a different perspective
Julia Warner was a well respected psychologist and had graduated second in her class, behind one Jason Carew. They had always had a fascination with one another, and rightfully so. They were in competition with one another for a majority of their schooling and then most of their adult lives as well, considering they both decided to stay in Boston. Julia had originally hailed from Ohio and hated the thought of going back to such a small town to practice what she had learned at Harvard.

When they had been in school together, Julia had a bit of a school girl crush on him. It was hard to not for her; he had this mysterious appeal, he was quietly charming, even if he wasn’t the most handsome guy to ever set foot on the Harvard campus. He had a girlfriend, though, who he had been with for quite some time and Julia despised her. Maggie had never been good for him, Julia had always thought that, but Julia and Jason had been close so she never mentioned it. Instead, she provided an ear when he needed it and advice when he went to go and buy her engagement ring.

The night that he was going to propose, she had felt sick to her stomach. There wasn’t any possible way that she could be jealous. Yet, she was. She couldn’t really explain why she had been jealous but she was. Then he came to her door, head hung low, and he looked at her with this sadness and regret that she had never seen out of him before in her life. She had invited him in and he had told her that something that happened. He wasn’t quite sure what happened but he snapped and he hit her and now she was gone, likely forever. Julia had poured him a strong drink and told him everything was going to be okay before she made her move, sitting first on his lap, before kissing him hard on the lips, tasting the whiskey from the drink that she had given to him. It was the first and last time they had slept together.

Even though it was all she wanted in the world, she couldn’t possibly forgive what he had done to Maggie. Perhaps if he hadn’t gone through with the engagement or she had said no outright, things had been different. But she couldn’t possibly engage in any sort of actual relationship with him and so she didn’t. She had meant her husband, Eric, and she had begrudgingly settled into domestic life, although it was never something that she had wanted for herself. When she had discovered that Eric had been cheating on her for more than a year it was a blow. Her life, up until that point, had been miserable and not something she had wanted for herself. And, of course, that was when Jason came barrelling back into her life and she had to wonder what if.

What if? But he was a broken man, more so than she had ever gotten a chance to know before. They all had some sort of damage in their life; it was the best part of being a psychologist because they were all much better at hiding their own faults, since they knew what buttons to push. She did, however, admire Jason for taking the step to better his life. There was so much that he was still withholding from her, she knew that much, but she wanted to take it slow with him. She wanted to allow him to open up when he wanted to because button pushing wouldn’t work with him and she knew that. What she hadn’t expected was for their relationship to take a drastic turn.

When they had slept together again in her office, she felt a wave of emotions from almost 15 years ago pulse through her body. The way that she took charge and made her feel so special again made her feel like she was in her twenties. Then it continued and she had invited him out of town for a weekend where they didn’t talk about his problems and they could catch up and not worry about what had been plaguing him. It was a slippery slope because Julia knew what he was potentially capable of but she still saw that fear in his eyes; that same fear and sadness of when he had come to her door on that snowy December morning.

She had been preparing for the day at the office when she had received the text message from Jason. There was a part of her that smiled whenever she saw that his name popped up on her phone before she read the message and responded. No problem. We’ll take it easy today and I won’t put you through the ringer, I promise. She sent it and scrolled back up through previous conversations with him, some of which were definitely not safe for work. However, having sex with a patient in your office wasn’t necessarily safe for work either and there she was.

She had busied herself right before Jason’s appointment, her first for the day, and then she had a bit of a break to compose herself. She had been at her desk when the door opened and Jason came walking in, calling out her name. “Jason, I’m right here! Jason!” She ran up to touch him but it was like he was in another world. He wasn’t looking at her and she tried to stop him but he barrelled past her, looking for her and she couldn’t understand what was going on. “Jason, Jason!” The first thought she had was that he was having some sort of psychotic break and then he slumped in the chair and mentioned something about a dream.

One of the first things that he had disclosed to her was that he was having dreams that had been causing him a great deal of stressed. She sat across from him and reached out her hands to touch him but, again, it was like he was lost on a different world. “Jason, it’s okay. I’m here, you’re here, and I am going to try and get you the help that you need. You and I are both real, I promise you. Jason, I need you to hear me right now. I need you to hear me and feel me and know that I am here for you.”

It didn’t seem like anything was breaking through to him and then he mentioned an episode. Maybe he was worse off than she had ever imagined and she tried her best to calm him down. “Jason, it’s fine. You’re fine.” Then he laughed and said this had to be karma, how he had always wanted to be alone and he wanted to wake up. Julia felt this twinge of sadness in her stomach and then he had stormed out and left. She had thought about calling to have someone commit him but she couldn’t do that to him. She cared too much and now she wondered if she still had feelings for him, after all of this time.