Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: White (10/29/09)
TITLE: Shades of Surrender
By Jennifer Galey
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Patrick deflected the inquiry with his pearly white grin.
“You know why we’re here. Let’s get on with it.”
Hannah lowered her grey eyes in effort to minimize her husband’s harsh remark.
Dr. Grace jotted a note on her legal pad.
“We are going to do an exercise,” Dr. Grace announced, handing them both an index card.
“Think of a color that symbolizes your spouse. Write it down and hand it to me. Then, we will discuss why you chose that color.”
Hannah and Patrick exchanged a quick glance of confusion. They were in a lawyer’s office.
Patrick threw his hands up in the air.
“Is this really relevant? What does this have to do with why we are here?” he fired back.
He sighed, scribbling a quick response. Maybe a psychological evaluation was a prerequisite for a divorce. He was definitely new at this.
Hannah strategically chewed off the outer edge of her index finger nail, mulling over the most appropriate choice.
“This is not a test. There is no right or wrong answer. Just trust whatever comes to mind,” Grace suggested.
Patrick shook his head in disbelief. Hannah hesitated before she turned over her card.
“Okay.” Dr. Grace read the responses. “Well at least you two agree on something—on paper that is. Now Hannah, tell Patrick why you picked white.”
Hannah paused to muster up some courage before she turned to her husband.
“I chose white because it represents coldness. I feel that you are critical and insensitive.” Tears peaked over her red rims, threatening to tumble over.
Patrick’s demeanor tensed as he stared back without blinking.
“Tell her how that makes you feel,” Dr. Grace prompted.
“It makes me feel like the Abominable Snowman,” Patrick piped up. “I mean, you think I’m some kind of monster.” His ego began to melt a half inch.
“Your turn, Patrick.” Dr. Grace’s glasses slid a little further down her nose.
Patrick massaged his temples in effort to smooth the words emanating from his thoughts.
“I picked white because you represent naivety—well more like innocence. Maybe that is why I come across so critical.” The words sprouted through the icy patches of his pride.
The room swelled with expectant silence.
“This exercise was designed not only to discover each other, but to help you understand your personalities. I gained great insight into the different approaches the two of you employed to complete this simple assignment.”
Patrick tried to listen to Dr. Grace, but his focus turned to why he came here. She paused to grasp his attention.
“Patrick, you wrote down the first thing that came to your mind. Although this indicates you are honest, it also suggests that you can be rash and impulsive. This is part of the reason that Hannah perceives you as insensitive. Hannah, you lost part of a fingernail over-analyzing this exercise. This implies that you are detailed-oriented. However, your perfectionistic tendencies cause you to be overly sensitive.”
Hannah acknowledged her reflection from the psychological mirror that Grace had given her.
“I really do you love you,” Patrick blurted out, surprising even himself. “And that is an honest answer.”
Hannah struggled to keep her emotions in check.
Dr. Grace stood up and leaned in closer, causing her glasses to slip to the floor.
“So I will ask you two again. Why are we here today?”
Dr. Wickham plopped the divorce papers on the table in front of them and disappeared.
Patrick flipped over the papers so only the white back was showing.
“Hannah, all I want is a new beginning.” Patrick pleaded, tapping the blank page. “I love you,” he breathed across her skin.
“I love you, too.” Hannah’s tears began to loosen the mask of perfection.
The door flung open, interrupting their silent surrender.
“Hello. My name is Grace Wickham, Attorney-at-Law. Sorry I’m late. I can’t seem to find my glasses anywhere.”
“But…you…” Patrick began, trying to disentangle the deja vu situation.
A vine of chills crawled up Hannah’s spine, realizing they just experienced a divine appointment.
“So do we agree on why we are here today?” Dr. Wickham implored.
“Yes, we do,” Hannah asserted lightly from thickened emotions. “But it’s not to get a divorce.”
The couple left with no notion of who this lady was, eternally grateful for the appearance of Grace.
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