have given anything for it to have waited a little longer. She breathing in deeply, her mantra being spoken her her mind once more as she rose from her seat, her nerves almost certainly visible from the moment she stood. Roslyn looked towards her lawyer who smiled encouragingly and she following him into the court room, being led to the side of the prosecution where they waiting for the defendant to be brought in...for Michael to be brought in.
Then she saw him and every feeling she had ever felt rushed towards her and she was back to being that scared woman who didn’t want to talk, didn’t dare to look. She saw his smirk towards her before his eyes averted from him, looking down at her hands. Roslyn wouldn’t need to put on a show. This was all very real.
The trial was horrible. He tried to claim that she was a whore, cheating on him all the time and that she gave as good as she got, none of which was true but when she testified she could tell that members of the jury were sympathetic towards her, knowing that she wasn’t exactly acting this. She was genuinely scared. When it was over she wanted nothing more than to return to her room. Roslyn felt like she was going to regress. Especially when he walked passed her on the way out.
[i “Looking a little on the heavier side there Roslyn.”] She was pulled away very quickly by her lawyer and she was taken back the facility, almost looking like a ghost as she went straight to her room and shut herself away.
Damien has headed to the mail station first though. He was making a step toward recovery that he had neglected for the last year that he had been in the facility. The woman in charge of mail was actually surprised by him showing up.
“Here to finally collect the remainder of your fan letters?” She heated as she handed him a stack of mail. They were all letters from his mother – letters that he had ignored. Damien tolled his eyes at the woman, stack under his arm as he headed to the cafeteria for breakfast. Tray in tow with a cup of tea, Damien took a seat at the table. It was weird not having Roslyn there across from him, he could only hope she was doing okay with everything that was going on. Biting into a piece of toast, Damien knew he couldn’t put off the inevitable and began to sort the letters by date – finally opening one and beginning to read.
It was surreal then, the words from the paper floating almost as he read them – the sound of his mother’s voice clear as day in his ears. He felt a bit nauseous then, pausing any time he got to a part of the letter that brought back memories he had repressed. She apologized a lot, a trait she still hadn’t gotten over as she was used to being the scapegoat for a lot of problems due to his father’s abuse.
She talked about his brother, Damien then trying to push down the lump that sat in his throat. The tears were so close to spilling then.
He stood, not even touching his breakfast and dumping it, clutching the letters to his chest as he rushed to Justin’s office. He barged in, the male in the middle of a session with another patient.
“You knew?! You knew and you didn’t tell me?” He yelled, frustrated at Justin and himself. Who was to blame, he hadn’t read the letters. Though as a doctor – as a friend, Damien figured it was Justin’s duty to tell him that his father had died two months ago.
“Damien –“ he couldn’t even bear to listen, running to his room where he dumped the letters on the floor. Against rules he had locked himself in – closed and alone in bed. He hated himself for crying – crying out for a monster.
As the car started to drive away she couldn’t help but look back at Damien who had walked her out with Justin. She found a lot of strength when she was around him and she wondered if she would be able to do the same in his absence while she was at court. Roslyn turned back to face the driver when he was out of sight and she breathed in deeply, mantra being repeated over and over in her mind. She didn’t stop that for the entire car journey. When she arrived her lawyer met her at the car and opened the door for her.
[I “Miss McOhuan.”] He smiled as she climbed out of the car. A little over a month ago she would have been terrified to be alone with a man but she had worked hard on retrieving herself, reminding herself that Michael no longer had power over her, today would be a real test of that. [i “I’ll take you through to the room that will act as our base before the trial and when it breaks. You need to be prepared that this trial may take a while depending on his plea. If he pleads not guilty then we have to go away and build up our evidence and prove the jury that he is guilty. If he pleads guilty we have to help the judge set his punishment by providing evidence again.”]
Roslyn nodded. [b “I understand. I think we already had a few people in line to testify. Justin will testify as a professional regarding my state when I got to the facility and one of the doctors who treated me after the attack will also testify.”]
[i “What about family? Friends? Anyone who can testify what he was like with you?”]
Roslyn sighed a shook her head. [b “He cut me off from everyone and even if he hadn’t, he was different in public. Caring almost.”] Her lawyer nodded and led her into the room where there was a pitcher of water. She poured herself a glass and sat down as she glanced around the room.
[i “I know this is going to be difficult for you but we need to tell them everything and not hold back on how scared you were with him. The judge needs to feel how scared you were.”]
Damien was glad to be somewhat helpful though admittedly he was still a bit out there when it came to his emotions and what he was going through every time he saw her. He was glad that Justin had come in a that point, announcing to the female that her ride was there to take her to the courthouse. They had walked her toward the front door where a black vehicle sat idle waiting for Roslyn. Damien admittedly felt good knowing that his presence was warranted and actually helped Roslyn with some sense of peace.
She would need him? It definitely was something of a confidence booster.
“Are you okay?” Justin asked, noticing the silence from the male and the way he kind of lingered his eyes on Roslyn as she left in the car. He worried about how she felt, the emotions she was going through something that he couldn’t think of really knowing how it felt – what it was like to go through and face her attacker.
“I – Roslyn” Damien tried to get his words together as he didn’t want to jeopardize his mentorship with Roslyn.
“You’re worried about her?” He asked him and Damien had no choice but to lie. “Your mother called again today,” he said then. Damien sighed out, knowing he had been ignoring his mother’s calls for the last two years, before even getting into treatment.
“I am worried. This could set her back and I don’t want that.” He admitted as he shrugged his hands into his pockets.
“Why is that?” Justin asked, they were in the lobby then, Justin leaning against the couch and watching his patient closely. He knew Damien and he knew what made the man triggered – he also knew what was the proper way to go about counseling or questioning Damien in a fragile state and didn’t want to push the deal with his mother, but wanted Damien to face his biggest fear. “Do you wish that was your mother?” He asked him, “You wish it was your mother facing her attacker – your father?”
“I don’t want to do this Justin,” Damien said, his emotions a mess.
“You care for her.”
“I’m going to get breakfast.” He muttered, brushing pass the male before he was gripped by the arm.
“Promise you’ll stop by my office after?” Damien looked toward Justin thin, stomach uneasy and he was sure he was looking much the same as Roslyn looked before he got her water.
“Promise,” he said then before brushing pass.
Roslyn looked around her room for a minute then, trying to distract herself from her thoughts. When she had come here her room was but a shell, however she had eventually started to personalise things a little more so it felt like her own room. That was how things worked here, you earned certain privileges when you complied with their rules and showed that you were trying your hardest to get better. It wasn’t like you were punished by having things taken away if you deviated or fell of the wagon at any point though. That would be far too harsh and it wasn’t at all how Justin operated.
She looked back at her reflection and repeated her mantra out loud, one that reaffirmed that she was strong and that she was in control now and nothing would be able to take that away from her. When she heard Damien’s knock she looked back to him with a smile, grateful for the water and she took it from him and took a sip hoping it would help her feel a little bit better.
[b “You know you don’t have to knock.”] Roslyn chuckled, trying to put in a brave face now before there was another knock at her door.
[i Your car is here Roslyn. It will take you straight to the courts and your lawyer will meet you there.”] Justin smiles encouragingly towards her and she looked back to Damien.
[b “Thanks! For everything. I’ll need you when I get back.”] Her haze lingered a little and then she looked away and forced herself towards the car, nerves beginning to build up with each step she took away from the facility.
Damien was kicking himself mentally. He felt embarrassed which was a new feeling for the man. He usually was so calm and collected around Roslyn and now he couldn’t get his thoughts straight, hell he couldn’t get his words straight. He sighed out as he headed toward the woman’s common area, on their side of the dormitory and of course he stood out as most of the men in this area that were allowed were usually the orderlies or one of the doctors.
He ran his hand through his hair then, grabbing a bottle of water for Roslyn. What was he thinking, touching Roslyn like that? Damien knew that she was going through a tough time.
He was having a hard time trying to figure out his own feelings. They had gotten close the last few weeks and Damien could see that she was getting better. Every day that he saw her, he could see how well she was doing. He didn’t know where this sudden concern and happiness was coming from for the female – at first it was just about being her mentor, but lately he had developed some type of friendship with the woman. It was weird, as he had kept to himself his whole time at the facility.
Damien tried to compose himself, before he finally headed back to Roslyn’s room. He knocked this time, slowly opening the door before entering so as not to spook her. He knew what he was feeling was something he had to report to Justin but he was embarrassed and this would compromise his friendship with Roslyn as well as his own treatment. He figured this moment would pass. Roslyn had never given any indication to attraction for him and he was just maybe making his feelings out more than they actually were.
Damien knew eventually this would all pass. Being here was about getting help and getting better. It wasn’t about being with someone romantically and Roslyn had a long way to go, especially with this trial. Damien’s main priority was to be there for the woman as a support system.
Roslyn expected this to be hard and she had been preparing for this in her sessions with Justin, but now that it was here, she had no idea how she was supposed to manage seeing the man who had abused her and turned her into the woman she had been when she came into the facility. She barely recognised herself then and she had worked so hard on building herself back up that she was finally beginning to return to the woman she had been before she met him. Roslyn didn’t want all of that to be for nothing but even talking to Damien about this now was a step in the right direction.
She looked towards him, slightly surprised about his tone since he was usually a fan of the tough love approach, but he was trying something different this time. She took a deep breath after hearing his words, knowing that she needed to calm down so that she wasn’t overthinking things too much. He was right, Michael didn’t control her anymore, Roslyn was in control of herself now and she just had to keep telling herself by repeating her mantra which had become so important to her. Roslyn watched as he reached out and brushed her arm and she couldn’t hide her blush as her eyes found his, lingering for what seemed like forever.
He caught himself then, stammering over his words. She nodded and watched him leave not really sure of what just happened. She had always felt a little nervous around him but this felt…different.
Damien could tell Roslyn was nervous and rightfully so as she was bound to spend hours in a court room with her own attacker. He felt bad for her and he worried for her as well. She was trying at least to keep her composure before admitting to him that she didn’t think that she could keep up – she didn’t have any faith in herself.
“Roslyn,” Damien started with a sense of softness he usually didn’t have when speaking to her. “Stop worrying. Everything will go as planned. You r already come this far.” It would be tough though, Damien knew. Facing her abuser would be the hardest part. This was something that usually would cause someone so much stress they would relapse. Damien remembered the one time he answered his mother’s call. He heard his father’s voice in the background and immediately felt sick to his stomach. All he wanted was to stick needle straight into his veins. Instead the man simply talked to Justin.
Damien has to face his abuser – he couldn’t though and that’s why he was still so affected and tried to distance himself. If he truly wanted to get better though, as Justin had mentioned several times, it was time for him to stop running from his biggest problem – his biggest fear.
“Don’t allow him any more control of your life. You’re better than that.” Damien’s hand reached out to gently brush against her arm. She looked ready to puke any second, which didn’t worry him as he was familiar with puking in his past life – for different reasons of course.
“Just breathe. Look I’ll go get you some water okay? Just relax.” He was close to her then, well close enough to look down into those eyes he had called beautiful which still remained true to this day. There was some flint of light which gave him hope and made him believe he was doing something good as far as being her mentor. Clearing his throat, Damien realized how close he was and how he was staring at her. He pulled away then. “I’ll uhm – water. Yeah I’ll go get you water,” he stammered out with a blush as he quickly left the room. He sighed out, why was he so nervous all of a sudden?
Roslyn hoped that her lawyer was a good one and knew just how important it was for her to be kept away from Michael. It was true that she had made a lot of progress but there were still days where she felt like she would shatter at the first chance he had at even talking to her. There was no way he would have changed in their time apart and she had and he wouldn’t like that. He wouldn’t like that he no longer had control over her and seeing her with gained weight and a little more confidence in her walk would completely trigger him. The last thing Roslyn wanted was to be that woman who was cowering in the bedroom floor again.
She chuckled a little when he apologised for scaring her, knowing that it was mostly because she had been in a world of her own rather that focusing on what was going on around her, so he really had no need to apologise at all. She glanced back at herself in the mirror and placed once last pin in her hair, pulling a bit back from her face before she looked to Damien who had stepped closer to her then, perhaps closer than he had ever been and he reached out for her. For the first time, she didn’t flinch. He stopped himself though, whether that was because he remembered how many times she had almost cried because she had been lost in thought and someone had reached out to touch her.
Right. Her mantra. She repeated it in her mind several times then, only stopping when he called her beautiful. He had said that her eyes were beautiful on the first day that they met but this was different, he was calling [i her] beautiful. No one had ever said that to her before and suddenly she was feeling quite nervous around him. She sighed then, trying to focus on the trial again. [b “Sure...trust myself.”] She breathed in deeply and then there was a moment where she felt like she was going to throw up. [b “I can’t do this.”]
He was staring at her and he didn’t even know, though he also didn’t feel an ounce of guilt. Damien was completely thrown off by that. He chuckled softly, “Sorry scaring you was definitely not my attention.” He mentioned to her with a smile. Once the burning had left his cheeks, he felt it safe to look up at Roslyn and meet her eyes, where he could see she too was blushing. From what or about what he didn’t know.
He shrugged his hands in his pockets, walking into the rom slowly, of course making sure the door was ajar, though barely – a small slit the only thing to give any hint or indication that the two weren’t up to anything they shouldn’t be doing. She had gained weight clearly, her face a bit fuller and the clothes she wore didn’t awkwardly hang from her frame like a wrinkled t-shirt on a hanger. Damien tried to draw his thoughts back. What was he here for? Right, support . Roslyn was going to court and other than her lawyer she would be alone basically – no family or friends from what he suspected. Eventually as the trial went on they would probably try to get Justin to testify on her behalf regarding her mental health when she arrived and the condition she was in during her treatment.
“Hey,” Damien said in a kind low voice as he stepped closer, hand reaching for hers. He paused and drew it back, knowing he was already closer to Roslyn than normal, closer than when they had first met and she seemed to shatter with each touch or look from a male. “Just remember your mantra, and remember he cant hurt you. This is your chance to get justice, to reclaim some part of you that he stole.” He said to her. “You’re getting stronger and you’re beautiful and –“ he had to stop himself. “I’m sorry, I’m rambling,” he whispered. “I just wanted – Justin wanted me to check on you. You’ll be great today, just trust yourself.”
Roslyn was honestly unsure about how she was going to be able to get through the day. She had no friends or family who would be there to support her and she would have to be in the same room as the man who had taken everything from her and she was trying her hardest not to freak out about that. Of course she had her days where she thought about him but it wasn’t as though she missed him. It was more like a voice in her head. When she was told she put on 12 pounds in the last month, the first thing she heard was his voice.
[i ”Your jeans look a little snug. Don’t you wish you could wear something a little more comfortable? You could get into something smaller that a size two if you really tried.”] That day she had an extra session with Justin who spent quite a bit of time convincing her that the weight she had gained was healthy and that she still has another half a stone to gain before she moved out of the ‘underweight’ bracket. That had made her feel better and Damien was also there to talk her out of the bathroom stall.
Roslyn was proud of herself and for a moment she smiled at her reflection, noticing that little bit of light returning to her eyes. She was startled upon hearing Damien’s voice. [b “Jesus! You scared me.”] She laughed a little and then blushed upon realising that he was taking her in completely. A blush tainted her own cheeks as she looked towards him. [b “I’m nervous as hell. I don’t know how I’m going to face him alone.”]
Damien was doing better of course, another month down and a few more to go before he was going to be out of the facility with time served. Though, he knew that he would have to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet he was out. Of course he would also have to figure out where he was going to be staying if not with his parents and he didn’t want to stay at a home, but it looked like Damien probably wouldn’t have much choice.
In that month though, Damien had found himself getting closer to Roslyn and h was glad to see that she was progressing in her treatment. There were times he knew that Roslyn would go through moments where she thought of her ex, where she felt like she was wavering I her ability not to purge, but for the most part she was doing well and he knew that if she worked harder she would soon be better and out of here in no time.
Justin had been telling him about Roslyn’s progress, though of course keeping some things to himself. He had mentioned the miscarriage, but Damien hadn’t ever really brought it up with Roslyn, feeling like it wasn’t really his place. Justin was the professional and not Damien, besides he wanted Roslyn to share her story with him when she was ready. Justin had told him about her trial though and wanted Damien to pay her a visit to make sure she was okay and this hadn’t triggered any past bad behavior.
Damien headed to the female section of the facility where he made sure to sign in, Justin already signing off earlier about him being allowed in the section. Damien knocked on her door before he entered. Honestly, he was astonished at the sight of her – she looked different in outside clothing. “Wow,” he said with a breathless tone, eyes following her figure. He blushed and turned his head away to hide his red face. “Sorry,” he said softly. “Justin just uhm wanted me to check on you.”
Roslyn did panic momentarily, wondering if Damien would take her joke well or not. She didn’t know him well enough to try out her humour on him and she was concerned that she might have already put a rift between them. Roslyn often joked to mask her feelings but on this occasion, she joked simply because she wanted to. If they were supposed to be friends in here, she didn’t want it to be about business all the time. It would eat her up otherwise and she hadn’t had a friend in so long. In truth, she needed some, more than she realised.
She sighed in relief when she heard him chuckle, clearly able to accept the fact that she was joking. Roslyn smiled a little towards him, a much more genuine smile than any she had been able to produce in such a long time. Already she was finding that it was easy to keep eye contact with him and she was beginning to learn that there was no one around to tell her that she shouldn’t be looking at him. Although, she did notice that he appeared to be staring...or had he zoned out? She didn’t know.
Roslyn watched as he dismissed himself and left the cafeteria. She chuckled to herself and did the same thing, going back to her room to gather her things so that she could shower and get herself mentally prepared for the day.
A month had passed so quickly in here and Roslyn had surprised herself. She had managed to stick to her meal plan and she wasn’t purging. There were times where she felt like she wanted to but she went straight to Damien and talked to him which distracted her enough so that she didn’t even think about it. Justin hadn’t brought up her miscarriage in group sessions but they had touched upon it in private sessions and she was beginning to make progress. Although, today was going to be one of the toughest days she had to face.
Roslyn took a deep breath as she looked at her reflection in the mirror. She had been taken shopping to get something suitable for court as she had managed to put on some weight and she was beginning to look healthy again. It was day one of her trial and she had no idea how she was going to her through the day.
She had taken him off guard for once which Damien was not used to. He watched her then, cheeks red from blushing at her mentioning if he were supposed to chaperone her to the shower. Damien chuckled lightly then and shook his head. “No, no it’s okay,” he said to her with a small smile. “I think Justin knows that would be overkill.” Mostly though knowing that it could lead into anything. Damien hadn’t been with a woman for the last year he had been there. Now this wasn’t uncommon, but if anything it showed a sense of control and restraint. Most of the patients here had realized where they could go to not be seen when they did anything illicit. Sexual relations or relationships in all weren’t uncommon, just forbidden but it couldn’t be stopped of course. People were bound to become close when you were the only ones around.
The choices were limited, though sometimes it was just easier when it came to an addict and another addict dating. You could understand each other, identify the issues and work through them. Though Damien couldn’t really see himself getting into a relationship any time soon.
The idea of love, caring for another person seemed so obscure to him.
He didn’t realize he had been watching Roslyn then though, how many times had he caught himself doing this? His tongue running over his bottom lip as he thought about her in the shower. He quickly stood then, clearing his throat as he grabbed both of their empty plates. “Sorry,” he muttered, tray placed at his hips to hide himself. “Uhm, then I guess I’ll see you tomorrow? Yeah? Goodnight.” He said, not even bothering to wait for a response as he quickly disappeared out of the cafeteria. He didn’t know what was wrong with him, Damien was usually well composed – yet one thought ended up throwing him off.
He sighed out, only in relief once he had reached his room, knowing he too needed a shower – a cold one.
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