After being in the hospital for just over ten days, Cate was more than anxious to leave. She longed to be back in her own flat, sleeping in her own bed and eating more edible food. The first thing she planned to do when she got home was to take a long, hot shower and then, order take in. Dressed in her own clothes, she sat in Doctor Forester’s office.
“How are you feeling, Cate?”
“I feel fine.”
“You look fine.”
“You sound doubtful, Doctor. Don’t you believe me when I say that I’m fine?”
“I think that you have made great progress and have every reason to believe that you will make a full recovery.”
“A full recovery?” Cate repeated. “Does this mean then, that you want me to remain longer in the hospital?”
“No, you’re free to go home but I recommend that you get treatment from a mental health professional experienced in self-injury issues.”
“Doctor, I promised you that I would never harm myself again,” Cate said. “I meant it.”
“I’m sure you did, but, I will still refer you to a professional.” He scribbled something down on his pad.
“I’m not going to harm myself because God told me not to,” Cate told him. “He told me that my body is a temple and that I should not deface it.”
Doctor Forester stopped writing and glanced up at her. “God told you that?” he inquired.
Cate nodded. “Yes, He did.”
“What else did He tell you?”
“That’s all He said to me.”
“I see. The marks on your body have healed but it’s your mind which we’re concerned about. It needs healing too. And therapy can do that. Also, medication for your depression.”
“I don’t want any medication, Doctor,” Cate said. “If my body is a temple then putting medication in it isn’t a good idea. I don’t know what effect the medication will have on me. No. I will do the therapy for as long as necessary.”
“All right but I will give you a prescription just in case you change your mind.” He returned to his scribbling.
Cate shrugged. She would take the prescription but would then, tear it up and throw it away. Sometimes, medications helped to take care of one problem but caused others. “Doctor, I have good news for you.”
He glanced up again. “You do?”
“Yes. I haven’t told my family as yet but I’m sure that they will be pleased and maybe a little shocked but they’ll get over that.”
“Now, I’m very curious to hear your news.”
“I’m going to join a convent.”
He stared at her. “Are you serious?” he asked after a while.
“Of course, I’m serious. I’ve thought long and hard about it and have decided that I want to be a nun. You don’t have to be a virgin to become a nun, you know.”
“Why do you want to become a nun?”
“I want to dedicate my life to Jesus Christ and serve Him.”
“There are other ways to do that without joining a convent,” Doctor Forester told her.
“I know, but I want to live in a convent as a nun and serve God for the rest of my life.”
“This is a big life changing decision. I think you should carefully and prayerfully think about it before you make your final decision.”
“I have prayed about it,” Cate informed him. “And I believe that God wants me to be nun too.”
“I hope you’re right,” Doctor Forester replied, not looking or sounding convinced. He handed her the sheets of paper he had been scribbling on. One had referrals for treatment and the other was the prescription.
Cate took them. “Thank you, Doctor Forester.”
“Is someone coming to take you home?”
“Yes, my brother, Edward.”
“Perhaps, you should talk to him about your decision to become a nun.”
“I will tell him but he won’t change my mind.”
Doctor Forester didn’t press the matter any further. It was her life and she was free to do whatever she wished with it. He couldn’t shake the feeling that her decision to join a convent had to do with that nasty business with the married man. Perhaps, she thought that the walls would protect her from the hurt and pain.
Well, there was nothing more he could do or say to dissuade her. He hoped for her sake that a life as a nun would bring her some sort of contentment. He got up and together, they went to reception where after she was given her discharge papers, he bade her goodbye and walked away. Cate sat in a chair and waited for Edward.