Definition: First day of a new season.
That's all I see as I look around this room. Not that I'm looking much. I'm just going to keep my head down, you know, mind my own fucking business. I can't believe that my therapist, Renata, thinks this is a good idea. It's not. And she'll see that it's not at our next session, when nothing has changed.
Nothing's ever going to change.
Unless we're talking about my life.
A chill covers me, so I put on my grey knit sweater. It's baggy and unattractive, but immediately I feel warmer…safer. I love the way it smells – a mixture of Downy and my perfume. I breathe in deeply, fucking thankful that he didn't buy it for me. The sweater or the perfume. I shouldn't have worn flip-flops because my feet are going to be cold. The thermostat in this place must be jacked down to sixty. They're probably afraid that a warm environment will lead to the spreading of our illnesses.
Is bitterness even contagious?
The seats are almost filled. I don't know who's here because I'm obviously enthralled by the deep purple polish on my toenails. I don't want to see these people. Hell, I don't want to be seen by them. We're all pathetic. Seriously…how fucked up does one have to be in order to need to do this?
I am not fucked up.
I'm just really fucking pissed.
"Welcome everyone…my name is Didyme."
Her voice is really soft, controlled. She sounds like the enigmatic voice in my GPS. You know the one – a cross between a librarian and a phone sex operator.
I'm pulled from my thoughts when I hear her say, "We have someone new with us tonight."
My whole body tenses because I know she's talking about me. She didn't say there were multiple people. She said "someone." Well, I am not "someone." In fact, I'm no one important at all. I look at her and try to silently beg her with my eyes, but the moment she sees me, she says, "Would you mind introducing yourself?"
"I don't do that," I say quickly. "Yeah…umm…yeah, no."
"We're all friends here," she continues softly. Yeah, all these people are my friends. Maybe we should go to Chili's afterward and have chips and salsa and margaritas. "There's no judgment in this room."
"Yeah, there's no heat either."
Someone to my left laughs. I'm mortified, so obviously I don't look up to see who it is.
"We're all here for the same reason," Didyme says. "All of us have done it. Now…go ahead. Stand up and tell us your name...why are you here?"
I'll just find a new therapist.
I don't really need a therapist anyway.
But somewhere in my resolve, I find that I'm standing on weak and shaking legs. I don't look up. I still can't. I don't want anyone to see me. And as selfish as it sounds, I don't want to see them either. I want to pretend that none of this is happening – that this isn't what my life has become.
I suck in a deep breath, and air fills my tight chest. I keep my eyes trained on my toes as both my feet shift nervously from side to side. And before I can think about what I'm doing, I hear the sound of my voice fill the quiet space.
"I'm here…I'm here because my therapist made me come. She thinks it will be healthy for me to talk about it. You know…what happened. I don't know if I believe all that. I don't know if I believe much of anything anymore.
"I guess that's not really true, though. I believe that what happened to me sucks. No really…it really fucking sucks. Sorry," I say looking up at Didyme. "I don't know if I should say 'fuck.' Is that even allowed?"
She just smiles at me and nods her head for me to continue.
"I used to be normal. I used to have this…you know, like this normal life. With work and a house and bills and dinner and… Well, anyway…it was just normal. And now it's not. Now, it's therapy sessions and trying to make it through the workday without needing to take an Ativan with my afternoon coffee.
"Now, it's a tiny apartment with Lean Cuisine and my best friend giving me lavender candles because they're supposed to be relaxing. I swear to god, she gives me one every week. Seriously. I have fifty-two candles. I could open a Yankee Candle store.
"Now, it's walking down the street and trying not to hurl pebbles I find on the sidewalk at happy couples that hold hands and kiss while they walk past me. Now, I'm bitter and find that I don't want to watch a romantic comedy. I want to watch Fatal Attraction and wonder why I don't have the balls to be like Glen Close in that movie. Ironic, I know. Except that I'd never do that to a bunny. I'm against it…you know…animal cruelty and all that. Like…I'm really fucking against it.
"I guess I'm here because I'm crazy. Not really crazy. Though, I guess that whole Fatal Attraction reference didn't help my case. I guess I'm just here… That's all. Just here."
I feel the wet heat on my cheeks, and my cold hand reaches up to wipe it away. I'm embarrassed, but oddly…surprisingly…I feel much lighter. Fucking Renata. I'm not telling her that.
"My name is Bella. And I'm here because I'm divorced. I'm divorced…and it turns out that I'm not handling it so well."
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Something a little different. This story will update daily. So, I will see you every morning.
Thanks and love to my soulmate and ficwife, Marvar. She always supports me and encourages every single thing that floats through my mind. And she is the best beta in the world. And my bestie. Truth.
Thanks to the pre-readers: Raina, jaimearkin, Kourt17 and laura_1025. I love you all like whoa. J/S