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I tied my hair up into a bun and wore a sweatshirt over my uniform. It was getting colder as winter approached. I went to the garden to meet Mr. Seymour. When I went down I saw that Mr. Seymour was digging a hole using a shovel. Suddenly he stopped and placed his hand on his back. I ran towards him as he winced in pain. “Are you alright, Mr. Seymour?”

“I’m fine, just pulled my back.”

“Here, let me do it.”

“No, no I’m fine I can do it. Don’t worry.”

He finally gave in after much persuasion. I helped him sit on the bench and dug the ground. He instructed me what to do. I planted the sapling and watered it. He said that he had to do ten more. I told him that I would do it. He didn’t feel comfortable with that idea so I dug the holes and he helped in planting and watering. I felt exhausted but I was happy that I had helped him even if it was just a little.

“Thank you, miss.”

“It’s nothing, Mr. Seymour. I wanted to thank you for the other day too.”

“You patched things up?”

“Yes, and she went to the trip.”

“That’s really nice. Thank you again.”

My heart was beating really fast now and I started breathing very fast. I felt like I running out of breath suddenly. Mr. Seymour was looking at me surprised not knowing what to do. “Miss, you okay?” My chest hurt a lot. I pulled my sweatshirt as I winced in pain. The last thing I remembered was Mr. Seymour carrying me, running towards the hospital screaming. “Help!”

It felt like it was done now. This was it. And then I blacked out. I don’t know for how long I had passed out but when I opened my eyes I was back in my hospital room. Lillian sitting near me, Ben was standing next to her, Mr. Seymour was holding his gloves in hands as he sat on the couch and


Dr. Kimball was talking to someone. Someone who seemed to be arguing with him. Who was it? I blinked to clear my vision but I ended up falling back to my sleep. I don’t know after how long but this time when I opened my eyes an oxygen mask was over my face and an IV in my hand. Lillian saw me and cried. I tried to sit upright and Ben helped me up. I still felt weak and tired. Lillian wiped her tears and smiled weakly. I smiled back.


“How do you feel now?”

“Okay, I guess. Ho long was I asleep?”

“About five, six hours.”

“What?” I had been out for so long and I wasn’t even aware about it. I looked at her and I realized by her uniform and condition that she had come back directly from school. “You’ve been here for six hours?”

“Yeah.” She paused for a while and then hugged me tightly, with tears gushing down her cheeks. “Do you know how worried or scared I was? I thought that you won’t wake up. Don’t you ever do that again.”

I started crying too. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault, Emily.” Ben said patting my shoulders. I smiled at him.

“It is her fault. Why aren’t you taking care of yourself? Lillian said wiping her tears. “I am taking care of myself.”

“And that is why you’re here?” I don’t know why but I laughed; not loud but just a little. “Is this funny to you?”

“No, it’s just you sound like my mom.”

“Well, your mom is right then.” She said smiling and hugging me more tightly. “Okay, okay. Now you’re trying to choke me.”

“Serves you right.”

There was a knock on the door and Dr. Kimball came in with his clipboard. “Hey, Emily. How are you feeling now?”

“A little weak but fine I guess.”


“Okay, well then that’s good.”

“Why did this happen?”

“The cause was exhaustion due to some physical strain. Like digging holes.”

He looked at me disappointed. “Now, will you please explain why you were digging holes and not the gardener?”

“Mr. Seymour hurt his back so I was helping him. I didn’t know that this would happen.” He let out a sigh and looked at me sternly.

“Well, no more physical strains or activities from now okay?” I nodded.

“Please have the medications that will be given to you, okay?”

“Yes, Doctor.”

He left the room. Ben sat on the couch while Lillian took her shoes out and sat on the bed with her legs folded. I saw that Mr. Seymour was not there.

“Where is Mr. Seymour?”

“He went back home, his duty was over.” Ben said.

“He was blaming himself for what had happened.” Lillian added.

“But it wasn’t his fault. I’ll talk to him tomorrow.”

“Just talk no activity okay?” Ben said sternly. Lillian gave me that Listen-to-us-or-else look. I smiled and nodded. Ben spoke up suddenly.

“Oh by the way, that J guy was here earlier.”

“That’s right. He was even arguing with the doctor.” Lillian added.

“Really? Why?”

“I don’t know I wasn’t paying attention. Ben what were they arguing about?”

“Something about you and your condition.”

“Oh, I guess I’ll ask him later.” When I said this Lillian and Ben exchanged sly glances and looked at me. “Are you guys close friends now?” They said I think trying to cheer me up.

“Not really.”

“Well, he sure seemed worried about you enough to argue with the doctor.”

I tried to think why he would fight with Dr. Kimball.  Just then he entered


the room. His hair was messed up more than usual but it didn’t look dirty. Somehow it looked adorable like a baby’s hair. His eyes looked tired. He nodded at Ben as he came in and smiled at Lillian. When he turned to me, he didn’t smile but he didn’t look sad either. It was hard to read what he was thinking. I pointed at the mask and asked, “Can I take it out?” He nodded. “Are you feeling okay now?”

“Yeah, I’m fine I guess.  I feel better than before.”

“That’s good.” It felt like he was trying to say something but wasn’t able to. Ben stood up. “I’m going to grab a coffee. Lillian let’s go.”

“Oh, right. Okay”

“We’ll be back soon.” Lillian winked at me as she left. I smiled at her. J was standing in front of me. “Are you okay J?”

“I’m fine. I’m just; I can’t believe that this happened to you.” He ran his hand through his hair tidying up his hair a little. “I told you the previous night that nothing was wrong and that you should not worry and now you’re here. I’m really sorry, Emily.”

“It’s not your fault. It’s because I was working in the garden. You don’t need to worry.” I smiled hoping that it would ease his tension a little.

He looked me in a different way than usual. I felt my cheeks burning again. “Is something wrong?”

“No, nothing. You’re really nice, Emily.”I felt a slight thump in my chest when he said that. I smiled trying to seem calm.

“I’m sorry again and if there’s anything I can do, let me know?”

“Well, there is something.” He looked at me intently waiting for me to offer my request. “Your name.”

He laughed. I was happy seeing him laugh. “Anything other than that.”

“Well, I don’t have anything else than for now.”

“Okay, well use it nicely. I don’t do favors to just anyone.”

“Well then, I’m honored.”


I heard Lillian’s voice outside. He looked at me smiling and said, “Um, well then I’ll come by later. Take lots of rest okay?”

“I think I’ve had enough rest to last me at least two days.”

He smiled and was about to leave the room. “Jackson?”

“Fortunately no.” He laughed as he left the room. Whatever his name was, I would figure it out one day or the other. My phone rang as Lillian and Ben entered the room. It was mom. Did they call mom? I picked it up trying to stay calm.

“Hey, mom.”

“Hey, honey. How are you?”

“I’m good. How is trip going on?” Her voice sounded happy which meant that she didn’t know.

“Great. We’re at a tribal house right now.” Our conversation lasted for a while. I obviously didn’t tell her about what had happened.  After our conversation was over I looked up and saw that Ben and Lillian were looking at me. “What happened?”

“Nothing much. Why don’t you tell us?” Lillian said.

“What do you mean by that?”

“We saw him smiling from ear to ear when he came out of the room.”

They kept teasing me but I didn’t pay attention. “You guys didn’t call my mom, right?”

“No, we thought that that she was already informed by the hospital.”

“Oh.” That’s weird she didn’t mention anything. Lillian and Ben stayed for a long time and they left at around 9:30 or so. It was a very hectic day too. The chest pain was different than before and more painful. I was gasping for breath. It wasn’t a pleasant experience and I didn’t want to feel that again. After a small dinner, I sat upright on the bed again trying to sleep. I felt tired and weak but didn’t feel like sleeping.

“Can I come in?


“Yeah, come on in.”

J entered the room this time with a book. “Still not sleeping?”

“Don’t feel like partying?”

I was kind of glad that he was here. It felt not so lonely with him here to keep me company. He sat down on the couch and said, “Do you like poems?”

“I do. What are you reading?”

“Would you like me to read it out?”

“I would actually really like that.”

“This is a poem by E.E Cummings-

In the rain- darkness,

The sunset being sheathed I sit and think of you.

The holy

city which is your face,

your little cheeks the streets of

your smile, your eyes half-


half angel and your drowsy

lips where float flowers of kiss

and there is thy sweet shy pirouette

your hair

and then your dance song soul, rarely-beloved

a single star is uttered and I

think of you.”


Submitted: December 02, 2018

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