Outtake: The Therapist #JohnandSiena #FreeRead
It's Friday, so that means outtake day! Yay.
If you have an outtake request, you can put it in HERE.
Do know that I make no promises.
Enjoy this John + Siena outtake with John and his therapist. Could there be anyone else that fits John better than Leonard?
I don't think so.
A John + Siena Outtake
“Siena is pregnant,” John blurted out.
Leonard’s next step hesitated, but like with anything John threw at his therapist—even after all these years of them chatting together—he kept on going. He rolled with John’s punches no matter what the situation called for. He was good that way.
John didn’t know what he was going to do when Leonard retired—officially, anyway.
“Well, congratulations are in order, then,” Leonard said, giving John a smile.
Leonard peered up at the bright sky overhead. “Are you not happy about the pregnancy?”
“Was it planned?”
Leonard chuckled. “Ah, I see.”
“After all these years, and you still ask me what, John? Really?”
“Habit, I guess.”
His therapist knew him too damn well, really. It wasn’t so much a problem for John as it was … well, he couldn’t fucking hide anything or pretend when it came to Leonard. He had seen John through some of his toughest cycles in his life, and pulled him out of the hell that was depression, mania, and more.
What would he do without this man helping him?
“It’s not the baby that frightens me,” John admitted. “It’s everything else around the baby.”
“The inevitable,” Leonard continued.
Leonard kept walking, and John kept an easy stride beside his therapist. The sky was bright and blue with not a cloud in sight, and the smell of someone’s barbeque clung in the air as they walked the block. It wasn’t often they walked during a session, but it really just depended on certain factors, too.
Leonard’s restless legs.
John also suspected his therapist didn’t like to allow him to get too comfortable in any one routine with him. Everything else in his life was so carefully planned and structured as to not worsen his mood swings that even his twice weekly—or more, if it was needed—therapy could sometimes become just another thing John did.
Not something he wanted to do.
Leonard changed it up, and kept it new. A coffee shop this week, and the couch at his father’s place the next. A walk around the block today, and on Friday they were supposed to take Andino’s kid to the park for their chat.
It was always something new.
He didn’t mind.
“Are you going to give me some mind-blowing advice that takes all my anxiety about this away, or what?” John asked. “I could really use it right about now, and Siena might appreciate me being a tad less …”
“I was going to say touchy.”
Leonard scoffed. “I know how you behave when you get anxious.”
“Yeah, yeah. Advice, or what?”
“I don’t have anything, actually,” Leonard replied, sighing. “Nothing that’s going to make you do a complete three-sixty and look at this in a whole new way with a different perspective. That’s not how this works, John.”
“And what is this?”
Leonard shrugged. “Becoming a father, I suppose.”
That was not the answer he expected to get, and by the look on his therapist’s face, he suspected Leonard knew that as well. They walked in silence for a bit longer before John had finally come up with something else to say.
Dumb as it was.
“Because, John, this is fucking terrifying,” Leonard said.
John was the one to miss a step, then, shocked out of his mind that Leonard had actually swore. He was pretty sure he could count on one hand the amount of times he heard a cuss leave the man’s lips, and it wasn’t very damn often.
Leonard continued on like John hadn’t missed a step, and nothing had happened. “Becoming a parent isn’t something anyone can prepare for, really. Oh, sure, you can read those stupid books—you can learn the mechanics of this whole deal, but … it’s not the same.”
“No.” Leonard tipped his water bottle up for a sip, and then asked, “Let me pose it to you this way—when do you think you would have been ready to have a child?”
That was not an easy question.
Then again, very few questions Leonard asked him were easy to answer.
“I don’t know,” John settled on saying.
“The answer is probably never,” Leonard said. “If you think about it long enough, and allow yourself time to consider everything that you might want to have or do differently or whatever the case may be before you bring a child into the world, then yes, it will probably be never. Fact remains, even once you had all those things, and did all those things, there would be something else that would come up to hold you back.”
“You think I never would have wanted kids?”
“You want children—I know you do. You told me. Wanting them and being ready for them is not the same, John. Lots of people plan to have kids. Lots more struggle to have children, and pay thousands upon thousands of dollars to finally have their child. And then once they do have that baby—it is a whole different ballgame because life is not what we expect it to be, nor is it what we think it should be.”
Leonard smiled in that way of his again, adding, “No one is ever truly ready. Like I said, you can attempt something akin to preparing for that kind of change, and yet it’ll never be enough, John. Nothing is ever going to be enough to prepare you for the way a child will change you as a human, as a man, and as a husband. I know that’s not the answer you want from me, but it’s the best and only one I have to give.”
“So, you’re saying—”
“It’s not you, and it’s not being bipolar that makes you anxious and worried and … not ready.” Leonard chuckled quietly. “It’s called being human.”
“Surprise,” the man murmured.
“For what it’s worth, and I know you’ve probably been told this by all the people who matter the very most to you, but you’re going to be an amazing father, John. Don’t let the changes scare you—they’re not all bad, I promise.”
Leonard shook his head. “No, of course not.”
“How does it change you, then—why does it change you?”
“Because you’ll hold a piece of you, and you’ll learn how to help them grow and live, and always love. You’ll learn that it is absolutely possible to fall in love at first sight, and it will stun you at how much love you have for them in that very instant. You don’t know them at all—when they’re new and pink and squalling—and yet you do know them. Your heart and your soul, it knows them. It knows every single part of them. They will amaze you, terrify you, and captivate you from the first time they open their eyes, until the day you finally let them walk away. And they will teach you, too.”
Leonard stopped walking, and so did John. Glancing over at the older man, Leonard smiled back.
“They will teach you to look for things that may have seemed insignificant before, but are so amazing when you see it through their eyes. They will teach you to appreciate time, and how it passes. They will teach you innocence and grace and beauty and life. They will teach you how to be a better man, and how to be the best father. They will teach you how to forgive more easily, and to love more freely. They will teach you everything you need to know, and everything you didn’t know existed.”
Leonard nodded as though to himself before continuing with, “And they will do it without you ever having realized it until one day someone is looking at you and asking you how becoming a father changes you. And then you will know, John. You, too, will know.”