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Hi. My Name Is... by Sarah Hinkle BAM, BAM, BAM! The knocking on my front door was getting louder and more insistent. Good grief! Would she ever give up and just go away? I looked furtively around my living room to make sure there was no evidence that I was home. The curtains were drawn, so she couldn't look through the front windows. I had chosen heavy cotton ones that resembled denim rather than that flimsy, filmy, silky stuff that did nothing to keep out prying eyes. At the time, I had merely wanted to match the country theme of my décor, but now they were really proving their money's worth. "Story! I know you're in there. Just open the door." She's bluffing. She couldn't possibly know. I had even taken the initiative to hide my motorcycle in a neighbor's garage after explaining to them the threat of inclement weather for tonight. Glancing around once more, I had determined that she definitely couldn't know I was here. The only light in the room came from the glow of the screen on my lap top. Wait. What if she could see that through the thick material of the curtains? Could she see it through the peep hole? I had purposely sat on the couch so that I was facing the door. With quiet movement, lest she could hear the whir of my fingers moving through the air, I quickly pushed the F5 key to dim the light that suddenly seemed bright enough to illuminate the city. Each keystroke was like canon fire to my ears. "Story, if you don't open this door right now, I'm going to call the cops." Okay, now that was a definite bluff. What could she do, call the cops and report that I wasn't home? "I'll tell them I think you're inside and hurt. I'll call 911 and tell them I heard you yelling." Puh-lease. I knew she was mad, but not that mad. There's no way she's gonna do that. Dismissing her hollow threats, I went back to my work. "Hello?" her voice quivered. "Is this 911?" Oh crap! "Yes. I'm at my friend's house. I can't get in because the door is locked, but I think she's inside and hurt." There was a pause. She wouldn't! How could she?! Jamming my lap top under one of the brown, faux leather pillows on my couch, I ran to the door, tripping over the coffee table. I could hear things falling to the floor. "I've been banging and banging on the front door. All I can hear inside is a faint mo-" Throwing the bolt back, I yanked open the door, a muffled shriek barely escaping the back of my throat. "Molly, what on earth are you - ?" Stopping mid-rant, I stood there in utter frustration, my mouth hanging open. There was Molly standing on my front stoop with one hand on her cocked hip and the other held up to her face, thumb to ear and pinky to mouth, faking her stupid phone call. Her lips were trembling with false sincerity, a few crocodile tears filling her luminous, green eyes. She blinked them away and a smirk replaced the tremor on her wide, full mouth. "UGH!" I screamed in disbelief. Molly glanced at the neighboring stoop of my duplex, with one perfectly plucked eyebrow raised. "Tsk, tsk. What will the neighbors say?" "You…you…how could you…what were you think…of all the low down…I can't believe…" "Quit your yammering and start explaining. What do you mean cancelling this appointment?! Did you think I was dumb enough to fall for the 'I'm not at home' bit? Need I remind you, you're the blonde one, sweetie?" Her flaming, red hair was positively quivering in her outrage, reminding me of her temper tendencies. She pushed past me and came stomping into my darkened home striking out at the light switch. My eyes blinked furiously at the intrusion of so much brightness. "Just look at you. How long have you been sitting here in the dark?" "I don't know. Not long. I couldn't be sure when you'd get here." My defense was weak at best. I crossed my arms over my chest and raised my chin in defiance, hoping it would make me look convincing even if I didn't sound convincing. "Look at this place! When is the last time you cleaned in here?" It's not that bad. Sure, there are mountains of things cluttering every flat surface. The dirty, empty bowl from my morning cereal was still sitting on the end table next to the couch. Come to think of it, I think I've been using that very bowl every day for the last few days without cleaning it. I'm not going to tell her, though. My blanket and pillow lay rumpled on the floor, evidence of having never left the couch even to go to bed. Feeling more and more guilty, my chin slumps to my chest. I glance away, unwilling to meet her eyes or take in the scene around me. "Honey, you can't even pick up the magazines and mail that have fallen on the floor? I'm surprised you even managed to check your mail." "Now wait a minute! They fell there when you forced me to race to the door to stop your ridiculous and intrusive phone call!" There. Her picking at me was helping strengthen my resolve. "Obviously, I haven't had time to pick them up." "Story," now she started sounding like she was talking to an imbecile or a child, or an imbecilic child. "What are they even doing on the coffee table? Don't you understand? You weren't like this before. You used to be so OCD with your house cleaning and organizing. Now you've just let everything go. I can't stand seeing you like this. You need help." "Oh, great! It's the same ole song and dance. I told you I gave that up. I'm NOT addicted." "Really?" She doesn't believe me. How dare she not believe me? "How long have you been without?" "Almost 24 hours," I said very proudly. "Wow. Will wonders never cease?" Her every syllable was reeking with sarcasm. "Let me see your hands." "No!" I jammed my hands into my back pockets. "That's just dumb! I'm not a child, Molly." "You want to prove that you've given it up? Then show me your hands. If you can prove it to me, I'll leave right now and you won't have to go to that meeting." "You'll leave me alone and not bug me about this anymore?" "Yes." Praying that I could keep my hands steady, I pulled them out and brought them around to the front of me. I was concentrating very hard and incredibly they were stable. I looked up at her with a burst of triumph. "Hang on," she said doubtfully. I glanced back down at my hands and they started to shake imperceptibly. My eyes squinted in concentration as I tried to regain my focus and get control again. It didn't work; they were shaking in full force now. Completely frustrated, I shoved my hands back into my pockets. I kept my face lowered, not willing to meet her gaze. "Story," the compassion and concern in her voice started to break me. "Can you see it now? You can't do this on your own. You don't have to do this on your own. There are people out there going through the exact same thing and they want to help you. That's why the meeting tonight is so important." Begrudgingly, I nodded my head. I knew what she was saying was true. In my stubbornness I didn't want to admit it. But being stubborn wasn't helping anything. I wasn't getting any better. Right before she showed up, I was about to cave. I just couldn't hang on any longer. I could feel myself capitulating. "Story," she keeps saying my name. Why does she keep saying my name as if I don't know what my name is? It was pretty grating, actually. "Story, is this how you want the story of your life to read?" Looking up at her quickly, I can't believe she would use such an awful pun. The hint of a grin was lurking around her lips. "Did you really just say that?" She was almost smiling full on now. "My parents didn't have the sense of humor they thought they did when they gave me that name, and you aren't displaying much of one now; try coming up with some new material." "Please, let me take you to that meeting." Her eyes were beseeching, "You are my best friend and I love you. I only want what's best for you." "Fine, I'll go, but only so you'll stop nagging me." She walked over and engulfed me in big hug. I was embarrassed at the amount of obstacles she had to step over to get to me. The hug felt good. I needed the human contact. She's taller than me so my face ended up buried in her shoulder. "But, I want to ride my bike over," my voice came out muffled. I couldn't give in completely. I was still feeling a little rebellious. "Yeah, right," she chuckled. "Like I'd let you do that. You'd never show up. Come on. Let's get in the car. If we hurry, we'll just make it." "Okay," heaving a sigh. I pulled away saying, "Let me get my computer, just in case." "Story!" "Okay, okay! I'm going, I'm going!" We were silent in the car the whole way over. I couldn't even tell you what scenery or buildings we passed. I was looking out the window without seeing anything, my gaze focused inward. I can do this. Hopefully, I could convince myself before we got there. I know I can beat this. We were there before I knew it. Molly reached over and gently shook my shoulder to let me know it was time to get out of the car. Walking down the hall, Molly knew exactly where to go. She had made the arrangements for me and I was so glad she was there for me to lean on. If it weren't for her, I could never have taken the first step into the building. We arrived at the room and I stood before the door. Molly's hand was at my back in support. I eased it open and peeked inside. It was a big, open room and there was a group of people sitting on chairs in a circle at the center. They all turned to gawk at me correctly assuming the last empty chair was meant for me. The dark, wood panel walls were littered with tacky, brightly colored self-help posters emblazoned with self-help slogans saying: You can do it! - You're worth it! - Take the first step today! Oh, boy. Maybe I can't do this. I was just about to ease back out the door when two hands at my back shoved me unceremoniously into the room. Turning, I could see Molly clapping as the door closed on her. Great. That's what those supporting hands were back there for. "Please, come have a seat. You can start the meeting tonight." I slowly turned back around to locate the owner of the kind voice. A woman holding a clip board sat with her finger pointing at my intended chair. I shuffled over to take my seat, feeling everyone's eyes on me. "Start by telling us your name and why you are here." I gulped, "Hi. My name is Story." "Hi, Story." The chorus of sing-song voices startled me. I stopped staring at floor long enough to glance around the group. Everyone's faces were full of encouragement. I can do this! With determination I cleared my throat and started again. "Hi. My name is Story. I'm here because…I'm addicted to Facebook." A great weight lifted as I said the words out loud. I could feel the healing process begin




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