No disclaimers on this one. I wrote this little ditty for Mavis’ Birthday Contest and just decided to share it off list. Comments appreciated at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“All roads lead to therapy.” After this pronouncement, the patient settled back and folded his hands across his ample belly. He’d said everything he’d come to say and now waited for his therapist’s return volley.
Oh God, I need some relief. Dr. Odessa Martin slumped back into the shadow that crossed her desk and struggled to keep her voice scrupulously neutral. Patience and neutrality were the most difficult skills to acquire in her chosen profession and she’d never possessed vast amounts of either. Pressing her fingertips together, she pretended to evaluate the declaration then said, “I believe that’s all roads lead to Rome, not therapy.”
“Rome…therapy, what’s the difference? I’m here aren’t I?”
The pencil she habitually twirled snapped, scattering wood slivers across her desk and eliciting a self-satisfied smirk from her patient. Odessa quirked an eyebrow at her least favorite patient then chose another pencil from her stash. Thursdays were Dr. Martin’s busiest days. She taught in the mornings, spent lunch meeting with students, and dedicated afternoons to individual therapy sessions. After a quick dinner, she’d head off to the Center to provide her services to the women sheltered there. Twelve grueling but fulfilling hours dedicated to the thing she used to love best: helping others.
When she was a child, her grandmother had filled her head with stories about Sojourner Truth and Martin Luther King. God knew she’d never heard his call, but making her people proud had been woven into the very fiber of her being. Every day of her youth, she’d been lectured about the importance of service until she bristled with purpose and grabbed the shield, eager to take her turn on the field of battle. Before her conversion, the pictures of Martin Luther King that graced every wall in her gram’s house seemed to be benign. Afterwards, she always felt like they were beaming down on her with approval. Most people contented themselves with one formal portrait, but her gram collected his picture like other people collected thimbles.
Service had been her calling, but lately her she’d grown tired. Nothing she said or did seemed to provide anyone any relief. Especially herself. Her normally healthy coffee brown skin was drawn and ashy regardless of how much lotion she slathered on. Her soft “good hair” had dried out and become as brittle as the tumbleweeds that skittered across the highways of this godforsaken part of the country. Misguided love had lured her away from Georgia and placed her deep in the Sonoran Desert.
Killing time, she doodled in her notebook knowing that the session was very near its end. Within seconds, her patience was rewarded and the timer dinged her release.
“Well, Mr. Clement looks like your time’s up. See you next week same time?” As much as she didn’t like dealing with this man she had bills to pay and he was one of her few self-pay clients. All he really needed was someone to harass and she filled that role for him. No one else would put up with his nonsense.
Mr. Clement gathered his belongings and Odessa ushered him out the side door heaving a huge sigh of relief. He was her last patient for the day. Now all she had left to do was finish her notes and close up the office before she headed home for dinner.
Odessa’s co-dependency group that night was more of the same torture she’d endured for months. One woman complained that her husband had retired from the post office and retreated to the basement saying he’d seen too much. Most days Odessa felt the same way. According to his wife, he’d been down there for sixteen months and refused to come out. He’d even refused to attend his mother’s funeral stating that she wouldn’t care that he wasn’t there. In January, when he’d descended, he’d weighed 375 pounds, but sixteen months later, he was up to 550. His wife was afraid that his pension wouldn’t cover the excavation costs when they finally had to cut a hole in the wall to remove his otiose corpse.
Odessa clamped a pencil between her teeth to keep herself from telling her client what to do. Her job was to listen and facilitate other’s finding their own answers, not provide the answers herself. Even when the answers were obvious. She wanted to tell her to stop feeding him and he’d come up eventually, but over time she’d realized that most people were reluctant, at best, to deal with reality. Without volition, her hand rose and rubbed a crescent shaped scar that was concealed by her hairline. It was a parting gift from a former patient who’d found another use for her summer heels.
Friday morning she overslept, then broke her favorite coffee mug while hurrying to keep her appointment with her friend and department head, Dr. Leslie Craven. She’d called in desperation, needing to talk to someone, and Leslie had cleared an hour out of her busy day just for her. Despite her best efforts, Odessa was late and her ruined make-up was evidence of her poorly suppressed tears. Leslie met her at the door to the suite and ushered her directly into her office.
“What’s wrong, Odessa? What’s upsetting you?” Leslie settled her friend onto the cushioned sofa then drew a chair up close enough to touch Odessa’s twitching leg. “Is it Carmen? Tell me what’s going on.”
Odessa dropped her head into her hands and scrubbed her face trying to dam the tears that trickled down her cheeks. She wept silently for a few moments, then gathered her composure and faced her friend. “No,” Odessa said. “Not Carmen. We’re through. I’ve told you that.”
“Then what is it?”
“It’s everything, Leslie. I can’t take it anymore.” She looked around for a pencil then ran her fingers through her carefully styled hair, a sure sign that things were not right in her world then said, “I can’t face another patient or student. They’re sucking me dry.” Raising her tear stained face she whispered, “I’m going crazy. I’m distracted and disorganized and I want to hurt…somebody.” Seeing the shocked expression on her friends face she hastened to add, “Not me. I don’t want to hurt myself.”
Leslie blew air between pursed lips silently then indicated that her friend should continue.
“It’s everywhere. I see the tops of people’s skulls popping open like washing machine lids and I’m pouring detergent into the open hole.” Shuddering from the morbid image she said, “It’s crazy. You’ve got to help me, Leslie. I can’t stand it.”
Leslie’s eyes widened and she eased back from her friend. Therapist burnout was a common problem, and Odessa had an especially bad case. She did the only thing that she could think of in this circumstance. “I have an opening for Tuesday and Thursday mornings at say…7:30? I also think you should clear your schedule and-”
“No, Leslie. Not more therapy! I tell you I can’t stand it.” Odessa’s bottom lip quivered as tears once again sprang to her eyes. “I want…I mean I need…time. That’s all. I just need some time.” Odessa turned beseeching liquid brown eyes towards her friend and mentor praying that Leslie would see things her way.
Wrapping her arms around Odessa’s body to soften her ultimatum, Leslie said, “Time! Girl, all you’ve had is time. You’ve been skipping your session regularly and look what’s happened. Absolutely not, Odessa. Those sessions are mandatory. I won’t hear of anything less. Not if you want to keep working, that is.”
Odessa sobbed, “That’s…that’s just it, Leslie. I’m not sure I want to…I can keep working. I need…I need…”
Leslie reared back as if reacting to a physical blow. “You can’t mean that, Odessa. You’re too good and do too much for people to turn your back now.”
“But what about me? What about what I need? What I want? When does that matter to anyone? Odessa threw her soggy tissue into the wastebasket and pulled three more from the box by her side. “I need-”
Seizing the opportunity to get the conversation back on a manageable course Leslie said, “You need some time to recharge your batteries. Why don’t you use my condo in Sedona? Take some time to think about things.” Leslie walked over to check her calendar, making a mental note to postpone her weekend away with Robin.
Odessa’s eyes lit up at Leslie’s suggestion. “But what about those sessions? You said-”
“We can do them by phone. Take some time for yourself. After you come back, we can talk about this again.”
Odessa nodded quickly, getting away might be just what she needed. Her enthusiasm waned when she asked, “But what about my students and the clinic? What should I do about them?” As an afterthought she added, “my clients, who’ll see them if I go away?”
“I’ll handle all of that, Odessa. You just take care of yourself.”
The women spent time reviewing Odessa’s counseling and teaching schedule, canceling some sessions and assigning student therapists to others. Dr. Craven personally took over her classes.
“Looks like we’ve got everything covered for the next two weeks, Odessa. I want you to take the time and evaluate what you’re up to. Go to my condo in Sedona and see what you can work out. I’ll expect you back here on the 27th.
Odessa steered her Silver Lexus onto exit 298 on I17, gambling that she’d make it to her destination before her car died. It had been acting up for weeks, intermittently cutting out and then restarting after an hour’s wait. She’d been to her mechanic three times, and each time he’d returned the car hinting that maybe Odessa was mistaken because he’d never been able to find anything wrong. On the way up from Phoenix the car had shuddered twice, making her think it was going to quit on her, but after a quick prayer, the engine smoothed out and allowed her to continue on her way. It would have been just her luck to stall out on the way to vacation.
She continued driving towards the sun on Highway 179, squinting when brilliant sunshine brought tears to her eyes. Once they started, Odessa found it impossible to make them stop so she pulled over rather than taking the chance that she might run into something. Deliberate breathing brought a modicum of calm so she turned the key only to have the ignition grind uselessly. Her dead car brought fresh tears and she cried until her sinuses ached, turning the ignition again and again in frustration, unconsciously mimicking her clients’ senseless repetitive behavior.
She was still sitting behind the wheel crying when a metallic tapping against the window made her clasp her chest in fear. She whipped her head around; squinting against her tears trying to make out the features of whomever was standing beside her car. The figure had backed away and was standing with arms extended away from her body, assuming a harmless stance that went a long way towards easing Odessa’s fright. Wiping the tears from her face, she cracked the window so that she’d be able to speak with the stranger. She asked, “Can I help you?”
Stepping closer while still keeping her hands out to her sides the stranger said, “That’s what I was going to ask you. You’re the one sitting by the side of the road.”
Bristling at the stranger’s flippancy, Odessa ground the engine again. She pounded the wheel in frustration and said, “My car won’t start.”
“I see that. Pop the hood.” The stranger sauntered to the front of the car, grinning happily when Odessa reluctantly complied.
Rubbing her bruised hand, Odessa climbed out from behind the wheel and moved to the front of the car to see what the stranger was doing. She was greeted by dangling legs and a gorgeous green clad butt; the mechanic had practically climbed into the engine compartment. Off tune whistling issued from under the hood and Odessa watched while the stranger poked and prodded the visible wiring, jumping back when she pushed herself from under the hood.
“I’m going to have to give you a tow, m’am. I can’t fix this here.”
“Yeah, I even brought my truck along. See?” The stranger peeled blue nitrile gloves from her hands and waved them behind her, indicating an idling tow truck. “Wendy Harper at your service.” She ran her eyes down Odessa’s form grinning while Odessa looked back and forth between the mechanic, her car, and the truck.
Snapping her jaw shut Odessa drawled, “Really?” She eyed the driver’s pixie like face and green jumpsuit idly wondering what was hidden beneath its folds. “Are you sure it’s not Darling?”
“Darling? Why’d you call me that? We’ve just met.” Wendy stuck her hand out pulling it back again to stuff the gloves in her back pocket. “My name’s Wendy. Wendy Harper. What’s yours?”
Blushing at her forgotten manners, Odessa extended her hand and said, “Oh, Odessa. Odessa Martin, but I didn’t call for a tow.”
Grinning hugely Wendy said, “I know. I was just taking a ride and saw you sitting there.”
“In a tow truck?”
“How else would I tow your car?” Wendy tucked her hands into voluminous pockets and rocked back and forth on her heels.
“Of course.” Odessa nodded, eyeing her rescuer warily, watching for any sudden moves. This woman had a manic gleam in her eye that many would mistake for enthusiasm. Odessa’s experience led her to believe that the tow truck driver was clinging to the edge of the sanity abyss by her steel covered toes. The driver had pulled the chain and was hooking it to the Lexus’ undercarriage when Odessa asked, “What’s wrong with it?”
Straightening from her crouched position Wendy shrugged her shoulders and said, “Dunno, Om, but whatever it is I can’t fix it here.”
Irritated not only by her car’s lack of cooperation but also by the tow truck driver’s inability to speak her name Odessa growled, “It’s Odessa, not Om.”
“That’s what I said, Om. You know, your initials, ‘O’ ‘M.’ Like those meditation things.”
“Yeah, mantras. Om is a pretty common one according to everything I’ve seen on TV.”
“Do you meditate?”
“Nope, no need. I’ve got my coin.” She pulled a hand from her pocket then flicked her thumb, sending a flash of brightness spiraling into the sky. Once it landed, she opened her palm with a flourish and displayed its well-worn surface. “Frowny, next answer’s no.”
Odessa looked at the coin nestled within the mechanic’s small palm hovering before her eyes. “Excuse me?”
Speaking slowly as if she was explaining the miracle of birth to a small child
Wendy explained, “Smiley face is yes, frowny face is no. Came up frowny
so the next answer’s no.”
“You can’t mean that you make all of your decisions by flipping a coin?” Odessa fumbled in her pocket for a pencil while her eyes widened incredulously. Every time she thought she’d plumbed the depths of bizarre behaviors, someone deepened the well.
Wendy said, “No, I don’t, not all of them. Only the ones I’m not sure about.” Her lips curled up and she said, “See, it worked. You asked a question and my answer was no. Works every time.” Finished hooking the car up, Wendy waved Odessa into her truck.
Resigned to meeting lunatics at every turn in the road Odessa prodded, “And where did you get this idea?”
“I saw it on TV-”
Odessa interrupted, “On television?”
“Oh yeah. I’ve got a great one too. It took me three years to save up, but I’ve got an HDTV that’s this big.” Wendy spread her arms out to their full span, which outlined pert breasts under her jumpsuit. “I watch it whenever I can. Bubblegum Crisis is my favorite.”
Odessa was now certain that Wendy was still mentally with Peter and the boys but something about her made her skin flush and her belly heavy with longing. She shook herself mentally, surprised at her suddenly surging libido and brought her attention back to the conversation at hand. She said, “Tell me more about the coin.”
Scowling, Wendy said, “I’m trying, but you keep interrupting.”
“Sorry, go ahead.” Odessa schooled her features to present a picture of complete attention and twined her traitorous fingers together in her lap to keep them from tracing Wendy’s sharp cheekbones.
Shifting into gear Wendy said, “Alright then. On the Science channel they said that everything on a computer happens with either a one or a zero. That’s like my coin except I made it with smileys and frownys.”
“Smileys and frownys…”
“Uh huh. I tried thumbs, but I never could remember which one was up.”
Odessa turned her face towards the passenger window to hide her smirk. “So smileys and frownys work better for you?”
Wendy ducked her head and blushed, “Yeah, I made it myself. See, it’s cool.” She rummaged through her pocket until she found the coin again then offered it to Odessa.
Gingerly taking the coin from the mechanic’s hand Odessa examined it. She jumped back, startled when a spark leapt between them. The craftsmanship was well done and the coin obviously saw lots of use; both sides were worn from repeated rubbing. The driver kept glancing out of the corner of her eye as Odessa turned the coin repeatedly, something was niggling at her subconscious, but she couldn’t bring it to the forefront of her mind. “Go on, Wendy. You were telling me about how you came up with this.”
Wendy grinned then said, “Anyway, the show said that lots of things happen because of one and zero. If computers can do everything with them, I can too.”
Intrigued, Odessa asked, “Why didn’t you just use yes or no?”
“‘Cause not everything’s a yes or no answer. Sometimes I have two things I can’t decide between and the coin helps me choose. It works great! You should try it.”
Something about Wendy’s simplistic logic resonated and made Odessa reconsider her initial opinion of the tow truck driver. Maybe there was more to this woman than first appeared, her physical response to her notwithstanding. She sat beside the driver in silence until just after they passed the sign that announced Sedona proper.
“Wendy, would you mind dropping me off? I’m staying at a condo on Arroyo Roble Road.” She waved a hand at her rumpled clothing. “I’d like to change and get something to eat before I have to tackle this car again.”
“Sure, Om. Not a problem. Just tell me the address and I’ll take you there.”
They pulled up in front of the address and the women exchanged information, Wendy diligently writing Odessa’s insurance information down and Odessa signing the paperwork consigning her car to Wendy’s care. Each time they touched or made eye contact, Odessa’s skin tingled and she’d blush ducking her head at Wendy’s knowing grin.
Wendy carted Odessa’s luggage out of the car and into the condo, grunting with effort under the weight of the bags. Odessa tried to help but Wendy waved her off saying, “I’ve got it, Om. You just watch.”
Odessa willingly complied, manual labor was something she avoided at all costs and she was only too happy to watch Wendy work, admiring the wiry muscles that the woman revealed when she unzipped her jumpsuit and tied the dangling arms around her waist. The muscle t-shirt she wore was stained with sweat but Odessa ignored that to think about how nicely Wendy’s small breasts would fit in the palms of her hands. It had been a long time since Odessa had been with a woman, Carmen was her last and sex with her had been infrequent and one way with Carmen always on the receiving end. Odessa licked her lips, imagining Wendy’s fingers tangled in her hair holding her in place while she ravaged her breasts with her teeth and tongue. She shivered awake when Wendy brushed her fingertips against her arm.
“You alright, Om? You had a funny look on your face just then. Anything else I can help you with?”
Blushing furiously, Odessa shuffled her feet, embarrassed to be caught wool-gathering about sex with a woman she didn’t even know was a lesbian. She cleared her throat, hoping her voice would sound normal and said, “I’m fine. I was just…thinking.”
Waggling her eyebrows playfully, Wendy teased, “Must have been good, you were really moaning. I thought maybe you were in pain or something.”
Odessa cringed then turned towards the doorway, waving Wendy through and stepping onto the stoop behind her. She was at least nine inches taller, placing Wendy’s mouth even with her breasts. Though it was still warm out, her nipples rose and stiffened, reaching out towards Wendy’s lips. Embarrassed, Odessa stepped back and pressed her shoulder blades against the door unintentionally forcing her breasts forward. Instead of moving away, Wendy stepped towards her until there was less than an inch between Wendy’s lips and Odessa’s straining nipples.
“Something tells me you want me to stay.” Wendy’s breath brushing against her nipples almost made Odessa come on the spot. She opened her mouth, almost panting her denial. “Yes, I mean no. I want you to go.”
Wendy cocked her head and stepped away giving Odessa some much needed space to gather her scattered wits. Maybe she’d tapped into a ley line. Sedona was riddled with energy vortexes but as far as she knew, none of them were sexual.
“Are you sure? I’d love to stay and…” She stepped closer and ran a fingernail across Odessa’s straining nipple almost buckling her knees in the process. In a sing-song voice she chanted, “Stay or go, yes or no. Stay or go, yes or no. Stay or go, yes or no.” Odessa writhed under Wendy’s fingertip, her blood was pounding in her belly, making it difficult to think and still Wendy chanted, “Stay or go, yes or no.”
Finally following her body’s lead Odessa breathed, “Yes, stay.”
Wendy’s gray eyes twinkled and she winked, “And you didn’t even need my coin.”
Odessa fumbled behind her for the doorknob, stumbling backwards when the door opened behind her. Wendy followed, catching Odessa by the wrist then raising it to her lips to nibble the pulse point once again nearly buckling Odessa’s legs. Odessa groaned then leaned in for a kiss, she had to slow this down or she would come in her pants before Wendy even really touched her.
Wendy deepened the kiss; maneuvering Odessa’s bent form backwards and down the hall towards the open bedroom door. Odessa’s legs folded at the knee when she bumped into the bed and she fell backwards, finally breaking the kiss. She raised her hands to her seducer beckoning her to join her on the bed, frowning slightly when Wendy raised a hand and said, “Stay there. Don’t move. I need a shower.”
Breathless and confused, Odessa flopped back onto the bed and stared at the ceiling. She’d never had such a physical response to a stranger before, but knew that whatever magic Wendy possessed she wanted it. Odessa slid her hands under her waistband, inching her fingers towards her aching center, needing to take the edge off her desire. Just before she touched herself, Wendy poked her head back into the room and said, “Ut, ut, ut. No touching. The wait will make it better.” She grinned at Odessa’s groan then flashed her naked ass before returning to the bathroom.
Odessa lay still, listening while Wendy sang in the shower. She couldn’t make out the words or even the tune but found herself somehow mesmerized by Wendy’s voice and she couldn’t wait until that mouth, those lips were snugged in her most intimate place, sucking life fluid from her neatly shorn lips. Lost in her daydream, Odessa didn’t hear the shower stop, didn’t hear Wendy moving around, didn’t hear anything until Wendy was standing naked between her legs, holding out her hands to help Odessa up.
Wendy turned her around to face the bed, rubbing her naked breasts against Odessa’s silk clad back. Odessa pressed backwards and Wendy slapped her ass saying “stay still, this is my rodeo.” Breathing raggedly, Odessa nodded her head and tried to stand still while Wendy unbuttoned her clothing. Cool fingers nipped and pulled her nipples through her bra and Odessa sagged, struggling to support herself on weakened legs. Odessa’s nipples had never been as plump and sensitive and Wendy played them like a jazz pianist, herky-jerky tugs followed by smooth finger riffs. On the edge of coming just from nipple play, Odessa tried to turn around, but Wendy pushed her forward onto the bed, trapping her arms in her shirtsleeves by rolling her over onto her back.
Nipples pointing to the heavens Odessa swallowed thickly when Wendy licked her lips. “We need to get that bra off but not just now.” She bent over and tugged Odessa’s slacks and panties from her hips, leaving them draped around her ankles. “Now I think I’ll…”
Eyes glazed with desire, Odessa panted, “Touch me, Wendy. I need you to touch me.
“Oh I will. I will. Don’t you worry.” She dropped to her knees and peeled Odessa’s shoes off massaging her feet then taking the time to run her fingertips up the inside of her thighs stopping just before she reached Odessa’s aching slit. Odessa’s hips rose, seeking contact but Wendy grinned and stepped on her pants, pinning Odessa’s feet to the floor. “Now I’ve got you, my pretty. If only I had some lube.”
“In my bag. The blue one. Please, Wendy. I need you.”
“Just a sec.” Wendy left the room then returned with the blue bag, upturning its contents onto the bedroom floor. “Pantyhose, underwear, socks, bras…” She paused to finger the lacy edge and Odessa’s nipples ached with longing wishing those fingers were fondling her instead of her underwear, “…ahh, lube. Now where’re my pants?” Odessa’s eyes tracked her as she moved around the room then widened when she snapped on a pair of blue gloves.
“What…what are those gloves for?”
Wendy resumed her position between Odessa’s legs, pouring a liberal portion of lube onto her gloved hands then dripping some on Odessa’s heated slit. Odessa jumped when the cool lube hit her clit and Wendy once again stomped on her pants, forcing her hips back onto the bed. Rubbing her hands together Wendy said, “Now where was I? Oh, right here.” She touched her lubed fingers to Odessa’s opening probing gently to gauge its elasticity.
Odessa moaned deep in her throat and her eyes rolled back in her head when Wendy inadvertently brushed the tip of her clit with one of her fingers. “Oops. Sorry about that.” Wendy pushed her fingers in a little deeper, curving her fingers upwards to press on Odessa’s g-spot. She asked, “Have you ever been fisted?” Odessa’s head thrashed and the only sound she produced was a series of grunts and moans that increased in volume and intensity the deeper Wendy pressed her fingers. “I’ll take that as a no then.” She poured more lube onto the palm of her right hand, pushing three fingers then four into Odessa’s wide-open snatch. Finally, she tucked her thumb into her palm and Odessa swallowed her hand whole, grunting when Wendy’s fist pressed against the walls of her womb.
Wendy stepped off of Odessa’s pants and straddled one of her long legs, twisting her right hand and gently massaging Odessa’s lower belly with her left.
Odessa moaned, “Oh…my…god! What are you doing to me? “I’ve…never…felt like this before.” Raising up on her elbows she pried open her eyes, falling back again when she realized Wendy’s hand was completely inside her body. Coherence deserted her when Wendy pressed her wrist against her g-spot and she was reduced to grunting, moaning and sobbing her pleasure.
Wendy rode Odessa’s straining leg waiting until she was on the edge of coming before she moved her left hand down to Odessa’s cleft. Using her thumb, she massaged Odessa’s lips, avoiding her clit completely until Odessa called out, “Touch me! Touch me!” So Wendy did.
When Odessa came back to herself, Wendy was kneeling between her legs her right hand still being squeezed intermittently by Odessa’s womb. She was wet all over, sweat dotted her forehead and moisture seeped from her womb, running down the crack of her ass and drenching her asshole. She sighed gustily, twitching whenever Wendy moved her hand too weak to protest when Wendy withdrew her hand using steady pressure until the thickest part popped free. Wendy snapped off her gloves, wiping her hands on a towel she’d placed beside Odessa’s hips, then climbed onto the bed, kissing her way up Odessa’s quivering body.
Wendy said, “That was some ride, huh?”
The edges of Odessa’s lips turned up and she whispered, “I’ll say, cowgirl,” then closed her eyes as sleep dragged her under.
A slash of sunlight woke her and Odessa stretched, pleasantly sore from the previous night’s activities. Wendy was still snoring softly, back turned and curled around herself. Odessa resisted the urge to run her fingertips down the knobs of Wendy’s spine. She chuckled softly, one leg was still entangled with her pants, but Wendy had taken the time to free her from her blouse at some point during the night.
She shook her leg free and Wendy stirred then rolled over, throwing a leg over Odessa’s hips. She asked, “Ready for round 2?”
The women spent the next two weeks together, mostly in bed. Odessa patiently endured Leslie’s early morning calls; time spent with Wendy had mellowed her out. They ate, hiked and laughed, only occasionally venturing to Wendy’s garage to check on Odessa’s car. Odessa learned more about automobiles than she thought possible and Wendy learned about the rigors of being a therapist. Wendy used her coin frequently for decisions both large and small and each time Odessa furrowed her brow at the idea that was niggling at her subconscious. They were lying in bed, sharing their last afternoon together when Odessa was stuck by a thunderclap that she eagerly shared with her new girlfriend.
Wendy said, “I don’t know, Om. It doesn’t seem right to sell it. I thought it up for free. Maybe I should just share.”
In a million years Odessa never imagined herself saying the words that were about to come out of her mouth but she was desperate enough to take the chance. “Flip your coin, Wendy. See what it says.”
Odessa didn’t go by her given name anymore; she’d changed her name to Charon and disengaged completely from her profession. Life was good on the talk show circuit; she’d even introduced her grandmother to Oprah, which almost made up for the disappointment she’d seen in her eyes when Odessa had resigned from the University. Wendy was especially pleased because she was the star of their informercials. As the spokesperson, she could watch herself on TV anytime she wanted. The only thing she liked better was dragging Odessa off to bed for a mid-afternoon romp, something Odessa was always ready for.
Odessa was ecstatic because in an odd way she was still helping people. It didn’t hurt that they’d made a mint within the first three weeks of offering the coin. She didn’t even feel guilty about her new livelihood. The coin was Wendy’s idea, but she’d come up with their instruction manual and sales pitch all by herself. The Decision Coin: two extremes that lead to infinite possibilities.
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