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by Felicity Drummond
I’ve often wondered if there’s ever been a perfect family
I’ve always longed for undividedness and soft stability
A flower taught me how to pray
But as I grew that flower changed
She started flailing in the wind
Like golden petals scattering
And I miss you dandelion and even love you
And I wish there was a way for me to trust you
But it hurts me every time I try to touch you
But I miss you dandelion and even love you
I gravitated towards a patriarch so young predicably
I was resigned to spend my life within a maze of misery
A boy and girl befriended me (befriended me)
We’re bonded through despondency
I stayed so long but finally
I fled to save my sanity
And I miss you little sis and little brother
And I hope you realise I’ll always love you
And although you’re struggling you will recover (you’re going to make it baby)
And I miss you little sis and little brother
So many I consider closest to me
Turned on a dime and sold me out to the fleet (so easily)
Although the knife was chipping away at me
They turned their eyes away and went home to sleep
Sleep, sleep, sleep
And I missed a lot of life but I’ll recover
Though I know you really like to see me suffer
I know you like to see me
Still I wish that you and I’d forgive each other
Cause I miss you valentine
And really loved you (I really loved, I guess I loved you)
I tried so hard.
To preserve my sanity
Found the strength to break away
dd dodo do fly
“Parker I’ve known you since you were a little girl. I know when you are trying to hide something.”
The words sifted through Miss Parker’s mind joining together with other such memories to drive her crazy.
“Because, I still remember the little girl who gave me my first kiss.”
“Our mother’s been dead a long time.”
Of all the people in her life it was a constant dilemma to decide whom she could trust. Officially, nobody. Not even her father any more. Jarod shattered that illusion soon after he escaped. With a frustrated groan she got up from her office chair and began to pace the room. Why did it even matter? So nothing was, as it seemed. It never had been! Why should it bother her now that she had to look behind her back wherever she turned, that every word her father had ever told her was a lie, that she spent her life chasing a vigilante labrat around the country. Suddenly she felt overwhelmingly tired. She looked over to her desk. Her mother’s picture, the photo’s she kept there was almost hidden by an extravagant amount of paperwork, which had arrived this morning.
She usually kept her desk neat but at the moment it was in complete disarray. She considered going and taking her frustration out on one of the new sweepers or an unsuspecting techie. She sighed dismally only to realise she didn’t have the strength to do even that. Instead she grabbed the pile of papers lugging them out of the room and down the hall to one of the lower offices she normally wouldn’t even think of visiting. She whisked inside and dumped the papers on the desk of an unsuspecting secretary.
It was in their contract that part of their job description involved doing any of the more senior members of the Centre hierarchies paper work if they had not the time or patience. (Confidentiality didn’t matter as these secretaries though they had lower paid jobs were given a higher security level clearance and the Paperwork was no particularly revealing of any Centre secrets.) Miss Parker had never bothered before to entrust the work preferring in a rather perfectionist manner to finish things herself no matter how many all nighter’s she had to pull but right this moment she really couldn’t be bothered.
The girl who was only 18 at the most looked up shyly. Miss Parker explained abruptly what needed to be done. The girl whose name was printed on her desk as Shae smiled shyly and answered with a quiet Yes Miss Parker. No secretary usually minded the extra work as it meant overtime. As Miss Parker clicked out all the other secretaries looked at Shae with wonderment and distinct lack of envy. Pity was rather their majority feeling. In true Parker style Miss Parkers last words had been a threat. Shae however didn’t seem to mind. She was of a rebellious nature and at odds with most of the other secretaries as she was younger and prettier, more alive than the dominating number of middle aged woman who thought they knew everything yet really knew nothing. If they pitied her Shae was determined to enjoy the following load of work. She was quite a perfectionist herself so Miss Parker had chosen extremely well for an impulse.
Miss Parker headed straight toward Sydney’s office. She had discovered over the years that this was one of the only places in the Centre where she could feel calm. Taking a deep breath she headed across to the door and knocked tensely. Sydney’s door soon opened and he looked expectantly at Miss Parker.
”Well, can I come in?” she insisted.
“I’m working Parker.” He said.
Miss Parker shrugged. ”I don’t care” she said in a rather desperate tone. ”I need to talk to you. ”
Sydney seemed to confer with someone else in the room then nodded. Miss Parker stepped inside at the invitation and headed straight to the window not noticing the other occupant in the room as she was to preoccupied with her own thoughts. Sydney came up beside her.
“Is there something that you wanted to talk to me about?” he asked gently.
Miss Parker shook her head ”I don’t know”. She answered and continued to look out the window soon becoming lost in her thoughts again.
Lyle watched his sister carefully. He had never seen this side of her before. He was probably only seeing it now because she didn’t know he was there. She seemed almost defeated and a far cry from her usual tough domineer.
He turned to Sydney and they continued their conversation in low tones though not on the level it had been before.
Parker soon began to pace again oblivious to Sydney and Lyle’s presence. Sydney went over to her and placed his hand on her shoulder.
”Calm down Parker, Why don’t you tell me what’s wrong? ”. She started suddenly realising he was there.
He led her to a chair gently and persuaded her to sit down then sitting beside her. Lyle watched with intrigue as Parker relaxed with Sydney’s encouragement. He had always known that if anyone could control his sister it would be Sydney. Sydney spoke to her softly and soothingly. She eventually put her head on his shoulder and drifted off to sleep an expression of peace and serenity crossing her features.
”I can see why Dad calls her Angel” Lyle mentioned quietly.
Sydney smiled. Reminiscently. ”The resemblance only comes when she’s asleep”, he mused.
Lyle chuckled quietly. Sydney lay Miss Parker across the black leather lounge and went back to Lyle. The had been in deep conversation for over an hour when Miss Parker began to moan in her sleep and thrash wildly at an invisible assailant.
Lyle looked over to his sister with genuine concern. Rushing to her side along with Sydney. Sydney got Lyle to hold her hand as he stroked her hair and whispered reassuringly to her.
”Mummy”, she mumbled her face contorted with Pain. ”Tommy” she screamed in a harsh whisper.
Sydney acertained quickly that calming her down was beyond possible and shook her gently trying to coax her to wake up. She was holding on to Lyle’s hand tightly and finally her eyes flew open and she looked around the room in confusion falling back into Sydney's arms having yet to let go of Lyles hand though to his relief having loosened her gip a bit.
”It was just a nightmare”. Sydney explained.
Parker nodded mutely as her eyes became less glazed and she began to be convinced.
”What happened this time? ” Sydney questioned reverting from father mode to psychiatrist mode so easily that there seemed to be no change.
”Everyone’s dead. ” She whispered in a very unParkerlike voice. ”Except me. Why am I always left behind? ” She demanded.
”It’s not your time yet.” Sydney insisted.
”It wasn’t Tommy’s time either. ” Miss Parker said bitterly.
”Everything happens for a reason Parker.”
”Except in relation to the Centre” Miss Parker added. ”I’m going to die soon Syd.” She whispered in a haunted almost surreal voice.
”Why do you think you are going to die?” Sydney said without reaction Lyle couldn’t understand his calm and patient attitude as he shivered at her premonitionary tone but figured that Sydney must have dealt with this same situation with Parker before.
”Because she did.” Miss Parker whispered pointing to her reflection in a mirror on the office wall.
She seemed to be growing more and more distant again and Sydney soothed her back to sleep. Lyle still held her hand.
”What’s going on Sydney?” Lyle asked thoroughly confused. “Has this happened before?”
Sydney nodded. ”More often lately” he said clinically though his tone provided insight into his deep feeling within.
”Is she ok?” Lyle asked worried.
”No”, Sydney told Lyle truthfully. ”Not really. She hasn’t been ok for a very long time, probable since Catherine died. Tommy’s death seemed to bring it all back to life again.”
”Can’t we do anything?” Lyle insisted. ”She’s slowly destroying herself isn’t she?”
Sydney nodded. ”She needs someone she can trust.” Sydney said pointedly. ”At the moment I am the only one she will let near her. Even Broots is out of favour.”
Lyle laughed shortly though with no real feeling. ”Since when is Broots ever in favour. ” He remarked. ”It may take a lot of convincing” he went on. ”But she can trust me.”
Sydney nodded. ”A lot of convincing. But what she really needs right now is as I said a group of people she can trust, a family. And I know a very important part of that family would be her twin.”
Lyle nodded. ”How can I convince her?” He asked. ”She hates me.”
”I don’t think she hates you Lyle”, Sydney said with a smile. Pointing to her hand still held in Lyles. ”If she felt you were the enemy despite the state she’s in you’d be dead by now. That I know.”
”The best way to gain her trust is to be kind to her. And not ask for anything in return.” Lyle nodded thoughtfully.
Miss Parker stirred again then and awoke. “Lyle?” she said in confusion. But shrugged it off.
He smiled at her and despite herself she smiled back as his smile was of genuine concern and triggered an expression just as genuine from her.
”Would you like to come and help me terrorise Broots?” she asked brightly then, her almost feverish talk to Sydney forgotten and her mood considerably improved.
Lyle was surprised at how open she was acting to him. History told him it was at these times to be most on guard but something about the atmosphere had no sinister quality and they fell into a relaxed repartee. No stranger could tell they had ever been Enemy’s. Miss Parker gave Sydney a hug of thanks and exited with Lyle trying to keep up.
They partially replaced their masks as the got out in the hall and put on one of their usual arguments but their heart wasn’t in it and Parker persuaded Lyle instead to take her out to lunch where they could be friends in peace.
”What made you all of a sudden like me.” He asked over salad and white wine.
Parker smiled. ”I can be a pretender to”. She said cryptically. ”I wasn’t asleep when you and Syd were talking last. I need someone to trust Lyle. We’ve done some awful things to each other but at least you never confused me. We have always had a clearly defined sense of what we feel about each other and the opinion never changed”.
Lyle nodded. I’ve always felt I could rely on your unwavering bad opinion. With Dad I’m always on thin ice.”
Miss Parker laughed. ”If you refrain from sending me into any buildings that are about to blow up for a few days that unwavering bad opinion of mine might elevate to a wavering good opinion. But if you cross me, I kill you.”
Lyle smiled. ”Now that’s something I can believe in”.
Miss Parker held out her hand and they shook on the sort of deal. Miss Parker looked reluctantly at the time. ”I guess we better get back to the Centre” she said in a disappointed tone of voice.
Lyle agreed grudgingly. ”Why don’t we not go back today?” he proposed hopefully.
”We’ve been friend’s two minutes and you’re already a bad influence” Parker mused.
Lyle shook his head. ”You thought of that first” he insisted.
Miss Parker denied his accurate observation jokingly.
”Well what do you say” he asked quite seriously this time
”Maybe.” Miss Parker said. ”But I have to pick up some work I gave to some secretary to do.”
”I’ll come with you” Lyle offered.
They got back to the Centre quickly and headed to the office where all the secretaries where packing up to go home. Miss Parker stepped up to Shae’s desk. She was still working and looked up as two shadows came across her work. She smiled gently and handed Miss Parker the work, which was neatly finished and sat at an organised space at the back of her desk. Miss Parker did something she wouldn’t usually do, thanked her.
Shae smiled charmingly. ”That’s ok”. She replied rather nervously.
Miss Parker then turned to leave with Lyle. When they got to the door she looked back curiously. The room was crowded with people preparing to go home but Shae remained typing oblivious to all going on around her.
”Isn’t she going home as well?”, she said to no one in particular
Another older secretary overheard her. ”Shae usually leaves going home as late as possible”. The lady explained. ”It’s almost like she’s afraid and she always finds some more work if she finishes early which is usually the case. The rest of us are lucky to keep our jobs with the example she sets. We’ve always figured the reason nobody notices how efficient she really is, is because of how shy she is. She fades into the background, sometimes even out of existence.”
Miss Parker nodded thoughtfully and left the room Lyle not far behind her.
”What is it Parker?” He asked. Parker thought for a while.
”I’m not sure.” She said. ”Usually I can just turn my back but there’s something about that girl, She needs help.”
Lyle shook his head in wonderment. ”You’re not as mean as everyone says”, he exclaimed in a tone of mock disappointment.
Miss Parker shook her head. ”I am to” she replied. ”But not in this case.” She added as an after thought.