Amy was early and sat stiffly on the couch. It was her first time seeing a therapist and she wondered if she should lay down.
“Hello, Amy. I’m Dr. Zelinsky.”
Amy stood, tentatively shook the offered hand, and sat back down on the edge of the cushion. The doctor eased onto an adjacent chair.
“How can I help?”
Amy took a deep breath. “I’ve never done this before. I’m usually strong but lately I can’t shake this depression.”
“Meeting with a therapist doesn’t mean you’re weak. Sometimes you just need to talk things through confidentially. Perhaps I can offer a different perspective on what you’re going through.”
Amy took another breath and released it slowly.
“I’m a bad person,” she whispered.
Dr. Zelinsky didn’t answer. She gave Amy time to gather her thoughts.
“People think I’m this successful businesswoman with a perfect marriage. I’ve done things that I’m not proud of and I’ve worked hard to be a better person. But my husband doesn’t let me forget. Just when I think our marriage is going great, he brings up the past.”
“I’m a whore. I slept with men for money. Not because I needed it; because I liked it and it gave me power. I was an engineer by day and a high-end slut by night.”
“I was famous for having just the right touch with a whip. I satisfied 156 different men and made half a million dollars in the course of a few years.”
“When I met Ari, I stopped. He was one of my clients, but our attraction was stronger than I’d ever felt. It wasn’t just incredible sex; it was a deep connection. I didn’t take his money, quit hooking and we started a relationship and married the next year. It’s been over 10 years and a wonderful life. Mostly.”
Dr. Zelinsky quietly asked, “What does he do to make you feel bad?”
“He tells me that he doesn’t trust me. That he thinks I’ll go back to my old ways.” Amy hung her head.
“But you trust him?” Zee asked.
“Of course! He’s a good man!” Amy cried.
“I’m sure he is. You love him. Don’t forget that he was an equal party in the sex trade, though. You deserve the same trust you give him,” Dr. Zelinsky stated.
Amy’s tears began to flow. “I just want to put it all behind us.”
“Amy, we have to learn to live with our past and we’ll always carry some of who we were with who we are now. That doesn’t make us bad. That makes us human and unique.”
“I hadn’t thought of it like that.” Amy sniffled.
That night Ari opened the door to a dark house lit only by a trail of candles.
In the bedroom he came face-to-face with his past. Amy was dressed only in black thigh-high boots with a cat-o-nine-tails in her hand.
“Hello, Husband. Trust me?”
Written for the To Live & Write in Alameda February 2020 “Flash Lit” Challenge #1. We had three days to write a piece of fiction, non-fiction or poetry of 500 words or less to the theme “Just the Right Touch” and post the link in our group.