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Chapter 18: So Lucky It Hurts ~ Scott Walker

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A doctor or dentist’s office – the waiting room, from the look of it. Magazine-covered coffee tables, cheap art on the walls, and puke-colored carpet. Across the room, a door marked, “Private.” And sitting across from me: Emma!

I scratched at memories from the last ‘verse, pulled up Emma’s face – well, that version of Emma – and added it to the rest. The version in front of me was new: brown hair, shorter than last time; grey eyes; a wide, thin mouth and delicate nose. Crisp clothes with nary a spot of dirt, and what look like a pair of very expensive, very uncomfortable designer heels. Spoiling her image were ragged, bitten down fingernails, covered in the flecked remains of a reddish polish.

But it was definitely her.

My shin hurt, and from the look on Emma’s face, it’s not hard to imagine which sharp-toed fashionista shoes were responsible for the throbbing in my leg.

“You were snoring,” she hissed at me.

I wiped the spit from the corner of my mouth. Must have dozed off.

Not the best place I’ve landed, but I’ve wound up in worse.

The door opened, and a gray-haired woman wearing glasses peeked through. “Mr. and Mrs. Blunt? Please come in.”

Before I can rise, Emma stood up, and I caught a flash as she slipped the strap of her purse over her shoulder. She was almost at the door when she stopped, turned back to me.

“You coming, David?”

My hope mingled with disbelief at my apparent luck. Not only have I been dumped into this ‘verse close to Emma, not only was I in the same room with her, she already knew me!

I shook my head at my incredibly good luck and ran my hand through my hair. That’s when I noticed it, the strange feeling on one of my fingers. My third finger. On my left hand.

I put my hand in front of my face, and it felt like the hand belonged to someone else. A gold band winked back at me.

No. It can’t be.

Then it hit me: the flash I caught as Emma stood up. A glance confirmed it. She’s wearing an engagement ring and wedding band.

Of all the blind luck…

“Yeah, yeah, coming.” I stood up and crossed the room. I couldn’t wipe this shit-eating grin off my face.

Emma gave me a strange look. “What’s so funny?”

“Nothing,” I said. “Just in a good mood.”

That drew strange looks from both women, who stared back at me. When I couldn’t bear their looks any longer, I shrugged.

“What? I can’t be happy?”

The woman cleared her throat. “Of course you can. Shall we?”

Emma threw me a nasty look before turning on her heel and stepping through the door.

The woman escorted us back to a smaller office. A small, round, white disk squatted on the floor outside her door, with a power plug snaked under the door. It made a weird noise.

The name on the door read, “Dr. Winslow,” and as she opened the door, she slid a plastic tab on it from “Open” to “In Session.”


Inside was more cheap art on the walls and a lot of plants, some hung from the ceiling and reaching almost to the floor. A small loveseat and a chair faced each other, with a small table. A single box of tissues sat on the table.

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