Wishes are tricky things. Even when you get what you want...
Another old story of mine while i finish off chapter 3 of To Save A Family
"I am not here to judge you or to punish you. I just want to help you but you need to make me understand." He tried to be as soothing as possible but the girl still looked nervous and depressed. "Just explain to me your side of the story."
The young girl fidgeted. She was quite the little enigma to the doctor. A young pretty girl, only ten years old, and so smart! Her parents were rich and it seemed the whole world was laid out before her grasp but she was so sad...
"Well Doc" she began, "I will try to explain but I know that you are not going to believe me either."
"I would still like to here it."
She shrugged. "OK, well I guess the whole thing started as my fault. It was my stupid wish that got me into this in the first place."
"What wish was that?"
"The wish that I could be young again."
"But you are only ten years old. You are not yet old..."
The girl stopped him. "I am going to explain it all if you just let me and don't interrupt."
"Thank you. As I was saying, I had made a wish. I guess it helps if I tell you more about whom I was before. You see, I was once a 30 year old man named David Springer."
She looked over toward the psychiatrist hoping to see some sign of whether he believed her in his reaction but he just sat stone faced.
"Go on." He said.
"I hadn't been very happy, you see. I had lots of hopes and dreams when I was a young man and they had never quite panned out. Here I was 30 years old and I had no wife, no kids, no schooling, no job, and no future. Then the thought entered my mind that if I could start all over again things would be different. It was more an obsession than a thought really and I began to imagine how things could have been different. I daydreamed about different lives and backgrounds I could have and how they would change my future. Then I made a wish."
The doctor gestured toward her. "I am to take that this is the result of your wish."
"So you just wanted to start over and the universe played this cruel trick on you?"
She squirmed a bit. "Not exactly. I didn't just want to start over it was important that I start over right so I was pretty specific in what I wanted."
The doctor raised an eyebrow and she continued. "I wanted to be young enough to have all my choices but not so young that I would take forever to grow up. Ten years old seemed about the right age for that. I also wanted to be smart and rich so that was put in the equation too. The girl thing...well, I thought if I wanted to be free of all my emotional and relationship baggage I need to break free of my rut. What better way than change everything."
"So you got your wish. Than why so unhappy?"
"Well, it just wasn't how I thought it would be. I never considered the
consequences..." She began to cry.
"It's OK. Talking about these things help."
"I guess the first problem I noticed was the boredom. I was so happy when I woke up in my new body with my new family. All I wanted to do was explore my new body and my newly found youth and wealth but it all quickly wore off. I never thought about the boundaries that being 10 years old could put on your freedom. I had to submit to a 9 o'clock bedtime, I was only allowed to watch children's TV shows and that was just the tip of the iceberg. I was not allowed to leave my street because some stranger might grab me, no more CD's with explicit lyrics either. Us kids must be protected. It was sending me slowly mad."
"I can imagine. I don't think I could handle something like that either."
"That's not all Doc. The kids were just as bad. The kids my age and younger had nothing in common with me and were of no interest. The kids older than me would have nothing to do with a little baby. I should have known; when I was a kid I would never have been caught dead playing with a younger kid either."
"You must have felt pretty lonely."
She laughed grimly. "Lonely? I had no friends to talk to and my parents saw me as their sweet little daughter. They did love me but they didn't relate to me. It was hell. Even the love had a down side."
"What kind of down side?"
"It was just that I knew I wasn't really their daughter. It all felt like a lie to me."
"So this is why you feel so sad?"
"It's not just that. There were a lot of other problems not associated with being young but with the fact that I was now a girl. First and foremost are the obvious physical differences. It is tough to get used to being so much shorter and weaker that even I was as a young boy and the sense of vulnerability that gives me. I don't think I will ever have the same sense of security again. The plumbing differences and the thought that I might one day have a period and get pregnant are not exactly fun concepts either."
"Every woman has to deal with those problems."
"True, but I had 30 years as a guy. It was just stuff I didn't consider. I also just don't know how woman can stand the social roles that are thrust upon them. My Mom makes me work in the kitchen instead of getting out in the fresh air and doing yard work. I have to wear dresses and frilly outfits and put up with being called cute and darling and never being taken seriously. I don't think that will ever change either. Now that I have the incentive to watch, I see how people treat my Mom and other woman and have a grim view of my future."
"That is really a lot for one person to have to deal with isn't it? Have you found any upside?"
"Not really, I thought things would be easier in school knowing what I know now but the just moved me to an enriched program where I am quickly finding the pressures mounting up again. What's worse is even though the students there are brilliant the are still so immature and recognize that I don't fit in. If only some one believed me things wouldn't be so bad but telling people at school my story is what got me sent here."
"It looks like we are about out of time. I need to speak with your parents and would like to see you again."
The girl got out of her seat.
"You believe me don't you Doc?"
"I am here to listen to anything you have to tell me."
The girl left the room and the secretary escorted in her two young parents.
"So what's up with our daughter? She isn't schizophrenic or something is she?" The father asked.
"No, no. She is just feeling a little alienated from her life right now. She doesn't have many friends at home or at school and tries to rationalize it away but pretending she is someone else."
The mother looked relieved. "So what can we do to help her doctor?"
"Just don't indulge her fantasy. Make her act her age and her proper gender roles and she will eventually grow out of it. It would also probably help if you took her out of the pressure of the enriched classes and into a more normal environment. She just needs to know it's OK for her to be a 10 year old girl."
"Just make sure you pay my secretary."
Writers Note: I would take this characters place in a heartbeat so her feeling in no way reflect the author. :)
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