Inner Child: Part III
Jessica pinched herself again. This wasn’t working. She didn’t wake up. What she saw was the harsh reality. A girl standing there in pink and white PJ’s with a dark patch running down her legs.
“Why are you here?” Jessica cried. “Why can’t I wake up?” Jessica, in her frustration, forcefully took off the girl’s wet PJ’s. “Okay,” she fumed. “What is your name?”
The girl was terrified. “Jessica….” she said in a slow and forlorn voice.
Jessica was beyond belief. “Same name as me, huh?” Jessica just sat there, trying to make sense of all this. I guess that really is me…. she thought. She took another look at her younger self, who was sitting there in damp underwear. Or was… Jessica guided the young Jessica into the bathroom. “Wait here.” she told her. “I’m going to wash your pajamas.”
The girl nodded. “Okay mommy….”
As Jessica was taking her clothes to get washed, she tried to remember her childhood. She couldn’t. Not a single thing. “That’s strange,” she said. “The earliest I can remember is eighth grade….”
Jessica put the pajamas in the washer. Thinking about it again and again, she just couldn’t recall anything from her childhood. “Why can’t I remember?” she said in frustration.
As she was walking back to her apartment, she thought of her younger self. Could all of these childhood memories be stored inside of her? “No,” Jessica said in disbelief. She then felt a sinking feeling inside of her. “That girl has all of my childhood, and she doesn’t know it. I know she does. I can’t remember a thing….”
Jessica wiped a couple tears off her eye and entered the apartment. She gave the girl a shower and then wrapped her in a towel. Fortunately, the pajamas that she bought were two in a set. With that, she had the girl put the pajamas back on.
“No more accidents,” she told the girl.
Her inner child nodded. “It was an accident, mommy. I’m sorry. I’ll try to make it next time.”
Jessica kissed the girl goodnight and tucked her in her bed, since the bedding in the guest room still needed to be washed. Jessica got in beside her and fell asleep.
The next morning, Paige came over. In seeing the girl, she was shocked.
“I guess you weren’t joking.” she said, giving Jessica a shocked look. “How did this happen?”
“I’m still trying to figure it out,” Jessica told her.
After Paige stayed a little while, she left.
For the rest of the week, Jessica had to take care of her younger self. On the first day, she took the girl to work. This didn’t go well, since she wasn’t able to get that much work done. On the next few days, she dropped her off at a daycare, which was on one of the lower floors in the same building where she worked. Once again, she had Friday off. Her day with Paige would be an all day thing, with the double date taking place at night. Prior to Friday, she arranged for a babysitter to watch the girl. Every day after work, she bought some clothes and toys for little Jessica.
That Friday morning, the babysitter came. It was a woman who was a little younger than Jessica.
When the sitter saw the girl, she smiled. “Aw, is this your daughter?” she asked.
Jessica nodded. “Yup. I need some time away from her.” Keep it simple, she thought. She doesn’t need to know about the whole experiment….
Just before Jessica left, she looked at the girl and then at the babysitter. “She’s yours all day. I’ll be back late tonight. Maybe even tomorrow morning.”
Before the sitter could say another else, Jessica bolted out the door.
With that, the day of fun began. Jessica went shopping with Paige and they got their nails done. After having lunch at a pizzeria, they walked to Paige’s apartment.
Once they got there, Paige showed Jessica the latest issue of her fashion magazine and shared with Jessica all the gossip that she heard from her friends.
Jessica nodded. “I know. Some of this I already know from facebook.”
Suddenly, Jessica’s cell phone rang. It was the sitter.
“What is it?” Jessica asked. “She peed the bed? Just change the sheets! You don’t need to call me about this. The extra linens are in the closet. Use those for now. Yes. Have her take a nap when she’s tired. Oh, she’s done with hers now? Okay. Just have her play with those toys that I got her. I gotta go now. Bye.”
The day continued. Jessica and Paige left the apartment and did a little more shopping. After that, it was about time for the double date. Brad and Steve was at the restaurant that Jessica and Paige made reservations for. The time was 6:42 p.m.
After the dinner, the four went to a nightclub that played techno music.
At 10:53, Jessica got another call on her cell phone. It was the sitter again. Being all jittery from the energy drinks, she didn’t mind answering.
“What now?” Jessica asked. “She peed the bed again? What? You’re asking me what you should do now? I don’t know! Just get her Pull-Ups! I’ll be there in the morning. Bye.”‘
“Who was that?” Brad asked her.
“That was the sitter,” Jessica said, giving a nervous smile.
Brad then gave her a strange look. “What? Sitter? Since when did you have a kid?”
Jessica looked at Brad defensively. “I did not have a kid! She’s watching my younger self that came out of me!”
“Younger self?” Brad chuckled. “I think you’re a little crazy, Jess. Stop drinking those energy drinks.”
Jessica placed her hands on Brad. “I am not crazy. Now I know that this is going to sound weird, but this is what happened. I signed up for an experiment. When I participated, I was told that this experiment was supposed to make me remember every single detail of my childhood. I mean, we all can recall our childhood, but not very well, right?”
Brad, Paige and Steve all nodded.
“Well,” Jessica continued. “When they did the experiment, I felt this jolt go through my body. Before I know it, I was knocked out. When I woke up, I saw this little girl staring at me, calling me ‘mommy’.”
“Little girl?” Steve said, interrupting her. “Let me guess. She’s your ‘inner child’.”
At that, Steve and Brad started to laugh. Brad gave Steve a high five.
“Ha ha ha!” Brad laughed. “Inner child! That’s a good one!”
Jessica then threw her hands up. “It’s not funny!” she shouted. “What you’re saying is absolutely true. Steve is right. This girl is driving me crazy. She won’t leave me alone and she THINKS that I’m her mother. I haven’t been able to sleep well since I had her. Herein lies the problem. I don’t know how to get her back inside of me.”
Steve gave Jessica a weird look. “I have an idea,” he told her. “See a shrink.”
“You guys,” She said, still agitated. “I’m not crazy. You haven’t seen her yet. Paige has seen her. Haven’t you?”
Paige nodded. “She’s not making this up.”
Steve cracked a smile. “So, she’s in on it, too?”
Jessica had a crazed smile. “Okay,” she told them. “How about this? Next week, let’s have a dinner date at the same restaurant. I’ll bring the girl this time. If I don’t bring her, THEN you can call me crazy. Now let’s continue dancing.”
Everyone nodded. “She better be there,” Steve told Jessica. “That’s all I’m saying. Now let’s get this party on!”
Jessica continued partying with the group. They danced late into the night.
At around 4:33 a.m., Jessica stumbled into the door of Riverside Apartments. She was extremely tired from all the energy drinks that she had.
Upon entering her apartment, it was a mess. Cans of pop were scattered on the floor. A couple of finished TV dinners sat there, with the silverware lying on top of the peeled back plastic. The boxes were laying on the floor. Next to one of the boxes was an opened up pack of Pull-Ups. The babysitter was passed out on the couch, lying on her side.
Jessica woke the babysitter up. “Hey,” she whispered. “Here’s $50 for watching her. Thank you very much. Now please go back to your place.”
The babysitter stood up. “Okay….” she said with a yawn. “She wasn’t too much trouble, besides the times that I called you.”
Jessica nodded impatiently. “Okay. Go. I’m tired and I want to sleep before she wakes up.”
The babysitter, holding the pay in her hands, left the apartment.
Jessica looked around at the mess and sighed. “I’ll take care of it in the morning.
Too tired to change into her pajamas, Jessica crawled into her bed and immediately fell asleep.
©2012 K. L. Walker
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