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Something is wrong with me these days. I’ve been feeling feverish and I can’t sleep. The doctor’s appointment took longer than I expected. I did not tell my parents about it nor was I going to.

“I’m home.”-  I said. My mother’s voice came from the kitchen. “Welcome back. How was the movie?”

“Ah, you know same old chick flicks. What are you up to?” I replied as normal as I could. “Well, I can’t decide what to make for dinner. What do you think spaghetti or steak?”

“Steak sounds good.”

“Well then steak it is.” I wanted to tell her but couldn’t bring myself to. I didn’t want to worry her and who knew maybe it was nothing and I wouldn’t have to tell anyone anything.

“Honey, is everything okay?” my mom said looking at me her eyebrows tensed but smiling. I realized that I had been standing still for a while now. “Yeah, everything’s fine. Why do you ask?” –I replied calmly.

“You’ve just been staring at me. What’s wrong?”

“No, no just thinking about, you know, homework and stuffs.” I smiled.

“Oh, okay. Well then why don’t you wash up and help me for dinner?”

“Okay.” I went up to my room and crashed into the bed. How long will I have to be like this? My phone buzzed. I glanced at it. It read:

Your next appointment with Dr. Kimball at St. Claire’s Hospital will be tomorrow at 10:30 am.

St. Claire Hospital.

 I sighed and tossed the phone aside. I laid there staring at my ceiling. It was pink.  My room was furnished with my closet, my plushier, my dressing table, my study table and my dear books. I felt the stinging pain again only my next appointment would tell me what it was

“Emily, what’s taking so long? I’m almost done.” My mom’s voice echoed



 “I’m coming.” I washed my face and ran downstairs.

“Sorry I’m late.”My mom didn’t hear me over her humming. She always hummed, without worry. I helped her set the table and as we sat to eat I asked “Dad isn’t home yet?” She smiled and nodded. “He has an important meeting today so he’ll be late.”

“He’s been working late a lot these days.”

 After that we talked about school, spring break and all kinds of things that didn’t even relate to us. After we were done I helped her clear the table. I went back to my room and tried to sleep but the thought of the appointment tomorrow worried me.

When I did finally sleep, it was only for 3 hours. This was happening a lot lately. After breakfast, I was about to leave when mom called me.

“Honey, you’re leaving food on the plate again.”

“Sorry, I’ll eat it later. Bye”- I said running out to catch the bus. When I boarded the bus I looked over at my regular seat and saw Lillian waving at me.

“Morning, Emi. And did you hear?” her voice was full of excitement.

I smiled and sat next to her. Lillian has been my best friend since the beginning of middle school. She’s a cheerleader but not the kinds that looked down on others and I was glad for it. I can’t really describe her if I was asked but all I know is that we are different in so many ways. Every time I meet her she has some insane story (also she is an amazing storyteller what with all the expressions).

“What happened?”- I asked smiling.

“Well, you know Kimberly right?” I nodded. “Apparently she has an older brother who is moving here for some time. He’s taking a break from college to do some kind of internship.”

“I didn’t know she had a brother.”


“I know, right? Do you know why she would hide an older probably cute brother?” She winked at me. It was an annoying habit of hers.

“Maybe she knows you have a boyfriend.” I said teasing. Lillian and her boyfriend had been together since middle school when I first met her. Ben was the Editor of the School Paper. I was also one of the editors; it was a fun job or club activity.

“Yeah, right like that’s going to stop me.” I laughed and looked at her.

“It’s a joke obviously… what would he do or what would I do without him?”

We reached school. It was already bustling with people. Our school campus was big. We had a cafeteria, an indoor swimming pool, basketball court, football ground and an auditorium. When Lillian and I were in our last year of middle school, we had both appeared the entrance tests together and when we learned that we had passed we went out and celebrated at McDonalds. Ben didn’t even tell us that he had applied at the same school. We were kind of shocked on our first day when we saw him at the cafeteria. 

He was all casual and said “Here I saved a seat for you guys.” But that’s the kind of guy Ben was and is. He waved when he saw us and came running.

“Good morning, assistant editor.”

“Morning, Chief Editor.”

“Is the report done on the football match last week?”

“Almost, I’ll turn it in today.”

Lillian, who had been quite for a while now, walked in front of us and said “Geez guys, get a room.” We laughed out loud gaining looks from others.

“Is someone jealous?”-Ben said in a babying voice. Lillian hit him with her bag which led to him pinching her cheeks.

“Come on, you lovebirds. We’ll be late.”- I said running in front of them.

 I felt that stinging pain in my chest again. I held my hand against my chest and slowed down. Class was really boring and I couldn’t wait to go to the hospital even though it made me anxious and worried, I wanted it to be


over. I didn’t tell Lillian or anyone else about the appointment. I told her I had some errand to run and left for the hospital.

“Hello, how can I help you?”- The receptionist asked.

“I have an appointment with Dr. Kimball.”

“Your name, please?”

“Emily Parker.”

“Dr. Kimball will be here soon. Please take a seat.”

“Okay, thank you.”

I sat down and while I waited I picked up a magazine. I was reading it when I heard some girls squealing.  I tried to see where the noise was coming from but some patients blocked the way. I tilted my head to get a better view. There was a group of young people, they didn’t look like doctors but they were wearing scrubs. Interns I guessed. The squeals had come from a group of girls behind a boy. I couldn’t see his face clearly as he was wearing a face mask. I was trying to get a better look when the receptionist called me

“Miss Parker.”


“Dr. Kimball will see you now.”

I nodded and went inside the room.

“Hello, Emily.  Oh you’re here alone?” Dr. Kimball asked looking tensed holding what seemed to be my report. “Yeah, I didn’t want to worry them.”

 “That’s really thoughtful but this needs to involve them.” His words made me worried. “Why? Is something wrong?”

“Well when you came here yesterday and told me about the pain. I thought that you were too young to suffer from this but after your diagnosis it’s clear that you have it.”

“I have it? I have what?” he was speaking in riddles and it wasn’t helping.

 “I’m sorry to say this dear but you have CHD.”



 “You have a disease called Coronary Heart Disease. It’s a common disease in the elderly so I didn’t think you’d have it but you do. I’m really sorry.”

I sat silent for a while. I have CHD, I had read a little about it in class. It was caused due to increasing age and irregular cell division. The symptoms were nausea, chest pain, insomnia and irregular appetite. All of which I was suffering from. I swallowed the lump in my throat and looked at him.

“So what happens now? Can we remove it or cure it or something?”

“Well if this was a case in the elderly we could have operated on it, you know, get a heart transplant. In your case it’s in stage one we could remove it but we would need a heart transplant and even if we did get it, there could be complications’ considering it’s a rare case.”

“So there’s no other...” I trailed off. It was just a small chest pain. How could it become something so big? What will I tell mom and dad or Lillian or anyone for that matter? I fought back tears as I sat there motionless.

“Emily, Emily.”


“I’m going to need you to call your parents now okay?”

I nodded but sat still. After a while I went to the receptionist and called my parents. They were surprised as to why I wasn’t in school but I told them to come to the hospital first so that I could explain everything. I sat down in the same spot again. The same groups of interns crossed me but I didn’t bother to look this time. I had CHD and no matter how many times I said that it wasn’t going to stop being true. A guy sat next to me and sighed.

He looked at me. At that moment I had a sudden realization and I really don’t why or how but I broke down. Tears were gushing down my cheeks.

“I have CHD.”- My words were barely audible with me crying. He handed me his handkerchief.  When I looked up, he wasn’t looking at me; he just held the handkerchief out. He looked tired; he was staring at the ceiling, his neck resting on the chair. I hesitated in accepting the hanky. When he


turned and said, “It’s okay take it, I don’t mind.” He was facing me now completely. He had messy brown hair and dark green eyes. His head tilted on the chair. “Oh thank you.” I wiped my tears and tried to calm myself. “I’m sorry it must have been weird that I just started crying.” He turned back to his first position with his eyes closed. He didn’t say anything and just gave me an okay sign. We remained silent for a while.

If I was quiet then I would break down again so I tried to strike a conversation. “Are you an intern?”


“Is it going good?


“So you’re going to be a doctor here?”


“Oh so where do you study?”

“Eden Medical College.”

“Really? That’s so cool.” Eden Med was a hard college to get into. The interviews and tests were hard and those who did get in were highly qualified and were in the top percentile. For the first time in the entire conversation he replied in more than a simple ‘yes’.

“You think it’s cool?” He sat up straight and looked at me. I smiled.

“Yes, I mean its Eden Med College it’s really hard to get into and you go there. That’s really cool for me.” He smiled and rested his chin on the palm of his hand.

“I didn’t know that kids these days knew about the outside world.”

I laughed, trying to calm myself before mom and dad came. He looked at me again and smiled.  I tried not to think so much about my heart problem.

 He looked like he was about to say something just then I heard my name. “Emily.”- It was my mom. She looked worried as she walked beside dad. “Your parents?” he asked. I nodded. He stood up and before he wore his


mask, he turned and said,” Good luck.”  And before I could say anything he left. Good luck? What for?

“Emi, honey what happened? Mom asked.  My dad looked angry but the disappointed kind. “Why aren’t you in school and you’re at the hospital?”- My dad’s voice was low and coarse. I remained silent not knowing how to start. Sorry dad, I didn’t tell you or mom but I went for a checkup the other day and now the result says that I’m suffering from a heart disease, a rare heart disease. And if they operate on it I could have complications. I wanted to cry again, there was no way I could explain anything without breaking down. I kept silent. Mom pulled my hand forward “It’s okay honey, we’re here for you” I could almost see the tears in her eyes. They were glistening.

Dr. Kimball came out and called his parents in his office. I stayed behind wondering how my parents would take it and what would happen next. They didn’t come out for a long time, as I stood to go to the washroom the hanky fell down. I picked it up and realized that I didn’t even know his name. How was I going to return it? When I returned from the washroom, my parents were shaking hands with Dr. Kimball. I exhaled and went towards them. My dad looked stressed and my mom wiped her tears when she saw me. “Emi, let’s go home okay?”- She said in a soft voice. I nodded.

We didn’t talk the whole car ride home. I was worried as to what the doctor had said that they were like this. When we reached home, it was around 5 my mom went to the kitchen to prepare dinner, while my dad sat down on the sofa carrying my report and a pamphlet.  I sat down near my dad; he put his arm around me and patted my head. I swallowed the lump in my throat. “Dad, what did he say?” He was silent for a while then he cleared his throat and said, “Well, your heart problem is in the first stage so they can give medications to slow it down. And, um, they could operate on it but since you’re a rare case they’re worried about the side effects.”

“What kind of side-effects?”


 “There could be irregular beating of the heart or continuous chest pains and if the operation is not successful than you could...” He trailed off and became quiet. I didn’t see her coming but my mom was just behind me, her hands on the sofa. She looked like she was about to cry. She held my hand as she sat down next to me. I broke down again, this time not stopping. I didn’t want a surgery that could affect me. I didn’t want to leave my parents and my friends. My mom placed my head on her shoulder as I cried, she started crying too. “It’s okay, honey. It’s okay. It’ll be alright.”- Her voice was muffled and soft almost a whisper. I skipped diner and went straight to bed, I was all cried out for the day. I could hear my mom and dad talking downstairs. I couldn’t really make out the words but they were talking about some kind of therapy and hospitals. I guess I would be admitted in the hospital now so that the doctors could monitor me and it would be safer but lying in the hospital bed isn’t a pretty picture. Just lying there waiting for the days to go by. It sounded dreadful. I tried not to think about it as though it could help. I felt the chest pain again only this time it was longer and more painful. I held my hand against my chest tighter and winced in pain. I screamed into the pillow; it felt like someone was trying to rip my heart out. It went away slowly and I heaved trying to catch my breath. This is going to be a regular thing now, huh? It was really painful. I tried to sleep but was not able to. I kept on staring at the ceiling trying to forget the pain. I could still hear my parents talking or were they arguing? Their voices were loud.

“She’s still 17”- my mom said.

“You think I don’t know that?”- My dad yelled. Should I go down or not?

 I thought as I sat on my bed. I went downstairs but stopped at the end of the staircase. They were talking about something else now.




Submitted: October 05, 2017

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