Chicken Soup

I roll over in bed and pull the covers over my head.

“I don’t want to be aliiiiiive” I groan. It is no longer under debate, I am sick. My body lost and the flu won. I’m running a mild fever, and I feel like I ran 300 marathons the night before. My head is pounding, and the pile of crumpled tissues by the bed continues to grow. Also, I’m definitely a drama queen when I get sick and not too proud to admit it.

I manage enough lucidity to type up an email to my boss telling him I won’t be in, and then I regress into my self-pity as I accept the fact that I’m going to be in bed for the larger part of the weekend.

Lila calls, her face fills up my phone screen and I swipe to answer and tap the loudspeaker button; I don’t have enough energy to hold the phone to my face. I’m sick, I croak…No work today. The conversation doesn’t last long; it’s obvious I don’t want to talk. I want to go back to dying miserably under the covers.

I doze off and when I come to it is noon-ish. Time to get up. I need to get some food in me to take something for the fever. After preparing myself mentally to get up for no less than 20 minutes, I muster up the energy to crawl out of bed. As I approach the living room I notice that Lila’s coat is hanging in the doorway. She’s here?

I step into the living room and there she is, sprawled on the couch and lost in a book. She looks up and smiles at me. Suddenly she’s off the couch and standing right in front of me…She kisses my forehead and puts her arms around me.

“I thought you might sleep through the whole day!”. With her arms about my shoulders, she guides me to the couch and sits me down. Seconds later there’s a tray across my lap holding toasted bread and a big bowl of home made chicken soup, a glass of water, and a box of Humex – flu medicine.

I have never felt so grateful for anything in my life as I did in that moment. I ate my soup and toast; and while my taste was impaired by my illness I can assure you it was the best soup I have ever had.

Once I was done, she removed the tray and pulled me off the couch. She wrapped her arms around me tight and pretended to carry me, and then in that same position she proceeded to walk backwards to the bedroom saying “don’t worry I won’t drop you” and smiling that big smile of hers. She set me down in bed, and tucked me in, then plopped down next to me with her book.

“Go back to sleep, you need your rest” she instructed, one hand pressing her book up against her folded knees as she read, and the other gently stroking my hair.

And I did as I was told, happy to comply, feeling so loved there was  no room left inside me to feel sick.


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The Girl to My Left

We’re sitting in the auditorium, quite a distance from the stage. The ceremony will begin in about ten minutes. There’s this buzz in the air as we, the audience, grow impatient to see our loved ones take their turn on the stage. We’ve made this whole trip for those 5 seconds that they’ll be up there.
Everyone is trying to find the best angle to snap a picture when that moment comes. Some are still filing in, and growing desperate to get good seats with a good view.

I’m sitting beside other family members, and for a moment I forget the reasons why I’m not close to my family. For a moment everything falls into place, and things are smooth. We’re all focused on that one person in a black gown sitting several rows up ahead, and there is no stress in that. And as I relax and allow my mind to wander, I find myself staring in admiration at a girl several seats to my left…

She has curly hair, but short and tamed by a thin white hair-tie, holding it out of her eyes and off of her face. She has a friendly face; with round cheeks and a smile that offers itself to anyone who meets her gaze. She is nervous, tasked with the grave responsibility of photographer, and she is fidgeting with a large digital camera. She runs her fingers over the different knobs and buttons, making sure the settings are just right, revealing black nail-polish on short but neat nails. Her blouse is two layered; a shirt on the outermost layer with an inner layer that ends with frills poking out below her sleeves, concealing all but the tip of what I believe to be a very intriguing tattoo. She gets up and walks right out of the aisle of seats, and settles down to its side on her knees using the back of the final seat as support. As she lowers herself to the ground, her skirt hikes every so slightly up uncovering more of her calf. That there is my favorite muscle in the human body on display for me, perfectly sculpted. I followed the seemingly soft skin from her knee to her ankle; dr. martins. I smile. I love boots with a skirt; wins me over every time.

This girl has caught my attention. I’m not only attracted by her looks which I must say were quite pleasing, but also her demeanor. She was flustered with her camera but sure of herself. An organizer approached her to ask that she return to her seat and she refused with such finality that the organizer barely put up a fight. Intriguing…

She turned to the right and caught me looking at her. Her eyes met mine, and her she smiled, but it only lasted an instant. She was soon looking elsewhere, but I could have sworn that smile lingered on her lips.

I’m pulled out of this mesmerizing stream of thought and observation by the announcement that the ceremony is beginning. I had perhaps been lost in my thoughts of this girl for about ten minutes. Realizing this I chuckle to myself, shaking my head ever so slightly.

“THIS”, I think to myself amused, “This is why I’m not close with my family…”