…:::Heat Wave, Cold Wave, Love Wave – Memoir:::…

For weeks New York had suffered an extremely strong heat wave. Days passed and people were getting quite desperate since the hot weather was almost unbearable. That is why that morning, when my mother woke me up, I was surprised to find myself shivering do to a major temperature drop. It was time to go to my appointment and I needed to get ready. I went to my closet and took from the back corner some fall clothes. I was sure the temperature would probably go up later during the day but I was not going to take any chances. I loved cold temperatures but hypothermia did not sound anywhere near fun. Through the window I could see the sun had not come up yet although a stripe of yellow could already be seen on the horizon.

While I stumbled down the stairs I could hear my cousins were already getting up causing a ruckus upstairs that could probably wake the whole neighborhood. As always no morning could go without the typical fights between the six siblings. Add my aunt screaming for them to hurry up and it could give anyone a serious migraine.  I disregarded the screams and headed to the bathroom. In a house with six kids, getting to use the only bathroom was a challenge, and getting to use hot water was practically a miracle. As I let the hot water run through my face, loud bangs came from the bathroom door.

“C’mon! Hurry up! You’ve been there forever!”- said Mia, one of the youngest of my cousins.

“I just got in for God’s sake! Go away!” I yelled at her.

Not even today they would leave me alone. I decided to use all the hot water. “It’s not like they hadn’t done it before” I thought and with a smirk on my face I just stood there thinking about the day ahead of me. For a few weeks before that I had been getting some strong headaches that were followed by blinding dizziness. I had already gone to a few doctors but none had found what was wrong. At first I was really scared but by now I just wanted it to be over. I had been waiting for a diagnosis for too long and the fact that they couldn’t find anything wrong even after doing so many tests and exams (which we’re quite uncomfortable) was just disheartening.

Cold water started to hit my face. That snapped me out of my daydreaming and I decided it was time to let them enjoy their bath. As I started to get out of the shower it happened. A stabbing pain hit the side of my head and as everything started to go in circles I collapsed. I received a blow to my head when I fell which left me unconscious. I don’t remember much after that. What I do remember is waking up in the hospital bed, surrounded by the worried faces of my six cousins, my aunt and my mother who appeared to have forgotten she was wearing curlers. The scene was so comical that I simply started laughing. Their expressions quickly changed to disbelief.

“What? It’s not like I’m dying or something” I said.

“But we were worried.” said Mia. Everyone expressed their agreement with small nods.

Mia, the girl that would bring hell just to make my life miserable was worried. My cousins who I thought hated me were now by my bed giving me their support. At that moment I felt strong, strong enough to conquer any illness. At that moment the doctor entered the room.

“How’s the patient doing?” he said.

“What is wrong with him?” my mother said in an urgent, authoritative tone, without answering the question.

“He’s fine. We finally found the problem and it’s nothing serious. In a few weeks he will be as good as new.”

A collected sigh of relief was heard on the room. Two weeks later they released me from the hospital, totally recovered. I never had any dizziness or headaches again. But that day turned out to be quite important. That day I realized how much these people, who consequently drove me crazy, cared about me and also how much I cared about them.
( YSL – September 2010)


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