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Never Forget

Posted on Thu Oct 7th, 2021 @ 2:58pm by Lieutenant JG Coen Zacci & Patrick O'Malley

Mission: A New Beginning
Location: Counselor's Office
1727 words - 3.5 OF Standard Post Measure

Patrick was visibly nervous as he waited in front of the closed door. Murph had assured him the counselor would see a civilian but he had his doubts. It had been quite some time since he's actually seen one, and the starbase actually had civilian counselors to see to the civilian population of the station.

This was different, he was one of the very few civilian crew, not counting the minors thst made up crew family members. How long, before the counselor would open the door? Would he be turned away after all? Patrick's mind was in overdrive as he considered the options.

Coen could already feel the apprehension swelling in the emotions of the person waiting for admittance to his office. He needed to finish the file entry for his meeting with Lieutenant Sempton but he feared if he left it much longer then he would have no next appointment.
The Napien closed the file, saving what information he had entered into his medical record before standing and approaching the door to greet his next patient.
"Mr O'Malley" he said with a smile after the doors had parted. "Please do come in!"

Relief washed over the Human's face as he stepped inside. "Thank you so much for seeing me," he breathed, "I wasn't sure I could see a Starfleet counselor, since I'm a civilian. I hope I'm not interrupting?"

"Of course you can see me, I am the ships Counselor and I'm not a scary person at heart!"
Coen jested as he moved back across the room which was now a calm and relaxed space with planets, books with trinkets and a water feature bubbling away in a corner. Coen took a seat on the caramel coloured leather chair next to a similar design sofa. "Please!"

Patrick's eyes were drawn to the water feature for a moment , then to the sofa. "Do you want me to sit, or lie down?" he chuckled as he first sat himself down. "And I know counselors aren't scary, well most aren't. It's just...a very difficult subject for me to discuss. I've tried before, with little success but given what's in store for me..." He paused, biting his lower lip. "I'm getting married, but both me and my fiancé have lost a husband before. And I kind of feel they're standing in our way."

"Firstly, make yourself comfortable, you can sit or lay down whichever you prefer".
Coen forced himself to relax, drawing from the man before him through his empathic senses. The man was so wound up that it was difficult for the Napien to not feel on the waves of anxiety and worry radiating from him.

Seating himself, Patrick sighed. "I never got over losing my husband," he said slowly, as he tried to get comfortable, "and I don't think Murph did either. I just don't want my husband to get in the way between us, you know? I need to know how to move on... Basically, I'm scared. I want nothing more than to get married, but I'm afraid somehow Murph won't measure up. I mean, I know he will, and I'm not trying to compare but... when I mentioned inviting my late husband's brother.....I think something changed."

"I'm sorry to say I can't prescribe you a magic pill to take away how you feel. It doesn't work like that" he even sounded a little abrupt to himself. 'Great form Counsellor, a little shaky on the dismount though!' he chided himself. "I understand how you must be feeling and I by no means want to undermine that but have you spoken to, Murphy did you call him?"

Slowly, Patrick shook his head. "I'm not sure how to bring it up without hurting him. He lost a husband too..."

"You need to speak to him about this as well. If you find it challenging doing that on your own then I would be happy to facilitate that discussion, and I would like to schedule a few meetings with you, just to talk and not for any kind of treatment or the like. I get the feeling this is a battle you need to wage with yourself and sometimes, more often than not actually, all you need is someone who will listen and not judge!"
The smile was genuine and it warmed his features making him look even more like the tall, dark and handsome Italian that his old academy friends used to say he appeared like.

"I do need to talk about it," the young chef admitted carefully, "but I'm not sure how. I don't want Murph to feel compared to a dead man, and neither do I want to feel compared to one. We both lost under terrible circumstances, but I want to be able to still see my husband's family. I mean, they're still family right? I don't want them to feel sold short because I'm trying to move on." He cast the counselor a somewhat guilty look. "I feel bad for moving on, I feel like I'm selling Andy short even though I know he'd want me to move on."

"So you are already on the road to recovery... Now we need to get you to a point of accepting the loss of Andy but allowing yourself the room to continue finding your own life again!" Coen stood and moved around the desk and taking the seat next to Patrick. "Now I know just admitting what you have admitted is hard so I won't push for more today.... I will want to see you again in a few days so we can continue with this, if you agree. I'll also want a meeting with yourself and Murph was it?"

"I just don't want to sell Andy's memory short," Patrick whispered softly, "I don't want to seem like I'm forgetting him. He was part of my life for four years." He nodded slowly at the counselor's last words. "Commander Angus Murphy," he acknowledged, "he's the chief engineer. And I'm fine with anything, as long as Murph agrees too. I don't want him to feel pressured either."

"OK, speak to him, arrange a time that suits you both and I will work around that... But, if I may make a single observation... You will never forget about Andy, just look at how his memory is affecting you right now. What you need to do is learn how to let go of the guilt. Would Andy have wanted you to stay on your own for the rest of your life... My guess is that he would want you to move on, to be happy and to live your life... Am I right?"
He already knew the answer, even if Patrick would not admit it to himself but this was a road that Patrick needed to traverse and it would mostly be on his own with Angus behind him all the way.

"I think he would want me to move on," Patrick admitted, "but it's something that had never come up. I always knew there was a risk, him having been Starfleet. Same as I know with Murph there's a risk. But I accept that.. it's just this nagging feeling I can't shake." He sighed softly. "Why can't I shake that feeling? Why do I feel as I do?"

"There is a quaint phrase that you Humans use... You are only human!" Coen smiled warmly at the man before him. "It means that as living, breathing beings we are not infallible. If anything our flaws make us the people we are meant to be. You care deeply but it pulls you into a self continuing spiral that you won't be able to break out of until you accept the fact that you have done nothing wrong, you won't forget Andy and you never will and Murphy will understand that you have a place in your heart always set aside for the other love of your life..."

Coen Shifted, trying to make himself more comfortable and also giving him a second or two to decide his next move. He could already see that allowing Patrick to continue talking would only continue the spiral and nothing new would be said, what he needed was time to ruminate over his own thoughts, to speak to Murphy and then come back in a few days time with a fresh outlook.
"I think it best we leave it here... You need time to consider what you have said, what I have said and how you are now feeling!"

"We both need to accept our husbands will forever have a place. I think it's easier for me to accept that Marty has a place, than to accept that Andy will also forever be in my heart. I'm sure Murph does understand. It's just...part of me is scared." He sighed. "And I don't know why."

"And we will likely discover that in our next session but it isn't wise to unravel to many threads so quickly. Like I said, you need to reflect on everything that has been said today".
He could feel the man wanted to continue talking but he had further appointments and a Command Meeting to attend in a short time. On top of this Patrick really did need the time to reflect to better understand how and why he felt the way he did which would then hopefully allow Coen to unlock the next revelation behind why he was feeling the way he was.
"Shall we say the same time in two days time?"

Slowly, Patrick nodded. "Alright," he consented, though he hadn't really expected for this to be a multi-session event. He bit his lower lip as he seemed to consider something. "I'll bring something fresh to eat," he finally said. After all, fresh was so much better than from a replicator.

"That sounds lovely... I will look forward to it... Now, if you will excuse me, I have a small mountain of old reports to get through before the senior staff briefing!"
Coen did feel a little guilty for turfing the other man out, so to speak, but it needed to be done. He was new to the ship and had a great deal to get through to bring himself up to speed.


Lieutenant Coen Zacci
Ships Counsellor

Patrick O'Malley
Ship's Chef
pnpc Lhaes


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