“What are you doing in here,” he asked as he entered the room.
“I was just using mom’s bathroom while you were hogging the other one,” she quickly stated, hoping he would not notice her fidgety shame at being caught.
“Did you use the last of the Chai tea,” he repeated, keen on his own desire for food and a cup of tea.
“No, mom has a new one down in the bottom cupboard,” she retorted.
“Okay, thanks,” he mumbled as he left the room.
She wanted to read more of the magazine, however, she knew she could not stay in her mom’s room, or her brother would become curious. Standing there she had an idea. Running to her bedroom, she picked up an old copy of a “Seventeen” magazine. Quickly she bolted back to her mom’s room, snatched up the magazine and put it inside hers. Walking past Frank in the kitchen she headed to her bedroom, sure that once he had breakfast, he would go to his room to play on his computer.
Once she was inside her pale yellow bedroom with posters and pictures all over the wall, she flopped down onto her bed. Picking up the magazines she realized that she better come up with an idea to get a warning from her mom before she got home. “What excuse could she use,” she thought. Picking up her phone, she texted her mom.
“Hey mom, can you let me know when you are on your way home? I want to make sure the dishes are done before you get here,” pushing send, she waited.
“Sure,” came the quick response with a smiley face emoji.
Relaxing back on her pillows, she opened the magazine again, wondering if she would actually see the same words, or discover she was absolutely crazy. There they were, all the black and white letters that the magazine had typed to her.
“Are you happy?”
“What do you mean by, I think?”
“What do you like to feel?”
“Why do you pretend to be happy?”
“What would happen if you were your real self all the time?”
“Why? Don’t they have different feeling and emotions too?”
Looking at the sentences she realized that they were all questions. Time for her to ask the questions. One of the things Francine had learned that she found really helpful was that if she asked questions, then no one would have time to ask her questions. This allowed her to remain unknown, except with those she wanted to share things with. It was a way to control while looking like the caring nice person.
“Who are you?” she asked the magazine.
“I’m you,” came the short reply.
“No, you’re not. I’m not typing the words on this page. That makes no sense at all,” came her almost disgusted response. “Seriously,” she thought. “Who did the magazine think they were fooling, she wasn’t stupid!”
“Yes, I am you. I am what you truly feel and think, your inner self, the part of you that you forgot how to hear,” came the gentle reply.
“But, why can’t I hear it myself. I don’t get it! What does that really mean,” she asked with a true desire to understand.
“When you were born and even before you were born, you had a complete connection to your inner self, your heart and soul. Listening to them you started your journey to discover and experience this new world. You were curious, adventurous, willing to try new things, watching and listening to others, while staying connected to your true self,” came the somewhat confusing response.
“I’m not sure I totally get it,” flowed her confused reply.
“Do you remember when you were a little girl and you would sing and dance for hours,” asked the page.
“Yes,” I remember replied Francine. As she responded, she could feel a smile and warm happiness fill her as she quietly remembered the free feeling of singing and dancing with no concern for anyone else. She didn’t care if anyone heard or saw it. Actually liking it if they did, because she felt beautiful and talented.
“Nice, you not only remember, you can still feel how good it felt when you let yourself dance and sing in great joy,” merrily typed the magazine.
Francine all of a sudden felt vulnerable and exposed. The magazine was not only having a discussion with her, it could feel her emotions with her. She was not sure she liked that, it meant she could not pretend, or lie.
“It’s okay, do not feel frightened of me. I am you, remember. I am your real truth, the inner self that only wants for you what brings you joy, love, contentment, passion. I am not here to judge you, the taught brain part of you already does that way too much. I am here to help you remember, to wake you back up to yourself,” came the comforting response.
Francine’s phone dinged. Glancing at it she quickly read her mom’s text, “On my way,”.
“Shit,” Francine exclaimed, feeling guilty for having her mom’s magazine. She had to quickly put it back, which made her really sad, for when would she ever get the chance to look at it again. Then when she went back to her dad’s it would be a couple of weeks before she could share a conversation with it again.
Closing the magazine quickly to run it back to her mom’s bedroom. Placing it on the night stand, she touched it one more time, saying, “thank you.” as she headed to the kitchen to wash dishes, for she only partially lied about that. Standing at the sink, the water ran, frozen with the soapy sponge in her hand, she found herself completely confused and not sure what she was really feeling. In her mind she replayed the correspondence with the magazine. Had that really happened? Was this some crazy dream? No one would believe her if she shared that a magazine had talked to her. The deeper she thought about it, the more she realized that even telling her mom was out of the question.
“But, wait, what did her mom see when she opened the magazine? Where had her mom found the magazine? Did she buy it from a store? Which store? Wow, maybe I can buy one of my own,” she thought. How could she find out without letting her mom know she had picked up the magazine in her room.
To be continued… 7