The Problem With Crazy

Free The Problem With Crazy by Lauren McKellar

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Authors: Lauren McKellar
    “Well, you need to see me again”—Leslie counted on one finger— “then I’ll refer you to a neurologist, to confirm you have no visible symptoms of the disease already, then you’ll see a psychiatrist, and then you can get the blood test.” She ticked off her fourth finger.
    “Why a psychiatrist? Isn’t that pretty much you?”
    “It’s to make sure you’re not a suicide risk, Kate.” Leslie’s smile was sad. “I’m a counsellor. I’m here to help you along the way, and guide you through this—whether you end up deciding to get tested or not. However, I’d encourage you to wait before taking the test. There’s still so much of your life you need to deal with.”
    “But how can I make plans if I don’t know if I’m going to die or not?” I shrugged. “How can I meet guys, or start a career, knowing that in twenty or so years I could fall sick and die?” My hands shook. “What’s the point in doing anything until I know? What’s the point ?” I leaned as far forward in my seat as I could, inches from Leslie’s face. Unwavering blue eyes met mine. I felt naked.
    Leslie reached over to the desk and took the brochure. She opened one of her drawers and took out a small, white paper bag out from its depths, and placed the brochure inside. She pressed it into my hands.
    “For you.” Her voice was calm as ever.
    “I guess I’m dismissed now, huh?” Each breath was a struggle. When did it become so difficult to breathe?
    “My next appointment is due.” Leslie stood up. She walked over to the door and put her hand over the knob, ready to pull it back.
    I grabbed my handbag from the floor and stuffed the brochure inside, like it was responsible for potentially giving me the disease.
    “Kate, it’s not that there’s no point in doing anything until you know,” Leslie’s words were gentle. “When you know what the point is, that’s when you’ll be ready.”
    I raised my eyebrows at her and stormed out. I didn’t even stop at reception to pay my stupid bill. I was sure they had Dad’s credit card details on file; surely he could spot me one lousy counselling appointment.
    As I flew out of the building, I grabbed the stupid brochure and slammed it in the bin next to the doorway. Three words kept flashing through my mind over and over:
    Waste. Of. Time.

Chapter Seven
    A S SOON as I’d darted through the front doors of the giant counsellors’ building, I turned a corner into a small courtyard and flattened myself against the wall. The dark-brown bricks felt cool, supporting me with their sturdy weight as I pressed my back up against them.
    What had just happened?
    And what the hell was I going to do next?
    I grabbed my phone out of my handbag and shot a quick text off to Stacey, telling her Dave and I had broken up. If only the rest of it—the why, and the telling her about this stupid disease—would be as easy.
    What? So no tour?
    I felt like throwing my phone against the concrete path that snaked around the building in front of me, but I resisted. Like that was the biggest problem I faced right now.
    No tour.
    Two minutes later and my phone buzzed again.
    Do you still have your flights and the special hotel booked for Queensland?
    I thought about it. I’d booked a separate hotel room for Dave and I to spend the first week of tour in, paid for it myself after working part-time at a chemist all year. Of course, I still had the booking and my flights. But I couldn’t use them now; I couldn’t risk running into Dave. Maybe he’d already tried swapping the room over to his name, anyway, even though he technically had a second room booked by tour management on a less fancy floor of the hotel.
    Yes. But I can’t use them. I don’t want to see him.
    Too late. Found flights on sale, we’re going. I know you paid for the suite—you’re you’re not wasting it! Meet you at the airport at 7 tomoz xx
    Apparently, I wouldn’t have much choice in the matter. I rolled my head

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