Through lies, deceit, and heartache, Elyssa Hart and Alexander James have come out on the other side together and ready to start a new life. With a baby on the way, both Elyssa and Alex struggle to figure out where to begin. When a course of events test their strength, resolve, and fate, Elyssa and Alex must figure out a way to keep their family together.
“Yes?” I rest my steepled fingers against my lips, looking all around her demure office instead of at the therapist’s inquisitive eyes.
She sits there in her red velvet kings chair, sipping on her hot drink, already judging me as she repeats herself. “What do you want from these sessions?”
I huff, “What do your patients normally say?” I don’t let her respond; instead I jump on my high horse and continue. “Wait, let me guess…they want to love themselves, find love, build self-confidence, make difficult decisions, stop their intimacy issues.” The therapist’s brows perk at my brash words. I lean forward, making sure she understands exactly what I think about these sessions.
“I know who I am. I’ve worked hard to build myself up from the shit of a childhood I had. I’m intelligent. I’ve had tons of women and have finally found the love of my life. I’m the Vice President of a Fortune 500 company and if Elyssa hasn’t already told you, we definitely don’t have intimacy issues. So you tell me, what could I possibly get from these sessions?” I lean back, attempting to relax when all I want to do is leave here and bury myself so deep inside Elyssa that she’ll apologize and realize the hell she put me through. I know, I know, not rational seeing as she technically didn’t do anything wrong. I’m the one that stormed out of there without further explanation. But, I’m not going to justify my anger. It was rational at the time. At least it was in my head.
She thought therapy was the solution to our problems. I thought, as we progress as a couple, she’d realize there’s nothing wrong with the way we love each other. It’s not us…it’s them. All of our problems stem from the fucked up world around us.
But unfortunately that’s just not my luck.
“Well, you mentioned your childhood. Let’s start there.” I’m pretty sure she just ignored my entire rant and honed in with her therapist-devil-winged ears on what peaked her interest.
Might as well get this over with. The sooner I get home, the sooner I can forget this day ever happened. “What do you want to know?”
Almost instantly, she asks, “What were you parents like?”
Remembering how true my next statement is, I smile. “My mother was an honest-to-God angel. She stuck around with my asshole of a father to take care of me. Died on me. Left me with my grandmother. What else is there to tell?”
Writing something in her notebook, she looks up before asking me about my father. “Why don’t you tell me more about your dad?”
“Honestly, there’s not much to tell. He was a drunk. He beat and abused my mother in more ways than I care to discuss. He introduced me to experiences that no child should know at such a young age.” I shrug my shoulders. “He’s dead to me. Has been for a long time.”
“He only abused your mother?” More writing…more judging.
“What do you want me to say? I have daddy issues? Yes, he was abusive. If you ask him, he’d tell you that he made me the man I am today. He’s been looking for that pat on the back for quite some time. I haven’t had it in me to give it. I’m sure you can understand why.”
“Are you always this callous or just when talking about your dad?”
I don’t even flinch. She’s right. “What can I say…he brings out the best in me.”
“I’m going to assume you’re being sarcastic?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Did the mocking tone not give it away?”
Obviously used to dealing with assholes like me, she maintains the same line of questioning. “So tell me…what actually brings out the best in you?”
Without skipping a beat, “What is it about her that makes you better?”
That’s easy. “I want to give her the world. She makes me want more. I love that with a simple smile, she wipes away every horrible moment of my life. Creating a family with her wasn’t something I ever thought I’d want, but since she’s been in my life, everything’s changed. The memories we’re building,” I pause and smile. Even after everything we’ve gone through, I wouldn’t change a thing. “She’s the antidote to my life.”
Co-Author Ann Stewart currently lives in Las Vegas with her husband and children. Originally from California, Ann relocated to Las Vegas at a young age and has grown to love the valley since. You can usually find her at work, at school, or hiding somewhere completely immersed in a book. It’s the love of stories that has driven her towards her passion of writing and it’s her dream to share those stories with the world.