I Feel Fine
Sometimes the memory is so vivid it reaches up and grabs me by the throat. Suddenly, I can feel that same sense of panic and dread settling into my chest, and I'm eight years old again, lying in the twin bed of my youth with its ruffled bedspread and dozens of stuffed animals lined around me like an army of fluff.
I'm somewhere in between awake and asleep, that rare and nearly magical state of consciousness that is neither here nor there. My first thought is of school tomorrow. If I can't go back to sleep, then I'll do poorly in class. I’ve already had day after day of classes spent in a zombie-like state. Sleep is elusive to me these days, and having already fallen asleep tonight, I am more than a little frustrated at finding myself half-awake. My second thought? The stuffed orange kitten that I always have pressed firmly against my cheek is gone. If I am ever going to go back to sleep and be ready for school, I need to find it.
I lift myself from my pillow and spot the kitten on the floor next to my night stand. I bend down to pick it up...
My next coherent thought is of riding in my parent's car, my head resting in Mama's lap. I keep trying to open my eyes, but every time I think they're open, they roll back into my head. Mama's saying my name, over and over. "Katie. Katie. Katie." Her tone is frantic, and it scares me, but I still can't seem to open my eyes.
I am at the hospital now, sitting on the cold metal of an exam table. Daddy’s voice gets louder and louder. “Something’s wrong with her! She was just having a seizure. You can’t just act like this is nothing!”
Mama’s squeezing my hand, and I feel fine.
They stick me in a tunnel that’s kind of scary and take pictures of my insides. Everyone keeps asking me how I feel. I want to go back to bed, sleep so that I can be ready for school tomorrow, sleep with that little orange kitten nestled against my cheek. I tell them that I feel fine.
The sun is rising when we leave the hospital. Daddy takes us by McDonald’s for a sausage biscuit. I don’t have the heart to tell him that I want a Hardees’ biscuit. He reaches into the back seat and grabs my skinny leg, “Chicken leg! Chicken leg!” I erupt into giggles, and I feel fine.
Sometimes the memory is so vivid that I can relive each moment in my mind; every little second is one I know by heart. When I was eight years old, I had a seizure. I can’t remember the seizure itself, but the memories surrounding that one moment are as vivid as the pictures in my favorite childhood storybook.
This memory was written in response to the Red Dress Club's RemembeRED prompt:
We want to know what, from your childhood, do you still know by heart?
Is it a story? A jump-roping song? The number of rungs on the ladder to your treehouse? How much money you had to save to buy something you really wanted?
Dig deep and come back on Tuesday, June 7th, and link up.
To force you to keep it simple and easy, let's have a 500 word limit this week.