For some reason, I had a really hard time writing this short story. It was just pushing at me and the words wouldn't come out right. I've been working on it since Wednesday and I just finished it today. It went a lot better today than it has all week. I see no difference in my mood or anything else however.
I am finally allowed to sit in the waiting room’s hard plastic chair. They put me through so many different scanners and tests; I lost track after number four, the polygraph.
I assume my normal slumped position but this chair is not made for slouching. Forced to sit up straight, I try to distract myself. My eyes scan the room, purposely skipping over the door across from me. Sterile, white floors, too close walls, and a picture of him. So much for forgetting why I’m here. A sigh flutters past my lips.
The receptionist’s beady eyes bore into my skull as if she too can read my thoughts. I turn and my eyes lock on to hers. She shifts her position but doesn’t look away. The piercing ring of a phone breaks through the uncomfortable silence but she doesn’t look away. It’s not her job to answer it. All she has to do to earn her pay is watch me, the offender.
“Offender #23,045,” the booming voice seeps over the room from the overhead speaker. I look down at the cheap band of plastic they attached around my arm, breaking eye contact. 23,045. Each digit glares at me accusingly.
I rise to my feet. Biting my lip, I once more check the numbers, hoping they’ll read differently. 23,045. One deep breath to steady myself, then I throw my hair over my shoulder and stride across the room. The doorknob is cold, unforgiving metal burning against my fingers. I glance back at the woman behind me; her eyes refuse to leave me. Grinding my teeth, I twist and push. The door opens too quickly for my liking.
Once I step inside, I realize how dark the room is. The curtains are drawn, the main light off. Dim lamps glow around the room. My eyes blink rapidly, trying to adjust. A voice comes from the back of the room, “Shut the door.”
I do. Its quiet snap makes it final. I’m here. In his office. Anger wells up until I can taste it, just like it always does when he is brought up. Eyes squeezed shut, I remind myself that now is not the time. I have to be calm, cold, like ice.
The deep silence makes the place seem deserted. But I know better. He’s just hiding behind his high, high chair back, trying to frighten me. I wait, my fingers clenched so tightly they start to go numb. A pale arm snakes around the side, pointing, “The couch.”
The fair skin disappears from sight again as I peer into the corner. The vivid red fabric is almost invisible amongst the shadows that hang on it like cobwebs. In fact, the blackness lays upon it so thick that it looks almost faded. However, that could not be true. He would never allow it.
My steps are small, not even a fourth of my usual stride. The long strands of carpet tickle the sides of my feet through my sandal straps. My breath seems louder and louder as I venture closer and closer to the sofa until I’m near enough to touch it.
My fingers trail down the arm and come away with dust on the tips. A frown crinkles my forehead, but I perch on the edge of the center cushion anyway. Because I know I have to. And it sickens me. I take a deep breath and promise myself that I will not let him hear any of my thoughts, I will not think anything twice.
Several long moments pass. Neither of us moves, but that’s fine by me. Maybe we’ll just stay like this forever. We’ll stay like this, and nothing bad will happen. The idea has just flown through my mind when the chair turns to face me. I can’t stop the gasp that escapes my throat.
He is nothing like I expected. His face is youthful, smooth and healthy looking. Bright blue eyes crinkle as he sees the look on my face. I’m sure it’s hilarious. He’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen. And I hate him even more for it.
“Do you know why you’re here?” his voice is softer than before.
I hesitate before answering, wondering what he wants me to say, “Because you intruded into my private thoughts?”
His eyes seem to catch fire. He leans toward me and I resist the urge to shrink into the couch. “You look on me with disdain and disgust. Yet you do not know what it’s like to be me. I did not choose this. I would give it up if I could.”
“Then why am I here?” I ask him but he talks right over me.
“Half the time I don’t know which thoughts are mine. And then, when I do, I have to listen to hundreds of little mundane details. I know things about people no one should know. And I hate it!” He’s up and pacing now, like a caged lion, a beautiful, gleaming lion.
Panic fills me as I realize what I just did. Beautiful. He is beautiful. I stare at the floor as his footsteps stop. He heard me.
“Of course, there are also advantages to this ‘gift’ of mine,” his voice is light, low.
I glance up and his eyes are right there, gazing at me. My breath catches as he takes a step forward. “For instance, you are here. And I know it’s fine that you are here because I heard a certain thought of yours. A thought you probably thought would be nothing to me.”
My mind is racing trying to figure out what he’s talking about. I must look confused for as he takes his next step he says, “I see you don’t remember. Let me refresh your memory. It was two or three days ago and you saw a couple pass you in the street. You were envious of them.”
I really need to get a boyfriend. The stupid line bounces off my skull. I freeze as I realize what he’s getting at, why he asked for me. My eyes focus on his face again and it’s almost right there. Oh my God.
Another step and he reaches out his hand to brush the stray strands of hair from my face. I know I should move but somehow I can’t. His eyes catch mine and they won’t let go. He watches me carefully as he brings his lips down to mine. Oh my God.
A smile flits across his face, “I am your God.” Then his words melt into a kiss and I don‘t mind that he listened in.
Question: What do you think affects your writing?