Grace II
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Grace left Elliott’s and started walking down the street towards her car. When she reached it she unlocked the door, got in and threw her bag in the direction of the passenger seat. As she sat down she started wondering if she had made the right decision.
The constant phone calls had to stop, that was a definite. But did she have to be so final about it? Ok, so she had never sat down and spoken to him properly about it, but she was pretty sure that she had made her feelings about the situation perfectly clear. But... even if she had talked to him about it would things have changed? She was not very confident that they would have, but that didn’t stop the niggling doubt. She looked up and saw Elliott get into his car and drive off without noticing her. She rummaged around in her bag searching for her phone, and when she found it she called her sister.
“Hey Brig, you up for a visit?” She asked when her sister answered the phone.
“Um, sure.”
“Be there in a few minutes.” She hung up, threw her phone down, started the engine and began the drive to her sister’s.

Brigitte lived in the family home. It was a spacious, three-bedroom house situated on top of a hill and consequently you could see the entire town centre from there. When their mother had died three years ago they had both inherited it, however Grace had her own house that she loved and so Brigitte had bought Grace’s half and Grace had stayed where she was. Their mother’s death had been hard on them both but it had been especially difficult for Brigitte, who had been closest to her out of the two sisters. When they found out she was ill and wasn’t going to get better, Brigitte had given up her job to care for her. Grace often suspected that Brigitte wouldn’t have become agoraphobic if the mugging had had happened before their mother fell ill. She wouldn’t have normally let something like that bother her, but the situation with their mother had left her fragile.

Grace pulled up outside the house and knocked on the door. She had driven the whole way there with the window down and when she saw her reflection she grimaced slightly and smoothed her hair out. Her sister answered the door and pulled it open to let Grace in.
“So what brings you here this early on a Saturday?” Brigitte asked, heading into the kitchen. “Normally you’re not out of bed before eleven.”
“Man troubles.” Grace replied seating herself at the table.
“And so you came here because I’m such an expert?” Brigitte said sarcastically.
“You’re rational.”
“So are you.”
“I think the rational part of my mind is starting to fall apart and I need you to tell me I’ve done the right thing.”
Brigitte handed her sister a mug of tea, and sat down on the chair next to her. “What’s going on?” She asked.
“I ended things with Elliott today.” Grace replied, and took a sip from her mug.
“Is this because of the Lorelei situation?”
Grace nodded, and stared out of the window.
“It just got too complicated. I was willing to accept the fact that he had this one-sided relationship with her. I didn’t necessarily agree with the way she takes advantage of him but... whatever, that’s up to him, but she was always in the way. She would call him three, four times a week needing to be picked up from somewhere, or taken home, or wanting Elliott to drive around with her so she could look out for her husband’s car because she didn’t know where he was. Elliott would never say no to her. We could be in the middle of dinner or in bed and if she called he would go running. It just got too much.”
“Well dumping him is pretty rational. You can’t stay in a relationship like that, it’s not fair. How long would this go on for? Would he still be like this five, ten years down the line? You did do the right thing.” Brigitte said, but by looking at her sister she could tell that Grace didn’t think the same.
“You don’t agree?” Brigitte asked.
“I don’t know.” Grace replied rubbing her face with her hands. “I mean, yes, logically it was the right decision, but that doesn’t mean I feel great about it. I’m having to persuade myself that it was right.”
Brigitte picked up the empty mugs and put them in sink, then sat down in the chair opposite her sister. “Well, you were seeing each other for what? Three? Four months? You’re bound to have some attachment towards him.”
“I left it too long. I’ve known for weeks that I needed to end it but I kept putting it off and putting it off, thinking that he’d come to his senses soon. I shouldn’t have put it off because now I have strong feelings for him and it’s harder to let go.” Grace sighed and rested her head in her hand. “I wonder if I’ll hear from him.”
Brigitte gave her a comforting smile and patted her hand gently. “If you don’t then it’s his loss.”
“Yeah.” Grace murmured, not entirely believing that was true. “So how have you been lately?” She said, changing the subject.
“Up and down. Some days I feel great yet other’s I can’t even get out of bed.”
“Have you spoken to the doctor recently?”
Brigitte laughed. “They don’t do anything. The choices they give me are different meds or counselling. When someone hasn’t left their house in two years they need more than that.” Brigitte sighed and looked at her lap. Grace felt angry. Her sister had a serious problem and the health service wasn’t offering the support she needed.
“Ok, seeing as they are a big pile of wang me and you need to do something about it.”
“Like what?” Brigitte asked, looking up. Grace thought about it for a second.
“Desensitisation.” She replied. Brigitte just looked at her blankly and Grace realised she had to elaborate. “By repeatedly exposing someone to a stimulus they find frightening the person gradually becomes more accustomed to it and it becomes less fearful. I think that if we do that using small steps then we can have you walking to the park in a few months.” She reached across and placed her hand over Brigitte’s. “But only if you’re ready. I really believe you can do this but you have to share that belief.”
Brigitte took a deep breath and smiled.
“Let’s give it a try.” She said.


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Thank you so much for your comments KyleTheArtist and Mrs.Kuma updated sooner than I had planned because it turns out I'm not needed to work tomorrow! Woohoo!

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