The 3Pm Appointment
I believed I’d never be strong enough to face you, or even confront myself with the memory of that one time you held me close and told me you’d break your promise of ever-lasting love, but I couldn’t be any more wrong, as I’d realise on a summer afternoon.
‘Inhale, exhale, repeat’. A bright sharp voice invited me to focus my ever so fickle attention on my breath, but all I could think of was the pungent smell of the freshly-painted walls, which reminded me of the flowers mum would always buy on a Sunday morning (on her first-ever visit to Paris’ Musée d’Orsay, she literally fell in love with ‘Berthe Morisot au bouquet de violettes’ by French painter Édouard Manet, and she’d bought violets ever since).Discouraged by the lack of any sign of collaboration, the doctor sunk into a wood armchair, breaking the awkward silence that’d quickly descended on the room. Then, she kindly renewed her invitation, with four simple words: ‘Stay with me, please’.I gave it a try, letting myself be cradled by the loud ticking of a gilded clock, that looked as heavy as expensive. ‘As soon as you’re all set, pick up where you left off last week!’. Aware of the journey ahead of me, I took a deep breath and went on, diving into the pain you’d put me through.As soon as I felt your embrace crushing my ever so fragile bones again, I started crying salty tears. ‘Inhale, exhale, repeat’.The doctor’s jarring voice served as a reminder that it was just a memory, a film I’d play from time to time in my head. Nonetheless, the warmth of your arms enveloped my worn-out body, and I couldn’t help but think about mum and the hugs she’d give me before kissing me goodnight. All of a sudden, the clock struck four, marking the end of my therapy session and, most importantly, quieting down my racing mind..