"I Like Your Shoes" | Teen Ink

"I Like Your Shoes"

April 26, 2013
By hamricke BRONZE, Princeton, New Jersey
hamricke BRONZE, Princeton, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I wish I could just go to sleep and never wake up…

My dreams are my solitude that protects me from the stormy billows of life

I feel no pain…

I’m happy again…

I’m running…
I’m watching a lacrosse game from the sidelines, I notice my coach beside me. It’s raining and cold all the other girls are wrapped in blankets as the wait to be put in. My team mates on the field are racing against the clock to get one more goal. My coach is shouting directions at them. Suddenly, I feel a hand on my shoulder shoving me to get on the field. I’m about to tell her I can’t when suddenly I just begin running. I have the ball in my stick and I’m going towards goal. The sun starts to come out just as I lose my defender and now I’m sprinting so hard it’s like I’m flying. The field starts to disappear and I can no longer see the goal. Nobody else is around.
It’s just me… I look up at my stick just to see my empty fingers.
But I’m still running…
The sun is very bright now and I start to smile as I feel a strong breeze blowing past me…
I think I can make it to wherever I’m going…I can feel it…
I’m so close…

But nobody can hide forever…

And just as I believe the dream…Reality shatters it…

My eyes flutter open as I see the sunlight shining through my curtains. I crawl to the end of my bed and bask in the warmth of the sun, which is the only thing that manages to fill my emaciated body with heat.
I notice my heating pad hanging off the bed and I reach for it, to bring back to my aching stomach, when I feel the reverberating pain jolting down by back. I can’t live like this anymore…
I feel every piece of myself is saturated in decay…
I’m not a person anymore…I’m a corpse
How can everybody see that, but not believe it?

Nobody Believes me. When doctors first see me they are horrified convinced I have something fatal. Until all my tests come back clean, then they accuse me. They call me a hypochondriac. I know I’m not, but I’m starting to feel like I’m one. I have started wondering if it really is all in my head. A psychiatrist assured me I’m not, but when no one believes me, it’s hard to keep believing yourself…
click clack
click clack
click clack
click clack
click clack
I hear the pitter patter of high heels walking down the hall towards me. The door creaks open and I try to get up from the bed, but she looks at me and tells me I can remain the way I am and that she will figure out what is going on.
That she believes me.
I told her I liked her shoes.

But once your body gives up on you, what more can you do?

And once you realize that, how do you continue on?

I’m staring at the math problem trying to figure out the next step
I think I get it…I’ll just go for it and try. I pick a pencil and start squaring both sides of the equation, when my hand just slips down to the point. My hands must be sweaty, so I washed and dried them and sat down to resume working. I reach for the pencil again and I stare at it in my hands.
Why aren’t my fingers clasping it?
I’m now trying to instruct my brain to hold the pencil, while staring directly at my hand. It’s not working. My fingers keep slipping away unable to remain steady.
I sit back into my desk chair, look up at the ceiling, and just feel the loss

The loss of a life that might have been

What can you do when you know?

Knowing that you are the victim of fate…
Knowing that you have no control…
Knowing that you can handle a crisis but every day living will be the struggle

That, for the rest of your life, everyday will be hard, and everyday will be a battle that nobody else will ever be able to understand

You just wait it out…
Look towards the future to forget the present
And Hope.

Hope that tomorrow will be better…that life will get better

And you push through every day by sheer force of will.

I’m clenching my teeth so hard I can hear screaming in my ears. The pain that I’m desperately trying to ignore, is rushing down my whole body, as I try to focus on her voice, telling me I’m almost there, that I can do it, that I’m so close. Through the tears collecting in my eyes I catch sight of my mother in the corner, she looks like a child witnessing pain for the first time, but remaining perfectly silent, just hoping.
In that moment, I knew she now understood what I felt 10 years before.
I clench the few muscles I still have and Push forward
and suddenly I realize…
I sat up from my hospital bed.

Because, you soon come to realize that true “strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

And that True Strength can overcome anything.

The author's comments:
Note: This piece is very spaced out because the original was 20 pages while being under 1000 words.

This piece was in response to an essay prompt for my English class:
For your final writing on Revolutionary Road, please compose a personal narrative. Write a short (under 1000 words) essay on the following topic: Suppose that you, like Frank Wheeler, suffer a sort of midlife (mid-adolescence?) crisis. If you were to go off and “find yourself,” what would you do, how, and why? Another way to frame this question is: what makes your life good? It is a fine goal to want to be happy (now and in the future) but how do you live in order to achieve this goal? Consider using anecdote (at least in part) to answer. The upper word limit is firm.

This piece is a work of creative non-fiction, all the vignettes document an experience I have had in my battle battle against my body to become healthy. I was eventually diagnosed with an auto-immune disease called Spondyloarthropathy which is a type of juvenile arthritis spread from your body attacking itself. I'm now classified as physically disabled, but it hasn't stopped me from achieving everything I want.

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