"But the real issue is with you, Jennifer."
Jennifer hung up the phone and looked at Gerard "She's cancelling some appointments," She told him "So we can talk to her tomorrow."
They both hear Penina humming upstairs and share a worried look.
That night Jude went into Gerard's studio and told him what he'd seen "Penina, Mia and Eva?" Gerard repeated "You saw them?"
"The tree house is still locked." Gerard reminded him.
"Penina had the key."
"You mean this key over here?" Gerard went over to chest and pulled out the set of keys. Penina must've put them back "You're not lying to get them in trouble, are you?"
"No, I swear!" Jude cried.
Gerard shook his head "I don't know what's gotten into you lately. Just go to your room."
Jude groaned loudly and went back upstairs. As he walked down the corridor he didn't notice Penina emerge from the shadows and glare at his back.
Gerard looked down at the ring of keys in his hand. Then he walked over to the safe in the corner of the room. He opened it to check if the gun was still inside. It was still in there. Gerard smiled and shut the little door again.
That night when Jude was sleeping, the door opened to his bedroom and someone creeped inside. Whoever was there turned on the bedside light and Jude's eyes fluttered open, squinting in the sudden light. It was Penina. Jude looked up at her confused. Suddenly she grabbed a hunk of his hair and bashed his head against the pillow. Before he can scream she produces a pair of sharp scissors and held them near his face. Jude gasped and the pair of gleaming scissors stopped just centimetres away from his left eye.
"Shhh..." Penina muttered, leaning in, her face wild and terrifying. Jude lay there, breathless and paralyzed with fear. The scissors drifted away from his eye and down towards in between his legs. Penina kept hold of his voice and said in a gentle whisper "You tell anybody else what you saw and I will cut your hairless little prick off before you even figure out what it's for. Do you understand me?" She snipped the air frantically with the scissors SNIP SNIP. Jude frantically nodded his head. Penina twisted his hair "Promise?"
"I won't tell, I won't tell, I swear!" Jude cried.
Penina held him for a long moment, savouring his fear. A damp stain seeped through the bed spread. Penina saw it and grinned "You pissed yourself."
Jude started crying, humiliated, helpless and too terrified to make a noise. Finally, Penina realesed him and switched off the light. She waved at him and left the room. Jude cried himself back to sleep.
Jennifer and Gerard sat in the waiting room when Doctor Browning opened the door and Penina came outside "It was nice talking to you Alice." Penina said in a little girly voice "I hope we can be friends."
"I'd like that." Doctor Browning smiled "You can come in now." She said to Jennifer and Gerard.
They went into Doctor Browning's office and took a seat. She was very serious which made Jennifer and Gerard nervous "Well, let's start with what you came here for." Doctor Browning said, taking off her glasses "You don't have anything to be worried about with Penina."
Gerard breathed a sigh of relief and Jennifer raised her eye-brows "You're saying she's not dangerous?"
"No, of course not."
"Thank God." Gerard smiled.
"It's not all good news though. You do have a serious problem in your home." Doctor Browning paused "But the real issue is with you, Jennifer."
Jennifer was stunned.
Penina looked over at the secretary in the waiting room "May I go to the restroom please?"
Doctor Browning continued and Jennifer couldn't believe what she was doing "I was able to coax her into admitting that there was some tension between the two of you. She's really trying very hard to please you. The problem is that you're blocking her attempts to attach with you. That's why whenever something bad happens, you blame her, whether it's her fault or not."
"But that's not what's been happing."
"I doubt that you're even aware you're doing it. But subcounsciously you taunt her to be bad because demonizing her is your way of covering your feelings of inadequacy as a Mother."
"I don't feel inadequete."
"But you do have doubts. You worry that you could relapse."
"What does that have to do with Penina?"
"Frankly, everything. Your guilt over what happened with Eva is preventing you from bonding with Penina." Jennifer turned to Gerard to see what he was thinking. He was taking it very seriously "It's made you doubt your fitness as a Mother. And that terrifies you. So you're having trouble with Penina, along comes Sister Abigail with these stories of her being some kind of monster and you believe them because it's easier than dealing with your fear that there's something wrong with you."
"What the hell did she tell you?" Jennifer yelled.
"Let's not make Penina the victim here. I have made enough progress with her today to tell you that Penina is not to blame here."
In the bathroom, Penina was sitting on the floor in the cubicle next to the toilet. Her eyes were misted over and she was muttering to herself "She didn't see... She doesn't know... She doesn't know..." And with that she started kicking, screaming and punching at the walls around her.
"She's an extremely bright, thoughtful, sensitive little girl going through a very challenging time." Doctor Browning explained to Jennifer and Gerard.
At that moment, the extremely bright, thoughtful, senesitive little girl threw her head back and yelled "Goddamn, cock-sucking bitch! Thinks she knows everything when she doesn't know shit!"
"You just have to be more patient with her." Doctor Browning continued "You're really very lucky to have her."