14 years ago
“Awh. Steph! I think they’re playing! Look!” Kandie said. Steph was her neighbor that lived four houses down. Steph always brought her twin daughters, Allisia and Victoria to play with Kandie’s son, Oliver. Oliver was in the middle. Victoria always played with Oliver. However, Allisia always played by herself. She either did that, or was hanging on to her mother’s side. She was quieter than her sister. She was also taller. Oliver and Victoria always played together nicely. The three children were all three years old. The twins were two months older than Oliver.
Allisia was showing a flower to Victoria and Oliver. She was picking wild flowers around Kandie’s yard. Allisia had a big grin on her face. She was talking to them and looking down at her little purple flower. Oliver ripped it from her hand. Kandie felt that that was mean. She stood up and was going to tell Oliver to say sorry. Steph grabbed her arm.
“No, keep watching. I’m curious.” She said. Kandie sat back down. She took a sip of her wine and watched the children. Allisia bowed her head. Her lips moved softly. She stepped back from the other two children, muttering something. Oliver handed Victoria the flower. She curtsied and giggled. They hooked arms together and skipped over to the swing set that Kandie had bought Oliver for his birthday. Allisia stood there for a few seconds before running over to her mom. She buried her head into Steph's leg.
“Mama. I don’t like other kids.” She whimpered. Steph picked up her daughter and set the girl on her lap. She smoothed out Allisia’s hair.
“Don’t you like Tori? She’s your sister.” Allisia pulled away from her mother and stared at her mother, dead in the eye.
“Mama. Tori is mean sometimes. She doesn’t like when I play with Oliver. And Oliver is mean too. So I don’t want to play with either of them.” Steph pursed her lips and pulled her daughter in a closer hug.
“I’m so sorry, baby.” Steph rocked Allisia until she was calm. After that, She gave Allisia some crayons and a coloring book from her bag. Allisia sat at the table and colored in the book as Steph and Kandie watched Oliver and Victoria play on the swing set. They were playing together as always. Poor Allisia never got to play. She always colored and listened to our conversations. Steph and Kandie always had a juice pack on hand for when Allisia got frustrated with the other kids. After Allisia was calm, she would always go and pick flowers for her mom and Kandie. She was so sweet. But a very anxious little girl. A girl who was glued to her mother’s hip. A girl who needed therapy. And luckily, Kandie was a children’s therapist.
Two Years Later
I had just picked Allie up from therapy. She looked worn out for a five year old. Her sister had too many friends, and she had one friend. Every week, after therapy, I would take Allie to get some ice cream at The Acktor Avenue Diner. She always looked uncomfortable when she wasn’t within 3 feet of me. Victoria had a bad attitude with me, but I think that she is learning that from her older sister Lucy. Lucy’s attitude is definitely rubbing off onto my eight year old son, Tony. Lucy is always hanging out with Tori. She wants Tori to be just like her. Tony is always outside playing sports with my husband, Jack. And then, there is little Allie. She is practically glued to me. I have had calls from the teacher saying that she was crying because she missed me in class. I feel bad that I have to go to work sometimes, but I have to.
“Allie, what kind of ice cream do you want?” I ask her. She grins, showing off her missing canine tooth.
“Mama. I want chocolate swirl ice cream with whipped cream and a cherry!” I smiled back at her. It is the same thing she always gets. She eats it slowly, so I always ask for a bigger cup, but less ice cream so it doesn’t spill. I park the car and we go into the diner.
“Well, hi Allie! Hi Aunt Steph!” Said Angie. She was my cousin’s daughter. She was about 15 years old. She led us to a two-seater table. “What can I get for you guys? Ice cream?” She asked. Allie smiled brightly and nodded. “Okay! Do you guys just want your usuals?”
“Yes! Thanks, Cassy.” Cassy nodded and walked away. “How was your day sweetie? What did you do, and what was your favorite part?” Allie smiled again.
“Well, mama. Me and Tensee were playing bears at recess. I was the bear in the zoo and she was the bear that came and saved me from the zoo. And then a first grader came and played! We had fun! My favorite part of today was lunch. I really liked the rice you packed. And I loved my note. I needed help to read some of the words, but It was my favorite! And -” She stared off behind me, at the door. She was scowling. I turned to see who it was.
“Oh! Steph!” Kandie called. She was with Oliver. That’s why Allie was glaring. Kandie walked over to us. “Hi! I just decided that I would take Oliver to get some ice cream! Looks like you guys had the same idea for after therapy!” Kandie pulled up two chairs for her and her son. He was staring down at his feet.
“Miss Kandie! Don’t you remember what I said?” Allie said. Kandie shook her head.
“Yes, sweetie. I remember. That is why I am here. Also, I wanted to talk to your mommy about something.” Kandie averted her eyes to her son. “Don’t you have something to say to Allie?” Kandie said in a corrective parent voice. Oliver came out of hiding behind his mother. He came towards Allie and she got out of her chair and came to me. “It’s alright, sweetie. He has something to say.” Kandie coaxed. She took a small step away from me. Oliver took a few steps toward her. She was really nervous. I could tell.
“Hi, Allie.” He said. He was now looking at her. She was frowning at him still. Her fists were balled by her sides. She never did that type of thing. Her nervous tic was getting red and blotchy. Not balling her fists. He looked down at her fists and gulped. He looked down at his feet as Allie answered him.
“Hello.” She mumbled. She was now looking at the ground. Her small knuckles were turning white from pressure. From the angle I was at, she looked like she was clenching her jaw. I looked at Kandie and her eyebrows raised as she shrugged her shoulders at me. She was just as surprised as I was with Allie’s new found reaction.
“I’m sorry for pulling at your braids, kicking you in the leg, and laughing at you. I did it because everyone else was. So I did too. I’m sorry.” I gasped, I felt so bad. I didn’t want her to be hurting. Her face went from a cold glare, to a straight expressionless gaze. She stood up taller.
“Thank you. I accept your apology.” She said sticking her hand out at Oliver. He looked at her hand funny. “If you don’t shake my hand I won’t accept your apology.” He shook her hand quickly, and ran over to his mom. He sat in the seat closer to Allie. She was uncomfortable with him, but at least she wasn’t glaring. He began to talk to her about something. I have no clue about what.
“About Allie.” Kandie said. “I think that she has very bad OCD, anxiety and depression. I am also very worried about her not being social enough.”
“Oh my. Well, She hangs out with her brother. And sometimes Tori. And her friend Tensee. Besides family and Tensee, I can’t convince her to socialize.”
“Well the school counselor has groups for little kids in each grade that need to socialize. We can get her into one of those, so It won’t take away from family time.” Kandie handed me a flier for the group.
“Okay. I will see if I can get her in there. That sounds nice doesn’t it?” I said.
“Yes.” Kandie replied. “The school wants to help kids be themselves in the best way. It really is a good system.”
I decided to call the school when I got home. They set her up for Thursdays. Therapy Thursdays for Allie, I guess.
Eight Years Later
I hate my birthday. Every year, it just sucks. This year, Tensee sprung the news of her moving. I am going to miss her. She is leaving this weekend. I won’t be able to see her ever because she is moving all the way to Oregon. That is a long ways away from Indiana. I have other friends. But she was the best.
“Happy Birthday, Allie! How was your day?” Mama asked, as I hopped into her car. I was glad that it was a Friday. I didn’t want to go to school the next day. I burst into tears. I couldn’t help it. My best and pretty much only friend was moving away.
“Mama!” I cried. “Tensee is moving to Oregon.” She reached over to hug me.
“Oh honey, I’m so sorry. Will anything make you feel better?” She hugged me for a while. Then I nodded.
“Can we snuggle on the couch, and have Chinese takeout for dinner? Just you and me? Since Lucy, Tony and Tori aren’t going to be home?” She broke the hug and nodded.
“Honey, I’m sorry that we couldn’t go out to eat for dinner tonight. It’s just that Tony has work and Lucy has class and your father wants to celebrate Tori’s birthday at his house tonight.”
“It’s alright. I’m glad that It’s just going to be you and me. I like spending time with you.” Mama smiled at me. I smiled back. She drove away from the school. When she didn’t turn down our street, I got suspicious.
‘Mama, where are we going?” I asked. I pulled my water bottle out of my backpack. I took a sip and waited for my mom to answer.
“Well, we have to go get some Chick-Fil-A. It will make you feel better. I promise.”
“Okay, Mama. We just gotta ask for extra, extra Chick-Fil-A sauce.
Two Years Later
“Oliver! You are going to be late for the bus! You won’t be able to start in the game if you don’t ride the bus there!” I was getting the after snacks packed into my basket. What kind of mom would I be to not bring the snacks? “Hurry up! Oliver Jacob! I will be in the car!”
“I’m coming, mom!” He called. In my opinion, he takes as long as a girl does to get ready. I saw Steph and Allie walking out to their car. Allie was in Volleyball, so she has a home game tonight. I wave at them and they cordially wave back. I hopped into my car. A few minutes later, Oliver hopped in. Then I drove off to the school.
When I got to the school, I dropped Oliver off, so he could get onto the bus. I began my drive to Keller High School’s lacrosse field. On my way there, I did some thinking. I was really worried about Allie. She was one of my favorite patients. She just wasn’t opening up to me lately, like she normally does. I need to find a way for her to open up. I thought about having her draw her feelings in a book. Or pop balloons with darts and ask her questions through a game. I just wish I knew what she was thinking. That way, I could help her better. I loved her and her family so much and I wanted to help her. Part of her issues came from Oliver. He was so mean to her, and everytime he was mean, I always made him apologise. Allie has always been anxious and depressed. I just want that little girl to be a kid. To be happy. And every time my kid is mean to her, it feels like I am failing. Failing Allie for my kid’s attitude, failing Oliver because, maybe I didn’t teach him to be kind, like I should’ve, and failing myself for letting those things happen.
I must’ve been too deep into my thoughts, because I couldn’t stop my car before I saw the collision coming.
Two Days Later
I hadn’t actually cried in so long. I was only 15. I had my mom for 15 years. Now she is gone. I hope that she is in a better place. I didn’t get to say goodbye in person. She was in a coma for a day and a half before she died. I never left her side. I had talked to her. Told her how much I loved her, and how much I missed her. Dad let me miss school to stay with her. I just wish that she would’ve been awake to hear me. Dad keeps trying to convince me that she could hear me, but I don’t think she did. The funeral is going to be on Saturday. I will miss her so much.
On our way home from the hospital, Dad took me to McDonald’s. I got nuggets and fries. I was still crying, at this point. I had never cried like this in my life, even when I broke my arm. And this was the first time that I had ever seen Dad cry. A good thing that is happening is that my sister is coming home from college early. But I am going to miss my mom. Dad and I drove home, listening to the rock station. I heard a few of my favorite songs like, Livin’ on a Prayer, and Pour Some Sugar on Me. That brightened my mood a little bit. But I was still depressed. And I wish I had a therapist. Like Allie had my mom. Allie probably wasn’t going to take the news well either. She was already depressed. Now she didn’t have her therapist. I wish that I was like Allie, in a way. She was always with her mom. They spent so much time together. I was always hanging out with friends, and playing catch with Dad.
When I got home I flopped on the couch. It hurt to be in the house because Mom wasn’t there. I cried some more and ate an ice cream sandwich. It was chilly outside, so I was wearing a sweatshirt. I decided to play some video games with Dad. After a while, there was a knock at the door. I told Dad that I would go answer it. It was Allie. Her eyes were red and puffy, as mine probably were.
“Hi, Oliver.” She said. Her hair was in a loose braid and she was wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt.
“Hi, Allie.” I stepped out of the house and shut the door. “What did you want?” I asked. I may have used a bossy tone. But I didn’t feel bad.
“I just want you to know that if you need someone to talk to, I’m here. Also My mom said that if you and your dad need some dinner, you can eat at our place.” She turned to leave. I stopped her.
“Thank you, Allie. It means alot.”
Two Years Later
Allie’s dad was shot. He was trying to arrest a criminal and he got shot. Allie, of course, was four times more depressed than normal, so this was rough on her. Though her parents were divorced, she hung on to her mother for support. She didn’t want to lose her mother in such a way. She didn’t leave her mother’s side for a week.
As soon as Oliver heard the bad news, he knocked on her door. They had been really good friends since his mom died. Nobody had expected them to be friends. They hated each other. They even had a predator-prey relationship at one point. But when Allie answered the door, Oliver hugged her.
“Say no words.” He said, “I’m here for you. And I always will be.”