I toss and turn yet again, the sweat trickling down my neck. I have lost command of the words I want to use as I watch the dancing images flit in front of my closed eyes. She doesn’t want to panic me, but I already understand the severity of the situation. It is dark in my room, yet her hand finds me to brush the soaked hair away from my neck. My hair is inky and my skin is even more resembling of the drifts of snow outside, I am shaking. The only sounds in the room are the ticking of the wall clock and my strangled gasps.

I fall into a dream, but it doesn’t last long because by morning I cannot remember any of it but instead lie mercifully wrapped in nothingness. It is only punctuated by brief moments of semi-wakefulness. I cry because I cannot find my red shoes, but the fever has made me more than confused. What I might have seen on a picture or website has now transported itself to my closer in my world of delirium. But she is kind and immediately orders a pair for me to find if and when I awaken. The promised high storage iPad appears in the same way.

Although I am on fire, I dream of ice. People are tumbling through and I must catch them, five into that water to save a life, if I can manage. I want to try out of sheer necessity. Beneath the water, there is no putting my head down just in time for the first loss of consciousness. There is just swimming and rescuing, all that matters. I search for the word for round but end up making a shape with my fingers to express what my brain cannot.

When I am a little more awake after having drifted around in my mind before the darkness takes over, I realize that Saturday has turned into Tuesday. We watch movies, anything to occupy our time. Inching our way through my favorite series, she cries at the sight of another tall brunette writhing in pain and fever. After I have fallen asleep again, she turns it off, mumbling that she feels she is looking at two versions of me. It will be another week or too before I can stay awake for more than thirty minutes. It will be another month before the sudden faints have subsided.

But spring comes, it always manages to reappear.


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