At the start of her next session with Dr. Patel, he’d returned to that word she’d used. “Do you still feel that you’re staring into an abyss?”
She remembered running her hand back over her scalp before answering. “I’ll be honest — that word choice last time worried me.” She noticed Dr. Patel nod knowingly. “It bothered me the moment I said it, and since then, I’ve been doing my best to avoid thinking about it.” When Dr. Patel asked for the details of her avoidance strategy, she’d replied that she’d focused on (re-)learning how to do her job at Crasob Engineering, had worked with Wings to figure out how to use the technology which was suddenly available to her, identified adjustments she’d need to make in this world lacking the transportation options with which she had been so familiar.
“Ah!” Dr. Patel clapped his hands victoriously, and she saw a smile bloom on the face of the man who asked her to call him Sumeet, or Sam. “That is not avoidance, Jane — that is acceptance!”
Jane wasn’t sure about Dr. Patel’s analysis at the time, but she had noticed her anxiety begin to lessen that day. The future remained dark and uncertain, but as the weeks and then months progressed, she felt she could stumble around in the dark as well as anybody else. She had even learned to attend parties, like this one this evening at Wings’ apartment, without feeling like a visitor from a strange land.