"Yes, Hi, Nora. Its Rachel Vincenti ..... Im feeling like getting back to work. Thank you for asking. You have any teaching contracts I can take? ..... Mmhmm, Id love to do some diabetes education programs for pediatric patients. Ill set them up according to age group, and make sure the parents or guardians are notified. Its important that they participate..... Sure, I can drive. Ill come by in the morning to give you copies of the teaching plans and sign the contract. OK? ..... Great. See you in the morning then. Bye." Rachel set the phone down on her desk, then logged on her computer. She was deep in thought, typing up the last of her treatment plans for Childrens Hospital, when Meg walked in her bedroom door.
"Hey you, I didnt know you were up." Meg felt puzzled, watching Rachel working at her desk, looking focused and efficient.
"Hi, yeah, Ive been up for awhile." Rachel hit the print button and turned to face her lover. "I have a contract with Childrens Hospital to organize and implement a diabetic teaching program. And, Im just printing the plans now. Should be very interesting aaaaannnnd demanding, working with parents and guardians. Its like trying to teach old dogs new tricks. Ill enjoy the kids though." Rachel turned to pick up the copies shed printed out. "There are so many new methods of monitoring blood glucose levels and methods of insulin administration. Its always fascinated me. Theres new stuff out every day."
Meg didnt know how to react to Rachels going back to work so soon. Shed not given it any thought, although she supposed she should have. "So, youre going back to work soon?"
Rachel heard the slight trepidation in Megs voice and turned away, busying herself with the printouts. "Yes, tomorrow, actually. I have to present my teaching plans in the morning, so Ill be pretty busy the rest of the evening trying to get the materials organized." She turned back to look at the woman she knew she loved, but just couldnt deal with right now. "You do know I have a career waiting for me, Meg. I cant sit around and play with you indefinitely." She tried to smile to soften the blow she feared her words were causing.
"Of course, of course, Im glad you feel well enough to resume your life, just exactly the way you left it." Meg hoped her meaning was clear. "If you are hungry, theres a tuna casserole and fruit salad in the fridge. Ill be packing up my things. I dont see any need for me to stay here. Ill go home and get back to my life too....." Meg clenched her jaw to bite off the angry words that were threatening to escape. "Ill see you later then." She smiled and made a tiny wave with her hand, which remained at her side.
"Yeah, later. And, thank you for taking such good care of me. I really appreciate all youve done. You know that, dont you?"
Meg nodded. "Youre welcome. Glad I could be there for you. Dont over do it, OK?"
Now, it was Rachels turn to nod. "Yeah..... OK."
Meg turned and walked from the room, stunned at the scenario she had just participated in.
Rachel turned back to her computer, swallowing hard to stop the tears that stung her eyes. Youre a fool. You know that? A stupid fool. Youre throwing away the best thing that ever happened to you because youre a fucking coward!
Moments later Meg knocked on Rachels bedroom door, surprised to find it closed.
"Yes." Rachel called.
"May I come in?"
"Im working, Meg." She knew, with one glance, Meg would know shed been crying. "Dont forget you have an appointment with Dr. Morgan on Friday at 12:30. I left her number on the refrigerator."
"Thanks. I wont forget." Rachel wiped at the tears trailing down her high cheek bones.
Meg could hear the tears in her friends voice. Shes crying. Why cant she let me help her? Shes running away from me, from us. I hope she keeps that appointment with Ricky. Maybe she can succeed where Ive obviously failed her.
Rachel had no time to think about her personal life. For the past two days, she had dove into her work. She enjoyed the feeling of total confidence and professionalism. This was her forte. Her career had always been her security blanket. She knew just who she was and what was expected of her, and she did it better than most.
It was noon Friday, when reality slapped her in the face. 'Rachel, its time to face the music. Just get your sorrowful ass out to that Park, and tell Dr. Morgan what a son of a bitch youve been to Meg after all shes done for you." Rachel sighed as she put Cherry in gear and headed to her rendezvous with the therapist.
"So, is Meg meeting us?" Dr. Morgan asked as she shook hands with Rachel.
"No." Rachel frowned, her heart pounding in her chest.
"Do you want to talk about it? You seem upset."
"Can we walk?" Rachel asked as she quickly turned away.
"Whatever will help."
The two women walked in silence for a few minutes. Then Rachel opened up.
"We had sex..... It was amazing sex. Ive never been that aroused in my life." Rachels eyes were focused on the past as she held herself, her arms beneath her breasts.
"I thought you were going to take it slow, do the intimacy exercises and learn to trust her in due time. That was the plan."
"Yeah, well, I didnt wait and now Ive hurt her." Rachel bowed her dark head in shame.
"How did you hurt her Rachel?" Dr. Morgan was becoming concerned for her friends physical safety, but tried hard to keep her professional face on.
"I pretty much told her I was going back to work and wouldnt need her anymore..... I couldnt face the feelings. I.....I didnt know if I could do it again....., you know....., let her love me that way, so I got scared and hurt her..... Im a coward." Rachel sat down on a nearby concrete bench, her hair blocking her face, hands wringing in her lap.
"Rachel, do you want to be able to let her love you?" Dr. Morgan asked as she covered Rachels worrisome hands with one of her own.
"More than anything." Tears streaked from her sad brown eyes. "I had a dream after we had sex."
"The same nightmare?" Dr. Morgan didnt move her hands from Rachels.
"No. This one was different..... It was awful." Rachel found it difficult to talk passed the painful lump in her throat.
"How was it different?"
"It was the exact same dream, except I wasnt the victim. Joey was molesting Meggie and all I could do was watch. I couldnt help her. She was calling out to me, begging me to make it stop." Rachel sobbed. "Oh God! But, I couldnt move. I was powerless to stop him from hurting her." Her tears were coming in wrenching sobs now, so Dr. Morgan removed her hand from atop Rachels, and placed an arm over her shoulders to offer comfort. She was surprised when the formidably built woman leaned her head upon her shoulder.
"Let it all out, Rachel. Its good to cry. Let it all go. Ive got you. Youre safe." Ricky Morgan offered her client the support she needed, feeling theyd made quite a breakthrough.
Rachel continued to sob and gratefully took her therapists offered left hand in hers. "Awww, Meggie....., Im sorry. I couldnt stop him. I tried." Rachel groaned in agony.
"Its not your fault Rachel. None of it was your fault. You were only a child. You must stop taking responsibility for what you had no control over. But you must take responsibility for your behavior as an adult." Dr. Morgan stated, gently.
Rachel nodded her head as she accepted a tissue from the ever prepared therapist. The tall beauty wiped her eyes. "I need to talk to Meggie about how Im feeling, and let her know that I love her..... And, apologize for being such a chicken shit." Rachel grinned.
"That would be right." Erica Morgan gave her clients shoulder a little squeeze. "How about you bring Meg on your next visit, say Tuesday, same time, same place."
"I will. Thanks." Rachel gave a grateful smile.
"You are very welcome." Dr. Morgan helped her client to her feet. "Talk with Meg. And, dont neglect your health. You look exhausted."
"Thanks. I think. Ill see you Tuesday, Doctor."
Rachel drove Cherry through City Park, thinking of how to apologize to her friend for running away from her, from their love. The candy apple red, 1964 and 1/2 Mustang glided out of the park and down Rue Esplanade to Torys Gym. It was too early for Meg to be home from her office, and Rachel was feeling the need of her best friends companionship.
"Well, hey there, stranger. What have you been up to the last few days? Dont you listen to your messages anymore? I was getting worried about you. But, then I figured you were in good hands with a certain little blonde." Tory rambled as she continued stacking the towels for her clientele to use.
"Ive been busy with a new contract. Sorry, I didnt mean to avoid you."
"Youre back at work, already? I thought you and Meg would want to take as much time as possible to get to know each other better." Tory stopped what she was doing to take a closer look at her friend. "Somethings happened. Are you alright....? Rach....? Come on, now...., youve been crying." Tory locked the door and turned the Open sign around to Closed. She took her friends hand and led her up the stairs to her apartment. They entered her kitchen, and Tory poured them both a cup of coffee with chicory from the pot that was always brewing her favorite beverage. She sat them down at the dinette table, and they both put their feet up on a vacant chair. "So, start talking."
Rachel filled her friend in on her fears and how poorly shed handled herself. "Gosh, it was awful. I pretended like nothing happened, like I just had to get back to work. You know, Ciao baby, dont let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. I was a complete jerk. I just woke up terrified from that damn dream again....." Rachel took a ragged breath and the tears hung on her long lashes. "But this time he was attacking Meggie and ......and I was helpless to do anything about it..... Nothing, just watch it happen....."
"So, you got scared and ran to your work, where you feel safe and confident. I get the picture. So what now?" Tory asked.
"Now, I go crawling back and beg her forgiveness."
"Are you going to hang in there this time? You know you cant keep running away from her when things get hard. You either stay or you go. She deserves to be treated better." Tory got up and walked behind her best friend, placing her hand on her friends shoulder. "I love you, Rachel. Nothing is more important to me than your happiness. Meg is offering you an incomparable gift. Take it. Let her help you, baby."
"Ill try harder, Tory. It just scares me sooo much."
"I know, baby. I know." Tory leaned down and kissed Rachels dark head.
The doorbell rang, pulling Megs attention away from the files she was working on at her coffee table. Who could that be?. Meg looked through the peephole and quickly opened the front door, but, left the screendoor locked.
"Hi. Sorry I didnt call first. Are you busy?" Rachel managed to ask.
"Umm, no. I was just doing some paper work. You want to come in?" Meg offered.
"Yes, please. If its alright," Rachel stammered.
"Its alright." Meg opened the screen door. "Would you like some coffee?"
Rachel followed the petite blonde into the kitchen, trembling ever so slightly with fear as Meg busied herself with the porcelain coffee pot, and set a sauce pan of water on the stove to boil. "So, hows work going?"
"Great. I enjoy working with the kids. The parents....well, they can be a trial." Rachel was becoming more comfortable. Work was always an easy and interesting subject for her.
The two friends sat uncomfortably, avoiding each others eyes, wondering what next to say. The silence went on painfully until Rachel could no longer take the stress.
"Im sorry." Rachels voice was barely a whisper, her throat constricted with emotion.
Meg looked into pain filled brown eyes. Rachel searched her friends face for any encouragement, then continued.
"I know I have no right to expect you to forgive me and if you want me to, Ill leave. But, I swear to you Meg, Ive never loved anyone like I love you, and if youll give me another chance, I promise Ill do whatever you and Dr. Morgan want me to. I just want to be able to be with you in every sense..... Jump right in wherever you see an opening, cause Im dying here." Rachel joked, but her expression was filled with fear and hope.
Meg noticed the water simmering in the sauce pan and walked over to the stove. "It hurt, you shutting me out. I wont deny it." Meg poured the hot water into the coffee pot and listened to it drip.
"Im so sorry, Meggie." Rachel shook her head. "I guess this is it then..... Thanks for taking care of me." Rachel stood up to leave, her heart breaking. "See you at the gym some time."
"Wait....., Rachel, dont go." Meg turned to look at her lover. "Did you mean what you said? Youre willing to do whatever therapy Dr. Morgan recommends?"
Rachel felt a ray of hope warm her heart. "Yes, anything. I just dont want to lose you Meggie. And, I dont want to go on always feeling like Im on the outside looking in. I want to be a stable loving partner, your partner, your lover. If youll have me. I know I dont have any right to ask you to go through this with me. I dont even know if Ill be able to overcome my past, but I swear Ill try." Rachel studied her lovers sweet face, looking for any sign of rejection.
"I love you, Rachel. And, I promise to be there by your side every step of the way. But, you have to promise you wont shut me out ever again." Meg said with tears in her eyes.
"I promise. My next appointment with Dr. Morgan is Tuesday in the park. She expects you to be there too. Will you go with me?" Rachel asked hopefully.
Meg approached her friend, wrapping her arms around her waist, and rested her blonde head upon her ample breast. "Of course I will." Rachel smiled, and held her lover close to her heart. Meg looked up into the warm brown eyes that she loved. "I think we should refrain from having sex until Dr. Morgan and we think its appropriate. OK?"
Rachels heart sank, but she knew Meg was right. "OK." The tall, raven haired beauty leaned down and gently kissed Megs forehead and held her tightly. "Hows about that coffee?"
To Be Continued in Part 4 of The Awakening by Lena
August 12, 2000
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