A Fragile Immortality
In 2001, Jessica Sellers was born, only daughter to a single mom. My mother and I – we were all each other had in the world. She read to me and pushed me in school, even though I was only in 3rd grade. I was going to be everything I could be she told me. I was going to be smart, pretty, and do something with my life. I stayed after-school for their ‘tutoring hour’ and did most of my homework, with someone around to help me when I needed it. A few of the kids from my street would get picked up by a babysitter afterwords and my mom had arranged for me to walk home with them. We’d frequently stop by the playground on the way out. Mostly for the other kids to be worn out so the babysitter wouldn’t have to wrangle them as much, but partly because she wanted to make sure they had some fun in their lives too.
The babysitter took us to the playground. She was pushing a few of us on the merry-go-round, hopping onto the edge for a few trips around before finding her feet again to push it some more. We were laughing and shrieking with joy that we didn’t notice things had changed until she hit the ground one last time – and we were all elsewhere.
Treasured she called me, but treasured in the way that children treasure their dolls. I was stolen to be a doll. A porcelain doll to have tea with. To drag around in the dirt, to fling and shatter on the ground in a temper. Porcelain shatters when thrown, but human flesh doesn’t so the cracks would heal with time. Sometimes I’d get fed scrumptious crumpets, sometimes huge banquets would be consumed before me, and dolls don’t eat you know. I’d be snuggled and warm, until my breath was stolen. I’d be forgotten in the dirt to be rained on. She had others, a rag doll, a teddy bear. A Chataline to take care of her, of us. To feed her, to make the food, and occasionally remember us for her. But I used to do things on my own didn’t I? I used to choose my clothes, my food, whether to walk or to run. I could go inside when it rained. Sometimes it would snow, or grow hot – not just this eternal spring.
Flowers frozen in time. The season warped around us. Stolen at 8, escaped at 18, but only a season has passed here. Have 10 years of my life really been lost? Sometimes it feels like it had been much longer, other times it feels that it couldn’t have been more than 5 years at most. Either way my childhood has been stolen. I want to play, but am too old. Babysitting is dangerous and very young children are evil. I don’t like decisions made for me, but I don’t know enough to make my own. I wasn’t old enough before, and the world and I relate differently now. I need a mentor, a tutor to teach me how to be an adult, to fill in the learning that I didn’t get. I need friends to teach me how to be human – not a doll.
I went to my house to see my mom – but I was already there. Jessica has never left. I can’t come back to my mom, 18 with no more knowledge than a third grader. I can’t steal her girl from her, the one who can be everything for her I can’t anymore. But maybe I can help. Maybe I can find a way to make it easier.
Post-taken Name: Lacey Ann Meyers Seeming: Fairest Kith: Treasured
Physical Age: 18 Taken Age: 8