Completely Incomplete by Jeffrey Hirschberg

 The top marriage counselor in NYC falls for her biggest rival as well as the patient they’re both helping. A romantic rectangle.

BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, and WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE in tone.

COMPLETELY INCOMPLETE is reminiscent of the Tracy–Hepburn classics of yesteryear.  The story centers on an unlikely couple — Jessica (New York’s most eclectic Psychologist), and Ken (New York’s most conceited Psychiatrist).  Both specialize in couple’s therapy… and that’s where their similarities end.Added to the mix is the city’s “It” couple — Ryan and Gina. Jessica and Ken are forced to work together to solve the pair’s insurmountable marital problems.Will Jessica end up with Ryan? Ken? Alone?Follow her journey in COMPLETELY INCOMPLETE — a fast-paced comedy about four flawed characters and their quest for love, happiness, and balance in their lives.

READ the first 6 chapters for FREE and PRE-ORDER the book: https://www.inkshares.com/books/completely-incomplete 

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Completely Incomplete

CHAPTER ONE

Jessica Rebbel breathed an uncertain sigh of relief. Her involuntary celibacy of six months, three weeks, and nine days came to an end.

Finally, she experienced a man-induced orgasm and was happy.

Sort of.

She held her breath for the entirety of the lovemaking to prove James Maxwell was definitely an early ejaculator and abysmal in bed. Even with fantasies of a sweaty Dr. Sanjay Gupta racing through her mind, there was no chance she would achieve the profound out-of-body experience she desperately craved. Jessica did not plan to lust after CNN’s chief medical correspondent, but was aware of her subconscious need to be with an egomaniacal health care professional with a God complex – a man like James Maxwell.

Jessica first met James in grad school at Columbia. He was tall, slender, and had a John Travolta dimple. James never paid too much attention to the bookish Jessica as they pursued Doctorates in Clinical Psychology. He was far more interested in hunting innocent, buxom, undergraduate ingénues – many of whom he inappropriately wooed via his inflated loftiness as a teaching assistant for Psych 101.

But time was not generous to James. Besides his height, he was now the polar opposite of his former “Danny Zuko” self. Even the famed dimple was filled in along with the added forty pounds now evenly spread across his once athletic frame.

I am a monumental loser. Because only a monumental loser would have sex with this monstrosity of a man. And he smells like pepperoni.

Jessica couldn’t help but sigh as she looked at the rotund Dr. Maxwell – alternately snoring and passing gas as he sprawled next to her in his ill-fitting Nautica boxer briefs. His hair was all but gone – albeit neatly re-distributed in his ears, nose, and across his shoulders – and any aura of confidence he exhibited in graduate school was about as distant as Jessica’s feelings of self-worth.

James Maxwell – the man who never gave Jessica a second look in the 2000s – was now more than happy to have sex with her… and she was willing to go along for the melancholy ride. Her standards, if she ever had any, hit an all time low.

It’s settled – I peaked in high school.

Jessica instinctively reached for her Fitbit, checking her pulse. Ten seconds later, she had her answer.

Ninety-eight. Shit. I have the resting pulse of a three hundred pound, sixty-five year old diabetic. I wonder when and where I’ll have my first heart attack.

Jessica moved away from the odiferous James and plodded into his 1980s faux marble bathroom. After a longer-than-usual pee, she could not help but stare with wonder at her thirty-seven-year-old reflection in the mirror. She had runny mascara, tousled hair, and smeared lipstick – making her resemble an understudy at a Barnum & Bailey carnival.

Not so long ago, Jessica was told she was the spitting image of Sandra Bullock. Today, she felt more like the spitting image of Sandra Day O’Connor.

I look like my mother. My boobs had so much personality in college. Men stared. Women inquired. What happened? And, what is this brown spot near my belly button? Ughhh… another anxiety-laden trip to the Dermatologist, biopsy, and excruciating ten-day wait to see if my childhood summers at the Jersey Shore resulted in melanoma.

Jessica reverted her gaze to James and found herself reminiscing about her last three failed relationships.

Tony Ugarte had Tourette’s Syndrome, a malady Jessica believed she could overcome. While he occasionally exhibited an offensive tic or involuntary movement of an appendage, Tony’s sweetness and disarming demeanor far outweighed the intermittent embarrassments.

Until they had a romantic dinner at Gotham Bar and Grill on Valentine’s Day.

While the couple shared the Goat’s Milk Cheesecake, Jessica apparently ate more than the agreed upon fifty percent of the sumptuous dessert. That was enough for Tony to go off on an expletive-laden tirade that would make Mel Gibson squirm. Bye, Tony.

Six months later, Jessica found herself smitten with a urologist named Stan. He was handsome, respectful, and earned a steady, recession-proof income. But, their relationship turned sour when the newly minted couple caught a screening of Annie Hall at the Angelika. While Jessica guffawed from the first frame to the ending credits, she was troubled when she noticed Stan never cracked the slightest of a smile. He would later admit to not “getting” Woody Allen and for that inexcusable disclosure, Stan would have to go too.

With Brett – a strikingly beautiful man nine years her junior – Jessica broke her cardinal rule of never dating someone who did not graduate from a Top Fifty college, as per U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings. One summer day, while waiting in line for The Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare in the Park, Brett made the fatal mistake of asking Jessica if William Shakespeare currently lived in New York City. Jessica was so appalled by the Philistine remark she told Brett she had to go to the restroom and never returned.

Jessica stopped obsessing about former flames so she could brood over a far more gloomy and imperative subject giving her agida over the last few weeks.

Tonight she was going to be the keynote speaker at the American Psychological Association’s annual conference at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

Maybe they would finally accept her and the way she practiced her unique brand of analysis. Maybe they would realize therapy should be as diverse as the patients they treated. Maybe they’d like her outfit.

Doubtful on all accounts. And enough to make Jessica nauseous.

More ominously, Ken Press would be there, speaking after her. Jessica regarded Ken as a megalomaniacal malcontent who in all likelihood was an avid reader of Breitbart. With an M.D. from Yale – in his mind, far superior to her “inadequate” Ph.D. from Columbia – he represented the worst of psychiatry.

Jessica detested every time their paths crossed and had the immense displeasure of sitting on a psych committee with Ken at Mount Sinai Hospital. While he was fond of calling her a “glorified guidance counselor,” she took great joy in equating him to “El Chapo with a license to prescribe.” Ken’s approach to therapy was purely psychotropic; Jessica engaged in a holistic approach.

She was right and he was wrong. Period.

Ken was also dismissive, conceited, and unfortunately, handsome in a Greg Kinnear sort of way. Jessica fell in love with Greg Kinnear while channel surfing in the 90s, accidentally discovering him on E! Entertainment Television’s Talk Soup.

As his career catapulted, she frequently took credit for unearthing his “genius” long before he became a household name.

The unfortunate byproduct of her impractical love for Greg?

He reminded her of the despicable Dr. Ken Press.

Her Pavlovian response to Greg Kinnear was so strong, Jessica could never bring herself to watch Little Miss Sunshine, even though she was aware of its impressive 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

While Jessica was always somewhat of a misanthrope, her hatred for Ken Press was unparalleled.

Authentic.

Boundless.

And tonight, they would meet again.


READ the first 6 chapters for FREE and PRE-ORDER the book: https://www.inkshares.com/books/completely-incomplete
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