Saturday, September 3, 2011
“Look at what I drew, Daddy!” squealed Heather, lifting up a painting of a little girl riding a unicorn across a rainbow.
Heather’s father, David, looked down at the painting and feigned interest in it. “Oh, that’s beautiful dear!” he squealed along with her.
“That’s me riding the unicorn!” she giggled, jumping up and down.
“Is the sky purple?” David asked.
“Yeah! I like a purple sky more than a blue one!”
“Oh,” he said, slightly shocked.
“Do you like it?” she asked with a lot of excitement.
David chocked out, “So much! I’m going to go show Mommy!”
“Eeee!” she squeaked and ran away.
David looked at the painting again, but this time, he wasn’t feigning interest. He was very interested in the painting. Very, very interested.
He walked into the study and saw his wife, Sarah talking with her friend Trish.
“Sarah,” he said, “I need to show you this painting Heather just drew.”
He came over close, sat down next to her on the couch, and presented her the painting.
“Oooh,” smiled Trish looking at the painting, recognizing the talent of the six year old Heather.
“You see why I needed to show you this?” asked David, dramatically.
“Yes,” Sarah replied, taking the painting from David’s hands, “of course I do.” She looked at the painting for a while longer and then turned to David, “Why is the sky purple?”
“She said she likes a purple sky more than a blue one.”
Sarah gasped again. “And…” she shuttered, “is that a...a...a unicorn?”
David put his face into his hands, deep in grief. “Yes!” he sobbed.
“How on Earth did this happen?” Sarah cried out.
“Wait. Wait,” Trish stopped them, “What are we talking about here? Why are you so upset?”
Sarah turned to Trish and David picked his head up to look at her as well. They both looked at her shocked, as though they couldn’t understand how she wasn’t feeling the same way they were.
“Our daughter must have a mental disorder!” exclaimed Sarah, “That’s why we’re upset!”
Trish turned her head slightly, trying to wrap her head around what Sarah had just said. “Wait, why does this painting confirm this? I don’t understand.”
David quickly stood up, grabbing the painting from Sarah’s hand, shoving it into Trish’s face. “She painted the sky purple and she painted herself riding a unicorn!! Unicorns don’t exist, and I swear my wife or I have never purchased our daughter such a sensuous shirt!”
“She looks like she’s just wearing a tank top…” puzzled Trish.
“My daughter is not a slut!” Sarah cried out.
“She’s just being creative,” tried Trish.
“Shut up!” shouted David. “You have no idea what you’re talking about. My daughter is obviously sick! She needs help!”
“David, I can assure you there is nothing wrong with Heather,” Trish pleaded, rising slowly to her feet, pushing the painting out of her face.
“Get out,” David blurted out.
“What?” Trish asked, shocked.
“Get out of my house,” David repeated. “My wife and I are confronting a crisis right now, and we don’t need you here right now, trying to belittle a serious problem!”
“But David, it’s not a…”
“I said, ‘get out!’”
Trish’s face turned red as she looked up at David in anger. Finally, she turned on her heels and marched out of the room, muttering a few choice swear words under her breath. “You better not do anything to Heather,” she said as David slammed the front door in her face.
The following day, Sarah and David did what they felt was completely necessary and brought Heather to their family psychiatrist.
“Doctor,” David said to Dr. Thompson before bringing Heather in, “I need you to look at this painting. You’ll understand why we’re here as soon as you see it.”
David gave Dr. Thompson the painting. Dr. Thompson made some “hmm” sounds and then looked up at David. “Why is the sky purple?” he asked, concerned.
“You see what I mean?” cried David, falling backwards into the sofa in front of Dr. Thompson’s desk.
“This is very concerning,” confirmed Dr. Thompson. “That your daughter would see the world in this manner means that there must be something wrong. She even drew herself riding a unicorn when it is quite evident that they do not exist.”
David just nodded across the room.
“I think you should bring her in,” Dr. Thompson said, sitting back in his chair and putting his two index fingers to the bottom of his nose, thinking.
David and Sarah sat for an hour in the waiting room as Heather talked with Dr. Thompson. Finally the door opened and Heather came bounding out with a smile on her face. She ran into Sarah’s waiting arms. “How was it?” asked Sarah.
“It was so fun!” cried Heather. “We talked about all different kinds a things!”
David approached Dr. Thompson. “So, Doctor, what do you think?” he asked. “Is she sick as we thought?”
Dr. Thompson looked around David’s shoulder to look at Heather and shook his head. “Oh David,” he sighed, “the things that she talked about.” He paused for some time, shaking his head, and not making eye contact with David. “She told me that she likes to pretend that she can fly!”
David gasped so loudly that it made the receptionist jump in her chair. Dr. Thompson patted his shoulder, as to comfort him. “What do we do Doctor?” he asked. Dr. Thompson handed him a prescription and David thanked him profusely.
“Dad, let me show you what I drew,” said Heather, walking up to David, handing him a painting.
“Oh dear, that’s beautiful,” David smiled, holding up the painting. “This should go on the fridge!”
“Thank you Dad. Please show Mom my painting too,” Heather replied and turned around and walked back towards her room.
David smiled after her. He walked to the study and saw Sarah reading a book on the couch. “You must see the beautiful painting Heather painted,” he said with a smile.
Sarah took the painting, and a tear came to her eye. “That’s the most beautiful painting of the fruit bowl from the kitchen she’s done yet!” she said, putting it next to the other near identical ones next to the couch and reached up to kiss her husband.