Problem Child

As a social worker, you’re bound to come across some really messed up stuff. I’ve been at this job for nearly twelve years and I’ve seen everything. Joel was raised in a kennel with a dog, he was so small I thought he was two years younger than he really was. Andrea went into a doctor’s appointment only for the doc to find out the kid had contracted chlamydia. Sophia who had been tied to a bed and beaten to ‘get the devils’ out of her. Fynn had been choked for enough time by his stepdad to have permanent brain damage. 

But all of those kids have homes now. They were adopted by loving families, I send them cards on their birthdays. Joel is now a complete Potterhead and went to Florida with his mom during summer vacation. Andrea now speaks regularly at sexual abuse seminars and helps other victims come forward about what they went through. Sophia wants to be an astronaut, Fynn is beating the odds and making us all proud with all he’s accomplishing.

I can’t say the same for Bonnie.  

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Nicky

It happened ten years ago. I was only eight years old. I woke up that morning to the smell of frying eggs and bacon.  

Stumbling down the hallway, I was greeted by the sight of a dark haired woman at the stove, humming some friendly tune as she filled a cup to the near brim with orange juice. She turned to me and I nearly jumped out of my skin. In a sense she was pretty, but she had a vicious scar running down the left side of her face.

“Andy! You’re up!” She beamed as she picked up the plate stacked with a delicious smelling breakfast. “I had to run to the store, but I hope you like breakfast!”

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The Cure

You could say that I had a rough life.

My mom died. My dad was alcoholic and whacked me around. The boyfriend I had in highschool promised me the moon until he got me pregnant. Then those promises were quickly forgotten. I had to drop out. Became a waitress. Waited tables all day to come home at night to a cold one bedroom apartment. It was just me and Jessie. Life was dull and gray. Any dates mysteriously became busy once they realized I had a kid. Bills piled up. Nothing felt good anymore.  

Then Paul came into my life.

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Cracked Eggs

“Daddy! Daddy look! I found another one!”

Lisa ran up to me, holding the white and pink printed egg. I laughed and held the basket forward. “Good job, pumpkin! That makes how many now?”

For a few seconds, Lisa counted up each one before she straightened herself and beamed.

“Six! I found six!”

“That’s right! That’s my smart girl!”

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Christmas Cookies

Oh man, I love my momma’s cookies.

Peanut butter cookies. Chocolate chip. Even oatmeal raisin. Whenever my mom made cookies, she always made them the best. But there was one place where she went from great to godlike when it came to cookies.

Christmas Cookies.

She’d gotten the recipe from her mom, who I’m guessing got it from her mom. The recipe was a carefully protected secret, momma said she’d never written it down, she’d simply been taught by Grandma and had it locked in her memory. I was her oldest son, so when the time came, she’d teach me how.

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Chatroom

I didn’t go into my twelve year old daughter’s browsing history with the intent to snoop. I know as her father I need to respect her privacy and even though lately she’d seemed distant, I needed to respect that.

I was just trying to switch the Chrome profiles from ‘Kids to ‘Dad’ when I saw there was a new profile there. Normally Blanche remembers to switch for me, I don’t bother with all that. I figured it was a mistake and clicked onto the new profile with the name ‘Lexa’. I’d just delete it and go about my life.

But then I realized this was not just some sort of weird virus or glitch that created a new profile. This was something made with the intent to surf the web without me knowing where they’d gone.

So. I decided to check her favorites.

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Channel

My father was in a car accident two and a half years ago and he’s never been the same since.

It was awful. For six months he was in a coma, and when he woke up, there was nothing left inside. He couldn’t talk. Couldn’t eat. Couldn’t even shit by himself. It was a living nightmare to see my once loving, passionate father turned into a stranger.

My twin sister Ruby and I set up our schedules to make it work. I’m a trained nurse, I can handle the more medical side of thing, and when I’m gone Ruby will step in and keep it together.

My mother never even entered the room he stayed in.

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The Cat Lady

I used to have three beautiful cats. Chloe, Jewel, and Mercy. My sweet girls. I had the perfect family. A husband Greg, my son Dylan, and of course the cats. Jewel was the snitch. Always pacing around the table, warbling for whatever we had. She had developed a taste for green beans. Mercy was the prim lady. Always cleaning herself. Always sitting on the bookshelves. And always found where I hid the cat treats.

Chloe was my favorite though. Whenever my lap was available, she was sitting there. At night she’d sleep at the foot of the bed. In the morning, she’d wake me by kneading my chest. Greg would laugh and say she was just making sure my heart hadn’t stopped. Her version of kitty CPR.

Greg and I were considering getting just one more when the accident happened. Greg was on the way to the clinic with the cats to update their vaccinations, and… well, I’m almost thankful that my babies didn’t suffer.

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