[There were days when Cami had been younger, more naive, that she might have liked to take a trip to Hogwarts. Of course, those days had been before vampires and witches and werewolves, much less Wonderland and all that world entails--and in its own way, that's fitting. During the event, she'd been a teenager again, one who'd seen her share of troubles but who also lived in an idealistic, carefree way, where her largest concerns revolved around her friends and her romance with a bad boy wizard who secretly had a heart of gold.
And then she wakes up.
It's hardly the first time she's gone through that morning after, when old memories reclaimed the place briefly stolen by fiction. As she opens her eyes and realizes she's alone, however, Cami sucks in a sharp gasp. That event, with all its innocence, has shown her something she knows she can never truly have. She's learned the truth about so many things, after all, since she'd first sat down to read the story of a boy wizard's magical journey. Vampires and werewolves and witches--and hybrids--are far more complicated than the world found within those pages.
She takes her time those first few days after the mansion restores itself. Cami gathers her composure and whispers into the silence of her room that it hadn't been his fault, because even when there are walls separating them she knows Klaus is listening. She reestablishes her routine because Cami has learned by now just how important that is for her when it comes to orienting herself after one of the more involved memory-altering events.
There is one part of her day missing, however. Even before Hogwarts, Cami has sent out a message to her regular patients that she's taking a vacation of sorts. She needs time for herself because more and more she's noticing the advice she gives, the effort she takes aren't having their intended effect. Something has shifted, because of the arrival of the Mikaelsons or simply due to her own tenure in Wonderland, or some combination of the two. Now, she sits in her office, tapping the table next to her phone, but doesn't turn the video on as she might on other occasions.
This isn't a broadcast she wants to make using her own face, or voice, or name.
Of course, at least one of those concerned would recognize her identity, despite the steps Cami takes to make it anonymous. She almost locks the post away from him, then opts not to, then changes her mind yet again. In some ways she knows it isn't fair to ask about this but not go to Klaus directly--yet that's exactly what makes her uncertain. Cami isn't blind, after all, nor unaware of the world she lives in back home. She might even be able to put some of the pieces herself together if she wanted to.
She doesn't want to.
In the end, she doesn't hide the text from anyone, although she doesn't claim it as her own either. She's not ready for that on such a public scale, even if she needs to ask the question. For all that she tries to do, Cami's never really been the first one to ask for help herself--not when it comes to her own problems.]
[[Anonymous Text Post]]
Do you ever think about the life you haven't lived yet?
One of the things about being in Wonderland is that your "time" doesn't continue while you're here. I think most of us know it and generally accept it. But other people from your same world can be pulled in, and for them, you've kept living. Your life has gone on, in ways you haven't experienced yet. They know your joys, your sorrows, your heartaches.
Meanwhile, for you, all those things are just part of the great "to be." Instead, you've been living here, in a world forgotten by everyone except those people within it. You might have made friends, maybe enemies. Maybe lovers. There's a chance you've found a job somewhere, or even started a service of your own, or picked up a dozen new hobbies. But however you fill it, the minutes and the hours and the days go by--and then it's months. Years. You have a life here. You're a different person.
And then someone shows up. Someone you're close to, that you care about. They're here, and you're so happy, that at first, you don't really see it. Or maybe you do, and you just pretend. But it's there, every time they look at you. Something strange in their eyes that you can't define. That you don't want to. Something that's part of that future you haven't lived through yet, that you haven't wanted to know because knowing means you carry the weight of it. Everything you learn here, you're burdened by, because you can't change it once we leave. Good, bad, whatever. It will be, and knowing about it, dissecting it, taking apart all the choices and the causes that made it happen?
Won't change a damn thing.
So what do you do? Because this person is here, and you want them to be. You want them to be in your life, but at the same time? If they look at you that way, even once more, you think it might really drive you mad. You want to fix it, whatever it is, but you can't. You want to know, but you don't. You suspect, but asking for the truth just makes it real.
Is it fair? To them, to you. Can any approach to this be considered "right?"
And what does it change about who you are now, in this place?
[[End of Anonymous Text Post.]]
[Once it's done, Cami sits back in her chair, surveying the empty office. It isn't just the future she's concerned about, but identity itself. She would have been, even if Hogwarts hadn't brought the question into sharp relief, but it has--it's shown her just who she might be, what she might enjoy had she come from a different world. If Klaus had as well.
She knows she needs to decide just what to do about that complicated mess, but there's more to her life than just her relationships from home. For the better part of a year, she'd lived on her own in Wonderland, the sole representative of her version of New Orleans, or even that particular earth. She's not the same Camille O'Connell who arrived in the tunnels almost two years before (three counting the one she'd gone back home) because she's not untouchable. She's been so focused on trying to "help," other people, and now Cami thinks she understands why.
Because when Hogwarts first faded, her instinct had been to get on the network, and reopen her office with some speech about altered identity--because then she wouldn't have to think so hard about her own.
A few hours go by between her first transmission and the next. This time, however, she's on the video, a small smile on her lips that speaks more of apology than confidence.]
Hi, all. My name is Cami O'Connell, for those of you that don't know me, and I run the therapist office on the sixth floor.
[Now the hard part. She takes in a breath, and lets it out.]
I've been thinking a lot about how I've been living in Wonderland lately. I've wanted to believe I've held myself together with dignity most times--but that isn't true. I'm more than just my self-appointed purpose, and I think somewhere along the way, I forgot that. I wanted to be my profession so much, I pushed aside the rest of it. It's been a great way not to deal, but this is Wonderland, and I'm human. There's only so many times I can be hit before the cracks begin to show.
I've...died here. [She drops her gaze momentarily, although the pain of that has largely faded in the time since. She's never admitted it this way, this publicly.] I've seen people I care for die. I've seen others broken. I've felt the helplessness of realizing my mind has been toyed with. My relationships, my memories, my life--everything I am. And I guess through all of that, I thought if I could hold on to one thing, make that consistent, I could rise above it all. But when that becomes a singular goal, it's easy to forget the real reasons why I chose to be what I am--and why I was good at it.
[Why she can still be, if Cami gets her priorities straight. She huffs out a small laugh, her voice softening for a moment.]
Wow. It almost feels like I'm at confession.
Anyway. For those of you who've seen the less dignified version of me, I'm sorry. For those of you who have trusted me, thank you. And for those of you willing to accept a flawed, ordinary human as a therapist, I'm going to start keeping office hours again, starting now. Feel free to knock, or leave a message, and we can set up an appointment. Sixth floor, room twenty. I'm here to listen if people want someone to talk to.
[[End of Video Post]]
[[ooc: So there are two broadcasts! The first one is an anon text post and the second is a video post. Feel free to respond to either; just let me know which! Cami's replies to the first will be all text, all anon unless otherwise noted.]]