My mother didn’t leave my side for three nights and days. She was always there. Eyes red.
My father was in and out of the room, dodging through the door like a satellite.
Aunts and uncles peered through the door, their whispers carrying through the sterile air. Unaware I was awake.
My grandparents prayed, bringing me food like all elderly Filipino people. They didn’t say much.
I didn’t see my siblings.
My brother’s fifteenth birthday came and went. He got sick. I wrote him a card.
My step brother visited. I wondered why.
My sisters wrote me letters. They were eight and eleven. For the first time in years, I prayed. I don’t know to what.
I had two roommates. They had their own issues. I didn’t want to tell them mine.
My vitals were taken every hour.
“How are you? Are you in pain?”
Then little white pills in a paper cup. A mouthful of water. I swallow.
“Give it time. You’ll feel better later.”
We met three times a week. I liked the people. Well– most of them.
We don’t talk anymore.
It’s been almost three years. I don’t like talking about it. But I will.
I still have the marks and my chest hurts when I exercise too hard.
Another part of me hurts too.
It’s not so bad now.