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Frederick Christopher Bouter

Copyright--Institutio Scripturarum


'When will mommy come home?' the little girl asked her nanny.

'You'll be in bed by then, Serena. Your mother has a business meeting again this evening.'

'I want my momma,' the little girl said with a forlorn look.

'She is making lots of money so she can buy nice things for you.'

'I don't like things, I want my momma!' and she threw an expensive porcelain doll to smithereens in a corner of the room.

'Jee, what an awful little sulk! If only I got paid more for babysitting, then I could put up with all this shit,' the nanny muttered to herself. 'Look there is a nice movie coming up on T.V., after the news.'

'I wanna have my momma.'

'Stop being a spoiled little brat, or I'll send you to your room!'

'I want my momma, my momma,' the girl cried and ran into her room. She threw herself on the bed, tummy down and sobbed and sobbed. Images fluttered though her little, confused mind. Images of her mother bickering with a man. He used to come and see her once in a while and gave her then a toy and some candies. He called himself 'daddy,' but mommy called him 'that playboy.' Mommy now never talked about him. Sometimes a man came that she said was her 'friend.' The man smiled and grinned to her. And then talked with mommy, moving his arms in every which way. The word 'business' was mentioned a lot. Then mommy put her in bed and took the man to her room. There she heard them chuckling and giggling till she fell asleep. The next day the man was gone and mommy was making breakfast with sleepy eyes and her hair was all undone. She also saw other images. Her mommy crying in the living room.

'Why you're cryin', mommy?'

'I'm not crying, Serena. I only have a few problems. You wouldn't understand. But together we'll make it in this hellish world.' Serena wondered what that meant. She sometimes heard the word 'world' on T.V. when a nice looking man talked to them, looking as it were straight into their faces. She saw other images as well, of her neighbor girl's 'daddy' coming home every evening in a big car. Mommy had a little car, ' `cause gas is expensive.`' The man next door washed his big car every week. And then Anthony, his boy, watched his 'daddy.' The little girl's eyes closed slowly and made an effort to open without success. For she had fallen asleep already. She did not feel the nanny, who drew up the covers, leaving her the way she was. She moved restlessly in her sleep, once in a while moaning and sometimes even crying. Then she was dreaming. She was in a garden full of flowers and playing with a big doggy. Her daddy and mommy laughed and smiled. The sun was shining brightly. Butterflies were in the air. Then she was walking among them, holding their hands. The big doggy was running for a big stick her father had thrown. She did not feel her mother open the window nor that she put her little nightgown on. She did not feel the kiss on her little forehead, or her mother's tired hands playing with her hair. She kept on dreaming. The big doggy licked her nose playfully. The wind played with her hair. She laughed and was happy, so very happy . . .


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