"I don't know what to do..."
Location: U.S.S. Poseidon; Chief Counsellor's Office, Deck 6
Timeline: Day 003 - 1700 Hours
Chloe ran from sickbay with tears in her eyes. She had known something was wrong, but she hadn't expected it to be what she was told it was. She needed someone to speak to...but she couldn't go and see Phoebe. She'd go mad and start to lecture her, and she didn't need that right now. The only other person she could think of was the Counsellor. She tapped her commbadge. =^= "Chloe to Counsellor Shakura, I need to meet with you...please." =^= She said, with tears streaming down her face.
The Second Officer had been expecting her call. The Chief Medical Officer had forewarned her that she should expect her almost an hour ago. It sounded like in that time, the young Cadet Graydon had been going through a sea of emotions, her crying evident through the tremble in her voice. Kana couldn't help but feel sad for her; something serious had to be happening, and considering that she had a visited Lieutenant T'vek, it narrowed the reasons down to only a few things. Kana had her hunches, but she didn't want to draw any conclusions yet.
=^= "Lieutenant Commander Shakura to Cadet Graydon: I'm still in my office. Please do come straight over and we can talk." =^=
Chloe walked up to the door of the counsellors office and stood there for a moment. Following her talk with Freya she was feeling a little bit better. She wiped her eyes to remove any remnants of her crying, and pressed the bell next to the door, waiting for Kanaka to call her in. She felt a bit nervous, worried even, that the counsellor would have to tell people on-board. She sighed and took a deep breath, as she had been told to do in Sickbay, to calm herself down.
If Kana hadn't been alerted by the chime which told her that someone was at the door, she would have been able to tell due to the strong sense of anxiety coming from the other side. She had been keeping her mind open after what had happened that morning, ready to sense whenever Chloe came by, perhaps to try and get a sense of what was going on. Fortunately she had volunteered herself to come over, but it had been some time since she called. The Chief Counsellor wondered where she must have got to? No matter, she was here now.
Going to the door, they slid open and there she saw Chloe standing there. She looked calm enough, though it was clear from the red around her eyes that she had been crying fairly recently. The sense of anxiety was still strong. "Chloe, I'm glad you finally made it. Please, come step inside."
Gesturing for the Cadet to enter, Kana waited for the doors to close behind her before continuing, placing a hand on the young Graydon's shoulder. "I can tell that you're still feeling quite unsure: I want you to know that whatever you say here is said in complete confidence. I'll only be forced to share anything with my superior officers if I believe you or others are in danger, and believe me when I say that would take a lot."
Chloe nodded, before putting her arms around Kanaka tightly. She needed the comfort of someone. "I'm sorry..." She said, feeling tears stinging her eyes again.
Kana was slightly taken aback by the gesture, not often used to physical contact in these sorts of situations. It was technically a breach of conduct, but due to the circumstances she didn't think it fair to scold Chloe for it. After a few moments of being tense, the Chief Counsellor eventually returned the gesture for a few moments. As they embraced, she got a strong sense of the doubts plaguing the young girls mind.
"There, there." Kanaka comforted her gently before separating them both and guiding Chloe to the chair across from her desk. Passing her some tissues, she knelt before her as she spoke softly. "What's going on, Chloe? I can tell that your mind weighs heavy with something."
Chloe looked up, wiping her eyes. “Well...I hadn’t been feeling right for the past few weeks.” She paused a moment. “So I went to see the Doctor, the Romulan one. He did some checks and tests and told me what was wrong.” She paused again nervously. She didn’t want others to find out about this just yet. Reluctantly, she continued. “He told me I’m...pregnant.”
While Kana was able to keep herself well-maintained and not display too much of a reaction to what she had just heard, in her mind there was a coalescence of thoughts and feelings on the matter. Her logical mind drew the connections with what had happened earlier that day - along with what she had heard about Chloe and observed of her even before then - along with the knowledge she had about the prevalence of teenage pregnancy and the physical and mental challenges it presented. Emotionally, her mood was quite sombre: something that was to a lot of people meant to be a happy occasion, couldn't necessarily be for Chloe. The issue was critically sensitive for a number of reasons, so the Chief Counsellor would have to handle this delicately.
"Lieutenant T'vek did communicate to me beforehand that you'd require my assistance. Now I understand why." She presented a soft smile to the young Graydon, in the hopes of giving her some reassurance that - despite the complexity of the situation - there was reason to be confident in the face of it. "I'm going to have to ask you a number of questions now, Chloe, and I need you to understand that everything I ask is for a reason. You can of course decline to answer if you wish, but the more I know the more I can help you. Again, this remains confidential between us."
"Firstly..." She began, walking round her desk and sitting down. "Are you able to tell me who the father is, or do you at least know who it is?"
“I know who he is.” Chloe nodded. “Although I don’t want to say who it is. I don’t want him to get in any trouble.” She stated.
Kana nodded. "Okay." Even though the father wouldn't be in any real trouble, per say, the Chief Counsellor respected that it probably wouldn't feel that way to Chloe and the father. For now, she would leave it be. "Judging by your reaction, I'm to gather this was unexpected? Did either of you attempt to use contraceptives?"
Chloe nodded. "I was on the contraceptive injection...apparently it doesn't work on me though." Chloe answered, a little annoyed at that fact.
"Hmmm," Kana thought for a moment before asking her next question. "How are you taking the news? Obviously I can see it has been a bit of a shock, but have you started to consider what it is you want to do?"
"I want to keep it." She said simply. "I just...I need help." She said.
"We all do, no matter when it happens." She reached out to take the young Graydon's hand, squeezing it gently. "Don't worry, we're here to help you." By 'we', Kana was referring to the ship's medical and counselling crew.
"Have you considered how you're going to break the news to your mother? As you are still technically a minor, she will have to be informed, but I will make sure that it's in a setting which you're comfortable."
"No!" She almost shouted. "She can't know yet! At least let me tell her in my own time." She said.
"Cadet Graydon, calm down." Kana responded in a cool but authoritative tone. "I just told you, I will make sure it is in a setting which you're comfortable. That means it will be on your terms. But if that's going to happen, you need to work with me, okay?"
Chloe nodded. "I'm sorry...I just really worry about telling her...what will she think of me...will she even care?" She said.
Kana's face pulled a sombre expression at the young girl's remark. "If there's one thing I know for certain about your mother, it's that she will care. A lot. What will she think? You're her daughter, you mean the universe to her. Yes she'll worry, and I have no doubt that might get frustrating at times, but you should know that she's not your enemy."
The Chief Counsellor's words came from both a professional and personal place. She had a considerable amount of respect for her superior officer and wanted to do all she could to support them, but she also knew what it was like to have a fractious relationship between a mother and a daughter. While it translated differently across cultures, she still wouldn't wish it on anyone else.
"Deep down, I know that...but it's still worrying..." She said again.
"I know." Kana nodded, knowing all too well. "Have you decided whether you want to tell the father?"
"I suppose I need to." She said. "If I can find him..." She said quietly to herself.
Kana nodded again. "I'm sure some enquiries can be made. If I can help, be sure to let me know."
Realising they had been talking for quite some time, the Chief Counsellor stood up. "For now, I suggest you go and get some rest. It has been a long and emotional day, and I think some sleep and chance to reflect on things more will help you to approach these next steps with a clear head. We can schedule a proper appointment within the next few days, and we can touch base on where you're at. I'd also encourage you to continue seeing Lieutenant T'vek as and when you need his advice; with your permission, I'd like to be able to communicate with him so we can work together for your care and that of your child."
Chloe nodded. "I have an appointment with Lieutenant T'vek tomorrow, for my first proper checkup." She said, smiling. "I think Freya is going to be coming with me for the appointment at least." She said.
Kana smiled warmly as she helped walk the young Graydon to the door, making a mental note of her new friendship with Lieutenant Mannerheim. "That's good, I'm glad Lieutenant Mannerheim is supporting you. Do let me know how it goes."
Standing with her at the door, Kana placed a firm hand on the Cadet's shoulder. "These next nine months will be hard, but I promise that you won't be short on help. We're all here to support you - your mother included, in time - and while there will be hardship, there will be reasons to be joyful in the months to come. Rest well, and I shall speak with you soon."
Chloe smiled as she walked out the door. She felt a lot better after speaking to Kanaka. As she walked, she tapped her commbadge. "Chloe to Freya, could you meet me for breakfast in the morning?" She asked, getting the simple answer of yes, she replied "Thank you."
=/\= End =/\=
Commander Kanaka Shakura
Executive Officer & Chief Counselor
Cadet Freshman Grade Chloe Graydon