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Light in the Shadows

Light in the Shadows

Titel: Light in the Shadows
Autoren: A. Meredith Walters
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C HAPTER 1     
    - C LAY-
                  “You're cheating!  There is no freaking way you can win six rounds of poker!”  The scrawny boy across the table from me said, throwing his cards down in frustration.  I chuckled, as I scooped up the pile of red and blue chips, adding them to my pile.
                    “I warned you that there was no way you could beat me, Tyler.  Not my fault that you didn't take my advice.”  Tyler grumbled under his breath but grabbed the pile of cards and started to shuffle them again.
                  I leaned back in the wing back chair waiting for my friend to deal.  I had been at the Grayson Center for almost three months.  I was enrolled in a 90 day program and my time was almost up.  Looking around the recreation room, I would actually be kind of sad when I had to leave.
                    Which is weird considering how much I had fought coming here in the first place.  Once I had gotten over my anger and oppositional reaction to treatment, I sort of came to enjoy my time there and found that the staff and the other patients did something I never thought possible. 
                    They showed me how to heal.
                    And that's what I was doing.  Slowly.  Not that I expected a perfect fix in three months.  I realized my healing would take years.  And there were days I never thought I would be able to leave and live a decent life outside the support of the center and the safety of its walls.  But then there were good days, like today, when I felt like I could take on the world.
                    Like I could find my way back to Maggie.
                    “What's with the goofy smile, bro?  You look like an idiot,” Tyler said good-naturedly as he tossed out cards.  I blinked, taken away from my happy thoughts and picked up my cards. 
                    “Nothin' man.  Just having a good day.”
                  Tyler smiled.  Other guys would probably have given me shit for acting like an emo pussy.  But not the people here.  We were all there because we needed to have those good days.  So we understood the importance of being happy for those who had them.
                    “Cool, Clay.  Glad to hear it.  Now, focus on the damn game.  I want to win some of my chips back.”  Tyler retorted, concentrating on his hand. 
                    I grinned before beating him soundly yet again.
    The group sat on the floor, kids relaxing on oversized cushions.  Looking around, I could almost imagine this was just a bunch of friends hanging out together.  Except for the two adults who sat in the middle asking them questions like, “Tell me about your relationship with your family” and “How does that make you feel?”
                    Yep, group therapy was a blast. 
                    The girl to my right, a dark haired- chick, named Maria who was here to deal with her severe depression and promiscuity brought on by serious daddy issues, was trying to figure out how to answer the question that Lydia, the female counselor, had just asked her. 
                    “Just think about your happiest memory with your mother.  It can be something simple like talking to her about your day, or a time she smiled at you,” Lydia prompted gently.  Maria's problems, like most of the kids in the room, were rooted firmly in the relationship with her parents. 
                    Today's group topic was trying to acknowledge the positive aspects of our familial relationships.  To say this was hard for most of us was an understatement.
                  I dreaded the groups when we had to talk about our parents in a more positive way. It was so much easier to vent about how crappy they were than actually devoting energy in searching for something nice to say.
                    “Um.  Well, I guess there was a time, I was probably like six.  And my mom took me to the park and pushed me on the swings,” Maria volunteered, looking at Lydia and Matt, the other counselor, for approval.
                  They each nodded.  “Good.  And how did you feel then?” Matt
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