Saturday, 7 May 2011

Chapter 2 : 15 years Old [ Illness Creeping Up ]

Signs of Something

Recently, I seem to be getting skinnier. I wonder if it's because I've been skipping meals to do all my homework and independent research? Even when I think of doing something I can't carry it out, and that gets me into trouble. I blame myself, but I can't make any progress. I'm just wasting energy. I want to put on a bit of weight. I'll try to take action starting tomorrow so that my plans won't be ruined.

It was drizzling. "I hate going to school holding an umbrella as well as carrying my heavy schoolbag and another bag." Just as I was thinking this, my knees suddenly seemed to collapse and I fell over on a narrow graveled road. I was only about 100 metres away from home.I banged my chin hard. I touched it gently and found my fingers were covered with blood. I picked up my bags and umbrella that were scattered on the road and retraced my steps back home.

"Have you forgotten something?" Mom called as she came out into the entrance hall. "You'd better hurry up or you'll be late! . . . Oh dear, what happened?"
All I did was cry. I couldn't say anything. Mom quickly wiped my blood face with a towel. There was some grit in the cut.
"I think this is a job for the doctor," said Mom. She quickly helped change out my wet clothes and firmly applied a plaster to the cut. Then we jumped into the car.

I had two stitches without any anesthesia. It was all a result of my clumsiness, so I tried to bear the pain with my teeth clenched. But, more important, I'm sorry, Mom-because of me you had to take a day off work.

Looking at my painful chin in the mirror, I wondered why I didn't put my arms forward to break my fall. Was it because my athletic ability is poor? I was pleased, however, that the cut was at the back of my chin. (If I had a scar in some more visible place, that future would be a closed book for me in terms of marriage.)

My physical education scores so far:
First grade at junior high-3
Second grade-2
Third grade-1

How disappointing! Lack of effort? I was hoping to gain a bit more strength with the circuit training during the summer holiday. But I failed. I didn't do it long enough. So I suppose it's not surprising. (Of course it isn't! = The mystery voice of my other self.)

This morning, the sunlight and a pleasant breeze were coming in through the yellow lace curtains on the kitchen window. I was crying.
"I wonder why it's only me that's so poor in athletic ability?"
In fact, we had a balance beam test today.
"But you're good at other subjects, so it's all right, isn't it?" Mom said, looking down. "In the future, you can make the most of your ability in your favorite subject. You're very good at English. So why don't you try and thoroughly master that? It's the international language, so I'm sure it'll be useful in the future. It doesn't matter if your score for PE is only 1 . . ."
I stopped crying. Mom made me realize that I still have some hope.

I'm becoming more and more weepy. And my body won't move the way I want it to. Am I getting a fluster because I'm lazy about doing my homework, which I could only finish if I spent five hours a day on it? No. Something inside my body seems to be going wrong.
I'm scared!
I have a feeling that tightens my heart.
I want to get more exercise.
I want to run with all my might.
I want to study.
I want to write neatly.

I think Paul Mauriat's Toccata is really nice. I've grown very fond of it. When I play it while I'm eating meals, the food tastes so good, it's like a dream.

Now, about Ako, one of my sisters. Up to now, I've only noticed the ill-natured of her character. But now I can see that she's actually very kind. Why do I think that? Well, I'm very slow when we walk to school in the morning, but she always stays with me. My brothers just walk on ahead and leave me behind. But when we were crossing a pedestrian bridge, Ako took my schoolbag off me and said, "Aya you'd better hold the handrail while you go up."

I'm pretty well out of the summer holiday mood now.
As I was going upstairs after clearing up the dinner things, Mom said, "Aya, can you come and sit down for a moment?" She looked very serious. I became tense, wondering what she was going to tell me off about.
"Aya," she said, "you seem to be walking with your upper body leaning forward and you're rolling to the right and left. Have you noticed that yourself? I've noticed you've been doing that for a while, and it's beginning to worry me. Shall we go to the hospital for a checkup?"
". . . Which hospital?" I asked after a pause.
"I'll find one that can give you a thorough examination. Leave it up to me. All right?"
My tears flowed nonstop. I really wanted to say, "Thank you, Mom. I'm sorry for causing you such anxiety." But I was stuck for words.

Since Mom has suggested I should go to a hospital, I've been wondering if there really is something wrong with me.
Is it because my athletic ability is so poor?
Is it because I stay up late?
Is it because I eat irregularly?
I couldn't help crying as I was asking myself those questions. I cried so much, my eyes hurt.

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