Ellie pulled on her red coat as she stepped out of her door. The air was brisk and cool, autumn leaves in an array of oranges, reds, and yellows feel around her. It was a classic fall morning.
For the first time in a long while she felt ready for work...it was a Monday so she seemed refreshed and new, she had had a boisterous vacation the week before, and she was ready to get back into the mundane, although she knew that soon she would be wanting to go back to Hawaii.
The walk wasn't a long one, and she was pretty much used to it by that point. Soon the squat white building with painted sunflowers and rainbows came into view, it was like her second home.
Around the building, on the sidewalk, was a multitude of children's chalk drawings: an array of hearts, plants, and smiley faces were drawn onto the ground. Around the building was a small white picket fence, more for decorative purpose than anything. Two large windows peering into a waiting room stood just below a sign that read, "Art Therapy and Counseling".
Ellie opened the bright red door and walked inside. She was greeted with smiles and calls of "Welcome back!" or "Hello, Ellie!" She hugged everyone and smiled to the desk ladies or other therapists, and slowly made her way to the back to her office.
Many of her past clients had drawn her a 'thank you' or 'goodbye' picture because it just seemed fitting, she had missed looking at the variety of art styles and personalities of the drawings pinned on her wall, so she smiled as she passed them.
She sat on a chair and logged into her computer to access her schedule for the day. It was currently 8:15 in the morning and the clinic opened at 8:30. Her first appointment was at 9:30, she had about an hour.
Even though it wasn't recommended to log in to personal email or social media accounts on the work computers, her phone was broken so she decided to check it on there. She signed in and filtered through all the junk emails and offers, all the boring business stuff and news articles that had somehow found their way there.
Then she filtered through the emails from friends and family. Although the entire world now revolved around texting, a few old-fashioned people in her life had decided to write out a message. She responded to her grandma telling her she loved and missed her, she read an email from her great uncle, and one from an old family friend, and then finally one email caught her eye.
It was from a sender named, "SuperDan1234". She couldn't remember ever corresponding with someone with that email-name, but was the harm in reading the email?
"Dear Ellie Siksum,
"You probably don't remember me. I don't even fully remember you. I got your information from one of your family members that I'll leave unnamed for the purpose of this email. I just wanted to say, I saw you from afar the other day on the subway. It took me back to the good old days. Remember the swing set by that old oak tree back in Washington State? The time you went to go visit your grandparents and I came along for no apparent reason. We confessed our love for each other then, and your parent's got scared and shielded you from me.
"I heard you completed your dream of becoming an Art Therapist! Thats amazing! I always knew you could do that.
"Basically, I'll get to the point. I'm still interested in you, in, well, us. I want to be with you. If you want to try this thing out, meet me at the coffee shop off of Elmer street on Tuesday at 7PM.
She was shocked.
She hadn't heard from Daniel, or about Daniel in fifteen years. They were now thirty, they had been fifteen. It was true, her parents had separated them, banned her from corresponding with him. They were scared their precious daughter was starting a relationship too early, now they (and her) were scared she would never get one at all.
What would they do if she got back together with Daniel? Would she actually consider it? The coffee shop off of Elmer Street...it was Monday, that would mean it would be the next day, would she decide to reunite?
Before she knew it, it was 9:25. She made her way to "Room #12" where her first patient sat. She had met with this woman before, she was eighty years old and struggling with dementia.
Soon she forgot all about Daniel and her mind was enveloped in the work day. She finished her appointment with the dementia patient, then moved onto a girl with an eating disorder.
"Goodbye, Miss. Ellie!" The girl said cheerfully on her way out the door. Ellie waved and smiled, she loved what she did.
Finally her last appointment was here. It was 3pm, and most of the patients had already left. According to the file this was a new person, one she hadn't had a session with yet. She waited for the desk ladies to bring a more detailed file with more information. There was a knock on the door.
"Miss. Ellie? There was a mishap and the file got misplaced, go ahead and go meet with the patient, sorry we don't have the information yet," a tired looking intern said.
Ellie nodded and walked to room #2. She knocked on the door and heard a man's voice say, "come in!" and she tried to opened the door, but it was jammed.
"Sir, sorry to ask this of you, but do you mind trying to pull the door from your end? It seems to be stuck," Ellie said, embarrassed.
"Of course!" The voice seemed almost familiar, but she couldn't place her finger on it.
Suddenly the door was thrust open, and the force of it caused her to stagger. The man caught her arm before she fell and she blushed.
"I'm sorry sir, that was very odd-"
But before she finished her sentence she looked at his face and stopped.
It was the same brown-puppy dog eyes. The same sharp chin and brush of slightly-longer hair. He was still taller than her, but the fifteen years since they saw each other had closed the gap between their height a bit.
"Daniel? I thought-I mean, you just emailed me..."
"'Just' emailed you? I emailed you two weeks ago and you never responded," he smirked.
"Oh, I didn't see it until today."
"Well," he laughed, "at least you weren't ignoring me."
"I guess let's get started."
"You don't get it, Ellie. I'm not here for art or therapy. I'm here for you."
"But your appointment-"
"I did it so I could see you, talk to you, make you stay so you can't run away again," he said softly, a twinge of sadness laced into the sentence.
"I didn't run away, my parents made me stay away. You know that."
"But you didn't bother finding me."
"I thought you were happily married, had a couple of kids, you know," she sighed, where was this conversation going?
"I wasn't and I tried to find you. Will you give us a chance, darling?"
"Yes, of course, Daniel."