I must have told this story—shortened variations of it, anyway—to at least seven different people. I apologize if you’re one of them, but I couldn’t not dedicate a post to it. It’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to me all week, which I suppose speaks volumes about my majestic daily life.
I’m not sure where the story begins because, to be honest, I’m still not exactly sure what caused everything. So we’ll start with 3rd period.
THURSDAY 2:10 PM
We are going through some persuasive essay rubric, when suddenly the letters begin to swim before my eyes. I blink a couple times, shake my head. The room seems a little brighter, but the shift is barely noticeable.
I look around, but the teacher’s still talking, and no one is commenting on the change. I chalk it up to boredom (and maybe the fact that my eyes are adjusting from having stared at a bright blue cardstock rubric for so long, but mostly boredom) and resume reading. The feeling recedes.
Two minutes later, I squint at the whiteboard and the entire thing blurs before my eyes. Wow, I remark silently to myself, I must be really bored.
We get to a new section on the rubric, and the unsettling feeling returns with a vengeance. This time, my head is throbbing and my eyes can’t seem to focus on anything at all.
It’s 4th period and I’ve decided to visit the nurse’s office. I’m lying on one of the cots, an arm slung over my eyes to block out the light, which is now uncomfortably piercing. My ears are ringing, and even with my eyes closed, my vision is still, somehow, swirling.
A nurse approaches me, presumably to shoo me off back to class. They don’t allow people to rest in the office for too long, on account of how many people come down and fake illness when they haven’t done their homework.
Nurse: Are you feeling all right?
Me: *groaning* Nooooooo.
Nurse: You said it was nausea? Do you remember what you ate for lunch?
Me: My stomach doesn’t hurt at all, though. It might not be the food.
Nurse: But what did you eat?
I think back. Eggs and chicken and waffles. (It’s a new cafeteria meal they’re trying out, some breakfast-for-lunch novelty. I don’t pretend to understand it.)
Me: *mumbles incoherently*
Nurse: What, sweetie?
Me: *takes deep breath*
Me: *blubbers* W-wa-f-fles
I am actually crying.
(Looking back days later, I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the vertigo. Maybe it was the stress of being sick just 24 hours before drill team tryouts. Maybe it was the pent-up anguish from the other day, when I discovered we were out of junk food. Maybe in another life, I died by choking on a waffle.
But we’ll never know.)
Nurse: Aw, bless your—
Me: *starts retching*
The nurse immediately jumps three feet back in a split second. Then, calmly, she slides a trashcan up to the cot. She stays for a while, waiting.
The second she leaves the room, I begin to throw up.
Nurse: Your mom’s here. Get in this wheelchair.
Me: I’m really okay with walking.
Nurse: You’re really not.
And so I slid into the wheelchair, knees halfway to my chest because of the too-high footrests, surrounded by my entourage of nurses. Mom walks in front of the procession to help open the front doors and we trail across the street like a mini-parade, disrupting the stream of afterschool traffic.
In my vomit-induced haze, I distinctly register the fact that when I’d wished for something exciting to happen, something that would preferably get me out of school, this was not at all what I’d had in mind.