Think & Write #81

Inner Child: Part II

Once again, Jessica gasped.  “What is this girl doing here?”

Standing next to Jessica was a little girl wearing a red and white checkered dress.  She had gold hair, smooth skin and a fair complexion.

The scientists undid Jessica from the machine and she sat up.  “Whose daughter is this?  She needs to be somewhere else.”

The girl, however, started intently at Jessica.  She gave her a big smile and jumped up on her lap.  “Mommy….”

Jessica sighed.  “I am not your mommy.”  She then looked at the scientists, who were still speechless.  “Could any of you tell me what’s going on?”

Dr. Mayberry shook his head.  “As much as we would like to, we can’t.  You see, this was not supposed to happen.  You were supposed to remember your childhood.  That’s it.”

“Then what is she doing here?” Jessica said, point to the girl, who was now crawling on top of Jessica’s lap.

Dr. Mayberry smiled.  “Drawing from our conclusions, we are guessing that the very girl you see there is you, only younger.  She is, without a doubt, your inner child.”

Jessica shook her head and gave the doctor a crazy look.  “Okay.  If that’s the case, I want you to hit me in the head really hard.  When I wake up, I want you to tell me that this is someone else’s child.”

At this, Dr. Mayberry, the assistant and the other scientists laughed.  “I’m sorry, Miss Smith.”  Dr. Mayberry told her.  “But in a way, that is your child.  She is your younger self.  She has all your same features.  Hair, eyes and face.  The only difference is that she’s an earlier version of you.  Now we didn’t plan this at all.”

Jessica shrugged her shoulders, while the girl grabbed her hand, trying to get her attention.  “So what do I do with her?  Don’t tell me.  This is a dream, so it doesn’t really matter.”

“I’m afraid it’s not, Miss Smith.  The experiment did not go as planned, but take her with you.  And here’s the $300 we promised for participating.”

The doctor’s assistant handed her $300 and gave it to Jessica.  Dr. Mayberry then approached her.  “Good day, Miss Smith.” he told her.

Jessica sighed and left with the money and the girl.

Out on the street corner, there was no taxis to be found.  While she was waiting, she studied the girl.  She looked like, if she would to guess, only four-years old.  Having a child was the last thing she wanted right now.

The girl tugged at the hem of Jessica’s black Capri pants.  “Where are we, mommy?”

Jessica scowled, and looked the girl right in the eye.  “I am not your mommy.   You are me, only much younger.”

The girl’s eyes widened and she frowned.  “But you look like my mommy….”

“That’s where you’re wrong, ‘younger me’,” she argued.  “Let’s go home.”

Jessica finally found a taxi and she was driven back to the Riverside Apartments.

Taking the girl by the hand, she entered the apartment, took the elevator to the fifth floor, and entered 506.

As she entered, a look of worry filled the girl’s face.  “Mommy, where’s daddy?”

Jessica snickered.  This is absolutely crazy.  “Daddy is not here, and neither is mommy….”

At this, the girl laughed.  “No!  Don’t be silly, mommy.  You’re right here!”  The girl jumped up and embraced Jessica.

Jessica then looked underneath the girl’s dress.  “Are you potty trained?”

The girl nodded.  “But I already went, mommy!”

Jessica gasped.  “When did you go?”

“I went before I appeared in that strange place.   I tried waking you up because you were sleeping.  You wouldn’t wake up, mommy….”

After that, Jessica looked at the girl’s clothes.  She was just wearing a finely checkered dress with a loose red ribbon in her hair.  “Do you have any other clothes?”

The girl placed her hand on her head.  “At home you do, mommy….”

Jessica gasped.

The next thing she found herself doing was taking the girl to some clothing stores to get some new clothes for her.  She bought two new outfits and some pajamas for her.  Overall, she spent $150 of the $300 she was given.

For the rest of the day, Jessica struggled with how she was to raise this girl.  If the scientists were right, she was actually raising herself.  The very idea of raising her was weird.

That night, Jessica’s cell phone rang.

“Yeah, what?” Jessica shouted.  “Oh!  It’s you, Paige!  The experiment?  Forget about that.  Why?  I know this sounds weird, but I think they removed my inner child and now she’s running lose in my apartment.  No.  Seriously.  I mean it.  They actually let her lose from my head.”

A pause.

“Paige, I am NOT making this up!  Don’t believe me?  You can see her tomorrow.  No, she’s not sleeping in my bed.  She’s sleeping in the bed in the guest bedroom.  Yes, I fed her.  Just the stuff I eat.  Is that okay?”

“The money?  Yeah.  I already spent half of it on her clothes!  With my younger self around, we will definitely need a babysitter for Friday.  I am NOT canceling this double date.  Me and Brad.  You and Steve.  Just like we planned.”

“What?  I don’t need one?  I’m making all this up?  Since when have I lied to you like this, Paige?  Come over tomorrow morning and we’ll see who gets the last laugh.  Yes Paige.  I don’t know how a person can be extracted from someone’s mind.  Don’t ask me.”

“I just put her to bed, so I should be going off to bed, too.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow morning, and stop laughing!  I’m not crazy!  Bye.”

Jessica hung up.  She got all ready and went to bed.

In the middle of the night, Jessica felt a light tap on her shoulder.

And then a whisper.  “Mommy, I had an accident….”

Jessica began to pinch herself as hard as she could….

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

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