One More Week by Liz Breen

Cynthia looked out of the window as she sipped the tepid water. It didn't taste nice and she wanted it to be colder. Jeanette sat quietly waiting for her to initiate conversation. Cynthia was having reflection time. Reflecting on why she bothered paying a stranger to listen to her complain about her life. 

“I hate it when people call me Cyn” Cynthia opened with. 

“Why?” Jeanette asked. 

“Because I'm Catholic and it reminds me of the bad things I do” Cynthia said tapping her nails on the glass. 

“Correct people, take control” Jeanette came back with. 

Cynthia sat silently and stared at the small alarm clock waiting for her hour to end. There was still over half an hour. 

“I don’t think this is working for me, coming here, talking to you” Cynthia said staring at Jeanette. The sun appeared finally from behind a large cloud, pouring warmth and light into the small room. 

“No offence, but you’re not very helpful” Cynthia added. 

“Sorry you feel that way, how would you like me to help you?” Jeanette asked, the corners of her mouth forming a little smile. 

“Well, tell me what to do, to make the bad stuff go away. Tell me how to stop messing up and being horrible to people. I called my neighbour a fat cow the other day. She is fat if you’re wondering.” Cynthia was warming up, speaking more and more. 

“Is this your mask?” Jeanette asked. 

“What?” Cynthia asked, squinting her eyes in irritation. 

“The rudeness, the provocation? Is this how you hide the real you?” Jeanette asked as she scribbled something on her pad. 

Cynthia sat quietly a moment, then placed her glass down on a coaster. 

“I might come back just one more week” Cynthia said as she touched her face.

Published in Issue #7

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