The wounded girl hasn’t left her room in 19 days, but she hasn’t been quiet either. She’s been having tantrums almost daily. She doesn’t talk about what is bothering her, but she stomps her feet and throws books and stuffed animals around the room. Sometimes she tries to hurt herself. The nurse has been around 24/7 since September 12 to prevent serious injuries and to keep the girl company.

When the Wise Woman enters the room, she sees it’s a mess. The tired_nurse_horizontalnurse, frankly, looks a little the worse for the wear. The Wise Woman sends her off on a well-deserved little spa vacation. Then she sits down with the girl.

“You’ve waited a long time to get the attention you need, haven’t you?” she asks. But the girl doesn’t answer her; she only looks at the floor.

“I know it’s been hard on you to wait. I invited you to open up earlier this year, and then when you felt ready, I told you to wait. I can imagine you might be disappointed. And maybe frustrated or angry as well?” She waits a minute, and when the girl doesn’t respond, the Wise Woman points to the messy room. “The state of this room definitely says angry to me.”

The girl smiles a little and shrugs.

“Maybe today’s not the day to talk,” the Wise Woman says. “We are all exhausted. I just want you to know that now I have made time for you. We have three months without a lot of competing demands. You are a priority.”

The girl reaches out for the woman’s her hand, and leads her to the bed. They crawl on top of the comforter, and the girl curls up next to the Wise Woman. Despite the last few months, the girl trusts her. The Wise Woman puts her arm around the girl, kisses her forehead, and then they both fall asleep.