From my perch in the window seat I gazed out across the front lawn of Hope Manor. The midday sun beat down on anything not able to find a bit of shade and I was glad that I was confined to my room, expected to rest. The doctors said it was necessary for my recovery, both mentally and physically. But sleep didn't come easily since my family had abandoned me - vivid memories invaded every part of my soul, leaving it weeping at all hours of the day and night. The only one I had a chance of seeing again was my older brother Michael. That is if he ever woke up. Michael was the one I had fought with the most, the one who could have been shipped off to boarding school and I wouldn't have cared that I only saw him several times each school year. Now I longed for his mischievous hazel eyes to once again rest upon mine, for his confident smile that lit up a room as he recounted his latest victory on the football field.
My mind wandered back to the session with Dr. Hansen earlier in the day. He said I would never be able to move forward with my therapy if I didn't accept the facts.
"Why am I here?" I asked for what seemed like the millionth time. "Why can't I go home?"
"There was an accident." Dr. Hansen said. "Do you remember?"
"No." A splash of red floated around in front of me, a far off cry tried to pull me into a memory too scary for any fourteen year old to have to confront.
"Your parents, Josie." Dr. Hansen tried to soften his voice but I could tell he was getting irritated with me. With my refusal to accept what I knew he was going to say next.
The window seat was the smallest comfort I had found here so far. It reminded me of my favorite spot at home. Not as familiar though, and of course Rosie wasn't here to curl up at my feet and keep them warm.
I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye and turned to see the doors of a large red building open and kids spill out onto the lawn. They were laughing, full from a hot lunch and ready to hit the next activity on their agenda. From what I had seen sitting at my window, I assumed Hope Manor was some kind of camp, but I hadn't dropped my guard long enough to show any curiosity. Dr. Hansen came to my room for our sessions, his pretty assistant always sitting quietly taking notes. Meals and medication were brought to me, and besides quick trips to the bathroom I hadn't left my room in the week I had been here. The only thing that bothered me enough to want to know more were the kids being pushed in their wheel chairs... and the ones with no hair.