Two Halves of a Whole

April, 2016

Two Halves of a Whole

There is a girl named Jessica who lives on a farm in Kansas, right down the road from the Graveside River. This decrepit town reaches 95 degrees on a cool day, and you can not find your shadow even if you tried.  This is the story about Jessica and the monster with whom she was living.

            Daddy is cooking me eggs for breakfast. I can see his dragon tattoo as he holds the egg flipper in his hand. I always liked his tattoo. It is kind of scary, but I always stare at it for a long time. He flips the eggs onto a plate and sits them in front of me. Daddy makes me breakfast every day. Sometimes he makes cereal for me. Breakfast is my favorite time of the day because me and Daddy spend time together.

“Be good and have a fun day.” He puts on his black suit with the little white collar to go to work. Daddy is the man that says the prayers when people die and go into the ground. I look out the window as I eat my eggs. It’s a hot day today. I see something out on the corner of the yard. We have corn and wheat fields all around the edge of the farm; what I saw was right on the edge. I shovel down the rest of my eggs and walk through the house to go outside. As I pass through the living room, I see Mom slumped over on the couch. She must have drank too much of her grown-up drink again. Mom and Daddy don’t get along; they always fight. Mom doesn’t talk to me anymore. Above the couch is a deer head hanging on the wall. It stares at me, like always, and I don’t like it. I run out the front door and around the house to where I saw the thing out the window.

             It looked like a big black box. Oh, there it is! I run over to it and kneel on the ground beside the box. I try to open it but it won’t move.

“Hello!”

Startled, I look up and there are three boys standing in front of me.

“Hello! My name is Warren Iseman, and these are my brothers, Wesley and Walter. We have brought gifts for you. You can put them in this box, but it won’t open until you have them all. This box is where you can hold your treasures. You must use these gifts for good, and when you do, a new part of yourself will show. Here, I will give you your first gift.”

He pulls out his hand, offering me a gold watch. I’m confused and frightened, so I decline.

“It’s alright Jessica,” says Warren.

My eyes are wide at the fact that they know my name. I take the watch. Warren has glasses and talks quickly. The next boy, Wesley, takes out a bottle of perfume from his pocket.

“I hope you like it,” Wesley says, as he blushes a little bit.

It’s called “Fresh Rose and Nighttime Kisses.” That’s a strange name for a perfume. The last boy on the end then hands me a small bag filled with dried apricots. Apricots? I don’t like apricots, but I politely take the bag. This must be Walter. He is bigger than his brothers and has scrapes on his knees and a scar on his arm.

“We’re your biggest fans, Jessica,” says Warren.

I thank them for the gifts, open the box, and set them inside.

“Where did you all come fro—“ I look up, and the boys are gone. “Hello?” I look around, and there is no one in site. I shrug my shoulders, grab my box, and scurry back inside because the sun is getting hotter.

            The sound of rain wakes me up. I sit up in my bed, and I don’t hear anything in the house. Daddy must have already left for work. I look out the window and see it raining. Yesterday it was so hot, and now it’s raining. It’s good when it rains because the air gets cooler outside. I go to the bathroom to brush my teeth and comb my hair. I spent the morning playing outside in the rain and mud, which was fun. Daddy doesn’t like when I do that, but he isn’t here today. Tired of being outside, I decide to go inside and find something to do. I head downstairs into the basement. I see Daddy’s workshop and old boxes. Oh, but what’s that in the corner? It’s an old dresser that has clothes hanging in it. It’s been a while since I have played dress up. I walk over to the dresser and take out a big white dress. It’s so beautiful—sparkly and white. I slip off my muddy clothes and put on the dress. It’s a little big, but it looks beautiful. “Bum, bum, bum, bum, buuum, bum-bum, bum-bum,” I hum. I saw that in a movie once. I twirl around and around in the dress until I’m dizzy.

“JESSICA!”

Mom’s yell scares me so much I almost fall to the ground. I spin around, and Mom is stumbling down the stairs. She is holding a bottle of her grown-up drink.

“What are you doing in my dress?! You are filthy! It’s ruined!” I start to cry.

“I’m sorry, Mom. I’m sorry!” She grabs me by the arm and yanks the dress off of me.

“That’s it! You are disgusting!” She walks me upstairs and into the bathroom. Mom pushes me in the shower and turns the cold water on to soak me.

“Mom, stop, its cold!” I scream as tears are streaming down my cheeks. She is scrubbing my skin so hard that it’s turning red. I can’t feel anything now because it’s so cold. Mom gets up to leave me but as she does, I slip on the tile. Everything went black.

            I open my eyes; I think I am in a hospital room. We came to visit Mom one time, and it looked exactly like this. Daddy is in the corner sleeping in a chair.

“Daddy?” His eyes open, and he smiles at me. Daddy goes to get a nurse, but as he does, I raise my hand to my head; there is a huge band-aid on the back. I am starting to get scared. Daddy comes back and explains that I slipped on the tile floor and hit my head on the ground. I lost a lot of blood because it was a few hours before anyone found me. He stays with me for a couple of hours. The doctors and nurses must think I am okay because they said I get to go home now. Daddy and I start walking down the hallway to go home, and then I see mom. She is in handcuffs, and police officers are holding her. Her eyes look red as she stares off into space. I am suddenly angry at her. “Bad mom. No present for you,” I say as I shake my finger at her. Her eyes look at me, and a smile creeps across her face.

            It’s been a few weeks since I have been in the hospital. Now it’s Christmas time, and I can’t wait to give my presents. I have been waiting for this day for a while. Daddy took me shopping and everything. Me, Daddy, and our family are all sitting around the fireplace. It’s burning a beautiful red and orange color. I wore my pretty red dress especially for today. It’s funny that our family is here today. It’s Daddy’s two sisters and my grandpa. They live “across the pond” as Daddy always says, so we don’t see them much. That pond must be really big. I give Daddy his present: the gold watch. I give my aunt the “Fresh Rose and Nighttime Kisses” perfume. I think she thinks it’s strange, but she takes it anyway. I do remember her because she is the one that wears the red lipstick.  My apricots got moldy, so as a present, I helped my other aunt choose a name for her new a-roma-ther-apy—Is that how you say it?—store. It’s called “Apricot Aroma.”

“Okay, Jessica. It’s time for you to open your present.” Daddy hands me a square shaped present wrapped in beautiful red wrapping paper. I tear open the gift, and I see a sparkling gold box. My eyes are as wide as saucers. “This is where you can keep your treasures, Jessica. Put it to good use.”

            That Christmas was a week ago, and today is Jessica’s 26th birthday. However, she is spending it in The Greater Kansas Psychiatric Ward. The day after Christmas, she kept telling her father three boys came to see her and gave her these gifts. She said the boys gave her the watch and perfume, but her father kept telling her they bought those at the mall for her aunts as presents. There was no evidence of Warren, Wesley, or Walter Iseman anywhere, and Jessica became hysterical because no one believed her. She then attempted self-harm. Jessica was later diagnosed with Schizophrenia.