Trilly can’t wait to get her driver’s license, so she can just bring me to the doctor’s appointments without needing Nanny to take us. I know it gives Nanny something to do, and she’s happy to with us. I’m happy-sad that she sold that huge house when Poppy died. That was the year I learned to walk. I was almost five. I can’t believe that was half my life ago already! I’m so old! I was sad Poppy died, but I was so smiley happy when she moved into our house. I didn’t even mind having to move into Trilly’s room, but I think Trilly might have. When Trilly started her first girly time, for the first few times, she would put up a sheet to block her side of the room, to give her some space. I didn’t go in her part of the room at all then, but I’m glad she doesn’t do that anymore. I was super super lonely when she did that. I don’t want to tell her though. She does too many worries on me already. When I know she needs her quiet time, I’m happy to not play loud and just read all my books. I have tons of books! The stories about a mystery to be solved are my favouritistical ones.
Trilly is doing her worries walking in the waiting room again. I had more x-rays today, and we’re just waiting on results. Again. It’s hard to keep myself comfy in a doctor’s waiting room. I really wish Trilly had brought the super hoodie, at least I could slow my own heart worries feeling her heart worries on my back. I try to count how many times I’ve seen Trilly pace on this floor.
Well, let’s see. In my doctor diary, this was my 74th visit. Nanny says in all her 58 years, she’s never been to the doctor even half of that. Trilly’s walked and circled and walked and circled at least hundred times today, so this floor is pretty tough to not have a road in it from Trilly’s toes banging inside her shoes.
I whisper to myself that if Nurse comes to get me, it will be okay news from my x-rays and I will deal with that. If Doc comes, he’s gonna say it’s time to do surgery. I know we all heard that door just now, and the footsteps are heavy. That’s not the Nurse’s feet. I know how she walks. After 74 doctor’s appointments, I know how they sneeze, and how the like their coffees, and how they fart and think no one can hear them when they are talking. I really wish they’d remember I’m next to the floor and I get their bum blasts really strongish and it’s enough to make me wanna do throwups.
He wants to schedule the posterior fusion surgery as soon there’s an opening, because it has to happen, even though I’m still growing. He’s worried that I’m unable to sit for very long, but my little legs can’t support me and my back gets so sore I can’t stand much either. He says this will help me. I just want to go down the slide at the park.
I still can’t believe that Jesse would let his cousin do that to me! Trilly showed him and how though, and when we got home, and I was alone, I did a good cry and a some giggle-sniffs too. I just wish SHE hadn’t driven all the way back from the summer house yesterday to give Trilly the business like that.
Nanny was doing so many sorries to me and Trilly all the way home from the park two days ago, swearing she was sure I was fine before she stole some minutes to go pee. She didn’t realise she’d run into an old schoolmate of hers and get distracted by the time on the way out of the public washrooms, and she feels completely to blame for the situation. I told her it wasn’t her bad to feel, because Jesse was a stupidmeanieface and he knows I liked how he was with Trilly. He hurt her feels and I won’t ever be nice to him again, even if Trilly is. Nanny says it’s not nice to hold garages, but what does she know? Trilly was having fun sits with her music by the trees, and that gross boy who smelled like a mix of day old grey water Trilly forgets to drain sometimes in the kitchen sink, shorts with old farts stuck in them, and bad eggs. He was breathing on me so much I think I still have his icky smell in my hair two days later.
I’m mad at Jesse. Like superduper mad at him. He made Trilly have mad tears, and NO ONE makes Trilly cry. Even HER. She tried to make Trilly cry. I just wish SHE would leave us alone and go back to her stupidhouse near the beach and not think about things like “reputation” and “image” and “lineage” and “family name” stuffs. She doesn’t get it. She doesn’t feel things. She wants to hide me away from the world, and Trilly wants to push for the doctor’s appointments because she wants me to be a part of the world. Trilly and Nanny see a future for me. They tell me that all the time and all the time.
I am ignoring the Doctor. I know he wants me to pay attention. I don’t care. I just want to not be in pain anymore. I want my stupid little body to grow and do good so I can be better. I don’t want Trilly or Nanny, but mostly Trilly, to feel bad anymore and do worries on me.
Trilly’s voice always makes me scared when it has that wobble sound in it. Like somewhere in her belly or her heart, she’s crying and is making it stay down.
“…but will this correct the problem completely? How many surgeries is she going to need like this posterior fusion? I don’t really feel good about having to decide if my baby sister gets titanium rods in her back. You said she’s still growing. Can’t we just wait and see after she hits puberty?”
“Trillium,” The Doctor’s voice sounds like creamy peanut butter tastes. He has a very good voice, and maybe that’s why I trust him. “Clover needs this surgery now, in order to help her body develop before her bone mass is solidified and she’s going to require extensive operations which I guarantee are going to be increasingly painful to her if we wait. This posterior fusion surgery is vital to her, in order to realign her spine so she can sit properly and even stand for longer periods of time.”
“Can I go down the slide?”
“Clo-clo,” Nanny uses that tone when she wants to shush me. I growl at her with my grey-blue eyes.
If I try to cross my arms, Trilly usually laughs, and calls me her lil mini T-Rex, but now I’m sniffy and I try again.
“If I get the pos-tee fube-zon surgery…”
“Pos-tear-ee-or fue-zhon, thanks Trilly.”
She leans over and kisses the top of my head in that special spot that makes me feel like I’m swimming in hot cocoa. She wipes the tear on my cheek, and we forget where we are again. It’s just her and me now.
“Why are you crying, Clo?”
“I am just so sad that Jesse was such a poopieface.”
“Clo, it’s okay. I’ll get over him. He’s not the only boy in the universe.”
“But he was the first boy you really did feels for. I want to bite his arm off!”
Trilly’s laugh always makes my heart happy. I decide right then. No more tears. About any of it. I’m gonna be brave like Trilly. I am gonna be strong like Trilly. I’m gonna be smart like Trilly. And I’m gonna make Trilly as proud of me as I am of her.
“I’m getting the surgery.”
“But…” Nanny’s worry sound is really heavy in the room.
I wipe my right cheek, and stare at the last tear I will cry in front of anyone if I can help it. “No. It is my body. It is my choice. And I want something else too. Something that only Nanny can give us.” I’m staring at Trilly with my most seriousness look.
“I uh…whatever my babies want, you shall have!” I can hear her confused and a little worried.
“We aren’t going to be waiting for HER to come from now on and sign things. I want Nanny to be our Mama. She has been with us every time and every time we needed her and she lives with us and she does good food cooks and she does tuck-ins and baths and all of it. I want to be Clover Hawking instead of Clover Montibuelar. Clover Hawking will have that pos-tear-ee-or fue-zhon surgery, and Nanny will be the one signing the papers as our Mama.”
I wish I could have just walked out of the room after that, but I can’t get off the chair without help, let alone reach the door handle.
Trilly’s tearing up, and I am able to get her to put me on the floor before I hear her and Nanny burst into tears and sobs and happy yes cheers and sniffits.
I’m gonna have a good mama who loves me. And I’m gonna be able to walk better too. Today is a good day.