"Mark, sit down honey."
"Sit down." Heather looked at her son standing by the books. He pulled a brown one out and put it back. He didn't look at her and didn't respond to her command except to repeat two words. He pulled out the book again and put it back.
"Mark, baby, please." She walked to him and took his hand. "Come on honey. We are going to take a bath now."
Suddenly, his scream pierced the air. It was loud and did not stop.
"No! No like bath!" The six year old screamed and kicked as Heather tried her best to stay calm. She took him by the hand and began to walk to the bathroom. He kicked at her and swung at her. "No bath! Want book!"
The front door opened then and a man walked in. He was tall and had dark hair.
"Please, Sean, please help me. He doesn't want to take his bath." Sean walked to Heather and picked up the wailing boy.
"Come on Mark. Let's go take a bath. We will get out the toy ships and play okay?"
"No!" Mark stopped screaming and spoke loudly. He still struggled but to no avail.
"Why not? Mark, it will be fun. And it will give mommy some time to herself. Come on." He carried Mark into the bathroom. "Heather, go eat something. Take a nap. I'll take care of Mark for you."
"Thank you." Her voice was barely above a whisper. She was a single mother who had left everything behind when she became pregnant. The father wanted nothing to do with Mark. And she was thankful that Sean had let her and Mark live with him. He was a teacher at the local elementary school and had shown Heather the town when she moved. He had been there when she gave birth and when Mark had his first episode. He meant everything to Heather and she didn't know what she'd do without him.
Heather went into the living room and sat down. She pulled out the brown book from the shelf and read the title, Cinderella and Other Fairy Tales. She started crying.

Sean came into the living room after he had put Mark down for a nap. He picked up a blanket from the couch and covered Heather. He looked down at her light brown hair and smiled. She was beautiful. He remembered back to when he had first met her. He had stopped at the park on his way home from work. She had been there and was sitting on the bench watching the children swing and play on the slide. Sean sat next to her. "Hello. I don't think I've seen you here before." She looked started to see someone talking to her. "Hi. I'm new here. I just got in today." She had a small frame and pretty light brown shoulder length hair. She was wearing a yellow shirt and overalls.


"Sean?" Sean came back from his memory and looked at her. She was still beautiful. "Sean, where is Mark?" "He is sleeping. I put him down after his bath." Heather moved in close to him. He loved the way she smelled. "Thank you Sean."