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Do not cry

Woman with hands clasped on chin

I am sweating, my face, tummy, palms. I try to wipe my forehead before she notices.

I hope she doesn’t want to shake my hand. She does.

Stubbornly I grin and rearrange my face so that I can be sure that she knows that I am ok, that I don’t need her help.

I sit down. Jan says, “What would you like to talk about?”

I don’t know any more. I don’t know where to start. I just want to throw my money at her and run out.   
“I have no idea where to start.”

“What was it that made you call me last week?”

Ah. She is pinning me down.

I look anywhere but at her. My mind is racing. How can I begin when so much has happened?

The silence grows.
I cannot mention Mick. I will cry. I quickly start to talk. Instead, I talk about how my best friend has let me down and I feel lost and alone and, no matter how I try, I can’t seem to connect with her any more.
Jan is gentle with me. She wears black from head to toe, with sensible shoes that mostly are not on her feet.  She sits very still, rarely moves a bone. She looks into my eyes until sometimes I feel that I need not speak at all. 
She nods in all the right places. Somehow she seems to remember all the people
I have mentioned and I never have to tell her twice how a person fits in.
She shows no signs of judgement. If she realises how pathetic I feel she never shows that either. Somehow she makes it ok to say what I am saying.
I am trying desperately not to cry. How is it that I can still think and even talk a bit with that little voice screaming, ‘I do not cry, do not cry, do not cry’. And why is it that it even matters?
Often I pause to think, or to concentrate on obeying the little voice. As I try to look extremely busy gazing out of the window, Jan asks, “What’s happening?” 
In the beginning, I disappoint her with my answer, which is “nothing”. I surely cannot tell her that all I am thinking is that I must not cry! 
But I eventually do talk. I talk about Mick.

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