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Description : Spiral
Always do the thing that scares you. That’s the way to break out of a cage of your own making. My father used to say that all the time. He died back when I was fifteen and left me with a lot of bad memories and a genetic dark cloud hanging over my head, but his mantra’s what I’ve chosen to keep for myself. It gives me a bit of courage when I need it most.

Like right now.

The automatic doors to the Pediatric Oncology unit swing wide, and I force myself not to hesitate on the threshold. I push back a stray tendril of hair that falls across my cheek again a second later. I wobble a bit on the heels I bought over the weekend in the hopes of looking professional … and just a bit taller. I smooth my skirt and make sure the nametag that hangs from the lanyard around my neck is facing outward. It’s my first week of internship—the final year of training I need to get my PhD in clinical psychology—and my first day on this rotation. My nametag is the only way I can prove I’m actually supposed to be here.

Not that Psychology Intern is all that reassuring or impressive to anyone. But when the patients’ parents get too upset to reason with, the nurses call Psychology, and it’s Friday at 5:26pm, so I’m it.

I can hear the disgruntled father snarling from here. His voice is hoarse, like he’s been at it for a while. And as I walk into the atrium, where colorful fish swim lazily around the circular aquarium at its center, I see him through the undulating plastic seaweed. He’s a big guy in a stained t-shirt, sporting...