Like Knows Like

I spent Thanksgiving at a recovery house visiting my beautiful, 16-year-old relative, Maria*, who’s working through severe depression and anxiety. After several weeks of very hard work on her part and intensive therapy at this great facility, Maria is blossoming into the person we once knew and so much more. She and I hugged and talked as several other girls and their families milled about. In the far corner, on the floor, sat a girl reading a book.

Like knows like.

“Who’s that?” I asked Maria.

“Trish*,” Maria said, introducing us. “She just got here.” Of course, I asked Trish about the novel she was reading, and then we spoke of other books and trilogies. I was mightily impressed when Trish revealed she’d read the entire Harry Potter series in under two weeks. Before entering this recovery house, Trish hadn’t left her home in over three years. Being around people gives her dizzy spells.

The next day, I returned to the recovery house to visit Maria again, but she hadn’t yet returned from an outing with the other girls. So I waited in the kitchen and chatted with the counselors. At one point, a counselor turned toward the living room and called out, “Hey, Trish, you okay in there?” The back of the couch was to us, so I’d had no idea Trish was there. I was happy when I heard her name, so I peeked over the couch, said, “Hello, Trish,” then returned to the kitchen.

The counselors and I had just resumed our conversation when Trish popped up onto her feet and said, “Dizziness gone!” She joined us at the table, and we picked up where we’d left off the day before, discussing more books–her favorite is high fantasy. I asked if she’d been to the Renaissance Faire and she said, “Many times. I’ve worked them!”

And we were happy. We were friends. We were family.

All because of a book.

— Eve Messenger

*Names and details have been changed to protect the awesome.