Monday, July 17, 2017

December 31, part 1




I’m gathering my strength, readying to take the big step. Or maybe I’m just stalling because I can’t get past these crazy fears holding me back. Which is dumb as fuck. I mean, if I accept Seot’s offer to clan, he, Cifa, and Larten can’t abandon me, right?  Well, not legally.

Come on, Shalia. It’s just the most important decision of your life. What’s so freaky about that? Ha-ha-ha.

I was pathetically grateful when the big moment was postponed because Elwa showed up at my doorstep. I welcomed her into my quarters. She looked around my greeting room, smiled, and said, “What a lovely little shoe closet.”

I probably laughed a little too hard at her joke. I’m strung tight today.

There was the obligatory fussing over Anrel before Elwa sank daintily on my lounger. She patted the seat next to her, and I sat down. She put her arm around my shoulders.

“I have visited your Clan Seot. I must say they impressed me very much. I think they are far more suited to you than Clan Aslada.”

I stared up at her in shock. “You went to see them?”

“Of course. I see you perhaps not quite as a daughter, but at the least as a ward of mine. You and Anrel are very much my concern. I had to evaluate these men who have tied you up in so many knots.”

“More like brought the truth out.” I told her what Feru had diagnosed. “The trouble is that the therapists in this area who deal with Earther Mataras are concerned with extreme trauma cases. They don’t have time for my piddling daddy and mommy issues.”

“Oh, I’ll make an appointment for you with Dr. Cafir right away,” Elwa said, drawing her handheld from a pocket. “She’s not an Earther specialist, but she understands psychology quite well. Better still, she knows the challenges we women face dealing with all these men in our lives. I can’t tell you how many times she’s kept me from strangling my clanmates in their sleep.”

I was more astonished than ever. “You see a psychologist? But not regularly, right?”

Elwa regarded me as if I’d just asked if she washed her hands after using the toilet. “Silly girl. Any woman who doesn’t want to lose her mind in this society keeps a mental professional in her arsenal. It’s as important as regular checkups and a good hairdresser. Speaking of which, I’ll get you that frequency as well.” Her handheld beeped, and she looked at the readout. “Excellent. You will see Dr. Cafir in three days. Bring your clan at least for the initial visit so she can view the dynamics you are dealing with.”

My handheld buzzed. I looked at it and saw it was a confirmation of the appointment. I thanked her, feeling a little off-balance that Elwa, queen of control and woman of wisdom, had a regular therapist.

Having done her duty as my mother-guardian, Elwa left soon afterward. “Tons to do, sweetheart,” she said in a brisk tone as she kissed my cheek goodbye. “You are confirming your agreement with your clan today, right?”

“I’m going to try to,” I said. Panic fluttered my heart.

“Yes, it’s overwhelming to be sure. But they are perfect for you. Rest assured you’re doing the right thing. I’ll speak with you in a day or two? That’s a pet.” She was gone with a rustling of her flowing skirts.

I was left with no more excuses. It was time to face my fears. It was time to meet my future. So I put it off for another hour to fix my makeup and dress. Yes! More postponing. But I vowed to myself I would not delay for more than that. I would com Clan Seot after that hour. I would ask them to meet with me. I would accept their offer to clan.

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