This is my entry to the Spawn of the Mediators contest on MCBC. Just thought I'd post it. You know, as a subsititute for an update.

Hope and Faith
by Nicole

"GO AWAY!"

"Honey—"

"NO! Just leave me ALONE!" I could see the tears welling up in her eyes as she turned from me and ran up to her room. I heard the door slam very loudly a few seconds later.

I sighed and sat down at the kitchen table and put my head in my hands for a few minutes. Then I felt a warm hand on my shoulder and I looked up. Despite what had just happened, I smiled at the person.

But they didn't smile back.

"Susannah, what happened? Did she . . . is she—"

I nodded. "She hates me, Jesse. I don't understand it. Or her. But I'm not going to do the same thing my mother did with me and force her to go to a therapist."

Jesse was silent for a few minutes. Then he said, "Maybe that would be better for her, though. She's not like you were when you were a teenager, Susannah. She's different. Maybe . . . maybe a therapist would help her . . ."

I shook my head. "No, Jesse. She . . . I don't know. I love her, Jesse, but I just don't understand her." I laughed, despite the situation. "Now I know how my mother felt when I was younger."

He sat down next to me at the table. "Querida," he said soothingly. "We have to do something about this. She won't open up to either of us. I'm afraid that . . . that she might . . . do something drastic."

I looked down. I had the same fears as well. But . . . I just didn't want to voice them, didn't want to think that my own daughter would that to herself. Kill herself.

I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. What could we do? Should Jesse and I go to a therapist by ourselves and ask what to do? Because, frankly, I've never dealt with this before.

And if I had to mediate my own daughter because she did something that I could have prevented . . . well, I wouldn't ever be able to forgive myself.

I looked up into Jesse's warm brown eyes. "Why don't you go up and try to talk to her right now? She can tolerate you more than me."

He sighed and then nodded. "I'll be back down a little bit." He kissed my forehead and then started up the stairs.

I remember it was only yesterday that she was playing in the front yard with her cousins, so carefree and happy. But now . . . now she was a wreck. And I didn't even know what was causing her so much pain and anguish.

A boy problem, maybe?

No. She wasn't that sensitive. She wouldn't be like this over a boy.

And its not like she was really an outcast in school. She had many friends. They came over all the time. Sure, they dressed differently — in black, to be exact — but that didn't lower my opinion of them. They seemed like nice kids, always polite to me.

Yeah, Sarah dressed in dark clothes too, but I wasn't going to tell her what to wear. I didn't want to manipulate the way she chose to express herself.

But I was worried. I was a worried mother, afraid of what drastic things my child might do. I didn't know what was wrong or how to stop the pain she was feeling. I wanted to just take it away from her so she could be happy like she always used to be.

"Mommy!" I turned around and smiled as Joseph, Jesse and I's youngest, came over and gave me a hug. At least someone still loved me.

I picked him up and rested him on my hip. "Hi, sweetie," I gushed. "How are you?"

He giggled. "Good!"

I laughed. "That's good. Do you want some apple juice?"

He shook his head and wrapped his arms around my neck, resting his head against my chest.

I looked down at him adoringly. "Someone's tired," I said. I took Joseph over to the playpen in the living room and set him down gently in there. I got a blanket from the linen closet and laid it over his tiny form. He plopped his thumb in his mouth and fell fast asleep.

I stayed with him for a few minutes, watching him sleep. He was silent. Nothing like Sarah was when she was tiny. She was actually quite loud when she slept. A snorer. Where she got that from, I have no idea.

A few minutes later, I heard Jesse coming down the stairs. I put my finger to my lips as to signal him that Joseph was sleeping. Jesse looked over at the pen and smiled. The smile soon faded when he looked back at me.

He took me into the other room and sat me down at the table. He took a seat next to me. "Well," I said. "Any luck?"

"A little," he said. "I at least got her to open up her door."

"Oh? And what did she say?"

He sighed. "She just said she didn't want to talk about it. But she was crying hard, so I could barely understand what she was saying."

I sighed too. "What are we going to do?"

"Susannah, I . . . I really don't know."

An idea came to me then. "Do you . . . do you think that maybe she just developed her mediator abilities? Maybe that's why—"

He shook his head. "That would have happened earlier on. I think its something a little more personal."

"Ya think?" I said. "Duh, its something personal. I just don't know what."

I couldn't think of a reason for it. So I resigned for the evening and told Jesse I was going to take a bath and then go to bed and to give Joseph a bath before going to sleep. Jesse sometimes let Joseph go without a bath because he knew how much he hated having one. I didn't let on that I knew about that, though.

About a week later, while I was in the kitchen making lunch for Joseph, I heard the phone ring. So I went over to the cradle and picked up the phone.

"Hello?"

"M-Mrs. de S-Silva?" The voice sounded really shaky, scared.

"Yes, who is this?" I asked politely.

The person on the other line sucked in a breath. It seemed as if they had been crying. "It's Mary, S-Sarah's friend."

"Oh. Hi, Mary. What's wrong, honey? You seem upset—"

"It's Sarah," she said. And at that moment, my heart stopped beating. No. No, she couldn't . . . "She's in the h-hopsital. You need to c-come here as f-fast as you c-can."

I dropped the phone. Then I grabbed Joey, my purse, and my car keys and ran out the front door. I put Joey in his car seat as fast as possible and put the keys in the ignition. I sped down the roads to get to the hospital as quick as I could.

Then a thought crossed my mind. Jesse. He was working tonight. He must have seen her all ready . . .

I got to the hospital in about two minutes. I grabbed Joey out of the back seat and ran to the entrance. Then I went up to the front desk and asked the person there where my daughter was.

"I'm sorry, ma'am, but I can't understand what you're saying . . ."

"My daughter!" I practically screamed. "Where is she? Sarah de Silva?"

Her eyes went wide. "Oh. You're Doctor de Silva's wife? He's with your daughter right now . . ."

"WHERE?"

And she gave me the directions to get to the room. Joey was starting to get restless. He was crying now.

I ripped open the door and found Jesse there, holding Sarah's hand. She was unconscious. But thankfully not dead like I had feared.

Jesse sighed in relief and gestured for me to come over. I grabbed a chair and pulled it up next to him. "What happened?" I asked. The waver in my voice was clearly evident.

He took Joey from me. He answered me, but I wasn't what I suspected that happened. "Susannah, this may come as a shock to you." He paused. "Sarah is in a coma. She . . . she overdosed."

My eyes went wide. "Overdosed? On what?"

He looked away from me. "Heroin."

Wait . . . what?

No. My daughter would never do that. She wouldn't . . .

The mood swings. The baggy and bloodshot eyes. It was all there for me to see and I just ignored it, claimed that my daughter wasn't like that. But she is. And now there's nothing I can do. Nothing we can do.

"Jesse, what's going to happen?" I asked, my voice cracking.

He sighed again. "It's not very likely that she'll come out of the coma. The dose she took was so great that the other doctors and I are surprised that she's still alive."

I gasped. Then I felt the tears pricking behind my eyes. "Where did we go wrong?" I whispered.

Jesse put his arm around me. "Susannah, we did nothing wrong. She's a teenager. She's experimenting and sometimes experimenting can be deadly. I may have said that she's not like you, but in some aspects she is. She's a fighter, Susannah, just like you." He kissed my forehead and let those words sink in.

I still couldn't believe what was happening. I let the tears spill. "I-Is there anything we c-can d-do?"

He shook his head. "No. We can only wait and hope."

I nodded and waited with Jesse. Some other doctors came in to check her blood pressure and IV and whatnot, but I wasn't really paying attention.

She didn't wake up that night. Or the next night. Or even the next. After a week I was beginning to think that she never would wake up.

But then . . . then one day she did wake up. It was about six months later and I was straightening the flowers on the windowsill. I didn't hear her stir, but I heard the word that I would never forget.

"Mom?" The voice sounded strangled, scratchy. It was barely even audible.

But I knew it was her. And Jesse was right. Hope and faith was what made it happen.

In a few months time, she was doing everything almost normally. One day she came up to me and said, "Mom, I'm sorry. I'm sorry about everything, yelling at you, making you worry like that for so long . . ." She threw her arms around me and hugged me tightly. "I love you."

I smiled. I hadn't heard that from her in so long. I hugged her back. "I love you, too, honey."

A/N: So...review? Tell me what you thought of it.