Welcome to segment 34 of my fictional story When Life Hands You Lymes. Enjoy!
“I am so hungry.” I walked into Mom’s office and sat down with a sigh after driving Julia back to her house. I’d been delighted to hang out with her, but now that she was gone I wondered how I’d lasted for so long.
“You do realize you missed lunch, don’t you?” Dad came in the office, a briefcase in one hand and his phone in the other.
“Oh yeah, I kinda forgot about that.” Julia’s excitement must have been contagious, how else could I have skipped a meal?
“And you do realize this isn’t the kitchen, right?” Mom asked, pointing her pencil at me.
“Thank you for pointing that out.” I eyed Mom’s pencil.
Turning around, Dad gave me a high five, “Score one for Madds.” Dad and I like to keep track of how often we can fit a pun into every day conversation, Dad almost always wins.
“Here, I have some raw almonds and dried fruit in my desk.” Mom pulled a little plastic container and handed it to me.
“Thank you.” When I was done with my little snack, the plan had been for me to go down to the kitchen and find something else to eat, but instead I headed back to my wing of the house. I was so crazy tired and couldn’t figure it out. Of course I hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep the night before, but there had been plenty of times that I’d stayed up that late with my girl friends and it didn’t usually effect me this bad. I was young, I was good at bouncing back.
The next few days crawled on by with me not feeling like myself and yet fighting not to show it because it felt weird, almost like my family might think that now that I had a problem with my thyroid I was suddenly being all hypochondriac-y on them and I despised the thought.
“So, do you think you’re feeling more energized now that you’re on your thyroid medicine?” Katie’s question was a harmless in every way, shape, and form, but for some reason it felt like an attack. She had come in when I was sitting by our water fountain in our front hall reading through some of my music books.
I gave a little shrug, hoping she would just move on. I had no desire to talk to anyone at the moment and that made me feel really weird. I just wished I would have thought to go up to my room before anyone had come home.
“I take that as a no?” Again, I don’t think Katie was meaning anything by that comment, just being interested in my life, but it felt like her words were dripping with condemnation.
Again, I gave a non-committing shrug.
“Are you playing a game where you’re not allowed to talk or something?” Katie put her empty hand on her hip.
“No.” One word. I got one word out without crying, but I had this strange and annoying feeling that if I tried to squeeze another word out of my tightening throat, I would burst into tears and make a fool of myself.
“Then what’s up?” Katie’s not used to me being so tight lipped, so I’m sure that was weirding her out.
“Nothing.” Good, another word.
“Madalyn Marie Emerson, did I do something wrong?”
I shook my head.
“Is something wrong?”
“This is getting exasperating if you can’t tell. I’ve had a long day at work, why don’t you just talk?”
And suddenly I felt like the annoying little sister who no one wants to be around. I knew I needed to get up to my room before I burst into tears, but alas, it didn’t happen.
“I don’t even know what I said wrong!” were Katie’s frustrated last words as I ran up the stairs.
Well guess what? Neither do I. I gave a disgusted roar at myself as I jumped into bed and pulled the covers all the way over my head. My heavy breathing and the warm tears streaming down my face made it too hot though, and I had to take the covers back off my face. I gave my mattress a little kick with the heel of my foot. “Madalyn, you need to get ahold of yourself. That was a perfectly childish way to react.” I began scolding myself, but then stopped, confused. What had I even been reacting to? All Katie did was ask about how I’d been feeling. What could be more natural than that?