Darkness in the Rainbow
| Mr. Simons had been a member of the church for over thirty years. He was a pillar in the church; he was involved in music, teaching, organizing events, and he was one of the deacons. How many other girls had been traumatized by instances like Bethany's. She was thankful that Bethany, Scott and Kennan were in Sariah's class, so where did Bethany see Mr. Simons alone? Corrine sifted through memories...and then she remembered.
Corrine had been helping Bethany get to the sanctuary, as there were no ramps to go along with the stairs. They were standing at the bottom of the flight of stairs, when Corrine was asked to help Emily change Nequenta's diaper. it took two people to do this, because Nequenta was much older, therefore, bigger, than a baby. Corrine remembered hearing Nequenta crying. By this time, Mr. Simons had observed the situation and asked if he could carry Bethany up the stairs. He had helped in countless such situations, and everyone in the church saw him as a servant. Thus, Corrine accepted his offer of assistance. When she next saw Bethany, she was sitting safely beside her father. The only people who could fill in the missing details were Bethany and Mr. Simons. Jamison and Corrine exchanged worried glances over the children's heads. What should be done next?
Bethany was still silent and shaken during the trip home. When they returned home, Jamison extended the ramp so Kennan and Bethany could exit the vehicle. Beth stared at nothing in particular as Corrine unstrapped Kennan's wheelchair. She seemed to be terribly distracted, and Heidi thought that must make it even harder for the girl to see. She guided Bethany's walker onto the ramp and carefully watched her make her way to the house, where Corrine stood holding the door open. As Corrine started meal preparations, Jamison put Kennan to bed for a nap. He was still quite tired after his seizure the night before. They found that he needed more sleep than his peers, anyway.
Heidi thought this was the perfect opportunity to talk to Bethany about her fear.
"Beth, can you tell me how you're feeling?"
"No...I don't know."
"Draw a picture of something you're thinking about."
When Bethany presented the picture to Heidi, she hurriedly left the room, not wanting to face Heidi's reaction. Heidi scrutinized the picture and saw right into the window of Bethany's heart. She was looking at a rainbow with all the colors. However, black lines overshadowed a small portion. They were interspersed through the lines of beautiful color. Heidi was so engross in the picture that she didn't realize anyone was in the room with her until she heard Bethany's walker.
"All the pretty colors are like my mommy, daddy, Kennan, friends and God. The black is that...that man!"
"Can you tell me what happened?"
"When Mommy went to help Nequenta and Mr. Simons said he would go with me, I was excited! He's usually so much fun, and he always makes us laugh. But then, he took my walker away. I thought he would just help me get to a seat and would bring the walker to me. When he touched me in the potty parts, I got scared. He told me that he would hurt me if I told anyone what he was doing. He said he would make sure I ended up in a wheelchair like my best friend Scott, for the rest of my life. Then, Miss Emily came out of the bathroom, but Mommy was finishing with Nequenta's straps. I saw her through the doorway, and she was strapping Nequenta's legs, her chest and her head since she can't control any of that. Anyway, Miss Emily came and asked Mr. Simons if something was wrong since we were still at the bottom of the stairs.
"Oh, everything is fine. Amy Rose came to talk to me for a second," Mr. Simons said quickly. He started to pick me up, but I said I wanted my mommy.
"She's helping Nequenta. You know she needs more seatbelts so she can be safe. You know that, when you have to use your wheelchair, your mom always tells you to put your seatbelt on? It's to..."
"Then I want to go with you, Miss Emily!" I was glad she said she'd take me, because I was scared of Mr. Simons. I like Miss Emily, Miss Sariah, Miss Amy, Miss Anela, Miss Candice and Miss Janell. But now I am so scared of Mr. Simons." Bethany had her back to the doorway, and she didn't see or hear Jamison and Corrine enter the room. Therefore, she was startled when she heard Jamison say, "I'll see that man..." But he stopped, when Corrine touched his arm. She whispered something to him, and with a thunderous look, he stalked from the room.
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