A Vacant, Empty Nightmare

February 1, 2008
By Wesley DeSouza, New Brunswick, NJ

I am in a whirlpool of thoughts. The slumber is taking over and it is sending me to a far away place. Everything shatters into a million pieces when I hear the sound of her scream. While the sound of her shriek touches my ears all time stands still. All thoughts fly out of my mind.

Vacant, empty.

When I to get up from my bed everything is in slow motion. All of a sudden I turned and all I could see was her: holding her stomach in agonizing pain. I am merely a four year old that can’t understand what is happening. The only thing my eyes can capture was, the sight of her sallow pale face, her tightened grip over her stomach, the unbearable look of fear and terror. The nightmare has me in it’s grasp.

My nightmare, our nightmare.

So I rush over to her bed like a firefighter running into a fire and ask “what’s wrong mommy?” The only words that she can mutter are “call grandma”, and she points to the phone that was rested on the dresser. I ran across the room with all haste and held the telephone in my hands. Then with my hands trembling I dialed my grandmother’s number. As the dial to became longer, I began to lose myself in my own fear.

Please pickup.


After listening to the dial tone several times, I lose hope. Then I hear a soothing voice, “Hello?”. I start speaking like a hyperactive kid. “Grandmamomissickandneedshelp!” “Slow down Wesley what’s wrong?” “Mommy is sick and needs help?” As I’m speaking to her tears develop, and are released like water from a broken dam.

“Ok, Wesley stay there and I’ll call an ambulance.” Those were her only words of reassurance. Nothing else.


A few minutes later I hear the sirens of the ambulance. The roaring echo of the sirens actually calmed my nerves. Gave me hope.


Then they walk into the room: the paramedics. Two big solid men holding large black medical bags and equipment. One of them leans over her and in a surprisingly calm voice, “What’s the matter ma’am?”. And under muffled cries she replies, “My stomach”. He looks her over while the other paramedic fills out information on his clipboard.

Where are they taking her? Will she ever come back? What is happening?

They wrap her arms around their shoulders and lift her up like she was a fallen soldier and carry her outside. Each step she takes is like and eternity away from me.

As they put her in the ambulance she gives me this look: pain, sorrow, and misery. And as they pull off, they pull me closer into life, closer into the future, closer to becoming who I am.

My mother will be in the hospital recuperating, and I will be alone. I will learn how to take care of myself. I will be alone to play, alone to eat, alone to watch time pass my senses, alone to sit and wait.

Wait, just wait for her.

I stare up at the sky and ponder my fear. My fear of losing her- my mother. Because, in that horrifying ordeal it could have all ended. Everything would have been silenced. And in any other time, with a blink of an eye, it could all fade away. It could all be lost.

But, yet she is still here with me, still by my side, still here to comfort me. She’s still here, like a warm candle lighting my path through dark times.

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