It's Just Emotion

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Luciana is born.

Submitted: April 14, 2012

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Submitted: April 14, 2012

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A Short Story by Yamil Baez

December 2011/April 2012

Inspired by studies on the mysteries of the brain.

 

It’s Just Emotion

Luciana was born on a cold day in December.  She was greeted with much warmth emanating from the small family that excitedly awaited her arrival.  She was born at home.  Her older brother and sister oohed and ahhed when she came out of the womb and her parents smiled from ear to ear as tears of joy streamed down their cheeks.  Abuela Rosa was there too even though the idea of a home birth had seemed a bit odd to her.  Those are for poor people that live on farms like the one she grew up on in the Dominican Republic.  Not here, in a first world country.  But she loved her daughter enough to accept her desire to have this experience.  She wouldn’t miss it for the world.  Gabriel and Serafina were so happy to welcome their new sister.  And the thrice-blessed parents, Lucas and Fabiola, were glowing. 

The picturesque scene came to a halt however when Luciana began to cry.  At first everyone was relieved as typically this is expected from a newborn when they leave the comfort of their mother’s body.But then, after two hours, she wouldn’t stop crying.  Nothing could calm her.  Everyone tried something- the midwife, the papi, the siblings, the mami and grandma.  Luciana wouldn’t stop.  Then came the anticipated visitors- the family’s closest friends and family.  Everyone’s attempts at soothing Luciana were futile.  Then suddenly, as she opened her mouth wide for a huge yawn, she took in a deep breath and fell asleep.  The silence was deafening.  At that moment everyone felt the urge to sleep as well so abuela tucked the kids in and mom and dad dozed off together with Luciana in their big bed.  No one noticed that it was midnight.

The next day, Lucas and Fabiola woke up to a soft and gentle giggle.  As they opened their eyes, Luciana and her siblings slowly came into focus.  They were laughing together.  The beauty of the moment did not escape the parents.  They were mesmerized by the calm and joy Luciana was showing and it made them happy as well.  The incessant crying from the day before became a distant memory, almost unreal.  Fabiola decided to feed Luciana assuming she must be hungry.  She brought her to her chest as the baby cooed and smiled.  Quickly Luciana latched on and fed but for just a short time. As soon as she stopped nursing, her giggling began anew.  Her siblings came running- they loved this side of Luciana.  This continued for the day with very brief breaks to feed.  The adults in the family found it odd but at least it was pleasant.

Towards the evening, the midwife stopped by to look in on her patients.  Fabiola was doing very well and Luciana was content and healthy looking.  Lucas wasn’t sure if they should express any concerns at the time for fear of drawing in any unnecessary worry.  However, when the midwife had gone, and Luciana began her endless and inconsolable crying,  he regretted his decision. 

As Luciana got older, it was obvious to everyone that the ability to express herself could not vary from either outright sobbing or laughing.  But her will provided some calm when she determined to be unaffected by anything going on around her.  She learned to shut off feeling anything for prolonged periods of time.  This way she was able to go to school and family gatherings.  She was also able to sit through shorter movies when going to the cinema with her brother and sister.  Lucas and Fabiola supported Luciana as much as they could while relentlessly seeking out medical and psychological help to no avail.  They were constantly worried about the challenges of adolescence as she entered the seventh grade.  By then though, she had mastered the mask of indifference so was somewhat shielded from the waves of emotions that surrounded her in the guise of her classmates.  But now she was about to enter high school.

Luciana’s ability to maroon herself on an island of her own kept her quiet and reserved but she knew about the growing concern regarding school.  It would be difficult to talk with her parents without falling victim to the extremes harboring inside of her.  The day came when she tried.  She wanted to know if there was any hope of experiencing and expressing the range of emotions others seemed to possess.  As her parents explained that they did not know the answer to that question, small tears began to form in Luciana’s eyes.  Her parents hugged her tight and tears from all three started to flow.  Luciana however cried for five days straight with short breaks of sleep.  On the sixth day, she told her parents and her brother and sister how much she loved them as tears endlessly streamed until again, after a few hours,  she was overcome with sleep.  This time Luciana never woke up.


© Copyright 2020 Yamil Baez. All rights reserved.

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