“Good morning Dr. Edison,” Angie chimes as I walk through the door.
“Good morning, how are you?”
“Not too bad. You have a new patient coming in today.”
“When’s the appointment?”
“Noon, oh and Sutton is in your office, something about not being able to get a hold of you and it was annoying her.”
“Lovely, is the new patient my first appointment?”
“Besides Sutton,” Angie laughs. I walk into my office to see Sutton lying on the couch dramatically.
“You know I am still going to charge you for being in my office.”
“Here’s your bag of Scarlet swag,” she says, holding up a red bag.
“Thank you, what can I do for you?”
“You didn’t answer your phone last night, and I needed to talk to you.”
“What about Jane?” I ask, sitting behind my desk, looking through the bag.
“She was out with Pinstripe guy.”
“Pinstripe guy? I thought she was seeing the doctor.”
“That isn’t good for her, she’s too much of a type A person.”
“Tell her that.”
“She doesn’t like when I tell her that.”
“I know, so where were you?”
“I was out.”
“Who was the lucky guy, or gal?” Sutton chimes, wiggling her eyebrows.
“I don’t remember.”
“Now what does that say about you?”
“That I don’t want to commit myself to anything that I know may hurt me. And yes, remembering a person’s name is one of those things. But it was a woman, a very attractive woman.”
“Do you remember what she looked like?”
“She was… amazing. Her smile was sexy, her personality, her accent. She spoke to me in French and Persian.”
“You’re such a sucker for languages.”
“I know,” I sigh, leaning back in my chair as I wait for my computer to load, “I should have gotten her name, and her number.”
“You’re going to kick yourself for that one.”
“I know. Don’t you have to get to work?”
“Oliver sent me on a mission to get some bag, he could care less and as long as I show up before lunch with lunch.”
“I don’t have a patient until noon, so you can’t really stay here until then, but you can stay for a little while.” Sutton and I met at a football game in college, she was nice enough to spill her beer on me when Penn State won, only for us to both hug and laugh about it becoming pretty close friends after that. We both then came to New York for work, she got the job at Scarlet, where she met Jane, while I continued going to school at Columbia, and the rest is history as far as the past five years since the initial beer incident. Sutton and I continue to catch up for another hour before she decides to leave. My phone rings on my desk. “Yes?”
“Your patient is here.”
“I’ll be out in a moment,” I chime, ending the call and getting up from my desk, I grab my iPad and set everything up at my chair, making sure there were tissues and a bottle of water, seeing as anything could happen at a first session. I walk out into the lobby to see a woman sitting there looking at her phone, “Ms. Pierre?” the woman looks up with a tight-lipped smile.
“Dr. Edison,” she chimes, walking up to me and shaking my hand.
“Come on back,” I say, leading her to my office, “take a seat.”
“I’ve heard good things about you, a few of my friends here in New York say you are one of the best.”
“Well, I am happy to hear that.”
“Some of them say their parents see your parents.”
“We’re a psychiatrist family,” I tease, causing her to laugh, “so we’re going to start off with you just telling me a bit about you. You’re French?”
“Oui,” she smiles, “I was born and raised in France. My parents owned art galleries which took them around the world, in turn, I didn’t travel until I was in my twenties and took over their small empire, I guess you would call it.”
“Did they primarily show in France?”
“Yes, Paris mainly. We lived in the country, about three hours outside of Paris, but we would spend the weekends in Paris. I enjoyed my childhood, so my seeking therapy doesn’t stem from my childhood.”
“I didn’t assume it did. I don’t like to use this first session as anything more than getting to know you as a person, and then going from there. People seek therapy for several reasons and I don’t assume anything until we are a few sessions in. You could choose not to even come anymore after today. So I don’t want you to feel like I’m reading into everything you say.”
“So, are you in any relationships or anything like that? Do you parents live in the city or are they still in France?”
“They’re in France, I mostly travel for them now. I am seeing someone, and have been for years now,” she says, casting her eyes down a bit.
“You don’t have to feel like I’ll judge your sexuality.”
“I have a girlfriend.”
“Was that something you thought I would judge you on?”
“I don’t know, you can never be too sure of someone, no matter how young and progressive they may seem.”
“Well, this is a safe space, I also counsel teens who may be struggling with their sexuality, and I want all of my patients to know the kind of person I am whether they like it or not.”
“Do you counsel couples?”
“No, I’m sorry. My mother is actually a very good couples counselor if you need a recommendation. Are you and your girlfriend having issues?”
“She tends to get distant when she can’t work like if she’s too caught up in something and can’t create from it, she begins to distance herself, this has been going on for three years now and I don’t know what to do about it.”
“What does she do for a living?”
“She’s a photographer, we met at a showing my father set up with her in France. I was so captivated by her instantly and we hit it off right away. I think the fact that she makes such amazing art and creates good business for both of us, makes it hard for me to say anything about it. We both end up doing our own things until it’s time to go back to France, or she has to go back to Iran.”
“Do you think the fact that she is also a client of yours creates a conflict of interest in your relationship?”
“I don’t know. It’s been going on for so long that I don’t think anything of it.”
“Have you spoken to her about it?”
“She brushes it off, she doesn’t ever want to talk about things that are serious unless she brings it up.”
“Maybe it’s time to move on, maybe it would be better for both of you if you took the initiative to just end things, does it bother you all the time?”
“Sometimes I’m too busy to notice, but that is when she is able to create the best work. There is something that happens in her that shuts down when it comes time to both create and be in a relationship, almost like she can’t physically do both, she isn’t capable of doing it.”
“You seem to be pleasing your careering while at the same time being neglected in a way by your relationship. You should take a step back and think for yourself about this dynamic and then go from there. You see as if you are both using each other for again.”
“That sounds like it may be the case. Ms. Pierre -”
“Coco,” she says with a polite smile.
“Coco, if you think outside of what she does for you, work-wise, and focused on how she makes you feel in here,” I say, placing my hand on my chest, “then I don’t see why you two can’t work it out.”
I walk into the bar to see Jane and Sutton sitting at a table by the window, “sorry I’m late.”
“It’s okay,” Jane chimes as I sit beside her and across from Sutton.
“You are going to have to catch up though, so a shot for you,” Sutton says, getting up and walking over to the bar.
“So how are you and Pinstripe?”
“Sutton told you?”
“Of course, now what’s the deal with that?”
“I’m freelancing on the side and he’s helping me out,” she says as she takes a sip from her drink, “please don’t analyze me.”
“When I first met you I told you I would never do that,” I say as Sutton walks over with a drink in one hand and a shot in the other, “I thought you were only getting me a shot?”
“Hottie at the end of the bar bought you this, apparently, she knew you were a vodka soda kinda gal.” I look over to see familiar dark eyes and a smile that could make the coldest person in the world melt into a puddle.
“That’s her!” I say, louder than I anticipated.
“The girl from last night.”
“She’s hot, how could you forget her?”
“I had too many of these,” I chime, holding up the vodka soda, “should I go talk to her?”
“Whatever you feel like, Babe,” Sutton chimes, sipping her drink.
“She’s attractive, go do it,” Jane encourages. I down the shot before getting up and walking over to her with my drink in my hand.
“So you did remember me?” The woman asks in a breathy tone, her hair was hanging in loose curls under the headscarf that was gently placed over her head.
“How could I forget a face like yours. Especially those eyes, they are magnetic,” I chime, causing her to let out a chuckle that sent a warmth through my body.
“Not the first time I’ve heard that” she smiles.
“Well, it must be a curse then.”
“Or a blessing.”
“That could be.”
“So, Kat, how are you?”
“I told you my name?”
“And I told you mine, you forgot already?”
“You were able to get me quite liquored up, be thankful I remembered your face,” I chime, causing her to laugh.
“Well, allow me to reintroduce myself, I am Adena,” she says, holding her hand out for me to shake.
“Nice to meet you, Adena,” I say playfully, causing her to laugh a bit more.
“So, I’m happy I ran into you again.”
“I could say the same.”
“So, would you like to grab a table or?”
“Uhm, yeah, if there is one somewhere,” I say looking around. I see a free table in the corner, taking Adena’s hand I make my way over to where the table was pulling her through the overly crowded bar, “here we are,” I say playfully causing her to laugh. We sit across from each other, “I should have asked what you were drinking before we worked through that crowd.”
“No, I’ll get you something, what do you drink?”
“Soda with lime, please.”
“I’ll be right back,” I smile making my way back towards the bar, I order our drinks only to have Sutton rush over to me, causing me to jump a bit, “Christ.”
“Sorry, how is everything?”
“Good, I’m getting her a drink, I don’t know if I’m linking back up with you and Jane again tonight.”
“Are you going in for round two?” She asks, wiggling her eyebrows.
“We’ll have to see what happens,” I shrug.
“Uber home of you need to, and walk of shame starts at six,” Sutton chimes, grabbing her drink and going back over to Jane.
“Sorry, I got caught up,” I say when I get back to the table.
“It’s okay,” she smiles, putting her phone back in her bag.
“So, Adena. I would like to get to know you a little, maybe stay somewhat sober.”
“You don’t want to have fun again?”
“We had a lot of fun, didn’t we?”
“Oh yes, we did. I know I would like to have fun with you again,” she smiles, running her finger around the rim of her glass. We fall into quick conversation, regardless of the intentions that were not mentioned again. Somehow in the course of us talking, her chair ended up next to mine as opposed to across from me, she was showing me pictures on her phone of somewhere she traveled to. She tells me of the trip to Amsterdam, how young she was, and everything she did. She looks over at me with a smile, “what?”
“You have such a dopey grin on your face.”
“You talk so animatedly about things you seem passionate about.”
“Is that your way of using your profession to get to know me better?”
“No, that’s just my intuition wanting to know you better,” I smile. She stares at me for a moment before leaning in slowly and kissing me.
“I want to see you again,” she mumbles.
“Okay.” I nod before fully understanding that I’ve said it. She gives me her number and I give her mine before we walk out of the bar and onto the sidewalk.
“I’ll call you?”
“Okay.” Adena smiles, leaning in to kiss me again, “see you later, Kat.”
“See you later.”