Disclaimer: These characters belong to Aaron Sorkin and the other people at NBC. And the song is not mine either.
Best I ever had
My mind was still numb from the conversation that I had with C.J. I knew that something was seriously wrong with me. I had been so cruel to the man who as C.J. put it loved me with his whole heart. What I had done was so terribly wrong. I was beginning to think I needed professional help. It dawned on me that I had the number of Josh's first shrink Stanley.
That Stanley was an old friend of Josh's father or something like that. I know that he had sent us a congratulations card after he found out we were married. I searched the apartment for the card. I know it said something like we could see him anytime.
I finally found the card and with trembling hands I dialed the number. Luckily, Stanley was home and he agreed to see me right away. I guess he could from the panic in my voice that I really needed to talk to him. He told me to come right over. I hoped that maybe he could shed some light on why I had done what I had done.
But it's not so bad
You're only the best I ever had
You don't want me back
You're just the best I ever had
On my way over there I thought about how irrational this seemed. Here I was going to talk to a shrink that I had never met in person to ask him about why I had been so heartless to my husband. I knew that to anyone else it might seem like a big stretch but I didn't care. I was through racking my brain for the answers. I needed an impartial person to help me.
"Donna, why don't you have a seat, and tell me what's wrong?" Stanley said as I walked in.
"I've really messed things up with Josh." I confessed as I sat down on the couch.
"I'm sorry to hear that. What can I do to help?" Stanley asked.
"We had this huge fight and then Josh got into that accident and..." I began as my voice trembled.
"And what Donna?" He asked softly.
"And I haven't talked to him in two months." I replied.
"Okay." Stanley said slowly as if he were trying to piece the puzzle together by himself.
"Would you like to maybe start from more of the beginning?"
"How far back to you want me to go?" I asked quietly.
"Well, I guess as far back as you are comfortable with." Stanley stated.
"After Josh was shot everyone was worried about him, including me you know? Well, I should say especially me. We all saw that something wasn't right with him. After it finally came out that Josh had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder I figured that Josh would finally let me help him. That he would finally let me be the one he confided in." I started.
"Okay maybe we ought to back up just a little bit more. Maybe you should explain your relationship with Josh, pre-and post shooting." Stanley stated.
"I guess I should start from the time I met Josh huh?" I asked.
"It might be a little helpful." Stanley suggested.
"I went to New Hampshire because I wanted to work on a presidential campaign and I needed to forget my loser boyfriend. So I snuck into Josh's office and I kind of made myself his assistant. Josh was shocked at first but then he grew to accept me. We became more than assistant/boss, we became really good friends. I was the one he would turn to when he was drunk and couldn't remember where he lived and he was the one I turned to after the latest loser broke up with me." I said.
"I understand. Continue." Stanley urged.
"I wasn't there the night that Josh was shot, he had let me go home. But when I heard about the shooting I rushed to the hospital. I felt like such an idiot because Toby told me that Josh was hit and I asked with what? I knew that they had been shot at but I didn't want to accept it. I waited through his surgery praying that he would be all right. I needed him to be all right." I said as I remembered that horrible night.
"Go on when you're ready." Stanley urged quietly.
"And then when he began his recovery I was there for him everyday. I took him lunch and I kept his other friends from work away. He scared me that night and I wasn't about to let him overdo it. Josh was frustrated with me because he wanted to get back to normal, but I know he appreciated me. I know that I gave him something to smile about, instead of dwelling on something else." I recalled.
"Yeah I'm sure that he appreciated company." Stanley commented.
"But then he came back to work and our little private get to-gather's stopped. He had recovered physically and I didn't even think that he wasn't recovered emotionally. It never even crossed my mind. Josh started to get grumpier and he seemed to get set off easily but no one really worried about it at first. We believed him when he said that he was okay. But he wasn't okay, and eventually we figured that out and got him help. Just in time I might add because he punched his hand through a window the night before." I said as the image made me shudder.
"But you got him the help he needed right?" Stanley asked.
"Yeah. By the time Josh was shot I had realized that I was head over heels in love with him. So when he was recovering I was by his side everyday. After he was diagnosed with P.T.S.D. I thought that he would let me help him through that too. I figured that I would finally be able to show him how much I loved him." I stated.
"So then what happened?" Stanley asked.
"Josh got help but he wouldn't let any of us help him through it. He said that we had already recovered from that night so it wasn't fair to drag us back." I said with a sigh.
"Did you understand what he meant by that?" He asked quietly.
"Not really. I could see that Josh was getting better so I dropped the matter." I said.
"I think that I can explain it to you like this, Josh needed to accept what happened to him. I'll bet that he fought that help that you gave him, at least at first." Stanley theorized.
"Yeah, he was a little pissed. He was with the first guy for seven-eight hours." I recalled.
"He needed to accept what happened to him on his own. I mean he had to slay the dragon that was in his mind on his own. Before he couldn't because everyone pulled him back before he could. In other words he had to hit rock bottom before he could heal. And then he had to crawl back up on his own in order to get back to more of a normal life. Do you understand what I'm trying to say?" Stanley asked.
"I guess." I mumbled.
"Okay continue your story." Stanley urged.
"Well, while Josh was slaying the dragon's in his mind I was feeling left out. There was the man I loved and he wasn't letting me in. So I began to date a little more frequently. In the beginning of February I met this guy named Robbie. I loved Josh but I never thought that my loved would be returned. Robbie was everything that I hoped Josh would be. But after we had been dating for a month Robbie had to take a business trip to Germany. Around that same time I discovered that I might be carrying his child. We were still deciding what to do when Robbie was in that..." My voice caught like I did when I was about to talk about Josh's accident.
"He was killed in the collision?" Stanley suggested gently.
"Yes. I came into Josh's office that morning and I was a total wreck. A man that I cared about deeply, well probably loved, had just died. And add that I was pregnant with his child I was crushed. I also thought that the other man that I loved didn't love me so I was all alone and pregnant. Josh found me that morning and he comforted me and he confessed his love for me. I guess he had done some soul searching but figured that he had already lost me. He offered to be the father of my baby. He was so eager and I said yes." I explained.
"Didn't you want to say yes?" Stanley asked.
"Oh yeah. That part was fine. We were married in this beautiful ceremony in Hawaii and for a while everything was great. Josh bounced around the halls of the West Wing like he was Tigger or something." I said causing Stanley to chuckle at that analogy. "The day of Josh's accident I found a stupid drawing that he had done. I got really angry with him and I screamed at him. I said some pretty horrible things to him. Like I wish he had died when he was shot, and how I wished a car would hit him. I was just so furious for no reason. Josh tried to apologize but I wouldn't let him so he left to go to a fundraiser with the president and I realized what I had told him. Before I could apologize he had been hit by a delivery truck."
"Donna, what was the drawing of?" Stanley asked.
"Of Robbie with a noose around his neck. I knew it was Robbie because Josh had chosen to label it, otherwise I would've figured it was some senator or something." I said absently.
"Why would Josh draw a picture of Robbie?" Stanley asked.
"Oh on the afternoon before he died Robbie came and surprised me with a visit and he took me out to lunch. I was really late coming back from that lunch." I stated.
"So does Josh draw pictures of your boyfriend's often?" Stanley asked.
"I don't think so. Oh yeah I forgot to say that everyone else had gone to Chicago and Josh had been left behind. They were afraid he wasn't ready because of his P.T.S.D. and while I was at lunch some reporters asked him if he really had the disorder. C.J. had told him not to make headlines and then he was asked that. No one was there to help him." I remembered.
"I never read about that in the papers. I mean I knew that he had it because he came and talked to me about it a few times." Stanley offered.
"Josh did a really good job of explaining it that they decided not to print it." I replied.
"That's good. So what happened after he was in the accident?" Stanley asked quietly.
"Well, I was already upset by what I had said and C.J. had tried to assure me that Josh wasn't mad at me. I tried to call him and apologize but his phone was dead. When I found out what had happened I felt so incredibly guilty. I had found out that Josh's cousin Amy had also died the day that Robbie did, and that he kept it from me because he didn't want to minimize my loss. Josh married me not just because he wanted to be the father of my baby, he was afraid of losing me. But I had told him he didn't really love me and I had told him that I wanted Robbie's name to be on the birth certificate. I told him that he was selfish and none of it was true." I stated in a quiet voice.
"So you felt too guilty to tell him that you didn't mean it?" Stanley asked.
"I didn't think that he would want me after what I said to him. I was afraid that I couldn't be the wife that he deserved. I stayed away from him because I didn't want to hurt him anymore." I replied.
"And is he okay with this?" Stanley asked gently.
"No. All I've done is destroy him even more. He gave me his heart and I gave it back to him in millions of little pieces. I had isolated myself from him for two months and I figured that he couldn't still love me. I filed for divorce thinking that that's what was best for the both of us." I sobbed.
"But it's not what you really want is it?" Stanley asked gently.
"No. I just want to be Josh's wife. I want to cuddle up with him every night. I want to hear him call me Donnatella in that sexy voice of his. Josh has tried to reach out to me and I have rejected all of his attempts. He was the one in the hospital so I should have been reaching out to him. C.J. came by and told me today how Josh handled the divorce papers. I had let myself believe that he couldn't still care about me, because I couldn't care about me." I said sobbing even more.
"Donna, Josh still loves you. And he will forgive you, but before he can forgive you, you have to forgive yourself. I think that a part of you is still blaming yourself for not being there when he was shot. And you are blaming yourself for noticing that he wasn't all right once he came back to work. I'm pretty sure I could go on, but I think you see where I am going with this." Stanley stated.
"I was so cruel to him. Why?" I asked angrily.
"Because you were scared of losing him. He almost died twice. Because you were so consumed with guilt after the first time you just figured that the second time had to be your fault because you had told him to get hit. But it's not your fault, okay. You placed yourself in a shell because you thought that no one should love you. It didn't matter that someone did, you just wanted to rid yourself of that love because you didn't think you deserved it. But everyone deserves to be loved. Even the most horrible person in the world deserves to be loved. Because we need that love in our life." Stanley said.
"Do you really think that he will forgive me?" I asked as I wiped some tears away.
"Yes, I do. But you have to forgive yourself first. You have to let go of that guilt." Stanley urged.
And it may take some time
To patch me up inside
I thanked Stanley and I left his office. I guess I could agree with what he was saying. I felt a lot better. I yelled out loud once I got outside. I figured that yelling would be the best way to let go of my guilt. Once I stopped I did feel better. My next mission was to find Josh, and pray that he hadn't signed the papers.