It was like a hobbit home with furniture a bit too small for me as I sat on a couch that sank down, and drank out of a miniature teacup. The coffee table was like a glassy lake at the first frost of winter.
The pale bluish light streamed through the windowpanes and filled pockets of the room with a dusty cloud of rays. A soft wind hugged the house as it creaked and swayed.
The door creaked with the same three notes I’ve heard my whole life. Two worn couches hunched like old men in the living room and a collection of precious moments figurines lined the stone mantel.
The pungent scent of Elizabeth Taylor’s diamond perfume intermingled with dust and mold, assaulted my nostrils. My bare legs stuck awkwardly to the plastic couch cover as I reached over to grab a morsel of my favorite caramel candy from a glass tray shaped like a rose. One taste and I was five years old again, helping my grandmother with Christmas dinner.
My mother was desperately scrubbing a dish in the kitchen until her trembling hands became raw. My father carefully set the urn on the mantel, adjusting and readjusting until it was just right.
It was Wednesday, the day of the week she loathed. Alice glanced into the rearview mirror and dabbed her lipstick. She reluctantly got out of the car and slammed the door before she locked it. Ugh, AA meetings. If it wasn't for a court order, she wouldn't be here. It was all a big misunderstanding really. She wasn't anything like these people. They were pathetic. Some were unemployed, some suffering loss, some she believed were certifiably bonkers. And then there she was, just an average executive who lived in the Upper East Side, who came from wealth and perhaps made a few wrong turns on her path to success. Some may call it impulsiveness, others a lust for power, but really it was Alice who had a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
She opened the heavy oak door and was greeted by the same 10 dumb faces and the intolerable Dr. Torres. He was one of those pretentious psychology PHD's who will only answer if "doctor" is said before his name.
"Hi Alice." Everyone droned.
"Hi all, sorry I'm late." She tried to sound chipper.
"You know what I always say, the only way to be on time is to be early!" Dr. Torres chirped.
His fake positivity was extra annoying today.
"Shall we commence?" he added showing her to her seat.
Alice glared at the clock. Forty-five minutes of pure hell lied before her. The second hand ticking might as well be a bomb about to detonate inside her. If she couldn't tell her side of the story soon, she felt she might explode.
Shelley's Inkwell blog is where non-fiction and fiction collide. It's a place for my life reflections and a place to escape into some really good stories. Sometimes that really good story is fiction and sometimes it's non-fiction. Because sometimes the best chapters in life are the ones we could never write ourselves.