The Stranger | Teen Ink

The Stranger

June 30, 2021
By Anonymous

The author's comments:

Sorry I didn't want to make it so long that people would get bored from reading it.

“All right, the tests will come out soon, just wait here,” the doctor said. 

Ya, no pressure, I thought. None at all. 

“I need to go to the bathroom for a minute, honey, I’ll be right back,” my mom said holding in whatever her bladder has in there. 

The hospital chatter filled up my ears and I sighed heavily wondering how this week could change my life. I am normal, I am normal, I told myself. I am normal. Right? I closed my eyes and let the world around me sink into my brain telling me, I am normal, but I just couldn’t feel it. I felt a heavy thud next to me, and as I opened my eyes, an old man sitting down next to me, staring at me. I gaped at what would happen next. He just stared. 

“Uh-Uhm, do you need something?” I asked him. 

“So, you’re getting your test results back huh?” he asked. 

“We-Well ya,”

“Ahh, tested on what?”

“Diabetes,”

“Well, Ive been tested too before, you know!”

“On what?”

“Diabetes...changed my life,”

“How?”

“ADELE! No talking to strangers!” yelled my mom. 

“What's your name?” I whispered, getting up. 

“Just call me, the stranger,” he winked. 

“Sorry, mom,” I said, smiling at the man.

As we got into the car, the stranger looked back at me and smiled. There was a gleam in his eye that seemed to push me towards him, I wanted to know more about this stranger. The world told me that this man was a keeper, but I just didn’t know why yet. 

“ADELE! No staring! It’s rude!” my mom snapped. “Now, come on, get in the car, Sophie is coming over,”

“Ok,”

After letting the outside world sink to my head, I decided to let it speak for me. 

“Mom, do you know who that man was?” I asked.

“No, and neither should you,” she snapped back. 

“Sorry,”

“It’s ok, im just a little worried, your grandpa and grandma have had diabetes before, and I don’t want you to go through what you went through. I just want you to be a normal, 13-year-old,”

“But what if I do get it? Then I won’t be normal anymore-”

“No, but as long as your happy, healthy, and normal, It’ll be ok,”

Normal. The word surrounded me and slipped into my ear. 

“Ok, we are here, and remember, if you don’t want to tell Sophie about what’s going on, you don’t have to, your choice.”

As I stepped into the house, I felt the whole world underneath me collapse, I closed my eyes and told myself, breathe, just breathe, you are normal, normal. But the barrier between my normal life and diabetes broke.

And that was all I remembered before I went tumbling down, waking up on another, plain white, bed, with the only sound of monitors buzzing around me. 

“Im sorry to inform you, but your daughter has type 2 diabetes. She will stay in the hospital for a couple of weeks, just to make sure she gets healthy and we’ll tell you what to do at home. I’ll be back soon, but until then you can catch up with your daughter. Visiting time will end soon.” the doctor said. 

I wanted to shove her stupid clipboard in her face and tell her that I could have died and she’s telling us they can’t even stay that long because of “visiting time.”

“Oh, Adele, it’s going to be ok. You’ll soon be back to normal,” my mom whispered stroking my hand. 

The doctor emerged out of the shadows slapping her blue gloves on her hands and telling my parents they had to go.

“Alright, just need a little bit of your blood,” the doctor cooed as she stabbed the needle in my arm. A shock of pain struck me, and the withering pain soon decreased after I was left alone. The stranger, I want to see him again, I thought. I want to see the stranger. I need to see him. I didn’t know why, but I knew the universe was telling me that I need to see him. Ok, you’re crazy I thought, he was probably here just for a visit, just relax and breathe, I thought as I closed my eyes. I’m finding him tomorrow. 

And as soon as you know it, tomorrow came, and the search for the stranger began. 

“Alright, if you want to play board games with other people, you can downstairs in room 206,” the doctor said handing me my breakfast.

I shoved the breakfast in me like an animal and rushed downstairs to room 206. Where is he? I thought, moving my head around violently.

“So-” I heard a voice say. It was him. It was my stranger. 

“It’s you! Ive been looking for you! Can you please continue the story?” I pleaded. 

“Of course miss, please sit down,” he said patting on the couch. 

“So, how did diabetes change your life, tell me everything,”

“First you tell me everything, what happened?”

“Oh, I-i have type 2 diabetes, I fainted yesterday or collapsed, im not sure,”

“Funny, I also collapsed on my mom when I was 14, and the next day it changed my life,”

“How? Why?”

“Well, no sugar for me first of all, haha, recent trips to hospitals, devices stuck on me, it was strange at first, but then I got-”

“Normal?”

“No, then I got used to it, why do you want to be normal though?”

“Well, you can fit in, people like you-”

“But why fit in, when you were born to stand out?”

“Look, that’s not the world now, it’s different here, being normal is what you have to be,”

“But why be normal?”

“Well-”

“Alright everyone, please go to your rooms now,” the doctor beamed. 

“Im on the 3rd floor just like you,” the stranger whispered. 

“What? How do you know?” I asked. 

“I know many things, now what is it with all this normalness?”

“Well, would you rather be normal or have diabetes?”

“You can't control what you’re going to get, however you can control what actions you will take once you get those,”

“But, I just want to be normal!”

“But normal’s so boring,”

“I don't understand-”

“It's ok, you will soon,”

And just like that, the stranger vanished into the halls. And there I was, all alone, again. I slumped down onto my bed, knowing that I had to answer Sophie sooner or later, but no one will know I have diabetes. Because when you think of diabetes, you think of fat people. And fat for me isn't….normal. 

“ADELE!” I could hear someone scream. And in a blink of an eye, Sophie was there feeding me questions, shoving them down my throat. 

“What's that?” Sophie squeaked, pointing at my socks. 

“Oh! Do you like them? I thought I’d get more fun and unique today!” I said.

“But those are so...weird, take those off please, they just aren’t...normal,”

The word struck me in half, not normal, me? Normal is so boring, why fit in when you were born to stand out? The words swirled in my head. 

“But, normals boring,”

“Adele, I can't believe you don't want to be normal, ok you must have it really bad, I can't be friends with someone like this-”

“But-”

Sophie stormed out of the room...over socks. 

“Friends come and go, you know? But the ones that stay, you cant let them go,” a voice said, as the stranger emerged out of the shadows. 

“I-”

“Look at me, you will be ok, ok? You are not normal and you will never be normal no matter how hard you try. Normal is boring, normal is dull, normal is dead,”

I sighed heavily, sinking into my bed, and closed my eyes. But, he continued. 

“Close your eyes if you want, try to escape but you can't, because you are not normal,”

“Then what am I?” I breathed. 

“You are beautiful,”

“Oh no,” I heard the man whisper. 

I threw myself up and saw him coughing up blood. 

“No!” I screamed. “DOCTOR! DOCTOR!”

“No, no, honey, today is my day,”

“No! No! NO IT'S NOT! YOU STILL HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO TEACH ME!” 

“Lay me on the bed and I'll give you one last lesson,”

As I put him on my bed, hot tears flooded my eyes. 

“You are not living the life you wanted, Adele, you know you won't be normal, but that's ok, people who want to be normal are chicken. God made you for a reason, Adele, now pay him back by becoming the person he wants you to be, you are Adele, not anyone else, you are here for a reason, not to fit in like those who have failed, but to stand out,”

His eyes slowly closed, his life drifting away in front of my eyes. 

“Oh,” he whispered, “the names Jim,”

“Im not normal, Jim, Im Adele, ok? I'll promise to be Adele for the rest of my life,”

“That-that sounds good to me, goodbye Adele-”

“No! Please don't leave me I lost everything and you are the only one I have,”

I sobbed onto his lap and he slowly stroked my head. 

“Just wait, Adele, and everything will be absolutely perfect, just wait,”

He took one last breath and dosed off.  And in a blink of an eye, it was morning again.

“Oh, sweetie! Im so sorry about Jim! I know how much you loved him and he was a good man,”

“Im ok, mom,”

“I never really knew why you liked that man anyway,”

“Yea,” I said smiling, “Neither did I, probably just had that spark I was looking for,”

And at the corner of my eye, I could see a small girl waddling to her room with her stuff. And this time I listened to my heart and not my head. And I rushed out without thinking how I could make a fool out of myself. 

“Hi!” I said.

“Oh, hi” the girl answered back.

“What happened?”

“Oh, I have cancer,”

“Well I have diabetes, so you're not alone,”

“Well, it doesn't matter, soon I'll be perfectly-”

“Normal?”

“Ya!”

And slowly Jim's words sank into my head, and I said something I never thought I would say.

“But,” I said as I looked up and straight at her, “normal is just so, boring,”

And the girl just stared at me, and yelled, “Hey! What's your name?”

“Just call me, the stranger,” I said, walking away to my room.



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JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This book has 2 comments.


Lydiaq ELITE said...
on Jul. 8 2021 at 6:28 pm
Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
138 articles 42 photos 1004 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Let the disappointments pass
Let the laughter fill your glass
Let your illusions last until they shatter.
Whatever you might hope to find
Among the thoughts that crowd your mind
There won't be many that ever really matter.
But take good care of your mother
And remember to be kind
When the pain of another will serve you to remind."
--Jackson Browne

This is a wonderful story! I am familiar with this sort of thing because my dad has Type 2 and my aunt died of diabetes complications.

on Jul. 7 2021 at 2:07 am
anaiahsingh24 BRONZE, Dublin, California
4 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” — Oprah Winfrey

hi, i wrote this "book" I meant to put it as a short story, so you can check it out there