“Time for bed!”
Penelope sat on the floor of her playroom, puzzles scattered around her. She looked up at her Daddy with a blank stare and rubbed her eyes.
“But Daddy,” she yawned, “I don’t wanna.”
He walked to her, scooped her up in his arms, and she leaned her head against his shoulder. Her long, thin, brown hair was gathered into slightly messy pigtails and she was wearing her favorite pink cupcake printed onesie pajama outfit.
He chuckled and patted her back, “But princess, you’ve a big day tomorrow, and you need your rest.”
He looked at her as he placed her in her bed. He pushed a loose lock of hair behind her ear.
“I love you.”
The lights….they seemed so…..bright….
I couldn’t open my eyes all the way at first, but when I did, he was there. Right beside me. Wide awake. I wanted to tell him how much I loved him, how glad I was to see him, how the accident wasn’t my fault.
But I couldn’t.
Instead of words coming out of my mouth, there were respirator tubes. I tried to talk. I tried to yell. I even tried to whisper.
But I couldn’t.
I put my hand on the cold side gate of my bed. He reached for mine.
For now, that would do.
She clicked on the TV. It was Saturday afternoon, and the rain ended the nine-year-olds plans to spend the day outside with her friends.
She changed the channel. Music pounded from the speakers of the television, models walked down a runway. Their faces were dejected, and the clothing (which was barely present) seemed to barely stay on their bodies.
Girl after girl, they all started to blend together in Hope’s mind. Each girl was tall. Skinny. Dejected. Clothes threatening to fall to the floor.
In that moment, Hope understood whom she shouldn’t follow the trends of the world.