My Daughter’s Best Friend by Michelle Reynolds

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My Daughters Best Friend

“Here you go Missy.” Elizabeth hears her daughter say as she enters the kitchen. Brooklyn is sitting at the table, pouring milk into the empty glass in the seat beside her.

“Who are you talking too Brook?” Elizabeth asks as she approaches. She feels a shiver run up her arms, the room much colder than she remembers. She’ll have to turn up the heat when she has the chance.

“Missy. She’s my new friend.” Brooklyn gives a smile too big for her face, revealing her missing tooth.

“Your imaginary friend?” Elizabeth asks.

“No silly, she’s sitting right there.” Brooklyn points to the seat next to her, “Can’t you see her?”

“Brooklyn baby, there’s nobody there,” Elizabeth says lightly, though her patience is wearing thin. They’ve had this talk before. Brooklyn is six, she is too old to be having imaginary friends, especially when this neighborhood is filled with other, real, kids.

“She’s got four arms mamma, you can’t miss her,” Brooklyn giggles before leaning over in her seat. Her eyes downcast and it’s as if she’s listening to someone tell her a secret. Brooklyn nods, “Missy says you can shake her hand if you’d like,” Brooklyn says but when Elizabeth doesn’t move, Brooklyn sticks her bottom lip out in a pout, “Don’t be rude mamma.”

Elizabeth looks at Brooklyn, she doesn’t know if she should entertain this idea or scold her. This has gone on too long. But looking at her daughter, those big eyes now turning glossy, she can play along just for a little while longer.

Elizabeth sticks out her hand and grasps air. She pretends she’s grabbing someone else’s hand when she feels the softest of pressure grab back and beep, beep! Elizabeth jumps at the sound, a gasp flying out of her mouth until she realizes it’s her watch.

Brooklyn stares at her with a worried expression and Elizabeth has too looks away from her gaze. From here she can see herself in the mirror that hung against the wall. She looks like she always does except the slight reddish flush creeping up her cheeks.

Looking down at her watch, she sees what time it is. She clears her throat, “Brook, it’s about time you head to the bus stop,”

Brooklyn nods and gracefully slips off her chair. She grabs her stickered covered bag and slips it over her shoulders, “Come on Missy we’re gonna be late,”

Elizabeth looks at the table, seeing two plates covered in crumbs and two glasses of milk, both now empty. Elizabeth’s head snaps up as Brooklyn jogs past the mirror, her unruly curls bouncing with every step, her backpack too big for her small frame. Brooklyn’s reflection disappears and following after her daughter in the mirror Elizabeth sees a hunched figure, with four limbs and a fur covered body and suddenly the air is sucked out of Elizabeth’s lungs. Her legs are wobbling, her hands are shaking, and she is freezing with terror.

Missy. 

My Daughters Best Friend by Michelle Reynolds

“Here you go Missy.” Elizabeth hears her daughter say as she enters the kitchen. Brooklyn is sitting at the table, pouring milk into the empty glass in the seat beside her.

“Who are you talking too Brook?” Elizabeth asks as she approaches. She feels a shiver run up her arms, the room much colder than she remembers. She’ll have to turn up the heat when she has the chance.

“Missy. She’s my new friend.” Brooklyn gives a smile too big for her face, revealing her missing tooth.

“Your imaginary friend?” Elizabeth asks.

“No silly, she’s sitting right there.” Brooklyn points to the seat next to her, “Can’t you see her?”

“Brooklyn baby, there’s nobody there,” Elizabeth says lightly, though her patience is wearing thin. They’ve had this talk before. Brooklyn is six, she is too old to be having imaginary friends, especially when this neighborhood is filled with other, real, kids.

“She’s got four arms mamma, you can’t miss her,” Brooklyn giggles before leaning over in her seat. Her eyes downcast and it’s as if she’s listening to someone tell her a secret. Brooklyn nods, “Missy says you can shake her hand if you’d like,” Brooklyn says but when Elizabeth doesn’t move, Brooklyn sticks her bottom lip out in a pout, “Don’t be rude mamma.”

Elizabeth looks at Brooklyn, she doesn’t know if she should entertain this idea or scold her. This has gone on too long. But looking at her daughter, those big eyes now turning glossy, she can play along just for a little while longer.

Elizabeth sticks out her hand and grasps air. She pretends she’s grabbing someone else’s hand when she feels the softest of pressure grab back and beep, beep! Elizabeth jumps at the sound, a gasp flying out of her mouth until she realizes it’s her watch.

Brooklyn stares at her with a worried expression and Elizabeth has too looks away from her gaze. From here she can see herself in the mirror that hung against the wall. She looks like she always does except the slight reddish flush creeping up her cheeks.

Looking down at her watch, she sees what time it is. She clears her throat, “Brook, it’s about time you head to the bus stop,”

Brooklyn nods and gracefully slips off her chair. She grabs her stickered covered bag and slips it over her shoulders, “Come on Missy we’re gonna be late,”

Elizabeth looks at the table, seeing two plates covered in crumbs and two glasses of milk, both now empty. Elizabeth’s head snaps up as Brooklyn jogs past the mirror, her unruly curls bouncing with every step, her backpack too big for her small frame. Brooklyn’s reflection disappears and following after her daughter in the mirror Elizabeth sees a hunched figure, with four limbs and a fur covered body and suddenly the air is sucked out of Elizabeth’s lungs. Her legs are wobbling, her hands are shaking, and she is freezing with terror.

Missy. 

 

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