Recovery, Relapse, Relationship (part 7)

(Continued from the last post. Click here to catch the whole story from the beginning.)

I had Angela Hooper’s card in my purse, a psychologist friend of mine, and my own card as well. While I dug through my purse for the business cards, she asked me, “Have you ever gone through anything like this?” She looked serious.

“No, nothing quite as bad,” I said. For an instant, I remembered the most traumatic event in my life, the death of my parents. I didn’t want to think about that. “I work with people who have had similar experiences all the time, though.”

“But you must have had something bad happen to you,” she said.

“Yes.” I nodded. “I think everybody has something really bad happen to them at least once in their life.” I didn’t want to think about it.

“What was yours?” she asked. “If you don’t mind me asking.”

“Uh, no, I don’t mind.” I sincerely didn’t mind her asking. I just didn’t want to answer. “I don’t think now is the time, though,” I said, “to talk about my problems.” I changed subjects. “Just think about meeting with Angela Hooper, at least once, you and Ted both. You may be surprised at what she can do for you, even if you think you’re over it. She’s very good, insightful.”

“More insightful than you?” Clyde asked.

“Well…” I felt both sheepish and suspicious. Sheepish, because I like almost everyone else was embarrassed at being so candidly complemented. Suspicious, because I wondered whether she had an ulterior motive in that comment.

She examined the card. “Do you really think it’s that important for me to talk to her?”

“Yes,” I admitted. “I do.”

Over the following several weeks, I thought about Clyde every few days. I could probably have gotten her phone number—she had not given it to me—but I didn’t have a bona-fide reason to call her. It would have been improper for me to do so. She had my phone number, and if she wanted to get in touch with me, she would.

I still don’t know exactly why I wanted to talk to her. Maybe because I was still worried about her. She had gone through so great a trauma, and part of me didn’t believe that she really had dealt with it, by herself, in just one day. But—I reminded myself—even though we hit it off, I was her advocate, not her friend. I was friendly to her, of course. But it was still a professional relationship. And even though we had shared intimate details of her life, we were still just acquaintances.

Then one day, my office phone rang. I had just finished with a client, and I was preparing for my next appointment. I didn’t think anything of it, until I lifted the receiver and from the other end of the line, Clydene’s voice spoke to me.

“I’m really sorry about this,” she began, “but I didn’t know who else to call.” She stopped talking.

“That’s all right,” I reassured her. “I have a few minutes to talk, if you want.”

“That psychologist whose name you gave me? Angela Hooper? I made an appointment with her.”

“Okay,” I acknowledged, noncommittally, because I didn’t yet know what she wanted me to say. But inside I was jumping for joy.

“Things have just been so bad between me and Ted lately.” Her voice began to tremble. “He’s just so angry, and I’m having nightmares, and…” She sniffed loudly. She was obviously crying. “I’m sorry. I thought I could get through this.”

“It’s okay,” I said. “Would like me to come to your appointment with you, introduce you to Angela?”

“Mm hmm.”

“I can do that,” I reassured her. Stupid, because I didn’t yet know when she had made the appointment for, and I didn’t know whether I had a schedule conflict. I just wanted to reach through the phone line and hold her and hug her until she felt loved again, and this was as close as I could get to that.

(To be continued…)


This story is tangential to The Conscience of Abe’s Turn and takes place in the Abe’s Turn universe. If you enjoy this story, please also check out The Conscience of Abe’s Turn (the novel).

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