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Dreams Do Come True

Peggy Gerber began writing to fill the void created when she became an empty nester. She is currently a poet and science fiction writer from New Jersey, and co-founder of Champagne Writers.

As a child I was excruciatingly shy; selective mutism they called it. While taking walks with my mother, were somebody to approach, I would dart behind Mom's leg as if being preyed on by the Loch Ness Monster. I could barely function at school and was afraid of everything.
Growing up, dolls and stuffed animals were my best friends. We spent many wonderful afternoons having tea parties, playing princess, and planning my wedding to Prince Charming. Although I was content, my parents were genuinely worried about me. My dad would often say, "A teddy bear is not a friend, Sofia. You need to go out and play with human children." When I was nine years old, the school principal threatened expulsion unless my parents took me to a therapist. Thank God for that, because therapy changed my life. On my first visit with Dr. Jacobs, she did not ask me to speak, but rather observed me coloring, doing puzzles, and playing with toys. I gradually began opening up to her, and she would encourage me by saying things like, "Sofia, you are a smart, worthwhile young lady with a lot of important things to say." We would pretend that the dolls in her office were people and I would practice my social skills by having conversations with them. It wasn't a quick transition to wellness, and I continued seeing Dr. Jacobs every week until I was in high school. By the time I finished therapy, I was still a bit shy, but finally feeling comfortable in my own skin.
The day I met Ezra, I began a metamorphosis. We bumped into each other in the school hallway sending our books flying through the air. As we got up, we locked eyes and I realized I was looking into the most handsome face I had ever seen. My heart jumped out of my chest; I instinctively knew it was love at first sight for us both. Our initial infatuation grew into deep, mature love, and it was Ezra's love that transformed me from a shy, lonely girl, into a confident, courageous woman who chased after all her dreams.
Much to our parent's chagrin, we married right out of school. Five years later we were the parents of two beautiful children. Two blond, curly haired little angels that endlessly delighted us with their adorable antics. I often reflect on my difficult childhood, and have to pinch myself for reassurance that my beautiful life is real. All of my dreams have come true, and I appreciate my happiness so much because I didn't always have it easy.
The only imperfection in my life is that I am desperately worried about my mother. Yesterday she came to visit us in our new home, and I noticed she has begun talking to herself. It was disconcerting, she thought she was talking to a psychiatrist. Mom whimpered, "Kazinsky, will Sofia ever come out of her catatonic state? Why does she clutch those two blond dolls like that? Is there any hope for her?" Yes, I am really worried about my mother. I think I will have to find her a therapist.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, February 24th, 2020

Author Comments

Much like the character in the story, I was a painfully shy youngster. Fortunately, my life turned out a bit better than hers did, as I have three real children and a husband. Or do I?

- Peggy Gerber
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