He didn’t say anything else, and I didn’t bother him. I let him fall asleep with his head on my chest. I wanted to know what he meant, but decided to wait until the doctors got there, as he requested. All that time, I thought I was the only one with the sexual issues. While I knew Jason was not willing to experiment in bed, I never thought he had anyrealproblems except for lack of creativity. Obviously I was wrong, and the road to recovery was going to have more twists and turns than I had ever imagined. We loved each other though, and our love was strong. If it could survive all the shit I had dealt it, then it could survive anything about Jason that might surface. As I drifted off to sleep, I whispered aloud to no one in particular, “I’ve survived my cheating. I’ve survived getting hit by a freakin’ van, and Iwillsurvive this too, so bring it on!”


Dr. Leonard Graham was a very handsome older man. He was full of energy, even after his flight in from Florida and fighting his way through the crowds and congestion at the airport. He looked to be about six feet even, with a bit of a tummy, nothing fifteen minutes on a Stairmaster for a couple of weeks couldn’t cure. He was caramel, with droopy yet sincere dark brown eyes, and his perfectly capped teeth gave him character. All in all, I liked him right off the bat. I got the feeling Jason did too. It would make it a lot easier for us to talk to him, since we thought he was cool. If some uppity, thinking-he-knew-it-all nucca had shown up instead, I would’ve had to tell Marcella all bets were off, friend of hers or not.

A couple of days had passed since I first woke up from my coma. I spent them trying to recover from my injuries, which thankfully didn’t amount to much more than a few bruised ribs and a big-ass lump on the head. There’s a lot to be said for being knocked out for a wholeweek. Because I didn’t know what was going on, I missed out on the worst of the pain and had been so drugged up by the IV when I woke up, I didn’t have to deal with all of that. Whatever pain I missed, I’m quite sure it was nothing like labor. Jason had the nerve to suggest another baby. I told him his ass had better be joking—if I went through labor one more time, both of us were coming out of the delivery room on a stretcher.

Jason was there around the clock, except for going home to shower and change. Dr. Ferguson, my physician, wouldn’t let the kids come visit, but Jason took instant photos of them every day so I could see their smiling faces. How foolish of me to try to kill myself and leave them behind! Jason’s partners were handling the firm, and as for my business, the same executives who covered for my ass after Brina’s death willingly stepped up to bat once again. I made a mental note to make sure to give them all a raise and extra vacation time with pay, once everything was back to normal. They more than deserved it.

Jason and I never talked about whatever was lurking in his past again. We decided the best thing would be to wait on the actual therapy sessions. I was just glad he loved me, and I was beginning to understand the reasons why he didn’t just haul off and hit my ass or leave me. Somehow, Jason was able to relate to my illness, and it would all come out in the wash. The chickens always come home to roost.

Well, the time had finally arrived. Dr. Leonard Graham, our savior dressed in a leisure suit and sporting a toupee, had arrived to mend the situation. Marcella was there in my room, along with Jason and my mother. Dr. Graham could only stay one day, so it was agreed that no matter how many hours it took, everything, and I do meaneverything, was coming out.

I knew I could handle it. After dealing with all my lovers, Marcella, Jason, and getting hit by a van all in one day, lying in one position on a bed all day was going to be a breeze. I was concerned about Jason, though. He seemed extremely uncomfortable, and I can’t say I blamed him. Most of the conversation would be about my sexual escapades with other people and the reasons behind them. My mother, I didn’t want there at all, but she insisted, and even though I’m an adult, disrespecting her wishes was not an option.

So there we were, packed into my hospital room. Dr. Ferguson came in and gave me a once-over to make sure I could physically handle whatever stress might arise and one of the nurses brought in some extra chairs, a couple of pots of coffee, and a pitcher of ice water. I felt like a prisoner in the infirmary of a penitentiary about to give a deposition for a Mafia murder case. All we needed was a court stenographer and someone wearing a black jurist robe. The doctors had several memo pads with them, and tape recorders. When I saw the stack of notepads, I wondered who in the hell was going to be saying enough shit to fill them all up.

Dr. Graham took the lead. “Now that we’re all gathered together here today, shall we


I was expecting him to say, “Shall we pray?” He reminded me of an evangelist I used to trip off of on a local cable channel who claimed he could heal people. Once the one who was healed had thrown his crutches away or announced he could see again, the minister would quickly pass the collection plates.

I had Jason sitting on the bed right next to me for moral support. It was more than likely we were both going to need each other to lean on throughout the ordeal. He held my hand, kissed me on the cheek, and attemptedto reassure me. “Everything’s going to be okay, Boo. I promise!”

“Zoe!” Dr. Graham blurted out my name, and all of a sudden I felt all eyes on me. “Marcella has filled me in on the majority of your case. I’ve also listened to the audiotapes and read her notes. She and I have had several phone conversations as well. She sent copies of everything to my office in Florida overnight express so I would be all caught up when I arrived.”

I glanced over at my mother, who looked like she might need a straitjacket before the end of the day. Her hands were trembling and she had terrible bags underneath her eyes, which probably could’ve been attributed to spending many sleepless nights worrying about me. She noticed my stares and managed a slight grin, which I returned.

“However, there are some things only you can clear up for me, Zoe. As Marcella has probably mentioned, I’m quite experienced in the area of sexual addiction, and if you let me, I can more than likely help you tremendously.”

“I would appreciate that very much, Dr. Graham.”

Jason seconded the motion. “We would both appreciate-it, Doctor.”

“You’re extremely lucky for a lot of different reasons, Zoe. Your suicide attempt failed, your mother loves you, your kids love you, and your husband loves you. I hope you’ll think about them if thoughts of suicide should ever arise again.”

I cut him off because I wanted them all to know. “That won’t happen. No matter what, I’m in this for the long run. No more trying to take the cowardly way out.”

“That’s good, Zoe. That’s real good.”

Marcella was sitting in the chair beside him, lookinglike a college student trying to keep up with a professor. She was taking notes. I guess she was attempting to gain some worthwhile knowledge about an area she knew nothing about—sexual addiction. That made two of us.

Dr. Graham took a sip of his black coffee and cleared his throat. “There’s something that’s been bothering me about this whole thing, Zoe.”

“What’s that?” I asked, even though the whole damn situation was bothering me.

“You talked to Dr. Spencer about a lot of things dating-back to childhood, such as sexual feelings and masturbation at a considerably young age.”

I looked down at the blanket covering my legs. I was totally embarrassed. “I realize now that it wasn’t normal.”

“No, it wasn’t, but what bothers me iswhyit happened. Do you have any thoughts on that subject?”

“No, none. Maybe I was just born that way.”

“Anything’s possible, Zoe, but I don’t really think that’s the case. I think something occurred in your childhood that started the whole chain of cause and effect.”

I started laughing; he couldn’t have been further off base. “That’s ridiculous. Something like what?”

“Something traumatic maybe? Possible something that was sexually related? Something . . .”

I preempted the rest of his commentary. “Ummm, Dr. Graham, far be it from me to criticize you, but nothing like that ever happened to me. I had a very normal childhood, a childhood I remember extremely well.”

“Are you sure about that, Zoe?”

“I am positive!The most traumatic thing that ever happened to me when I was young was the death of my father. I was in junior high, and I remember it like it was yesterday.” Jason grasped my hand tighter; he knew talking about my father’s death was very painful for me.

“Hmm, I see. Well, maybe something occurred that you don’t even remember, Zoe. That does happen, you know.”

“Not to me, Doc. Nothing happened, and I would most definitely remember if it did!” I was getting mad offended. He was insinuating I was too dumb to recall my own childhood. Plus, I didn’t like what he was implying. I wondered if he was trying to say I was abused by my parents or something of that nature and hoped he wasn’t. I would’ve hated to get up off the hospital bed and give him a beatdown.

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