The Girl Most Likely To ... - Part 35
by Barbara Lynn Terry
A WORD, IF YOU WILL: In the last part there were comments about kangaroo court, unjust this and unjust that. I am here to tell you that in children's court, the child has no rights, except to have a guardian ad litem appointed to represent the child. This guardian ad litem is usually an attorney, but could be anybody appointed by the court with or without the child's consent. A social worker, even today, from the state department of family services, child protective services, is for all intents and purposes considered an expert and can be appointed by the court as the child's guardian ad litem. The mother is considered persona non grata in these hearings, especially since the court has all the "facts" from the social worker's report.
Many children's court hearings are held outside the presence of the child and the child is then brought in to be told about the court's decision. If this be a kangaroo court, then make the most of it, because there are many children in group homes that do not belong there.
As to who made the complaint to the state department of family services, child protective services, about Janice, will be coming up in a future part. First, we have a few other girls to get sorted.
Chapter 1 - Janice goes home.
Janice asked her mother if she could sit in the recliner, for a bit.
"I don't see why not. But I will be here in case you need any help." Shaiya then sat in the padded desk chair.
"Mom, do you think Dr. Nita will let me go home, today?"
"Are you ready to go home, Janice?" Dr. Nita queried, coming in to the room.
"I have been ready since I woke up from the coma."
"Well, I will let you go home on one condition, young lady. That you be the best you can be, regardless of who says you need to do this or that, except for your teachers. Sound like a plan?"
"Yes, Dr. Nita," Janice answered, giggling.
"All right, I will go and make out the discharge papers. Do you have any clothes you can wear home?"
"I can have a set brought here."
"Good. When your clothes get here, you may get dressed."
"Mom, will you call Naomi and ask her to bring me a set of clothes from my room?"
"Yes, dear." Shaiya called Naomi and told her what Janice needed and why.
"Naomi said she is at work right now, but she will call the house and tell Jan to bring you a complete set of clothes."
"Passing the buck, is she...uh huh, I see how it is." Mother and daughter giggled.
"Well, there is nothing good on tv except soaps. I'm really kind of tired of soap operas. They don't have any movie channels on this tv except The TCM channel. Will we have cable at our new house?"
"We certainly will, including a few premium channels. Then we are going to get a dvd recorder/player so we can watch our own movies when there is absolutely nothing good on."
"Mom, why did those people say I did things, I didn't do?"
"Maybe because they are jealous of a young girl like you, or maybe they just don't like kids. Whatever the reason, the judge that sent you here is no longer there. He died a year ago of a massive heart attack. This new judge promises to be very good, especially with children. Naomi said she will help me get my rights back, because she said they should have never been taken away. I just hope it doesn't take too long."
"Me too," Janice said, laying her head on the arm of the recliner. In no time flat, Janice was asleep.
Shaiya went out by the desk and told Dr. Nita that Janice was sleeping in the recliner. Dr. Nita looked at the nurses.
"I need two ladies to help me get Janice back in the bed. I will make out this discharge for tomorrow. Janice should rest for today."
Dr. Nita was more concerned as to whether Janice would be slipping back in to the coma. Today would tell her.
Most doctors just let the nursing staff do all the work, but not Dr. Anita Garcia. She felt if she couldn't help, then she was a poor doctor. Two PCAs, Shiaya and Dr. Nita went in to put Janice back in bed. One PCA held the IV stand, while another, Shaiya and Dr. Nita carefully put Janice back in bed. She had a very worried look on her face.
"Shaiya, I am worried that maybe Janice is slipping in and out of her coma. The pain medicine I ordered for her is working, right now. So, I will see what tomorrow brings. On second thought, I haven't signed the discharge, yet, or dated it, so I will leave that until we know more tomorrow."
Jan, Sharon, Rachel, Melanie and Connie, all came in the room. Jan was holding a set of clothes for Janice. Jan saw the worried look on Dr. Nita's face.
"What's going on? I see a worried look, doctor."
"It's Janice. She keeps slipping in and out of sleep. I am hoping it is only the pain medicine that is making her drowsy and sleepy."
Jan walked over to the bed, still holding the clothes for Janice. Jan put Janice' right hand on the clothes.
Janice, it's Jan, honey. Can you feel the clothes? I brought them so you can go home, today." She looked at the girls, very worried about Janice.
"Hey sis, it's Rach. You have to wake up so we can take you home. We're going to drive you and your mother to your new home. Our home won't be the same without you. Come on sis, wake up. You get to go home today."
Janice slipped further in to sleep, dreaming of her new home and how life there will be. Everybody saw a smile on Janice' face, and Shaiya looked at Dr. Nita for an explanation.
"She's dreaming, and whatever it is she is dreaming about, it is a very happy dream. I will let you ladies visit, while I go and see other patients." Dr. Nita left.
"I know what will get her up," Sharon said, with mock determination. "All right, you asked for this. Stifle it, Janice Peyton!"
"What? What did I say now, sis?"
"It is about time you woke up, we have been here for simply hours waiting for you to talk to us." It was a little fib, but then girls are known to exaggerate some.
"I was having a dream about our new house, mom, and what it will be like living there."
"You know something, sis," Connie smiled. "I won't have a roomie any more until a new girl comes along. I am going to miss the talks we had and the things we did as a team and as a group with the other girls. But, everybody must go forward, one step at a time. I know you will make it, sis, I just know you will."
"Where is Dr. Nita."
"Honey, she had to go an see other patients. She will be back, though. How are you feeling?"
"Like I slept all night. I feel very fine."
"That's good. Dr. Nita will be happy to hear that, too."
All this while, Melanie was holding her hands behind her back.
"Sis, we all decided that it was time you came out of your shell and poked your head around a little. We bought you a gift."
Melanie held the plushest, very white, with pink paws, bunny rabbit.
"This is for you, sis, from all of us at the home. Even Ms. Wells chipped in. She said to tell you to behave yourself, and that you can visit us any time."
"I'm still going to be going to school at the home til school lets out for the summer."
"Yes, but Janice, it isn't the same thing. Besides, dear girl, you have something to do before you can even go to your new home."
"Like, open your Christmas presents. We decided we wouldn't open ours, either, until you could be there to open yours, too."
"You...you did...that for...for...me?"
"Yes, sister Janice Peyton, we did. It didn't seem right for us to open our presents without you being there."
"Thank you, Sharon, thank you all." Janice started crying.
"Now what's wrong?"
"Nothing, I am just so happy that I...I have...have been...missed. I...I really am...happy."
"We also decided that this year's sister of the year award goes to, Miss Janice Peyton of the Pine Meadows Home For Adolescent Girls." Sharon handed Janice a small plastic statue of a girl hugging another girl. The plate on the stand said, "There is strength in friendship".
Let me explain. Each year, at Christmas time, the girls at the home vote on who has been the best sister of all, during the past year. A small statue is then ordered of two girls hugging. It is then presented to the "sister of the year" on Christmas morning. But, because Janice was in the hospital, that vote was taken, but the presentation was postponed until Janice could go home from the hospital.
"I really...sisters, you really shouldn't..." Rachel placed a finger across Janice' mouth.
"Shhh, sis. If anybody deserves this award, it is you. This little statue shows how important sisterhood really is."
"Did you just hear what you said, Rach?"
"What? All I said was..."
"Exactly. You have grown so much in the last nine days, that it is a wonder you weren't born a genetic girl."
"But, Janice, I was born a genetic girl. If I get my feminine traits from my mother, and those traits are in her genes, then, yes, I am a genetic girl."
"So, just exactly when did you become an expert on being a genetic girl?"
"I think, when, maybe, well, ..."
"All of your life, right, sis."
"Yes, Connie, exactly." Everybody giggled.
Tommy came in to say hey to Janice and visit with her a while.
"Hey Janice, you know Darla."
"Hey, Darla. How have you been?'
"I have been really great since Tommy and I made up. Rach, I have you and your sister, Renée, to thank for that. But, instead of moving like we were, we decided to let our relationship go slow."
"Not too slow, I hope," Janice quipped.
"So, anyway, Tommy and I decided to take you out for a teenage girl's best meal. A burger, fries and a soda pop. So what say we find the doctor and get you out of here."
"I'm all for that. Mom, did Dr. Nita sign my discharge, yet?"
"No, sweetie, not yet. She had to go and see a few other patients, first."
"I just want to get out of here."
"All right, sweetie, I will go and tell the nurse to have Dr. Nita stop in here, between patients." Shaiya went to tell the nurse.
"Did you ever notice how quickly they get you in the hospital, but it takes an act of Congress to get out of these places." The girls giggled and Tommy just smiled.
"Look who I found just lazing around the nurses desk," Shaiya said, coming back in the room with Dr. Nita.
"Do you think it is safe for me to let you go home, young lady?"
"Yes, Dr. Nita. I fee really good, and I just want to be able to get out of here and go have my first real meal in days." Dr. Nita laughed.
"I see your sense of humor hasn't been dampened by being in here. All right, I will let you go home. But you get right back in here if anything happens you know is not right. Like a headache that won't go away with an aspirin, or stomach ache that doesn't have to do with menstrual cramps. You will know something is wrong, because it will be something that ordinarily doesn't happen to you. Do I have your word on that?"
"Yes, Dr. Nita."
"All right, you may get dressed, and I will sign the discharge papers. Young man, will you step outside the room while she gets dressed?"
"Come on, Darla, we will wait in the lobby. They have go through there to get out of the hospital." Tommy and Darla left.
Shaiya helped Janice get dressed. Jan had brought her jeans with the rose of the left back pocket, and on the two front pockets, as well. Her top was a simple black shirt, with a camisole underneath. Her under garments were simple and basic white, and Jan had brought her knee high, double knit socks and calf high boots, with the flat bottomed, one inch, wedge heels. These boots were just right for style and walking around in the winter. The tread on the sole still had depth, so they were good for maybe another winter.
When Janice was dressed, Shaiya put her hair in a nice pony tail, and gave Janice a hug and kiss on her forehead.
"Are you ready to go home, sweetie?"
"Yes, mother. I have been ready for this day for three years. Let's go home."
If you have ever been in a residential treatment center, or any institution as a child, you know that the word "home" has more meaning than if you were to say it just coming out of school. "Home" to somebody like Janice who could not understand why she was even there, to begin with, is as magical as "open sesame" is to Ali Baba.
Now, even though Janice will be with her mother, again, there will be raised voices from time to time. Of course, it is nothing that a pizza can't fix; or, maybe even a movie. Janice will now have time to bond with her mother the way it should have been.
Chapter 2 - A burger, fries and a soda pop.
As Janice made one last look around the hospital room, making sure she didn't forget anything, they all headed toward the elevator. The nurses all wished her good luck, and hopefully she won't be back until she has her first child.
As tough as Janice pretended to be, she blushed when the nursing supervisor had said that. Janice was strong, mentally, but not quite as strong as she pretended to be. As they got off the elevator at the lobby, Shaiya sprang a surprise on everybody.
"Tommy, girls, I would like to treat you all to a burger, fries and a soda pop. This is a very special not only for Janice, but for me as well, since I now have my baby back home with me."
"Janice, I hear you are going to be living near Tommy. I hope we can be friends. I know I have acted like a jerk, but I really am sorry for the things I said about you and the other girls at the home."
"Darla, a wise man once said, 'to forgive is divine'. What I had heard you said about us, came from your heart, and was an honest reaction to what you thought was to spite you. Darla, we have never really stopped being friends. You and Tommy are welcome at our house anytime."
"Thank you, Janice."
"Well," Shaiya said, giving a heavy sigh, "are we ready to go eat?" Everybody said, "right on", and they left for Glenn's Eatery located in Jim's Hardware Emporium. They had walked from the hospital, because it wasn't that far; just a few blocks.
They went in and found a couple of booths. They all sat down, and a man came over and asked to take their orders.
"Good morning, ladies, Tommy. I'm Glenn, for those of you who don't know me. May I take your orders?"
"Shaiya, you order for us," Darla suggested.
"Cheese burgers, deluxe all around, large fries, and whatever soda pop they are drinking. I will have coffee." The girls and Tommy told Glenn what they wanted to drink, and he went to get their orders. Trooper Jim O'Donnell came in, and sat at the counter.
"Hello, Trooper Jim."
"Hi, Janice, I am very happy to see you out of the hospital. You had us really scared there."
"Did you meet my mom?"
"Yes, briefly, when Naomi first brought her here to see you."
"Where is Naomi?"
"She's at work, Janice. I will tell her you were asking about her."
Thank you, Trooper Jim."
Glenn brought the drinks, and the food at the same time.
"My, you work fast."
"I know these girls and Tommy. When our children are out around town, we look out for them, even if they are somebody else's children. Miss, in Pine Meadows, it takes a village."
"I know what that means. It is a good thing you all do here for each other."
"That is why we have the town we do. Our chief of police and elected sheriff even get involved with the boys for Little League. Some of our police women get involved with the younger girls, teaching them how to ice skate, roller skate, make different crafts. We have a wonderful town, Miss."
"I'm Shaiya, I am Janice' mother."
"It is a real pleasure to finally meet you. Janice has talked about wanting to go home so many times, we were thinking about making it a local recording." Everybody giggled, while Tommy stifled a loud laugh.
"Well, today, Glenn, Janice is coming home with me. We bought the house just down from Tommy's farm. So, we will be living here. This is a celebration, welcoming Janice home."
"May I be permitted to help in that celebration?"
"Of course, Glenn."
"Then this meal is on the house. A welcome home meal for Janice and her loving mother."
Everybody looked at Glenn like he was growing a point on the top of his head. They had heard that Glenn did this from time to time, but they didn't know he would do it for a group.
"Thank you, Glenn, that is very generous."
"Not at all. After all, it takes a village."
"RIGHT ON!!!" All the patrons in the cafe, shouted.
Glenn went over by the jukebox. It was an old 1950's style, and held five hundred CDs. Glenn played the theme song from Welcome Back, Kotter. The girls all knew this song, so they sang along. That was when Janice started crying.
"Oh no, not again, sis," Sharon Hardesty stated. "What is wrong, now?"
"Noth...ing. These...these are...happy...tears. I...I...I...am so...hap...py to fin...all...y be going...home."
Glenn came over with a clean kitchen towel, and offered it to Janice.
"Janice, you have been tried by our Lord and found deserving. You deserve to have a happy life. Since you are going to be living here, I will see you now and then as you come to grace my little cafe."
"Thank...you...Glenn. You...you have...al...ways been a...a good...friend."
"Now that, Janice Peyton, is the best compliment I have ever gotten, except the 'I love you' from my wife. If there is anything I can help you with, Shaiya, Janice, these girls and Tommy know where I am when I am not here. Today my waitress called in sick, so I have to do all the cooking and waiting tables. It is a good thing my dishwasher showed up, or I couldn't be out here talking." There was soft laughter at what Glenn had said. "You all take care, I have to go back to work and wait on this couple."
They ate their burgers and fries, slowly, and Shaiya was thinking.
"Girls, how about Tommy drives us to my new house, so you can see where we live and Janice can see her new room. It should be done by now."
"Done? Mom? What did you do, now?"
"It is a surprise, sweetie, for my baby whom I love with all of my being."
"I love you, mom," Janice said placing her head on Shaiya's left arm.
"I love you, too, sweetie," Shaiya answered, stroking her daughter's hair. "Is everybody ready?"
When they all said yes, Shaiya said 'let's go' and they all went back to the hospital parking lot and got in Tommy's jalopy. Tommy drove them to the house Shaiya was buying from his dad.
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