Sheila had problems. She was a fluid girl living in a world full of solid people. Usually, she fluctuated between gelatinous and watery depending on her stress level.
Her hair, much like the expectations people had of her success in life, was dripping down to the floor and seeping through the cracks in the wood. Some was in the basement.
“Ma’am, I know you want to preserve as much of this liquid as possible, but I won’t be able to get all of it up.”
“As soon as you get enough into the container I gave you, she’ll get in there on her own.”
“Mom? Mom! Ohmigod I was so scared what happened?”
“Your carrier broke, baby. I’m so sorry. We brought your backup as soon as we heard.”
Sheila’s viscous form was less of a problem for her parents than anyone else expected. No one expected Sheila’s parents to love Sheila or to accommodate for her needs. Her mother was especially grateful, but she and Sheila’s father both worried for their daughter’s safety whenever she went out into the world without them.
Someday, people would try to hurt Sheila, and there was nothing her parents could do about it. During her childhood, Sheila’s parents had already seen some of the things people would do to hurt her. People would put solid physical barriers separating Sheila from parts of her body, put her into an enclosed container smaller than she was comfortable inside of, or change the heating and air conditioning settings so that she would nearly evaporate or freeze. Sheila’s parents knew that someday she would encounter worse.
“I’m just concerned that she won’t be safe out there on her own.”
“She’ll be fine, and she’ll stay in touch. You and Ted worry too much.”
“Remember that time someone tried to boil her? Jerry, someone tried to boil my daughter. If any other parent said that there would have been police involved.”
“That was years ago.”
Sheila wanted to move out soon, and her parents were all for that. If she really needed to live with someone to help her with life for the rest of her life that was fine, but she was mostly self-sufficient and the only hazard to her was other people or things that would happen anyway and she would later recover from.
Her parents were worried. That was all.
There were a lot of things that could go wrong, but it was time for Sheila to brave the world on her own.