Think & Write #87

Inner Child: Part V

Jessica woke up, her smile as bright as the rising sun.  Eight more months have finally passed.  It was now only one week that remained before Dr. Mayberry returned from his sabbatical.

The day was now July 15th. Jessica knew, since she has been keeping track of each day since the day she called the laboratory.

Before she went to the bathroom, she heard a shout next to her.  “Mommy!” the girl shouted.

Jessica smiled, and sat down next to her.  “Morning, sweetie! Did you have a good night’s sleep?”

“Yeah!” the girl shouted.  “I slept really well last night.”

About six months ago, Jessica decided to buy her younger self a bed, and had it put in her bedroom.  Since then, little Jessica has been sleeping with her every night.

“Are we going to the park again, mommy?” she asked her.

Jessica nodded.  “Definitely, my little Jess.  But mommy’s gotta go to work, first.”

She then looked at the girl, who she dressed in a pair of very cute looking pajamas.  They were pink, with yellow stars and crescent moons with a little glitter.  “Let’s get you ready my sweetheart….”

Jessica took the girl into the bathroom and got her ready, like she did every morning.  I love this girl….

“Is Brad going to be at the park today?” the girl asked, while Jessica was combing her hair.

“Yes,” Jessica nodded.  “Him, Steve and Paige will all be there.”

Over the past months, Jessica kept her promise to Paige.  Despite having her younger self with her, she still hung out a lot with her friends.  Whether it was to a restaurant, the park, or a movie, she brought “little Jess” very often, since the cost of having a babysitter was getting expensive.  Some exceptions included some special dates or movies that Jessica considered inappropriate for the girl.  Since Paige suggested the name, Jessica liked the name so much that she started calling her younger self “little Jess” regularly.

After getting herself and “little Jess” ready, Jessica flagged down a taxi.  She went to the same building as before, dropping off little Jessica on the first floor and taking the elevator to the 27th, to Dr. Wakeman’s Neurology Clinic.

After work, Jessica picked up the girl and went to the park.  She took a taxi to the park and met Paige, Brad and Steve there.  The temperature was 97 degrees, and there was not a single cloud in the sky.

“It’s really hot, mommy….” the girl complained.

An idea suddenly came over Jessica.  “Ice cream time!” she shouted.  “My treat, everyone!”

She took her younger self and her friends to an ice cream vendor.  Everyone got their favorite flavor, and Jessica got vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles on a cone for the girl.

“Lick it quickly before it melts, honey.” she told little Jessica.

The girl nodded, and she ate the ice cream as quick as she could.

After going to the park, they all had pizza for dinner at a pizzeria.  Jessica then said goodbye to everyone and went home.

That night, after Jessica put the girl to bed, she felt her cell phone vibrate.

“Hey Paige.” she said.  “How many more days now?  I thought I already told you.  Didn’t I tell you?  I didn’t?  Well, it’s only one week now.  Tomorrow morning it will be six days.”

“No Paige.  Don’t say that.  What!  Why?  I’ve told you before, Paige!  I’m going to miss this girl.   Yes.  ‘Little Jess’.  I’m going to miss ‘Little Jess’.  You too? Yeah.  What do you mean, only a little?  I’m going to miss her a whole lot.  Well, I’m certainly not going to miss doing that, but it’s part of being a mother, right?  What?  Yes Paige, she still wears them.  It doesn’t seem like she minds now.  When?  I’ve actually tried more recently.  After washing a half dozen pairs of her underwear, I still don’t think she’s ready.  I mean, she wants to learn but I  just don’t want her to feel too discouraged.  She takes it very hard when she doesn’t make it.  You should see the look on her face.  I feel bad that she has to deal with this.”

“A doctor?  I have actually taken her to one seven months ago.  They tell me that she has a special condition.  I can’t remember the name of it.  But really, this is personal information, Paige.  Too personal for you?  Yes.  I feel like some information like this should be kept private.”

“Yes, she’s bothered by it, but she’s used to the whole thing now.  She doesn’t fight me any more on it.  What?  I think we should change the subject, okay?”

Tears started to form in Jessica’s face.  “I already told you, Paige!  I’m not looking forward to her leaving.  Why?  Yes, I considered her an annoyance at first.  Yeah.  That was around nine months ago, at the beginning.  Yeah, I complained a lot about her, then.  Yeah, it’s still a challenge.  But over time, I really started to like her.  Just think of this, Paige.  How well do you take care of yourself?  Okay.  So if I think of her as myself, shouldn’t I take care of her as well as I take care of myself?  Yeah.  This really started to hit me after that doctor’s appointment.  She’s really an amazing girl, isn’t she?  You don’t get it as well as I do.  What?  Well, of course you wouldn’t get it.  Every time I see her now, I see myself.  And everyday, I learn new things about myself that I have forgotten.  Well, my four-year old self at least.”

“My other childhood? Paige!  How many times do I have to tell you?  I can’t remember my childhood!  I still can’t!  Little Jess has taught me everything about herself that I have forgotten.  I see it by the way she behaves and the way she looks at me…..”

“Yeah, I’m hoping that this experiment helps me remember.  Stop teasing me, Paige.  What if you suddenly couldn’t remember the first twelve years of your life?  I don’t mean every detail.  I mean, who can remember all that?  I’m talking about all the things you CAN remember….”

“Does she know?  Yes.  Little Jess knows that she’s going back soon.  I tell her that she’s going back to where she belongs.  To a mother that will look very much like me.  What?  Yes.  I looked at her younger pictures when I visited her around Christmas, Paige.  At my age, my mother looked pretty similar to the way I look.  I guess that’s why she thinks that I look so much like her.  You should’ve seen Little Jess at Christmas.  When she saw my mom, she said, ‘another mommy?’ After that, she said, ‘but that mommy looks older.’

“Six more days, Paige.  I’m not looking forward to it like I thought I would.  Yes.  You’re right Paige.  She’ll always be inside of me.  In my memories….”

“Well, I gotta to bed, Paige.  I work tomorrow.  After that, we can hang out.  Just you, me and Little Jess this time.  We can have some girl time to ourselves.  Okay.  Sounds good.  I’ll see you tomorrow.  I’ll call you when I get there.  Okay.  See ya.  Bye.”

The next day after work, Jessica came over to Paige’s apartment with the girl.  After a dinner, she took little Jessica home.

A few more days passed, which was a little too fast for Jessica.  Finally, it was right before the day that she dreaded – the 21st of July.

That night, Jessica was in tears as she was putting her younger self to bed.

“What’s wrong, mommy?” the girl asked.  “Why are you crying?”

Jessica wiped away her tears and sat down next to the girl.  “Mommy’s crying because tomorrow, I’m going to have to say good bye to you.”

The girl looked confused.  “Why mommy?” she asked.  “Where am I going?”

“You’re going back to where you belong,” she sniffed.  “Don’t worry, honey.  You won’t feel any different.  You will be in the past, with a mommy that looks like me.”

“But I don’t want to go,” the girl said.

“I don’t want you to either.  But there will be another mommy there.  The mommy that you’re supposed to have.”

“Aren’t I supposed to have you, mommy?”

Jessica shook her head.  “No.  Now this may be hard for you to understand, but I am the same person as you, only I’m a really big girl.  I am who you are going to be when you grow up.”

The girl’s eyes lit up.  “Really?  I hope I’m a good mommy when I grow up.”

Jessica looked at herself and smiled.  “I hope so too, honey.  I think that you will make a really good mommy.”  After that, she gave her a kiss on the cheek.  With that, she changed her, tucked her in and kissed her goodnight.

The next day, Jessica wasn’t crying her eyes out, but she was still sad.  It was the day that Dr. Mayberry came back from his sabbatical.  Jessica called the laboratory.  The assistants told her to come in at noon, and to bring the girl with her.

Once in the laboratory, she entered the same room she was in during the experiment.  When little Jessica saw this room, she frowned.

“I’m scared, mommy.” she told her.

“Don’t worry, honey.” Jessica told her.  “It will only take a second.”

A few seconds later, Dr. Mayberry entered the room.  “Enjoying your inner child?” he joked.

Jessica nodded.  “I’m enjoying her very much,” she told him.  “If you were to ask me that eight months ago, I would have punched you in the face.  But I’m really enjoying her now.  As much as I do though, I’m going to have to say goodbye.”

Dr. Mayberry scratched his head.  “I’ll let you do so then.  As for her, I still am not able to figure out why that happened to you.  If I were to guess, I probably just created a clone from your memories by mistake.”

Jessica frowned.  “It was a mistake?”

“Of course!” the doctor nodded.  “This experiment was something that we have never tried before.  Not even on animals!  You were the first one to try it, so we don’t have much data.  We’re going to repeat the same procedure as you had before.  Hopefully, we won’t end up with another clone from your memories.  Anyway, I’ll let you say goodbye while we’re hooking everything up to you.”

Jessica nodded, as they laid her on the bed.  After that, they strapped her in with the belt over her stomach and attached a helmet on her.

Meanwhile, the girl just stood there watching, with a very sad look on her face.  “Mommy….”

“Good bye, little Jess.” Jessica told her.  “I’m really going to miss you, but you will be in me very soon, okay?  Farewell, honey!”

The girl continued to stare at Jessica, and a tear began to roll down her little cheek.  “Bye mommy…..”

Before they could say anything else, Dr. Mayberry signaled his assistant to turn the machine on.

Like before, Jessica felt a strong tingle of electricity flowing through her.  After that, she was knocked out.

When she came to, she looked around.  “Wait….” Jessica cried.  “Where is she?  Where is my little Jess?”

We saw it,” one of the assistants told her.

“I saw it, too.” Dr. Mayberry told her.  “The girl went back inside you.  Do you feel any different, Miss Smith?”

Jessica closed her eyes and thought for a moment.  And just like that, she felt like a flood of memories filled her mind.  It was numerous memories.   Lots of various memories from her childhood.  There were memories that she wanted to forget and memories that she was glad that she remembered.  “It worked!” she shouted.

“I know,” the doctor said, smiling.  “We both saw her….”

“Not just that,” Jessica told them.  “The original experiment!  Now, this is creepy.  I can remember every single thing from my childhood.  What the hospital looked like the day I was born, what clothes I was wearing when I was three, everything.  I can even remember every word everyone said!”

When Dr. Mayberry heard this, he began to jump up and down with excitement.  “That’s great, Miss Smith!  There must have been something we got wrong in the experiment.”

The doctor handed her 3 more $100 bills.  “Well, to be fair,” he told her.  “Here’s another $300, since the experiment failed before.  Thank you for your time and your participation.”

Jessica nodded.  “Thank you for giving me little Jess.” She grabbed the money and left the laboratory.

Since Jessica had the rest of the day off, she went over to Paige’s apartment to celebrate, when Paige was done working.  They both celebrated little Jessica’s departure from the world and arrival in Jessica’s mind, where she belongs.

After the celebration dinner, Jessica went home to her apartment.

Jessica still missed her younger self.  But after gleaning through all her newly recovered memories, she smiled.  “She’s there,” she said gleefully.

As Jessica got all ready for bed, she started to act all silly.  She pretended to be little Jessica, but only for a moment.

After she realized what she was doing, she shook her head.  “What am I doing?” she gasped.  “I guess I just miss her….”

And that was what Jessica did, every now and then, for it reminded her of that girl and how she cared for her.

Next to her bed, Jessica noticed a small bed sitting there. It was made neatly, with the pillow sitting on top.  “Her bed,” she whispered.

Jessica stared at the small bed for a while.  As she looked at it, she could almost see little Jessica crawling into it and her being tucked in shortly after.  The longer she stared at the bed, the more she missed her younger self.  Finally, the image of the girl faded away.  Missing her greatly, she sighed.

Little Jessica got into bed.  “Good night, mommy….” she said, using her little Jessica voice.  She then reverted back to her older self.  Jessica Smith’s inner child was finally back where she belonged.

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

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