“So, why do you think that is?”
“Why do I think that I ended up at Samantha’s house?”
“Yes, why Samantha’s house?”
Evan watched Dr. Thorne’s facial expression from across the room. His eyes were genuine and non-judgmental. They appeared merely inquisitive. It seemed that he honestly wanted to help Evan. Did Dr. Nelson have those same intentions? Evan was always focused on her eyes for different reasons. “We talked so much about Dr. Nelson in our session. I just needed to…”
“Needed to what?”
“Stop thinking about her.”
“I see. Why does Samantha help you stop thinking of her?”
“She looks like her.”
“So, being with someone sexually that looks like Dr. Nelson allows you to get the satisfaction that you need?”
“Does Emma look like Dr. Nelson?”
Caught off-guard by his question, Evan shook his head. “No, not at all.”
“What does Emma look like?”
What does that have to do with anything? “Umm, she has shoulder-length brown hair. It’s not the same color as Dr. Nelson. It’s a lot lighter, I guess.”
“How else are her features different?”
Where is he going with this? Evan thought about Emma and smiled. “She has really, slight dimples when she smiles. She swears that she doesn’t have any, but I see them. They are adorable. And, her nose is kind of like this cute, little button nose. She hates it. But I love it. She planted flowers at my house, and she kneels to smell them every so often. It’s her birthday tomorrow, as a matter of fact. We’re celebrating it tonight with her friends,” Evan paused. “I guess that has nothing to do with her features, sorry.”
Dr. Thorne chuckled. “It’s quite okay, Evan. I like where you’re going with this.”
Evan shifted uncomfortably in his chair. “Where am I going with this?”
“It’s apparent that you’re very fond of Emma.”
“I am, yes. But, how can you tell?”
“You’re focused on more than just what she looks like.”
Evan nodded. “That makes sense.”
“So, why do you think it is, that you can’t stop thinking about Dr. Nelson when you’re with Emma?”
At a loss for words, Evan shook his head. “I don’t know.”
“Has this occurred with every woman that you’ve been in a serious relationship with?”
Evan thought of Amanda. “Yes, I guess so.”
“Tell me about the relationship you were in before Emma.”
Evan swallowed a lump in his throat before responding. “Her name is Amanda.”
“Why did your relationship with Amanda end?”
Before Evan could respond, Dr. Thorne’s timer rang loudly, indicating the session was over. Relief washed over, thankful that his saga with Amanda would have to be divulged on another day.
Evan’s car came to a halt in the parking lot of The Coastal View. He shifted his gear into park and climbed out of his car, making his way to the stairwell to the second-story deck overlooking the ocean. As he approached the top of the stairs, he spotted Emma at a high-top table. Adjoining her was Natasha, Natasha’s boyfriend, Matt, Matt’s cousin John, and Tom. An awkward combination, to say the least, and one that would only all join together for a special occasion.
Evan approached Emma and hastily wrapped his arms around her, nuzzling his face into her neck. “Happy birthday, beautiful,” he whispered. The smell of vanilla caught him off-guard.
Emma jumped with a giggle. “Thank you!”
He hugged her tightly, breathing in her sweet scent and thinking of Dr. Nelson.