Mace (Cocky Cage Fighter #4)(102)

By: Lane Hart


“They may not say those exact words, but that’s what they mean when they say I’m not the right body type.”

“Is that really what they mean?” she asks, but doesn’t wait for my response. “What if a Broadway play was having tryouts for the role of a college student and they told all women over the age of twenty-five that they were not in the age range they were looking for. Does that mean that they are saying anything negative about those women personally? Would that mean that they were not brilliant actresses just because they were turned down for a specific role?”

“Of course not, but it’s not the same-”

“It isn’t? Why not?”

I open my mouth to respond, but I don’t have a rebuttal.

“Hailey, just because you don’t fit in one particular box, it doesn’t negate your worth or your beauty. I’m willing to bet that there is a place where you belong, where you’re exactly what they’re looking for. Maybe you’ve just narrowed your search and it’s too small for you to see.”

“So I don’t belong in modelin’?” I ask.

“That’s not what I’m saying at all,” she tells me with a shake of her head. “If that’s what you want to do, then do it. But you should do it as you are, not how you wish you were. The middle-aged actress has to accept the fact that she can’t portray a role as a college student. That doesn’t mean she isn’t the best damn actress the world has ever seen in another show.”

“I don’t want to be called a fat model, plus sized, or whatever term you want to use,” I admit.

“Unfortunately, those terms are unchangeable by everyone except the industry. More accurate terms would be average woman, realistic size or even healthy. Based on height and weight charts you are not healthy. You’re underweight and nowhere near ‘overweight’ or ‘fat.’ Shouldn’t healthy be your goal? Happy would be a good goal, too.”

“I want to be happy,” I admit. My thoughts instantly go to Mason. I had never been as close to happy and carefree as I was that week with him, and the crazy night we got married. Then again yesterday and the day before, just gettin’ sweet notes from him.

“Would you like to share what brought the sudden smile to your face?” the therapist asks.

“I was just thinkin’ about someone who has a way of makin’ me laugh and smile when I need it the most.”

“A friend?” she asks.

“Somethin’ like that.” I cross my arms over my chest to hide the ring I still wear for some reason on my left hand.

“Well, if he has the ability to make you happy then that sounds like someone you need to spend as much time with as possible. Has he been by to see you during visiting hours?”

My smile slips. “How did you know it was a he?” I ask her.

“Easy, because your face lit up like Christmas when you thought of him. People smile when they think of family or friends, but they glow when thinking about someone they’re in love with.”

“Mason’s not…I mean…I love him, but he’s not ready to settle down. He’s seven years younger than me and just so goofy and funny; he has the same effect on everyone.”

“So you’re not together?” she asks with a furrowed brow.

“No.”

“Why not? Your choice, I’m guessing.”

“He, um, kissed another woman, which just proved what I already knew; we wouldn’t ever work. I mean, we live in different states and he’s so young…”

“He lives here?”

“Uh-huh.”

“And now you live here.”

“Only temporarily,” I assure her. “My parents convinced me to get treatment locally, but I want to go back to New York.”

“So if you could forgive his alleged…transgression, and if it wasn’t for the distance and age, you would be together?”

“No,” I say, hangin’ my head. “He can’t be monogamous, and even if he could, his career is just gettin’ started, so a relationship is out of the question for him. Even if he agreed to stop seein’ other women, I don’t want him to give up fightin’ for me. It’s not worth it. I’m not worth him losin’ a million-dollar MMA contract and a chance at greatness-”