Let me see you...
"Dinner's ready!" Mom's voice shrills up the stairs.
My eyes flicker and I could feel my concentration fading away. Damn it, Mom!
I close my eyes and try again.
Please show yourself...
A circle of red light is forming. It develops into familiar eyes that I know I've seen before but can't figure out from where. They almost have that Egyptian touch to it. I just can't put together whose eyes they belong to.
Please show me the rest of your face...
A knock on the door makes the hair on my skin jump. Fuck! I've lost it. I was so close.
So, so close...
"Darling, have I woken you up?" Mom asks irritably.
My fists clench and I try my best to mask my anger. I can't take it out on Mom. She doesn't know. It's not her fault. Even so, I feel like shouting at her.
I breathe out heavily. "No."
"Well, dinner's ready," she informs me. She glances at my shaking fists. I really need to calm down. "I've prepared your favorite."
Thinking of dinner, my favorite meal, helps me relax my tense muscles. I smile at her.
In no time I dash down the stairs, eager to scoff down my meatloaf, but came to a halt when I realize there's no meatloaf anywhere.
Mom makes her way over to the table and she says in a cheery voice, "Chicken cordon bleu, red mashed potatoes, and steamed asparagus with hollandaise sauce!" She points at each plate of food proudly. "Your favorite! Tuck in!"
She doesn't know me at all.
"Thanks..." I say, trying to hide my disappointment. I don't have anything against this meal, but she got my hopes up about something better.
Oh well. It's still food.
"You're welcome, sweetie."
I take my seat. Mom sits across me. She stares at me uncomfortably as I pile food onto my plate.
"Your father found a good therapist for you," she begins.
I lower my fork. "So soon?"
"Well, you did agree and the sooner the better, right?"
I shove a big piece of chicken cordon bleu in my mouth. Mom continues staring at me as I eat.
"What does a therapist do?"
"Don't talk with your mouth full!" She scolds. I frown. Her features soften. "Therapists don't do anything but listen and they could possibly give you other alternatives to think about, but in the end, it's your decision that really matters."
"So they tell me what to do." I say, my eyes narrowing.
"No!" Mom quickly shakes her head. "Of course not. That is wrong. They help guide you in what you want to do with your life."
What do I want to do with my life? Get to the bottom of this strange shit. And then what?
"You have to be honest with your therapist, darling," Mom unexpectedly says. She takes hold of my hand and looks at me eerily.
I gulp. Why is that all too familiar awful feeling returning?
"Otherwise you'll waste a lot of money," she continues in a serious tone. "Therapists can help. They really can."
"Oh... okay." I calmly remove her hand off mine.
Suddenly, the atmosphere turns cold and her eyes widen in horror. Instantly, I jump off from my chair.
"What? What is it?!" I ask in a panicky voice. I quickly search behind me and scan the area around us.
Nothing out of the ordinary.
I turn back to look at Mom. She was holding onto her chest and breathing heavily.
"Mom..." I say, feeling sick. "What's going on?"
I rush to her side. She was clutching onto her chest tighter.
"M-mom..." Oh, crap! I think I'm going to cry. I've always been a big wimp. What do I do? I think her heart is squeezing up on her. I dunno. I run to the end of the table and pick up a cup of Pepsi. I hurry back to her. Her face is pink now. "Here. Drink this."
I hold her chin and shakily brought the cup to her mouth. She drinks it obediently while wrapping her sweaty hands around my hands. Almost too soon, she coughs frantically. Little amounts of Pepsi dribbles out of her mouth, some bits spray everywhere around us and a lot of it lands on the floor.
Maybe Pepsi wasn't such a good idea after all.
She continues coughing insanely. My bottom lip quivers in fright. I feel like a helpless little boy.
Maybe I should call Dad.
"Everything will be okay," I assure her. I was going to run to the kitchen, but a tug on my shirt stops me. I look over my shoulder and see that she's coughing less, but she's still coughing nonetheless.
"Are... are you okay?" My words came out in a strangled whisper.
She takes a deep breath, clears her throat and nods her head. "Yes."
"What happened?" I ask. I stare at her carefully, analyzing every little bit of her, making sure she really was okay. And she was. Sort of.
She bites her lower lip and stares at me. She looks almost guilty which is ridiculous, of course, because what is there to be guilty about?
I am so fucking worried right now.
"Oh, nothing! Nothing at all." She shakes her head and smiles a goofy smile at me. "I'm sorry for making such a scene. I didn't mean to... It was just... a spur of the moment, I guess. I'm alright now."
"Are you sure?" I ask with a raise of my eyebrow. I have a feeling she's hiding something from me.
"Huh... Oh! Um, yes." She laughs weirdly. "Yep. I'm positive."
It's obvious she's not okay. Something's up and I wonder what that is.