15 December 2008

Older and Bolder

Janine wanted to scream. Two and a half hours she’d been sitting in the waiting room; two and a half hours she’d been twisted and restricted and constricted in her dress. She wanted to yank it off and breathe freely, but instead sat quietly, pretending to read a six-month-old Newsweek while taking shallow breaths.

Janine heard the girl behind the desk stop typing – her enameled nails pausing their click-clack on the keys – and looked up. The frosted glass window slid open and the girl squeaked, “Janine Forester? The doctor will see you now.”

Steeling herself, Janine stood and strode to the open door where he stood.

It had been almost 15 years, but he looked the same. Better, really. His jawline was even more square than she remembered and his hair was a richer auburn. If she was afraid of him in high school, what was she now? He was still too perfect. He held out his hand and smiled – that smile – and Janine feigned boldness and shook it firmly.

“Hi, Eric. I don’t know if you’ll remember me. Janine?”