The Boy who Would be Man and Child Chapter 3-
The sun’s beams gleamed down through the clouds, slowly evaporating any leftover puddles from the previous storm, it seemed to have lasted for quite a while raining off and on repeatedly through the weekend. The asphalt basketball court outside Clearcreek Junior High felt as if it had died. The slow, gentle ominous breeze randomly fluttered through the court, rattling the fence and scattering the hair of an abnormally short redhead.
Several years ago, Kayla was diagnosed with Hypopituitarism, a disorder that, simply put can keep a child from growing taller than a certain height. After constantly having to deal with being called shorty, midget or any other condescending name a seventh grader could think of to insult her size, the teachers were willing to make an exception to a rule requiring all children to eat inside during lunch hour. Month after month teacher’s had to break up fights, or rather simple bullying considering the lack of resolve Kayla had to defend herself, she was well mannered enough that this was simpler for everybody.
At first glance, Kayla appeared to be reading a novel about some young wizard, but in truth she was deep in thought over her eavesdropping the Friday before. Questions like “What’s wrong with my big brother” or “Why was dad so quick to change the subject when I asked about Rhia” constantly flooded her mind. She didn’t understand, she only heard parts of the conversation. She didn’t know why Elias was gone, she hated that she hadn’t seen him since a couple of weeks after the accident, it was such a distracting query that if it hadn’t been for a teacher opening the door to remind her the bell had rung, she would’ve been late for class.
“Kay guys, the bell rang, that means park it or get out of my class,” The English teacher half yelled. She was old, she’s taught for so many years now she doesn’t have a lot of patience for the chaos of preteens. “Mmk, lets review the test from last week. I’ll call your name, you come and get’em. Adams….Borders….Browning….Chandler….”
Kayla seemed less distracted now, though with a few kids sitting behind her constantly shouting obscenities or throwing paper wads at her, who could keep a straight train of thought? One by one, the tests were handed back, they were reviewed, and the class continued on.
Most of the kids seemed anxious around the final minutes of the class, the few nerds or geeks (including kayla) were absent minded, usually either finishing their work or doing whatever the hell they felt like since they finished a while ago anyways. The bell rang, several of the students bolted out to get to their next class, others casually strolled out, and eventually the room was empty save for Kayla.
She wandered to the teacher, “Can I ask you something Mrs Booker?”
“Sure, the other kids aren’t picking on you again are they?”
“No…well yes… but that’s not what I want to ask. Have you ever heard of something called…I think it’s Multiple persons disorder?”
"You mean Multiple personality, right?
“Yeah! Yeah…that’s it. I looked it up on wikipedia…I didn’t understand a lot of it though.”
“Oh, well basically it’s something where a person has two personalities that act on their own control, like if you had two personalities one who might like to say…I dunno write stories and the other who likes to paint pictures, the one who writes won’t have control over what the one who paints does…” Mrs. Booker knew a little about the disorder, just random trivia she happened to know. Though, even she knows her simplification of the disorder is very generalized. “Why do you ask?”
“Oh…no reason. I just heard about it and was curious…” Kayla hated lying to one of the teachers that actually looked out for her, but she couldn’t will herself to mention her parents conversation.
“Well you better get to class then, bells about to ring soon.”
Every hour on the hour the students of Clearcreek flooded the halls then sat down in classrooms until the end of the day arrived. It was as if there was a stampede rushing towards the buses after that final bell rang. Unfortunately, that was always the hardest part of the day for Kayla. Most of the students don’t notice or, more often don’t care that she’s walking in the same path. She is constantly knocked around, tripped to the floor and even occasionally trampled on. If ever there were one sob story about one kid versus the bullies of a school, she might win a Pulitzer.
Fortunately, she made it home today unharmed. Her house was at an odd enough location that she took the transit rather than a school bus home, it was the two quiet parts of the day during school hours. She noticed a different car in the driveway, one she’s not seen before. She headed inside and nearly went straight upstairs before noticing her mother and a strange, somewhat old man talking to each other. “Hey Kaylie! School go alright today?”
“Yeah, it was fine,” a veritable atypical response from Kayla. As far as her mother knew, she was fitting in just fine in Junior high.
“I picked up a coffee cake, feel free to grab a slice if you want some.”
That was odd. Her mother never offered her sweets until after dinner, Sheila was old fashioned that way. “No thanks, I got a big enough lunch.” She did grab something to drink however, and in the process got a good look at the old man. The gray curling hair, the portly body and thick glasses, she recognized him but couldn’t quite think of his name.
She headed upstairs after grabbing something to drink, but she didn’t go to her room. She sat down next to the vent where she knew she could hear their conversation.
“Look, as much as I would like to help you I can’t. I really just don’t think it’s safe to bring him here. There’s just too many extenuating circumstances, he still needs our help and until he can keep Rhia and Chase….especially Chase, under control, there’s just no way I could ethically do that.”
“I’m not asking you to move him back in here, I just want him to visit, I figured maybe a familiar setting might help him come back to us.”
“Well…that’s something that might help a person with amnesia, D.I.D. is different. If it were Rhia walking into this place, having absolutely no knowledge of it…well many things could happen. I mean first off Rhia doesn’t know you, if she hates you before she’s fully moved back she may never want to come back.”
“Hold on! Rhia won’t hate me, she’s my…”
“I know, I know….” he interrupted. “That was a worst case scenario example and I doubt it would happen, but in all honesty, we’re too far early on to know exactly what -would- happen. It’s just not something I want to risk right now. Besides…are you really read to take care of a two year old her size? Even for just a couple of hours?”
Sheila didn’t respond. She only hung her head, dropping a couple of tears down her face before shaking her head.
“That doesn’t mean you can’t visit her. You’re always welcome to do that, the only thing I can do is ask you to bear with not being able to have your son for a while. I know it’s hard and I really wish I could do better but I can’t.”
After hearing her mother talk about it for a second time, and with what Carl Feinberg had explained, Kayla was beginning to put the pieces together. She now knew that her older brother had an extra personality, one of a two year old. Though, she was in bigger denial than her father was, this was the most absurd thing she’s ever heard. Despite knowing more, it only seemed more confusing, especially with the mention of Chase.
Kayla had heard a car door slam shut; peering out her window it seemed Feinberg was gone. She rushed downstairs, her mother was still standing near the door but she wasn’t in tears, at least not as much as before.
“Mom…why isn’t Elias coming home?”
Sheila didn’t even notice Kayla had come down, she was startled by the twelve year olds voice. “Oh! Sorry…scared me a little.”
“Sorry…I didn’t mean to…”
“No I know you didn’t. Elias, honey Elias isn’t coming home because h-he’s still injured from the accident. Doctors want to make sure he gets healthy,” It was a poor lie. Kayla saw through it and Sheila sensed Kayla wouldn’t believe it.
“But I heard something about him having multiple personalities. Why does he have that? What’s wrong with him.”
Sheila’s stomach tightened, her body tensed up and her joints were stiff as a brick. She was busted, despite her intentions of waiting to tell Kayla at the right time in the right way, she knew she wasn’t getting out of this conversation. “Honey, nothings wrong with him, nothing at all. It’s just something that happened because of the accident, right now it’s like his mind thinks in three different ways rather than one.”
This was an even poorer explanation than the English teacher’s, but Kayla had to take it as is, she didn’t know a lot about the disorder in the first place. “Mrs. Booker, my English teacher, she said that each ‘personality’ has its own controls, like one might do certain things the other wouldn’t ever do or something.”
“You told your teacher about this?!”
“No, no. I just asked her what the disorder meant, I didn’t bring Elias up at all…”
“Okay….sigh okay, but even if it looks like I don’t want to talk about it, I’d rather you come to me about these sort of family things, no one else okay?”
“Okay, I’m sorry.”
“I-it’s okay, no damage done…” she calmed herself, and began yet again, “Right now he has two different personalities. One is a very violent person, the other is kind of…well babyish. The doctors don’t know why he has that second personality, there were a few possible reasons but they didn’t fully understand why he became like this.”
“Whaddya mean…babyish? Like he walks around saying goo goo gaa gaa or something…”
“Not exactly. The personality…she can talk but she acts in most ways like a two year old, I-I don’t know why that is. I wish I did.”
“So…what’s going to happen to him now, when will he come home?”
“Sweetey I don’t know, I want him to so badly but right now they have better equipment to deal with him. I just hope we can bring him home soon.”
“I do too, I really miss him,” Kayla said, a little dejectedly. “If I can…can I come next time you guys visit him?”
“Oh I don’t know…that….that doesn’t sound like a good ide…”
“Please!” She almost whined. “He’s my brother, I just wanna see him again!”
“A…alright I guess. We’ll be visiting him tomorrow, I’ll probably just pick you up from school before we go.”
“Okay, thanks!” Oddly enough, Kayla felt a little happier. She knew that what was going on with her brother wasn’t normal, nor was it anything to feel happy about but she was glad she at least knew a little more.
“Right now I gotta get some work done, go do your homework and dinner’ll probably be done when you finish.”
“Okay,” she said, nearly halfway up the stairs already anyways.
She didn’t dive right into her homework though. Most of the time, her homework was easy enough that she didn’t really bother with it until absolutely necessary, but that led to some procrastination habits her parents had been on her to break for a couple of years now.
She went to her closet and found an old shoebox underneath a pile of clothing. She was only five or six at the time but she and Elias were at a carnival, and she saw something from the games stand she really wanted.
Elias spent a few bucks, got a handfull of softballs and managed to knock down the pyramid of bottles, took him all three balls though. In the end, they got the prize Kayla wanted, and she remembered that she was so happy for it. It wasn’t even one of the bigger prizes, it was just a small teddy bear with a heart sewn to its hands.
Sheila had sewn on Kayla’s name on the heart, it was a little crooked but she loved it even more after that. It was a little ragged now, but she thought maybe “Rhia” might want it.