The waiting room was calm and quiet. Well groomed green plants in huge pots were silent. A youngish woman and a 6-7 year old girl were sitting side by side on the cream colored leather sofa. The kids eyes were hung in the emptiness before her. She was wearing corduroy bibs and a wool cardigan. Her straggling brown locks gave her a naughty look. Yet her looks were all too calm. She was swinging her old shoes down the sofa… Watching the kid in silence, there was an expression of despair in the young woman’s eyes. Her blonde hair looked thin and weak, her face was equally slim and pale… When the door opened she pulled herself together, was almost standing up but decided not to and the leather sofa made weird squeaking noises. The presentable, good looking woman entering the room must have been a secretary of some sort, “They’re on their way, they say they’re terribly sorry but they’ll keep you waiting a little longer” she said.
Then she turned to the little girl and asked “Honey would you like something to drink? Coke or maybe fruit juice?” The girl kept staring into the emptiness as if she didn’t even hear her. Then the secretary turned to the woman and made a gesture pointing at her own ears, with
“Oh so sorry”, she said. “And the poor thing, she’s all too young. Was she born this way or did it happen afterwards?” The woman did not answer the question, “May I have a glass of water please” she said. The secretary kept a good face, and left the room in her correct smile.
When the door closed the woman held the girls hands and slowly whispered to her: “Please talk to me… Say something…”
So the kid turned to the woman, and began to stare into her eyes. She was staring directly through the wild brown locks covering her face. And she started to transfer her thoughts to the woman, without parting her lips at all:
“……what do you want me to do, laugh and play?.........”
“They’ll take good care of you,” the woman said. “They’re rich people, they have resources. They’ll do anything you want.”
“………and you’ll be shooting your needles happily ever after, that is nice………”
“That’s not the point. I can’t take care of you. I have nothing good that I can give to you”
“…but still you didn’t really have to sell me……”
“What do you want me to do? They give me money so what, shall I say no? You haven’t been eating for two days, don’t you still get it? I’m telling you, they’ will take good care of you. From now on you’ll be their daughter, they will love you, they’ll try to make you happy. You’re gonna have everything.”
The kid turned away, and the door opened again. The secretary came in with a glass of water and left it on a large white napkin over the glass table. “Bon appétit”.
The woman tried to smile. At the same time she was scratching her shoulders and neck as if she was sick. Her face was dead white, she was going to need to shoot up again soon.
“Can she lip read?” asked the secretary.
“Yes” the woman answered, “When she wants to”.
Then the telephone rang. The secretary was speaking in a tone that combined skillful professionalism with careful cringing; “Of course Madam, however you like… Most certainly... Yes, we’re in the waiting room… Let me come and help if you please… I’ll be downstairs with you in a moment.” Covering the telephone with one hand; “They’re downstairs, they’ll be here in five minutes so I’ll be back soon” she said and left the room as the door closed behind her with a sharp snap.
“Please be quiet will you? You’re not speaking anyway. So if you don’t communicate, they won’t even tell. Just don’t use it, no telepathy, they should never know! Let them take care of you, let it go now because there’s nothing else we can do, got it?”
They were about to come through the door any moment now. The woman was visibly anxious while the kid was deadly calm, every bit as much. With one hand she was playing with the huge leaves of the plant sitting in the pot next to her. She wasn’t even looking at the woman.
“……….do you remember the time when we first met, when I called you mom?……..”
“……………….and you were ever so surprised………..?”
“The birth took a good seven hours. And when I heard a voice in my head, saying “hi mom”, right after… I thought was going crazy”
“…… what am I gonna do with these people? They’re gonna find out anyway….”
“They won’t, unless you do your mind thing. You’re not speaking anyway, so you won’t. As long as you keep pretending you don’t hear a thing, you’ll be fine.”
“………oh really, so you should try and see how easy it is then……”
“………there’s just one thing I don’t understand…. I thought I was here to help……”
“………but I guess you’re not the one……..”
“Well maybe it’s them”
“………………don’t be ridiculous…………….”
the girl said with beady eyes… Then she sighed, and again set her eyes somewhere in the distance, that doesn’t exist.
“…………I don’t know why I was brought to this world with all these memories
and all this pain…….”
“…… don’t know why I’m here……”
“ But you’re going to learn, quite soon I’m sure”
The child hugged her mother; holding on to her clothes with her small hands, she buried her face in her mother’s chest.
Footsteps were coming from outside the door. The woman held the child’s face between her hands, and whispered in her ear one last time as the door opened.
“ If You Keep Silent. They’ll Never Tell. That You’re Not A Child. Ok?”
Sona © December 2009