The Girl Most Likely To ... - Part 13
by Barbara Lynn Terry
Chapter 1 - After the troopers left.
After having their tea, and socializing with the girls and staff, the troopers made their apologies, saying they needed to get these statements to the district attorney. With the twenty girls they interviewed, they got twenty eight statements, and the most damaging of all the statements is what Sharon wrote, while she was in the office.
Remember that the only person in this house that has a male body, is Rachel. Rachel has always known who she was but was very afraid to say anything, or her dad would make sure she couldn't sit until she was an old lady. As the troopers left, Naomi comforted Sharon, telling the girls that from now on, if anybody, staff or one of the girls, does anything to any one of them that they know is not right, tell somebody in authority that you trust.
"Naomi," Janice Peyton started, "we are not going to harm each other. We may disagree, but that is normal with siblings. When we had our meeting with Mrs. Wells, our superintendent, we were all ready to pounce on Rachel the minute she got here. But what happened instead was, Sharon right away became concerned for her because she didn't have a coat. From that moment on, we saw a girl, not a foul mouthed, bullying type boy. Rachel is our sister, and we are going to do everything we can to help her be the girl she has always been. So, if a staff member does something to us, we are going to tell our parents, and that is daddy, Jan, Madelline, and Hazel who works while we're sleeping. Some of us have not had one visit from our biological custodians. But our parents are here now, and we are their daughters.
"When Sharon took Rachel up to their room, and we found out she didn't have any clothes, we gave her the clothes we didn't either wear any more, or were too tight, or we didn't want. So we are the sisters of the Pine Meadows Home For Adolescent Girls, and to us, it is just home. A real home. We help each other with homework, emotional problems, and whatever else we can help each other with."
"That is really great, Janice. I am going to make sure I act according to your motto to 'Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You'. Now, what I am going to do is take the squad back to Forest City, change in to some civies, and come back. I should be back by seven. Thank you, everybody, for making me an honorary sister. I will not let you down."
Everybody got up, and gave Naomi a hug, telling her they loved her, and be safe on the way there and back. Naomi got her utility belt from the office safe, and headed out.
Sharon was still very upset, and Janice sat on the other side of her, and both Rachel and Janice just held on to her, telling her everything will be all right. None of the girls asked Sharon what the doctor did to her, because they knew if Sharon wanted to talk about it, she would ask one of the girls, or all of them, if she could talk to them. But all the girls wanted to do something very drastic to the doctor, and maybe even spit on him while he lay dying.
These girls are not vicious, but they could make an exception for the doctor.
Jan went up to Sharon and Rachel's room, and got a teddy bear off of the window, and brought it back down to the living room. She stooped in front of Sharon, and gave her the teddy bear.
"Here, Sharon, I brought you a friend."
"Thank...you...Jan." Sharon clutched the teddy bear to her chest, and laid her head down so it touched the teddy bear. Janice laid her head on Sharon's right shoulder, and Rachel did the same on Sahron's left.
"Don't worry, sis, we have real kick a..."
"Rachel!" Jan exclaimed.
"Oh, yes, I'm sorry, Jan. But Naomi won't let anything happen to us. Like she said, she will beat up any bogey man who tries or even thinks of trying to hurt us."
"But, what did I do to make him angry, like that?"
"Sharon," Jan started, very concerned. "You didn't do anything wrong, sweetie. Dr. Poole is just a pervert who can't keep his hands off of children. You girls are our daughters, and we are going to make sure that you are safe. I just wish you had come to us when all of this started happening. We could have had him in prison by now. From now on, girls, if anybody even says anything about doing anything like this to you, you come and tell us, right away.
"I should...have been...stronger."
"Oh Sharon, I wish there was some way I could make you see, that none of this was your fault.
"Thank you, everybody. I'm all right now, I just needed to know that I still had my friends."
"Alright, sister Sharon!" Fourteen year old Melanie Roberts exclaimed. "You just back up a bit. We are all sisters here, and we support each other unconditionally. I don't care if you fell off a semi truck, trying to run away. We are sisters, now, and forever. Like in the Three Musketeers, 'One for all and all for one'." The other girls in unison repeated what Melanie had said."
"Thank you, Melanie. You have always been so quiet. It is nice to know you can be forceful when you have to be."
"Oh, somebody kick this girl in the seat of her pants. Please?" There were giggles from all the girls, including Sharon.
Melanie held out both hands, palms facing each other, and helped Sharon stand up. Melanie gave Sharon a hug, and then said, everything is all right now, sis.". As she did that, none of the girls saw Jan disappear, and Madelline take her place.
"I can be forceful when I have to be, and you have always been the one to lead us. You have set so many examples here, that we are grateful. Sharon, what do you want to do after high school?"
"I want to be a therapist, and help girls like us."
"I know you will be a good therapist, too. I wouldn't be surprised if you came back here and get an office in psychiatric."
"Thank you, Mel, and who knows, I just might."
That wasn't a funny comment, but one that gave the other girls cause to think. Their sister Sharon wanted to be a therapist to help troubled girls. They all gave her hugs, and then they all went in the rec. room to watch television. It's A Wonderful Life had just basically started, so they sat down to watch Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in a real Christmas classic.
When the movie was over, they all went back upstairs, and started looking at all the Christmas decorations. Every girl in the house helped put them up, as well as decorate the tree. Not all at one time, of course, but each girl took a turn. After straightening the tree, and making sure all the lights worked, Madelline plugged in the tree. As it lit up, Naomi walked in the house.
"That is such a beautiful tree. Who decorated it?"
All the girls looked at each other, got an evil smile on their faces, and said, "me", in unison. Naomi giggled, because it reminded her of a scene in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers with Jane Powell and Howard Keel. Naomi could thank her mother for knowing about these old movies and music. She enjoyed it all.
"Alright, girls," Madelline broke the festive moment. "It is time for the cooking squad to start getting dinner ready."
Three girls groaned, but got up and headed for the kitchen.
Naomi was pleasantly surprised that when the girls, even though they groaned, got up to go do their chores, they didn't complain, or mumble under their breath. Naomi made a mental note that when she was in town tomorrow, to get an ornament for the tree. Something special, thanking the girls for making her an honorary sister, something she had never even suspected would ever happen.
Chapter 2 - Rachel gets a pleasant surprise.
Rachel was talking to Naomi about mostly nothing, just making small talk, when she heard a voice, again, from behind her.
"Where is that little monster, that calls herself tough?"
She looked behind her to see Renée, her mother, Sandi and Mandy and her mother. She ran to Renée and hugged her, then started crying, again.
"OMG, not again. Girl, I swear, the ocean has nothing over you, as far water volume goes," Sharon said, in mock scorn. The girls all giggled. "Somebody get this girl a box of tissues and stock in Northern Pacific." There were more giggles.
Renée was surprised by the hug, and looked at her mom to see if maybe this was a trick. Her mom just shrugged. See, Renée and company hasn't been told about Rachel's turn about attitude. In less than a day, Rachel has managed to have a family, friends, sisters, loving parents, and a home.
"Renée, can you ever forgive me, for being such a...a...a..."
"Insensitive boor," Janice chimed in."
"Yes, that, what Janice said."
Renée, who was intent in coming here to see Rachel being ostracized by the girls, looked in to Rachel's eyes.
"OMG! Those are...real tears. What is going on here?"
"I take it, you're the Renée that was bullied by that stupid, brainless boy," Melanie said. "Sis, tell her what happened to that stupid boy."
"I kicked him in the seat of his pants, and sent him flying. Renée, let's sit down, I have a lot to tell you. I can't thank you enough for being there for me, even if you didn't know that is what you were doing. See, I am going to transition here, into a physical girl; the girl I have always been. I was afraid to say anything before because of my dad. If he knew I wanted to be physically female, he would have hurt me, maybe even crippled me, or worse. When all of this came to a head, as they say, I knew that this is what I needed to do. When I got here, I was scared, but these girls accepted me, and called me sister. They accepted me in to their home without shunning me, and without calling me names.
"Renée, this is a real loving home, with parents, and siblings, and love, and acceptance, and laughter, and ..."
"Whoa, girlfriend, slow down. OMG, you mean to say, that you have always wanted to be a girl?"
"Yes. Renée, can you ever forgive me for what I have done to you?"
Renée looked in to Rachel's eyes, then gave her a hug and said, "yes, girlfriend, I can."
"Renée, my name is Sharon, and we were all ready to give it to Rachel as soon as she got out of the car. But when I saw her standing there in that thin dress, no coat and shivering, we got her inside really quick before she got pnumonia, when we took a closer look at her, we didn't see a foul mouthed, bully, we saw a scared girl, like we all were when we first got here. Rachel is our sister, and we are going to show her how to be a girl our age.
"In less than a day, Rachel has managed to make us care for her and love her for her. I think that the bully act was just that; an act."
"Well, what is past, is past." Renée's mother added. "What is important is where she goes from here."
"I wanted to see that little beast tormented and suffer," Ruth added. "But if that beast is gone, and I have a daughter, then I will love my daughter unconditionally, with all of my heart and soul."
Rachel got up and ran to her mother.
"Oh mother, do you really mean...that?"
Ruth hugged Rachel and added, "yes, dear, I really, really mean that. I can see that you are really sorry for what has happened. You know, I still have your room, just the way you left it."
"Mother, I know I need help, and here, we all help each other. Getting the help I need, to transition, and learn how the be the girl I am supposed to be, graduating from high school, and having my surgeries before I leave, is all important to me. I have loving sisters here who have taken me in to their lives and their home, regardless of my physical deformity. If you still have that beast's room like it was, then I can't live there, because I'm a girl, not a beast. Mother, as long as I am here, let me get the help that has been denied me for too long. By the way, mom, why did you suggest Rachel Eileen for my first and middle names?"
"Well, Rachel was actually Renée's idea, and Eileen was your grandmother's name."
"You gave me my grandmother's name?"
"Yes, dear, I did."
"Oh mother," Rachel sobbed, hugging her mother. "Thank you."
Ruth hugged her back, and this was definitely a Kodak moment of tenderness and love. That was when Ruth noticed Naomi standing not far away.
"Deputy Petersen. What are you doing here?"
"I'm here to support Rachel in her therapy and to be her friend, and it's Naomi."
"But, aren't you the deputy that brought Rachel here?"
"Yes, and on the way here, we had a nice talk. Then she saw a girl riding a horse and she asked me if horse back riding was fun. I said yes, it is a lot of fun, and she asked if they had horses here. When she showed interest in at least part of the programming here, I knew then that she wasn't a bad person. A little sad, mixed up a little, but definitely not bad."
"Mother," Rachel looked at Ruth, with wide eyed glee. "Would you like to go down to the stables with me, so I can show you my horse, Midnight?"
"You have a horse?"
"Yes, and she is a beautiful animal. After dinner, I will take you there."
"Mrs. Watkins," Madelline added. "You and your friends are staying for dinner."
"Oh, no, we couldn't impose."
"You're not imposing. You're here, it is almost ready, it's delicious, and you're staying."
"Well, I guess we're invited for dinner." The girls all giggled. Just then, one of the cooking squad came in the dining room.
"Please set four more places. We have guests."
Constance Stevenson was sixteen years old, and was placed at Pine Meadows, because she couldn't take the verbal abuse from her father, so she ran away. Since being at Pine Meadows, she found a purpose, no verbal abuse, and she had sisters who cared about her and she cared about them. She set the places, and then went to get more food to set on the tables.
"Dinner is ready, we're just setting it out now."
"Thank you, Connie. Girls, get washed up, and take your places."
Rachel and the other girls went to get their hands washed, and then stand at their seats, while grace was being said. After grace, they all sat down.
"Lazy susans. Nice way for everybody to get what they want without reaching over everybody."
"Yes, Mrs. Watkins..."
"Yes, Ruth, it is easier, because passing food around takes more time. This way, they can self serve themselves."
"Mrs. Watkins, I'm Janice, and what Rachel hasn't told you is, just because this is officially called an institution, we are free to come and go as we please. We can ask for money from our accounts, and go in to town and get whatever we want. This is our home, Mrs. Watkins, and we are sisters, now and forever."
"Ruth, when I first brought Rachel here yesterday, I was surprised to find all this out too. They even made me an honorary sister. This house to a stranger, is something right out of a bookstore novel, and these girls have made all of what goes on here, possible. They take pride in their home, in their bedrooms, in the clothes they wear, in their attitudes. When a house parent asks, not tells, but asks one or more of the girls to do something, they show respect by answering yes, and going about doing what was asked.
"Your daughter was immediately accepted by the girls as a sister. She has made friends so fast in one day, it can be mind boggling. I wasn't really concerned, well, I should have been, but I wasn't concerned that she left Forest City without a coat. When Sharon saw her, she right got her inside. Your daughter, Ruth, has had a one eighty turn about in her attitude. She has accepted the fact that she needs help in many areas, including her transition.
"On the way up here, I made a deal with Rachel, that if she takes part in the programs set up for her, I will come up, at least three times a week, and help her through her therapy. We even pinky swore on it."
"I don't know what to say," Ruth answered Naomi. "You will help my daughter through her therapy?"
"Yes, Ruth, I will."
While Naomi and Ruth were talking back and forth, there was whispering going on among the girls. Sharon stood up and looked at Renée.
"Renée, what is your full name, please?"
"Renée Jeanette Richards. Why?"
"Renée Jeanette Richards, please stand." Renée stood up. "Renée Jeanette Richards, it is my privilege to welcome you as an honorary sister, to the Pine Meadows family. Welcome, sister Renée." All the girls applauded in a standing ovation.
"I don't know what you and Naomi have done to deserve this honor, But, it must have been something extraordinary."
"Mom, did Jan tell you what happened today?"
"Renée forgave me for all the trouble I caused her when I was in another state of mind. She even called me 'girlfriend'. So, the girls said only a sister can be that caring, and that is why Renée was elected an honorary sister."
"Thank you, girls, for the honor."
"Renée, we have a simple motto here. 'Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You'. We all live by this motto, including the house parents."
"Thank you, Sharon. I will not disappoint any of you. Naomi, when you come up to help Rachel, will you bring me along?"
"Yes, Renée, I would be happy to."
"Wait!"' Ruth exclaimed. "Statement? Troopers? Did something bad happen to my baby?"
"I will tell you about it, when we go to the stables. Renée, you're coming too, right?"
"Yes, Rachel, I am."
"If my baby is in danger here, I'm going to see to it that she comes back home."
"No, mother, I'm not in any danger here. Not any more."
"But, if it is serious, you should tell me now."
"Mother, on the way to the stables, because I don't want to get the whole house upset."
"Rach, that is how a sister thinks. For the good of the house." Connie stated, matter of factly.
As each girl is finished eating, they take their plates, cups and flatware in to the kitchen, and place them neatly in the sink. This is for the cooking squad to wash when everybody is done. Rachel, Naomi, Renée and company, sat there still talking, while Ruth looks with concern at Rachel.
"Let's all go to the stables. I want to show you my horse."
Rachel went to get her coat and boots, and when she had them on, she asked if everybody was ready. They left the house, with Sharon and Joy going along. They walked down the wooded path, and in to the stables.
"My, it's warm in here," Ruth said, with surprise.
"Yes, mother, it is a heated barn so the horses stay warm."
"Alright, Rachel, tell me now, what happened that you had to give a statement to the troopers."
Rachel explained what happened when she went for her testing and physical. She said that she had told Jan, and Jan had told daddy when they got back to the house, and daddy called the state police. She explained that this was officially state property, so the state police had jurisdiction. She also said how nice the two troopers were. Her mother looked at her with horror in her eyes.
"Oh baby, I am so sorry for all of this. I should have stood up to your father a long time ago."
"Mother, he would have hurt you, and I could never live with that."
"Anyway, mother, I know I have problems, and I know I need help with those problems. This is the best place I can get the help I need for those problems. I know you think that because of how my attitude is now, I should be home. But mother, one day isn't going to make all the trauma I have been through, disappear. Sharon here is my room mate and my shadow. She is the one that will show me how to get around the grounds, when she isn't in school. I don't have school this week, because I am going through testing. Also mother, the life I have been denied for far too long, I can live here, without judgement from anyone. I am sorry to say it this way, mother, and no offense Renée, but if I hadn't hit Renée at the shopping mall, I wouldn't be here, and I would be hiding my true self. Mother, I want to grow up to be a woman, and I want to be a girl while I can. This is the best place to live that life and get help for my problems."
"You're not a body snatcher from another world, are you? I mean, who are you, and what have you done with my daughter Rachel?" Rachel giggled.
"No, mother, I am not an alien, and I am right here."
"But, when did you grow up?"
"You think I've grown up?"
"Yes, Rachel, I do. In one day, you have grown tremendously."
"Then I guess there is hope for this air head, after all." Ruth hugged Rachel and stroked her hair. "Come over here, I want to introduce you to Midnight."
They all followed Rachel to a stall that had this beautiful black mare. On the name plate on the stall gate it said, Midnight.
"Mother, take an apple from that basket and hold it up to the horse, in the palm of your hand." Ruth did just that, and Midnight took it. "Midnight, this is my mother, she's a friend." Midnight whinnied and tapped her hoof three times on the ground. "That means she understood what I said. Midnight, would you like me to take you riding tomorrow?" Midnight nodded her head and tapped the ground three times with her hoof. Rachel gave Midnight a hug and said she would be back tomorrow to take her riding. Midnight nodded and tapped the ground three times.
Everybody headed back to the house, and when they went in, Naomi was playing pantomimes with the girls.
"See, mother, it isn't all stiff here. We have fun, play games, have dances and parties, and we can even go in to town on our own too. We're not prisoners here, we're girls, teenage girls."
"You're my baby girl, sweetie, and I love you, no matter who you want to be. We're going to have to go soon, sweetie, because it is a long drive back to Forest City."
"I will walk you out to the car."
When they got to the car, Rachel hugged her mother, and then hugged Renée.
"We will be back, sweetie. Bye bye for now."
"Bye bye, mother."
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