OPINION
Published on November 4, 2009 By Big Fat Daddy In Writing

She wasn't quite two years old. Her daddy was one of the truck drivers and sometimes he would bring her into the office. She was beautiful but a little shy. She would hide her face in the crook of daddy's neck and just peek out with a shy smile. It took several visits before she would speak to me...until the snowy day when she came in at lunch time. I was scarfing some KFC and she came around the counter and caught me. I offered her some chicken and from that day forward we were fast friends. Every time she came in, she would beeline to the counter looking for some chicken.

She came down with some kind of infection, a stubborn thing that required some potent drug to knock it down. The day after she started taking the drug, she collapsed and couldn't be revived. They rushed her to the hospital, did all their ER magic and finally got her stabilized. But her little brain had been oxygen-starved for a few minutes and they weren't sure what kind of repercussions that would have. Just had to wait. It took some days to find out that the instructions on the medication she had been prescribed were wrong. The dosage directions on the bottle were several times what was supposed to be given...or what was safe for a small child.

We waited for a week or more for some good news about her. She was released from the hospital. Her young age was a two-edged sword. On one hand, if she was damaged, being young gave her a better chance of overcoming it, even developing new paths through her brain to compensate. But being so young made it hard to determine if there really was any damage that would need immediate attention. After a couple weeks, her daddy told me that she just wasn't the same. The sparkle was not in her eyes anymore. She was not sharp in her actions and talk. She didn't get excited anymore about anything.

I knew the damage was serious the next time I saw her. Jerry (her daddy) gave me a heads-up that he was going to bring her in so I made sure I had a box of KFC ready for her arrival. When they came in, she looked at me with a dull-eyed look that had a kind of recoginition mixed with a kind of disinterest. She walked past me. When I said I had some chicken, she didn't even slow down or turn around or anything.

I only saw her a few times after that. About a year later the parents got divorced, the law suits, accusations, investigations and therapies, not to mention the loss of a real sparkler of a child, all got to be too much to cope with. I haven't heard from either of them for years. I have no idea how things turned out for her. She's about sixteen years old by now. Sometimes I wonder what she's like now.

 


Comments
on Nov 04, 2009

Wow, this was very good. Is it fiction or non-fiction. I really, really hope it's non-fiction. But I love the writing. Thanks for playing BFD. I will send folks to read this.

on Nov 04, 2009

 

Yikes.

Is this true?  Or is it fiction for JUWC?

 

on Nov 05, 2009

It is a true story, is that not allowed?  If it has to be fiction I will put my thinker to work and come up with something else.

Tova:  good to see ya.

on Nov 05, 2009

No it doesn't have to be fiction....anything and everything is permitted.  I was just hopin...

As usual tho, the storytelling was superb.

on Nov 05, 2009

Exactly what Tova said. I was hoping it wasn't fiction either for the little girls sake.

We are the most informal of writing clubs ever. So far you are the first and only one to submit. I hope mine will be done soon. Thank you for telling this story. It's crazy how this is really a problem.

on Nov 06, 2009

Thanks, gals, means a lot.

on Jan 06, 2010

It is a true story, is that not allowed?

Yes it is, but that makes it all the more sadder.

You told it very well.

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