( A/N This is my secont part of my re-writen chapter 1. )
Phe McFerson’s body was practically taking a bath in sunlight, as the light surrounding her like yellow water. Warmth that was as soft as the down of a newly hatched Avyal leached into the dark blue feathers that encased her body.
Sunlight highlighted her scrubs, to a sunflower yellow. The already happy and bright scrubs were made every more joyful by the various 2-D anthropomorphic animals who wore cloths-characters from 2-D Utopia movies.
Natures light and warmth spread across the the white painted bed frame, as it warmed the blue and pink pastel chairs, and reflected a sliver of rainbow from the vase that was sitting on the wooden table.
The scrubs helm ripped across the 14 year old’s body, the fabric loose. Originally, the scrubs fit Phe better than they did now, they were tighter, not loose around her shoulders that now had a slight angle to them.
Not only were Phe’s shoulders a bit atrophied, but her face was a bit thin as well. A feeding tube sprouted from Phe’s left nostril like a root. Her semi-conscious body was slack: her giant eyes closed, her black lips, face, and body, slack as if she was a sleeping princess in a Utopia movie, as her delicate breaths puffed in the air like a humidifier, delicut like lavender.
Gastric pain was masked so well that any medical professional who weren't informed about Phe’s medical history would have easily mistaken the in-pain teenager for simply having took a nap.
Although Phe’s intestines could usually tolerate lactose, her smooth gastric muscles were clenching and relaxing, similar to a woman's reproductive organs before giving birth. The goat's-milk yogurt was being utilized as a treatment to keep the bacteria Citrospirillae echinoform, that was present in healthy Avyals, in check.
Her mother, Elise, was in a chair the corner window, with sunlight to here back, warming her. Comic books were stacked on the sill next to her. They were for Phe.
Elise’s feathers were dark blue and were speckled with black. On her head, sitting in between two tufted squirrel ears, was a light blue satin cap that had the appearance of a squished cylinder. On the cap was fabric loops to thread a ribbon through that tied in large bowtie in the back. Elise’s ribbon of choice was made of satin and was baby blue, a different shade than the cap altogether. Her grey ‘poodle’ dress had a pink poodle embroidered in the fabric. This popular design that was the hallmark of the 50’s had come back, even though the year was 1982. A tiny silver crucifix was pinned in the fabric, near her right shoulder, displaying her religious choice and values of being Christian.
While waiting for her husband to return from getting food, Elise decided to flip through of comic books issues of the adventures of Bird and Raccoon, as she was deciding what segment to read to Phe.
As she was flipping through, a foul, pungent, odor crept over to Elise. Parents who weren't accustomed to caring for someone with chronic gastric issues would of have behaved like a majority of society. But not Elise! Even as the sharp vomit-like odor wafted up her nose. She as well as her husband understood that this was a necessary biological function that occurred in all living organisms- whether it was riding the body of urine,feces,or flatus. The process was normal, natural, and healthy.
She knew what she had to do. She depressed a button on the side of the wall that was near the door to summon a nurse.
And Elise bore the stench, her stoic face clearly expressing dignity for herself and her daughter.
Elise could have wrinkled her nose!
Elise could have grimaced!
Elise could have cried “Ew!” or “That’s disgusting!”
She could have cracked a smile or laughed, having a completely insensitive attitude.
But she didn’t!
Phe’s mother approached her illness much more professionally than the white,black, and brown spotted Squ’gee who rolled a medical cart into the room. The women was wearing a white, short-sleeved dress that went down to her knees. A white, rectangular, crescent-shaped cap sat on her head-- a nursing uniform.
As the women was changing Phe, her nose wrinkled. She gave a heavy sigh, “Couldn’t hold it, could we, Miss Phe McFerson?” The woman's tone was even, yet it was condescending. After she was finished cleaning Phe up, she pushed a clear liquid medicine though the I.V. line
The whole time Elise watched, she could of heard the sound of the nurse pulling a face- then the soft sound of sobbing from Phe as her chest heaved. It was clear that Phe was embarrassed. Despite the medications effects, she was still able to hear and respond to touch somewhat.
Elise closed her eyes and shook her head in exhaustion. All her life she’d dealt with various doctors and nurses belittling Phe. And this was just another one. She couldn't let the nurse's behavior go unnoticed. Elise didn’t want her believing that this was acceptable.
Phe’s mother drew her over to the side. Her voice was calm, yet firm despite the situation. Her accent flowed like cursive, although the Germanic accent was not supposed to be beautiful. The accent was smooth,calm, and pleasant to the ears. Despite what others may think, it didn’t sound angry, not at all.
Elise turned towards the nurse and spoke, her tone was kind, yet firm. “ I vish zat you vould have more compassion venn caring for vy daughter.”
This was a nurse who was randomly assigned Phe’s case. Regardless, the nurse should of treated Phe like any other patient, regardless of a gastric disorder or not. She was still a living thing with a sentiment brain, feeling, likes and dislikes, aspirations. This is what Phe’s father, Gift, would say. The thought of requesting a new nurse pushed through her brain like a doctor having performed a lobotomy. To Elise and Gift, any doctor or nurse who didn’t delivered sub-standard treatment and care, was not worth their time to listen to their medical plight.
Instead of speaking to the nurse curtly, or snapping at her to, ‘get out’ Elise used this moment to teach. The nurse wasn’t going to walk out without a lesson.
The mother Avyal gave a soft sigh, closed her giant eyes, and shook her head as if it was bobbing from side to side. A swift flick of her pupils sent them downcase as her eyelids drooped slightly. The position was fixed as she spoke., “ Kindness. Just a shred of kindness has never hurt anyvon.” The nurses brown eyes grew wide as they stayed on the Avyal mother.”
You've never had to raise a sick child, have you've. Be kind to zem, you know, your patients. Zey deserve respect just like you. I don’t care ees dey can't speak, can’t hear, can’t see, or anyzing else for zat matter… “ Her voice faltered for a moment at she blinked rapidly to keep her tears from going over the edge. Love, kindness, and integrity, were highly regarded values to her and her family. The moment she ceased to blink was when the tears cascaded down her face, as she let them flow freely.
“Dey deserve kindness, and love, and dignity- to be treated like beings! Ve all deserve zat! To be loved. And to be treated kindly. Vy mama and papa though me zat, virtues are thought. Kindness and acceptance are thought. “
God was valued, too, by Phe and her husband, Gift, dispite being Jewish. A spark of hesitation popped into Elise’s mind about what she was going to say next, but her message would not be complete, or as effective, without it. God, among other values, were unwavering and true. ”God has taught ve does things, too. Vy daughter, Phe, has taught me time and time again. Yes, I sometimes get angry eet Phe, because i’m exhausted width caring for her, because i’m a mother. But, you know, I love her, and God cherishes her,too. But, you know, eet’s not Phe’s fault zat she’s ill. There ees no need to be curt. You catch more flies wid honey zan you do wid vinegar.” And that concluded her wisdom speail.
The nurse, now moved by her words, backed towards the door. The Squ’gee’s giant eyes were involuntary wet. Her first though was that the Avyal women who had the goal of manipulation in mind, just so for pity, just to get her way, her daughter's way. But this wasn’t the case. The mother’s words were so powerful, so full of emotion, that it had to have been genuine. The beliefs that the cross stood for, which was on Elise’s dress, supported her values.
Before the nurse exited the room, Elise requested a new nurse, just like she said she would.
As the Squ’gee women went about her day, the Averal’s wise words kept playing in her head like earwigs. Those words were impossible to forget, and they played in her head until she wept. She didn’t know why she wept, but, after that, she begun looking at her job in a new light. To be kind and treat others with respect.
Elise returned to the chair, and resumed flipping through comic book issues, as she waited for her husband.
Phe’s room, 204, had always been Phe’s room while she wasn’t at home. The room was always decorated for when she’d arrived with lifelike flower, removable wall decals. Loud action words and inspirational quote bubbles hung on the white walls as if they were floating. Phe’s knew these quotes by heart! They were from her favorite comics ever, Bird and Raccoon!
Bird and Raccoon were two animal super heroes, a Blue Jay and and Raccoon. They both fought against the vileness Dr. K and his wide array of gadgets to help him conquer some sort of nasty plan!
Elise’s giant blue eyes softly glistened as she scanned the glossy issue, analyzing it.
“I know you hear ve, Miss Phe. I know you hear vy voice. Venn your better ve can sign up on ze intervebs, so that you can get your vish granted by Your-A-Star! Zenn, ve’ll take you to meet zem!”
Phe’s eyelids crinkled just slightly. She heard. She also heard another noise. Her ear flicked once, as if she was a cow warding off bothersome, pesky flies. It was the soft creaking noise of a wooden cabinet being opened, ending in a soft thawk as it hit the wall.
Phe knew what she meant by her mother saying ‘them.’ She’d get to meet Bird and Raccoon-well someone impersonating them at least.
Regardless, Bird and Raccoon were her heroes! And they encouraged her to fight. Fight. Every. Day.
To fight her illness!
To fight for equality!
To fight for friends!
To fight because God would want her to!
To be bigger, stronger, and braver than her life obstacles!
In a sense, to be her own superhero! To be big and brave with the guidance of God.
However, mostly she enjoyed the comics because the main characters were animals and that the genre was science fiction.
“ I haven't gotten to do Your-A-Star,” said a timid female voice.
As Elise’s head whipped towards the direction of the voice, her giant irises appeared grow two times in size. A hand flew towards her chest as she involuntarily gasped,” Goodness, gracious, Villow! Young vomen, you scared me! Oooohh, don’t do zat!”
“ Sorry. I’m very sorry.” Her face burned and her arms and legs tingled as she was involuntarily trembling from the sudden rush of adrenalin.
“ I haven't done Your-A-Star yet,neither has Brianna. I don’t know what my wish would be... Well-” and she flashed a smile,” either it’d want to see Ms.McAllister,or to something involving Bird and Raccoon. I don’t know.” Then Willow’s eyes darted around, her chest lifted away from her body, as she was tactically aware of her heart as it pumped blood without any errors through her circulatory system. In a sudden rush of excitement, her breathing was not automatic as she had to consciously remind herself to breath. Willow’s speech was winded as her breath whooshed out, as it faded and her words took a nosedive, halting.
“ Ms. McAllister is amazing. She works for You-A-Star, and I send letters to her often. I ask her for advise, and talk to her about my feeling, and vision loss, and everything else. She helps me cope…” A few breathers were gasped, as she felt dizzy for a moment before babbling, “Phe might like talking with a pen-pal. Ms. McAllister helps me a lot. You-A-Star has a program where you can have a pen-pal, and talk to them about anything under the sun. It’s fantastic! I want to see her one day!”
●Need help with a subway into this, a transition for Willow’s emotions. I want her to feel sympathy for Phe.●
Willow then said, “ I was hiding from the nurse. I couldn’t get caught.” Willow knew the rules, that, if broken, would turn into a legal matter. Technically, Willow’s shouldn’t have been in the nurses proximity, whether it dealt with medical information or a procedure.
Elise then cocked her head in sympathy. “ Oh, Villow, honey, you've been crying. Looks like you've both been crying.” She was referring to both Phe and Willow, as she was blotting both girl’s eyes. As she did she smiled softly, a genuine mother smile.
When she was cleaning Willow up, she inquired about her sobbing. The kind-hearted,sympathetic teenager’s voices came out in a long-winded whisper.“ I-I can’t stand to see doctors and nurses treat her that w-way. Phe’s sick. She’s really sick!,” Then she yelled. She was sick of the medial ‘humorizing’ illness,” It’s not funny, Ms.McFerson. it’s not funny. We shouldn’t laugh at the sick! The digestive tract isn’t funny, yet, as-as the culture in America, we laugh at it! We laugh! The media thinks it’s so funny; excrement, passing gas, passing urine, having sex-normal bodily functions!
The whole thing was just a ramble, a expression of feeling, so much so that her breathing was noisy like a that of flat-nosed dog breed. She didn’t have time get scientific.
“ I know,” Elise said gently, her voice as delicate as Baby’s Breath.” In Europe, ve don’t have the same attitude towards ze body like you American’s do. In our culture, ze body is respected and scared, a masterpiece that ve need to care for and respect. Not a plaything, or a zing to laugh at, no,no. Definitely not!”
And Elise spread her arms. Willow nearly collapsed into her body, as she resisted the urge to enabled fresh tears to roll down her face. A strong, yet firm grip held her body, as the pressure from the embrasse released the emotional tension as well as physical tension.
“ You both have to fight battles. All of you disabled, ill children have to fight battles. I know i’m not your mother,but, Villow, always use your voice. Do vats right in your heart, and trust in God to defeat your battles. Spitefulness, being rough, and being a brute, vill get you nowhere. Eet von’t solve anything. Never does. I’m saying dis from a Christian to another Christian.” Then she said on a slightly different note,” Your mother must of raised you and your sister vell. Vat a good mother!” Elise smiled, as her feather prickled slightly in joy.
“ Mother has taught us both well, with integrity, and always advocating for an education for us. It’s funny, she doesn't look like me, nor Brianna. “ She laughed a bit. “ She looks like she came from the Middle East, not from America, although she was born here.”
Willow peeled away from her arms. Her eyes were still moist, but her crying died down. Now, Elise could focus on her daughter.
“When, Papa comes back, ve’ll sing ‘Edelveiss’, Phe!” Said Elise in a cheerful tone. She was talking about ‘Edelweiss’ from The Sound of Music. Phe enjoyed musicals, especially singing along to them. Phe had a few favorites. Many of them being American musicals.
In response to this news and the fact that her friend was here, Phe’s feathery, human fingers, twitched.
Inside Phe’s head, she was going ballistic with joy, her thoughts racing.
Suddenly, there was a loud sound of heavy footsteps that seemed to shake the ground, the sound stopping when the black-feathered,stocky, body halted in the entryway. In one hand was a paper bag with food from a deil.
“ Papa’s here!” Phe’s mother called.
Willow rushed out into the hallway to the parked beverage cart and begun preparing a drink.