I play with my fingers on my lap and my leg is tapping on the floor with Tay by my side. I don't know why I am so nervous. I turn to look at Tay and he gives me an encouraging smile and grabs my hand.
"Relax. I promise it will be fine." He says and the door opens revealing a woman holding a pink journal and a pen. She is dressed in a blue dress and black heels. Her hair is pulled into a ponytail and to say she is beautiful is an understatement.
I feel like my heart is going to pop out of my chest. Last night, I didn't think much about it. Tay and spend most of the time at the mall and he cooked when we got home. I wasn't nervous as I am right now.
A thumb drawing circles on my hand brings me back to reality.
"Hi, you must be Olivia. It's nice to finally meet you." She stretches her hand in my direction. Tay gives me an encouraging smile. I take a deep breath and grab her hand.
"You too, " I give her a smile.
"My name is Trisha," I nod and she relaxes on her single white chair. Tay and I are opposite to her on a long black couch facing the big bay window. I think we are on the 4th floor. I didn't really pay attention when we're coming up. All I could think about was how the session will be.
"So, I think am correct if I say you guys came here to improve your communication, marriage and to help you be able to solve your problems without hurting each other, right?" Trisha asks us and opens her book.
"Yes," Tay respond.
"Let's start with why guys got married?" Trisha suggests looking at us.
"It was an arranged marriage. I agreed to marry Olivia because of my mother. She was dying and wanted to see me married before she died so I agreed just to make her happy." Tay confesses still drawing circles on my hand and am grateful because it calms me down. Trisha nods and writes down something in her book.
"What is your version?" Trisha asks, looking at me this time.
I take one more deep breath, "I was forced to marry Tay" I turn to look at Tay to see his reaction but he is good at hiding his emotions I can't read him.
"I didn't have a say. It was something I had to do." I say and Tay continues to draw circles on my hand.
"How did that make you feel?" Trisha asks.
"I was angry. I felt like killing my mother. I had different thoughts murderous." I confess and Trish nods and dots down in her journal.
"And what do you guys feel now?" She asks.
"I am glad that her mother forced her to marry me as much as that sounds awful, but I wouldn't have found her if her mother didn't force her. She is perfect and is everything to me. I can't see myself with anyone else in this life. She beautiful the way she is and she doesn't even to try. She is my end." Tay says and my heart pound against my chest so fast I feel like it's going to pop out of my chest.
"Olivia?" I can feel Tays's eyes on me waiting for my response.
"I feel grateful every day to have him in my life. He saved me from a dark place and I love him more and more every day. I don't know what I would do without him." I say and Tay brings my hand to his mouth and place a light on my knuckles.
"What dark place is that?" Trisha asks.
This is what I was afraid of. I been trying to avoid talking about it for a while and I kind of hoped that today's sessions won't involve it.
"You can do it" Tay encourages and continues to draw circles on my hand.
"I was raped when I was in high school. I stared not to feel comfortable been close to guys for a few years and begun to be afraid of the dark because he raped in the dark alley. Every time I turned off the lights I felt like there was someone close waiting to catch me off guard and do something to me."
"Go on" Trisha encourages.
"He left scars on my body, my stomach. They made me feel uncomfortable in my own body. I used to feel ashamed of my own body and always made sure to wear tops that would cover them." My voice cracks at the end and I bring my hand up to wipe the tears that managed to roll down my cheekbones.
"Would you like to stop?" Trisha asks and Tay runs his hand up and down my back.
"No" I shake my head no and Trisha hands me a tissue.
"Tay helped me face my fears. He helped overcome my fear of sleeping in the dark and to love my body the way it is. He made me feel comfortable." Trisha nods and I continue.
"I never knew the guy until recently. I never reported him because I didn't want to be judged and I was scared. Scared of my mother and how she would treat me." I fold the tissue and hold it.
"Then I met James. He helped me. He is the one who found me all bloody and unable to move." Tay tenses a little beside me but continues to draw small circles on my hand.
"He took me to the hospital he worked at. He used the back door because I told I didn't want any attention on me and he did as I requested. He also tried to make me go to the police but I still refused. I allowed him to take a rape kit test but never saw the results. He checked on me for a few weeks and from then I changed my number. Less contact with people who know what happened to me the lesser the pain. That was what was going on in my mind at that time. I wanted to forget it ever happened." More tears stream down my cheeks.
"Bu....b..but the nightmares were real. I couldn't sleep for more than 2 hours and one day I decided to get sleeping pills." I tuck my hair behind my ear.
"I was so tired of the nightmares and lack of sleep that I didn't check how pills I took and when I woke up, I was in the hospital."
( you are beautiful the way you are. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Be Yourself.)