Teasers & Deleted Scenes
Ashton, VA, July 2011
Chaz walks to Kay's office. He leans against the door frame, holding the door itself open, aware that he's living a lyric. Should I stay or should I go?
He asks, "Got a minute?"
She looks up, her eternal #2 pencil between her fingers, a strand of hair caught on the frame of her glasses. "Therapist, colleague, or friend?"
"Yes," he says, and steps inside. He shuts the door behind. He doesn't sit, but sways restlessly from one foot to the other.
"Special Agent Worth," she says.
He shrugs. Not exactly, but not exactly not either.
"I'm so sorry for your loss."
She sounds like she means it. Of course, she's paid to. But he's figured out by now that with Kay, it goes deeper than that.
"Me too," he says. "I mean, you knew her too."
Kay nods, accepting it because he needs her to. She does not swing out the platitudes that nearly everyone resorts to, and he's glad.
He says, "It's not... It's not that she's gone. I mean, it is, of course, but-- I just-- How did I wind up with the kind of life I can't walk away from, even when everything goes wrong?"
"Hafidha," he says. "Daphne." The clutch of his throat catches him unaware halfway through her name. Angrily, he shakes his head, eyes stinging. "Everything that matters."
She doesn't argue. "And you want to walk away?"
He doesn't, though, and that's the scary part. Oh, yes, of course there's that bit that wants to bolt, that always wants to bolt. That thinks it would all hurt so much less if he just instituted the geographical cure. But he's needed here. Wanted. This is where he lives.
He shakes his head.
Kay asks, "How do you feel about that?"
Chaz laughs low and bitterly. "I think I hate it."
She stands up, lays her pencil down, comes around the desk. She leans against the front side and folds her arms. "Chaz?"
That's a smile, near enough to pass for one. "Stepping out of my role as therapist for a moment here, this bears a remarkable resemblance to the state of affairs we refer to in our society as being an adult."
"Oh," he says.
"All things considered," she says, "I think you're doing okay."