At last I've been 'referred to.'
Mom and I had gone to the hospital for an examination. I almost fell over int he toilet and Mom was supporting me. I was desperately holding onto her.
Beside me, a woman in her 30s wearing clothes with a red check pattern whispered to her little boy: "Unless you're good, you'll become like her.
Her comment made me feel very sad and miserable.
Mom cheered me up by saying, "Well, if she raises her child by saying things like that, when she grows older and has troubles with her own body, she may realize her teaching was wrong and the fact that she wasn't a good mother has come back to haunt her."
I guess I'll have to face this kind of incident more frequently in the future. When young children encounter someone different from themselves, they get interested and stare. It can't be helped. But it was the first time I've been treated by an adult as raw material for child discipline. That was rough on me.
My family reckoned I must feel lonely being all by myself during the day, so they got me a cat. It's quickly become attached to me. It comes into my futon or inside the kotatsu with me. And it sits on my knees. It's very cute. When Rika holds it, she hugs it tightly;it doesn't like that and tries to escapes from her. Then she pulls its tail and tries to put it on her own knees, no matter how much effort it takes. It refuses more and more. Then Rika gets angry. In the end, she hits it. I tell her off, saying she shouldn't hit it. I tell her off, saying she shouldn't hit it. Rika glares at me and then starts hitting me.
"Don't you dare!" I say, pretending to be angry with her.
Rika jeers at me, saying, "Aya's angry, Aya's angry!"
"If you say so.:
I told Mom.
I'm 19 years and 5 months old; Rika is 5 years and 7 months old.
I'm living the life of an old woman: no youth, no energy to live, nothing to live for, no goals to work toward . . . All I have is my deteriorating body. Why do I have to be alive? On the contrary, I want to live. The only things I enjoy are eating, reading and writing. I wonder what other 19-years-old enjoy?
When I had my last medical examination, I was told to enter the hospital again after the New Year. I'm scared because I'm only getting worse and there's no sign of recovery. When I think about that, I can't help crying. Thrashing about in the darkness . . . Is that my life? Damn! Showing my defiance, saying "What's wrong with being 19 years old?" or "What's wrong with being 20 y ears old?" won't lead anywhere.
When I cry everyone gets depressed. When I cry, I get stuffed-up nose and a headache and I feel tired. So why do I cry? I have nothing to aim to finish-neither a job nor a hobby. Unable to love anyone or stand on my own . . . I'm wailing.
I look at my tear-filled face int he mirror.
Aya, why do you cry?
I had instant ramen noodles for lunch today - -known for the slogan 'Just add hot water and it's ready in three minutes.' Because I can't sip soup well, I choke easily. It's very painful, you know. If I choked and couldn't breathe when nobody was with me, it could be fatal.
Chika-chan, my senior at boarding school, had polio. She drooled a lot, but she could drink tea from a teacup. Ikeguchi-kun used a straw. Why can't I drink without dripping? Maybe it's because the muscles I use to swallow has weakened. Today I concentrated on my mouth. Like drinking sake from a small cup, I tried to sip it little by little. I didn't choke, so I was happy.
There's another thing I felt happy about. Up to now, I couldn't do something that to most people is a matter of course. It's embarrassing to write this, but because I often couldn't get to the toilet in time, I had to keep changing my underwear. I realized the cause of the problem: I only started moving after nature called, but I couldn't move fast enough. So I decided I should go to the toilet regularly at fixed times. And it worked! - now I can manage without any accidents! I'm so happy, I want to tell someone. But it's not the kind of thing you can tell to everyone, so I'm secretly enjoying my success.