“So, tell me. How does Jesse actions make you feel?” Stevie asked at their very next session.
Angie, who’d been lying on the sofa, sat up and fixed her with a look of confusion. “I don’t know,” she replied. “On one hand it hurts me, because yet again he’s not realizing that I’m doing something to help myself. For years I’ve helped a lot of people, I put even strangers before me. And I’m not just talking about the doctor me, I mean the personal, the me. You know? I put everybody’s happiness, health and well-being before my own and he knows this. He also knows when I ask for something for myself, it’s because I don’t just want it or desire it, it’s because I need it. Need it more than anything.”
Stevie nodded and jotted down what Angie was saying. “But on the other hand?” She asked after sometime. “You said on one hand it hurts, but what about the other?”
“He’s changing… He’s fighting for me and—,”
“No,” Stevie interjected and before Angie could do the same she held up her hand and continued. “That is why you’re in the predicament you’re in now. That youth, that young Angela Baxter just came forth. I could see it in your eyes and hear it in your voice. You’re starting to think with that kiddie brain and not the adult.”
“That’s not true,” Angie defended.
Stevie fixed her with a look. “Angie, this man blamed you for the death of your own daughter, he lied to you about her and about Lucy for months. And had it not been for your sight being restored, he probably would have continued to lie,” she explained. “Yet, the thought of him fighting to get you back, refusing a divorce moves you to no longer see the error of his ways. Just because he’s fighting and refusing divorce, you’re once again putting his actions aside and not making him deal with it. Not making him admit it like a grown man should.”
“Wait! I never said he wou—“
“You didn’t have to,” Stevie interjected. “Angie, it’s in your eyes, it’s in your voice,” she repeated. “When you began to talk about the second hand, you were no longer hunched over and in pain.”
Angie opened her mouth, snapped it shut, opened it again and snapped it shut once more. Stevie was better than Jeffery gave her credit for. The way she picked and tore apart her actions after only seeing it once or twice, the way she was able to tell what Angie was feeling or thinking before even she had a chance to process it all.
“Angie?” Stevie asked when she saw her slump down. “Talk.”
“I don’t know how to stop it. Okay! I don’t know how to turn that off!” Angie sighed, jumping up and pacing the length of the sofa. “Jesse’s my world and without him, without his love and support I don’t know where I would be!”
“You would be right where you are, just without the pain,” Stevie said. “You were set on being a doctor long before meeting him and you’ve excelled without him. So don’t give me that I wouldn’t be where I am today speech. It won’t work. Those 20years without him, not only did you manage to become a great doctor, you became a great infectious disease specialist with a following as big as that cardiologist you were telling me about. Your work has been published and is still being published in the medical journals. You’re the most sought after mentor for students who want to become as good as you. Angie, you achieved all of that and without Jesse being around.”
Angie had stopped pacing and fixed her with a look. “How do you know all of that?”
“I did my research,” she replied. “You downplayed your success,” she hinted. “And you’re downplaying your own self. Angie, you are a beautiful, smart, successful and powerful woman and not only does Jesse need to see and understand that, you need too. You need to respect that and yourself.”
“No. Anybody who respects that fact and respect themselves would never ever put up with half of what you’ve put up with. True love or not, there is a line in all relationships There comes a point when the boundaries have just been pushed to much.”
“Stop that,” Angie hissed.
“Stop what? Stop telling you what I know deep down you already know. What you’ve thought about for a while now?”
“I don’t like you right now,” Angie sighed, easing onto the sofa and crossing her arms.
Laughing, Stevie shrugged her shoulders. “Yea, well most people don’t when they know that I’m right.”
Angie cut her eyes at Stevie before letting out a defeated sigh. “What should I do?” She asked. “Seeing as you know so much, tell me what it is that I should do.”
“Well,” Stevie started, taking a deep breath and resting her chin in the palm of her hand. “As your therapist, I don’t believe it’s the right time to go back home, because you’re not emotionally ready. And there’s still a lot of ground that we need to uncover. But as a friend, if you don’t mind me saying, I think you should go home. Number one to get that freedom, freeness you desire right now and number two to let your family, your children know that you’re alright. If not to tell them where you are or who you’re with, at least to show them that you’re okay and that in due time you’ll be better and maybe return home.”
“What about Jesse?” Angie asked. “What do I do about Jesse?”
“Stay on track. No matter what Jesse says or does, you stay strong and remember what you’re trying to do. Or more like what you have to do in order to get what you deserve,” she replied
“That’s easier said than done,” Angie mumbled, curling her legs under her and looking away in deep thought.
Long after the session was over and Stevie left, Angie stayed seated on the couch and looking out of the window. Many things were happening on the other side of the window, but she wouldn’t have been able to tell what because her mind was on she and Jesse and everything Stevie said. Today and many other days before.
Why was it this woman had so much faith in her and she didn’t have an ounce of it in herself? She wondered. And why didn’t she have faith in her own self!? Why couldn’t she have faith in herself?
Angie was a strong woman and had always been one. After being ordered around all the time during her younger years, she’d grown sick of it and vowed to not let it happen as an adult. So she grew a back-bone, put her faith in not only herself but mostly in God, and she went on. She became strong! Stronger than most! Her faith was bigger than Mt. Everest! So why couldn’t she channel that part of her and do what needed to be done? Why couldn’t she go home, face Jesse and emotionally live to tell the tale?
Can she do it? Will she do it? What do you all think is going to happen!?!?