Foreshadowing of Her Future
Alice opens a psychiatry practice to prevent her past from repeating for another child. Little does she know that she will get a chance to fulfill this purpose sooner than she thinks.
4. Going Away
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Chapter Four: Going Away
“Alice, have you ever considered the idea of us going away for a while?” Jasper and I were sitting on the bed, curled up. The new designs that I was working on were sitting on the bedside table and Jasper’s book laid on his lap, spine up.
“What do you mean, going away for a while?”
“Away from all this. Just us.”
“Theodosia! Are you okay? How do you feel? Oh my God, I am so, so sorry!”
“Alice, breathe. I’m fine. The car barely hit me. It wasn’t anyone’s fault but my own.” Theodosia struggled to sit up. Her hair was matted with blood and her face was puffy and swollen; except for that, she looked fine.
“I still feel horrible.”
“Look, if you feel that bad, there is something that you could do for me.” I would do anything for this child. She should know that by now. I felt as if she was my own.
“Please don’t let me go to Windlemier. I couldn’t stand it. Please.” Theo’s cold exterior broke down and she began to weep.
“I already have a plan, little one. But there is one complication.” I had to tell her the truth. I couldn’t let her go through with this without knowing the consequences.
“What? Nothing could be worse than my current predicament. Almost no price would be too high for me right now.” Her words rang in my ears, leaving upsetting thoughts in their wake. No one should be asked to make the choice I am about to give Theodosia, not in that frame of mind. The girl was so desperate for an escape that I feared she wouldn’t even take the time to consider the consequences of her actions.
“You could run away. We could run away. My husband and I could take you and move back to Maine. We could tell your mother that you ran away today, and that I was unable to find you, to stop you. You could be safe with my family and I. But you would never be able to see your family again.” I tentatively looked into her vibrant, green eyes. They were filled with tears.
“Yes.” Theodosia’s voice gave out after her assent. She became uncharacteristically silent. As I left the room, Carlisle asked the nurse to give Theo some more morphine.
Though I knew I was doing the right thing, it left a bad taste in my mouth. My actions, my choices were about to walk on the border between right and wrong. As Jasper, ever the philosopher, would have said. “Immanuel Kant would not have approved.”
Immanuel Kant believed in the Categorical Imperative and that morality is never situational, it is always normative. Now Jasper’s favorite philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, would have definitely approved. This fit right in with performing actions that would fulfill the “greatest good for the greatest number of people.”
I was a Categorical Imperative girl, through and through. With my visions, I could never be sure that my actions would do the greatest amount of good. All I could guarantee was that my actions were moral. Right now, I wasn’t sure that Bentham or Kant would have approved.
Nevertheless, I called Jasper and told him of my plan, my predicament. He agreed and said he would love to help me take care of Theo. She was the kind of girl who inspired such devotion, even among those who had only heard a hurried description of her.
I made the necessary preparations for my departure. The only thing left to do was tell Ms. White that her daughter was gone and that I would be closing my practice, being too shook up to stay in town. This would be one of the hardest things I have ever done.
I returned to my office, after making sure Theo hadn’t woken while I was on the phone. I left a note on her bedside table, explaining where I had gone. Ms. White was waiting for me in the lobby, tears streaming from her gray eyes, staining her silk blouse with salt water.
“You didn’t find her?” Her voice cracked on the last syllable as I shook my head. She obviously cared for Theo, just in her own, harmful way. She had no way of knowing the damage those institutions can do. Yet I couldn’t help but feel as if she could have done a much better job of helping her clairvoyant daughter than she did.
“I will be glad to stay in town and help you and your family look for Theodosia in the next week or two, but after that, I’m leaving. This was my first patient and I fear it shall be my last. I just can’t bear to be in this town much longer, knowing what I have done, what I could have done, to help your daughter. Even though nothing I said would have changed her mind in such a short time, I still feel as if I am to blame.”
“Oh, there was nothing you could have done, Ms. Hale,” Ms. White chuckled quietly in a slightly hysterical tone. “For you see, Dosie hates me. She always has and most likely always will. I hate to admit it, but I’m not sorry to see her gone. The girl was dangerous.”
It was then that I knew I irrevocably hated Ms. White.