Think & Write #83

Inner Child: Part IV

Jessica woke up with an enormous headache.  It was 8:14 a.m.  Fortunately, the girl was not up yet.

“I still can’t remember a single thing about my childhood,” she quietly said.  “Maybe mom can help with this….”

Jessica retrieved her cell phone from the nightstand and called her mother.

“Oh hi, mom?” Jessica said to her.  “I didn’t wake you, did I?  Okay.  Good.  I was just trying to recall some things about my childhood.  Can you remember anything?”

A brief pause, and then laughter on the other end.

“No mom, that’s way too early.  What about when I was four or five?  Oh.  So I….what? How long did I do this?  Really?  Until I was six and a half?  Whoa.  Okay, you can stop now, mom.   Really!  You can stop.”  Jessica then laughed.  “Okay.  That’s all I needed to know.  Thanks.  I love you.  Tell dad I love him too, okay?  Okay.  Kisses to you, too.  Bye.”

Jessica hung up her cell phone in total surprise.  I never realized how much I wet the bed at that age! Thinking about the girl, she couldn’t help but smile.  It’s like she’s trapped in this world now, she thought.  The only place she belongs is back in my head.  In my memories…..

Suddenly, a shout.  “Mommy?”

Jessica sighed.  “Okay.  She’s awake now.”

Jessica entered the spare bedroom to find the girl sitting there, wearing nothing but a Pull-Up and a T-shirt.  “Didn’t she put pajamas on you?”

The girl shook her head.  “No mommy.  She didn’t.”

Jessica sat down on the bed and gave the girl a hug.  “Good morning, Jessica honey….”

The girl gave her a bright smile.  “Good morning, mommy!”  The girl then looked at her Pull-Up.  “I had to go, but it was too late to make it.  The lady who watched me put this on me.  I like my undies better.”

Jessica blushed and gave her a smile.  “Okay honey.  Maybe you should stay in those at night.”

The girl shook her head.  “I don’t like them.”

Jessica nodded.  “But you can wear your undies in the daytime, okay?”

The girl nodded.  “Okay, mommy….”

“Let’s get you cleaned up,” Jessica told her.

The girl got to her feet and got down from the bed.  As she did this, Jessica noticed a dark patch where she was sitting.  She then looked around the girl’s legs.  Okay.  Forget about wearing those at night!

“Honey,” Jessica said with urgency.  “Let’s get you to the bathroom right away, okay?”

Jessica took the girl to the bathroom and got her cleaned up.  She then clothed her and did her hair.

Over the course of the day, Jessica really didn’t do much, since she was tired.  She washed the bedding again, cleaned up the apartment and shared all her meals with the younger Jessica.  To keep little Jessica entertained, she let her play with her smart phone, using a kid app that she could play around with.

When little Jessica had to go, the older Jessica ran to the bathroom.  Just as she took off her pants, she made an accident all over the floor.  At this, Jessica screamed.  “Why do I have this kid?!”

After she yelled at her, she remembered what her mother told her over the phone.  She then turned to the girl and hugged her.  “I’m sorry,” she apologized.  “Mommy didn’t mean to yell.”

A little later in the day, the girl was tired, so Jessica put her down for a nap.  After the nap, Jessica made a big mistake.  She realized this when little Jessica exited the guest room, crying “Mommy, I’m all wet!”

Jessica got her in the bathroom again and gave her a shower.

While she was doing this, she sighed.  “How old are you?”

“I’m four years old.  Mommy said I just turned four a few days ago.”

Jessica shot her a double take.  “Are you sure?”

“I know!” the girl shouted.  “Mommy made me a delicious birthday cake.”

“She did? Okay.  I’ll take your word, honey.”

Jessica cleaned her up and dressed her again.

After that, she entered the kitchen and opened up the cupboards.  “That’s right!” she whispered.  “I need to do some shopping.  “Can’t run out of food….”

Jessica took the girl out shopping with her.  She bought all the basic essentials.  A few TV dinners for her and a couple of kid TV dinners for little Jessica.  After getting some additional items, such as butter, milk and apple juice, she exited the store.

As she was exiting, the girl began to have an uncomfortable look on her face.  “Mommy!” she cried.  “I have to go to the bathroom!”

It was too late.  Frustrated, Jessica took the girl back to the apartment and cleaned her again.  This is the last straw.

After cleaning her, Jessica got out the Pull-Ups.  The girl refused to wear them, but Jessica kept insisting.

At this point, Jessica started to cry.  “Honey,” she sobbed.  “You need to do this for me.  For right now, you have to wear them.  Half of your undies are in the dryer.  Until you stop having all these accidents, you are going to wear these during the day and at night.”

After discussing this with the girl, she agreed, but reluctantly.

Jessica returned to the living room to find that the groceries were still not put away.  She put the milk, butter and apple juice away and got out a TV dinner for her and the girl.

After dinner, Jessica put the girl to bed.

Over the course of next week, things got more interesting and hectic for Jessica.  The very next morning, Jessica found another damp mess on the bedding.  Jessica scowled and washed the bedding again.  After getting her and little Jessica ready, she rushed to the daycare and dropped little Jessica off.  She then arrived at work two minutes late.  After work, she picked up the girl and she stopped at the store, buying some diapers for her.

“Those are for babies.” the girl told Jessica.

Jessica nodded.  “I know.  But they’re also for big girls that need help.  These are for at night, okay?”

That did it.  The girl threw herself on the floor, kicking and screaming.  The girl made such a scene that Jessica was almost kicked out of the store.  She quickly rang up the item and left, wearing a thick shade of red on her face.

That night, it was a battle to get the girl to wear the Pampers that she bought.  After Jessica showing her all the clothes and bedding that she had to wash, she reluctantly agreed.

“I’m a baby,” the girl said sadly, as Jessica tucked her in.

Jessica sat down on the bed and gave her a soft kiss on the face.  “No you’re not.  You’re a big girl.  You just have a….problem.”

The girl frowned.  “I know, but I’m still a baby.”

Jessica stared at the girl’s level.  “Look at me,” she told her in a soft voice.  “You are a big girl.  This problem has nothing to do with how old you are.  If it makes you feel any better, mommy will tell you a secret.  Mommy had the same problem that you did when she was your age.”

Jessica’s face reddened.  It felt weird for her to say this, since she is watching her younger self experience this very problem.  Her younger self doesn’t know what Jessica knew.  Jessica knew that she was and is the very girl that she’s looking at.  For Jessica, it was like history repeating itself before her very eyes.  But the history that she saw was a history forgotten.  A history that was only revived by the memories her mother shared.

The girl’s face lit up.  “Mommy had this problem?”

Jessica nodded.  “Shh….Don’t tell anyone.  Yes.  Mommy did.  But you know what?  Mommy grew up, and this problem went away.”

The girl frowned.  “I want it to go away now.”

“I do, too….” Jessica sighed.  “But we need to be patient.  Be patient for mommy, okay?”

The girl nodded.  “Okay.  Good night, mommy….”

Jessica gave her another kiss.  “Good night, Jessica.”

Before closing the door, Jessica looked at the girl one more time.  The more she looked at the girl, the more she knew that this younger self of hers was holding her childhood memories captive. She has them, she thought.  I know it….

Another thing that Jessica knew was that the girl was not aware of any of these memories.  They were deep in the girl’s subconscious, and only she could access them.

For Tuesday and Wednesday, things went smoothly for Jessica.  On Wednesday night, however, Jessica almost thought she lost it.

That night before bed, little Jessica was playing with Jessica’s cell phone, when it suddenly dropped out of her hand.

A smash.  Then a break. Then a ear piercing scream.  Little Jessica broke it.

Jessica was furious.  She wanted to strangle the kid, but she restrained herself.  After venting in the other room, she apologized to the girl and put her to bed early.

The next day after work, Jessica got a new cell phone.   After that, she treated little Jessica to some ice cream.  It was her way of saying that she loved her and that she was sorry.

Finally, Friday night came.  Unlike last week, Jessica had to work on Friday.  After work, she picked up little Jessica from the daycare and took her to the restaurant that she had reserved for the past week.  Paige was there, along with Brad and Steve.  When they saw the girl standing next to her, they were shocked.

When the girl saw the three friends, she hid behind Jessica’s leg.

Jessica looked at her friends.  “She’s just shy.”  She then knelt down to the girl’s level and smiled.  “It’s okay.” she told her.  “They’re my friends.”  She then stood up and faced the men.  “Brad, Steve….I would like you to meet my ‘inner child’ – Jessica.”

Brad and Steve were speechless.   Steve then finally spoke up.  “Wait!” he shouted.  “When did you have that kid?”

Jessica frowned.   “I already told you.  She came out of my head!  Do you think that I can have a kid in a week and then have it age four years?”

Brad smiled.  “She looks just like you.”

Jessica nodded.  “She is.  I am telling you the truth.  I looked just like that when I was four.”

Brad sighed, and then nodded.  “I don’t understand this at all.  A little more than a week ago, you partake in an experiment that was supposed to make you recall all of your childhood memories.  Instead, this child came out of your head, and now, I’m supposed to believe all this?”

Steve shook his head and gave Brad a look of confusion.  “I don’t know what to think, either.”

“I do,” Brad told him.  “I’m just going to go with it.  There are some things that science just can’t explain, or haven’t discovered yet.  If younger versions of ourselves can come out of our heads, fine.  I’ll go with it.”

Jessica grinned and then looked at Paige, who nodded.  She then looked at the guys again.  “I had no choice BUT to believe it.  I mean, what other choice do I have?  I mean, look!  She’s here, and….”

“Mommy!” the girl shouted.  “I’m hungry!”

Jessica nodded, and motioned the waitress to come over and take their order.

While they waited for the food to come, the conversation continued.  It was a very interesting conversation, with little Jessica interrupting frequently.  Finally, the friends started asking the girl questions.  The girl warmed up to them quickly and was no longer shy.  In fact, she loved all the attention.

“Is that your mommy?” Steve asked the girl, pointing to Jessica.

“Yup!” she shouted.

“You know that you’re going to look just like her when you get older,” Brad added with a smile.

The food finally came. There was more conversation and more eating.  Maybe a little too much.  Jessica had to tell the girl to stop talking so that she could finish her dinner.

Finally, the dinner was over.  Jessica got a doggie bag for little Jessica, since she couldn’t finish all of her food.

Before they all left, Steve looked at Jessica and smiled.    “So you brought her after all,” he told her.  “That means that you’re not crazy.  But I think that I am for meeting her….”

“Just go with it,” Brad told him.  Steve nodded in agreement.

After saying their goodbyes, Jessica left with the girl and went back to the apartment.

That Monday, Jessica called the laboratory.  Why didn’t I do this in the first place?  After remaining on the line for a few minutes, an assistant answered.  “Dr. Mayberry just began his sabbatical.  He won’t be back for the next nine months.”

“What?” Jessica screamed.  “Can you do anything to get this kid back inside of me?”

“We can’t.” the assistant told her.  “Only Dr. Mayberry has knowledge on how to do this.  Even if he were to help you, we can’t guarantee that the procedure would work.  As we already told you, this was not supposed to happen.  Because of this, we don’t know how it happened.  And if we don’t know how it happened, then there’s no way we can fix this problem.”

“Try anything!” Jessica screamed hysterically.  “I don’t care! Just get her back!”

“We can’t, until the doctor comes back from his sabbatical.  Until then, you will just have to deal with her.”

Jessica looked at the girl, who was sitting in the distance, smiling.  All Jessica knew was one thing for certain.  This was going to be a very long nine months….

Two weeks passed.  In that time, Jessica started noticing a pattern in the girl’s bathroom habits.  Most of the time, she was not able to make it to the bathroom.  She knew that it wasn’t her fault, and that she was trying.  However, something needed to be done.  In addition to this, Jessica was starting to notice that the Pull-Ups were beginning to leak through the girl’s clothes.  And on days where little Jessica wore a dress, it made a mess all over.

Jessica looked at her waste bins that were filled with used Pull-Ups and sighed.  “She’s going back,” she said.  “I’ll toilet train her later.”

Over the next couple weeks, Jessica gradually put Pampers on little Jessica.  At the end of the two weeks, Jessica threw the last Pull-Up away.

That night, the cell phone rang. Jessica had it on vibrate since she already put her younger self to bed.  It was Paige again.  “Hey Paige,” she said.  “What am I doing? What am I always doing?  Taking care of that kid.  Yeah.  I know.  I can’t have any dates with Brad right now.  Paige!  I already told you!  This kid is taking up more of my time.  How?  Why don’t you babysit her for a few days!  Then you can ask me all you want.”

“The girl is getting expensive, Paige.  Do you have any idea how much diapers cost?  Yeah.  She’s wearing them.  What?  Train her?  I’ve been doing that the whole time!  The girl’s impossible.  I had her in training pants, but we had some problems with those.   She hates wearing them but she makes a mess without them.  What?  Yeah.  Me too, Paige.  I hope it’s a phase.  She’s not doing it on purpose either.”

“The doctor?  He won’t be back for another eight months.  Yeah.  He’s on a sabbatical.  I guess you can take those when you’re really rich.  Yeah, I want her back inside of me!  Get rid of her?  I can’t do that, Paige.  Why?  It’s hard for me to explain, but I feel like she’s a part of me.  If someone else were to care for her, they would be taking a really big part of me away.  What do you mean that doesn’t make sense?  I already told you!  I can’t explain it.  It makes sense to me.   I feel like she’s connected to me.  How?  You don’t understand, so why would you want to know?  Okay.  Fine.  Let’s just say that she has something that’s very important to me.  What is it?  Memories, Paige.  Memories that I so badly want to remember….What?  That’s nice if you can remember being a kid.  I can’t.  Yes, she has my memories.  What? You want to know why?  I can’t explain it to you.  It’s really hard to explain.  All I know is that whenever I’m around her, I feel them.”

“Yes.  I know, Paige.  Eight months is going to be a long time, but we’re still going to hang out.  Yes.  All of us.  You, me, Brad and Steve.  Yes.  And little Jessica too, sometimes.  Huh?  Little Jess?  That’s cute.  Anyway, it’s getting late.  We’ll try to do something this weekend, okay?  Yeah.  I’ll talk to you tomorrow.  I work early.  See ya, Paige.  Bye.”

Jessica hung up the cell phone and quickly brushed her teeth. She didn’t bother with the floss or the mouthwash, since she was so tired. She got her pajamas on, drank her glass of milk, and plopped herself into bed.  It wasn’t long before she fell asleep.

With one month already behind her, Jessica still had eight more months to go….

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

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