N/A: Hello dearest readers :D Here is a sort of edited version of this chapter. If you had read it before, please read it again to make sure you catch all the changes. If you are a new reader: Enjoy!
The Struggles Of A Writer
Chapter 1: Meeting You Is Nothing Sort Of Boring.
Writing had always been her passion. Fleeting words that needed to be written, ideas that wouldn't leave her alone until brought to life, dreams that only came true in paper. Writing was what kept her moving, that little part of me that sang, "Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase!" –with jungle sounds included. Yet, she never really thought of being a professional writer; it didn't appeal to her to write for other's entertainment.
All of this was why, when forced into the world of authors who actually got paid for what they did, people who had deadlines and got stressed over writing a story, she panicked. There was no better way to describe the frantic sensation that overwhelmed her, a sensation so intense that left the writer at a loss of descriptive words. But she had no option, because by the time she realized what she was being thrown into, it was already too late to back off. And the truth was that she didn't want to back off.
It smelled like fire.
Amethyst had always liked the smell of fire; it reminded her of the beach and the consequential s'mores that came with it. That might have been why she lay on her bed enjoying the smell, and tried to sleep just five more minutes –even though the whole power nap thing was obviously not working. Distantly, Count of Monte Cristo bark loudly. It took her three full seconds to pair that with the memory-inducing smell of fire.
"The eggs!" She yelled half to herself, half to Count.
Fully up, she ran toward the small kitchen and, performing a pathetically well-known routine, filled a bowl that was lying around with water and poured it on the burning breakfast.
Amethyst shouldn't be allowed to cook.
It broke her heart to think that some poor chicken embryo had to die so that its sacrifice could be wasted like that. But she didn't have much time to ponder over the loss when, again, Count barked. She looked down to see the golden, golden retriever sitting on his hind legs and watching her expectantly. That dog was way too spoiled.
"No, Count. You can't eat the burnt chicken embryo," she said to him.
Judging by his still excited expression, he probably didn't get the point until Amethyst threw the remains of what was supposed to be her breakfast in the trashcan. Then, he seemed rather broken hearted. She rolled her eyes when he moaned.
"Stop the drama. It wouldn't have tasted any good."
Mom's voice echoed in Amethyst's head telling her that she should have gotten a roommate instead of a dog. But, then again, Count had pretty much the same amount of drama that a roommate would have; so, what was the big difference? She went back to her room to look for shoes and Count, depressed, followed behind. He was quite possibly guilt tripping.
"Don't do that," Amethyst told him as she put her peach high heels on to complement the peach-colored suit she was wearing. "If it makes you feel any better, I'll read you some more about Jane when I come back."
She was referring to the main character of the story she was currently writing –but if Count's excited expression was anything to go by, he had translated the comment as food related. She smiled and patted him before grabbing a purse and heading to the door.
"Behave well, 'kay?"
Count barked in response to the half-yelled good-bye before she went out of the house. Yep, he was just like a roommate.
Amethyst hated being tired. It was probably one of those few things, along with spiders, that she hated the most. But that's what work does to people, she thought bitterly, stupid soul-sucking activity.
"Dr. Lace, the one o'clock patient just came. Can I let her in?"
The voice coming from the office phone startled me. Like it did every other time it rang.
"Yes, Clarisse. Please send her in," she answered, her voice the epitome of calm.
After almost two weeks of working as a psychologist under her sister, Amethyst had still to get used to office life. Oh, the things professors never taught you about. For one thing, she very much believed there should be a class dedicated to why it was not a good idea to work under your PMS-y sister. Really.
Her expression changed to a smile immediately after she heard the door of the office open. A girl in her mid-twenties came in.
"Hi, Dr. Lace," she said, not once meeting gazes. "How are you?"
"Great," Amethyst looked down at some papers searching for the one that would tell her the patient's name. She yelled, 'Found it!' as she grabbed the record. Internally, of course. "Mrs. Lara, how are you?"
And for the rest of that half hour, Amethyst proceeded to listen to the problems of her twenty-six year old patient, who thought that a sweet tooth was a psychological disorder. That was how people wasted their money nowadays –but, hey, she wasn't complaining. However, she did wish she hadn't spent more than five years of her life learning how to be a good listener.
"And then," Mrs. Lare sobbed. "I couldn't help it! It looked so good, and I absolutely love brownies! So I –I had to!"
Amethyst blinked repeatedly as the other woman broke into tears. So maybe she did have a problem after all. She took the box of Kleenex on her desk and walked over to Mrs. Lara. The poor lady took one, her hand shaking.
A sigh escaped from Amethyst's mouth before se could suppress it.
"I'm sure a brownie is not the end of the world, Mrs. Lara."
She flinched at her own tone. God, she sounded awfully like her Mom when talking to a four-year-old, even though the patient was older than her.
"That's what everybody says."
Amethyst looked at Mrs. Lara, who seemed calmer, and smiled. Something told her that the half-hour slot was going to prolong.
Two hours later, a cheerful Mrs. Lara exited the office with a smile plastered across her pretty face.
Mental note to self: when (if) I have kids, I must tell them to not be obsessed over food. It would drive their psychologists crazy.
Tiredly, Amethyst fell on the comfy leather chair and her eyes instinctively closed. If, earlier today, someone had told her that a patient with a brownie problem was going to be so exhausting, she would have laughed at them. Now, she wasn't so sure.
"Do you need me to bring you something, Dr. Lace?"
One of her eyes opened to see her secretary, Clarisse, standing in the middle of her office in all her beige-ness. Amethyst straightened up immediately. Clarisse was more or less the cop her sister-boss had put on her to make sure she didn't slack. The cop didn't like the criminal too much. Figures.
"No. Thanks, Clarisse," she said professionally. "When is the next patient scheduled?"
"At four," the old woman said, looking at the binder in her hands. "And that would be the last one for today."
Amethyst was feeling really tired again.
"Ms. Jessica called an hour ago. She asked for you to return her call." Clarisse handed her a bunch of envelopes while speaking. "These came in the mail."
"Thanks," she whispered seeing as she was hardly capable of saying anything else.
Clarisse said something about going on a lunch break and left. She looked at the clock hanging on one of the beige walls of the office. It was three ten in the afternoon, why would Clarisse go on a lunch break right now? She shook the thought out of her head and pulled Sparks out of the pocket of the white coat she was wearing. Yes, she named her cell phone.
Distractedly, she dialed Jessica and waited. Her gaze wandered around the office as the dial tone repeated itself. This (her) office was the most hopeless, personality-less space ever. She hadn't had time since moving there to come up with any 'appropriate' decorations. Amethyst's desire to paint the walls red had been strongly rejected by both her sister and Clarisse. The only things giving the impression that someone actually worked in the office were her beloved books, the sign on the door that read 'Dr. Amethyst Lace', and the pretty cu-cu clock she had bought.
Yawning and half determined to do something for that poor attempt of an office, she relaxed on the leather chair.
"Hello?" The high-pitched voice drilled through Amethyst's ears.
She smirked –so many conversations had started out like that. "We need to get your vocal cords removed, Jess. Dogs can't hear some of the sounds you make," she said, mock pain reflecting in her tone.
"Not even in my nightmares," Jess answered, not very altered. That girl wouldn't trade her high voice range for a million dollars –mainly because her singing voice provided her with twice that amount every night. "How are you?"
"Fine," Amethyst said automatically. "Employed," she added on a second thought. "How about you?"
Jess left a dramatic pause before answering. "Listen, there's a party on Saturday that some guy invited me to. Wanna come? It's not a big deal or anything."
Not a big deal: in a conscious state of mind, you would never agree to this.
"Where?" Amethyst asked cautiously.
"Oh, nowhere important," Jess responded seemingly casual, which made her even more suspicious. "Just, you know, at Woodlake."
She rolled her eyes at that. "Jessica, who's the host?" she asked, already knowing where this was going.
"Fredrick White," Jess sighed.
She thought so. Fredrick White, the greatest moron Amethyst had ever had the disgrace of meting in her life. He hated dogs and scorned his nephews whenever he had the chance –how detestable was that? (Scrooge, anyone?) She despised him; he despised her. It was an all-mutual feeling. And Jessica, of course, knew that.
"No," she said a little more harshly than necessary. In today's world, it was called sulking.
"Amee," Jess's voice rose up almost full octave. "C'mon! I have no one to go with and–"
"No," Amethyst repeated, putting her hair up in a ponytail.
Jess stayed silent for a second, probably what it took her to realize that her friend was set; and then she spoke in a somewhat softer, lower voice –or her approximation of it.
"But I want you to meet someone."
"Again?" she asked, a flash of a bald dude with terrible stage fright coming to her mind. Oh, those painful memories.
"It's nothing like that!" Jess screeched. She was probably remembering just how disastrous her last matching project had turned out. "I'm not trying to match you up with anybody this time. Promise."
Amee giggled. "Now, that is new," she mumbled skeptical.
She could almost see Jess pout at the other end of the line. Amethyst waited for her witty reply patiently, but it never came. Shocked, she went into a fit of blinking when the tone coming from the phone signaled that her so-called friend had hung up on her.
"What the heck?" She exploded. So much for saying bye.
She was in the process of calling Jess again when somebody knocked on the door. She half-wondered why Clarisse was knocking, but her question was answered when a not-so-feminine Clarisse came in.
Actually, the man that came in was hardly Clarisse-esque at all. Unless, of course, her almost-seventy-year-old, graying cop of a secretary had suddenly decided to dye her hair jet black, dress like a man, and –well, have a sex change overall. In which case Amethyst would be a little disturbed.
"Good afternoon," she managed to mumble out of her convoluted thoughts. Maybe what they say about routine prevailing was true after all.
"Good afternoon, Dr. Lace," her assumed patient replied.
She stared at him as he confidently did nothing but stand at the door, looking back at her in all his glory. Professionally, she closed her hanging mouth and shuffled some papers around trying to find something that would tell her who this person was.
"Please, come in," she said, composed.
He strode in and comfortably sat in one of the two chairs at the other side of her conveniently placed desk. Finally, she found the red folder she had been looking for among all the other red folders; it was the one with a little pink post-it on it that said 'four o'clock'.
"So," she lifted her brown eyes up to his face and, as she had learnt was necessary when first meeting a patient, she securely fixed them on his blue ones. "Mr. Hart, is it?"
He nodded securely and smiled at her for no apparent reason. She nodded –no patient of Amethyst Lace was going to turn her into a gooey mess anytime soon. Or so she hoped. Again, she glanced at the report she had in front of her which proved to be absolutely useless. It marked Schizophrenia as the disorder this man had, but didn't specify which type –not to mention that it didn't have any of his personal information.
"Are you allergic to anything?" she asked, still looking down at the unfilled form.
"Not that I know of. Are you?"
Amethyst looked up at him in astonishment. He seemed to be having the time of his live. Interesting.
"No," She answered. Involuntarily, she reached to grab one of her pink stress balls but restrained herself; it was a bad habit she had. "Do you have a job?"
"Last time I checked."
She marked 'Yes' on the paper in front of her; but, as a side note, wrote that he didn't seem too sure.
"Where do you live, Mr. Hart?"
"Look, is this sexual harassment?" He asked in a husky tone that only led her to think that he wished it were.
Amathyst looked at him pointedly before scribbling 'paranoid-like symptoms' in a post-it and putting it inside his folder.
"No, it isn't. I was trying to fill out your profile form; but, if you prefer, you can do it on your own," she said giving him the piece of paper she had been holding.
He accepted the form with a cheeky smile, looking at it briefly, and when his gaze was back on her his blue eyes were mortifying.
"I hear voices in my head," he stated matter-of-factly.
She nodded. Against general assumption, many people with psychological disorders knew exactly what they had –the real problem was getting over it. At least, that's what her sister had told her when she began working.
"And what do they say?"
"Every sort of crazy thing," he said, nonchalantly ruffling with his black hair. "Right now, they are wondering if you want to go out with me –maybe have sex afterwards."
Amethyst frowned at his casual expression, and then focused on taking notes about his reactions –it seemed like he suffered delusions of grandeur. She saw him smirking and immediately underlined 'delusions' a couple of times more in her notes.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Hart," she let out, unaffected. "Maybe you have mistaken my office from that of the other Dr. Lace. She's a sex therapist."
He smiled at her in a way only seen in chick flicks when the main girl was about to get in trouble. This man was definitely unsettling.
"I don't need a sex therapist to know who I want to have sex with," he stated so off handedly she wondered if he wasn't talking about the weather.
And even though Amethyst had decided that she wouldn't, she couldn't help but blush when looking at his naughty expression. Sighing, she deeply hoped that the guy wasn't another creepy stalker, before she put on her best kinder-garden teacher smile.
"Mr. Hart, could you please stop that. I'm your psychologist; you are my patient. There is no sex in this relationship."
He looked at her with a kind of annoyed look that would have been more appropriate for a four-year-old who had just been told that he had cooties. She couldn't quite decide whether it was endearing or flat out disturbing.
"My offer stands," he said before smiling arrogantly and changing the topic. "So, could I have your number?"
Maybe he wasn't changing the topic, after all.
"No," she said cuttingly. Internally, she slapped herself. What the heck was she doing giving into some patient's games? "Why don't we talk about you," she suggested-slash-ordered as she lay her folded arms on the desk.
"Sure," he said, imitating her movement. "Would this be considered a date?"
"No," Amethyst repeated. "This is just a session."
He must have caught on the edginess of her voice because the next thing he did, much to her reluctant amusement, was to lay back on his chair and smile dazzlingly at her. Not like he hadn't been smiling all the time, anyway.
"Much as I appreciate your interest in her," he started as if it hadn't been him who had been hitting on her just a second ago. "I didn't come here to talk about me."
The nerve of the man!
"And what exactly is it that you came to talk about?" She asked dryly.
"You," he stated.
He opened his mouth to add something to his raw statement, but a knock on the door interrupted him. She frowned when Clarisse peeked in.
"Dr. Lace, your patient–" the secretary suddenly stopped talking when her eyes landed on the man in front of her, clearly seizing him up.
"Yes, Clarisse?" Amethyst pushed, as it seemed that Clarisse was quite comfortable with the whole gawking at the gorgeous asshole in her office.
"Your patient is here," she finished, going back to her normal 'I'm watching you' stance.
Amethyst blinked at the woman, as she tended to do when she didn't understand something, and then turned to look a Mr. Hart who had just stood up.
"I guess I should leave now," he said coolly.
He took one of the business cards Amethyst had on her desk for distribution and stuck it in his pocket before almost panther-like walking toward the office's door and stunning Clarisse on the spot. He gazed at her and smiled mischievously.
"I'll see you later," he said and winked.
And he left. Just like that. As if Amethyst wasn't internally gaping dumbfounded like a freaking idiot.
A second later she absent-mindedly heard Clarisse uncomfortably coughing and saying that she would sent Mr. Hart in. By that, Amethyst supposed she meant the real Mr. Hart.
She didn't get mad very often or very quickly; but just at that moment she realized something important.
She was furious.
N/A: Holas to everybody! So here I am with the first long story I publish on FP *squeal* I know, I'm overflowing with excitement.
What do you think about it? Funnily enough, this story is in a highly experimental stage –meaning that probably lots of things are going to change before it's finished and that this chapter may be edited a thousand more times before I decide I'm satisfied (I tend to do that). In other words, I would extremely appreciate feedback!
Criticism is welcomed :D I have no qualms against people telling me I'm a horrible writer so as long as they point out what they mean.
Thanks for reading (and Reviewing if you decide to do so)!!
Cookies and Ice Cream,