As soon as Dr. Holt left the room, Mrs. Venze started asking me questions from left to right. Her constant curiosity never seemed to quench with my simple answers. I knew who she was though, just by judging the way that she dressed. She was a social worker and I knew that I had to come up with bigger and better lies that will derail her off her track so that way she too can label me as a false cause as soon as possible and then go on to work with another kid or family that actually deserves the help then I do. However the more and more I tried to derail her, I became more frustrated by the minute. Why is this woman so dang fucking nosy?
“Hayden, did the doctor tell you any more of your injuries during these past few weeks?” Mrs. Venze said.
“Only that I had a few bruises and a rib cage damage.” I said to her.
“Nothing about a rupture in the anal? Or the head wound that was bandaged during the accident?” She said. Her tone was a bit stiff as she asked these last two questions. I bit my lip as I tried to think of a good lie to say to her. I really didn't want her to know that I got raped by an older man, not to mention about my father being under lock and key.
“Well,” I started out, “I have stomach issues so its hard to use the bathroom.” Even though that lie was still embarrassing, It wasn't as embarrassing as the truth behind it. “As for the head wound, well I am a bit clumsy. Just ask everyone that knows me, they will tell you the same thing.” I said to her.
“Uh huh.” Mrs. Venze sounded a bit skeptical about my answers, I feared that she was going to press further but miraculously she got up from where she sat and headed towards the door. Before she left, she turned around to me and gave me a sad but nice smile.
“Well that's all the questions that I have for the day, Hayden and I am sorry if I offended you or made you feel uncomfortable but its my job to ask those questions and to make sure that kids like you are being well taken cared of. I hope you understand that.” She said. I nodded that I did even though I still didn't.
“Okay, well just so you know. I will be back tomorrow morning to ask you more questions. In the mean time, I hope that your recovery goes well.” and with that, she left.
The rest of the day past by in a blur. Sasha, Vivian, and Crai would often visit me for an hour before they left out to the outside world beyond these walls but it was mostly Axel that would come visit me for more than an hour and would often entertain me by talking to me or showing me some stuff that he brought over. It seemed that not long after the Social Worker left, Axel appeared with a blink of an eye. He had what looked like a wooden chess board that had graphic lines on top of it that was tucked underneath his left arm. In the other arm he had a small stack of DVD's. I couldn't read what the titles were but I knew Axel long enough to know that it was probably Anime related movies or shows that he loved to introduce me to.
“Hey,” He said as he placed the stuff onto of the end of the bed so that he could close the hospital room door behind him. Once he did that, he came over and grabbed the stuff once more only to have him sit on that exact spot but with the things on his lap.
“Hey, yourself.” I said to him with a slight smile. “What do you got there?” I asked him.
Axel smiled back at me before he replied. “Well since I have been boring you with all of my Anime talk and been watching a lot of T.V with you, I thought that today's activity would be more strategic. So I brought this game called Go.”
“Go?” I raised my eyebrows at him questionably, he was a strange on indeed.
“Go. Is a Japanese board game, its similar to chess the only way to win however, is that you need to take as much territory compared to the other person that you are trying to beat. You do that by having these three or more plastic pebbles,” He opened the small wooden board and showed me a few white pebble like things before he continued on, “to trap the other pebbles in order to claim that space.” Axel said, after he explained it to me by talking, he showed it to me by showing what to do next. Even though I never played this game before, I was slowly and surely starting to get it as we continued to play the game over and over again.
During the whole time that we were playing, I couldn't help think but think that this game somewhat resembles my life. For instance, every time I would try to make my father proud by having good grades or minding my own business some outer force would try to barricade me in and eventually make me lose that opportunity by taking bits and parts of my being. Leaving me more and more trapped until there is nothing left for them to take. It also came to me that maybe the person who made this game wasn't trying to teach people of future generations to come that its not about a game strategy but more of a life strategy as well. I thought about telling something like this to Axel but like always, I bit my tongue. I didn't want him to think that I was some sort of weirdo or anything by talking about life and all that. Besides, what if he got suspicious and asked me those questions that made me feel guilty about lying to? No, I decided, I do not want to tell him anything about that. Not now, not ever.
“Hah, I beat ya again.” Axel said to me in triumph. I rolled my eyes in a playful way, by the sounds of it, he made himself sound like a five year old little boy that won a big bag of cotton candy despite the fact that he had a huge truck load with him already.
“Yeah, yeah, Mr. Showoff.” I said to him teasingly.
Axel smirked, “I prefer to be called Master Showoff. Thank you very much.” That statement made me laugh so hard that I actually snorted. Axel pretended to look offended but failed miserably as he continued to speak. “What? You don't think I am a master at this?” He joked.
“Well you're a master compared to me because I am new at this but compared to another person who had been playing for years before you, they might think that you're a beginner as well.” I said to him.
“Touche.” He said as he smiled brightly at me.
“So what do you want to do next?” He asked as he placed everything back inside the game board.
Just as I was about to open my mouth and answer another knock came at the door. Axel got up and opened the door without another word only to be greeted by a nurse and Dr. Holt who beamed at me with a huge smile on his face, all worry that clouded his eyes earlier that day was completely diminished but for some reason, it made my stomach curl up inside.
“Hayden, I have some great news! Your father is here to pick you up. Isn't that great?” He said to me enthusiastically.
I felt like throwing up.