Jimmy practiced what he was going to say to Missy. She was bound to have questions and he wanted to answer her as honestly as possible. She needed to leave. It was as simple as that. There was no way he could go into another spell and hurt her.
He closed his eyes and bowed his head. ‘I will not fail’ he said over and over. He was so engrossed in practicing that he did not hear soft footsteps coming towards him.
The morning room was filled with sunlight today. Missy was glad because Jimmy needed to be out of his darkness. As she came near him she noticed his lips moving and his eyes closed. She thought he was praying.
A few minutes passed and she sat down next to him. His eyes flashed open and focused on hers. ‘Hi’ she said.
‘Hi, listen I have something I want to say.’ Jimmy began to talk fast. ‘You shouldn’t be here. I am in tough shape, I know that. I don’t want to hurt you when I am in some spell. I appreciate you care, and that is enough….’
Missy waited as he rambled on with a huge explanation. When he finally ran out of breath or words, she sat back and thought carefully. ‘You took a long time memorizing that didn’t you? Well, no need to answer. Now, I want you to listen to me. I have a story to tell.
A long time ago I kissed my mother good night and then hugged my papa. I climbed into a warm bed and that is the last time I’d ever be in that bed again. I awoke to the sounds of sirens and flashes of red and orange. I went to the window, it was a long ways down but I could make out people running and screaming. Someone screamed at me. I was supposed to jump out the window. I looked back and saw the fire bursting up the stairway. Then I saw nothing but smoke and darkness. Then I heard the sounds of something crashing. I couldn’t breathe. Someone grabbed me and hurled me out the window.
Jimmy, I relived that dream for years. It was the monster in the dark. I know what it’s like to have that kind of trauma. My parents died and I was left. I was scared and it all came tearing after me when I closed my eyes. But, I refused to let that monster win. I went to a wonderful Christian church where I met a counselor who specializes in this stuff. I learned a lot. I understand more than you know.
“Yes, but you don’t go all haywire like I do. I could hurt you without knowing it’s you!”
Missy crossed her arms and legs. ‘Listen to me, I am not leaving! We are going to do this together!’
Jimmy was quiet. This was not going as easy as he had thought. How was he to get through to her?
Missy began to speak again. She sat on the chair across from him and took Jimmy’s face in her hands. ‘I think I know what started that last episode. The flashing Christmas lights on the tree.’
The room became quiet a moment. Jimmy’s eyes locked on to her. ‘I’m listening’ he said with a resigned sigh.
‘Well, when the lights flashed on and off I think your brain saw the explosions that you were in.’ she waited for it to sink in.
Jimmy shook his head. ‘Even if that is true, and I’m not saying it is...what can I do?’
‘I was hoping you’d ask. There is an experimental therapy that can help. Eye movement therapy. It has a long name but basically that is what it is. There is a doctor here who believes it can help you. Would you mind going through a few sessions?’
Jimmy nodded. ‘If that makes you happy. But, really Missy...if it doesn’t, what then?’
Missy got up and crossed her arms over her chest. ‘I don’t remember you being so easily ready to quit. Anyhow, you can’t stay in this hospital much longer. You’d be seen as an outpatient. But, I want you to start therapy before you leave. Also, I have looked into family therapy.’
‘What’s that?’ he was suddenly alert.
‘Relax Jimmy, it’s when you and I sit with a therapist and just talk about our fears, our experiences, our goals, and stuff. It’s a no blame area. Plus, it includes scripture that backs up what the Lord has to say about this. It’s a Christian therapist. I found him in the chapel here at the hospital. Turns out he’s a friend of my pastor. I trust him.’
For the first time in a long time, Jimmy felt hope. ‘I don’t want my folks involved though. It would be too much on them.’
‘That’s fine. I will keep them updated or you can. I do think you should make phone calls to them as we go through this. No pressure though.’ Missy’s smile brought Jimmy a warm feeling.
‘You sure you can do this Missy? I know you want to, but it’s quite a long time.’
‘You still worrying about my job? Didn’t I tell you my aunt owns the business? I could quit for five years and not lose my place with her. You are my main concern here. I have a lot invested in you all ready. I plan to see this through.’ Missy’s face brightened his world that day.
‘Come here’ he said. He stood up and took her in his arms. He just stood there inhaling the sweet smell of her hair. His eyes closed and he felt lighter than air.
Missy was happy to stay right where she was forever. ‘I love you Jimmy’ she whispered out loud. Her face was in his neck and he smelled of aftershave and Jimmy.
‘I know. I love you too, so much!’ He squeezed her tight and then let go. It was too soon to be that honest with his feelings for her. Besides, she might be afraid.
Missy felt the change in him. When she looked up at his face, she knew why. She grinned and said nothing though. He had enough on his plate for now. Yet, with prayer and time....