My first memory of Darienne was the shrill tone of her voice quickly approaching me from behind. A second later the cold plastic floor was below me and she sat on my chest. Her three-fingered hands were hovering right above my face. I was terrified; she had a grin on her lips.
“Now you have to join me on my home planet.”
I was five and a half back then and Darienne was nearly six. And from that day on we were best friends. She invited many others to her home planet, but for some reason scaring the others wasn’t as fun as scaring me. Even when I saw and felt them every day, her three-fingered hands still terrified me. Darienne enjoyed her scariness on a daily basis; her cold fingers wandered under my shirt or suddenly appeared at the edge of tables or grabbed my arm or leg or neck.
But while her fingers brought her fun with me they brought her pain with everyone else. Nobody wanted to befriend the “alien.” In kindergarten that was the name she proudly gave herself, in school it became an insult and curse. Continue reading