“Laura is in the waiting room,” announces a pop-up message on my screen. My substitute receptionist is efficient, though lacking Marie’s friendly smile and breezy voice.
Laura’s face appears beside mine. She fidgets while we wait for the sound to connect. In the absence of physical proximity, I strain to understand and contain her emotions. Is that a Wifi glitch or a distress signal?
My washing pile peeks out from the corner and my children’s voices float in from another room, the anonymity of the clinic obliterated. Distant but strangely intimate, I virtually hold her hand through all the barriers.
Natalie Reilly-Johnson is a Clinical Psychologist and Writer, living in South Wales.