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Block Out the World

My body stands on the doorstep, waiting, but my mind wanders far, far away, trying not to think about the light rain that drips from the sky. Trying not to relate it to that day.

The door swings open. There’s a girl, my age, standing there. Blonde hair…blue eyes.

Looking at those eyes, it takes all my willpower not to start crying. They look so like Grandma’s…I suppose it makes sense that this girl is related.

I myself am not related to Grandma–she just adopted me when I was little, and that’s what I called her. She’s my best friend. These girls are her…grand-nieces or something?

Not present tense, Laura. Past tense.

Thinking that only makes not crying harder.

“You must be Laura.”

I blink, shaking off my thoughts, dropping back down to the real world. “Yeah,” I say. It sounds hoarse after days of not using it, and sort of far away, as if it’s coming from miles and miles away.

If she noticed the hoarseness, she doesn’t show it. She just opens the door a little wider, so that I can come inside.

I step into a small, neat kitchen. A cake sits on the island. Normally, I would be salivating, but the only thing I feel is…well, nothing.

“I’m Miriam,” says the girl. “Here, I’ll take your shoes.”

I take them off and hand them to her. She moves out of the room, and I stand blankly in this alien environment. Miriam reenters.

“Do you want anything to eat?” I suddenly register that she’s speaking quietly, as though someone is asleep. Which there probably is, as it’s nine PM.

“Not really.”

A dog trots in, regarding me with interest. I watch as Miriam scratches it behind the ear and then turns to me. “Let’s head upstairs. You’ll be sharing a room with us.”


I knew going into this that there were two other girls my age but…did that mean THREE fourteen year old girls in ONE ROOM?

I follow Miriam upstairs in silence, but my mind is sort of battling. One part is still holding on to my old life, with just two people in the house and my own bedroom. Another berates the first part and tells it to get a grip and be realistic.

I’m inclined to listen to the first part.

The bedroom is…huge. I suppose it needs to be, to accommodate three girls.

I feel like crying again, but I force it down the best I can and observe my surroundings.

A gray closet.

A bunk bed.

Two side tables.

Another normal bed.

Miriam points me to the normal one. “That one’s yours.”

Another girl suddenly enters the room. I jump, and so does the new arrival. Miriam sighs slightly.

“Heather, this is Laura. As you could probably guess.”

She waves kind of shyly. I force myself to wave back, feeling sort of stupid.

“Um. H-hi, I’m Heather,” she says in a very quiet voice. I manage to produce a smile, which feels strange and phony. Which it is, I guess. She gives me a tiny smile back, one with sympathy in it.

“It’s hard being adopted, but you get used to it,” she says quietly. I blink. I didn’t know she’d been adopted.

Miriam gives a dry sort of laugh. “Just don’t run away like she did.”

I’d usually be all over this information, but I stay silent. The choked, teary feeling returns. Heather seems to notice.

“Oh my gosh, I’m sorry, what did I say?” she says in an anxious voice.

And her apologetic tone, and her wringing hands, and her distressed face all set me off.

I stand at the doorway of Grandma’s room. I don’t want to come in as she gestures I should. We both sort of know without saying that it’s time for her to go home. But I don’t want to see it happen. I really, really don’t. Even though I know it’s cause for rejoicing. That’s what everyone at church says, and yeah, I get why. But it’s a whole lot harder than they make it sound.

“Laura,” says Grandma, “Come over, please.”

I walk over to the bed where she lays, my feet heavy, and perch on the edge of the bed beside her.

“Laura, dear,” she says. “I’m going to a better place. You know that. I know that. I’m happy about that. But you…” Her voice trails off.

“But me?” I say, my voice slightly higher than normal.

“But I’m afraid of how you’ll react. I’m afraid that you’ll shut down, shut people out.”

The rain pounds the windows, the wind whistles by.

“And?” I say.

“And you can’t do that. You might be sad, but shoving away people who could help will only make it worse. Shutting down, how will that help you? Answer me that.”

I reply, “It doesn’t.”

“Correct. It doesn’t. So yes, you might be sad. But will you block out the world because of that?”

She looks at me, her blue eyes sweeping my face. I avoid her gaze, looking out of the window.

“Laura Jasmine. Answer me, please.” For the first time, there’s something of a plead in her voice.

“No, I shouldn’t.”

“Shouldn’t or won’t?”



She adjusts herself slightly. It seems to take great effort for such a small movement.


“Yes, dear?”

It takes all of my will to keep my voice from breaking. “I love you.”

She smiles at me.

Three days later, I stand at the burial while the sky cries with me.

I suddenly become aware of arms across my shoulders, and that I’m sitting down. Blinking the excess tears from my eyes, I look over to see Miriam. And on the other side of me, Heather.

Heather takes a deep breath. “It gets better. I promise.” She winces, probably thinking it sounds empty. But to me, it’s a beautiful thing. Almost a gift.

“We’ll help you. We’ll be with you,” Miriam says, her voice slightly hoarse. I look over and see that she’s been crying, too.

I steady myself with a deep breath.

It would get better.

They would be with me.

And until it stopped hurting, I wouldn’t block out the world.

Well! There you go! I have a new doll. Her profile will be getting up on the Meet the Dolls page soon, but she’s going to introduce herself in this post, just right here. Okay, LJ, you have the floor.

Hey, I’m Laura Jasmine. I just got adopted, so yeah. My nickname is LJ, because Laura Jasmine. I like gymnastics and archery and logic puzzles and cross country. Sooo…yeah. There you go. Um, bye.

Okay! So there’s our girl Laura. A little background on how I got her:

The AG Benefit Sale for a museum in Madison was happening, so we jumped at the chance to get dolls! Laura is Truly Me #66, and she came in the new Truly Me outfit (pink bomber jacket, white dress with stars) that I already have…so I guess I now have an outfit for Twin Day if we do that in Spirit Week next year…anyway. Laura has the Josefina face mold, if you were wondering, so I now have 3 different face molds on my AGs (Classic, Jess, Josefina).

Alrighty! That just about sums up this post.


(Posted originally on July 29, 2022)


10 responses to “Block Out the World”

  1. That was so sweet! I totally feel you LJ! When my Grandmom passed away this summer I kinda shut out the world, but now that I know she’s somewhere better than here, and I’ve had some time to grieve, memories of her are happy and I’ll always treasure them! Welcome LJ!

    Liked by 1 person

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