I listened. There was a faint tick from the clock on the table beside me. Schizophrenic candle light bounced around the room. Herbal tea wafted through the air and flirted with the scent from the vanilla candles. A car sped past the small office and a bird cawed outside the window.
I looked around. Next to me, sharing the womb-like couch, was another girl about my same age. Her eyes were filled with pride and assertion. Whenever I looked at her I saw a lioness in her place, laying with head high and a regal stare.
To the left of the couch sat another girl, a little older. She was snacking on chips and sipping a Coke. Whenever I looked at her, she seemed to always be smiling. Directly across from the couch sat the leader of our group, a woman about forty years of age. She held a mug of tea with both her hands over a clipboard dotted with notes recently scribbled down. Her mouth carried a warm supportive smile.
I looked down at my lap. I was holding, very tightly, a box of Dots. My shoe lace was nearly undone. I looked back up.
“So, Katie,” the woman with the clipboard was saying, “how did you react?”
I smoothed down my hair and paused. The candle next to me flickered in time with the clock.
“Well,” I began, “I went outside and I sat down at my favorite spot in the woods, right, and I....”
I listened to my words. I heard their sounds and the way they tumbled clumsily out of my mouth. I focused my eyes on a stain on the carpet. It must have been created by a coffee spill, I thought. The rug was actually quite nice, I decided, despite the stain and its bad need for a vacuum. I followed the weave of the blue triangle; across, up, down, across, up, down.... All this seemed to go in perfect harmony and rhythm with the voice I was hearing. It sounded distant and fuzzy, but entirely clear and precise in meaning. I marveled at the reasoning and thought process of the speaker. What a wonderful argument they were presenting! I tried to make the words clearer to hear, and in so doing, they stopped.
It was then that my head snapped up and my mouth went dry. I realized that I was the one speaking. And I had no idea what it was that I had been saying. My body felt as though it was being twisted like silly putty and thrown against a brick wall. I felt hurtled through a hundred head rushes and then smack! - back into my head.
I looked out of my eyes at the woman with the clipboard. She, along with the two other group members, were staring in anticipation. I looked back blankly. The immortal clock ticked next to me.
“Umm.... What was I saying?” was all I could manage to produce.