[NOTE: The following is a work of fiction that I originally published at Thinking Ten-A Writer’s Playground in October 2010. Thinking Ten (affectionately referred to as T10) is a place where writers can come to practice their craft. A daily prompt is given and writers are encouraged to see what they can come up with in 10 minutes based on the prompt. The particular prompt for this piece was , “Trust me, it’s not what you think”. ~All characters appearing in this piece are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.]
Not a Good Day for Fresh Air
“Trust me. It’s not what you think.” The words are out of my mouth before I have my front door open all the way. God, if I had a dime for every time I uttered these words. Hell, if I had a nickel for every time I even thought these words we would be rich! Then they could all go to hell! Screaming and crying are coming from a back bedroom.
I just wanted to let in some fresh spring air. Why did I have to open the windows today?
But right now I just have to convince them to not make it worse. On my front porch are a familiar police officer (I have a brief moment of relief at this realization) and a next to him a thin, severe looking young woman with judgement already passed by the looks of her expression. She’s a new one; probably fresh out of a Masters of Social Work program and looking to blaze a new trail. Great.
“Please.” I say again through the screened door. “It’s really not what you think.” My plea is followed by a loud crash from the back of the house.
“My name is Cynthia Rosenthal from the Department of Family Services, Mrs. Robins, and we are coming in right now.” She is opening up the door and moving past me.
“Please! You’ll make it worse! Just wait a minute! Please.” I look imploringly to the police officer. He’s been here before. He knows.
“I am sorry, Mrs. Robins. When we get a call we have to come.”
“I know, I know.” I say following them to the back of the house. “Just wait. Go slower. Let me go first! Please! Otherwise you will just make it worse! I don’t want you to get hurt.”
These last words sink in to Ms. Cynthia Know-it-all and she stops. I get in front an open up the bedroom door. The screaming continues but is slowing. I can only hope the police officer doesn’t set off another bout of screaming. The room is completely empty except for a mattress on the floor and a short, empty wooden book shelf pulled out of the wall and on the floor. That was the crash.
“Hey, my dude. It’s okay. It’s just mommy.” My five-year old son’s screaming has been reduced to sobbing. He runs to me.
“I sorry mommy, sorry mommy, sorry mommy!”
“It’s okay now.” Over my shoulder I know he has spotted the cop and the social worker. He tenses up and begins to whimper trying to back out of my arms to the far wall.
“No. It’s okay, my little dude. They are friends.” He is eyeing them suspiciously as he moves back into my arms.”
I look over to the horrified social worker. “We are just trying to keep him safe.” I say to her.
“We love our son and he has autism.”
And when you love someone with autism, trust me, it’s not what you think.