Summary:- I am not a child. I am as far from a child as anybody could get.
I am not a child.
I am as far from a child as anybody could get.
I look like a child. I know I do. But that's not my fault, is it? It's weird. I don't feel like a woman, and I don't feel like a child. Doctor Varava called it hypopituitarism.
I call it a curse.
I am different from everyone I meet.
Not just physically, but mentally too.
I am not a child.
The people who meet me all think I'm a very sweet young girl. The sisters say I'm beautiful and kind, that I have a great level of English for someone who's only been in America for a few years. They say I'm mature for my age.
Of course I am.
I don't play with the other girls. I wouldn't know how to. I don't understand their childish games.
Except make-believe. I understand that. Of course I do. I wouldn't be alive if I didn't. Just close your eyes and you can be anyone you want to be.
So let me be a woman.
It's all I want. To be what I should be. What I should always have been. What I made myself become on my eighteenth birthday.
A woman. A child. I don't know anymore.
All I know is that I'm a murderer.
I have been one forever.
The orderlies don't care about me. They did at first. I'm sure of it. They wanted to help me. But I'm too far gone to be helped. Aren't I? That's what Doctor Varava says. I like him the best. He always tells the truth. Honesty is something I really value in a man.
Oops. I shouldn't be saying that. I'll get into trouble with the other orderlies.
But I think I might love him.
Or lust after him. I don't know.
I think about him all the time. About us. About sex.
A nine year old girl shouldn't be thinking about sex. She shouldn't know what fucking means, should she, Kate?
But I'm not nine years old. I never was.
Kate's becoming suspicious. She's making me see a shrink.
I don't really like shrinks. This one is worse. She tries to be kind. Her name is Dr. Browning, but she wants me to call her Alice. There's something I want to say to her in reply to this.
It's nice to meet you, Alice. Call me Leena. Do you know how old I am, Alice? I'm thirty three years old. I'm thirty three, and I've never had a proper job. I've never had a home. I've never had to worry about paying bills, or mortgages, or insurance. I'm a lucky girl, aren't I? I'm so lucky to live in this fantasy. Do you like my dress? I chose it myself. Don't you think it's pretty?
It's a shame I'll never get the courage to say it.
Alice likes me a lot. I know she does. I make her like me. Sit up, eye contact, smile. Be polite.
She doesn't have to know everything, but part of me wishes she did. Aren't shrinks supposed to help people like me?
People like me, ha, what does that even mean?
Kate's angry when Alice blames her. I don't blame her. You might think I do, but in reality, it's not her fault.
She's just a stepping stone. She's trying to replace Jessicca.
But I'm not Jessicca. I'm Esther.
John still has faith in me.
I love him a lot. At least, I think I do. I thought I loved my last father too, but I let him burn to death.
I guess I loved him too much to let him leave me.
I hope John never meets the same fate.
I don't want to kill him. I don't want to kill Max. I don't want to kill anyone.
I never did.
But it's funny how fate played out for me.
Max is so pretty. She has nice hair. It's blonde and curly. Sort of like what I wanted my hair to be when I was that age.
She likes me a lot. She trusts me. I trust her. Which is why she's the only person I allow to see the real me. The me that I hide from everyone. The not-child.
She won't tell. I trust my sister. She loves me.
They'll take me away if she tells on me.
I'm not going to let that happen.
Max won't tell on me.
She cares about me.
But I won't ever be her mother.
I like the water. I like the coldness. I like the damp.
I don't like the pain in my neck.
I don't like being afraid. I want somebody to help me. Help me. Someone help. Please, don't let this happen to me.
The little girl in my dream was so beautiful. So perfect.
But she wasn't a child. Nine years old and she had no innocence.
The other children called her names. The teachers didn't care. But her daddy did.
He loved his daughter. His flower.
He watched her grow, and helped her to blossom into a woman.
But she's not a woman. She's a child.
I think she blossomed too early. But there's nothing I can do for her anymore. I can't help her.
I take out my make up and ribbons. Gauze and dresses.
Look in the mirror. Smile.
I am not a child.