Marelize Roets is a globe-trotting member of the only white tribe in Africa. She is rapidly gaining her ten thousand hours of experience writing, pursuing her degree in creative writing in Orlando, Florida. She lives her life by making bad decisions until someone comes from the future to stop her.
Summer sat on a tawny leather couch. Her skinny legs dangled as she swung her feet back and forth. Diplomas from different universities hung on the walls and the room smelled like wood cleaner. Pictures in plastic black frames faced away from her on the desk. A stack of faded green files lay in a neat pile to the one side and some books were alphabetically ordered on the other. She leaned back and mouthed the words imprinted on a golden plate on the door to her right.
Doctor E. L. Richardson.
The red on her lips smudged as she bit the bottom one. She looked down at the violet-colored chipped nail polish on her fingertips. She flinched and curled her hands into fists.
“Summer, so sorry to keep you waiting,” said Dr. Richardson as he hurried into his office. He closed the door behind him and sat opposite her.
She smiled shyly and twirled a strand of mousey-brown hair around her finger.
“How are you doing?” he asked.
He held a small yellow notepad and a pen ready to scribble his observations. He peered at Summer. The tips of her fingers were covered in tiny red dots. He furrowed his brow and made note of the dots.
Strange red dots on fingertips.
“I made a new friend,” said Summer. She opened her fists and thrust her hands outward.
“That’s good, Summer,” he said. “How does that make you feel?”
“Good,” she said. She let her hands rest on her dangling legs.
“What is your new friend like?”
“Perfect,” she said, biting her lip. She lifted her chin and looked up to the ceiling.
“What else can you tell me about her?”
“My friend is not a her,” she said, giggling.
“I’m sorry,” said Dr. Richardson. “Is your friend a boy?”
“My friend and I learned how to sew,” she said, ignoring his question.
Summer pushed her thumb against her index finger and glared at the tiny red dots.
“I would take the string and push it through the small hole. That’s called threading the needle,” she said, motioning with her hands. Dr. Richardson scribbled in his yellow notepad.
Strange red dots on fingertips from sewing?
“It was difficult at first because I have never sewed before,” she said. “But I’m really good at it now.”
“What were you sewing?” asked Dr. Richardson.
“It took a while to get all the pieces I wanted,” she said.
“Pieces for what, Summer?”
“First, there was Paul. He had the nicest hands,” she said, looking at her own.
Dr. Richardson squinted and tilted his head. He remained silent.
“Then there was Erin from the Laundromat. She had the nicest neck.”
“Are these your friends, Summer?” he asked, scribbling in his notepad.
Avoidant personality disorder?
“Then there was Ryan. He liked to go to the gym. He had the nicest arms.” Summer’s eyes glazed over as she described each body part.
“Then there was Fay. I didn’t like her. She said mean things about me but she had the nicest lips.”
Dr. Richardson continued to scribble in his notepad.
Avoidant personality disorder?
“How do all your friends make you feel, Summer?” he asked.
“Then there were the triplets: Eric, Christian and Tracy. They were the easiest because they lived together. Three of the nicest parts in one place.”
“What did you like about them?”
“Eric had the nicest eyes and Christian had the nicest hair. Tracy had the nicest legs,” she said.
He remained silent.
“You can’t just use any thread, you know? I had to find the right one. A strong one,” she said.
“Summer, what did you--” A bead of sweat rolled down his forehead. He continued to scribble in his notepad.
“It took a while to get all the pieces I wanted,” she repeated.
Dr. Richardson remained silent. Summer pushed her thumb against her index finger and glared at the tiny red dots.
“Dr. Richardson,” she said, biting her lip. “You have the nicest chest.”