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CHAPTER 2

 “So what does the pamphlet say?”- My mom asked arranging her hair. My dad wiped his mouth and said, “It says that she can suffer from heart attacks and strokes anytime and that, that her emotions play a big part or something. If she gets too excited or sad or angry or anything. It’s saying that our daughter will die if she feels anything.” His voice grew louder at the end. My mom fell on the couch; I let out a stifled gasp.  Dr. Kimball hadn’t told me anything about this nor did my parents when we were talking.  This couldn’t get any worse.  I have CHD, I may get a heart attack anytime, my parents are worried sick, I haven’t even told my friends yet and this was all still the beginning.

There was still more to come.

My parents were in the kitchen when I came down. They looked like they had hardly gotten any sleep.

“Good morning, honey.”

“Morning.”

“Emi, before you leave for school we need to talk.” My dad said as he sipped his coffee. I sat down and looked at him.

“Well, Emi there is no easy way to say this but your mom and I think that it would be better if you take the rest of the year off from school. You know, for your safety.” I was shocked.

“But it’s my last year.”

“Yes, honey, we know but we can’t afford for you to be at school if something happens. I mean who knows what could happen.”

“Dad I understand that but it’s my last year and it’s mid-terms I can’t leave now, please.”

“Your health is more important than your mid-terms or exams.” My dad’s voice was louder now. I didn’t like arguing with him but I was.

“Dad, please maybe after the semester ends.” He wiped his face as he did when he was angry.

{9}

 “Emily Parker, you are taking the rest of the year off.”

“But dad-”

“No arguments.”

He left the kitchen leaving me no chance to argue. My mom who had been silent this entire time placed the breakfast in front of me.

“Try to understand your dad, okay? He just wants what is best for you and your health. Now eat up.” I wanted to argue but I didn’t. I just nodded and sighed as I ate my breakfast. I told her that I had to go to school at least for today to tell Lillian. She agreed and waved goodbye as I waited for the bus to arrive. How was I going to tell Lillian? I have a heart disease so I won’t be coming anymore. Sorry.

I boarded the bus and saw her sitting in our usual place. She looked

Angry. “Emily, where did you run off to yesterday? You said that you had some work and then you didn’t come back. I called you so many times but you didn’t even pick up not even once. You know how worried I was? I thought you were kidnapped or something.”

I was silent the entire time, touched by how worried she was for me but still thinking about how I was going to tell her.

“About that I have to tell you something, well you and Ben, it’s kind of important.”

“Oh, okay. Did something happen?”

“I’ll tell you at school with Ben.” She nodded not questioning me. When we reached school, Ben was already there waiting for us.

“Good morning, guys.”

He put his arm around Lillian as we walked. We went to the cafeteria. I sat opposite to them as I cleared my throat to speak.

“About yesterday, I, uh, went to the hospital.”

“Why is something wrong?”- Lillian asked.

“I was feeling a little feverish these past few days so I went to the doctor for a checkup and the results came yesterday. I have CHD,

Coronary Heart Disease.”

“Oh my.”- Ben said. I guess he knew about it. “Are you sure?”

{10}

 “Yes, the test results came back positive.”

“But how is that possible? I thought it was only in the elderly.”

“It is but-” Lillian cut me off. “Hey! What are you guys talking about? Tell me.” Her childish nature made Ben and I laugh. She hit Ben on the chest with her hand and told him to stop laughing. She looked

 at me worried, waiting for me to explain. “This disease um causes chest pains and nausea. Also this happens only in the elderly but I’m a rare case and they would have operated on it but it could cause complications and if I don’t get a surgery I’ll get severe chest pains and if I do get the surgery I could get side effects like irregular heartbeats and if the surgery fails then I could...” I rambled and

Trailed off. I looked at them. They sat silent and shocked as I told them everything. No one said anything; they just sat motionless for a while.

“Wow, uh, I’m really sorry Emi. I don’t know what to say I mean what do you say? How can this even happen?” Ben said as he ran his fingers through his hair. Lillian was silent still looking down. Finally she looked up and I saw tears in her eyes. Her voice was soft.

“So what happens next?”

“Uh, my parents want me to take the rest of the year off from school for safety.”

“What?” Ben exclaimed.
“But it’s the last year.”  Lillian said in a soft voice.

“I tried to argue but they didn’t budge. I have to stay at home. I just came today to tell you guys.”

As I waited for them to respond I had a thousand thoughts going through my head.

“I, I really don’t know what to say, Emi. I’m so sorry.”- Lillian said before she broke down. Ben hugged her trying to calm her, when I

  Lillian came and sat next to me and hugged me. I felt breathless and saw her crying I don’t know why but I started crying too. Ben and the stinging chest pain came back again. I pulled my shirt as I

{11}

gasped for air. Lillian and Ben looked at me confused what to do.

“Emi, you okay?”

“EMI!”

That was all I heard before my eyes closed. I felt really tired and weak. The next moment I opened my eyes and found myself in the infirmary. Lillian was sitting next to the bed, her head down.

“Lil, what happened?”

She woke up with a start and hugged me. Her words were all swallowed by her tears. I couldn’t make them out.

“What happened?” “You were gasping and you were saying something and then you fainted and then we called your parents and I was so scared, I thought that …” I looked up and saw my parents at the door. My mom looked like she had rushed to school and my dad looked stressed. I knew now that I couldn’t argue with them anymore. I couldn’t give any excuse; it was done now this episode at school. I was going to be in the hospital for a long time. It might’ve bothered me before but not so much now. Lillian, Ben, my parents everyone was a mess. I didn’t want them to feel like this and if me being in the hospital helped than I would. Lillian looked at me she looked like she was about to say the same things that my parents had told me. My parents walked in and looked at me waiting for a response. I nodded and said, “Okay.”

After resting for a while, I grabbed my backpack. Ben’s voice came,

“Emily, Lillian and I will visit you every chance we get, okay?”

Lillian hit him and corrected him. “Not every chance we get, every single day.” I laughed and hugged her. I smiled and said,

“You take care okay?”

“Hey! I’m supposed to say that to you.”

We hugged for a final time before I left. After reaching home, I

packed a bag for the few things that I may need at the hospital.

While packing I saw the hanky that the boy had given me. I washed

 it so that I could return it to him if I saw him. It felt like I was

{12}

moving out, packing a bag going somewhere else for a trip or something. When I went downstairs I saw that my mom was waiting for me. I sat at the table and looked at them. My mom asked

“You feel okay, sweetie?”

“Yeah, better.”

“Oh, that’s good. Now come on let’s have dinner together.”

My dad came from behind and placed his hands on my mom’s shoulders. “I’ll join you guys today.” He smiled for the first time today that I knew of. I smiled back at him, happy that he was trying to loosen up. We ate dinner happily, talking about everything and nothing but not about today’s incident. I knew that they wanted to talk about it, I wanted to too but I kind of felt happy that they were being considerate. They didn’t bring up the topic till the end of dinner. After clearing up the table I was about to go to my room when my dad called me. He said that he had called the doctor before and that the doctor said that the incident today may become regular and they couldn’t do anything about it but they could monitor me and give medications to ease the pain. As we talked, it felt like it was real, it was real I was sick and I couldn’t do anything to turn it back, but if little things give hope to  me, my family and my friends that a miracle could happen then I wanted to trust that. Before I left for my room, I hugged my dad. “Sorry for arguing with you earlier.”

“It’s okay, and I shouldn’t have yelled at you.”

I went to my room and was about to rest when my phone buzzed.

EMI,

Good night, please wake up tomorrow.

P.S sorry bad joke. JJ

 Lillian

I laughed when I read the text. I replied:

 It wasn’t a bad joke. It looks like you’re learning some few things from me. LOL J J

{13}

 

Good night.

I’m going to the hospital tomorrow. Wish me luck.

My phone buzzed again. Lillian sure replied fast. I smiled before even reading the text. I felt really happy that I had a friend like her.

 I have never learned anything from you all these years. Have learned through my own hard work.

Call me tomorrow and give me all the details don’t spare anything okay? Now go rest.

Bah- bye.

I kept my phone and stared at the ceiling and then at the closet, my plushier, my dressing table, my study table and my dear books. I’m going to miss them. I was going to the hospital tomorrow and I was going to stay there for at least a month or so. I didn’t feel as bad as I was feeling before.

It was going to be an experience that I would hopefully carry around for the rest of my life. It felt weird sure but I didn’t know whether it was a good feeling or bad but I felt somewhat excited.

Tomorrow was another day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{14}


Submitted: October 15, 2017

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