“Here, have a seat,” she said as she handed me a clipboard with some forms.
Her kindness melted my professional costume as I perched on the edge of the sofa with the paperwork. Before I could finish filling out the forms, hot tears burst from my eyes and ran down my cheeks, dampening the entire lapel of my blazer. Before any talk, her presence was a plate of warm Rice Crispy treats on a stormy day.
“So, you have these feelings for Macon, but you’re not sure what that means for you?” her brown eyes darkened, worried for me.
“It means I’m horrible,” I said.
“So you feel guilty.” She reflected appropriately.
She didn’t ask me the question, but I would have answered yes. We adults have a measure of control. I knew control like nobody’s business. But something was happening that I did not plan and it soaked me in a life force so essential that everything else fell away like dead skin. I allowed it. I knew what I was doing. And some part of me understood it was time to shed some of that control. Macon was my first and only hope.
“I never intended for this to happen.”
My counselor folded her hands in her lap, a plain gold wedding band almost obscured under her right hand and its clean white nails. Her dark eyes locked on mine from behind wire-rimmed glasses. I was living her nightmare.
“My husband is like a girlfriend, or a roommate, or—that doesn’t even matter. None of it matters.”
“What do you mean?”
“I can’t concentrate in class. My thoughts are full of Macon.” I told her about the shaking, how I was losing weight, how I was too sweaty, cold, happy, sad, worried, nauseous to study. Thoughts of him intruded on my days and nights—his square jawline, his wide shoulders, his manly walk. And mostly his blessed seriousness—the kind that stops when you say stop, that carries great burdens on its back. I ached for him in all the little cubicles of my heart.
In one session, my student counselor did her job. The awful, wonderful truth was abundantly clear.
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