Chapter 11

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Charlie's POV
I left Hannah's parents and walked into the other room where I found Hannah and Lizzie sitting on the floor. Hannah's body language showed me like she was still pretty reserved but she was at least talking to Lizzie. Her thumb was still in her mouth but she was managing to talk around it. When I walked in, I heard Lizzie asking Hannah about a cat, "what color is your kitty," she asked. "Black and white," Hannah said quietly around her thumb. After she told Lizzie what color her cat was Hannah tensed back upon noticing I walked in the room. I didn't take it personally, I knew there were so many new faces for her to meet recently, which could be overwhelming. "Hello again Hannah," I said as I sat down on the floor with her and Lizzie. "Wh-where are Daddy and Papa?" She asked me anxiously around her thumb. "Daddy and Papa are in the other room pumpkin. I was hoping you and I could talk for a little bit. Would that be okay?" I said. "Lizzie stay?" She asked me with her thumb still in her mouth. "Yes, if that makes you feel better Lizzie could stay," I reassured her. Hannah responded by nodding her head. "Hannah was just telling me about her kitty," Lizzie said in an attempt to initiate conversation with Hannah. "Is that right? Hannah, what's your kitty's name?" I asked her. With her thumb still in her mouth she replied, "Juliet." "Is she a nice kitty?" I asked. "Yes, she's cuddly and soft. But my Daddy's kitty Samson isn't nice, he scratched me" she said as she took her thumb out of her mouth. "Oh my, I bet that was scary," Lizzie replied. "Yes but Daddy, Papa and Juliet make sure Samson doesn't hurt me again," Hannah replied a bit more relaxed. "Hannah, has anything else scary happened since you've been home with your Daddy and Papa?" I asked. She looked down sadly and hugged her elephant tighter. "Pumpkin, your Daddy and Papa tell me you have been having a lot of nightmares," I said. She slowly nodded, "my old mean Daddy was hitting me......and...... and he was doing other........bad things," she said in a shaky voice. "Honey what kind of bad things?" I asked. She let out a whimper. "Hannah honey, it's okay to tell me. What ever happened it wasn't your fault," I said trying to comfort her. Her voice was shaky and she replied, "he....he used to touch me, down there. It hurt." She let out some more whimpers and clutched her elephant.  "Sweetheart, I'm sorry that happened to you. That wasn't okay for your old dad to do that to you but you didn't do anything wrong," I replied softy. Sniffing she said, "When I woke up it was scary, I couldn't breath, my head hurted and it felt like I was still there." "Oh sweetie I bet that was scary," I replied. "mmm hmm But Papa and Daddy helpeded. Papa rubbed my back and Daddy told me to breath like him and helpeded me pet Juliet, that made it not so scary," she said with her voice still a little shaky. "I can tell your  Papa and Daddy love you very much," Lizzie said. "Mmm hmmm but I don't like bed time, that's when bad dreams happens." I contemplated getting her parents but she wasn't completely sobbing nor was she asking for them. "Well maybe we can think of ways to make bed time feel safer? Hannah what makes you feel safe?" I asked "Daddy and Papa," she replied.  "Okay, but Daddy and Papa have their own room at bed time, isn't that right?" I asked her. "Yes but Daddy and Papa can stays until I falls asleep." she replied as she put her thumb back in her mouth. "Yes that's right they can stay until you fall asleep. Pumpkin, what are some other things you can have with you at bedtime that with make you feel safer?" "Juliet and Ellie," she replied around her thumb. "Who's Ellie honey?" I asked. She giggled and held up her elephant. "Oh! That's your elephant's name," I said and she nodded. "Maybe I can has a little light in my room so not so dark if I wake up," she said around her thumb. "Oh like a nightlight?" I asked. "Mmm hmm," she said as she nodded with her thumb still in her mouth.

We went on talking for a little bit longer. Hannah told me about how Lizzie and I were nicer than someone named Sandy. I vaguely remember Leon telling me about her; he told me she was a graduate student who was using Hannah for dissertation material. Her parents also told me that Sandy wasn't very kind to Hannah. I wasn't surprised that graduate students were eager to get their hands on Hannah; someone like her is rare in the psych world and would be seen as a great research topic. But looking at her as simply research was dehumanizing to her. I was happy that she found Freddie and Alan as it was clear that they were giving her the love and attention she needed and deserved. "You were really brave today Hannah. I'm going to go get your Daddy and Papa, Lizzie will stay with you here and I'll bring them back to you," I told her as I got up from the floor. "Okay," she replied.

Now came the hard part. I had to tell Alan and Freddie about what Hannah endured.

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