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  Growing Up

The heels of the little girl's shoes clacked hollowly on the shiny green linoleum as her headlong rush down the empty corridor slowed to a walk. It isn't polite to run indoors. As she continued down the seemingly endless hallway, she felt the dingy yellow walls pressing in on her, weighing her down.

Sunlight. She took great shuddering gulps of the fresh air. There was a canvas deck chair on the verandah. She sat. Staring emptily into space, she rocked back and forth, tears streaming silently and unheeded down her small pale face.

A nurse came. She brought milk and arrowroot biscuits. Clumsily she patted the child's head. "That's the way, love. You just sit there and have a little cry. I've brought you some nice bikkies. Make you feel better."

Like an automaton the child dipped a biscuit into the milk and began to eat. It would be all right. Everything would be all right. So long as she didn't close her eyes. Then she could see him. That man. He wasn't Daddy. Daddy laughed and threw her into the air - and loved her. That man in there didn't even know her. He was just a body hooked up to lots of ugly tubes.

She would just sit where she was and eat the biscuit and keep her eyes open. Always open.




    © 2012