I was dreaming that I was back at the institution. A lot of us were sitting in the cafe with friends or loved ones. Peter had said that he was going to come and visit me after he had finished writing up a draft. I chose to sit in my usual preferred spot. I used my ears as my eyes to observe the location. I remember when I was a kid, my mother always saying that she had eyes in the back of her head, and could see everything. As a child, I thought literally she had eyes in the back of her head. I do believe at one point I had checked the back of my mothers head to see if I could find her eyes. My mother was laughing at me and told me that she had hidden them.

Now that I am older, I understand that she used her hearing as a means to see. Funny how small little things like that remained me of my mother. I listen to all these kids whining to mommy and daddy because they can not do this and that. What a bunch of brats! They do not know how lucky they have it. To be able to talk to their parents every day. My mother died a slow and painful death, MS is a bitch! And there is no cure for it. The death certificate will never say, Jane Doe died from Multiple Scoliosis. It will say heart stopped working or something like that. But I know it was the M.S. that was eating away at the body’s nervous system.

You seriously never know what you really have until you lose it. What I would do if I could have my mother back healthy and alive. Go back seventeen years and pull that card out of my mother’s hand and not have to deal with the M.S. To give that card to a serial killer! Let them have the disease, a suiting punishment for a serial killer. These children have no idea, the world is in the palm of their hands, they can do anything if they just put their minds to it. I had no anger towards them, I just wanted to give their head a shake and tell them to wake up and see what the world has to offer them. They are wasting so much time on whining and complaining, about trivial things!

I lost track of how long I was glaring at my cup of decaf coffee. I heard Peter’s usual greeting of “hey sista, penny for a thought?” It always made me smile. I do not know why, but it always does. I told him that I had been thinking about my mother. I got an ‘oh’ out of him. It was the “are you going to say anymore,” type of an ‘oh.’ I started to laugh as Peter sat down. I asked him if he had to wear the churchman outfit? People will start coming up to him and call him Father Peter, do you take confessions. He told me to behave, or he would spank me. We laughed so hard! That is when he said to me that he and his grandfather were rehearsing for Sunday service. That his grandad was going to let him do the sermon next weekend. I gave him a high five and said way to go. It is a huge thing for his grandfather to let go of control and give it to Peter. He had the chance to step up and do a quick speech, but nothing much compared to his grandfather. This was a big step for Peter, and I will add in his control freak grandfather.

Peter has come a long way since his discharge from the army. Just like any hot shot, Peter wanted to be a hero. A peacekeeper was something he wanted to do as a young teenager. Just like other boys, he went to cadets, joined the army when he was eighteen. Got an assignment somewhere in Africa. I think he was gone for a year and a bit. When he came for a visit. He told us that he was let go from duties, and that was it. In the beginning, we all thought he was fine, even I did! He seemed to be adjusting well to civilian life again. But then I started to see and hear his thoughts. And I knew that he required help. The dead began to come to me in dreams and would tell me their last story, and I would see Peter there. It was kind of foggy what was being shown to me.

There were gunfire, screaming and blood. And there was a child in Peters’ arms, that had died. The thing that got to me the most was a friend of his. His friend came from a family of substance abuse and small crimes. His friend told me in my dreams that he battled abuse from his parents. He had thought that the army was the answer to his problems. It was Peter that found him dead, self-inflicted wound to the head. His friend was the needle that broke Peter. Peter wanted to save the world. He could not handle his friends’ death, and because of that, he was let go. Peters story gets worse before it gets better.
The hell Crystal had been going through at the time. She was struggling with going to school and Peters outburst and many days of being gone. I was way out of my league for this issue at the time. I believed at the time it was something that some soldiers go through when they come, PST or something like that! You have the shooting of his friend’s death, it made sense to me at the time. Getting Peter to talk was not happening, and his thoughts were blocked off. He was in the darkest place of his mind. Crystal and I took turns watching Peter around the clock. I took most of the shifts since I worked from my apartment. The perks of working at home, my time was flexible. And as long as I finished my assignments before or on time, I would get paid. So here I was helping out my best friend…
a non-blood brother! Time after time, he would lash out at us, for the smallest of things. Crystal would cry on the spot, which Peter would attack even more. At the time I did not know Crystal was going through this, one time I had witnessed Peter’s wrath. I would not stand there and watch him rip her apart like a slab of meat at the meat shop. I gave back the same amount of fire as he did. I would not cry in front of him, but I remember many times crying in the shower. Just out of frustration, feeling like I was losing my best friend and the horrible things that would come out of his mouth. If I were not working on a project, I would be doing some research on how to help Peter. I would go to different organizations to gather information. It felt like we were running out of options, and the black tunnel just kept on getting longer. It was heading on close to eight months with this battle that did not seem to end. One night I had a dream of Peter’s dead grandmother, telling me to go see his grandfather and ask for help. That evening Crystal took care of Peter. I went to his grandfather for advice. To this day, his grandfather and I do not get along. He does not like me, and I thought he was a bible thumping prick. Going to him to help Peter was more vital to me verse our dislike for each other. It was the best thing that I could have done. For six months, Peter did not talk to me, it hurt like hell, but he needed help and Crystal, and I were not enough. It took another six months for him to be sufficiently better. And that is when he decided that he was going to follow his grandfather’s footsteps and become a reverend.

While I remembered the turmoil that Peter had gone threw, Peter told me everything that was going on. Crystal had only a couple more things to do before she had her full doctors licence. His mother and father are planning a big party for when I get out of here. A way to say ‘how much everyone loves me’ kind of thing. After Peter said all of this, he wanted to know what my plans were for when I get out of the hospital. I shrugged my shoulders and said, probably what I have always done. That is when Peter had introduced a proposal to me. He and Crystal were looking at buying a hobby farm just outside the city. It was maybe a fifteen-minute drive out of the city limits. It was a fixer-upper, but it was perfect for their first home. They wanted to know if I would live there with them. There were just a few little things that I needed to do. Peter wanted me to start writing again, that was the first thing. I stopped writing a decade ago because of certain events that I had dreamt, I was writing about in my stories, these horrific events I found out had actually happened. These dreams I had thought at the time were just dreams, it bothered me not only that I was having these dreams, but I had placed them in my stories. Peter wanted me to do the necessary renovations and home decorating, this was the second thing. In one of my past lives, I was what would be called, a Jack of all trades. Which I carried over to this life, with no knowledge or education to back me up, I have this ability. I also call this common sense and thank you YouTube! Well, this is something Peter had to only ask, and I would jump at the opportunity to redecorate.

The plan was straight forwards, finish the main house then the construction of my place would be built. I would be just paying rent and buying my own food. I would be able to call this my forever home. In the beginning, I was apprehensive of this idea. I get what he was talking about, I did enjoy my writing, and I was relatively good at it, but other issues were on my mind. Working on the renovations was a for sure, yes, I would consider this my new project. There is something about hammering and painting that just gets my imagination going.

For the part of living in the same area as Crystal and him, I told him that I would have to put serious thought into it. I did not want to make any commitments yet. Once Peter had the keys and all the materials that I needed, I would do the work for the payment of food and coffee. I really stressed the coffee part. I asked Peter if he had any pictures of the place on him, which he did not. He told me that when I get out that if the owner takes their offer, he will take me there to see the place. Peter told me it was a 4 bedroom house, that still had occupants. I asked him if he knew much about the history of the house and land. That is one of the other things Peter was hoping I would do. He wanted me to do a personal investigation of the house. I gave him a dirty look and gave him the bird. He told me it was

good to have a friend that is a great investigator like myself. In turn, I asked him what would happen if I deemed the place unsafe to live in. Peter shrugged his shoulders and said he would pull his offer and continue to look elsewhere. We both chuckled for a bit, I suggested that we go out for a smoke. While we strolled down the hallways, I told Peter about what is going on at the institution, the programs and all. That for the unseen side of the coin, it has been very quiet, and I will take it as long as it lasts.

Outside, we sat at the picnic table, there were a few people outside finishing up their smokes and headed inside. Which left Peter and me out by ourselves. There was a group of birds flying around the area, going left then right. Up and down, these birds not once did they hit each other. Looking at the ground, two rows of ants had caught my attention. One row going to a piece of chewed up gum on the ground, and another row leaving the gum. I pointed out the birds and ants to Peter and started to point out the pattern. We may think ourselves to be complex animals, in reality, we are not much different than any other living organisms. At the start, Peter was shocked that I would even think about the comparison. After I had explained myself, he kind of saw what I was getting at. The saying ‘we are creatures of habit’ is very true! The only thing that divides us from any other organism is our greed and personal desire to gain in life. From our daily routine to the street and malls where we live, you will find patterns! Some of us realize this, while others may not even notice. You will discover patterns with serial killers or rapists. If you go to the top floor of a mall, you will see that everyone is walking in a straight line. Once again, there is a pattern. We are lazy organisms, relying on patterns to get things done faster and efficiently. When you think you are random, over time, you will be making a new pattern; hence, we are predictable! Peter’s facial expression was like ‘ what!?’

I was almost finished my smoke when I asked Peter what I should write about, I really had nothing in mind to write about. He sat there looking at the gum and lines of ants. That is when he said to me, “if you know how to talk, you can write. Write about something I talk about, write it for me and no one else. It does not have to be published! As long as it is good enough for me. And who cares if anyone likes it.” He reminded me to just write whatever is on my mind. And considering I am very vocal, I have a lot to say. To make a goal, and work on that every day. That I could even start writing now, as a means to release the tension and anger that I hold inside. I began to laugh as I lit another smoke. I told Peter that I did not think they would allow anyone to have a pen or pencil in here, you know I could stab myself with it. And writing with a crayon was not going to happen. And besides, I had no paper to write on. That is when my dear friend told me he would take care of things. It is funny to me when Peter plays the aggressive card. Here beside me, is the most passive living man. He would not kill a spider; instead, he will catch it and let it go outside. I pictured what the conversation would be like between the employees here and Peter, I am sure he will get his way! Managing to get what I need, or should I say, what he wants me to have, will not be a problem for him.

I asked Peter if he remembered the first time we met? I recalled meeting Peter when I was six, maybe close to seven. I was pulled off to the side by my homeroom teacher. I had gone to school with bruises and scratch marks on my body, that were visible when I got into my gym clothes. I remember that I told the teacher that I had been attacked in my sleep by a bad man. I did not know better, I was a kid. I was always told tell the truth no matter what, so that is what I did. I do not remember how many days went by, there was a knock at the door. I do not remember where my mom was, but I answered it. A lady with two police officers where there, I remember yelling for my mom. As I did that, one of the officers introduced himself and asked if he could come in. I told him that I was not allowed to let strangers into the house. That is when he asked me about my black eye and how I got it. I told them that the bad man pushed me, and I hit my eye off the table in the living room. Once again, I did not know better, I told the truth! The officer asked me to come outside with him and go to his car. I told him that I was not allowed to go with strangers without my mother’s permission. Just as I said that my mother was standing behind me. I was ordered to go to my room and clean it. I can not remember how long I was in my room, but I do remember my mom was crying as I was taken out of the house with a book bag full of my stuff. I did not understand what was going on. My mom told me it was just for a little while, and I had nothing to worry about. Whoever said ‘the truth will set you free!’ they had lied! My truth caused more trouble!

I was taken to a place where this lady kept on asking me what happened, and I kept on telling her the same thing over and over. At one point, I started to cry, wanting to know why they did not believe me. That is when they gave me some paper and crayons to colour, I think this was a way to calm me down. That night I was taken to the MacGregor’s home. They were foster parents who had two children of their own, Peter and Penny. This was the first time I met Peter. I was told that I would be staying with the MacGregors until everything was sorted out.

If I thought about it hard enough, I could probably remember everything about their place. I do remember that shortly after I was returned to my mother, the MacGregors did move.
I shared a room with Penny. She had the top bunk, and I was in the bottom. She was two years older than Peter and I. As the oldest of four children, I naturally got along with Peter and Penny. You know you can always tell the difference from a child that is an only child verse a child that has siblings. A child with siblings knows how to share things, where a single child tends to be grabby and reluctant to share anything.

I remember having to go to church every Sunday, and natural I asked a lot of questions. I wanted to know the who, what, where, when and whys to everything. And the Sunday school teacher was all too happy to amuse my mind with her knowledge. I think my favourite part was the singing, I did enjoy that the most plus the cookies we were allowed to eat. But what I really member about being at the church was one time I was watching the Reverend preaching to everyone, beside him, I saw a lady I was not really sure what she was saying or what she was doing, but I remember seeing her. That same day Peter’s mother was going through her photo album. That is when I came across a picture that looked the same as the lady that was standing behind the Reverend. The Reverend was Peter’s grandfather, who was Peter’s mother’s father. The woman standing behind Peter’s grandfather ended up being his dead wife, who had passed away 3 years ago. Once again, I did not realize what I was doing. I did not know that normally, no one sees the dead. For me to announce that I had seen this lady standing behind the Reverend upset not only Peters mom but his grandfather as well. This was just the beginning of the experiences that the MacGregor’s went through.

I would guess that it was less than a month of me staying with the Macgregor’s, that the scratches and bruises were appearing on my body. And as always I told the truth the bad man did it while I was asleep. First, they thought that I was the one that was inflicting the scratch marks and the bruises on my body. As a means of way of self-destruction and getting attention. So they trimmed my nails and kept a better eye on me though it did not stop the scratches and bruises. Things went from mild to worse in a short period. While we were at school, Mr. MacGregor was at work, stuff around the house would go missing than show up again. Mrs. MacGregor just put it as a bad memory. Then things started to move around in front of her eyes. She put it off as she was tired and seeing things. The last straw for her is when she had friends over for tea. Cups were moving, the T.V. and radio turning on, stuff like that. Mrs. MacGregor’s friends left, and she was on the phone calling my worker, to come over they had to find me a new place to go.

I remember my worker coming over, us children, were to be playing outside. I instead was hiding in the hallway. The full conversation I do not remember. Bits and pieces I do remember like ‘there is something very wrong with her!’ And ‘I believe what she is saying now!’ I remember the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. Next thing I remember was being pushed into the area that the two ladies were talking than I remember screaming in a lot of pain. I had been picked up and thrown into a table. That was the last time I was in that house. I woke up in the hospital with a cast on my left arm and slightly confused to why I was in the hospital. Peters grandfather was there reading the Bible, and Mrs. MacGreger was holding my hand. It had looked as if she had been crying. I remember Mrs. MacGregor telling me that I was a good girl. I asked her why is it that no one can see god, and everyone believes, but when I say the bad man is hurting me, no one believes me. Mrs. MacGreger kissed my head and told me that she believed me, and I will soon be back with my mom. Peters grandfather was convinced I was cursed and needed to be Baptized to save my soul. My worker just could not believe what she had seen. The MacGregor’s had a hard time understanding how my mother was able to live with what is going on. And all I wanted was a friend.

Once I was back living with my mom, the MacGregor’s kept in contact with my family and me. Every Sunday, they would pick me up for church and take me home. I had gone to church for the next three years. The MacGregor’s relocated, which meant that in the later years of grade school, Peter and I were in the same classes, and became more like brother and sister than friends. While his sister Penny was in high school. Whenever someone would pick on me in school, he was there. In high school, whenever someone would go after him for being short and scrawny, I would beat them up with the help of his sister Penny. When he informed his parents that he was signing up for the army, I was there for him, when everyone but his grandfather tried to change his mind. I told him that if he wanted to serve his country and people by being in the army, I would back him up. Not many would do the job that he was going for. He left us as a boy and came back a man.

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