The Little Bird

July 11 Darkness surrounds me. I'm lying in bed as I look up towards the ceiling. My mind is loud, and I'm overwhelmed with voices. I turn my phone on and escape to the digital world, trying to find something to distract me from the big moment. Tomorrow, my life changes. I keep thinking about the call with the doctor and seeing my mother's face filled with sorrow. She tries to be strong, but deep down, she's breaking. She tells me the surgery will be tomorrow morning. We pray, but I cannot focus. All I can focus on is what will happen now. Will I be the same? Can I still play baseball? Can I hang out with my friends? All these questions have yet to be answered. Now I lay awake, unsure of what tomorrow will bring. Maybe, just maybe, it will be alright. July 12 We stepped outside the house one last time. The early summer morning feels soothing on my skin. I felt warmth one last time. I noticed a small bird on the ground near the car. I try to shoo it away, but it's unable to move. How can it fend for itself if it cannot even fly? I pick up the small bird and notice its wing is broken. I rush inside, look for bandages, and unsuccessfully tape the bird's wing. It's not pretty, and I probably caused the bird more pain, but I tried. I bring the bird outside and place it underneath a tree. However, it still cannot move. The small bird may just die there because it cannot fly. I sigh and walk away. July 20 The surgery was a success. A success as in the fact that I'm not dead and that the objective was completed. But I don't feel like a success. I feel like glass, on the verge of just shattering into a million pieces. Even days after the surgery, the pain is unbearable. I cry out for my mother, asking for more medication, crying out for more water, and pleading for something to end the pain. I'm awake because the immense pain will not allow me to sleep. Instead, my punishment is to feel my body form anew from the inside out. There are no more doctors or nurses running to check on me every minute. There is only me and the pain. I try to move around, but all I feel is pain. A sharp knife repeatedly stabs into my lower back as I inch forward. I attempt to sit down, but I cannot last because soon the knife comes, cutting deeper and deeper into my skin. I realize that my pain is minimal while lying in bed. So that becomes my prison. I lay aimlessly once more as I fight the pain, scared that the knife will reappear and inflict more punishment on me. As the days go by, it stops becoming a fight and becomes more of a submission. I cannot fight anymore because I cannot survive anymore. I sank like I was drowning in a pool. At some point, you have to submit to it. The pain is unbearable. So I cry. Silently, I let tears flood down my face as I dreamed of the days when I was freed of the pain. Those days are behind me because all I can see in front of me is pain. July 22 I've lost 10 pounds and feel so weak. The only thing keeping me sane is watching mindless shows and scrolling endlessly through my phone. I don't even bother to get out of bed anymore. I guess my mom noticed because today she stormed into my room. She wanted me to take a shower, and begrudgingly, I got out of bed. After she helped me out of the shower, she walked with me to the backyard. The warm summer air contrasted with the musty, stuffy prison I kept myself in. I sat down, allowing the sun to hit my malnourished body. I winced and groaned as the knife began its barrage. My mother went inside, and I was alone once more. I could care less to be outdoors. The bugs were buzzing about, the sun was too hot, I was uncomfortable, and I was completely out of my element. But as soon as I decided to get up and go back inside, I saw it. An old friend, flying about. Well, flying is an overstatement; it's more like trying to stay airborne. The little bird, awkwardly flapping its wings, landed on my armrest. I noticed the bandage was still on its wing. It looked at me, turned its head sideways, and flew off. It struggled to stay airborne, but in a matter of seconds, it gained enough height and was off. I was astonished and couldn't help but laugh. The small little bird that I thought would be dead is instead soaring high above me. I couldn't help but smile. July 23 I struggle to sleep because I continue to think of that little bird. I was so sure it would be dead. But now it flies, even though it's still not 100%. It still tries, and it's able to fly. I lay there, and my mind began to wander. Maybe I'm thinking this the wrong way. Why do I have to give up on baseball? Maybe I'm not 100% right now, but I can try. I keep trying because I have nothing to lose. I force myself out of bed and stand up. The knife tries to stab me, but it is dull. I walk around my house and feel empowered. In the dark house, I stand victorious. I walk with a limp, and the pain still lingers, but I continue to walk.

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