As I turn toward the sound, it’s not Dr. Miller I see, but Mary.
“Good, you gave us a bit of a scare.” Her voice is light and magical, what I’d expect butterflies to have if given speech.
The word rattles around inside me for a moment before it registers, and I notice the other figure near her. The boy, or who was the boy, now much older, maybe my age.
Jesus, a voice whispers in my head.
I know it’s right, but I’m too afraid to even think it.
“Why,” is all I can muster, all previous scripted brevity escaping me now. This isn’t the time for confrontation, a voice murmurs. Just take it all in.
“Oh, my darling child, don’t you know how special you are? How perfectly needed?”
I don’t. I’ve never been special. Mediocre is pretty much my middle name. I can’t name a single thing I’ve excelled at. Every sport I’ve ever played, I’ve come off the bench. I’ve never gotten honor roll in school or was named student of the month. Don’t get me wrong, there is something to be said for just doing enough. I enjoy myself just fine without having to expend the kind of energy I see others doing around me. Being good at something looks exhausting. Okay is fine with me.
I don’t think I’ve even gotten the “you can do anything you set your mind to” talk from my mom or dad. Sure, they are proud of me in a way that only parents can be, but if you ever asked them, they’d probably shrug to come up with something that I had enough talent in to warrant being highlighted.
I shake my head.
“Oh, my sweet, sweet child,” Mary says. There is pain in her voice, like I’ve hurt her by my own ineptitude. I feel her glowing love start to leave, like tendrils loosening on my body.
“No,” I gasp. “No, I’m sorry. I’ll try harder.”
“Harder? Honey, what are you talking about?” My mom’s face hovers over mine.
I look around. Mary and Jesus are gone.
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