I fight off the negative thoughts.
But we keep going right? Through the nightmares, the fake smiles and laughs, we keep going, because the alternative is just letting them win.
I run through my mental bullet points. Look into their eyes. Smile, not too much. Shake hands, not too hard. Yes sir, yes ma’am. Thank you, no thank you.
Waiting in front of the house, I keep my head down low, a pencil tucked next to my baseball cap so I look less threatening and more professional. Like I’m supposed to be here for work instead of whatever else the neighbors may be afraid of.
The thought of a neighbor is so anxiety-inducing that my breathing turns shallow. Ground yourself, Liam. I fight off the negative thoughts.
Everything in this neighborhood is so clean, so put-together and organized. My rusted pickup looks alien.
The front door opens and Heather waves to come inside. She’s a model of perfection, pants neatly pressed, a matching blouse, and a smile that almost …