January 30th, 2016
I opened my eyes, reached over for my phone and pressed the home button…430am… I put my phone back on the nightstand and closed my eyes. Today is going to be a long day. I am going to see my brother in Canada. I’m a bit scared, but after a few weeks its time to face the music. I opened my eyes again and I stare at the ceiling and say aloud “I can do this.” I push the covers off and sit up slowly. I swing my legs over the bed and plant my feet firmly on the floor. He will never know how this feels again, I thought. As this thought comes to my mind, warm tears start flowing from my eyes. I quickly wipe my tears from my face with my t-shirt and repeat in my mind, I have to be strong. I stand without assistance and make my way to the washroom. It’s time to sing the song and memorize the lyrics.
It’s official, I have arrived in this small Canadian town or shall I say village. Everything is shut down, stores are closed, scattered people walking around with their heads down or staring blankly ahead. The weather is about 35 degrees and no sun, cold and overcast. This truly looks like a scene from The Walking Dead. Shit. This is the place where my brother getting his care from. I call for a cab and I stand on the corner with my hands in my pocket waiting a whole 3.5 minutes for my cab to pull up. I get in and tell the driver of my location. He looks at me and nods. Sitting in the cab that smells of curry, old cigarette smoke and a mild stench of body odor, I look at the run down dilapidated buildings and think, its 2016, people still live like this? We are literally a few miles from the U.S. border and things are so completely different. We are truly world’s apart. After a few minutes, we pull up to the hospital and I begin to carefully count my money and pay the driver, I know I am supposed to get $6 dollars back but he just handed me 3 coins. I sat there for a few seconds bewildered and decided to get a good look at the coins before going off! After careful inspection, I see each coin is worth $2. I gathered my belongings and said to my driver, “Have a good day sir and thank you” and he nods at me with no eye contact and shortly after I get out and closed the door, he drives off.
I took a good look at the building took a deep breath and sighed. I picked up my things and walked through the sliding door. I look around and I can’t figure out where to get to the 5th floor. I asked someone that looked like an employee and asked where can I find the neurosurgery floor and she pointed to the elevators and told me the 5th floor. I thanked her and walked down the hall to the elevator bank and I pressed the top button and I waited. This is it, I thought. I am finally here. I hope he isn’t mad that it took me this long to come see him. Finally, the doors open up and I get in and drag my luggage behind me. I press 5 and when I arrive to the floor, I begin to pay attention to the room numbers. 500A, 501A…the hallways are brown and old. Walls are brown, the floor is dark tan and the doors are brown. I walk past a soiled linen basket that is beige but with the stains, its pretty much brown now. Yep, The Walking Dead, I thought. I look up. 505A/505B, 506A…I take a few more steps and I stand before 508A. I knock on the door and I hear “Come in!” I grab the handle of the brown door and turn it and push the door slowly. I have a pit feeling in my gut and I begin to walk slowly into the room. I closed the door behind me and I turn around to see more light brown curtains, I walk over and slowly pulled the curtain back and when I look up I am greeted by the biggest smile I’ve ever seen.
“Vanessa!” He said enthusiastically. And in that very second, all of my fears and my anxiety dissipated. My brother is ok. “Hey you!” I reply back to him. I dropped my stuff and walked over to him sitting in his wheelchair and warmly embraced my other half.
Through fire through storms
Burned and near drowned
I was handed this platform
Now hand me my crown
Past hurt past insecurities
Painful and some depressing
Looking back they couldn’t stop me
All those lessons were simply blessings
From heartbreak from tears
Broken hearts and disappointments
Revealed strength and eased fears
Ready now for real commitment
With passion with dedication
Liberation and admiration
Ready to release these inhibitions
And embrace my transformation
**Disclaimer- Fiction story!”
“Girl, why did you answer the phone like someone stole your dog?” said Talia
I sighed “Whatever. What’s up? It’s New Years Eve, I know you guys have a party or two or three to go to”
“Cheer up! Anyway, that is why I called you. You are coming out with me tonight!”
I laughed “Yeah ok. No, tonight, I am going to Netflix and no chill and I bought myself a great bottle of Merlot and cooked a dinner to die for. I am good. But you girls have fun!”
Talia wasn’t having it though “No, I am sick and tired of you being so anti-social. You are going to do something different for a change and you are coming out with me even if I have to drag you out the house myself. Don’t try me Roni”
I rolled my eyes and thought about putting my own foot down and doing what I want which was stay home and relax or I could go out for a change like Talia is forcing me to do and I may actually have a good time.
“Fine. Against my better judgment I will go, BUT you are so driving!”
“Roni, you have a deal. I will pick you up at 9:30pm sharp!” said Talia.
“Uh huh, 9:30pm sharp to you means 10. I’ll be ready at 10p”
“Love you too! See you later lady” I hung up the phone.
At 10:30pm, Talia sends me a text informing me she is outside and of course I gave her hell for being late as usual.
“You are going to be late to your own funeral. Really a whole hour late?”
“Look Roni, beauty takes time. I have to make sure I look fine for midnight. And girl, you look amazing. I am positive you will find you a boo tonight!”
“Thanks! You look great as well. You will find a new boo tonight. I am so good. I am happy in my life now. Don’t need a man making me miserable.” I told her.
Talia just looked at me and rolled her eyes. I guess she is tired of my speeches on being single and stress free.
We walked into a beautiful home in the suburbs and the décor was beautiful, lights hanging everywhere. The place was packed and everyone was dancing to the 2015 hit Cheerleader by Omi. As I turned around, Talia was rushing off to the other side of the house. I glanced around the room until I spotted the table with the drinks. I walked over to the table trying hard not to bump into the people dancing. I finally got to the table and see Coca-Cola, Sprite, various wines, beer is in the cooler next to the table, then I saw vodka, my poison of choice. I made myself a drink, vodka and a splash of pineapple. I took a few sips and began to feel myself relax a bit. I spotted the DJ across the room and he has his Apple laptop open and headphones half on. He changed up the song and now he is playing Beyonce’s 7/11 song. I started to walk around the room to see if I spot Talia and still nowhere to be found. Ugh. Maybe this wasn’t the best idea. Had I known she was going to leave me once we hit the door I would have sat my butt at home. I pull my clutch from under my arm and pulled out my iPhone and its 11:45pm. 15 minutes until midnight and I am sitting in a strange house and still alone.
I found a seat and sat down, I put my clutch next to me and continue to sip my drink and vibe to the music. I had to give it to the DJ. He is good, everyone is dancing.
“Is this seat taken?”
I looked up and this gorgeous man is standing over me with the nicest smile I have seen in a long time.
“Umm, it is now by you.” I responded
“I’m Sebastian, Happy New Years”
“Nice to meet you and same to you, I’m Veronica but I go by Roni.” I smiled and turned away. He is fine and I am starting to blush and this drink is giving me some sort of liquid courage.
“So Roni, why are you sitting here alone with only a few minutes left until midnight? Where is Mr. Roni?”
“No Mr. Roni” I laughed and continued “I came here with my friend Talia and she kinda got lost in the crowd, what about you? Where is Mrs. Sebastian?”
“Look Roni, I am flattered, you are beautiful and all, but I don’t think we are ready to be married” He joked
“Really sir? You are a trip!” I laughed
“No lady in my life, hence why I am here as well and my friend kinda flowed with the wind tonight once we got here. Guess he didn’t want competition with the ladies.”
“I can see why he would feel that way, one flash of that smile, you will steal any woman he was interested in”
“The only thing I’m thinking of stealing is a kiss at midnight from this beautiful woman sitting next to me”
I swallowed real heard. Oh boy.
“Oh, no one is sitting on the other side of you. So I guess that leaves me huh?” I flirted back.
I looked at my phone and its 11:57pm
I looked at Sebastian “ We have 3 minutes left until 2016, are we sealing it with a kiss?”
He replied, “I would be overjoyed. I can end the year right and start it even better” He said while applying a fresh coat of chapstick. This is going to happen I see.
“I don’t go around kissing men I just me-“
Sebastian grabbed me and put his hand gently around my neck and pulled me in for a kiss.
At that moment, the room stilled. I no longer heard the music; I forget we were in a crowded room. Faintly in the background, I heard a countdown
“10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Happy New Years!” Auld Lang Syne plays in the background and Sebastian and I are sitting in an embrace as we kissed.
I pull back from his embrace after a few moments and I sat there smiling at him.
“Veronica, I don’t know if you felt that, but I know I sure did”
“Oh yea, I felt something alright”
“I’d love to”
Sebastian took my hand and led me to the dance floor as we danced to the next couple of songs. As I look up I see Talia, smiling and giving me a thumbs up and blowing kisses at me. I smiled back at her.
I guess she was right, this year its time to do something different. This is going to be a good year.
I stare blankly at the ceiling, just blinking. It feels like I am having an out of body experience. A few moments ago, the phone rang, and I got the worse news of my life. I shouldn’t have answered the phone. A few minutes ago, I was making plans with my coworkers to hit up a local sushi restaurant. I had sweet chili edamame and spicy tuna roll with a dab of wasabi on top on the brain and it was this close to being brought to fruition. Then the dreaded phone rang.
“Yes, this is she”
“This is Dr. Lau from the county hospital, I am afraid to inform you but your child has been in a major accident, she is currently in the pre-op and we need your consent to perform surgery, she has major internal bleeding around her heart which is causing pressure and is going into cardiac arrest off and on…Mrs. Daniels? Are you there?”
I held the phone and I am not sure how I did. I was searching for air. Looking for that breath that will allow me to speak. This can’t be happening. No, this is a joke.
“Ok, you guys got me. Ha Ha. This has gone too far now.”
“Excuse me? Mrs. Daniels, this is not a joke. How long before you get to the hospital. This is an emergency. Is there someone else who can make decisions on your behalf? I am very sorry, but we will do our best to help your daughter….”
I can’t believe what I was hearing. The man on the other line continued to talk but I couldn’t make what else he was saying. At this very moment, I feel everything around me slow down, like a scene straight out of the movies. People are walking up to my desk asking me questions about the recent data, my iPhone is buzzing with texts messages about finalizing lunch plans
(Girl! You ready to leave?! I’m starving!)
…Another message from a friend who is venting on his failing relationship with his partner
(I don’t know what else to tell her? I don’t see how her not wanting to have kids is ok? That’s not what we agreed on! She knows I want children! Why is she so selfish!!! I cant! What should I do? I love her… 😦 )
I can’t breath. Now, I sit in this chair and I am not sure when I dropped the phone. But I hear the doctor yelling my name in the faint background. My only child is hanging on for dear life. Since my husband passed six months ago, I have been barely making it and she has been my rock. I can’t lose her too.
I can’t breath.
I am not sure when I started yelling. I am not sure when I slipped my chair to the floor. I don’t remember it happening. I hear muffled voices all around me. Someone is saying my name repeatedly. I hear it, but I can’t find my voice to speak.
“I’m ok.” I whisper.
Why don’t they hear me?
“She is slipping out of consciousness! Someone grab an AED! Who is calling 911?”
Why are they yelling? I said I’m ok. No one can seem to hear me. Forget it. I am tired of fighting. I’m so tired. I’ll just close my eyes and envision Marcus. He is smiling at me. Home. I’ll just go home to my husband. He always knows what to do.
But I’m scared of love
Getting too comfortable without love
But, we were born to love
Yet we fail at love
We think we should feel love
Instead of being love
We condition love
Not knowing how to show our love
Do you even know, What is love?
I want to learn love
All that loves
I don’t know how to love
When I see love…
I run from love
I’m hiding from love
Peeking out to watch love
In awe of love
Can’t fall in love
I need to embrace love
(Sigh) Maybe tomorrow…