It’s finally the weekend and per my usual routine, I sleep in an extra thirty minutes or so, wake up as refreshed as I’ll ever aspire to be, and lazily lounge downstairs toward the kitchen. Mom and Dad are already up; Mom sips on coffee while browsing her tablet and Dad juggles scooping chunks of some monstrous breakfast granola blend into his mouth and typing on his work laptop.
Per my usual routine, I’m at school early enough to catch a chance to hang out with Austen before first period, and typically I’m brimming with enthusiasm and anticipation for such an event. After all, any interaction I have with her is the highlight of my day, but today—the day after the incident—my head instead mires itself in doubt, dread, denial; take a checklist of every negative attribute and select all-of-the-above and that’s the brewing behemoth in my belly.
It’s been a month since I stopped writing normal journal entries in favor of only documenting my sister’s dreams. For the sake of nostalgia, I’m writing this entry so there’s a record of what’s happened over the last few months.
Cagney’s Journal – April 13th, 2015
It’s been exactly a month since Aria began having her dreams. I often wonder what her dreams were like before she began having the reoccurring dream in a world full of glittering rocks and islands built of jewels. Aria hasn’t returned to school since the dreams began, either. She’s been too lethargic, too sick most days. She’ll throw coughing fits that last for hours and she’ll hole up in her room all day. Mom’s taken her to various doctors and they all sent her home with a fresh new painkiller prescription and nothing more.
Cagney’s Journal – March 15th, 2015
Aria slept calmly during the night; I think it was my presence that helped. When she woke up, she looked kind of dazed and I had to help her to the bathroom. She wouldn’t talk to me other than to ask for food, so Mom made her favorite: blueberry pancakes. I delivered the meal and a large glass of almond milk to her and then she took it and locked the door.
Cagney’s Journal – March 12th, 2015
Only two more days until the weekend and start of Spring Break! I. Cannot. Wait. Out of the dozen or so vacay ideas I’ve bounced to Mom, I am pretty sure a road trip to South Padre Island is high on the list. Hopefully Aria doesn’t ruin things. She was so whiny this morning and when I got home from school. And not even whining about anything good—she just kept complaining that her head hurts, or she can’t feel her hands. It’s like, come on girl, you are so totally faking everything. I really hope she’s not trying to get our trip cancelled! If she does, I’m going to be so frickin’ mad at her.
School’s been over for half a minute and I’m staring at my phone. Today, I’m going to ask Austen to hang out with me. This is different, because usually I’m asking to hang out with her. A key distinction: one is me being the passive loser everyone of all time has ever treated me. The other is where I take charge and show everyone that I’m not just an invisible nobody, a pauper, a follower—I’m in fact, a legitimate and valuable human being in sea of billions of other like-valued humans.