Time Limit

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Mrs. Myers the Real Therapist

I stared at the house. The mailbox read out in stenciled-on letters, "Myers". Kaydence Myers lives here- well, did live here. This house used to be my second home. Now I can barely look at it without breaking down into a sobbing mess. I spot Mrs. Myers in the garden. That must be how she's coping. Gardening. I walk quietly and slowly up to the porch. I can almost see Kaydence and me sitting on the porch swing laughing and sipping lemonade last summer. The knot in my stomach tightens again when I see our handprints. We were six years old and we were helping paint her mother flower pots. We had gotten paint all over our hands. We decided to mark the date on the top step. Mine in blue, her's in red. I choked. Why did I do this?

"Excuse me? Who is-" I recognized Mrs. Myers' voice from the eleven years I had know her. I turned.

"I'm sorry. I got upset and I ran here." Mrs. Myers looked at me. She was like my mother. I noticed she had deeper set lines on her forehead. It was like seeing your biological mother age from twenty to seventy in three months. I choked again.

"Now why would you apologize to me? The only thing you should apologize for is not letting yourself in. Come on. We both need to talk." She beckoned me inside. Her thick country accent comforted me. I smelled the scent of lemons and flowers. I inhaled deeply. I had not been in here since it happened. I could see Kaydence in the kitchen squeezing lemons, in the garden pulling weeds and planting flowers, on the stairs rushing to her room. I fell to my knees. My head in my hands. Mrs. Myers was at my side in a second. Her hand skating across my back. She murmured simple things like "It's okay","I've got you","Let it out." And in that instant I swelled with gratitude. This woman practically raised me and I'm sitting in her living room crying. The crying let up.

"I'm so sorry. Thank you so much for everything you've done for me. And I'm sorry I haven't told you lately. I just miss her so much." There. I said it. Two and a half months of therapy and I could not say it. But I just did. Mrs. Myers looked ashen.

"I know it's hard." Mrs. Myers said. "I can't leave my house. I haven't been anywhere in three months. I've been eating tomatoes and peppers. Everytime I leave I see someone who looks like her, and..." She broke off. And I understood. We sat there until school let out.

"I think it's time for you to go." She said, gently. "I love you." She kissed the top of my head and I stood.

"I love you too." I croaked as I opened the door. "See you soon." I closed the door and headed home.

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