Imaginary

“I don’t know,” Chloe says. “We didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Sweetie, who are you talking to?” Chloe’s mother asks, placing her hand on the receiver of the phone so the other person on the line can’t hear her panic.

Chloe looks up to her mother with stunning azure eyes that her mother can’t seem to find out. No one on her side of the family has eyes like that, and her husband denies any blue eyes in his family too.

“Dean,” Chloe replies.

Chloe’s mom furrows her eyebrows into a quizzical but worried look before quickly relaxing her face, unwilling to make Chloe question her panicked expression.

“Dean?” she asks, trying to smile.

“Uh-huh,” Chloe says, her eyes not once removing themselves from her mother’s plain brown eyes.

“What are you… What are you talking about?” Chloe’s mother asks, hoping Chloe does not catch her hesitation.

“Dean said you’re calling a doctor, and he’s wondering if we did something bad. But I don’t think we did anything bad. Right, Mommy?”

“A-a-and where is Dean right now?” her mother asks.

Chloe looks to her left and wraps her arm around Dean’s shoulders. She looks back to her mother’s face writhing in horror.

“Is your mommy sick?” Dean asks, pointing at Chloe’s mother.

“I don’t know,” Chloe replies before turning to her mother. “Mommy, are you si – ”

Chloe’s mother slides to the ground and leans against the kitchen counter to support her back as she curls into a ball, trying to shield herself from the children.

“Doctor, Doctor, please help me!” Chloe’s mother begs. “I still see the children even with the medicine – ”

She clutches her stomach in pain, trying to forget.

“It’s alright, it’s alright, Mrs. Grace,” the doctor says.

Mrs. Grace looks at the two children around her, fearful that they might come closer and take her life.

“You just have to breathe and accept the fact that – ”

“My daughter, my daughter, oh, my sweet baby,” Mrs. Grace interrupts with tears in her eyes.

“Mrs. Grace? Mrs. Grace! How much medicine – ”

“Oh, my dear, Chloe, I knew you were still here – ”

“Mrs. Grace!”

“And Dean is here too…”

“Mrs. Grace, those children are just in your head! They’re all just-just imaginary!”

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