I keep my eyes plastered on the increasing numbers next to the elevator door. It makes me silently sigh and shift my weight from right to left. I can feel my face flush when I remember the man standing behind me. His presence makes my shoulders hunch, slightly. Ever so slightly. Why am I holding my breath? Why is the floor to the new therapist’s office so far away? An new therapist. My old one of thirteen years back in El Paso decided to quite on me. Damn him.
When I hear a ding and the doors open, I give a polite smile as I step off. The man only has a view of my back. Why did I smile? The sound of my heels on the marble floor makes me shudder, slightly. Ever so slightly. The hallway is endless and the lights are so bright. My eyes tear with feeling so exposed. Passing doors to the right and left, their numbers blur together. My destination being the door at the end of the hall. A red door. A numberless door.
I ignore the buzzer on my right side, just for a moment. The palm of my hand, fingers spread open, glides up the length of the door, slightly. Ever so slightly. The side of my face presses against it, breathing paused as I try to pick up anything audible on the other side. Silence. Comforting silence. Exhale. Eyes close, mouth parting, neck twisting as my whole body gently pushes up against the door. Inhaling and holding it, my chest feels tight. As consciousness begins to slip, I stumble backward and into reality again. In embarrassment I quickly press the buzzer with my head hanging, slightly. Ever so slightly. With a click the knob turns. With a minor groan the door gently opens.
The lighting is dim inside, for which I am eternally grateful. The carpet plush on my hobbled feet. A single pane of glass encompasses the entire wall on the far side. It is night. Did I know it was already nightfall? A sea of city lights gaze up below me. The expansive room is empty save for two low-backed armchairs in a dueling position, a standing lamp between them. Why have I come here? Should I turn and run? Should I throw myself from this colossal window to the illuminated maze below?
My body has tripled in weight as I make my way toward the chair on the right. Does it matter which chair I take as mine? As the backs of my legs make an awful sticking sound to the leather chair I can feel my palms begin to sweat, slightly. Ever so slightly. Am I having a heart attack? Will I urinate on myself? Or worse, on this chair? I don’t see a clock, but I can hear the relentless ticking.
The slightly shivering shadow, sitting across from me utters a sound, "Where shall we begin?"
I mumble, slightly. Ever so slightly. "You tell me."