Evans Woodworking chapter 12

Jordan gently tapped Ethan on the knee before standing. “I can’t even begin to imagine what you’ve been through and what you’re going through now,” he told Ethan gently. “You inspire me to want to be a better man. I’m your best friend and I’m here for you 24/7/365. When you’re ready to talk, I’m here to listen, anytime day or night. I love you, bro.” No response from Ethan.

Walking into the kitchen Jordan said, “it’s almost like he’s not in there, his body just an empty shell. I’ve never seen him like this. It scares me a little. I don’t know how to get through to him. I feel so helpless.”

“We’ll figure something out, don’t worry,” Troy reassured him.

“I hope so. It hurts me to see him like this. I know he’s hurting, but I just…”

Alicia moved over to sit next to Jordan and pulled him into a sideways hug. “We all want to help him and that’s the problem. Ethan is the first one to jump and come running whenever anyone needs help, but he won’t let anyone help him when he needs it. He’s so damned stubborn when it comes to accepting help from others.”

“Amen to that,” Chris and Troy stated, almost simultaneously.

“His doctor recommended he talk to a counselor,” Alicia continued.

Chris huffed. “Good luck with that one. It falls under the category of Ethan accepting help from someone.”

“We can’t just sit here and do nothing!” Jordan exclaimed, frustration very much evident in his voice.

“What would you suggest we do?” Troy wanted to know.

“I wish I knew. I guess it can’t hurt to try. Ethan? Ethan, look at me please.” Jordan recoiled at the haunted expression in Ethan’s eyes. “I’m your best friend, right?” After a few seconds Ethan nodded, almost imperceptibly. “You know that all of us love you unconditionally and we only want the very best for you, right?” Again, an almost imperceptible nod.

“Do you remember 4 years ago when my sister was caught in a police cross-fire and died? Remember how torn up I was? In a way I was just like you are now, although what you went through was more heinous because it was deliberate, not accidental.”

“I remember,” Ethan whispered.

Yes! Finally a response from him! “Do you remember what I did afterward?” Ethan shook his head. “I went and talked to a counselor. My brother dragged me kicking and screaming. There was no way I was going to talk to a shrink. You know what? I didn’t talk to a shrink. I talked to a wonderful woman.

“There was no couch, no psycho-babble, no judgement, none of that shit. We just sat and talked just like you and I have. I could tell she really cared about me. We didn’t talk about the accident in the beginning. She just wanted to get to know me. I didn’t have to answer any of her questions if I didn’t want to, but she put me at ease from the very beginning.

“Before I realized it, I was telling her everything, and I mean everything! When we talked about the accident I cried like a baby. You know what her reaction was? She handed me a box of Kleenex. No judgement, no ‘you’re too old to be crying like a baby’ or anything like that. She just sat back and waited for me to get my shit together.

“She helped me more that I believed possible.”

Troy came over and kneeled down in front of Ethan. “You’re my little brother and I love you. I really wish you’d give it a try. It can only help. It can’t hurt.”

The haunted look in Ethan’s eyes faded just a bit. “Even if I wanted to, I can’t afford it.”

“You have insurance, right?” Ethan nodded. “She takes all insurances, and if you can’t afford the co-pay, which for me was $20, she’ll probably waive it. Helping people is more important to her than money. Please, Ethan, I beg you, go talk to her. If you don’t feel comfortable with her, you don’t have to go back. She’ll understand.”

Ethan sighed deeply. “I’ll think about it. Right now I just want to get some sleep.”

“That’s all any of us can ask. Let me help you upstairs.” Jordan supported Ethan up the stairs. By the time they reached his room he was barely awake. Having had gym class together, they’d seen each other naked many times. Ethan didn’t fight him when he pulled the covers back, stripped Ethan down to his boxer-briefs and put him to bed. He was totally out before his head hit the pillow.

Going back downstairs he made a show of crossing his fingers as he left, wishing as hard as he could that Ethan would go see the therapist. Chris, Alicia and Troy wished the same.


Nervous and ready to bolt at the slightest provocation, Ethan timidly knocked on the therapist’s door. The door opened and Ethan was face-to-face with the counselor. “Hi,” he said quietly, “I’m Ethan Evans and I have an appointment for 1:15. I’m a little early.”

She held out her hand, giving him a warm, welcoming smile. “Hi, Ethan, I’m Dorothy. Please come in and have a seat. As he entered the office he looked around to discover that the office was nothing like what he expected from the entertainment videos. There were no wall-to-wall bookcases crammed to overflowing with books, no couch or huge file cabinets.

Instead there was nice artwork on the walls, a desk, several comfortable-looking chairs, a mini-fridge, microwave, coffee maker, computer and printer. He was only slightly reassured. He remained standing until Dorothy was seated at her desk.

“So Ethan, why don’t we begin with you telling me a little about yourself.

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