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message 1: by E L L E (last edited Aug 03, 2018 11:22AM) (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 255 comments Mod

message 2: by E L L E (last edited Sep 06, 2018 08:39AM) (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 255 comments Mod

The flight from London to Aberdeen had been a long and arduous one, two hours crammed into premium economy with a screaming baby one aisle over. Rhea’s head still ached as she sat in the waiting room outside the counsellor’s office. It had started not long after she’d got on the plane and hadn’t waned during the flight or the hour car ride that followed. Arriving at Aldridge had been like a bad dream, the reoccurring nightmare she’d been having, now playing out in real time. The school was as grand and as old as Rhea had anticipated, crawling with wealthy, entitled students and pretentious, overpaid staff. With her cashmere jumper and Coach handbag, she shouldn’t have looked out of place amongst them. But the slick of eyeliner, short skirt and slightly-present French accent had drawn attention immediately. Guys had stared at her as she’d walked through the grand entrance hall that morning, girls had glared at her and one mousy teacher had had the nerve to ask her to tone the makeup down. Rhea’s response had been less than pleasant and she’d found herself marched up to counsellors office a few minutes later.

The secretary had surveyed her with similar disdain, Aldridge’s new problem child, an expulsion waiting to happen. Rhea had simply given a shake of her glossy dark hair, crossed her legs and folded her hands in her lap. Let them try, she thought. Rhea’s father had made no secret of the donation he’d given the school, enough to cover the new library and sweeten the deal of taking on his riotous daughter. She took quiet pride in how difficult she’d made it; and the sheer effort it had taken for Peter Aspinall to get her a place at the school. Now all that remained was for her to get out of it. Rhea glared at the oak panelled walls and reached for her phone. There were a few notifications on the home screen, well wishes from her friends in France, a couple of twitter updates and a text from her new service provider. Nothing from her Dad, not so much as a ‘behave yourself’ or a ‘good luck’. Rhea sighed though her nose and chucked her phone in her handbag. Screw him and screw this place. Folding her arms across her chest, she swept her gaze over the regal office space. Rhea didn’t even bother to roll her eyes at the motivational posters lining the walls; a series of corny slogans that made her want to spew up her breakfast.

Rhea was just considering composing a tweet about them when the counsellor’s door opened and young boy walked out, sniffling. He couldn’t have been more than thirteen, thin and gangly with a mop of dirty blonde hair. The secretary offered him a tissue and then ushered him into the opposing room. Rhea pretended to be thoroughly interested in her nails when the woman returned, knocked on the counsellor’s door and announced, “Mr McCloud, your 11 ’o clock is here.”

Rhea raised an eyebrow as the secretary pushed open the door and prattled on to the man inside. “I’m afraid this one arrived a little earlier than expected, she swore at Ms Anderson in the entrance hall. The deputy head saw it and sent her straight here.” This time Rhea did roll her eyes. The secretary jerked her head towards the office door and Rhea got slowly to her feet. Slinging her bag over her shoulder, she stalked across the room and slipped through the open door. The man sat behind the desk was quite unlike any counsellor Rhea had seen before and she stopped abruptly just inside the room.

“You’re the counsellor.” She blurted. It wasn’t a question. And underneath the faint French accent, her words were laced with sarcasm. Rhea barely noticed the door click shut as she eyed the dark haired man in front of her. He looked too young to be qualified...and too handsome to be taken seriously. Rhea almost smiled. Breaking this one was going to be easy.

message 3: by Leena, Just your friendly neighborhood spiderman (new)

Leena (leena23) | 333 comments Mod
Returning to campus Jack had thrown himself into his work, his run in with Rosie had been something... different. He'd disagreed with the woman, and she with him, which hadn't ended well, or so it had seemed. Jack was still interested though, and had plans to visit her gallery the next day, as long as he didn't have too much going on during his lunch hour. Shortly after arriving back on campus, he'd already had two students in his office, and one was just leaving. There had been incident where the young man had been stuffed into a locker and left there for several hours. It was amazing how much trouble the kids got into, and it was just the beginning. Jack had tried to get out of the young man who had done such a thing to him, but he refused to tell, or just didn't know. He wasn't very forthcoming with his words, and cried mostly. Jack felt for the kid, but there wasn't much he could do until the young man talked. So they setup another appointment, and Jack informed him that he would need him to talk more during their next session, Jack also suggested travelling in pairs with one of his dorm mates. After the young lad left, his secretary poked her head in and announced the next student that needed to see him.

With a sigh Jack resigned himself to having his afternoon full of students coming in, there wasn't going to be much of getting paperwork done that afternoon. He glanced up when a girl announced herself with stating the obvious. Raising both brows he leaned back in his brown, leather chair, "Aye, I'm the counselor. And you must be Rhea, I've heard a great many things about you Ms. Rhea. How are you doing today?" Jack grabbed a pen and a legal pad to write on, "I hear you had some words with Ms. Anderson, would you like to expound on that? What was maybe going on in your mind when you decided to let out an expletive of words?" Were you thinking at all? He internally asked, she had the bad girl look down, and he could tell she had the attitude to go with it. If her paperwork told him anything, it was that this girl was going to be trouble. Jack didn't mind that though, he could work with trouble, he'd been a troubled youth himself, and understood it.

message 4: by E L L E (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 255 comments Mod
She pursed her lips at the sound her name. It appeared Rhea’s reputation had preceded her. Her hazel eyes swept over the counsellor once more and, setting down her bag, she flopped into the chair opposite him. “Good things I hope,” she muttered, crossing one leg over the other. Rhea knew that the contents of her file were pretty much the opposite of ‘good’. They no doubt contained a detailed breakdown of Rhea’s antics at her two previous schools, perhaps a mention of the slashed tires, a ruined tapestry or the now notorious hockey incident. She bit back a smile, they were fond memories now. Rhea has become something of a legend in her time, especially at her old international school. She’d left (or rather been forcibly removed) in a blaze of glory, permanently expelled for knocking out the pervy physics teacher with her hockey stick. “I’m well, thank you,” she said with a sweet smile. “And how are you Monsieur? It is McCloud no?”

Rhea eyed the pen and pad in the counsellors grasp and wondered just what he’d write down. She’d already proved herself to be a bit of a handful and the term hadn’t even started yet. Propping her elbow up on the arm of the chair, Rhea considered his questions, choosing her words carefully. “I’d rather not expand on it, if that’s okay?” she replied petulantly. Though it seemed he expected an answer one way or another. Rhea picked at her nails. “I swore, I said a bad word in a moment of stress. You’re telling me you’ve never cursed before?” She cocked her head to one side, aware that her habit of turning the questions on others was likely to elicit a response from him. Her hazel eyes locked on his. “Perhaps your teachers are just too sensitive.”

message 5: by Leena, Just your friendly neighborhood spiderman (new)

Leena (leena23) | 333 comments Mod
Jack almost chuckled, almost, when she said that she hoped it had been good things that he'd heard about her. If only, it was anything but good things. Her previous schools had plenty to say about her, and everything that she had done on their premises. According to testing, she was very smart, she just had behavioral problems. Jack wondered what had happened in her life to cause such outbursts and behavior. There was always an underlying problem, kids didn't just pop out with these sorts of things wrong with them. Jack marked a few things down on his notepad as she replied to his questions, she didn't want to talk about what had happened, she just wanted to put the blame on the teacher being too sensitive, well that wasn't going to fly with Jack. He supported the teachers as much as he did the students, and no one deserved to be cursed at, or yelled at.

"I understand that you don't really want to expand about the situation, but we need to talk about this Ms. Rhea. I know this may not be comfortable, and maybe even trigger something inside of you, but the way you spoke in the hall is unacceptable. You must learn to control your tongue while on our campus. Now I understand that sometimes you just need to get things out, and that has to go somewhere. So I have an offer to make you," Jack put the pad down and leaned forward on the desk on his elbows, looking her in the eye, "If you need to curse, yell, throw things, just come to my office. I don't mind you coming here and letting out your feelings, its a safe place, and I'll take the brunt of your anger. I'll even give you my number so that you can call me if you need to," Jack leaned back in his chair once more, "What do you think?"

message 6: by E L L E (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 255 comments Mod
Rhea tucked her hand under her chin and watched McCloud’s pen flit across the paper in front of him. She was curious as to what he’d written about her, what he could have possibly deduced from the few minutes they’d spent been sitting opposite each other. They could of course talk about her earlier confrontation with Ms Anderson, but Rhea wasn’t about to give the counsellor anymore ammunition. He’d clearly got enough from her file. Rhea didn’t even consider the swearing incident that bad, she hadn’t even cursed in English. She had to admit the insult came across much worse in French, but Ms Anderson didn’t seem to have a clue what Rhea had said, simply that she’d been rude. Back in Paris Rhea had been more free to express herself, at least until the bad behaviour became a pattern. That was when they’d all taken on the demeanour of the counsellor, and done everything in their power to get her kicked out of the place.

She sighed emphatically and stared out of the closest window. There were several students on the grass, making the most of their final few days of freedom. If only she had kept her mouth shut, she too could be out there enjoying the last of the sunshine. The thud of the notepad on the desk got her attention and Rhea cast her gaze back to Mr McCloud who was leant forward on the table. A slight smile touched the corners of her lips at the counsellor’s proposition. When he sagged back in his chair, Rhea leant forward a little, resting her elbows on the desk. “Let me get this straight, you’re giving me permission to come here and trash your office?” Rhea asked. She drummed her fingers against the wooden surface as she considered the possibilities. “To walk in here, to scream and yell...and to direct it all at you?” She snickered, and a wicked grin crossed her face. “Do you have a complex Monsieur? Do you like women to belittle you in your place of work?” Rhea traced the whorls on the wooden desk with her fingers, and glanced up at him, her dark eyes dancing with amusement.

message 7: by Leena, Just your friendly neighborhood spiderman (new)

Leena (leena23) | 333 comments Mod
Rhea looked like she was slightly bored, and Jack wasn't even sure if she was listening to him. She turned eventually though and looked at him, she took her turn to lean forward against his desk and speak to him. It didn't go as planned, she turned the tables on him, and he couldn't help the inward chuckle he had for the girl, amusement lit up his eyes at her gall. She had guts, he'd give her that, and a smart tongue. The things she could do in a positive way with that sort of temperament, well the possibilities were endless. If only he could get her to see that, it didn't seem as if it was going to happen today though. Jack shook his head, lacing his fingers together in his lap, he rose a brow aristocratically at her.

"It isn't my intention to have you feel like you're belittling me, I'm trying to give you a safe place to let out your anger and frustrations, which you obviously have. I think its best that we set up a weekly basis of us meeting, possibly even moving that up to two times a week, depending how you fare. Ms. Rhea I understand that you have..." He took a moment to make sure she was paying attention, "A reputation, but things could be different here. You could be a different person, lead a much better life, if you give Aldridge a chance. I'm here if you need to vent, or anything of the sort, I'm also here to make sure that you aren't going around and insulting staff or other students. Your job is to do your school work, enjoy your extracurricular activities, and keep your nose clean. Do you think you can manage that?"

message 8: by E L L E (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 255 comments Mod
Rhea’s lips twitched as she noted the flicker of amusement in Mr McCloud’s eyes. She’d got to him, already it seemed he found her charming as opposed to relentlessly terrible — she’d soon change his mind about that though. Her previous counsellors had all thought the same in the beginning: poor, sweet, misguided girl. None of those words applied to Rhea. And she’d soon proved herself to be so thoroughly wicked, that even they had wanted to rid of her. Rhea eyed her perfectly manicured nails. She would wear this one down just as she had with the others, eventually they ran out of steam, lost the motivation to keep trying. Mr McCloud’s easy smile and warm gaze would soon fade and he’d turf her out with no more than a second glance. Rhea’s hazel eyes flicked up, meeting his dark brown ones and she mirrored his expression, one elegant brow raised.

“Oh, that really is a shame,” she pouted, interrupting before he could continue. “I quite liked the idea of belittling you for one afternoon a week.” Her expression turned bored as he went on, and she leant back in her chair, resting her elbows on the arm rests. She’d heard this spiel before, albeit a different version, in a different language - but the sentiment remained the same. Rhea pressed her lips into a tight line as his question hung in the air between them. “I won’t insult the teachers,” Rhea said after a moment, “But I’m not making any promises about students.” She shrugged and settled into the confines of the chair. As an afterthought she added, “Si quelqu'un est un crétin, je le leur dirai.” If someone is an idiot, I’ll let them know. Rhea was more than just blunt and to the point, she was brutally honest and that wasn’t a habit she was about to drop because some rookie counsellor insisted she do so. She assessed the man in front of her once again. “You’re kind of new and…shiny,” Rhea said, for want of a better word. “How long have you done this?”

message 9: by Leena, Just your friendly neighborhood spiderman (new)

Leena (leena23) | 333 comments Mod
Jack thought he had made progress when she mentioned that she wouldn't insult the teachers anymore, but then she made promises about the students, and he could tell that they weren't really getting anywhere. Jack believed in relationships, and right now they didn't have one. He would have to build rapport with the student, gain her trust, which could be tricky and difficult. It was something that he would work on though, something he would be vigilant about and wouldn't give up on. Jack had been through some rigorous training with a fellow psychologist, and he had fully believed that the key to changing behavior all depended on the relationship with the client, Jack bought into that as well, and acted upon it.

"Vous devriez penser avant de parler," You should think before you speak, Jack replied in French, granted he wasn't fluent, but he knew enough to get by, considering he had a business there and spent a lot of time in the city of love. "It isn't relative, how long I've been doing this. What is relative, is that we talk about your behavior and your plans for the school while you are here. Have you joined any extracurricular's? Do you know of anything you may or may not be interested in? Are you socially capable of being at a party, or should we make a safety plan that involves you not going to parties? I know in the past you haven't done so well at them, so maybe they're a trigger for you, and you should avoid them altogether?" He knew that she was going to buck on this one, but he had to throw it out there, he would feel like he wasn't doing his job otherwise.

message 10: by E L L E (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 255 comments Mod
Rhea wasn’t quite able to hide the look of surprise that bloomed on her face as Mr McCloud replied in perfect French. She quickly rearranged her features into an expression of intrigue, but it was clear she was suitably impressed by him. “Touché, Mr McCloud, Touché,” she murmured, bringing her hands together in a slow clap. There was certainly more to this counsellor than she’d given him credit for and Rhea had to wonder what else he was hiding beneath that smarmy exterior. She settled more comfortably into the leather arm chair, now considering her words and reactions more carefully than before. Rhea was intent on not giving him anything else to work with, and sought to become as difficult to read as possible as the session continued.

She narrowed her gaze at him. “So you haven’t been doing this long then.” His answer had said as much. Rhea pursed her lips, scrutinising his face. A year? Perhaps two? No more than that surely. She still couldn’t suss out quite how old he was, but she figured he hadn’t been qualified for long. He still had that positive, patient aura that tended to wane with age. “I haven’t,” she replied sharply, “…and I’m not sure that you’ll want me playing hockey again.” Rhea shot him a devious grin. “Or that you’ll trust me with a shotgun, or even a horse for that matter.” She shrugged, picking at the peeling leather on the arm of the chair. “Perhaps I’ll just resign myself to crochet and painting whilst melancholy music plays in the background.” Rhea muttered sarcastically, flattening her palm against the arm of the chair. She looked up at McCloud from under her lashes. “I’m certainly sociably capable,” she snorted, “I can’t speak for the rest of your students however…and how do you suppose you’re going to stop me? I suspect the best parties will be those held off-campus and out of school hours, do you intend to keep me locked away somewhere?”

message 11: by Leena, Just your friendly neighborhood spiderman (new)

Leena (leena23) | 333 comments Mod
Jack ran a hand delicately over his hair, making sure each strand was still in place, his attention still being on Rhea and how she reacted to his words. He wasn't certain on how to read her just yet, because he didn't know her well enough, but he figured with time he would learn her body language and the way she ticked. Part of being a therapist was learning the client, their ticks and the way they reacted to things, including what triggered them. Jack planned on learning about each of his students, which was why he took notes on them. He scratched down a few things about Rhea before sighing, she wasn't taking this seriously, and she knew that they couldn't hold her against her will at the school. She was smart, but she also tended to make bad decisions.

"We can't hold you here, I can only offer advice and hope that you take it. What you do with the advice I give you, well that's on you. I hope that you will think about what we've talked about, and won't just brush it off. I can't tell you who you can hang out with, but I can advise against certain students, not that that means you'll listen, again, this is all up to you. Ms. Rhea, we're going to be meeting regularly, so we might as well be comfortable with one another," Jack shrugged his broad shoulders, looking like the relaxed gent he was, "You can make this easy on yourself, or hard. It all depends on the choices you make, and the way you conduct yourself. Now," Jack cleared his throat some, "What choices do you plan on making? Are you going to try and make a new life here? Or are you going to make life hard here, and continue your ongoing pattern of behavior?"

message 12: by E L L E (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 255 comments Mod
Rhea hugged her elbows as Mr McCloud’s question hung in the air between them. She didn’t have an answer, and the silence that followed was an awkward one. The truth was that Rhea had no intention of making a life at Aldridge, she wasn’t going to change herself to fit in here. And at this point she was fairly certain that ‘the pattern of behaviour’ McCloud spoke so vehemently about was simply a hallmark of her personality. She craved the chaos, the disruption and wanted nothing more than to leave the academy so she could once again adhere to the life she loved. Rhea chewed on her bottom lip and eyed the counsellor once again. He was trying, boy was he trying and some deep, almost forgotten part of her mind actually wanted to try for him. No. She forced the rogue thought away as quickly as it had come, there was nothing here for her in the Scottish wilderness and she had every desire to escape it, preferably sooner rather than later.

She glanced up at McCloud and locked her fingers together on the desk in front of her. “I-“ Rhea cleared her throat and started again. What she had really wanted to say was, ‘I want to go home’. But her pride had stopped the words from leaving her lips. Her face heated and she glanced down at her lap. “I want things to be...different this time,” she eventually said, her voice a little hoarse. “I’ll try.” Rhea’s shoulders lifted in a nonchalant shrug, but the action was far from that. It was a last minute attempt to regain the upper hand she’d had only minutes before. Mr McCloud had make her take a long look at herself and she didn’t quite like what she’d seen. But while that ought to have spurred her into making a positive change it only made her angry. And suddenly she wanted nothing more than to show the counsellor just what she was capable of.

message 13: by Leena, Just your friendly neighborhood spiderman (new)

Leena (leena23) | 333 comments Mod
The young lass appeared thoughtful, for the first time since entering his office. Jack truly felt for her, it was hard making the right decisions, especially when one felt like the whole world was against them, and didn't have the emotional support that they needed. There could have been other things going on at home as well, Jack didn't know about. Jack wanted to reassure her, but he couldn't do that, because he didn't know exactly what was going on with her, so instead he was being supportive, and trying to give advice as best he could. If there was more that he could do, he would do it, but there really wasn't at that moment. The rest was up to her.

The lass started to say something, stopped, looked uncomfortable, and then started again, with her eyes cast downward. She said that she wanted things to different, that she would try. Jack didn't know whether to believe her or not, especially since she wouldn't even look him in the eye. But he had to try, he had to think that she wanted more for herself, than sitting in offices being lectured about her behavior all of the time. That she would want more than going off and partying all of the time, or resorting to violence against others. "It won't be easy," Jack declared, his face serious, "It won't be fun, it will not be in your nature right now. But if you'll try, you could make huge strides here at Aldridge. I'll help you in any way I can, if you'll let me. Have you met your dorm mate, or mates, yet? Have you even been to the dormitories yet? You may find that you like the people there. IF you give them the chance, are you willing to give Aldridge the chance it deserves? Not everyone is out to get you," Jack steepled his fingers together and kept his eyes on her, hoping she would look up and meet his.

message 14: by E L L E (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 255 comments Mod
Rhea avoided the counsellors gaze as the barrage of question continued. She was frankly growing tired of this charade and wanted nothing more than to head back to her dorm, dump her bags and take a nice long nap. That or find an open space and chain smoke for a few hours. She tucked her hands under her chin once again, her eyes finally returning to Mr McCloud’s. “I haven’t met my dorm mate yet,” she replied, tapping her fingers against her cheeks. “I have her name though. Zoe something… Zoe Henson, Hanson? Something like that,” Rhea shrugged again and lowered her hands from her face. Her gaze flicked to her watch. It was almost half-past, they’d wasted almost half an hour deliberating her behaviour and her actions and the fact that she blah, blah, blah. Rhea resisted the urge to slump onto the desk as the counsellor continued. Thankfully she’d shaken her almost-lapse in resolve. “Have you been out there?” she asked, jerking her thumb towards the door behind her. “There’s an awful lot of people out to get you. And I’m not just talking about me, I mean I’m a target sure…but honestly some of those kids are savages.” Rhea peered off towards the green outside once again. “Sure,” she said after a moment. “I’ll give it the chance it deserves…” she was about to elaborate on just what the academy deserved. Already her mind was stewing through a variety of options, things McCloud might just lose his rag over if she dared to voice them.

message 15: by Leena, Just your friendly neighborhood spiderman (new)

Leena (leena23) | 333 comments Mod
She hadn't met her dorm mate yet, it was Zoe, Zoe Hansen, Jack knew her, and could say matter of fact like that the two girls were complete opposites. That was going to be an interesting dynamic, he was more than curious as to how it would play out. Zoe was a quiet, sweet girl, who stayed on top of her grades and kept up with a tutoring program at the school, she'd come up with it on her own. She was responsible, and didn't step out of the lines, so to be paired with Rhea, well that was interesting. Jack thought that Zoe could be a good influence on Rhea, if she'd give her the time of day. Knowing Rhea's background though, it was more likely that Rhea would get Zoe in a jam, or be the influence that didn't need to be there. Rhea began speaking of the students, and how they were savages, Jack thought that she'd picked an interesting adjective for the student body. Did she believe the whole world was out to get her? Possibly, Jack was going to have to do some more digging, but he could tell she was getting flighty, so he took the opportunity to stand up, "Okay, that's all I ask. If you would, could you make your next appointment with my secretary? I look forward to our next session Ms. Rhea, I hope that I don't see you for anything besides good things, before that. Remember what we've talked about here," Jack leaned his hands on the desk, and kept his unwavering gaze on her, "Your future is in your hands."

message 16: by E L L E (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 255 comments Mod
Rhea watched his face as he acknowledged the name of her new roommate, trying to work out exactly what he was thinking. He didn’t quite look disappointed, merely thoughtful. It had Rhea wondering exactly who she was going to be rooming with. Zoe’s name sounded normal enough, but she was still yet to meet the girl. Rhea only hoped that she wasn’t a complete oddball, she at least needed to be living with someone she could talk with to some capacity. She leant back in her chair a little as the counsellor suddenly stood up, giving her a cue to leave. He was taller than she’d expected and Rhea took great pleasure in looking him up and down before getting her feet herself. Picking up her bag she gave him the sweetest smile she could muster. “Of course Monsieur,” she said, that smile not leaving her face until she turned her back on him. His last statement had her rolling her eyes and Rhea was glad she had her back to him as she exited the room. “Lame,” she breathed in an almost whisper, promptly shutting the door behind her. The secretary was still at her desk as Rhea approached and booked the woman booked her in for the same time the following week. One week. That was all Rhea had to put a plan a plan in motion, she almost wanted to rub her hands together like some cartoon villain. Thankfully, she restrained herself and giving a toss of her glossy dark hair, left the counsellor’s office.

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