Excerpt from "After the Dust Has Settled"
by LaVerne N. Curtis
Maya Wilkins, an attractive, single, black female, with a college degree, and a promising future as an attorney. Although there was no steady man in her life, at the moment, she didn't find herself waiting by the phone for one either. Why would she be? Her life was full of activity. Most days at the office, she found herself bogged down with paperwork, way before dawn, and not leaving until long after closing. She would meet her girlfriends for tea on Saturdays, and then of course, church on Sundays and brunch afterwards. Maya had her life planned out, each and every detail. She would brag about the way in which she had order. Every moment accounted for.
From the outside Maya looked the part. Thanks to the gym, she had the body of a 22-year old. After a few bad experiences at the salon, she got tired of the whole perm thing, and decided to go natural. Yes, at 32, Maya Wilkins was a force to be reckoned with. To top it off, she just made junior partner at one of the most prestigious law firms in Chicago. She was quite proud of this too, but had her sights set on partner, in the not-so-distant future. The sky was the limit. To everyone she seemed to have it all together, but with each passing moment, the memories of her childhood haunted her. The dreams were becoming more frequent, and the memories more vivid.
The things she had always wanted to forget, found their way to the forefront of her mind. Maya felt like she was re-living her life as that scared little black girl, back in Detroit, with ashy knees, ponytails, and very dark secrets.
This was one part of Maya's life that wasn't all neat and tidy. The pain and the memories had to be reconciled. They had to be dealt with.
Were the dreams past thoughts she had pushed deeply into her subconscious, or merely, her mind playing tricks on her?
She knew she had to find the answers to these questions. God had brought her to the end of herself, yet again. The running was finally over.
As Maya looked up at the ceiling, she found herself counting each and every tile. She was doing whatever she could to ease the jitters. As she awaited Dr. Smith's arrival, she couldn't help but play back her entire life. Was she ready to share these very personal experiences that she hid from the world? Well, she knew that she wanted to get better, and she also wanted to stop having those horrible, recurring dreams. She found herself trying to get out of the dreams, even as she was having them. Maya knew that once she divulged her life to Dr. Smith, there was no turning back. This was the time and the place to put all of her cards on the table.
Despite Maya's past, and her family troubles, she managed to finish college, and go on to law school. She even passed the bar on the first attempt. She had a few successful relationships, but for the most part, she remained single. This was another reason to seek therapy, and get the help she needed. Maya would meet a man, become close to him, and somehow sabotage the relationship, and end up back at square one.
She sometimes used sex as a band-aid. The feelings she got from the intimacy were nothing in comparison to the emptiness she felt afterward. Maya often equated love with sex.