“No. Listen to me.”
She tries to pull away, but I don’t let go. If I let her go, I know I won’t get her back.
“You might be a grown man and in control, but when I met you, you were in a bad place, and in some ways, you’re still healing. I had an influence on you, on your recovery.”
I stare deep into her eyes. “People influence one another every second of every day. That doesn’t mean they can’t be together.”
“But those people didn’t take an oath like I did.”
My body is rigid with frustration. It’s like talking to a wall. She won’t hear me.
“So, by becoming a doctor, that means you’re also a fucking nun?”
“No, but it means I can’t fuck my patients!” she snaps.
I drop my hands from her arms. Her hands cover her face. I watch her, listening to her shallow breaths.
Slowly, she lowers her hands from her face and looks at me. I can see her words in her eyes before she says them, and my stomach twists.
“I’m sorry, Leandro, but this was a mistake.” Her words are whispered, but I feel like she just screamed them at me. “I took advantage of you. I’m so, so sorry.” Her hand slides over her stomach, tears filling her eyes.
In this moment, I feel like I’m missing something, but I’m so blinded by my anger that I can’t see clearly enough to see past it. “You didn’t take advantage of me!” I explode.
“You confided in me. I know how you use sex as an escape from your problems.”
Her words instantly make me feel dirty, worthless. I hate that she can make me feel that way.
I grit my teeth and speak, “Used to—past tense, India, and you, above anyone, know this. Having sex with you was because I wanted to…because I want you.”
“No, you think you want me, but you don’t really. You just have a reliance on me.”
“It’s not. It’s the truth. You just can’t see it yet. But with time, you will.”
“Stop talking to me like I’m a fucking child, India! I didn’t come to you for therapy because I was suicidal or not in control of my own mind. I came for your help because I needed to get back in a fucking car.”
“You had—have PTSD. You were drinking and using sex as a way to cope. You were in a bad place.”
“Not as bad as you think.”
“You’re painting a different picture in your mind because of what you think you want.”
I pull at my hair in frustration. “I know exactly how I feel, not because of a patient-therapist attachment. I wanted you from the moment I saw you—before I even knew you. And, yes, you’ve helped me, but you haven’t gotten in my head and twisted things around. I want you because I want you. And for no other reason.” I cup her cheek with my other hand. “I want you,” I repeat softly.
Closing her eyes, she takes a shuddering breath.
For a moment, I think I have her until she opens her eyes, and I see how shut off she is.
“I’m sorry, Leandro. In time, you’ll see that I’m right. Ending this is right.”
I’ve lost her.
The feeling is like a bullet to the chest.
“You’re fucking wrong, and with time, you’ll see that.” I step back away from her, turning away.
“The kart…” she starts, pulling me back.
I stay there but don’t turn around. I can’t look at her. It’ll hurt too much. My chest feels like it’s bleeding out from the hole she just put in it. “Do what you want with it. Sell it, and give the money to charity. I don’t fucking care.”
“I’m so sorry,” she whispers from behind me.
“Yeah, I’m sure you are.” Sarcasm drips from my words.
I yank the door open and then stop. I pull a card from my wallet and toss it on the hall table. “If Jett still wants to get into karting, give this guy a call. He’ll help get Jett started.”
I risk a look at her.
She’s crying. “I’m sor—”
“Yeah, I got it the first time. Have a nice fucking life, Dr. Harris.” And I slam my way out of her house and her life.
I’D LIKE TO SAY I’VE MOVED ON FROM LEANDRO, but the truth is, it’s like I’m still standing in my hallway, watching him leave.
The ending I play through my mind is the version where I chase after him, tell him I’ve changed my mind, that I want him.
The reality is, I’m sitting in my office after my day has ended, alone and missing him.
For days after he left my house, I wanted to speak to him. But each time I picked up my phone to call him, rationality would get the better of me, knowing I could lose everything if I went after what I wanted.
Then, time slipped by, and before I knew it, it had been weeks, bleeding into months, and there was no going back for me.
He’d moved on.
Even though it was hell—not seeing him, not speaking to him—it had to be this way.
But even still, I torture myself with him.
I do my usual ritual where I tell myself not to go online and search today’s news for him. I relent for a few days, thinking how strong I am, and then I crack, just like I’m going to today.
I bring the screen on my MacBook to life. Bringing up the search engine, I type in Leandro Silva. The screen fills with stories of him and the races he won this past year since he returned to Formula 1.