Sessions: Bad Intentions

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Sessions: Over the Love

I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.

I haven’t been touched like that in years. I haven’t felt this way ever. Please don’t make this something sleazy. I couldn’t bear it. Kieran never even looks at me anymore and I’m supposed to live like a Madonna while he cheats on me with a child.

No. It’s not fair. I deserved this, you said so yourself. I’m worth more than this – this life.

You meant that, didn’t you?

Yes, I did. But my job is to give you a safe place to heal. I can’t – I can’t be your therapist anymore.

Oh God, I did it again, didn’t I? I ruined the one good thing I had. I understand. I’ll – I won’t bother you anymore.

Lorde, wait!

Sessions | Chapter Twelve

Sessions: Little Do They Know

I went after him, ready to tell him everything. He loved me. He would forgive me and I would be a better wife. I would quit. I would never let Mikey touch me again.

I saw him flirting with some bartender and that’s when I knew. He didn’t love me. Perhaps he never had. I stood there watching them and tried to think of the last time Kieran told me he loved me.

Never. Not once.

But surely, I thought, when the boy was born. He must have said it then. But no, he’d said, “Thank you for our son, love.” That is not the same as saying I love you. My mind went further back, to our wedding, to when he proposed. He’d said the vows, “to love and to keep,” he’d said we could be happy, but never that he loved me.

All this time, I thought I was the weak link, that I was the problem. I can’t believe I got this so wrong.

The tears began to fall and Henry reached over to try and console her.

Chapter ElevenSessions

Sessions: Coming Home

It’s so empty and quiet downstairs.

I had to reschedule your appointment for later than usual. You’re my last patient for the day.

I kind of like it. It feels like we’re the only people left in the world.

You seem different today. What’s been happening?

Do I? I guess it’s because I’m going back to work. I’m a little nervous but it feels good to leave the house for something other than doctors’ appointments.

No offense.

None taken.

Anyway, Kieran is a little upset but I can’t worry about that, can I? This is who I was when he met me, I can’t just drop everything because he married me and I had his child. I want to at least try to get my life back and I think being around people and doing some of the things I used to will help. Staying home isn’t.

It feels like I can finally breathe! I’m going to the club right after this session, actually.

It’s nice to see you so happy.

It’s nice to feel so happy.

Chapter Ten | Chapter Eleven

Sessions: Break Even

He has this cousin, Grace. She used to be a he, so I guess she has some problems. So in the beginning, he used to go see her all the time. Every Wednesday like clockwork.

After we got married, after the pregnancy got bad, I was scared of being home alone for more than a few hours. What did I know of babies?

He was so… I don’t know a way to put it without it sounding…

Don’t worry about that. Just tell me.

At first, he was so loving, doting even. He used to play the piano for me and the baby. He would rub lotion on my belly and talk to it. We took naps together. But then, a couple of weeks became a month, two months. He grew sullen. He was constantly on the phone. I think Grace was upset that I was taking so much of his time.

I told him to go, that I would be fine. That his family should come first. He left the next day and was gone for a week.

When he came back, he seemed happier, so I thought a week alone, unable to really do much of anything on my own was worth it. To see that look on his face again, it was worth it.

The phone calls started up almost immediately. I became upset. I know his family is important to him but I’d hoped that after we married, I’d be important too, that I’d be family.

I didn’t want to cause a fuss though, so when he said he had to leave again, I smiled and said okay.

He left and didn’t come back for what felt like weeks.

Chapter Nine | Chapter Ten

Sessions: unHappy Days

When he asked me to marry him, I thought my life would change. I thought he would make things better. He promised to be there for me.

I think – I think I ruined it, like I ruin everything else. I wanted so much. Too much, I guess.

Why do you say that?

He’s pulling away. He’s become so distant. I’m worried that he regrets marrying me. I – I’m afraid of being…of being intimate with him. My body is so very different after the baby. What if – what if he finds me ugly now?

He has this version of me in his head and sometimes I see disappointment in his eyes when he looks at me. I’ve tried working out more. I’m so thin, I’ve lost my breast milk. But still, he looks at me and I feel so discouraged.

What am I going to do?

Chapter Eight | Chapter Nine

Sessions: Marry You

He wanted a girl. We were at the doctor’s for a regular checkup. And the tech asked if we wanted to know what we were having. I wanted to be surprised, but Kieran wanted to know. He’s like that, doesn’t like surprises.

When the woman told him it was a boy, he looked so disappointed. He actually argued with her about it.

My heart broke a little that day.

Now when I look at Colin and him together, I wonder if he resents the baby or me for not giving him what he wanted.

Don’t you think he’s just happy for a healthy baby?

Oh, I don’t doubt that. And I know we aren’t in a good place right now, but I hope I can give him the girl he seems to want so much. That is a desperate wish of mine.

One day, maybe.

Chapter Six | Chapter Seven

Sessions: Lucky

Sorry I’m late. Colin was being fussy.

That’s alright. I’d like us to try for a happy memory today.

Finding out I was pregnant. I kept feeling nauseated and tired, unable to focus on anything. I knew, without even having to take a test, I knew and I spent a few weeks just thinking. What would I do? Would I keep it?

Then my grandmother called and said she wanted to meet Kieran and that I was to bring him to Lucky Palms the following week. You don’t say no to my grandmother. I did that once, it’s how I ended up dancing at that club.

So I told Kieran, who agreed to meet her. Grandmother was the very first of my family and friends that he met. We’d been together about…three months then?

Anyway, I made an appointment to confirm the pregnancy and get a sense of how far along I was. Eight weeks. Hearing Colin’s heart beating on that monitor made me so giddy!

When I told him, Kieran looked shell shocked and I was worried that I’d read him wrong. For a second I thought he’d be angry. But then he asked me to marry him. He said he wanted to be there for me. He wanted us to be happy and that he’d take care of me.

Chapter Four | Chapter Five

Sessions: One Life

Kieran was a virgin when we met. Even now I find that a hard thing to believe. I should have guessed maybe, but he’d always seemed so self-aware. He didn’t even tell me until it was almost too late.

If I’d known, I would have seduced him a little, made it special. As it was, there wasn’t much of a mood and it was quick, a little rough, very perfunctory. But I can’t blame him, it was his first time.

Are you satisfied with your sex life?

Right now? We barely have one. But in the beginning it was good. He was willing to learn and pregnancy does something to your libido…there was a lot of sex in the beginning.

Chapter Three | Chapter Four

Sessions: Habits

There was this guy, Mikey. He used to come by a lot before Kieran. He would pay for a private dance with me and he was so creepy. Whenever I would begin to dance, he would touch himself.

Your boss let him do that?

Mikey paid extra.

I’d become too spoiled with Kieran, I’d forgotten for a while that this was the real reason men went to a place like that. It wasn’t for my skill as a conversationalist but because I’m moderately pretty. These men could go there and relieve themselves and I would always be willing, always receptive. They could take their frustrations against the female population out on me; call me dirty, demeaning names, and I would let them.

And for the few that could afford it, they would degrade me, like Mikey did. Objectify me and turn me into 3-D porn, and I would smile and dance through it all.

And thank God for the dancing. Before I came to this town, I’d been with the Roaring Heights Academy of Dance. If it hadn’t been for the loss of monetary support from my grandmother, I’d have graduated. The stripping started out as a way of earning money but I couldn’t go back to school every morning knowing what I’d done the previous night, what I’d be doing later.

Before Mikey left that one night, he told me he was getting tired of coming in his hand, that one day we would go on a real date. Mikey is…persistent.

Chapter Two | Chapter Three