It was an ordinary night for a child who had grown accustomed to the unordinary. My dog Justice trembled under the bed, while Led Zeppelin vibrated through the wall. Inside the sheets, all wrapped up in Mother’s essence of bath oil and sandalwood, I tossed and turned. Then I laid listless and awake—a lump of boredom. I could smell the funny smoke again and hear bottles clinking.
I pleaded with God, “Please make the people go away.”
All at once, a melodic voice called out, “Hello, Little Girl.”
But I knew the voice wasn’t God.
I was certain my God didn’t have a Jamaican accent and dreadlocks. “We didn’t know you were in here, Pretty Lady. I’m sorry if we woke you,” the stranger apologized, as he approached Mother’s bed.
I leaned over casually on my arm, wanting to seem mature and interesting enough to earn his attention. “You didn’t wake me,” I responded, with a fake yawn, tapping my little chin with my tiny fingers a few times. I was accustomed to seeing strangers in the house, but not at my bedside. Still, I wasn’t nervous in the slightest degree. I’d liked meeting Mother’s friends. They were all interesting in that odd way.
The man with skin like chocolate-syrup winked at me. I shot up—all big-eyed and bouncy—and just about jumped out of my bed all together, thinking this broad shouldered man would work quite well for a piggyback ride.
Another man with skin like milk was grinning at the foot of Mother’s bed. “Sweet Girl,” he said. “We’re not here to bother you. You just fall asleep and we’ll get going.” His voice was boring. But I smiled anyways.
“Why are you here?” I asked, my one rouge eyebrow standing at alert.
The stranger with the milky-skin stroked his hand across his dimpled chin and shifted his weight from side-to-side. His prickly face grew tight and then relaxed. “That’s a good question,” he said, keeping his narrow blue eyes fixed on me. “You see, Ben, he asked us to get something out of the room for him.”
I asked loudly, “What does Ben need?”
The men didn’t respond. Neither one. Instead they seemed to be playing a game, a pretend game of not hearing me. Perhaps I was invisible. The chocolate man, stayed at my side, and spoke so low I could barely make out his words. “It’s nothing for you to worry about,” he said, and then he dabbed his forehead with a red kerchief. “I’m worried because Ben specifically told us not to wake you. And now, Pretty One, you are very much awake.”
My heart fluttered on hearing “pretty.” I pushed my lips out in a perfected pout. Then tossed my auburn hair. I thought on the word magenta. My favorite color. My favorite word. Magenta, I thought, as my mind traveled outside the room.
The stranger at my bed shuffled his feet. I drew my eyes to his tall forehead. With his long dark fingers, he motioned his friend to leave the room. “I know you won’t tell,” he said with a quick survey of the room.
Then suddenly, his whole body lit up. And I could see an idea had found him.
“Do you know how you can tell a star from an ordinary girl?” he asked, his melodic voice rising on the word star.
I shook my head back and forth. Curious.
“A movie star can close her eyes without fluttering her lids.”
I gave him a sideways stare and my best shifty eyes.
“I bet you could be a movie star,” he said.
My heart leaped. I felt lighter, prettier, and special all at once. I nodded in agreement.
“Try it. Try to close your eyes now, pretty girl.”
I leaned back on my pillow and squeezed my eyes closed. Dreams of starring on Love Boat and Fantasy Island, danced in my mind. Something rattled on the dresser. But I didn’t open my eyes. The stranger sighed. Still I didn’t open my eyes. I was that good!
The stranger’s voice echoed. “You are perfect. You are a star. Don’t stop now.” Self-elation oozed out of every pore of my body. I was on top of the world. I was extraordinary.
I remained still, and then stiller, until there was only me, only my dreams, and I drifted to sleep.
I awoke refreshed and alive, and back in my own bed. I got up and looked in the bathroom mirror. I was pretty. I was good. I was talented. I was to be a star! I swept my arms back and forth, and glided into the kitchen—the best of the best entering the stage in evening gown and princess smile. I waved as if on a parade float. I practiced my shy giggle. I batted my big eyes.
Upon entering the kitchen, my world stopped. I was instantly assaulted by cataracts of rage. Dark shades covering my mother’s boyfriend’s dark eyes. He huffed. He hunched. He heaved. I frooze. The stardrom dropped out of me, just like that. The hopes, the dreams, the wishings.
I looked at Mother. I looked at Ben, her lover. And then I looked at my big toe. It was smaller than it’s neighbor toe. I wiggled my toe as I gulped.
“Shit,” Ben said, scratching his stubbly face. “Those assholes took the entire stash! All the cash, and even your shitty jewelry! Why’d you trust those filthy bastards?”
I peeked upwards towards Mother’s unkempt hair. Mother shook her head and sighed. The light in her eyes dimming quickly.
The scenes from the night before played out in my mind—the men—the room—my eyes—my eyes closed…
I couldn’t form words. The whole of me was frigid and stuck. The sting of one thousand wasps found way to my inner parts. I wasn’t extraordinary after all, I thought. I was nothing good at all.
Based on true events © Everyday Aspergers, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. http://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com