From that day on, I was able to sleep a little more, the bed wetting had worked itself down to only the night before court progress hearings and the nightmares became more bearable. I was no longer a puppet being ripped apart into two by my legs. I was now just dreaming of running and falling off of rooftops and landing in the Silver Lake reservoir in search of my dad. But, I still didn’t talk. I was afraid that if I talked all the monsters would come out. I was afraid I would be taken away from Momma and Pops and moved further away from my biological family. I decided that I would not talk and that when I got old like my sister, I would cut my tongue out, just as a safety precaution.
Ms. Niecey was my home school teacher and she always smelled like roses and lilies, like my mother did. I liked her brown tortoise shell glasses and her pencil skirts with nice silk blouses. One day I wrote to her during a spelling test that I thought she should be p-r-e-s-i-d-e-n-t. I remember her eyes got a little wet and she smiled. I liked that she smiled. When I was lonely for home, I would work real hard at making Momma, Pops and Ms. Niecey smile or laugh because I loved them so much.I could tell they wanted my love too because they kept me safe and didn’t get mad at me.
I loved them because they forgave my imperfections like pissing in the bed, flying out of bed at 2 in the morning crying and screaming my head off and not answering them when all they wanted to do was help me be happy. Making them smile would make me feel like I was important and like I was doing something good. I found purpose. It had become an obsession necessary to feed any motivation I had left to just will myself to breathe. Even at the age of six I had cognition that my life was unbearable and perhaps would be for a long time.
“Mr. St. Fleur I’d like to go over the assessment results today,” said Ms. Niecey.
“Oh, o.k. let me get the missus,” said Pops.
“It’s going to be fine, you are doing great and tomorrow you and me are going to the library, o.k.? Would you like that?” Ms. Niecey said excitedly.
I smiled and nodded “yes.”
“Hi Mrs. St. Fleur, how are you today?”
“I’m fine, Ms. Niecey, praise the Lord!”
There was mention of their Lord again. I became sweaty and nervous about the yellow orange giant envelope Ms. Niecey was opening with her tiny nimble fingers with a sweet diamond ring on the left hand. I wanted to give her pearls because she was going to get married in Wyoming in three weeks she told Momma, but I only had fifty three cents my sister let me have on account of her being rich because it was her birthday last weekend and she got a hundred dollars and she didn’t need the two quarters and three pennies. Anyway, I was scared because the envelope looked like the one they gave my Gjeo on the day they took me away from home.
“Well, the good news, Mr. and Mrs. St. Fleur is that she is considered gifted.” Ms. Niecey pointed at some papers. “See, this is her current IQ score of 147. However, the bad news is that we will not be able to continue home schooling past the second grade level. She’s actually ready to tackle fourth grade. She needs to go to a school.”
All the while, Momma and Pops smiled at me and reassured me things were going to be o.k. by holding me close to Momma’s side. That night after supper, I tugged Momma at her tan linen skirt and led her to my room. I was already brushed, bathed and in my pink onesie pajamas. I didn’t eat the mac and cheese, but was allowed to get ready for bed before Elroy.
“Well child, what do we read tonight?”