61 hours. That is how long it took for Pinky to return. It went horribly wrong. She even spend an afternoon and a night in a police cell in the local police station. Her mother spend several hours in the hospital. The next morning, the police drops her off at the shelter. They were notified and have her old room ready for her. The police took preemptive measures against Pinky?s aggression. As she was kicking and screaming in a sort of feral anger when she was dragged from her mother?s house to the police van, the police officers feared she might assault them too. And as her mother?s face was partly covered in blood, they had all the right to fear. They put handcuffs on her the second they saw her. Even in the police station, she was forced to wear them while a female police officer cleaned her face. Pinky too had blood on her face as she was apparently hit against her nose, hard. She also has a cracked upper lip and a bruised eye. All the signs she was involved in a nasty fight. They removed the handcuffs, that were on her back to make sure she couldn't use her hands if she became aggressive again, only when she was in her cell. A second officer was standing by with pepper spray if it would become a fight. When the handcuffs were removed, she had to place her hands visible on the back of her head while standing with her back towards the door. That night, Pinky hardly slept at all. The next morning, tired as hell, she was rudely woken up by two police officers who slammed her against the wall and by force put the handcuffs back on. Just like the day before, it was on her back for safety. Within a minute, she was almost thrown in the back of a police van. At the shelter, they kept Jill on stand-by, just in case. After giving Dixie the paperwork, the two police officers get Pinky out of the back of the van. While one opens the door, the other stands ready to stun Pinky with a taser. With her face pressed against the side of the van, the first officer removes the handcuffs. Slowly, they back up to get some distance between Pinky and them, but the taser isn't lowered. Not before someone of the shelter takes over from them. With nobody, apparently, willing to make the move, Jill walks to Pinky. When Jill squads down a bit to look Pinky in the eyes, she turns her head away. She feels herself to be a disgrace.
Pinky doesn't respond.
She still doesn't respond, so Jill turns her head and holds it by her chin. The second their eyes meet, Pinky has tears in her eyes. Tired and her mind a bit messed up thanks to the last few days, all she can do is cry. Jill pulls her close and wraps her arms around her. When hearing the muffled cries of Pinky, the police officer is finally willing to lower his taser. With Jill and Pinky moving a bit aside, the police officers can leave. Jill and Pinky are still hugging when the gate closes again. Its Dixie who orders Pinky to the office, although she calls her Amelia. In the office, with Jill by her side, Pinky has a talk with Dixie and Erik. Jill should have left, but Pinky was freaking out so Jill was allowed to stay, just so that they could have their talk. During the talk it becomes clear that Pinky just couldn't live with her mother. She still thinks she is dumped. When she wanted to know why, her mother started to slap her in her face, hard. After being hit a few times, Pinky hit her mother, straight against her nose. This resulted in the fight they had. Pinky was locked up in her bedroom until the police came to bring her to the police station. Pinky hopes its for life this time. Before Pinky is send out, Erik says he will help her, as he had more result the previous time. Its Erik who then suggests not to call Pinky Amelia again, but Pinky. This might be better, as the name Amelia is what her mother gave her and keeps reminding Pinky of her mother. Once outside the office, Jill sends Pinky to the bathroom. She is becoming Stinky Pinky again, which causes a very faint smile on her face. After a good shower and putting on some clean clothes, Jill orders her to go to bed until lunch. Within minutes, Pinky is sleeping like a baby for the first time in about a week. Jill even closed the curtains to darken the room. Just before lunch, its Jill who wakes her up again. Refreshed and happy to be back, Pinky simply enjoys the warm weather outside for the rest of the day.
In the mean time, Pinky?s mother has a long talk with the BAP and the child protection agency. They both want to know why ten-year old Pinky ended up in a police cell, all beaten up, in about a day or two after being send to her mother. Pinky?s mother makes the claim that Pinky is an aggressive menace that attempted to ruin her face and belongs in prison. As a result, she had to use violence as a matter of self defense. She even claims that Pinky tried to beat her several times with no reason. She even claims to have a bite mark on her arm. Because Pinky hit her in against her nose and broke it, she can't act for a while, losing her income of several million as she can't play in a new movie. During the talk, Pinky?s mother also let it slip she had her problems solved for years before she started looking for Pinky. She appears to be not aware of saying this. The BAP and the child protection agency say nothing about it. They do notify the shelter about this. Because Jill is now temporarily acting as staff member, much to the annoyance of Dixie, to make sure that Pinky calms down and settles in peacefully, this news reaches her too. They have a little meeting about Pinky and even Jill is present.
``This is pure garbage'' says Jill while taking a seat on Erik?s desk chair, while he sits on the edge of the desk.
``Garbage?'' asks Jade surprised. ``She assaulted her mother.''
``I know Pinky. She would never resort to this kind of aggression without any reason. Not being told why she was left behind in that shelter, isn't the reason. It would make more sense if what Pinky said is true. She wanted to know, but her mother started hitting her to shut her up. So she hit her back. Pinky?s mother just wanted a pet. A highly obedient daughter that wouldn't say or ask a thing about the past.''
``It does make me curious.''
``About what?'' asks Erik curious.
``What were those problems? And why can't Pinky ask about them?''
``I don't think she had any problems'' answers Jill. ``The only problem she might have had was her beginning acting career that she couldn't combine with a baby. But then, why not just send her to her father? Or at least admit to Pinky why.''
``Father is unknown. It was never listed anywhere'' answers Dixie.
``Was she a bit of a slut then? She does know who the father is, but just doesn't want to say who it is.''
Everybody is surprised and a bit shocked that Jill thinks Pinky?s mother could have been a slut who had sex with several men and therefore doesn't know who the father is.
``So what is happening now?'' asks Jade who wants to know.
``Well, the law isn't really clear about this. Some say Pinky should go to prison, because she is so aggressive. However, the BAP wanted to have her here, as we helped her before and we could do it again. They don't believe Pinky has APD, so all we have to do is get her over her aggression that is apparently focused on her mother. At the same time, the child protection agency is looking for a way to have Pinky?s mother removed from the list as family. They fear it might become another fight if Pinky is send back to her again. This might result in Pinky being given to a foster family in a few years. Unless, her father shows up, but then I don't think they just send Pinky along with him that quickly'' answers Dixie slowly.
``Jill, can you do something for her?''
Dixie gets big eyes. Did Jade just ask Jill for help while she forbids it?
``I can. There are several things I can try, but I don't know if it will work. It's all up to her'' explains Jill while sipping her tea. ``Pinky and I are bonding, so she might do it if I ask her.''
``Exercising every morning like I do. Maybe some meditation. She could even practice tai chi with me and Dixie. Basically turning her in a mini version of me.''
``She also needs a hobby. A way to focus her mind on other things then her mother'' says Erik while placing his mug behind him on the desk.
``I can try to see if she likes to work with me in the garden.''
``Gardening? What about the winter then? When you can't work outside in the garden?''
``Even during the winter I'm still busy growing vegetables. Several of them can be seeded indoors during the winter. Those are mostly things like tomatoes and bell peppers.''
``It might be nice for her to see something grow from some seed. Taking it slow and such.''
``When can you begin with it?''
``Today if I have to.''
``Then you have my permission to begin. Figure out what she likes to do and we'll go on from there.''
``Okay. Anything else?''
``She trusts you, so she might open up to you first. If she talks to you about stuff, notify me.''
Elsewhere in the shelter, the others are slowly figuring out what might have happened with Pinky. There is no other reason to why she is send back after a few days, all beaten up. She must have been in a fight with her mother. Fearing she might be aggressive towards them too, they keep their distance. At first, she doesn't notice it, but slowly, she sees things. Tiny at first, but still visible when you look closely. It saddens her. She is happy to be back, but the others are pushing her away as if she has a disease. She is therefore happy when Jill takes her under her wing and spends some time with her. For a few hours, they talk about what Jill wants to try to help her release her anger and aggression in a safe way. For the rest of the day, they don't do a thing. Pinky just enjoys the sun in the backyard and Jill reads a few magazines. They will start the next morning.
As promised, Jill wakes up Pinky. The previous evening, just before she would go to bed, Jill helped her to find a good set of clothes she could wear when she would exercise. It's just a simple red short that reaches her knees and plain white shirt. While the others aren't even starting to wake up, Jill is explaining to Pinky the importance of stretching. All Pinky has to do is what Jill is doing. As she is just a beginner, she can't do everything exactly as Jill, but she will in time. During stretching, they find out that Pinky is quite flexible. Like a gymnast, she can swing her leg backwards and then up. Her foot is then almost touching the back of her head. With stretching done, they go running around the building. Just the last time Pinky did this, she doesn't have to keep up with Jill who is much faster. She doesn't have to run the same amount of laps around the building, because Jill looks at the time they are running. When Jill is after six laps close to the backdoor, she sees Dixie walking out onto the terrace. Jill stops running. With almost a full lap behind, it takes a moment before Pinky will be here too.
``Good morning'' says Dixie with a cup of tea.
``Is Pinky here too?''
``She is running around.''
``O, there she is.''
Dixie saw Pinky come around the corner. She too stops at the terrace to say good morning. Dixie pets her on her head and has a closer look at her still swollen eye. Within a day or two it should be almost completely gone. When Dixie goes back inside to read the newspaper before the others get out of bed, Jill and Pinky continue their exercises. The first thing they do is shadow boxing. To Pinky?s surprise, boxing is more than just swinging your arm around. She is also surprised that Jill is teaching this to her, considering she has broken her mother?s nose. But as Jill said the previous time, it's not learning how to fight, its muscle exercises. After shadow boxing, its pushups. While Jill can easily do 20 or more, with one arm on her back, Pinky barely does 5, using both arms. Then it's back inside to wash up and get dressed for breakfast. After breakfast, Pinky changes clothes again, but this time it's for working in the vegetable garden. Jill doesn't really like it when others work here, but she hopes that Pinky gets interested in it. For several hours, Jill teaches Pinky how to remove the weeds and how to harvest. Pinky likes it when she is allowed to eat a strawberry she harvested herself. Because Jill keeps her focused on the vegetables, Pinky starts to forget what happened in the past week. It's as if she never left. When the others set the table for lunch, Pinky and Jill change clothes again. Around 3 in the afternoon it's time for Dixie to have her lesson in tai chi and Pinky can join them too. However, she is tired already. She will just watch and have tea with them afterwards. Nicely in the sun they do have their tea and a biscuit. Pinky was just like Dixie not really a tea drinker, but with some sugar in it she drinks it. During tea, they talk about Pinky and what she has been doing today. Its calm and relaxed. Just what she needed. Later that evening, she is the second to go to bed. Only Timmy was earlier. At first she didn't want to, but Jill send her to bed as she was yawning like crazy. She needs her sleep and she will be out of bed again early the next day. Jill even walked all the way to her bedroom to make sure Pinky would go to bed. She is barely in her bed or she is already falling asleep. This night, she once again sleeps like a baby.
The next day, starts the same when it comes to exercising. But this day, they don't work in the vegetable garden. Jill is showing Pinky the other things she does for it, but as she doesn't have to seed or plant vegetables for this season anymore, Jill takes a few leaves from a plant in the living-room. Someone walked up against it and they fell off. Instead of throwing them away, you can put them in water and they will grow roots. This happened the day after Pinky left and now the first leaves are showing roots already. With Pinky on a small folding stepstool next to her, Jill explains how nature works and changes the water. Pinky can't believe it, but finds it curious. She has seen fallen leaves and thinks is surprising that they can become a plant as well instead of dirt or trash. This makes her wanting to see what these leaves are going to do.
In the mean time, in the office, Dixie has her hands full. The supermarket was calling as they have a special offer on meat and vegetables that are on the expiration date. Both can be frozen in the freezer, but still people have no interest in it. They hope that the shelter is willing to buy it. Dixie wants to have Jade handle this, but she is busy with Domino. While Dixie is listening to the man on the phone and calculates the total price, she is also busy with an email from the BAP. She was thinking it was about Pinky, but it isn't. A new girl is being send to the shelter. After the problems with Pinky, this girl is easy. This girl, named Sonya, comes from a broken family and was exposed to a strict military regime, she developed a minority complex and blames herself for the brake up of her family. Snow has a similar problem and just needs to get her confidence back. It might take years of near constant guiding, but she will get over it. Sonya might do the same. Normally, an Ani like Snow or Sonya would just have to visit a councilor regularly while living at home with their families. Snow didn't have that luck as it was her brutal family that caused it in the first place. Sonya couldn't stay at home too as the family situation might make it worse. In this case, Sonya is allowed to temporarily live in a shelter and will return to her family once she has taken care of her problem. Snow will stay in a shelter much longer and might even leave when she is an adult as she can't go back to her family who caused the problems. Dixie lets Sonya come and also says yes to the offer of the supermarket. In the afternoon, just an hour after lunch, both are already dropped off. While Dixie and Jade have a talk with Sonya, Erik helps Jill with putting the groceries away. During this, Jill spots something amongst the vegetables. Yellow beans. She hasn't seen them for years. Theresa ordered them once, when they were on sale. They are more expansive then normal beans and Theresa never wanted to order them again. With permission from Erik, Jill can use just a single bean, to grow them herself. When Erik and Jill are done with the groceries, the fridge is filled to the brim. They might not be needing more anytime soon. After the groceries, Jill immediately begins working on the bean. She even gets Pinky so that she sees what Jill does. The next few days, they will keep a close eye on the bean. While they are busy, Sonya is introduced. Before dinner, she is already beginning a friendship with Snow. Jade introduced her to Snow first in the hopes that Snow could help her a bit. It helps that they look similar. Both have a white fur, but while Snow is a blond, Sonya has red hair. They are also about the same age. Snow is 15 and Sonya is already 16. The only big difference is their height. Sonya is about half a head taller.
That evening, when everybody is doing something, Megan is looking at Jill again. She is jealous at Jill. While Megan is doing her best, she compares her life at the moment with that of Jill. Jill?s life is better. Friends with everybody. She can basically do what she wants, as she just goes against the staff. Megan even thinks Jill has Daniel as her boyfriend and she likes to have Daniel as her boyfriend too. Megan doesn't know what to do now. Should she talk to Jill about this? She shrugs that idea away. She will keep it to herself, for now.