The people in the white coats are speaking in their soft words again. I call them the ‘secret talks.’ Whenever they do this, it usually means that I’m going to get hurt again. That the monster is getting stronger. When I first learned about the monster that was stalking me, coming to get me and eat me alive, it wasn’t big enough to hurt me. It wasn’t dangerous enough to scare me. They, the white coats, told me that I didn’t have to be scared. Why do big people lie to us kids just so we won’t be scared? It doesn’t work. ~x~ The monster had gotten stronger; it was slowly coming in on me. Mommy is always crying, Daddy’s always yelling at the white coats. They say that the monster should be gone by now; they say this as if it already has me. I sit here on the stiff white bed, weakly clenching my fist. No matter what I do, what I say, I’m already a victim to the monster. My vision turns to fog, though there isn’t much to see in that frighteningly clean room. “Now, look at what you’ve done!” Mommy screams at one of the white coats. She runs to my side and holds my hands in hers. Her hands contrast against the blank sheets while mine blend with them. “You’re scaring her!” “Mrs. Willow, please, calm down. Your daughter is—“ “Don’t tell me anything about my daughter!” “Darling…” Daddy says, rubbing Mommy’s shoulders. They give each other a strange look that gives me a queasy feeling in my tummy. And it always makes Mommy cry more. “But…” She whispers, but she doesn’t have a yelling face anymore. The white coats relax a bit and came near me. “Sweetie, we have to do some more tests.” “Am I going to the kitty tube again?” I ask them, hoping so. The kitty always made me sleepy. The white coats look at each other. One of the nice girls smiles at me. She was really pretty, like a princess. “Something like it.” She says, helping me stand. ~x~ As I lay in the tube, the doctors talking to me, I remember the time before the monster, before all of the white. There was white, but it was prettier and it smelled better then. When I look up, it is blue, when I look down, it’s a green, brown, yellow, purple and white collage of color. What was I wearing then? My hands were a million different colors but I don’t remember my clothes or the length of my hair. It was that perfect day and the colors on my hands that I remember, nothing else existed. Alone, but not lonely, I run through the flowers and the tall grass like I’m in a movie. The wind blows my hair in my face; my mouth. I blow it out and keep running, laughing as I go. A triangle of geese fly above me, honking like no tomorrow. It gives me a new reason to laugh and I grasp it, falling to the earth in another fit of laughter. This was how you lived. Somebody starts saying my name. It’s so annoying. I want to sleep. I want to dream. The honking fades into the sky, turning into noisy wind. I sit up, breathing hard and smiling. Around me, flowers and weeds that I call flowers bend and sway in the wind. Hypnotized by their movements, I sway with them and become one myself. My name becomes Daisy and I silently show the world my beauty. The wind is amazed by me and kisses my soft petals, swirls around me in a gentle hug. ‘Beautiful,’ it whispers in my ears. A butterfly lands on my face and licks me. Boredom comes like a falling raindrop and I look around at the flowers and pick the one I’d just become. Shouting, there’s so much shouting. Something about a crash cart. I wish they’d be quiet and let me dream! Choosing only the best of the daisies, I make a bouquet. When it’s complete, I grin dig my nose into them. Their smell is sweet and I laugh into them, coughing when pollen finds it’s way into my lungs. Angry at the flowers, I take a bunch and tear the petals off of them mercilessly until only a few are left, and the petals on that are few and already wilting. I feel like I should cry for the lost beauty and hold the flowers as tightly as I can. Then, a thought suddenly comes to me. The flowers are there, just to show off their beauty but they’re there for us, so make us feel good. So they’ve just done their job. I smile and start giggling again. I’m shocked out of my memories and am thrown into a world of blinding white light. It dims but colorful spots are in front of everything I see. “Izzy, Izzy! Can you hear me?” I look towards the sound, “It’s Mommy.” Tears are in the familiar voice. “Mommy?” I squeak out, smiling , “What the matter Mommy? Are you crying?” “Oh, thank God! Izzy, Izzy, Izzy, Izzy.” Warm arms wrap around me as she says my name over and over again.. Daddy is crying very softly in the background. I barely hear it. “Did the cancer monster almost get me, Mommy?” I ask her, scared. “Yes honey, it almost got you.” She sobbed into me and I closed my eyes. “Can I go to sleep, Mommy?” I say quietly, already half-asleep. “Yes,” Mommy sobbed, “You can sleep Izzy.” “Bye…Mommy…Daddy.” I whisper, softer this time. Tired, so tired. I sigh and fall gently into blackness.