Dr. Monique Marlowe’s clinic didn’t look like any medical facility or any other shrink’s clinic she’d seen before.
The air smelled fresh with an herbal scent that made her feel like she just entered a rainforest in Brazil. The waiting lounge looked like a sprawling park with comfortable seats surrounded by floor to ceiling glass curtains etched with botanical elements in vibrant colors. Amanda already felt better as she sat and waited.
“Miss Fox? The doctor is ready to see you… this way please,” said the receptionist, as she led her into a room and closed the door behind her.
“Iris, it’s so nice to see you again.” Monique got up from her chair and approached Amanda with a hug.
“Hi Monique, thanks for seeing me.” She said, uncomfortable with the warm welcome she got from the shrink.
“Please make yourself comfortable, Iris… or would you prefer that I call you Amanda?”
“Iris is fine. Alex never addressed me by my real name anyway, so I’m used to it.” She smiled and sat on the couch.
“I’ve known Alex a long time and we’ve played many times in the past, you know that. I hope you don’t feel uncomfortable with me as your doctor, Iris.” Monique took a seat on the arm chair opposite the couch.
“No— no, Monique, but honestly, I was jealous of you back at the Black Room… but that’s over now. We’re good.” She smiled.
“Very well, let’s consider this a good start… that’s a lovely collar, by the way.”
“Thanks, he just gave it to me last night.” She ran a hand the collar on her neck.
“I know Alex. He’d never put a collar on anyone before. You’re one lucky woman, Iris.” Monique smiled. “Okay… Alex gave me a brief background of what happened, but I’d like to hear it from you.”
She told Monique about what happened to her on the cruise, the stranger in her room and how it all snowballed into Richard blackmailing her and threatened to kill Alex.
“I thought I could take it… I was ready to move on, but my body seemed to remember it and reacts with intense anxiety, I don’t know how to control it.”
“Your subconscious keeps tabs on everything that ever happened to you, Iris… it never forgets, but it can forgive… it is the only balm that heals the soul. But more than Richard, you must forgive yourself first.”
“I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks, Monique.”
She wrote on a pad and gave it to Amanda. “You can take one tablet when you feel an episode is coming. It will calm you down. I also suggest you do some yoga meditation exercises, you’ll love it. I’ll see you same time next Tuesday for another session.”
“Thank you, Monique. I hope we can have some time to hang out somewhere but here.”
“I’d love that, Iris. See you.”