T “If you continue to waste these therapy sessions, there’s no use in having them.” The Psychologist said while looking at the grandfather clock situated next his office desk. Shifting his client’s files that lay atop of his thighs, he continued on to say, “We are halfway through your therapy block and we have not made any gains.”
In return, The Client merely rolled his eyes in defiance and snarkily replied, “Don’t you ever get bored of people chewing your ear off, doc?”
The Psychologist released a sigh of exasperation and pinched the bridge of his nose - a bad habit he adopted whenever he had to deal with a particularly difficult client. Being the top psychologist in Neopia came with a steep price - although he appreciated the praise he received from the public, there were also days where he’d reach the end of his rope and imagine himself tossing his doctorate from Brightvale University out the window.
Unfortunately for him, today was one of those days.
“You’ve got anger issues and you have to deal with them. You have to stop this self-sabotaging before I recommend you for parole,” The Psychologist replied. “Judge Hog, the leader of the Defender of Neopia, believes that you have what it takes in order to reintegrate back into the general Neopian population. If we cannot break through your barriers then there isn’t much I can say to him to recommend you for parole.”
Individuals deemed problematic for the general population are sent to Judge Hog, the leader of the Defender of Neopia. After serving their time in prison, criminals must undergo a psychological assessment in order to determine whether or not he or she is emotionally and mentally ready to reintegrate back into the public.
“Everyone has triggers of some sort, why is this so important to you?”
Realizing The Client was baiting him, The Psychologist took a long of his Black Cherry Tea to calm him down. “I’ve read your file. You had an outstanding record and you were up for parole last year when all of a sudden you exploded in front of the shopkeeper at the Book Shop in Neopia Central! If it wasn’t for Judge Hogg subduing you, you would’ve burned that entire store into a crisp!”
The Client merely crossed his arms and let out a scoff. “He deserved it.”
Realizing this session was going nowhere, The Psychologist pushed The Client’s boundaries and said, “You have some serious emotional blocks that prevents you from trusting anyone. You must’ve started building these walls early in life.”
With that, The Psychologist noticed the faintest flicker of a grimace across his face. Had he not been acquainted with said client, he would have missed this subtle hint.
The Psychologist merely sat back on his chair and took a deep, long sip of his Black Cherry Tea. Like everyone else says, sometimes silence speaks louder than words.
Finally, he heard his patient say, “You do what you have to do to survive, otherwise you get teased - I learned that pretty quick.”
Placing this hands in a tent-like form, The Psychologist said, “Let’s talk about your first owner. It’s pretty clear she made an emotional impact on you.”
The Client crossed his arms and looked away. “No, I don’t want to talk about her.”
“She must’ve done a number of terrible things to you but you didn’t deserve it.”
“I said stop.”
The Psychologist began flipping through The Client’s file. “Let’s talk about the anger because that’s what controls you ever since you were adopted out. You’re a good petpet but the real you got lost somewhere in the past.”
“I SAID STOP!” The Client yelled out as he slammed his hands on the nearby “table stand”. The Client’s eyes deepened to a hazy sanguine colour, his fangs appeared sharper, and the fire that’s a unique feature for all Moltaran petpets seemed to flare up in anger - it was as if a black cloud had descended over this typically overly-arrogant petpet.
It wasn’t until the makeshift “table stand” started to topple and the Black Cherry Tea began to spill on whatever books lay in its path that The Client’s facade began to soften.
Realizing that this was the moment where The Client would either explode in an angry rage or leave the session altogether, The Psychologist quickly diverted the session elsewhere. “You cannot be that easily triggered all the time.”
The Client took a deep breath before he could say anything he would regret. Finally, he replied, “Of course not, I’m not insane. I like to read.”
Surprised at how easy The Client opened up to him, The Psychologist asked, “You read? What do you read?”
Suddenly it was as if this question opened up the mysterious world of The Client. For the first time, The Psychologist saw the slightest glimmer of hope on his eyes, something that even his arrogance could not reach. “I read everything and anything I can get my hands onto. The Magical Book Shop located in Neopia Central was my all time favourite shop to browse around.”
Connecting the dots, The Psychologist asked “Wasn’t that the same shop that you had that incident last year?”
Ignoring the question, The Client’s mood darkened as he continued on with his answer. “The shopkeeper was really kind to let me read all the books I want, however he recently reinforced a You-Read-It, You-Buy-It policy. I completely lost it when he restocked a Koya Korbat Huntress book. I tried my best to haggle with him until someone else bought the book right from under me. I saw that person immediately sell the book on the Trading Post that very same day. Some unknown bidder bought it and I never saw it again.”
“The shopkeeper says reading books makes Neopets more intelligent, what a joke! It’s all a Neopoint-grubbing business to him. Yes I let my emotions get to the best of me, which has led to my current predicament of wasting my time and life away in prison. Perhaps it’s just easier to let me rot in prison - I certainly won’t be a problem for society there.”
Sensing The Client was very well on his way to losing his motivation in life, The Psychologist realized how he could help him. “I think you need to absorb what’s happened. You started to trust and that’s a big step. And in return, I’ve got something special.”
“Came at a price though, I doubt I’ll be recommended for parole.”
“I beg to differ. In return for your confidence and trust in me, I’ve got something special to show you.” The Psychologist said as got up from the chair and motioned his client to follow him.
“I used to be like you,” The Psychologist said as he began retrieving a set of keys within the confines of his jacket pocket, “I was angry all the time. I couldn’t explain it… perhaps Freud could. Either way, I decided to take control over my anger and never allow it to drive me. I’ve learned that reading can be a source of escape.”
They rounded the corner and stopped in front of a locked, wooden door. “People always ask me what I do with my spare time, and my answer is that I read. Perhaps this is the beginning of a new you?”
When The Psychologist opened the door, The Client released a gasp of surprise. It wasn’t just another room, it was a library crammed with shelves filled with books! There were spiral staircases on either side of the room, allowing the reader to access the top floor. In the far back of the library was a dazzling red brick fireplace with an already lit fire. Hanging above the mantle was the complete Ski Lodge Photo collection that must be worth a fortune. More importantly, there was a red simple sofa and a glass coffee table that was illuminated by a table lamp - in short, the perfect, cozy spot for any person to escape from the harsh realities of the day and enter a world of fiction.
“Perhaps this place can be your source of comfort to you? I can certainly make an arrangement with Judge Hog to ensure you have full access to this library. You are welcome to come and go as you wish, but I cannot allow you to take these books away. Some people would love to get their grubby paws on them and resell on the Trading Post for a higher profit.”
The Client merely nodded his head in agreement. On the top shelf near the left spiral staircase, he spied some books he had never even heard of, like The Apple Loving Purple Elephante, The Many Disguises of the Imposter Apple, and even The Scribing Royal Boy Quiggle.
“I find the hardest part of reading is finding a book, but I believe that one on the coffee table is a good start. I’ll leave you two alone, and I’ll see you next Friday for our weekly session.”
With The Psychologist gone, The Client hesitantly approached the middle of the library and saw what book The Psychologist recommended. And somehow in the depths of The Client, he felt a wave of serenity wash over him. After years of anger and hopelessness, he had finally found a place where he could be at peace - it was as if he was a refugee who just found salvation, and it was a wonderful feeling.
Jumping into the simple red sofa, the Hoggirs happily flipped to the first page of the Koya Korbat Huntress and set off in his journey of entering a fictional world of which he could only imagine.
Hoggirs Trivia: Hoggirs love to read and meditate, but if teased will reveal a terrible temper.