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The window. The trees covered in white clouds. Little specks falling from the sky like dust floating from a ceiling fan that hadn’t been tended to in months. The snow fell from the white sky and piled up on all the reachable surfaces and turning all in its path as white as milk. Ami sat at the window and let her eyes wander over the field where the sky and ground met on an unseen line. All white. Ami remembered when she had spilled flour on the counter and the white went everywhere. Just like flour, the white outside her window was swallowing up her world in slow and steady bites. “I don’t like flour.” She thought bitterly and moved away from the window. She moved about her room to another window and stared outward. Here, too, there was flour. She groaned. The shed, the poor shabby thing began to look like a gingerbread house with too much icing. All it needed was the little treats to adorn the roof. “That’s a miserable gingerbread house.” She thought. “A poorly built, rundown, useless one that isn’t even worth eating.” She made a face and moved away and looked through one more window in attempt to escape the flour. No luck. Her eyes fell upon the road which was becoming coated with the fine white powder. “This just isn’t fair.” She made a loud and displeased sigh as she saw the flour continue to spill down on her house. “Even the mailbox is being eaten.” She looked at what was left of the poor thing.
She closed her eyes tight and began to tear as she thought of being made into cookies. “First you take Ami and cover her in with flour, then you put her in a pan, then you THROW HER IN THE OVEN!” She tried to scream and flailed her arms. A high-pitched cry escaped the girl’s lips as she fought off the image of fire. She heard footsteps coming toward her door and hugged her knees. “Here I come! I am going to throw you in the oven!!!!”
She screamed again. The door opened but she kept her eyes shut.
“Honey, what is wrong?” Said a voice from the doorway but Ami didn’t really hear it.
Behind her eyelids, like an old movie, she saw a hand of a chef turning on an oven and Ami was trapped in the pan full of flour. The hand came toward her and grabbed her tightly so she couldn’t run away. “Now you’ll learn to be a good girl.” The chef said as he threw her into the flames of the oven. She felt the heat against her flesh and cried out louder as the chef closed the door and left her in darkness.
“Ami?” the voice said. “What’s the matter?” Ami felt herself being shaken and opened her teary eyes.
“Daddy…” She sobbed to him and wrapped her small arms around his neck.
“Shhh… It is okay now.” He picked her up into his arms and carried her downstairs into the kitchen. In his arms she began to quiet.
“Are you okay now?” He asked her and she nodded sadly. He set her down in a chair and put a hand on her forehead. “Honey, you feel hot. Do you want some juice?” She only nodded again. He went to the fridge and took out a carton of juice and poured it into a sippy-cup for her. She drank it in big gulps.
“What happened up there Ami?” He asked. She took the cup away from her mouth slowly.
“I was made into cookies.” She said plainly.
“Oh, I see.” He smiled. “Were they chocolate chip cookies?” He laughed but she didn’t.
“No.” She shook her head slowly. “They were bad girl cookies.”
“What do you mean?” He asked and she looked down at the table. “Honey?” he said again. The front door opened and Ami could hear Alyssa and Zachary near the doorway. They were taking off their boots and coats. Ami ran to them.
“Ami, wait!” her dad called, but she had already ran off.
Alyssa is seventeen. Ami had heard Mom and Alyssa argue about it all the time. She had long blonde hair and green eyes. Ami thought she was so pretty, but that’s what Zachary thinks too. He is her boyfriend; Ami thinks he is pretty too.
“Hey beautiful.” Zachary said as he took off his hat and shook his brown hair free. He dropped his coat on the hook and sat on the couch. Ami sap on his lap and smiled. “How’ve you been?”
“Good.” She said.
“Good!” He said in a funny voice and tickled her stomach. She laughed happily. “Good! Only good! We’ve got to change that!” He hung her upside down on the couch and she laughed more. He picked her back up on his lap. “Better?”
“Yeah.” she laughed.
“Good.” He said as he picked her up. He looked at her. “Why do you have to be so cute?” He said kissing her cheek. “I wish your sister over there was as cute as you are.” Ami laughed and kissed his cheek. Ami loved when Zachary was over. He was so nice.
Dad came into the room with Ami’s juice in his hand. “Hey guys, how’s the weather out there?”
“Cold.” Zachary replied and tickled Ami’s stomach again. “Brrrrrr.” She laughed.
“Okay, okay.” Alyssa said “Enough horsing around.” Alyssa took Ami out of his arms and put her down. “We have to study.” Ami ran back to Zachary and they both made a funny face and said “Ewwwww.”
“Come on Ami, let’s leave them alone.” Dad said taking her in arms again. He turned to Alyssa and said “Leave your door open.”
“Yes, Dad.” She said annoyed and they headed upstairs.
“What do you want for lunch, Sweet Pea?” He asked Ami.
“I dunno.” She answered.
“What about meatloaf?” He asked.
“No.” She said smiling.
“That’s gross.” She said and made a disgusted face.
“No it’s not.”
“Yes it is.”
“Then what do you suggest we eat?”
“Macaroni and cheese.” She said.
“Okay, I will make you some.” They walked back into the kitchen and he sat her on the table. “Why don’t you go play with your toys and I’ll call you when it is ready?”
“Okay.” She said and hopped of the table with her juice in hand.
Ami walked up the stairs and past Alyssa’s room. The door was closed of course. She walked past the door and ignored the laughing and kissing sounds from behind the door. “They aren’t studying.” Ami thought as she walked past her brother’s room. Loud music came from the other side of the door. She knocked on it loudly. The music stopped and the door opened. Evan stood there in his pajama pants. No doubt he just woke up a while ago.
“Hey, Am. What’s up?” He could tell by her face that she was upset. “Come on in.”
She sat at his desk chair facing the bed and sighed. “What happened now?” He sat on the edge of his bed looking at her.
“I was made into cookies.” She said plainly.
“Well, why do you think that would happen?” He asked and kneeled at her side.
“Because Mom told me that I was a bad girl. She told Father that I was bad. Now-” She began tear.
“Dad doesn’t think you’re a bad girl. Don’t worry.” He said rubbing her back reassuringly. She stopped and stared at him blankly.
“I wasn’t talking about Dad.” She stood up and walked out. He watched her go in an ongoing confusion.
Such odd things, fingers. Appendages used for writing and building, drawing and painting. Ami loved to paint pictures. She remembered finger painting with Mommy. She made a rainbow. It was fun until Ami spilled the paint on the carpet. She tried to pick it up and only made it worse. Another thing fingers do every so often; fumble. They fail to do what you what them to. “They don’t listen. They weren’t being good.” Everybody makes mistakes. Ami didn’t know that. Ami thought only she made mistakes, and that she would need to be punished every time she did something bad; any time she wasn’t being a good girl.
Ami rummaged for a marker and drew a face on her left index finger. It was a mean face with a downward brow and a grumpy mouth. She then grabbed a loose piece of thread left over from her mothers sewing. Ami took it between the fingers of her right hand and tangled it around her left index finger, the one with the face, and pulled tightly. It hurt her but she had to do it. She had to be punished. She continued to draw and ‘suffocate’ her finger people until all of her left-hand fingers were bound, the first one turning slightly purple. She then began to do the next hand, but with less coordination of course. She was right handed but the feeling in her left fingers was depleting anyway. When she finished she had nine mean looking fingers, five of them dark purple on the left and four of them bright red on the right. The last finger was a sad face. Her right pinky was crying. Ami was crying now too. She hated to be punished, but she had to do it or Father would punish her more. Mommy told her that Father was kind, but if she is a bad girl she will be sent to the bad place. Ami knew what the bad place was and she didn’t want to be there, ever. She was told that Father was nice to the good boys and girls, that’s what Mommy said, but Ami knew that Father was mean.
Mirrors let you see yourself. The thin sheet of glass hanging on the wall shows you what you were not created to see. “Whoever invented the mirror must have been the most narcissistic and selfish person in the world.” Rose thought as she stared before the mirror in her room. “We don’t need too look in the mirror. In fact, I wish people did that a little less.” She looks at her face and envisiona herself with black lipstick and heavy eye shadow. You can look in the mirror and think people will see what you see, but will they? To some people, blue is more attractive then red. To other people, red is far more attractive then blue. Then there are people who like green. No one likes the same things because no one sees things the same way. No one can actually see what another person is seeing. A person’s perspectives and attractions are as mysterious as lottery numbers and can change just as often. Children change favorite colors every week if they want to. That is why some people are friendlier with some and not so much with others. When you have common interests, common tastes, a common desire, it makes conversation and cooperation a lot easier. “There is the problem.” Rose thought. “I have no interests.” She stared in disgust at the mirror. She had dark brown hair and eyes. She stared deeper into her eyes. She had her mother’s eyes. She began to cry and fell onto her bed. She cried into her pillow. Over the past few years, there has been trouble. Rose’s mother had gotten Cancer and then everything went downhill from there. Her mother nearly died twice but seemed to recover for a while; long enough to get a divorce. Rose was fought over until she was finally handed over to her mother. Rose was glad to be with her mother, until she died four months later from her Cancer. Now, she should have been handed over to her dad, but he had taken off without word of his whereabouts. Rose was left to live with her Grandmother. As if it wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s younger brother, William, had been through it all too, and only at the age of five. Will has been unusually solitary lately but seems to be happy with his grandmother. “Will is who I care about here. I have to be strong for Will.” She sat up and wiped her tears away. “It is what Mom would have wanted.” She fought back tears once again and got up. Rose and Will had come to live with Grandma before Christmas vacation, which gave them some time to settle in. She looked back at her mirror and leaned closer; examining what used to be her face. The exterior that has been so worn and tear struck over time. She was disgusted with herself. “I am ugly. I am terrible. Mom is dead…I have nothing…I am nothing…” She ran to the bathroom and locked the door. What goes on behind locked doors is secret… for a while.
Rose watched the soup in her bowl for a while, the noodles and the broth swirling around as she moved her spoon back and forth. Will was crumbling crackers into his bowl and making a big mess. He seemed happy today. Rose smiled a little then focused back at her bowl. It was like the whole world was a bowl of soup. The noodles are people and the broth is their thoughts and their lives. They all collide and coexist, except one noodle on the side of the bowl. “That’s me.” She thought as she picked it up with her spoon and ate it. “One lonely noodle in a big bowl of soup.” She plunged the spoon back in the bowl and took a big bite. “I’m gonna eat you ALL.” She thought as she swallowed the noodles. “I will devour your small minds and your stupid carefree world. Mwahaha! I have gotten my revenge.” She continued eating and looked up at Will who was getting more soup on the plastic tablecloth then in his mouth. “I was wrong when I said I had nothing. I have him.” She fought back tears while examining his innocence. Being through so much, and still smiling. Seeing his strength, Rose felt pathetic.
“I love soup!” William thought as he ate the mush of crackers and noodles.
“I don’t like it much; I had to eat it in the hospital a lot. I had to eat Jell-O too. LOTS of Jell-O!” Colby though.
“I like Jell-O too. My mommy had to eat a lot of Jell-O. I like the red kind.” Will took another bite. “My mommy liked the green kind the best.” He had a truck in his hand and drove it through a puddle of soup, making a VROOM noise. Rose told him to not make a mess, but he ignored her.
“I love to play trucks!” Colby exclaimed.
“Me too! We should go play after I finish eating my soup.”
“YEAH!” Colby exclaimed and Will took a few more bites until declaring his fullness. Then he and his friend went to his bedroom to play. “Me and Daddy used to play Trucks ALL the time.” Colby took the purple monster truck and raced it on the floor. “Even when I was in bed, we would play on the food tray till I got too sick. Daddy was a REALLY good racer!” Adam said.
“Me and Rose play Trucks sometimes, but she has been sad a lot.” He raced around with his golden Cadillac car and his green pick up. “Patrick told me she has been very VERY sad.” He raced his truck with Colby’s and they crashed together. They played in his room for a long time. Will remembered when he first met Colby.
Cold, steal walls enclosing them form all sides. Will had been three years old, a baby, when Mommy had first gone to the hospital. In and out for two years. (then he turned five, now he is a big boy and not a baby anymore.) But this year, was a different one. Mommy wouldn’t be coming back home.
Grandma was talking with the doctor and Rose was carrying him. He kept his eyes to the corner of the metal box where a little boy sat, curled up, hugging his knees and crying.
“What are you looking at, Will?” Rose had asked. William kept his glare at the boy till they left the elevator and entered the white hallway.
The smell of infection being disinfected. The smell of injection being injected. The odor of cleaned filth. The whiteness blinding you. He remembers it all. Mommy looked as white as the walls. Her eyes had sunken in, she looked old; tired. There was crying and kisses and hugs. Mommy’s hugs were not as strong as they used to be. They got back to the elevator, and the boy had gone. The next day, they were at the hospital again and Mommy died. William wasn’t sad about his mommy. She had always looked so sick and sad. Now, she could be happy. She had not stayed in the hospital like Colby or Patrick. Grandma said she went to heaven. William liked that thought.
That day went by very slow. Rose and Grandma were crying a lot and Will was talking to a Doctor in another room. The Doctor let Will play with toys in his office. As he sat on the floor and made a puzzle, he caught site of the boy from the elevator. He was in the corner of the room. He was pale too, like Mommy was. He was thin and tired looking too. He was quite and walked over to William.
“Hi.” William said. The boy held a bony finger to his lips. The doctor had looked up but did not say anything. The boy said hello, but not with his mouth. William heard him though. Will tried to talk back and he did.
“What’s your name?” Will asked him. He used his head to talk to him. It did not make sense, but it worked.
“…Colby” He replied.
“Why were you crying?” He asked. Will fit another puzzle piece in place. Colby put one in as well. They finished the puzzle together. It ended up being a picture of Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs. Colby did not want to answer his question.
“I don’t feel good.” Colby said and began to cry. “My daddy and mommy left me here… I don like it here…” He spoke between sobs.
“Why did they leave you here?” Will asked.
“They can’t see me!” Colby said, he did not understand why, but William knew, somehow. There was an odd second of silence then William touched the boy’s face, setting a thumb on his forehead but not knowing why he did it. Then he saw a dream Colby sent him through his head.
The room had only the sound of a slow beep. It seemed to slow every time it was heard. A man sat beside the bed of the boy, Colby, who was on the bed. He was sweating, his eyes were heavy, and his breath was slow. The man, Colby’s Daddy, held the small boy’s hand while tears streamed from his eyes. He was so sad. Just like Grandma was. The beep was so slow now. Every 10 seconds, the faint sound would break the silence. His daddy knew there was no more time, and kissed the boys hand. He was shaking as the last Colby’s Mom, and she ran out of the room and puked in a trash can in the bathroom. William felt everything pull away form him as Colby’s Daddy hugged the limp body and cried. A doctor came in and escorted the man from the room while a nurse covered up the boy’s body. There was an understanding between the boys now; Colby was dead. William knew that Colby was scared. Rose entered the office and took Will in her arms. Colby disappeared from site.
Rose set William down in the elevator. Will did not know why, but she ignored Colby, who was standing in the corner again. Will extended his hand towards him and he took it, they were friends ever since.
Dr. Trisha Monroe sat at her desk and sipped her coffee. Her first patient would arrive in exactly 6 minutes. April Avery was an eighteen-year-old mother with a desire for death. Every boyfriend she ever had, had died, one in a car crash when she was twelve. Another was hit by a bus when she was fifteen, one of them had been beaten up two years ago and died of brain damage, and the latest was killed in the war; she was a wreck. Not to mention, her baby is driving her off the edge. Her mother agreed to help her through this, knowing how much her daughter had been through already. It was Mrs. Avery who insisted April to under go therapy. So far, it has helped a little bit. They meet three times a week, sometimes April is asked to bring the four month old baby, Benjamin, to a session to help construct a stronger bond.
Her office was comfortable, other then her desk, there were a few chairs, a couch, a bookshelf, and a stereo. The right side of the room held a kitchen-like appearance with a small refrigerator and a counter, equip with a full pot of coffee at all times. Her diplomas hung on the wall, like any other professional, and she kept a note book on her desk at all times. The clock struck Eight o’clock and April came through the doors. She was wearing gray pajama pants, still in maternity sizes, and a navy Patriots hooded sweatshirt. Puffy dark circles had formed under her eyes; the joys of parenting. The baby was just starting to sleep more then four hours at a time. He was a few months old now. The father, Daniel Pierce, has been dead for eight months, long before the baby had arrived. She went directly to the coffee pot on the counter and poured herself a mug before she settled into her seat. She sat cross-legged in the big brown chair, holding the mug to her chest.
“How’ve you been sleeping?” She asked, sipping form her own mug. “Any better?”
“How can I sleep?” She simply said and took large gulps of her coffee.
“I figured that, seeing as you are swallowing coffee as if it were water.” They exchanged small smiles. “So, besides your fatigue, how are you?”
“How should I be?” She asked. She had not taken her medication. She had been begging for a stronger prescription since Daniel died. She had been five months pregnant at the time and both severely and heartbreakingly depressed.
“You could be enjoying the beautiful baby boy you have given birth to.” She suggested.
“How could I possibly enjoy this?”
“He is your son, why would you not enjoy being with him?” Trisha asked. April went silent while she tried to control her tears.
“You don’t know how hard it is.” That is all she could get out. She took a long sip of coffee until she could get the last part out “Not to have Daniel with me, helping me through it.”
“It must be hard.” Trisha agreed. “But you do have your mother.” Trisha couldn’t argue there, her mother had not disowned her like many teens these days. Right now April lived in her mother’s house with her mother taking care of the baby.
“My mother doesn’t know how hard it is either.” She said bitterly. “Her husband divorced her, he did not die.”
“No, but she was left to raise a young girl on her own. Even though you do not think she or I know how you feel, we do.” Trisha tried to keep a level of comfort in her voice as well as a level of truth. “You have been through a torturing time, but, wouldn’t Daniel have wanted to see you and your son happy. Together.”
“He would have,” April started then burst into hopeless sobs “…but he can’t.”
Trisha knew April had a right to be upset about her deadly love life and decided to let her cry. Crying is a good way to heal, after a while, like a healing wound that no longer bleeds, the tears stop. That is, until you re-open the scar.
Daddy came into Ami’s bedroom quietly slipping his head through the open door. She was sitting on the floor, back towards him.
“Ami, lunch is ready.” He called. She jumped when he said her name. “Did I scare you?” She didn’t look at him or make any sign of moving. “Honey?” He asked, coming closer. “What’s wrong?” In one motion she stood and held her hands behind her back, there were tears in her eyes. “Ami?” He asked again. Her hands dropped to her sides and he was somehow horrified as he saw ten purple finger tips. He moved franticly and untied one finger. Ami was crying now. “Honey, what did you do?” He asked in a concerned voice. He untied two more. They were difficult to get loose. He produced a pocketknife from his keychain and carefully cut free the rest of her right hand, then moved to the left. He worked so gently, trying not to break any of the soft and purple skin. She was just standing there as he worked, tears running down her face. She was silently staring at nothing. When her fingers were all unbound, he rubbed them in his own. Kneeling in front of her, he asked. “Why did you do that, Ami?” There was no doubt in how worried he was. He was sweating on his forehead. He put the knife back into its cover and into his pocket. She wouldn’t look at him. “Ami,” He said softly. “Look at me.” She did, then, with the same motion as before, she threw her skinny arms around him. He rubbed her back and decided she will not be out of her sight for the rest of the day. He grabbed two TV trays and set then in front of the couch. They ate while watching Sponge Bob. He watched her as she ate and sang along with the theme song. He was puzzled by her recent behavior and this was the last straw; he was taking her to a doctor.
When the show was over, Ami got up and put her bowl in the kitchen. She looked out the window; it was still snowing. She sighed. Evan came up behind her and set a hand on her back.
“Hey Ams?” he asked. She turned towards him. He was wearing normal cloths now and stuffed the last bit of a hot pocket into his mouth. “You wanna go play in the snow?”
She nodded then moved quickly to the door and grabbed her pink ski-suit from a hook and put it on followed by her purple boots. Evan slipped his black pants over his jeans and put the suspender straps on his shoulders, then covered them up with his coat. Evan helped Ami with her mittens and yelled to their dad they’d be back later. Dad appeared in the room a few moments later. Evan pulled his gloves on as he spoke.
“Where are you going?” He asked.
“Sledding.” He said grinning at Ami. Their dad shook his head.
“You have to wait till it stops snowing to go sledding.” He did not want the kids out in this weather.
“We might just make a snowman in the yard then.”
“As long as you are careful and come back inside if you get too cold.” He said and fastened the top button of Ami’s jacket.
“We will be.” He said and opened the door, letting Ami out then closing it behind himself. Their dad took this time to make some phone calls.
As they trampled around in the snow, Ami thought about her brother; the fourteen year old zombie who lives in the room next to hers. He sleeps till two and stays up all night; therefore, he must be a zombie. She giggled to herself. “If he is a zombie, he is a nice zombie.” They built a snowman and they knocked it down. It was lumpy. “I guess the snow isn’t SO bad.” They threw snowballs at each other then snow angles until they were finally too cold and tired to move. They waddled back to the house and knocked the snow off of their boots. Dad was in the kitchen hanging up the phone. He helped Ami take off her coat.
“Did you guys have fun?” He asked. He seemed to be acting strange.
“Yeah.” Ami replied then asked. “Can we have hot chocolate?”
“Sure.” He pulled off her hat. “You both are shivering.” He pointed out then touched Ami’s nose. “And your noses are as red as Rudolph’s!” Ami smiled. Evan smiled at them. They sat at the kitchen table and drank their warm chocolate drinks. Dad had a cup of his own.
“So, what made you get up this morning?” He asked Evan. “Normally you are still out cold at this hour.” He laughed with Ami.
“Maybe the Vampire was hungry and wanted to suck your blood.” Evan replied and tickled Ami’s stomach. She giggled. The door opened and Mom entered, stamping her feet on the mat. Evan stood and quietly said. “If mom asks, I am asleep.” He gulped down the rest of his drink, put the cup in the sink, and slipped upstairs before his mom could see him. Mom looked slightly angry. Dad picked up Ami and set her on the couch and put Sponge Bob back on; there was some marathon on today. Ami did not listen to the conversation her parents were having in the kitchen, but she should have.
Most of the conversations were about their divorce. No one wanted to be with Mommy, but something called ‘joint custody’ was being fought about.
Daddy saw how mean Mommy could be, finally. Daddy said Mommy wasn’t always like that, and is sad she changed. Evan told Ami about before Mommy was mean. Evan said it had to do with her Religion, and Ami knew what Religion was. Ami knew, and she did not like it.
“Honey, when you’re finished, why don’t you go for a walk? It looks like the snow has let up for a while.” Grandma had been trying to keep Rose physical and busy, as if it would make the pain go away.
“But it is cold…” Rose said, setting her bowl in the sink.
“The fresh air’ll do you good.” Grandma says and leads her to the door.
“Fine.” There was no point in fighting “I’ll walk around the street, but that’s it.”
The air was cold, crisp, and hard to swallow. Being thrown off of the Titanic would have seemed more enjoyable. “At least I would have been faced with certain death; something to look forward to. I’ve heard drowning is peaceful...” Her mind is filled with thoughts of suicide, but in odd ways. She doesn’t beg for death, she sees it not as a fear. She sees something fascinating about it, in trying to cope with death, she has befriended it.
She plodded through the unplowed streets passing house after house. Snowmen sit in their yards, miserable and lop-sided. Rose couldn’t say she felt too bad for the snow people, but she hated when they stood in deserted white yards waiting only to collide with the earth once again. “Their smiles creep me out.” She thought, as she walked past a yard full of snow angles with a large, lumpy snowman sit in the center of all the disturbed snow. There was laughing coming from down the road. Out of all these houses, there were only two kids outside in the snow. “What a nice hum-buggy town.” She thought as she kept walking. She did not want to get to close, but watched from behind a telephone pole as a girl threw a ball of snow at an older boy. They were having fun and a smile spread across her lips, a small, weak smile. She watched them until they went into their house, shivering. She wished she could be close to her brother and be fun. She wanted to keep him happy. But she was not happy. She walked back home, dragging her feet. She would take the same walk tomorrow, she decided.
Rose kicked off her boots and removed her outer shell of warmth in the breeze way. She opened the door and the uncomfortable rush of warm air hit her face. Grandma was doing dishes.
“Have a nice walk?” She asked cheerily.
“Yeah, I guess.” She headed to her room but stopped at William’s door. He was playing loudly with his cars. She peeked in but what she saw made no sense.
“Will-” she couldn’t help but gasp. Will jumped a little when she entered the room. Lorie hadn’t noticed, her gaze was on one of the cars.
“A car had moved on its own.” Will had two cars in each hand, but another one had moved. “A wind-up one, maybe?” She dismissed the thought and entered the room. The car was still.
“What are you doing?” She asked and graded the suspicious car off the floor and looked at the tires, it was a normal car. No gears or sign of self-propelling tires. “Weird.”
“That’s Colby’s.” He replied.
“Was he a friend from preschool?” Rose asked, not recognizing the name. Will took a few minutes to answer, staring off into the corner. “Will?”
“Yeah, yeah.” He nodded. He went on playing. Rose got up and left, he didn’t seem like he wanted to talk. He had been quiet lately.
Ami had woken up the next morning, everything seemed normal. She set her teddy bear aside and got to her feet. She put on her pink princess slippers and walked down stairs. Mommy and Daddy were at the table, they had been arguing and Mommy looked mad.
“Go get dressed; I’ll make you little pancakes.” Is all Mommy had said. Ami looked at Daddy.
“Why?” She asked. “It isn’t a school day.”
“We have to go somewhere today, now go get dressed.”
“Where are we going?”
“AMELIA!” She said. Ami jumped. Mommy closed her eyes and took a breath. “Go. Get. Dressed.” Ami ran up the stairs. She hated when Mommy yelled. There was a tear in the pit of her eye. She took out a pair of purple Corduroys and a shirt with purple and blue stripes. She buttoned her pants and put on her shirt, she had learned to do it all by herself. She was proud. She put on her socks and sat on her bed. Mommy and Daddy were fighting again. Soon, it was quiet downstairs and Daddy entered her room.
“You look very pretty.” Daddy said. He could see she had been crying.
“Where are we going?” Ami asked.
“You, me, and Mommy are going to the doctor’s office.”
“Why? Am I sick?” She asked.
“We are going to a different doctor.” He said and pointed to her forehead. “This doctor takes care of your head.” Mommy was at the door now.
“I made your breakfast, let’s go.” She waited at the door. Daddy took Ami into his arms but Mommy protested. “Put her down, she is five years old, not a baby.” Daddy put her down.
Ami ate her pancakes. Daddy went to the fridge and took out the syrup.
“She doesn’t like syrup.” Mommy told him.
“Yes, she does.” Daddy said. It was true, Ami did like syrup. It was sweet, like candy. Daddy poured the maple syrup onto a small pool on Ami’s plate.
Ami finished her pancakes, her hands were sticky.
“See, she gets it everywhere.” Mommy grabbed a wet rag and wiped her daughter’s hands. “Go brush your teeth.” Ami did. Anything Mommy said to do, Ami did.
The car ride was quiet. Daddy was driving. Mommy and Daddy haven’t been in the same car for a long time. They drove past people in sleds and snow covered trees. The car was cold for the first ten minutes, the windows clouded. Mommy kept her gaze out the window, and Daddy’s straight ahead. They arrived in the parking lot of a small brick building. It did not look like the other doctor’s office Ami had been to. She unbuckled her seat belt and Daddy opened the door for her. They walked, holding hands. Mommy walked ahead of them. There were only a few offices in this building, but it had a desk in the toy room like all the others. Mommy signed some papers while shaking her head. They walked through a door and entered a room.
It smelled like coffee and was comfortably warm. There were two chairs in front a desk. Behind the desk, a woman stood and shook hands with Mommy and Daddy then shook Ami’s hand too.
“Hello, Amelia.” She said to Ami. “It’s cold outside isn’t it. Your hands are freezing.” Ami liked her. She couldn’t tell why, but she liked this lady. Children have no reason not to like a person who shows them no threat, which is why it is dangerous for them to be alone.
“I’m Trisha. But you can call me Trish if you want.” She said and they sat down in chairs. Ami sat on Daddy’s lap. “What should I call you?”
“Ami.” She said. Her voice was small.
There were a box of tissues on her desk and a clock; it was 9:02.
Ami: Session 1
Mrs. and Mrs. Streeter walked into the office with their beautiful five-year-old girl. She had blonde hair and blue eyes; holding the appearance of a baby doll. She came in and said hello, seeming normal and comfortable in the presence of a doctor. The mother looked stern and uncomfortable, as if there were pins placed in the chair she sat in. She sat perfectly straight; this visit was obviously not her idea. The father held the girl in his lap; she willingly chose to sit with him. An important fact I scribbled into my note book.
A call came in for Dr. Monroe from a man with worries about his young daughter. He told of self inflicted pain, and terrible nightmares and she would not tell him why. Dr. Monroe told them to come in right away. If behavior like this continues, the girl could be a danger to herself. Especially at a young age, if behavior continues to progress into growth, one seriously twisted individual could develop come puberty.
“How have you been feeling, Ami?” I asked.
“I had a cold,” She said sweetly. “But I’m better now.”
“That’s good.” I replied. She seemed so sweet, what could be troubling her? “Have you felt sad? Or scared?” I was not surprised when her eyes quickly flicked in her mothers direction. Although I do not suspect abuse, her mother does not seem to hold a fond part of this girl’s heart. She shook her head, and I knew she was lying.
“What have you been dreaming about?” I asked. She shrugged. She seemed to get slightly pale, as the life washed out of her. Not a good sign. This will take time. Keep her happy today, and make sure her mother does not come to the next visit, that is all I can do for now. “Do you like Lolly Pops?” Ami nodded. I reached into my desk and produced a few brightly colored candies. “Which color would you like? Blue, Purple, Red or Pink?”
“The Pink one!” she said. I handed it to her and her father took the paper off for her. She stuck it in her mouth, she seemed happier at the treat. “And how about you Dad?” I asked.
“I’ll have the blue one.” He popped it in his mouth. A nice man. I looked at the mother but she just shook her head. I took one for myself then returned them to the drawer, when she thought I wasn’t looking, the mother rolled her eyes.
To Be Continued.