beginning. accusation. restless. snowflake. haze. flame. formal. companion. move. silver. prepared. knowledge. denial. wind. order. thanks. look. summer. transformation. tremble. sunset. mad. thousand. outside. winter. diamond. letters. promise. simple. future.
Rokia usually comes back from therapy sessions shaken but this is the first time she’s actually shaking. The session runs long, and instead of sending Rokia out to the waiting room on her own, Adriana comes with her, one hand on Rokia’s shoulder. Walks her all the way over to where Lyme’s stood up to greet them but is frozen at the fear on Rokia’s face, the way she’s curled in, protecting herself.
“Lyme’s here,” Adriana says, in a soft voice. “You’re okay.”
Rokia looks up, wide-eyed, and Lyme crouches down, forearms balanced over her knees so Rokia can watch her without looking up. “Hey, kiddo,” she says, cautious.
Rokia blinks a few times, like she’s trying to clear her head, then steps forward. Lyme stands up and Rokia moves in close, wrapping her arms around Lyme’s waist, leaning her head against Lyme’s shoulder. Lyme hugs back, one hand working into Rokia’s hair, scratching against her scalp. She catches Adriana’s eye over Rokia’s head, raises an eyebrow.
Adriana looks tired, now that Rokia’s not watching, and she shakes her head slowly. Lyme strokes Rokia’s hair again and asks, “Hey kiddo, you wanna go home?” Rokia nods against her, doesn’t move. Lyme hesitates for a second, then lifts the girl onto her hip. Rokia doesn’t protest, doesn’t even tense up, just fits herself against Lyme’s side.
She walks into the house by herself, but she’s still sticking close like a shadow, still not saying anything, so Lyme walks over to the couch and lets Rokia curl into her lap, strokes Rokia’s hair and rubs her back until she falls asleep.