Into the Fire by Michele G. Miller
Today’s reality… Doing something new
January 3, 2018
“Good morning, Danica. How are you today?” asks Dr. Green as he walks into his office, late as usual.
His glasses sit askew atop his head, his salt and pepper hair sticking out in all directions. This is the man who has been counseling me to get on with my life. The man who scarcely arrives to our appointments on time. But I like him. He’s easy to talk with: jovial, caring, and not nearly as pushy as other therapists I’ve seen through the years.
He seats himself in the chair across from me and I close my eyes, breathing in deeply. “I opened my email this weekend.”
“Oh? Is that unusual for you?” he asks.
“My old email. The account from… before.”
Dr. Green remains quiet, waiting for more. When it becomes clear I’m not offering up an explanation he does as he always does – he pokes at the hornets’ nest. “What prompted you to do that?”
Tears jab the back of my eyelids, even as a small smile dances upon my lips. “I had a birthday Sunday,” I remind him, knowing full well he’s aware my birthday was New Year’s Eve. “I turned twenty-one, and do you know what I did?”
He raises a brow in question, perching his glasses on the tip of his nose, and going to work jotting notes on the pad laying in his lap.
“Nothing. I did nothing. I sat in a dark room and watched the teenagers across the street set off fireworks.” I sound so lame, I think to myself, shaking my head. “It’s pathetic honestly. I know it and you know it and that’s why I opened the email. I guess I wanted to know if anyone was thinking of me.”
“You guess?” he asks, and I shrug indifferently. “And, what did you find?”
What did I find? I found years of accumulated junk mail and well wishes from people I’ve long left behind. I didn’t stop to look at the messages, not all of them anyway. Instead, I clicked the senders into alphabetical order and searched for relevant names. More specifically, I searched for one name.
He’d sent three messages and as I’d read the words on the glowing screen before me, while fireworks popped outside my window, the truth of my life crashed down on me.
I’m weary of being this person, of living life alone, of being afraid to live.
I’m more afraid of letting someone in. Again. It’s been five years.
Can I face the fear? Overcome the pain?
It’s time to find out. Because if I don’t… I’m not sure I’ll survive.