The Past and Present
Allison looked out the bus windows at the passing trees. There was nothing better to do and she had already finished her Holocaust book. Allison was different. She used to be shy, mild, and meek but things changed. Acting like everybody else didn’t help life's situations much, even if they sort of accepted her. Ally was like a bird in a cracked shell. Once in a while she would open up and join them but mostly she would hide herself in her own world. She was a thinker, a dreamer and a writer. Never forgetting the last detail.
When it came to her thoughts she was above the rest. Her dreams were too high to reach and her writing was incomplete, but that’s what Ally loved. Her mind was her own fortress where nobody could come in, and if she was careful nothing would come out. Her mind was a place where dreaming big was the only way to dream. But the world was a place where seeing is believing and dreams were just something you did when you went to sleep at night.
Allison loved elementary school. Teachers were her favorite kind of people. Teachers were full of qualities that most people couldn’t grasp. They were the ones with wisdom and imagination. Ally continued watching the rolling fields out of the small rattling window. This was her best thinking time. She could block out the sounds of the world and lock herself into her thoughts. Ally dreamed herself into places she could never go in the real world. Like a seed blowing in the wind never able to land long enough for roots to grow. Reality always won though violence and destruction reigned
The School bus jerked to a stop and everyone pushed their way off. Allison was last as usual. She slowly crossed the dirt road as the bus pulled away. It was sunny a beautiful day to hang out with friends. Ally turned the corner and trudged up her driveway. What friends? She thought to her self. Allison quickly unlocked the door and entered the quiet house. That’s when the nightmare began. She sensed the presence of someone behind her, felt his hot breath on her neck. His dark brown eyes seemed to burn right through her. Allison’s body shook with fright and a scream was lodged in her throat. His hands reached out to grab her....
Allison woke up, her face streaked with tears.
The old Ally disappeared after that. All that was left was a growing anger and hatred. Her self-esteem was striped of her that horrific afternoon. Allison withdrew herself from the world and vowed to never let her secret out.
Counselors and therapist tried to get Allison to explain what happened but they were unsuccessful. They threatened to send her to an institution if she didn’t cooperate with them, but Ally didn’t care. What’s the use of being with normal people if you aren't normal? She thought to herself.
Allison got out of bed and got ready for school. She put on her blue and red school uniform and brushed her long brown hair. Before she went out the door she glanced in the mirror in the hallway. The bruises were faded but she knew that the scar would always be there to remind her. Allison turned away before the memories could come and she silently walked out the door. The sun was rising above the housetops as the bus pulled up. Ally made her way through the crowed row to her seat. and the bus sputtered on.
When the bus reached Pine Oaks Middle School. Ally made her way through the clusters of students to her first hour class. Hoping the day would soon be over so she could retreat into her own world. Where nobody asked questions or expected answers, just her own thoughts and ideas.
The one thing Allison missed was singing, the words flowing out her throat in harmony to the music. Sometimes Ally wished she could join in, but singing would require speaking, and that was something she did not intend to do.
Ally entered the Choir room and sat down. Everyone wondered why they hadn't switched her class to something else. If she wouldn’t sing then why keep her in choir? Allison knew the answer. Her parents found her diary a few weeks after it happened. In it Allison wrote about how much she enjoyed choir. Allison figured they thought if everything else failed Mrs. Taffeta (the choir teacher) could break her out of her shell.
“Hi Allison” Mrs. Taffeta said hopefully. Ally nodded back. It was an improvement from before when Ally did not respond. Mrs. Taffeta sighed and walked over to her desk.
When class was over everyone rushed out the door. Allison slowly slipped on her jacket and grabbed her bag. “Ally could you come here for a minute?” Mrs. Taffeta asked. Allison set her bag down and walked over to her desk. “Ally,” Mrs. Taffeta said. “I know that you know about your parents giving the school a copy of your diary pages for evidence, and I just wanted to let you know that Mr. Shell gave me some of those pages. He thinks that they might help me get through to you. I haven’t read them yet and I won’t read them without your permission.” She paused taking a deep breath. “Please Ally let us help you.” Mrs. Taffeta finished. Allison glanced at her and walked over to the chalkboard. Delicately she formed the letters; Go ahead and read them.
The journey Starts
Ally looked up from the chalkboard and looked Mrs. Taffeta in the eye. Knowingly Mrs. Taffeta nodded. Their secret was safe. Allison would open up and let Mrs. Taffeta enter her scared but amazing mind. Hopefully she could find the answer.
Allison erased the board quickly and started to leave. She knew this was a new beginning and it like most would have a bumpy start. This was the ride of a lifetime.
Days went by slowly as usual, but something was different. Allison seemed to have a glow around her, a vast and wonderful secret. The principal tried to confront her about this sudden change, but Ally wasn’t quite ready to tell. Allison walked into the choir room on a warm April day and sat down. Mrs. Taffeta looked up from her cluttered desk and smiled. With that smile Ally knew that everything would be ok. Mrs. Taffeta had become her comfort.
Substitute teachers were no good. They didn’t know about Ally and didn’t understand. Her regular teachers were the same way at first, but after a while they either found out and unsuccessfully tried to help or they just gave up. Everyone except Mrs. Taffeta. She was different.
All the good couldn’t make up for the bad though, what he did or what happened afterward. Everyone thought they knew why Allison didn‘t speak. Trauma, they called it. But they didn’t know the half of it. “Ally” Mrs. Taffeta called. Allison’s trance was broken. The bad thoughts vanished.
“So Allison,” Mrs. Taffeta said after class, one day “What do you want to do today?” Ally and Mrs. Taffeta started having after school meetings each week . The principal and the psychologists thought it would be a good idea since Ally had opened up to Mrs. Taffeta . Allison figured that they were right, maybe someday she would be able tell. But for now she just enjoyed being around Mrs. Taffeta.
Allison shrugged her shoulders and sat down next to the piano hoping she would get the hint. Mrs. Taffeta smiled and sat down on the bench “I thought so,” she said, “but you first.” Ally nodded apprehensively and Mrs. Taffeta began playing.
Allison came in quietly at first but that didn’t worry Mrs. Taffeta and soon enough Allison’s voice grew stronger. filled with compassion and meaning. Truly living the words feeling the vibration, letting go of all her pain. The magic was interrupted when Allison noticed the principal peeking in the door “...His strength, overpowering...” the flashbacks started Allison stopped her breathing rapid, her heart pounding. Mrs. Taffeta stopped playing “Ally?” she questioned, and looked to see what was going on. It was him again, Mr. Shell, she sighed, he still didn’t get it. For this to work Allison needed to feel secure and unexpected male visitors would only make things worse. Every time she was reminded of that day Allison would shut down again and they would have to start over from the beginning.
Hatred boiled up inside of her, self-hatred, hatred for the world. Ally knew some of her classmates took this hatred out on themselves physically, with pills and knifes. Allison didn’t have the guts to try. Ally emotionally abused herself . Letting her pain, fear, and anguish tear her apart until she could no longer think of anything but hatred, What he did and what they did after. The assault by that monster, tormented her every moment. The pain, loosing control of her own body. His strength, over powering her. The complete terror of waiting for it to end praying for it to end wishing she was dead. The baby, they killed her baby, her dream had come out of this nightmare, but that was taken too. They murdered her baby.
Choir didn't help today, nothing would help when she got this way.
Mrs. Taffeta straightened some papers on her desk ready for the session to begin, waiting for ally. Allison didn’t get up. She scribbled wildly on a smudged up piece of paper. Trying to block out the thoughts that terrorized her mind. Mrs. Taffeta slowly got up and walked over to Allison and sat down in the desk beside her. “Allison” She spoke gently sensing the delicacy of the situation, “what’s wrong?” Ally didn't answer. “Oh Ally” Mrs. Taffeta sighed “I wish you would let me in. I’m here to help.”
Allison hated herself even more for disappointing Mrs. Taffeta. She tried to stop the tears that threatened to fall. Mrs. Taffeta reached over and held Ally’s hand. They sat in silence until it was way past time for Allison to leave. They both realized that day that life is just a series of days strung together-some good and some bad.
“Allison” Mrs. Taffeta said one afternoon. “Who was it?” Allison stared blankly at her. “Who did this to you?” Allison pulled down her sleeve to try to cover the scar that Mrs. Taffeta was talking about. “Allison please,” she said as she took hold of Allison’s hand. “Was it him?”
Allison looked down at the long, faded pink scar. After a moment she returned Mrs. Taffeta’s gaze. “It was him,” she spoke the words quietly, “that took my hopes, my dreams, and almost my life. It was him who followed me home and raped me in my own house. It was him who destroyed who I was and what I would have become, as for this,” Allison paused holding out her arm, “this is from when I tried to stop them when they killed my baby...” Allison stopped tears choking her, “they killed my baby.”
“Allison.” Mrs. Taffeta sighed with concern in her voice as she wrapped her arm around Allison.
“How is everything going?” Mr. Shell asked in the teacher’s lounge one afternoon. “Any signs of life?”
“Yes,” Mrs. Taffeta answered angrily “you know how I hate it when you talk about her like that, besides,” Mrs. Taffeta stopped wondering if she should go on knowing that if she told it would just give him more to gossip about, “she talked to me.” Mrs. Taffeta finished.
“She did?” Mr. Shell asked with amazement. “What did she say?”
“That’s confidential, you know that.”
“Robert, you know that I only agreed to help if you let me do this in my own way. If I tell you everything it will break her trust and then where will we be? Back to square one. Allison trusts me and I will not break that trust, Robert. I will not let Ally down.”
“You go Kaye!” Mrs. Sherman, the English teacher, said to Mrs. Taffeta.
“I will let you know if I need to tell you anything, Robert Shell, but until then drop it!” Mrs. Taffeta exclaimed.
“Fine then!” Mr. Shell said as he stormed out of the room.
“That went well.” Mrs. Taffeta said sarcastically
“He’ll come around,” Mrs. Sherman teased “if Allison gets better he can be your next assignment,” She laughed.
“Not ‘if’ Alison gets better, ‘When’ Allison gets better,” Mrs. Taffeta said, “When.”
“What am I going to do?” Kaye Taffeta said as she set down her book. It was one o’clock in the morning and she was still wide-awake with anxiety. “What am I going to about Ally? How can I help? She had been through so much and now I find out that she was impregnated by that animal! How am I supposed to help her come to peace with all this when I don’t even think I could handle all she’s been through? She’s fourteen, fourteen! and has lived every woman's worse nightmare! She should be out with her friends, having fun, doing what she wants to do, but instead she is trapped behind the memories of what happened. How am I supposed to make an opening big enough for her to slip through if it keeps closing up! What am I supposed to do? I can’t give up on her. I just wish I knew what to do. I wish I knew how to make her life normal again. It’s probably a good thing that I don’t know who did this because if I did I would have to kill him for ruining this young life...for taking away the real Allison.”
Allison trudged into class, It had been a long day. It was May. The school year was coming to an end Allison prayed that the world would end before her time at middle school did. Thinking about High school life scared her. Change. something Ally couldn’t handle especially now.
“Good morning Allison,” Mrs. Sherman said when Allison sat down.
“Good morning,” Allison replied. Speaking was something to get used to.