Velvet Lace: Chapter Two

Just a Dream

BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.

Velvet dozily rolled over in bed and reached an arm out towards her iPhone laying on the beside table somewhere in that direction. Squinting an eye open she managed to hit snooze. Drifting straight back off to sleep, the dead woman swung viciously from the tree, dripping wet. Her eyes opened and she glared at Velvet, screaming.

BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.

Velvet bolted upright in bed with a start, breathing heavily. Taking a few seconds to gather herself, she reached over and this time pushed the Stop button on the phone alarm. Using both hands to push her long, rather tangled dark blonde hair from her face, she sat in silence trying to recap on the dream from last night. Shrugging it off as a result of watching The Ring before falling asleep, she braided her hair loosely over one shoulder and slid out of bed. Her nipples quickly stiffened in the cool November air as she made a dash for the fluffy dressing gown draped over the back of her computer chair and snuggled it around her naked body. Slipping her bare feet in to her favourite Pikachu slippers, she made her way downstairs to start brewing some urgently needed coffee.

“Well, good morning sweet cheeks.” One of Velvet’s room mates, Tobey, greeted her with a sly smile and appeared to have already brewed up some coffee, holding out a cup for her.

“Good morning Tobey,” she replied returning the smile his way. “You saw my ass one time ‘cos you walked in on me taking a shower, time to stop calling me that.” She took the warm mug from him, held it with both hands and took a deep breath from the top. “Mmmmmmm, you do make good coffee though,” she took a sip and gave him another smile, this one more genuine.

“Rough night sleep Vel? Not that I’m insinuating you look rough, you always look great to me. And you know that walk-in was a total accident.” This time he followed his remark with a wink. Velvet fake puked in her mouth at his cringyness.

“More bad dreams Tobes, any sign of Rissa yet?” Clarissa was their third and final roomie, pretty much opposite in every way to Velvet but they surprisingly got on very well. They liked to tease each other about their differences but never had a real falling out. Tobey was sweet and charming in every way to the both of them and despite his goofy nature, was probably the most stable of the three. Velvet may or may not have secret special feelings for him, but she wasn’t convinced either way yet. Tobey on the other hand had always made his feelings clear towards her, none of which had been taken seriously.

“She’s up and gone already, early start and swamped with studying for the final beauty exams next week.” He reminded her. Of course, Clarissa always had something to study for to make those top grades. Velvet never saw the point in studying, however. She lightly smacked a palm on her forehead, “of course, the exam, how could I forget. Guess I better get my sweet cheeks dressed and do something productive with my life too.” Velvet winked back at Tobey before carrying her coffee back up to her bedroom. “Well, here anytime you need to chat, you know that,” Tobey’s voice reached her halfway up the stairs.

“I know.” Velvet let a smile creep over her face as she replied. She set the mug on her computer desk before letting the fluffy robe fall to the floor. After pulling on a pair of ripped jeans and her favourite old band tee, she sat herself down at the desk and took another sip of coffee while waiting for the PC to boot up. She liked to have the most recent news as her homepage, having a scroll through something stood out. A headline.

24 YEAR OLD WOMAN HANGS SELF FROM TREE IN MANSFELD PARK.

Velvet clicked on the link, a lump got caught in her throat. “The now identified body of 24-year-old Samantha Porter was found hanging from a  tree in Mansfeld park early this morning by a local walking his dog. Suicide is the most likely cause of death at this point, we await results from the autopsy. Family have yet to comment on Samantha’s death.” There was an inserted picture of the park, the field and trees that Velvet saw in her dream last night. Underneath was a picture of Samantha, happy, smiling. It was the same woman she had seen in her dream aswell. “We encourage any family, friends of Samantha or any witnesses to please contact the police at this time.”

Velvet’s head started to spin, how was this even possible? Maybe she read a similar headline last night and forgot about it, but how would she know the place and what the woman looked like if the news was posted after her dream? Tears began to blur her vision and run down her cheeks, she finally caught her breath.

“TOBEY!”

From Another Planet

IMG_0420

Autism from Within – Dominique Dumortier

Amongst the books about Autism the reader should be looking for those that help us understand the condition, anticipate the problems that arise and respond with flexibility and acceptance. This book explains the experience of an autistic person facing everyday events we easily manage.

When they read this book my friends and aquaintances may not immediately recognise it is about me. I have become an expert at hiding difficulties caused by my autism. If there is something I simply can’t do, or if I find it very difficult, people around me might not necessarily notice. I know lots of tricks to prevent me from making a poor show, or people noticing my inability to do certain things… Some people don’t believe me. My reply is try spending a week with me… you will soon find out!

My daughter Paige was diagnosed with autism when she was 5, she is now 8 which is the main reason I wanted to read this book. I’m still learning a lot about autism in general, specifically Paige’s traits, and of course I worry about what she will or will not be capable of doing as an adult. This book has helped me a lot, reading it from the perspective of an adult female with autism has also made me aware of some similar difficulties that I myself experience in life, if not as drastically. It has also made me feel more hope for Paige’s future and ways that I can hopefully help her to feel more confident and capable in this big scary world.

If you’re a UK resident and have a young person with autism or a condition similar, I’d recommend Cerebra postal lending library, it is a free service and they have loads of helpful books.

Bart loves me and accepts my autism. He doesn’t see it as an obstacle but loves me partly because of my autism. I often say that I wish I wasn’t autistic. Bart frequently replies that we might then never have been a couple. So to some extent he also loves my autism. Bart appreciates its positive aspects and there are only a few people who can manage that. There are not many people who look at me the way Bart does. He has found a girlfriend who is special. He refers not only to the autism but also to my character, behaviour, the understanding that I show. It pleases him that I enjoy the little things that other people ignore. I draw his attention to things that would otherwise have escaped him: colours, sounds, and smells. When walking through the park with me Bart always says that it’s not the same park anymore. He feels that I constantly give him precious gifts because of my autism.