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I felt different. Not everyone puts the family in the kind of danger that I did. Others obviously do it but not in the way I did I think.
When I was born my family was whole and happy. I had an older brother named Kyle and an older sister named Emma. Kyle was a freshman in high school and was doing really well. He had always done club in all the sports he played so that really helped him. He was on varsity basketball, swim, and football. Emma was the same and played club sports. She ran cross-country, played soccer and always loved to do push ups and core exercises. I was just born when their life had really started. All I really remember from when I was little was that my siblings and I had a great bond. Every now and then Emma and Kyle would fight or they would get mad at me for messing something up but overall we had a strong and special bond.
When I was five, Kyle was 16 and Emma was 12 our mom passed away. Kyle and my dad got two jobs that they worked and my sister took on the mom role. She cleaned, cooked, went grocery shopping, helped take care of me and still went to school, came home and did homework. We had good money but my mom was the main breadwinner in the family. It was hard to keep up with everything. We slowly got back into the hang of things.
About four years after my mom had passed away all the work started really dwelling on my dad. It was now just Emma, my dad and me. Kyle had gotten a full ride for football and was doing great in college. He still had two jobs, they had gotten a little more demanding but he was still able to keep up. Emma was a junior in high school and was doing really well. She drove me to school everyday and take me home. I would have to wait maybe about 15 minutes for her to come but it was always worth it. I was almost always home alone but I didn’t mind. As a little kid I learned how be independent and figure things out on my own. No one was home to help me with my homework or make me food when I got hungry. This is how my life was for a while. It was one of the best times in a long while. But of course it was ended.
Once Kyle and Emma moved out dad couldn’t take care of himself or me. Money was still coming in from Emma and Kyle and he had a job but he started feeling all sorts of pressure. He resorted to alcohol. I started really taking care of myself and not depending on any one. If Emma or Kyle came over I would tell them that dad went to the store or that he just left to go visit some old friends. He was actually just really hungover in his room. He soon got fired from his job and and i was harder and harder to tell him to stop. He never got abusive but he got agatative really fast. When he was drunk I just hid in my room and slowly crept to the bathroom if necessary. When dad was sober (which was rare) he told me not to tell Kyle, Emma or anyone or else they would take him away and I would be put in a foster home of some sort.
I started coming home right away and getting everything that I needed to do done. Like washing the dishes, cleaning up a little bit, doing homework and making food for both dad and me. Conversations ended and we never really spoke. Sometimes I think that he forgot that someone else was in the house but I didn't bother me because I didn't want him to know I was there either. I kept the secret for a solid two years but my life was just about to get a little harder. I was going into high school which meant that I needed to be doing other things and not have to worry about my dad, cooking, cleaning, or other things that a mother would do. I became hard to hide dad’s alcohol problems from Emma and Kyle but I was still able to manage. But one day, the flame that was once lit by the lie I was telling my siblings was blown out by a giant gust of wind.
I got up and went to school and slipped out of the house without being seen. The school day was great and went really well. I didn’t have any homework so I wanted to get home early so I could just relax. When I got home there was a car in front and it looked strikingly familiar. It was Emma’s and as I walked forward a little more I saw dad’s car there too.
A wave of panic went through my body. I crept up to my house and stood at the end of the driveway was for a little bit. I took my key out of my backpack and took in a deep breath. I thought to myself, if anything goes wrong drop everything and run. As I got closer to the house I heard yelling or fighting, I couldn’t make out what was actually happening. The front door was ajar. I quietly slipped inside and closed the door without a sound.
“Why would you do this? I trusted you with her. Kyle and I worked our asses off to support her and so did you. If I hadn’t come when Annie wasn’t home..” Emma stopped talking and looked up. She sat down in the chair and shook her head.
“After you and Kyle left it was hard for me to focus an-” Emma cut him off.
“No! If anything it should have been easier. Only one kid to worry about. To love and care for.” They continued to go back and forth about different things. I wanted to go up stairs and hide but I needed to listen.
After a few minutes I thought it would be a good time to go up stairs. I just passed the kitchen where Emma and dad where and I was now in the clear. I heard footsteps coming from upstairs and I froze. I had to hide whoever it was. I walked a little faster but still as silent. Then Emma came over from the kitchen so I darted over to the other side of the dining room table but my backpack got stuck on the chair. I fell backward hitting my side on the corner of the table and then my head hit the ground hard. The chair followed my exact move movements before land right on my stomach. I looked up and saw Emma and Kyle at side. Then everything went black.
Everything was white and still. Faint talking and beeps where heard from all around me. A strong pain struck me when I moved myself. Its came from my head and hip. I tried to remember where I was or what happened but nothing came to mind. I blinked and layed there for a while. A lady in a cute little blue and purple scrub walked in.
“Where am I?” I asked stuttered
“The hospital. You banged your head on the floor. Not to mention that you really messed up your hip.” The nurse replied with a soft tone. She looked so peaceful and so at home. “How’s your head?”
“It actually hurts really bad. It hurts to move.”
“That bad huh. Might need another scan.”
“Scan. What kind of scan.”
“Just a simple cat scan to see what happened to your head. Nothing serious. You’ll be fine.”
“How long do I have to stay here? I have to get back home. I have to finish reading my book.”
“Whoa, hold on tiger. You’ll need to stay here for a few more days before you can leave. Especially if it hurts to even move in the bed.” She paused. “Do you remember anything prior to this? Like family or what happened and why you hit your head?”
“Well ya, kind of. My backpack got stuck on a chair. Right? And family, I have two siblings and a dad. My brother is Evan, sister is Katie, and my dad is Sergio.”
“Oh! I have to go. Get some rest. I’ll be back in a little bit. Don’t fidget to much or you’ll hurt yourself more. My name is Gianna by the way. I’ll be your nurse for the time being.” She left and I sooner or later fell right back asleep.
Later I woke up to people talking right outside the door.
“She will need another scan. She probably got worse while she was sleeping. I really thought she was fine but when she said she needed to go home and read I was slightly confused.” It was Gianna.
“Should we stay till she's awake? We don't have anything to do and at least one of us can be here the whole time.” It was a girl talking. She sounded so familiar but then so unrecognizable.
“Definitely stay. Maybe if she sees you, any of you it might spark a memory. I believe she will have to take some medications soon so we will wake her up then invite you in. Take a seat here and just relax. She will be fine.” I think the doctor had said that. The door opened and I quickly shut my eyes but then blinked them open like I was waking up. Gianna walked around me and started preparing something. She turned and saw me awake.
“Hello there. How was the nap?”
“Good. I think so.”
I have to give you some meds and then you have some visitors. Hold still.” She pulled out a needle and had me turn the other way and take in deep breaths. It was the first time I was able to take a look around the room. It was mainly plain white with a few bits of color here and there. By the door there was a rectangle window with blinds. The blinds were closed almost all the way but I was in that perfect position to see right through them. Outside I saw three people sitting in chairs across the hall. Two boys and a girl. The girl sat on the right and she looked both mad and worried. The boy in the middle very strong sitting there. He was definitely the divider of the girl and the other guy. The last guy looked old and tired. He constantly moved back and forth impatiently. He finally stopped and put his head on the wall and closed his eyes. It seemed like forever I was analyzing those three people but Gianna finished my shot fast and had me lay back down.
“Stay here. I’ll go get you visitors for you.”
“Okay. I’ll be here resting in the time being.” I said in a very sarcastic voice.
“Hey, watch your attitude missy.” I giggled and she walked out of the from with a small chuckle. I closed my eyes and those three people appeared. I knew them, but, where are they from? Were they family, friend, foe or maybe I didn’t even know them and they just looked like people I know. So many things ran through my head. I lost track of my own thoughts and fell deeper and deeper into things that I can recall but then again I can’t. Everything is on the tip of my tongue but nothing is spilling out.
“And here she is.” I was startled out of my trance. I flipped around saw my visitors.
“Hi. Its Emma and Kyle, Dad.” It was the three people form the hallway. I stopped. It felt like everything had stopped. My brain, my lungs, my heart and even the blood that had once been rushing so quickly in my body had hauled right in its tracks. I felt like I was just lingering there, the only one that didn’t know what was happening.
“Ummm… Hi.” I didn’t know what to say.
“We wanted to come earlier but you were sleeping. I took a small leave from school to come deal with you. I have to got back in a coul-”
“Emma and Kyle. Dad?” I cut her off. “No. Why did you go to the house? What did you expect to find? You know that I’m not there.” I remembered. It literally felt like a light switch. There was no slight delay or like any kind of flickering, it was just on.
“Wait. You remember what happened?” She stood up from the bed. Dad put his head back and sat in the so-called doctor’s chair.
“Ya. I came home from school and you were yelling at dad. I now know that Kyle was coming down from upstairs but I ran to hide from both of you and I got caught, literally.”
“I had to get something for my dorm and was startled to see dad home. After we talked for a little bit I called Kyle. How could you not tell us? This could have ended much worse than it did.”
“I couldn't. Where would I go? Kyle lives cities away and I didnt want to leave my school. I was also getting by just fine. Moving meant starting over and I didn't want that.”
“Well now that you didn’t tell us now you have to start over. You will probably stay in here for about another day and then you will go to Kyle’s house and stay there. Dad will get help and go into rehab. Now that you remember and now that we know you have to tell us what was going on when we weren’t there. There is no going back. You got caught and you have to deal with what comes after. Okay.” she stood up from the bed and looked around for a little bit. The nurse came back into the room oblivious of what just happened.
“I remember now.” I told her.
“Really? Well that’s great. That means that you will be leaving soon. Tomorrow maybe?” I looked up and my family. My dad sitting in the doctor’s chair staring at the ground, Kyle pacing back and forth slowly looking up and then Emma. With a worried face and bags under her eyes, she stared at me.
I took in a deep breath, “Ya. I’ll be going home with Kyle. I’ll be with him for a while till my dad and I get back to 100. Right?”
“Yup.” She gave me a cute little smile and walked out of the room
ONE YEAR LATER
I was know a freshman in high school. I had returned to my regular high school and house. I lived with Kyle for a good three months. During that time I took care of his beautiful baby girl. He had me on homeschooling while I was there. I wasn’t really 100% yet. My dad got plenty of help and started getting better. Kyle got promoted and was really earning the big bucks. Then there was Emma. I really can’t believe that for the longest time she was the one who cooked dinner, cleaned and and helped me do everything. When I needed help she was the one that was usually there. All the time. Never in my mind did I doubt her to help me. When I saw her through the blinds, even though I couldn’t remember her I knew that she knew me and knew that I could get over what I was going through.
I’ve been through a lot but I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that everything was going to change. Maybe not now but sooner or later I knew that it would all go right. The thing was, I never gave up.