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"Peer tutoring?" I pushed my chair away from the table, making loud skidding sounds against the tile.
Isis, it's the last step in the counseling program." Sonya peered over glasses at me as she shuffled things in the file. She had her PhD in clinical psychology and was running the program my mom had forced me into with the help of my old psychiatrist.
"But have you looked at my file?" I picked at a scratch in the table. Then forced my hands still in my lap. "I don't fit into the normal peer tutoring candidates. My grades are perfect. My attendance at school is good, and I've got friends. I get along with others. Not to mention I've already been accepted into all of the colleges I applied for. I could see this if you wanted me to tutor, but I'm not about to be tutored by someone else."
"Peer tutoring allows you to practice the skills that you have learned in this program. Your completion of the entire program will allow us to include you in the case studies and program brochures. It's the last step and then you won't need to come to the weekly support group meetings anymore."
"And if I don't do it?" I asked.
"Then I won't be able to graduate you from the program. And I'll have to call your mother." Sonya shrugged her shoulders and put the file on the table.
"Let me think about it," I said. She didn't know that my dad had promised I could quit the entire program as soon as I turned eighteen in two weeks. So it didn't matter what she said or did. My mom didn't know about the deal we'd made when she forced me into the program at the beginning of the year.
I headed out of the room without waiting for her answer. I walked across the parking lot thinking about the argument I was about to have with my mom. I'd seen the volunteers for the peer tutoring and most of them were in my classes at school. The one thing that may make my mom cave was that people would know I was in some camp for crazy kids.
I was angry, so instead of getting in the car, I walked towards the back of the building to the serenity garden and gazebo. I rounded the corner of the building quietly. A boy sat in the gazebo, his back to me. He was juggling three balls in the air, they rose up and down in a steady rhythm. A soft yellow light streaming off of the balls caught my attention. I stepped closer, the light pulling me towards it, until I was almost to the gazebo. As I watched the balls more closely, I looked at the boy. He wasn't juggling. His arms were folded across his chest and the yellow light connected the balls back to him.
I stepped closer, stumbling on a rock and the boy jumped.