The Chrysalis Diaries
The Chrysalis Diaries
A REASON TO GET OUT OF BED
IT HAD BEEN TWELVE DAYS SINCE SHAWN HAD moved out of Sara's apartment. She lay awake in bed, remembering how he used to watch her sleep, counting the freckles on her pale face. She loved opening her eyes to the sight of Shawn staring over at her with his sparkling blue-green eyes. Shawn had a baby face, but after joining the Fire Department, he grew and kept his mustache to make him appear more rugged. Sara knew every inch of Shawn's face; however, the memory was starting to fade. She rolled over to his pillow that still harbored the faint scent of his Irish Spring soap. She sat up in bed, holding the pillow to her chest. Her eyes were drawn to the dresser that was covered with framed photos. There were various pictures of the two of them skiing, in Central Park, at prom, and at their high school graduation. She should have known a relationship that began in high school could never really last. After glancing at the photos for a moment, she decided not to let her emotions get the best of her and forced herself out of bed.
These days, everything in her apartment reminded Sara of Shawn. Every corner was haunted with memories: the kitchen table, where the two of them had played board games; the couch, where they would cuddle and watch movies together; even the blender, where Shawn made his protein shakes every morning. Who would have thought all those happy moments would one day make her feel sick to her stomach? All of the good times now felt like lies.
After a few moments, she returned to her bedroom to get dressed. Her closet held a mix of professional-looking attire and casual cotton blends, mostly from Gap. Since it was her first time changing out of her flannel pajamas in days, she figured a jumpsuit and sneakers would be a gradual transition. Besides, she would be returning home right after her first dreaded therapy session. She knew it was supposed to help, but she also knew it was going to be exhausting, having to tell a complete stranger her entire life story. She brushed her strawberry-blonde hair and straightened out her bangs. Sara blotted concealer under her eyes to cover the bags left over from crying, then applied the rest of her makeup, in soft pink hues, to give her complexion a smooth, natural look.
After she was dressed, she walked over to the foyer area and opened the closet door, where she had seven coats to choose from. She grabbed her gray pea coat, pulled it over her shoulders, and wrapped a pink loop scarf around her neck. She stepped outside her SoHo apartment building and headed down the street. It was a cold January morning in Manhattan; all the surfaces were lined with a thin layer of frost.
After a few blocks, she entered an office building. She read the directory, until she spotted "Dionne Psychiatry: Suite 501." Sara sprinted across the lobby to catch the elevator. The four people inside it avoided eye contact as she entered. She never imaged she could feel so alone while being surrounded by other people. At that moment, Sara's emotions got the better of her; she struggled to hold back her tears. She blushed as a solitary tear rolled down her rosy cheek. Sara put her head down, embarrassed, but everyone was too busy looking at their smartphones to notice. It felt like an eternity before the lift reached the fifth floor, and Sara couldn't wait to get away from the insensitive pod people. When they finally reached her floor and the door whooshed open, she swiftly exited the elevator.
Sara sat in a waiting room, waiting to be called into her new therapist's office. Even five stories up, she could hear the noise of the New York City streets below: the grinding of the plows as they scraped the frost from the street; the man on the corner yelling, "Get your chestnuts here!"; the squealing of brakes and the blaring of car horns.
"Ms. Sanders, Dr. Dionne will see you now," the doctor's