I have not written in a while and I can tell…sorry if it is short but it feels long to me 'cuz it was like pulling teeth to get it completed!
…the Author's Note at the end is something that has been in the back of my mind bugging me about Higher Ground and I finally figured out what it is!
Chapter 18 – "Change Is In The Air"
Scott did doze off, and he slept for a little while in the late morning and early afternoon. Around one in the afternoon, he felt Claire gently shaking him awake.
"Scott, you need to wake up. I don't want you sleeping all day."
"Why not?" Scott mumbled. "It's not like I have to be anywhere."
"Yeah, you do," Claire said, sitting down on the edge of his bed. "I told you we were going to talk again about what was going on."
"...don't wanna talk," Scott's muffled response came as he pulled the pillow down over his head.
"I know, but you're going to have to." Claire didn't try to move the pillow. He seemed to have an easier time talking if he didn't have to actually make eye contact.
"I asked you earlier if you had any physical symptoms of anything, and you didn't answer me. You wanted to go to sleep, and I let you sleep, but now you need to answer the question."
"No, nothing's wrong." Came Scott's muffled response.
"Are you sure?" Claire asked.
"I think I'd know," Scott said, sounding irritated and pressing the pillow closer to his face, making it harder to hear him.
"Well, just to be on the safe side, I think we better see a doctor," Claire said, standing up.
Scott threw off the pillow and sat up abruptly, facing her and looking angry. "No!" He yelled. "I don't want to go to a doctor. I said nothing's wrong!"
Claire pursed her lips and waited a minute before speaking. "Scott," she finally said, "If Elaine was cheating on your father by abusing you, well…how do we know she wasn't also cheating on him by sleeping with other men? I don't want to scare you, but I just think we need to be safe. Does that make sense?"
"I don't want to go to a doctor." Scott insisted.
"Well, it's Sunday, I doubt any are open. I thought about Urgent Care, but…I think we should go to the hospital."
"No," Scott insisted.
"Why are you so reluctant to go?" Claire pressed. "You've been to doctors before. There's nothing to be afraid of."
"This'll be different."
"Well, that's true. This will be a little different. But I think you can do it. Look at everything you've handled so far."
Scott stared at her with dead eyes. "I haven't done anything but screw up."
Claire said, "No, no, I mean look how many difficult things have happened to you in the last few hours and look how well you've dealt with them. You haven't tried to use drugs or alcohol to numb the pain, you haven't had any angry outbursts, you haven't run away. You may have slept a little too much, which isn't really the best way of dealing with problems, but nothing you've done has been violent or harmful to yourself. That's good, Scott. That's positive. You're handling everything very well. So I think you can deal with just one little trip to see a doctor."
When Scott didn't respond, she persisted, "It may be a little intimidating at first, but you can handle it. I know you can."
"I have to take a shower," Scott said, getting up and slowly heading toward the bathroom. He made no response to her doctor idea, so she figured he was no longer arguing. She chose not to point out this would be his fourth shower within 24 hours.
When Scott got out of the shower, and was in the bathroom putting clothes on, when he heard Claire talking. At first he thought she was talking to him, so he opened the door a crack to hear her, but then realized she was on the phone. She was sitting on his bed with her back to him, speaking quietly into her cell phone.
"I realize that, Martin. But I'm going to have to come get it, and I don't want to leave him here by himself. He can stay in the car."
There was a pause.
Then sounding frustrated, she repeated, "You won't have to. I told you he will stay in the car."
"Martin, do you- no, I understand that you don't want- well, then can you just have it ready? That way I can stop by and pick it up from you."
There was a slight pause, then she said quickly, "All right, thank you. I'll be there in about half an hour."
Scott came out of the bathroom. "Did my dad call?" He sounded eager.
Claire edited her conversation in order to keep from breaking his heart about his dad.
"I called him. When we go to the hospital they'll probably ask for your insurance card, so I needed to arrange to pick that up before we go. I'm going to bring you, but…you don't need to go in. We won't stay, okay? I'll just go up and get it and then we'll be on our way."
Scott saw through her careful words. "He's still mad, isn't he?"
Claire patted him on the shoulder. "A little bit. But what happened was not your fault, and he's wrong to be angry at you for it."
"He doesn't even want me back." Scott said to himself aloud, hardly believing it could be true.
"You know what? It's hard to do this, but I think right now you really just need to forget about him and what he thinks. He's in denial. Until he sees things for what they are, he's not going to act rationally. Right now just take care of yourself and what you need, and worry about your dad later."
Scott wiped his eyes and looked up, shifting his focus to the day ahead. "Do we have to pack up our stuff?"
"No, we have the room a couple days, we can just leave it here. Are you sure you don't want to eat anything?"
"Okay, well then let's go."
Claire drove back to Scott's house, and parked on the street instead of pulling into the driveway. Scott stared at his house while Claire walked up to it. His dad must have been looking out the window and watching for them, because Claire didn't have to ring the doorbell. The door opened as she approached it, and Scott could see part of his dad at the doorway (his dad did not step all the way out). His dad handed Claire a card, which she put in her purse, and then the two stood there a moment. Scott could see their lips moving but he couldn't tell what they were saying. They hadn't really looked angry, but they only spoke for a moment before Claire turned and came back to the car, and Scott's dad shut the front door of the house.
Scott was almost afraid to ask what it had been about, but he wanted to know.
"What were you talking about?"
"Hmm?" Claire asked, pulling out of the driveway.
"With my dad?" Scott pressed. "What did he say to you?"
"Well, he asked how you are, and I said you were hanging in there, but that you were right outside in the car if he wanted to see you. Then he said to call him after we go to the hospital. I think…"
"I think he's scared, Scott. Remember how I said he was in denial? Maybe he's not so much anymore."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that I think he wants answers. Real answers. Remember the story Elaine gave him?"
Scott's face darkened. How could he forget? Elaine told his father that Scott raped her. "My dad said I was lucky he didn't call the police on me," he said bitterly.
"Yeah…but you know why he didn't? I think, even then, he knew what would have happened. I don't think the police would have done anything to get you in trouble, Scott. I think they would have seen exactly what was going on. Especially after my statement to them, and your dads statement- unless he'd lie to the police- that Elaine was on top of you. Her story would have fallen apart eventually, and in the back of his mind, your dad probably already knew that. So he just kicked you out, instead of calling the police on you to get you in trouble for a 'supposed' rape. He said you were lucky he wasn't calling the police on you….but, he really was just protecting Elaine and allowing himself to keep denying that she was doing anything wrong."
"Why does he always choose her over me?" Scott said angrily.
"Oh, Scott, some men- I don't know." Claire gripped the steering wheel harder as changed lanes. "I think your father's finally starting to realize that Elaine is not what she appears to be. And he wants to know what they say about you at the hospital…because once you're seen by a professional, well...I'm pretty sure Elaine is going to have some explaining to do to the police."
Claire pulled into the hospital parking lot. "Let's get this over with, kiddo."
End of chpt 18, now the AUTHOR'S NOTE:
Remember that time Scott ran away and was found in that house where he was destroying some person's bedroom with a baseball bat? And that night, Peter had to stay all night watching him sleep because he was like a flight risk or whatever, they thought he might run away again. Remember that? I think that all happened in the first episode actually.
Okay so what bothered me was…when Peter was watching him sleep all night, Scott was sleeping on his back. Face up. And I always thought that was… odd, but I just couldn't put my finger on why I thought it was odd.
Today I was watching some episodes, and it finally hit me as to why it was odd: Children who are sexually abused have a tendency to sleep on their stomachs. And Scott was sleeping flat on his back with Peter there. It is atypical behavior for child sexual abuse victims.
Then, I noticed that in every single flashback of him at home where Elaine is coming into his room, he is always shown lying on his stomach.
At home, where he's not safe, he sleeps on his stomach. At Horizon, he typically lays on his back.
So, I was like, awww he feels safe when he's at Horizon.
And yeah, probably the writers didn't know/realize that, because I am over-analyzing the character….or who knows, maybe they actually know what they're writing about!
By the way if you have a kid who sleeps on their stomach, sorry, don't freak out, it's probably just how they're comfortable. Lots of people sleep on their stomachs and it doesn't mean anything.