I’m back in the dark room again but this time I am no longer restrained by the white jacket, yet I am handcuffed to the cold steel chair. Kauffman is sitting behind his desk and I see the woman who calls herself, Marissa, even though she has a striking resemblance to Victoria, leaning over him. Her nurse’s dress has the top two buttons unbuttoned revealing an inappropriate amount of flesh. Kauffman, however, seems unwaivered by this as he pours over his notes.
“I’m so excited to assist you today with Elizabeth’s session” I hear Victoria say to Kauffman in an over exaggerated tone.
“Does she require any other preparations besides the sedative?” She continues to ask.
“No, just make sure she stays calm and bring in her lunch in about two hours” Kauffman tells Victoria, still looking over his notes. I twisted and turned in my chair causing the handcuffs to dig into my wrists.
“Stop, Elizabeth” Victoria shouts at me as she rushes to me. She holds my face in her hands and I’m nose is over-powered by the strong scent of cigar smoke exuding from her hair. Victoria always did love her smokes.
“Victoria” I whisper to her.
“No, my name is Marissa” she says to me like I am mentally challenged with a wink. She slowly lingers two fingers upon my lips as she slides them downward, over my chin and down my neck.
“Stop” I tell her. She chuckles and blows me a kiss.
“Is everything alright?” Kauffman chimes in as he walks towards us. Victoria steps to the side so Kauffman could look at me.
“Are you ready to begin?”
“Do you remember where you left off?” he asks me. I nod rather awkwardly, wobbling my head like a wobble-head. I had to force myself to stop.
Victoria snorts a bit and Kauffman glares at her. She heads off to the far right of the room and slides into a metal school chair. You know the ones that have the table attached to them and starts reading a book. I can’t tell what the cover says because my hair is obscuring my view. From time to time, I catch her in my periphery, staring at me.
“Now, let’s begin” Kauffman announces the beginning of the session as he sits across from me. I close my eyes and take in the scent of his after-shave; letting the words pour out of me as the images swarm my mind.
When I got back into my room, I placed my cup of tea unto a sturdy espresso colored dresser, reaching into my right back pocket for my cell phone. I immediately called Uncle Leo. The phone rang a couple times before he answered.
“Hello” I heard a raspy voice answer. It had been a while since I heard his voice.
“Uncle Leo, it’s me, Elizabeth” I cheered.
“Darling, how are you?” he gushed.
“I’m fine, thank you” I lied.
“How’s Victoria treating you?” he asked.
“Victoria, she’s a character” I said hesitantly.
“Yes, she can be a bit over-bearing but she’s a doll” Uncle Leo said in efforts to comfort me.
“Over-bearing is an understatement, she’s a real jerk” I said, feeling a bit ashamed for whining like a child.
“Oh, she’s not so bad, tell you what, why don’t you two come over for dinner?” he tells me.
“A home cooked meal sounds good right now” I reply with a sigh.
“Brilliant! I made my famous meatloaf.” Uncle Leo exclaims. I smile at this.
“Come ‘round 7:30, okay” he says to me.
“Okay” I reply. He goes on to tell me that Victoria is a great girl and that I should give her a chance. I tell him I would try to get along with her and reconfirm our dinner plans; taking note of his address.
My new room had the same maroon carpeting as the outside floor hallway but it was fluffier. I lay down on it and stare at the ocean blue ceiling. I don’t know how long it was, but I lay there emotionless for some time. I might have fallen asleep but can’t really be sure. A few hours later, I hear the door open and see Victoria towering over me.
“What would you like for dinner?” she asks.
“We can go out if you like?” she continues.
“What time is it?” I finally respond.
“It’s 6:30” she says.
“Uncle Leo invited us for dinner” I reply as I make my way up off the floor.
“Nice” Victoria yelps.
“Did he say what time?” she asks.
“Seven-thirty” I tell her.
“We should get going, traffic is a killer at this time” Victoria urges.
“I’ll call us a taxi” she yells out as she rushes out the room. I decide to change my clothes. While re-dressing, Victoria hollers that she would be heading downstairs to meet the taxi and again advises me to hurry up. It was close to seven by the time I was done.
In my rush to get downstairs, I bump into somebody coming out the elevator. He had been carrying a pack of manila folders that go flying into the air and rain down upon us, spilling all their contents.
“I am so sorry” I cried, beyond embarrassed.
“I can be such a bloody klutz sometimes” I blabber on.
“That’s alright, we all have our flaws” he jokes as we both bend down to pick up the disarrayed manila folders. Then as I hand him what I could put together of the mess, we have that epic moment where we look into each other’s eyes and smile in unison. It was just like that, magic.
“Hi, my name’s Henry” he says to me as he stretches out his right hand.
“I’m Elizabeth” I muster the courage to say as I shake his hand. I couldn’t help but stare at his eyes; they were blue, grey and green. I was in awe of them. We stood back up and I realized he was really tall; about 6’4. He had brown wispy hair, symmetrical face features and a strong jaw. He wore a chestnut brown blazer with a light blue white pinstripe shirt, blue jeans and dark brown loafers that looked really expensive. He also carried a brown cross-body briefcase with him.
“Are you new here? I’ve never seen you before” he said, breaking the silence.
“Yes, just moved in” I responded with a nervous smile, realizing I was still holding onto his hand. I quickly slid my hand out of his. Then my phone rang and I jumped. It was Victoria reminding me to get downstairs because the taxi driver was getting impatient.
“Sorry, but I must go”
“It was lovely to meet you, Henry” I said to Henry.
“Nice to meet you too” He smiled.
“Be careful now, don’t go bumping into more strangers” he joked, giving me a wink as I headed to the elevator.
“I’ll try not to” I laughed.
In the elevator, I couldn’t stop smiling. I kept on thinking about how great he smelled and how gentle and soft his hands were. But most of all, I was captivated by his eyes and how they glistened even in the dim hallway light. I finally knew what people meant when they said, “It was love at first sight”, stepping out into the cold November night.