I wipe my hands on my dress, staring at the numbers 806 on the gold metal plate. This is it, Audrey. You’ll walk in that door a girl and eventually come out a woman.
“I’m such a loser,” I mumble to myself, and twist the doorknob.
A man hops up from the love seat when I enter. He has dark hair and a defined, closely shaved jaw. He’s handsome, definitely not smelly or gross, and strangely familiar.
“Have we met before?” I blurt, trying to place him.
“Um… I don’t think so,” he says, flashing a heart-stopping smile. His eyes meet mine and they’re bluer than blue. Henry Cavill.
“Oh, I saw you going up the elevator last week.”
“Right. Of course, I remember that,” he says with an even brighter smile. Adorable dimples appear on his cheeks. He holds out his hand. “You were loitering in the lobby. I’m Graham.”
I remember why I’m here and my face burns, surely, turning bright red. I take his hand anyway and say, “Audrey.”
“Right,” I repeat feeling like an idiot.
“Would you like to sit down?” he asks.
“I guess so, thanks.” I take the same spot as the other day but this time I sit in the middle, hoping he doesn’t try to sit next to me. What am I doing here?
Graham sits across from me and says, “I know this is all new for you, but please don’t be uncomfortable. Dr. Markson has told me all about your situation and I just want to help. I think together we have a really good chance of defeating your anxiety.”
His speech is so sincere and he’s giving me the most empathetic smile. I want to die of humiliation. Covering my face with my hands, I groan. “Oh God, this is so embarrassing.”
“Because you know I’m a defective misfit; and you’re here to help me with something I never share with anyone. Like ever, yet you’re just talking about it like its normal.”
“It’s your normal,” he says.
“Yeah. Whatever.” I cross my arms over my chest and nervously look around the room, anywhere but at him. I notice a small black journal on the coffee table. “What’s that?”
“Those are our instructions and guidelines for the day.” He picks the book up, and says, “Want me to read them?”
My stomach burns from anxiety. I want run from the room and never look back. “I guess we may as well see what this is all about.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Roxy lives in the south with her family, two dogs and a semi-feral cat. Her office window looks over a tree-fort and she secretly obsess over the college-aged neighbor down the street, zombies and how much glitter is too much (answer: there’s no such thing). All of her books are rooted in a glimmer of reality with a heap of fiction.
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