Bits and Pieces. Here, Have a Piece of Me and Chapter One.

I’m getting back to work. I wanted to show some proof.

Also, I thought it was about time to share a little of it outside the tiny circle it’s been living in.

Truthfully I haven’t gotten much done, but I did a lot to this little section just today.

So here’s a piece of Chapter One of Physical Therapy. Hope you enjoy.

 

“Breathe. Just breathe. You can do this. Just breathe. You’ll be fine. You can deal with this.”

The pep talk wasn’t working. She was trying to calmly breathe through her nose, but it was making her lightheaded. Her mouth was arid and sour, making it a toss-up between throwing up and passing out.

What the hell, maybe she’d do both.

She closed her eyes and took a couple of deep breaths—this time through her mouth—to steady her trembling hands.

“You can do this. Maybe he’s not staying long.” She snorted softly, opening her eyes. “Yeah, right.”

Emma Smith had been just fine until she arrived at her cousin’s house for dinner to find that her usual parking space had been usurped by an unwelcome entity.

Twisting the rearview mirror towards her, she noticed her usually peachy cheeks were pale, so she pinched them to bring some of the color back. All that did was make her blotchy.

“Ugh.” Now she’d have to wait for the blotches to fade before she could even get out of the car.

A few minutes later, after a few more deep breaths, she made herself leave the safety of the vehicle. When she stepped out onto the pavement her legs were wobbly, so she grabbed onto the car door for balance. Hands clenched, she glared at the offensive silver Subaru occupying her spot, her stomach full of butterflies on speed.

She hated that a car was making her crazy. She hated that her bubble had been invaded by the owner of the car.

Once upon a time, Emma’s bubble used to contain this two-story in the ‘burbs where she lived with her cousin —until Casey announced that her boyfriend-since-forever was moving in.

Emma had always liked Greg Davis. He was a few years older, but he’d always been sweet to her. He’d been in love with Casey since forever, and Casey had been in love with Greg since forever. Greg was tall and blonde, Casey petite and blonde, both were athletic, left-brain types who fit together like two pieces of a puzzle.

They were perfect for one another.

Greg moving in was the catalyst for Emma to find her own space. It was way past time. They didn’t need her underfoot while they were starting their life together. Emma was fine with that.

No, she didn’t have a problem with Greg.

The problem was with Greg’s younger brother, Brandon. He had been Casey’s friend since birth, and one of Emma’s childhood torturers. He didn’t notice her until after her “Kindergarten Freak- Out.” That’s when the verbal and emotional torture began. It lasted until high school, when he just started ignoring her. Then he danced off into the sunset, giving her a chance to breathe.

Emma rarely saw him since he’d been back, but when he did cross her path like the proverbial black cat, she just plastered a fake smile on her face until she could get home and scream into a pillow.

It seemed she was going to have to smile really big tonight.

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