Opening the door, I fall from the car onto my knees. I gasp for air.
“Fuck!” I cry out, gripping my head in frustration. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” I slam my fist onto the floor, not caring about the pain that shoots through my hand.
Then, I really lose it.
Getting to my feet, I grab a baseball bat that’s propped up against the wall, and I start to smash the hell out of my car.
My vision is red, and I beat my frustrations and pain and fears out on the car, hitting the metal and glass over and over. But no matter how many times I hit it, I don’t feel any better.
Staggering back, I see the damage I’ve done.
The car that my father bought for me, all I have left of him, and I destroyed her.
Grief lances through me.
What the fuck is wrong with me?
I stagger back into my house, heading for my office.
I see all my trophies lined there, taunting me.
Then, I realize the bat is still in my hand.
With rage still burning in my veins, I take the bat to my trophies, wiping out what’s left of my career, smashing them to pieces until nothing is left but carnage.
The bat falls from my shaking hands.
I don’t feel better. I feel worse, if possible.
I hate myself.
I drop to my knees, among the mess I created. My head in my hands, I grip my hair, and for the first time since the accident, I cry.
I don’t know how long I stay there for.
Drying my face with the back of my hand, I get up and walk over to my desk.
Sitting in my chair, I open the bottom drawer, pulling out the bottle of whiskey I keep in there.
I unscrew the cap and take a long drink. Then, another. And another.
Then, without thought, I pull my cell from my pocket, and dial Dr. Harris before I realize what I’m doing.
“Dr. Harris’s office.”
It’s her receptionist.
“Is it possible to speak with Dr. Harris?” My voice sounds scratchy.
“Dr. Harris is currently in an appointment. Who is calling?”
I grit my teeth. “Leandro Silva.”
“Mr. Silva, I can have Dr. Harris call you back. Or if it’s an emergency—”
“It’s not an emergency.” I take another drink from the bottle.
“Should I have her call you?”
“No. Just forget it.”
“Are you sure? Because—”
“I’m sure,” I cut her off. “I’ll see her at my appointment tomorrow.” Then, I hang up the phone.
Why the hell did I call her?
Frustrated, I toss my cell on the desk and down some more whiskey.
It’s too quiet in here.
The silence in the room feels almost as painful as the noise in my head.
Reaching for my phone, I turn on the music to drown it out.
Fingers curled around the bottle, I drop my head to the desk, as the sound of Ed Sheeran’s “Bloodstream” kicks in.
“LEANDRO SILVA CALLED. He sounded on edge, told me not to bother telling you he called, but I knew you would want to know.”
Sadie’s words ring in my head. They’ve been bothering me ever since she said them to me yesterday.
I tried calling Leandro back as soon as she gave me the message, but I got his voice mail. He didn’t call back.
Now, he’s late for his appointment. Forty minutes late.
I’ve been treating him for only a week now—three sessions, four including his initial session—and so far, he’s talked around everything but his actual problem, no matter how much I try to steer him to it. I didn’t want to push him in the initial, I wanted to let him lead the pace, but if he wants to be back in his racing car by January, then I’m going to have to take some decisive action and push him forward.
But this, not turning up for his appointment, just isn’t going to cut it.
I tap my fingernails on my desk, debating on what to do. Then, my office phone rings.
I snatch it up.
“Leandro Silva is here for his appointment,” Sadie says down the line.
I try to ignore the actual level of relief I feel, which is more than I usually do in these cases. “Send him in.”
Ten seconds later, the door opens, and a disheveled-looking Leandro walks in my office before closing the door behind him. His clothes are rumpled, like he slept in them. His overgrown black hair is messy, like he just fell out of bed and ran his hands through it.
But even still, he looks handsome.
As my eyes move down from his face, I see something red on his shirt, near the top button.
I immediately think blood. But when I narrow my vision on it, I see it’s not blood at all.
It’s lipstick. Red lipstick.
I curl my fingers into my palms, nails biting my skin. “Are you okay?” I ask. My voice sounds tight.
What the hell is wrong with me?
I will myself to relax.
He rolls up his shirtsleeves, revealing strong tanned forearms dusted with black hairs. “I’m fine.”
He’s hovering by the door he just closed, seemingly unsure of what to do, so I get up from my desk and move to the seating area.
There’s no apology for his lateness, and I don’t prompt it, no matter how much I want to.
“Can I get you anything?” I ask before sitting.
He still hasn’t sat down.
“Are you going to sit down?”
He glances at the chair like he didn’t even know it was there.
With a nod, he walks over and sits down.
Leaning forward, forearms on his thighs, he clasps his hands together.
That’s when I smell it—alcohol. The smell is strong on him. And I can smell perfume. Cheap perfume.