Memoir writing: releasing chapter 13

I am writing my memoir. To read chapter 1 click here. (3 minute read)

The following is chapter 13, a scene that resides prominently in my head. I am not releasing my chapters in order. There are different parts to my story that rise up to my consciousness at random times, so I edit and re-write without rhyme or reason. If you like the chapters, perhaps when my book is finished, you will want to read it in its entirety. By then, the story will be more consecutive (I hope). 🙂

Although this story is true and happened to me, I decided to continue writing in the third person. Some readers commented they like it, while others preferred a switch to the first person. I appreciate the feedback (thank you!) but realized after re-writing chapter 1 into the first person, it did not sound right. There is a switch to the first person later in the story, but you will have to wait to find out why, and when.

Chapter 13 is also a 3 minute read. Happy reading!

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The little girl with the enormous headache – chapter 13

The little girl was lying on a long, narrow bed in a room that looked like an office. There were no sheets or pillows on the bed, and it had buttons and levers that made it move up or down. Like the bed in the other hospital, the one where she fell and the nurse yelled at her, it was really high up. Too tall for a little girl to feel comfortable on.

The room had big windows which let the sunshine in. There were shelves with books on the far wall which was dark with wood paneling. Strange looking machines with blinking lights were placed around the room, mostly behind the bed. The little girl was told to lie on the narrow bed when she arrived with her mom, and not move.

Her mom had explained that an EEG was an important test, and that it doesn’t hurt. It will help us see that you are getting healthy again, she said. The wires on your head are attached to a machine that will read your brain waves, and when it’s all finished, we’ll go out for an ice cream, her mom promised.

Then her mom left. Where did she go? The little girl didn’t know.

She lay completely still while the nurses worked on her head. She was curious about the wires. She asked about them, but the two women who were busy attaching wires to her scalp told her to be quiet. We have to work extra hard because you have such long hair, they said while opening a smelly tube of glue.

Her long hair was causing them to be so abrupt, the little girl thought. They were tugging and pulling it, clearly irritated by the extra work.

The little girl remembered what her mom said, so she tolerated the two grumpy nurses. She distracted herself by thinking about what flavour ice cream to pick. Chocolate was her favorite, she may choose chocolate again.

This won’t take too long, she reminded herself while feeling them tug at her long hair.

After a while, lying still became boring.

There is no way to jump down and escape, the little girl thought. The wires will hold me back, and maybe even hurt when I pull them off during a jump, she cautioned herself.

I like my long hair. I can braid it, or wear it in a ponytail, she remembered fondly.

She didn’t care what the nurses thought. It’s not like she asked for this test, or wanted them to put smelly glue in her hair. She had no choice. She never did have many choices when she was in the hospital, it seemed.

The little girl started to fidget a little bit on the narrow bed.

The grumpy nurses yelled at her. Don’t move, or we’ll have to start over again, and we don’t have time for that!

The little girl tried hard to lay perfectly still. It was difficult though, she suddenly realized she really had to pee.

Will they yell at me again if I tell them I have to pee? she wondered. She didn’t want to pee on the bed, and create more work for the nurses. Nurses didn’t like work, especially not extra work. She fidgeted again and crossed her legs.

I have to pee, the little girl finally said out loud.

Oh, why didn’t you go before you came here! the nurses exclaimed. We can’t remove you now, we’re in the middle of the test! they complained.

I have to pee, the little girl repeated. She wasn’t afraid of them, but she sensed the stress everyone was under. No one cared about her stress, she thought. The stress of having to pee.

Finally, one of the nurses brought a potty and pulled down her pants.

I might have to poop too, the little girl said quietly, and the nurses gave her an exasperated look. Can’t you hold it in? they told her.

How do you hold it in, the little girl wondered quietly to herself.

She had no choice. She was lying on an uncomfortable bed, attached to a machine by long wires and smelly goops of glue in her hair, with her pants pulled down and two angry women yelling at her.

I have no choice, the little girl thought.

There was nothing left to say.

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