The house on top of the nameless hill was silent and still as it had never moved an inch and had never held any sorts of sound inside. The sky was pure blue with no clouds in sight, and the view from the hill was outstanding. The sun was winking down at the radiant earth. Land spread out beyond the other valleys as far as the eye could see. A little stream was fizzing clear water whilst birds twittered with joy and other tiny tree animals were chittering away in their wooden homes. Even the wind was singing with life. However, the grey house on top of the hill emitted a rather eerie silence which made no animal or human venture there. One brave little squirrel scurried up the hill in curiosity, and decided to scurry through the slightly ajar front door.
There was a large croak from the floor as the squirrel’s paws scrambled inside the lonely place that seemed forbidden and secretive. Finally inside, the squirrel decided to take a tour of the house. The first room that the squirrel had come across was a living room, which the squirrel of course did not comprehend, but saw the same things humans would. There was a sofa in the back, a coffee table in the middle, and a TV set in the front. There were also small scraps of litter such as chip bags, empty beer cans, ripped pieces of paper, etc. The squirrel, uninterested, scampered away. If it was a human that ventured the living room though, they would have noticed that the ripped pieces of paper, when totaled together, became a form for an institution for the mentally ill, and that someone had scribbled on it, “FOR HER.”
The other room was the kitchen, where the squirrel immediately sniffed a horrible odor from. On a counter, the squirrel found about 20 other empty beer cans, one of them which he peered into, but immediately drew back from when sensing a foul and bitter smell that he did not appreciate. Other scraps of stale food such as burgers, tacos, and junk food were strewn all over the kitchen, and the sink where dirty and rusty dishes lay were already infested with roaches. Disgusted, the squirrel traveled out of the abominable room into another one. On the door of the room read, “Audrey’s Room”, which was obviously written in a pink marker by a shaking hand. Judging from the room condition of “Audrey”, one could infer she was not a tidy person. Clothes were piled in a mess everywhere whilst the pink and yellow quilted bed was dusty with spiderwebs. On the walls were hastily taped photos of the same girl through many years. The first ones from when she was young and laughing, but as she grew, the expression on her face dimmed and darkened. The girl was beautiful, with light brown eyes and brown hair, with rosy cheeks when she was young, but the last photos on the opposite side wall showed a sunken and scraggly haired girl with tattered clothes. She looked miserable. On the desk were scattered notebooks, which the squirrel could not see the insides of. The squirrel, curious, but too small and unable to see anything else, left Audrey’s room.
Left of Audrey’s room was a door so tall and broad that the squirrel had trouble finding a crack to go through. When it finally found one, he squeezed through it and gazed around the dirtiest room he had ever seen. There were more empty beer cans on the oak bed, dirt covered clothes everywhere, and piles of animal waste here and there. On a photo shelf were photos of a woman and a man. In the top row of photos were the man and woman embracing each other, with “Maria & Ryan” lettered in elaborate cursive at the top. However, the bottom shelf was full of the woman by herself, mostly with tears in her eyes, wearing black clothes. Lastly, there was a photo of a huge group of people, possibly a hundred. In the middle were the man and the woman, smiling so brightly in the middle of everything. At the top, a banner hung, spelling out” POSSIBLE. Whether you are diseased, homeless, poor, or even heartbroken, we will make turn the IMPOSSIBLE, into POSSIBLE for you”. The squirrel, now utterly confused by his new surroundings, decided to leave the house. The squirrel was finished exploring the house that nobody would venture to. Until the squirrel heard it.
The squirrel scurried to the living room as fast as his swift legs could carry him. The sound was still blaring. Next to the couch was an object with a cord that the squirrel did not recognize. The object was a phone, and the answering machine was reciting the messages that the owner of the house had not checked yet. To that day, the machine had recited the 8 messages from different people every single day at 4:15PM.
“Mrs. Henson, you have 8 messages left for you while you were gone. Please pay attention while they are recited”, said a flat voice. Then came a beep, as the machine started blaring out the 12 messages.
“Maria, I called you and you weren’t there so I’m leaving this message. Well, I want to say, you just CAN’T go ON like this! You have a daughter AND a job, you can’t ignore everything and act like nothing is happening. There are things in the world you just CAN’T IGNORE. Maria, remember the advice I gave you? PLEASE PLEASE take it. You’re not only letting yourself down, you’re letting everyone in POSSIBLE down, including Ryan. Okay? Maria please...”
“Mrs. Henson, this is Audrey’s teacher Miss Smith. I want to inform you that the pass incidents cannot just pass by without any measure taken. Audrey has already hurt a couple of other students, including herself. She is constantly staring out into space in my class and can hardly focus. She frequently bites her fingernails and pinches herself. I was shocked to see that her body was covered in scars and bruises at the usual health checkup that we do. It is also impossible to ignore the fact that she twisted little Brian’s finger so hard that it broke and caused him to get surgery. This simply cannot go on, which has lead me to call FIMC(Fitz’s Institution for the Mentally Challenged), a wonderful and caring school that helps students that, ergh, students like Audrey. They have already sent you several emails and calls which you should check. Thank you.”
“Dear Mrs. Henson, this is the last time we call you to give you this message. Your daughter’s mental condition is serious, as you can see from her door scratching, pinching, and extreme nail biting. This is the last chance to enroll her in FIMC(Fitz’s Institution for the Mentally Challenged). If you need more information please call us back or send me a letter to the school’s address on the website, which I have showed you multiple times. Thank you and have a nice weekend. And Mrs. Henson please, I speak to you as myself and not the school’s head this time, do what’s best for Audrey.”
“MARIA HENSON WHERE ARE YOU? I HAVE CALLED YOUR PHONE, AUDREY’S PHONE, AND THIS PHONE OVER 10 TIMES AND NONE OF THEM PICK UP. IF YOU DON’T ANSWER ME SOON ENOUGH I SWEAR I WILL DISOWN YOU. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO IGNORE CALLS FROM YOUR MOTHER AND I AM DOING THIS BECAUSE I STILL CARE.”
“Maria you there? It’s me, Catherine. I know it’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other after the... the fight between us when I called you an irresponsible person and that Ryan would hate to see this. That was crossing a line. But really, you can’t solve your problems with heavy drinking and naps. You have to move on. POSSIBLE depends on you. If things are too hard, how about you let Audrey stay over at my place for a while? Maybe that can help for now. If you decide anything, just let me know. Bye.”
“Mrs. Henson, this is Diana Anderson, your daughter’s therapist. After various sessions there is no way to explain Audrey’s condition other than trauma from her father’s death. This is very rare and difficult to cure instantly so I suggest you try to soothe her, calm her down, and help her focus on things or even do things she enjoys together so that she can have someone to rely on instead of burdening herself with her trauma. If you have any questions, please call me back. I always here to help Audrey.”
“Maria where are you? You’ve been missing for two weeks now, so I want an answer the moment you hear this so I know you’ve come back. Maria you can’t do this. I’m your brother and I know I’m supposed to look after you but this can’t go on forever. Drinking will only WORSEN your case okay? Don’t worry about Audrey, I sent her to a foster home right now. Ehh, I’ve heard she’s having some problems adjusting but I’ll see to it. Maria come back. Please. Ugh, what am I doing, talking to a machine when you’re not really there. Well, Maria, if you hear this, please, come back to us. For me, for mom, for dad, for POSSIBLE. For Audrey.”
Then, the machine flatly said, “This is the last message. Please pay attention.”
“Maria, this is Tim from POSSIBLE. Maria, when I first met you, you were the most wonderful person I have ever met. You were kind, loving, and caring to everyone. That’s why you even MADE this organization in the first place! To help people, to make things POSSIBLE for people who think it’s IMPOSSIBLE. That’s how I met YOU? Remember? I was struggling with alcohol after my divorce and I was always angry with my kids hiding from me, but you helped me get my life back together. You solved m puzzle! Now I want to return that favor to you. Maria, think about it. For 15 years you gathered people to make new possibilities for people with no hope, to introduce them to a new world, and to help them learn that POSSIBLE exists while the IMPOSSIBLE doesn’t. But Maria, the way things are going, it looks like now you think the world is impossible. I mean, what happened? You believed in EVERYTHING, and now you’re giving up? I understand, truly understand, that you loved Ryan, and that both of you working together was what made your bond stronger, but remember this, Ryan died doing what he wanted. He died making things POSSIBLE, the way he wanted. He knew he was going to pass away soon. It was only a matter of time and he was lucky since it was the happiest way to go for him. Maria, please... Do this for us, for POSSIBLE. You can’t make things impossible for yourself when you’ve come THIS FAR. Anything is possible Maria. Think POSSIBLE. Give us a call back.”
And then the machine blared, beeped, and there was silence. The squirrel, even though it could not understand the strange language spoken in a different tongue, felt a chill go down it’s spine. The strange word, “POSSIBLE” remained in his mind. The little animal sensed a feeling of loneliness. Then, it scampered out the front door as fast as it could and ventured back to it’s home. As it did, the word “POSSIBLE” seemed to echo out in all four directions, beyond the hill, and across the valleys. “POSSIBLE...”