Stacy stood outside Mrs. Wong’s house and pressed the doorbell.
Mrs. Wong opened the door with a wide grin on her face.
Stacy felt that she had some good news for her. She seemed to be in high spirits that morning.
As they walked to the kitchen to have their chat, Mrs. Wong offered Stacy some orange juice.
Stacy took a sip of the orange juice. It felt nourishing.
Getting to the crux of the matter, Mrs. Wong asked, “Did you experience the flashback when you got home this morning? I must add that the blackouts can be very dangerous for you.”
“Yes Mrs. Wong,” answered Stacy, I was about to go to the library when I had a terrible headache, after which the flashback, and then I blacked out.
I was in a semi-conscious state till I fell asleep.”
Mrs. Wong looked visibly upset. She put her hand out to comfort her.
Then, added, “You know Stacy, I think much of what is happening to you right now has significant relevance to the trauma you underwent as a baby.
I think only now, your subconscious mind is beginning to release all the pent-up fears and emotions that you had been afflicted with during the crash.
Sometimes, it takes years for it to emerge, and it does create a lot of mental trauma for the affected person.”
Mrs. Wong went inside the kitchen to get some cookies for Stacy.
She poured them both a glass of milk and resumed the conversation. “This is what I plan to do, and I want you to give me a chance to help you with this. For the first, I want you to come over every evening to discuss this issue, except maybe during the weekends since I have things lined up for me at the Council.”
Mrs. Wong was a council member in their Residents’ Association.
“For a start, we will talk about the accident, and relate it with the flashbacks. Don’t be afraid about what is happening to you. This might be a blessing in disguise to liberate you from your condition.”
“In the meantime, I will find out as much as I can about remedial measures.
I have already started researching about it from a medical journal, plus talked to a doctor friend earlier in the afternoon.
He says that there are medications which can relieve you of your anxiety, but we won’t go into that just yet.”
“Another thing Stacy, do you have sharp headaches right before your flashbacks? You have only mentioned that you had it after a flashback.
I want to know so I can compare notes from the medical journal.
I think there is an element of depression in you too. Now that is a bit premature, and mostly hidden within your inner self, but let’s see if we can get you out of that as well.”
Stacy nodded that sometimes she experienced headaches before a flashback, telling Mrs. Wong that she will be happy to accept Mrs.Wong’s assistance.
She was not in favor of going to the psychiatrist or another doctor.
“I suppose you will be jogging in the morning? It’s good that you go out and get some exercise. It will stimulate your mind and keep you energetic and strong. I would follow you if I could but these days I am a little lazy.” Mrs. Wong said a little sheepishly.
She then concluded their meeting.
Before Mrs. Wong opened the door to let Stacy out, she gave her a warm hug, “Everything will be alright Stacy, just you wait and see”.
With that assurance, Stacy returned home
As Stacy walked back, she saw a car parked in the driveway.
It was the aunt she adored.
Her two children, a boy and a girl who were eight and twelve years old, respectively, would hang out with her whenever they could, especially during the school holidays.
Stacy would usually treat them to ice-cream whenever they visited.
As she was walking up the driveway, they saw her and ran up to her.
Inquisitive as always, they had a whole lot of questions to ask her. “Where did you go? We were waiting for you. Can we go get an ice-cream, Stacy?”
“Okay let’s” she replied, hugging them in return.
Her aunt walked out to the driveway to greet her too, “How are you, Stacy? You look like you have lost quite a bit of weight! Have you not been eating properly?”
Nothing passes her eyes, Stacy thought amused.
“Nothing like that aunt, just been busy with my studies, stuff like that. I jog these days, and I guess that’s taken off a bit of my weight.”
Stacy smiled. “Eating mom’s cooking every day needs a good workout. Her food is just too good!”
“I am taking these two rascals out for ice-cream. Would you both like to join us? Or do you want me to get you some on the way back?”
In unison, both her aunt and mom replied, “ What and miss out on a fun time with the three of you?? We insist on going with you. It will be a nice drive to the ice-cream parlor.”
Stacy offered to drive and got behind the wheel. When she started the ignition, she suddenly felt nauseated. Her head started throbbing again.
Everyone had got into the car.
Stacy excused herself, got out of the car, saying she will only take a minute to rush back inside the house.
Her head was spinning.
Trying to calm herself, she walked to her room and sat down on the bed, her head in her hands.
A few seconds later, she went into the bathroom and splashed some water on her face.
She began to feel a little better.
She didn’t want to disappoint the children in the car, so she rushed out almost immediately. She felt her headache subside a little.
She was glad that this time she didn’t have the flashbacks that got her into a cold sweat.
Stacy composed herself in the car, careful not to show that she was in pain, she drove slowly to the mall.
The ice-cream parlor was about half an hour’s drive from where they lived, right in the heart of town.
Stacy noticed the street lights along the way. They shone brightly and cast shadows on the road.
Her little cousins who were seated in the front seat of the car were thrilled that it was a moonlit night, pointing at it excitedly.
The moon took the shine away from the streetlights. From a distance, it looked like a big round smiling face. Stacy smiled as she conveyed that to the children.
At the ice-cream parlor ordered their favorite flavors.
Stacy could tell that the children were beside themselves and couldn’t wait to eat their ice-cream.
The adults teased that they were greedy. They had a lovely time together as a family that night.
It was quite late by the time they got back.
Her aunt was staying the night over, which made Stacy glad that she didn’t have to drive back home so late in the night.
Looking at the two children, now quiet in the car, and their droopy eyes, they looked like they would fall asleep the minute they hit the bed.
Stacy smiled as she took a peek at them. They were just so adorable.
That night Stacy did not experience any of the frightening episodes like the ones she had the last couple of days.
Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, Stacy heard raindrops outside. It sounded like it was raining heavily.
She had had a deeply rested sleep that night. Wide awake, she sat up. She loved listening to the sounds of the rainfall.
After a while, she went back to sleep. She would get up once the rain subsided.
She woke after more than an hour to see that it was still dark outside, although already 7 am.
Well, it was not a day for jogging, so Stacy decided to surprise the ladies by making some pancakes for breakfast. The children would love that with a side of bacon and eggs.
Stacy was frying the bacon when her Mom walked into the kitchen.
Still, in her nightdress, she looked glad that Stacy was preparing breakfast, and had hot steaming coffee ready for them.
It was a cold day, and hot coffee was just the thing to warm themselves up.
The rain had subsided and the sun would soon be out.
Her aunt walked in with her two cousins and they all had a cheery breakfast together.
Before long, it was time for them to leave for home. Stacy was sad to see them go and promised to visit sometime soon.