Hope yours is a little more upbeat than mine :p I already have a GREAT line planned out for next week, well, actually I've got about six lines, since I wrote lines instead of continuing this FF piece.
Ah, I managed a 2,000+ word day yesterday between 3 miles of swimming, and starting/finishing 'Alone', by Leah Bobet. I think Donny is fast becoming the easiest-to-write character I've ever written ;)
Even though the waiting room was empty, she sat right next to me.
She wasn’t wearing a white lab coat, or a name-tag, but she gave off the aura of a doctor, or perhaps a counsellor. Someone used to giving bad news, or hearing it.
“It’s going to be okay,” she said.
I glanced around, sure she’d mistaken me for someone else. “Excuse me?”
She was beautiful; fit, strong body, flawless skin, long hair pulled back. Her hand touched my arm, the kind usually contrived to convey sympathy, but hers felt genuine. Or I thought so, right up to the moment she spoke that name.
“Marion told me you were here.”
Every ounce of tension that she helped release suddenly wound into knots. I was out of my chair fast, too fast, her eyes spinning in front of mine like a carnival hypnotist’s cheap trick.
My throat was dry with shame.
I swallowed again, tongue catching, not on words, but on the lie. No, not shame. Fear.
That is why I’m here.
I’m probably the last person you’d expect to get abused, but what most people don’t realize is, it doesn’t happen all at once. You’re not a frog thrown into a pot of boiling water, you’re dropped in at room temperature, then the burner gets twisted from ‘off’ to ‘simmer’.
You only realize the water’s been cooking you alive after you’ve been taken out. This is when you know you need help. When you’ve already been rescued.
The heat rises so slowly that you forget what tepid feels like, what normal is or was before things changed for the worst. For some people it’s physical. A slap, a kick, a punch. Bruises and broken bones to count, hide, and mend.
But how do you tally up the wounds from words? How do you explain that you’re afraid to speak, afraid to hold your breath, or let it out. You’re not crippled, you’re in stasis, hanging onto the moment before things go wrong, and the moment after, when you can pretend it never happen. You sink in to what slowly becomes your normal, and soon you’re breathing bottled air instead of the real thing, and you don’t realize, or remember, that there’s a difference.
I took another breath.
She touched my hand again, gently, like her voice.
“Phillip, it’s going to be okay.”