Joan Ferguson’s childhood contained stress and anxiety. She was always told “emotion leads to mistakes” from her father. Joan’s mother, however, told her otherwise. Joan saw her mother as an angel. Her mother's name was Luciana. Luciana always took care of Joan as a child. When she was sick, when she was sad. If Joan had a bad day, Luciana knew just how to comfort her. Joan’s relationship with her mother was the best Joan ever had.
Joan was in the psychiatric hospital. She was sitting in her room, playing solitaire. She arranged the cards in a neat, lined up position. She had the television on. There was a television show and it was with a family. The mother and the daughter were having a heartfelt moment. Joan looked up to the TV and smiled. Then her smile turned into a frown.
It was a rainy night, Joan had spent the day with her father. He was training her at the fencing studio. Ivan was a retired military officer. Whenever he was with Joan, he always taught her about future enemies. What to do when you encounter them. He taught her to never feel emotion around them. Because it would make her vulnerable. So she followed that advice.
When she was home, she did her schoolwork. Ivan was in his study, Joan awaited for her mother to arrive home. Luciana finally came home and Joan greeted her with a cascade of hugs and kisses. Joan always felt happiest when she was with her mother. Luciana sat in a chair, and Joan sat on her lap. Her mother asked what she had learned today in school. Joan told her about the things she learned in her class. Events of the day. She then said she went with her father to train for fencing. Luciana asked how that was. “He taught me the technique of fencing, keeping my balance, he also told me if I ever found an enemy. That I should never show emotion, because it made me weak.”. Luciana’s lip twitched at the statement. Joan saw it, too. Luciana lifted Joan off and told her to finish her schoolwork. Luciana stormed into Ivan’s study and shut the door. Joan could hear the argument.
“How dare you tell our daughter that ‘emotion leads to mistakes’?” Luciana asked
“She needed to learn.” Ivan said
“She's a child! She needs to be taught important things! Not your deluded world view!” Luciana yelled. Joan heard Luciana’s shoes walking, Luciana walked closer to Ivan at his desk, “This is NOT the military. This is the real world. You have a child. You do not tell her those things.” Luciana said
Joan walked closer to the door
“She needs to learn these things. I won't let her be defeated!” Ivan yelled
Luciana was practically screaming, “She will live her life to the fullest! She will live greatly! Your ill-advised advice is unnecessary and irrelevant.” Luciana said
Joan heard Ivan stand and his boots hitting the wood floor. Joan did everything to see what was going on. She looked through the keyhole in the door. Ivan was standing in front of Luciana, Luciana standing straight. She had no fear.
“You cannot intimidate me, Ivan. I married you, but that does not make you dominant over me. You decide right now if you keep telling our daughter those things. If you plan to do it, I want you to leave this house.” Luciana said. Joan ran back to the table as she heard footsteps.
Ivan chose to leave for the night.
Luciana then came out.
“Joan, have you eaten?” Luciana asked walking out. Joan nodded.
“Alright,” her mother said, looking at her watch, “It's time for bed. Go get washed up and I’ll be in in a second to say goodnight.”
Joan packed her schoolwork and brought it up to her room.
Later that night, Joan went into her parent’s room. Ivan wasn't there. Joan crawled into bed with Luciana and she then woke up.
Luciana lifted Joan and cradled her.
“Joan, I know you don't like it when your father and I fight. But I do it to protect you. Don't listen to him. You will live the greatest life. You will always be special Joan. You're amazing, and I love you.” Luciana said, kissing her head.
Joan came back to Earth. Tears escaped her eyes. A nurse walked in, checking in on Joan. She said she was fine.
Joan realized her mother would always be in her. She saw that she didn't listen to her mother about her father, but she wanted to change that. Joan just wanted to see her mother again. She needed her mother to cradle her again.
Joan went to bed that night. She dreamt of her mother talking to her. Her mother's voice echoed in Joan’s head, serenading Joan's dreams with happiness. She then felt her mother's touch in her dream. She was being cradled one last time.
Joan was happy, for the first time in such a long time.