It was three in the afternoon and Andrea hadn’t returned home. Mrs. Pine told herself not to worry when her daughters were nowhere to be found, not even a phone call, at one o’clock in the morning. She took her sleeping pills and had a glass of wine and was eased into slumber.
When she awoke she could hear the clattering noises of a teenage girl’s complex toilet routine. Upon further investigation Jean was found straightening her hair with a knee resting on the toilet seat. Her sister wasn’t home.
Mrs. Pine tried to call the girl’s cell phone repeatedly. The phone must have been dead; it didn’t even go to voice mail. The mother cringed at the thought of having to talk to her older daughter. The girl had become incorrigible. There was no talking to her about anything without receiving abuse and indifference.
Peace offerings of money had even lost their ability to create a pleasant interaction with the young woman. She knew that she’d have to confront her though. The girls hadn’t been getting along lately but Andrea was still her sister. She had offered to give her a ride last night. Surely Jean still cared about her family’s’ well being.
Courage mustered the middle aged woman walked down the hall. She rapped on the door to her elder daughter’s room. There was shuffling and then the door knob turned. “What do you want?”
“I’m sorry to bother you honey but Andrea still isn’t home. I can’t get a hold of her. I’m getting worried have you heard from her?” “No.” The girl stared back at her mother as if waiting for her to leave. When she didn’t Jean continued. “She’s probably strung out at some guys place. She’s such a slut.” The woman was visibly quivering.
“Jeanie please.” The woman pleaded. “She’s your sister can’t you help me?” The girl’s smile should have been heartening but instead Mrs. Pine gulped down the fear it instilled. She hadn’t wanted to resort to asserting her authority but it was her last chance.
“Jeanie, while you are living under my roof you will follow my rules! You have been rude and disrespectful to both me and your father. You’ve been a horrible influence on your sister. I will not tolerate your behavior anymore! There will be no more car, no more money, no more going out. I’ll lock you in this room if I have to but now your sister is in trouble. I don’t know what you two did last night but you are going to tell me and tell me now!”
Her voice had reached that high squeaky level that she hadn’t utilized since the children were in elementary school. That was before the wine and sleeping pills. Jean laughed. Her menacing smile turned into a grim expression.
“You have no control over me. You know that. That’s why you’re scared. You think I still need you but you’re wrong. I’ll be eighteen in a matter of months and I’ve got an ID that says I’m twenty-one. I don’t need you any more than I needed Andrea. If you insist on being difficult you’ll regret it.” And with the cool even tone she had utilized throughout the monologue she added “And its Jean, mom. Not Jeanie.”
Mrs. Pine starred back at the form that had once been her daughter. The change in personality had somehow manifested itself physically. She had lost weight and wore heeled boots. This combined with her tight pants gave the illusion of height. The low cut blouse exposed cleavage created by the latest in intimate technology. Straight hair framed eyes painted to an almond shape.
They had once been so round and contained a warm honey color. Now the mother saw a creature towering over her. Eyes a color between purple and red glared in her direction as it motioned to shut the door. “I want my daughter back” she whispered.
This creature was not the quiet caring girl who wiped down the kitchen counters without having to be asked. The demure girl who always tried her best and always listened to others concerns. “Jeanie never woke up. You left her on an operating table at Ramley Personality Science Outpatient Center and she is never coming back.”