Chapter 29: Past Lives, Past Loves

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[A/N: Songs for the chapter:
- Daughter // Youth
- Maroon 5 // Sad
- Birdy // Not About Angels]

A bland, beige, four storey building loomed over Tyler and I, blocking off the sun to cast a long shadow that seemed to grow with each minute. The square windows were tinged yellow with age and spotted with small, white bird droppings from the boisterous pigeons that flapped above us. The brisk wind carried traces of the fast-approaching winter, seeping through my jeans and chilling me to the bone. I tightened my coat around my body and pulled the zipper from my chest to my chin.

"Is this it?"

Tyler looked at me questioningly, clearly unimpressed by the eroding, limestone structure. He furrowed his eyebrows as we craned our head at the sky.

"Yup," I glanced at him, letting out a short laugh. "What did you expect? A spotless skyscraper with a doorman to point us towards the fancy reception?"

"Not quite," He pursed his lips and raked his eyes over the building, sizing it up. "Just something a little more...professional looking."

I rolled my eyes, biting back a sarcastic remark because it wasn't Tyler's fault that his parents could afford one of those immaculate therapists with trendy offices and hot assistants.

They were overrated anyway.

Here it was just a rented floor that Dr Jillian conducted her sessions in. Nothing too fancy which was the reason, along with her expertise, why she seemed to have a soaring success with her clients - excluding myself, obviously.

We continued to linger outside for a moment longer before I hopped up the small, stone steps and pressed a finger on the doorbell. Letting it ring for a few seconds, I shuffled on the steps to bring some warmth back into my legs whilst Tyler rubbed his hands together and blew into them.

"Man, it's freezing. You'd think that the cold could wait until November," He complained, glancing at the deceitfully blue sky that was dotted with wispy clouds.

I nodded with agreement. It was one of those days where the sun shone with an intensity that could blind a person, but the wind still nipped at our cheeks, leaving them unbearably numb. On Tyler, pink cheeks seemed to compliment his rosy lips, but on me, I was pretty sure the tip of my nose was redder than Ruldolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

When we were buzzed in, I pushed the door open, holding it open for Tyler as I gestured for him to go in first. With an eye roll, he stood glued to his spot.

"Come on, do you wanna be late?" I gave him a flat look, impatience creeping into my voice.

Tyler's lips twitched as if he found my irritation amusing, but still, he made no move to escape the biting wind.

"Seriously?" I huffed when he pointed his chin at me to enter the building first. "Now all of a sudden you want to play the gentleman?"

My eyes found his lips which were pulled into a smirk and I lifted them back to his intoxicatingly bright eyes, holding them for a moment before letting out a breath of frustration.

"Suit yourself," I grunted, striding into the crisp warmth that shot down from the heat pump that was built into the tiled ceiling.

The ground floor wasn't furnished to sophistication but the interior designer had made an attempt to give the spacious room a friendly atmosphere. Although, I didn't want to remember the last time I had been dragged into this building by my mother, wild with anxiety, sleepless nights and exhausting nightmares. It reminded me of a hospital because everything was pristine white besides the vibrant abstract paintings that lined the walls on my left and right, large and attention seeking. They weren't particularly impressive, more like a splatter of metallic paint tossed onto a black canvas by a child.

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