I was sick for three days.
My grandma said it was just a stomach flu going around, but I knew better. All the pressure that had been building up inside my head was spilling out and affecting my body too.
For three days I tossed and turned in a delusion that only an exceptionally bad fever can provide. There I was, alone with my thoughts, each on racing through my mind making me sicker than ever.
I thought about school, and the glorious journalism class that would come to an end in a few short weeks, and the soccer program that was making me a better player than ever, and oh so happy, but at a steep cost that was eating up my paychecks as fast as I was recieving them. And if I take more shifts at work, it will eat up all of my free time that I could spare to spend time with my town friends, and my city friends, and my soccer friends. And how long before I’m left with nothing but soccer and soccer and work that I use to pay for soccer? And how long until my friendship with Lis starts to take a downward spiral like the one with La, all because I simply don’t have the time to do anything about it?
And there was Zee of course. Oh Zee. I had pushed and pushed and pushed him away but also I kept reeling him back in because…well I don’t know why. Why would I keep holding onto him when I was clearly hurting both of us in the process.
#7 acted as the little voice in the back of my head for this one. Her friendly, patient texts wove in and out of my feverish days and said the things I had never let myself think.
#7: Well what exactly is so bad about him? He clearly likes you a lot.
Kay: Well, it’s just that…well he’s a little dorky sometimes and…I don’t know…needy…and, well, you see…I don’t know.
#7: But he sounds sooo sweet. And he brought you flowers?
Yes, dear readers, he brought me flowers. I had sent him a text telling him not to worry if he didn’t hear from me for a while, because I was busy puking my guts out, and what does he do? He shows up at my front door armed with a bundle of daisies and that shy grin.
I admit that I panicked. This was a) because my hair was a rat’s nest and I was wearing nothing but a giant soccer t-shirt and boxer shorts, b) because I still wasn’t completely sure how I felt about Zee, and c) because my very scary grandfather with a questionable sense of humor had just pulled up to our house, and I knew that he was not going to let me forget about this.
So I opened the door about two inches so that Zee could see as little as possible of my harried appearance, and politely asked him what the hell he was doing at my house.
Zee: Wow, you really are sick.
Kay: Yes, I’m feeling quite miserable, thank you.
(Grandpa’s car door is opening)
Zee: So umm…I brought these for you…(holds out flowers,)
Kay: (Freaking out because a) wow, a guy just brought her flowers, and also b) GRANDPA IS STEPPING OUT OF THE CAR!) Wow, thanks Zee. Well I’m really tired and sick and stuff but I’ll talk to you soon, k? (Closes the door another inch)
Zee: (Clearly confused by this reaction) Umm okay, get well soon.
Kay: (Closes door and sighs with relief.)
Now what to do with the flowers. I marched into the kitchen, uncerimoniously dumped the bouquet on the table, and told my parents, “Don’t you dare say a word about this.” Then I flopped down on the couch and pretended to be asleep just as my grandpa marched through the door.
My parents covered for me very well with my grandpa, and tried to follow my wishes best they could, but I could see that my father was having trouble understanding why getting flowers was a bad thing.
“It’s complicated,” I told him, and then feigned sleep once again.
But really, is it complicated? My mind was whirling with visions of daisies, and #7’s words, “He sounds really sweet to me.” And he is. And he’s patient, and kind and determined and he brings me flowers when I’m sick, and he won’t take no for an answer. Isn’t that what I wanted in the first place, a guy who ignored my crap?
I was sick for three days. Three days in a feverish sleep punctuated by texts and flowers and my parents confusions. Three days overwhelmed by too many thoughts and feelings and not enough answers. Three days of aimlessness until my fever broke this morning and I realized two things:
1) My life is mostly good. And
2) I’m scared.
As much as I would like to complain, it is true that I’m lucky to live such a life where I have so many friends and can pursue both my loves-soccer and writing-and work at a job that I like and have so so so many people who care about me. It’s not perfect, but perfection is elusive and I ought to stop dwelling on it. And I think that’s why I’m scared. I am so afraid that I will screw everything up and lose all my friends and my fear is causing more stress in my life than everything itself. And with Zee, I pick at his flaws and make excuses because I don’t want to take the risk and see what happens, because I have built up my expectations far too high, and I know that he can’t possibly measure up to that level of perfection.
This is the inherent burden of being a storyteller. No matter how hard you try, life will never be the fairytale you imagined. However, if I have decided anything in the last three days, it’s this:
Some things might actually turn out to be better.