STF

A Mother's Joy

Posted Jan. 25, 2023, 11:18 a.m. by Lieutenant Commander Alexis Bonner (Assistant Chief Medical Officer) (Jennifer Ward)

Posted by Lieutenant Surra Almikaz (Chief of Psychiatry) in A Mother’s Joy

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Alexis Bonner (Assistant Chief Medical Officer) in A Mother’s Joy

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Alexis Bonner (Assistant Chief Medical Officer) in A Mother’s Joy
Posted by… suppressed (9) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Snip
Alisson watched her slam the container and her eyes twitched. She hoped the woman hadn’t damaged all that delicious effort in her outburst. “We all have off days. Maybe some self indulgence will help,” and she motioned to the container. “We all deserve to spoil ourselves on occasion.” Especially with baked goods. Really it was a wonder that Alisson was trim and fit and not looked like a puffed up pastry doll.

Surra looked at HARLEEN there was annoyance in her eyes. It really wasn’t the AI’s fault since she was programmed with certain protocols…was it? In any case, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back for her and the AI’s strict adherence to the protocols caused the crack that had been forming her patience to develop into a full break. “HARLEEN, if anyone walks into the psychiatry suite and they are not a patient or if they do not have an appointment, I would like for you immediately notify me and allow them to have a seat in the waiting area. Also please contact Mr. Cascarrabias Demalia, the ship’s Chief Engineer so he can do a diagnostic scan on you.”

Almikaz, CoP
Everyone has their Breaking Point

Of course, HARLEEN did not reach to Surra’s outburst. She simply nodded then said, “Yes, of course. I will alter the protocols and follow your instructions. I will also contact Chief Petty Officer Cascarrabias Demalia so he can review my programming to ensure I am fully operational.”

HARLEEN

Alisson

“Yes, you are right. I should indulge and have a me moment.” She smiled at the woman, “Hmmm, you could make a great psychiatrist. I hope you will still join me in my office for a chat.”

Alisson smiled sweetly. “Oh I doubt I could do that. It’s just a bit of common sense.” Alisson eyed the AI warily. “I suppose I can for a little bit.”

She picked up the container from the reception desk and grasped it, holding it close as she walked to her office. “Oh I hope I didn’t damage these,” she said.

“Oh I hope not. They do tend to be delicate, but I was very careful how I packed them.” Allison had spent six hours on those. If they were damaged there would be cream everywhere.

After entering her office she placed the container on her desk, opened it, and took out one of the eclairs. After a brief inspection, she took a bite of it, then almost immediately a smile spread across her lips. “No way. These taste just like the ones I use to eat when I was little.” A small tear fell from her eye. The eclairs were bringing back some fond memories that she seemed to have forgotten amidst all the hustle and bustle on the Ogawa.

Almikaz, CoP

Alisson smiled, puffing up just a bit, insanely proud that her eclairs had provoked such an emotional response. “Oh, I am so glad you like them,” she gushed genuinely.

Alisson

“The word like does not do the way I feel justice. She offered her a seat as she took another eclair from the container and started to eat it. She also offered one to Allison, as a courtesy.

Alisson sat, with perfect posture, ankles gently crossed and tucked slightly under the chair, hands folded in her lap. She waved the offer away if an eclair. “Oh no, those are for you. I promise I sampled plenty while I made them.” She mailed warmly, “I am happy you are enjoying them.”

“So Alexis Bonner is your daughter?” Surra sounded like, for one, she couldn’t believe it and for two, that her own expectation of Allison would be different being that she had given birth to Alexis Bonner. Honestly Surra didn’t really have anything against Alexis, it’s just they just never really clicked and therefore didn’t talk to each other that much. Surra really couldnt imagine being friends with her and therefore she was surprised to see how much different Allison was and how much she actually liked talking to her.

Almikaz, CoP

Alisson smiled brightly, “Yes she is. Isn’t she so smart? She does such amazing things. It eases my heart that she finally found some place that she fits.”

Alisson

Surra took another bite of an eclair, this was the third one she’d begun eating, as she looked at Allison. “Um…sure.” She put the eclair down and wiped her hands, “I am going to be honest with you, Miss Allison, I really don’t know your daughter. However, I am sure she is as accomplished and smart as she would need to be as an Assistant Chief Medical Officer.” Surra cleared her throat and said, “I haven’t really made a friendly connection with Alexis because I ....uh…I always get a…a…distant and cold vibe from her.” Surra wanted to be careful not to say anything to upset Allison when talking about her daughter because she could see how proud she was of her as any mother should be. The fact that Allison said that Alexis finally found somewhere she fits in interested her a little, “Alexis seems to fit in just fine here,” Surra raised her eyebrow as she thought about how all the doctors seemed to have the same attitude on the ship. “I am guessing that was not always the case?”

Almikaz, CoP

“Mrs. not Miss.” Alisson said quietly but firmly as Surra began to speak. When she was finished, Alisson sighed. “Oh,” she flapped a hand at Surra dismissively, “That’s just Alexis. She is very hard to get to know. She’s all in her own head. Always has been. Your honestly lucky if she speaks to you when she’s working. All she can see is the problem in front of her, until she finds the solution.” Alisson shook her head sadly, “No, she always struggled to make friends. She wanted to make friends, but normal kids were, well normal. They were interested in make believe and dolls. Alexis was already doing highschool chemistry and anatomy and then trying to teach the other children. First real friend she made was at the Academy. Hannah was 20 and Alexis was almost 16. They are still friends but I think that is more because Hannah is stubborn. Alexis doesn’t know how to get out of her head. It turns people off, poor child.”

Alisson

Surra raised her eyes at Allison’s correction of the title Surra had been addressing her by, then laughed a little as she explained, “Mrs. Bonner, when I refer to you as Miss it is not a reference to your marital status. Some of my ancestors, thought it was rude to refer to an older person, no disrespect, by just their first name, so they required their young ones to at least add Miss or Mr as a prefix before addressing them by their first name. The young ones often continued this practice even into adulthood. I am one of them.”, she placed a hand on her chest to refer to herself. “It was a sign of respect. My father told me to never address my elders, again no disrespect, by just their first name, unless they gave you permission.” She clasped her hands in front of her on her desk, “However, I see you would like me to acknowledge your martial status so I will refer to you by your proper married name, Mrs. Bonner, from this point on.”

Alisson smiled slightly and spoke gently. “Yes I was raised similarly, but we were taught to use correct titles. My parents always emphasized that peoples titles and ranks were important because they marked important events or very hard work for them.”

When Allison started speaking about her daughter, Surra listened. Her life had been opposite of Alexis’ until she joined the Ogawa. Surra could not make friends on the ship because of the disconnection she felt with the other doctors, however when she was younger, in middle and high school she had done quite well, with friends.
When Allison made the comment about Alexis not playing with dolls and how make believing was a waste of time, she partially understood why she was the way she was and why she had a hard time making friends. “Mrs. Bonner, Alexis was certainly gifted and operated beyond her years. So since she didn’t do the typical things that most children did for fun, like play with dolls and make believe, what child centered activities did she do? I am sure you are aware that these are the activities that promote social growth.”

Almikaz, CoP

There was a very subtle shift in Alisson’s posture and a flash of something, gone from her eyes while she blinked. “Of course I am aware,” Alisson said overly sweetly, “When we had her evaluated the psychiatrists all explained that to Anthony and I. We read all the literature they gave us. Anthony and I did everything for her. Alexis was the youngest child to be accepted to the Davidson Insititute. She attended all types of programs there. Both academic and social. They explained that it was important to let her socialize with children on her cognitive level not just by her age, and like any child, events that were on activities and topics she enjoyed. We attended book clubs at the library, lectures at the Academy, art classes all over the world, homeschool days anywhere that had them, and science clubs. Alexis volunteered at the hospital and animal shelter. She tutored children her own age. I gave her every opportunity, Lt. My life revolved around making sure Alexis was happy and healthy.”

Alisson

“I do not doubt you did. I am sorry. The question was not to suggest that you did not provide Alexis with every opportunity, academically or socially. She seems to do well socially here, at least as far as I know. Maybe its because she is around people who are generally like her. I ask these types of questions to get better insight.” She shrugged, “Sometimes people are just who they are. Your daughter, Alexis, happens to be a highly accomplished child prodigy. I would not be surprised if you told me that some, if not all of your other children, are just as smart and accomplished. I am curious to know how you, outside of a mother’s perspective, view your daughter? Also, why do you think she was able to connect with her only friend in the Academy, Hannah?”
\
Almikaz, CoP

“Anthony and I had no other children,” a fact that Alisson was quite upset over. “She’s brilliant. I certainly don’t understand her. I wouldn’t want anyone else to care for me if I was sick. Well…doing the work anyway. Alexis is quite…lacking in warmth when she speaks with her patients. She is…too analytical. People don’t like her. That’s why the counselor on her last ship made her get a dog - Frigga.”

Surra nodded, she was impressed by the impartial analysis she gave regarding her daughter’s personality. Most parents could not do that as well as she did.

Thinking of Hannah made her smile. “Hannah is such a wonderful girl. Sweet, caring, helpful. The kind of person everyone wants to be around. Makes friends where ever she goes. As for her and Alexis, that was all Hannah’s doing. They were lab partners Alexis sophomore year. No one really wanted to partner with Alexis. She was so much younger than everyone and making perfect grades in an advanced 4th year practicum. Hannah went out of her way to include Alexis in study groups, attend lectures, made sure she didn’t eat alone. Invited her to attend social functions. Hannah’s senior year she petitioned the commandant to let her room with Alexis. It took a lot of convincing on her part to get Anthony and I to agree. Alexis wasn’t an adult yet and I worried. Plus being out at night was so hard for her. Hannah really hasn’t given Alexis a choice, she just keeps writing to her.”

Alisson

Bump
“It’s good she has that friendship outside of the ship. It sounds like Alexis has been through a lot. I do understand now why she is apprehensive about connecting with people. I also like to credit you and your husband for helping her through all those difficult years. It seems there was a lot of patience, understanding, and trust that she was going to be okay. No doubt you had to have all those to guide her through all what she went through. It couldn’t have been easy, especially for a mother, to send her child into the world knowing she is different and wonder whether or not people will accept her as she is. You must have been relieved when she formed a friendship with Hannah.”

Almikaz, CoP

“Of course. Friendships are so important.” Alisson sighed, “I really had hoped being around Hannah would help Alexis want to socialize more. But Hannah, bless her, never pushed Alexis to be different. Anthony was always telling Alexis it was okay to be just the way she was, even when she was upset the other kids wouldn’t include her. He never pushed her to find a way, and she learned to be hapoy on her own.” She sighed again as if that was the saddest thing in the universe, but then she smiled. “I suppose if Alexis will only ever have one relationship, having Hannah for a friend is quite a blessing.”

Alisson


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