Vanessa sat quietly in her room, staring across the table she used for tea parties, at the three guests she had invited over this morning. Barb, who looked lovely in her pink flowing gown and perfectly applied makeup, smiled sweetly as she waited for the latest gossip to begin flowing.
Ted, the rougher of the three, leaned slightly to the left in his chair. A true bear if there was one and covered in splotchy brown hair, which was falling out in places, he was the quickest to lose interest in such affairs. However, she had known him since she was a little girl, and she trusted him with every fiber of her being.
Finally, there was the Professor. She was sure that he had a name, but he looked so intelligent, with his enlarged head, that she had figured him to be the type of character who could easily build time machines, and flying cars, and such! The Professor, however, wasn’t a person. He was a small mouse, with brooding eyebrows and a long pink tail. He had come with a taller, dumber, looking companion, but she had long since lost it.
“Thank you all for coming,” she began solemnly. “I’ve gathered you here because something terrible has happened.”
There was a collective gasp, or, at least that’s what she had heard, but in truth; Barb only continued to grin, with that vacuous expression of hers. Ted only leaned a little further out of his chair, and the Professor only glared at her from atop the pile of books he was perched upon.
She paused for the longest time, longer than she had originally intended, but it wasn’t something that she could help. It had sounded good in her thoughts. She would tell her closest friends first, and then her mommy. This way, when she did it for real, it wouldn’t be so hard.
When it came time for her to utter the words, she couldn’t do it. Instead, hot, bitter tears began to pour down her cheeks. She began to cry, but not out of loss or sadness, but out of hurt and fear. She had been hurt in a way that was hard for her to accept, or understand. It made no sense to her, what he had done, and it was just as embarrassing for her to even think about, than to actually say!
Crossing her arms on the table, she buried her head, hiding her shame from those with whom she spent most of her time. If she couldn’t face them, then who could she possibly ask for help?
Soft moans grew from the depths of her soul, rising through her lungs, and escaping with the anguish that filled her. They were sounds that no child should ever create, sounds that would break that hearts of any who heard them.
Sometimes, when it’s hardest for one to tell their story, something happens that makes the way for it to come forth. In this case, her cries reached the ears of someone who shouldn’t have been home this day. His heart sank beneath their weight, threatening to suffocate him beneath the pure emotion that filled them, but instinct would not keep him still.
” ‘Nessa, honey, what’s wrong,” he cried frantically as he burst through her bedroom door.
“Oh Daddy,” she wailed, “I’m so sorry.” She buried her head in his chest and bawled tears normally reserved for grieving mothers, or widows. They were tears from the man who had just lost every last thing he owns, or they were tears of the infant who hasn’t eaten in days.
She cried until there was no breath left inside, trembling in the arms of the one person who had always done his best to protect her from harm. And when she was done, she told him her story.
And, by the time it was finished, his eyes had narrowed, and his brow was as furrowed with the Professor’s. Only, instead of thinking of the next greatest invention to build, he was thinking of ways to take someone apart.