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“Elaine,” Rose screeched rushing over to smother Elaine with a hug. “You look… good.”
“You don’t have to lie, Rose.” Elaine glared at her younger sister. “What are you doing here anyway?”
“Now, that’s no way to talk to me. I’ve got some good news.” Rose dumped the contents of her duffel bag on the battered kitchen table. “I’m getting married!”
The elaborate smile Rose beamed across the room did little to break through Elaine’s mood, but she tried her best to look happy for her sister. “Congratulations.”
“You know what the best part is?” Rose held up a picture of a lavender dress. “You’re going to be my Maid of Honor.”
“How am I going to do that if I can’t even leave the apartment? You know I don’t go beyond that door.”
“Come on, sis. You can do it for me. I won’t be happy without you there at my side.” She handed Elaine a business card. “I hired a therapist to help you prepare for the next few months. That’s his card if you need to call him. It’s time to put everything behind you, especially the horrible way that man treated you.”
An image of Tom’s face flashed in her mind and she crippled to the ground, covering her head with her arms. Just as quick as the picture entered her mind, it disappeared. Realizing there was no danger, she slowly stood, pushing away the hand her sister held out.
“I can’t do this. It’s too much for me. I’m sorry Rose, but can you leave?”
Rose’s concern turned to a pout. “But I wasn’t done. I wanted to go over my plans with you, and I have something else to tell you.”
“Not now. I just need to be left alone.”
“Well, I guess I can come back tomorrow. I love you.” She hugged Elaine and left.
Before Elaine could drag herself to her room for a nap, the phone rang. “Hello,” she answered.
“Hello, is this Elaine Ferguson?” a male voice asked.
“Yes. Who’s speaking?”
“This is Jordan Hartsfield with Hartsfield Anxiety and Phobia Treatment Center. I was calling to confirm our first meeting in an hour.”