“I’m all better,” I announced happily.
Dr. Lotus didn’t move an inch, not even her expression. Perhaps her brow furrowed a little.
“It has only been 3 weeks,” she said. “That is a good sign that you are optimistic and feeling good but we have a lot further to go. You do realize that?”
My heart sank a little. “What are you saying? That I’m not better?”
She licked her lips thoughtfully like old ladies do and then adjusted herself in her chair. I imagined she was going to be very careful with her words right about now. She looked directly at me and I noticed that her eyes were electric green like Chris’s, and like Jakes. It made me feel a little sick for a second. “You are getting better.” She said, then stopped.
I nodded slowly, whatever.
“Tell me,” she said, “why do you think you are better?”
I smiled, “I have had 2 full days with no panic attacks at all…none. I haven’t even thought constantly about taking my medication and when I woke up this morning I didn’t have a song screaming inside my head.”
I thought I saw her start to crack a smile, then she looked serious and nodded. “OK, good. I don’t think you’ve told me about the songs in your head before.”
Then she waited. She was always waiting for me to do the talking.
“I probably don’t need to come twice a week anymore.”
“Let’s just keep this consistent at least the end of the month. You were very sick Odette and we have to be vigilant with your recovery.”
I wondered if she really cared about me or if she liked the regular paycheck. I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. “OK.” I nodded.
We both sat there silent for a couple of minutes. Finally she said, “Have you seen your husband yet?”
I started to cry and nodded. She pointed to the box of tissues on the table next to my armchair and I took a few and blew my nose then wiped my eyes. “I’ve broken too many promises. He has no trust in me anymore. I don’t even know if I trust myself. Shoot, maybe tomorrow I will go driving off back to Athens to see if Jake is still into me.”
“Who is Jake?”
“Oh, Jake. He is like the sunshine and the rain all put together, but hell, don’t expect a rainbow. He is like everything you dream of as a child, the guy you would expect to play all the lead characters in your favorite movies. He is dashing and brooding and doesn’t know how amazing he is, even though he is horribly cocky and overly-confident…but for the wrong reasons. He thinks he is putting on a show to hide his flaws. He thinks he is made up of all flaws but he is magical, an artist and he understands my heart and my brain like…I don’t even have to talk. It is like he is telepathic, he just knows what I am thinking and feeling. And he loves me. ” I bit my lip, and felt horrible. I looked up at her. I whispered, “He loves me.”
“He is the one that you have been unfaithful with.”
“Yes. Unfaithful is such a weird word.”
“When I was with Jake, I didn’t feel like I owed Chris anything, definitely not faith. What is faith anyway?…believing in something without question? How stupid.”
“But don’t you think that promises in life should last? I’m not saying that we don’t make mistakes, we all make mistakes. But just for the sake of continuity in this world, shouldn’t we keep a promise simply because we made it? What are we, if we aren’t our word?”
I sat there feeling a stinging in the back of my head. I felt like I was going to faint and then I realized I wasn’t breathing. I guess she realized too because she suddenly said, “breathe, Odette, BREATHE.”
I took in a big breath then she said, “Now SLOWLY, count to ten as you breathe in and ten as you breathe out. Did you take your Ativan this morning?”
“No” I coughed and I said angrily, “I told you I was better!” We were both quiet for a moment and then we started laughing.
“Oh Odette, this is going to take time. Now start from the beginning, when did you meet Jake?”