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Thinking Through Illness (One-Shot)

Discussion in 'Non-Pokémon Stories' started by Nerdy McNerdface, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. Hello dear reader! So I haven't written something proper in a long time, and the truth is that I've been unmotivated as heck with writing as of late. And today I felt like I needed to do a bit of a vent-write, get some feelings out while breaking my writing hiatus, and I came up with this. It's a sort of amalgamation of days when I've felt ill in general, plus the day I went to go see Kimi No Nawa/Your Name in cinemas. Of course, this isn't a fully accurate portrayal of any of it - for a start, I have a brother as well as a sister, and since watching Your Name I've actually started home education - but since this was just a vent and my brother never went to go see that movie, I just couldn't find a place to fit him in. This one-shot doesn't really have much structure, but I wanted to share it anyway.

    I will say one thing though. I was ill on the day I went to see it, and yes I cried like there was no tomorrow.

    Anyway, enjoy!

    Thinking Through Illness

    It's Monday. The sharp voice of my mother calling me to wake up and start preparing for school shakes me out of my slumber, but barely any time passes before I realise my nose is near-uncontrollably running and I need to find a tissue to clean it with. As I make to reply to her, another issue sparks up - my voice refuses to work properly, and I only succeed in murmuring the sentence with a backlash of pain stabbing into my throat. One thing is clear - I'm not in a fit position to go to school.

    I inform my mother of this through faint whispers, as those seem to be more comfortable as of right now, and it's decided that I should take the day off. To my relief, she says that I will probably still be able to see the movie tonight - the one from Japan that everyone's been talking about. As I settle back into the bed covers with a tissue box by my side, I start to think.

    In a way, it's lucky that I fell ill today - or even that I fell ill at all. School has become a living hell - sure, the previous years weren't all that great either and my class is only going through puberty but it still feels like hell - and I've been struggling to manage. Each night homework piles up and I'm told that it's manageable if I work on a couple of pieces each day, but it doesn't ease the stress. All I've been wanting since second term started is to be able to relax in my evenings, to not have to work late into them and have an uneasy sleep lasting six hours before the gruelling routine starts again as the church bells chime seven.

    And the routine itself is like Lucifer's own personal lair, right in the centre of the inferno. Have an uneasy car drive, show up in front of a group of people who only think you're good enough to throw passive-aggressive taunts at, be told that "you're the smart kid, you should've managed the extension work" for the thousandth time despite me feeling too shattered to to anymore than the assigned work, even when barely anyone else ever gets this "smart kid" treatment. And you can't complain, because all you're told is "this will help you get a job when you're older, and you may not like it but it's worth it in the long run".

    I check my phone for the time as I sniff into another tissue. To my surprise, it's already nine-o'clock. I sigh and raise my head stiffly, the rest of my body following as I wander downstairs to find some breakfast. I don't forget to bring the tissues with me. My mother hasn't quite yet returned from bringing my sister to school, so it's up to me to choose what I want. I scour the cereal cupboard and find nothing - the bread went out of date last night - the fruit's to be prepared for lunch and dinner. I eventually settle on a simple cereal bar. It's not that bad tasting, despite the negative stereotypes of healthy snacks. However, swallowing becomes a more difficult task considering my throat's current condition, but I slowly manage over time. I sniff again as I return upstairs to brush my teeth.

    My mind wanders again. I wonder if I caught this illness from school, or from town. I decide town, since nobody in my class appeared to have any illness, though I could just as easily be wrong. Town's at least less toxic than school.

    Town's a nice place actually. If you show up there on a cold Tuesday morning and the traditional market is up and running, you can often find yourself wandering in and out of packs of old ladies and families, as the smell of freshly cooked sausages fills the air and the sound of a university student making a penny or two off displaying his acoustic capabilities will dance around your ears. And town on a December night, oh my, that's just the best. Christmas lights take up the sky as they're draped across every street that allowed it, and snow falls in light layers without properly settling, and you and your friends look up at it in delight and wonder.

    I wish I could be in town right now. But alas, it's Monday, and I'm barely able to utter a sentence, let alone actually walk outside in the bitter February cold. I've been doing a whole matter of nothing for a couple of hours now. My mother arrived home and recommended I get more rest, but instead I spend the time staring out of my bedroom window, thinking. It's a problem I have whenever I catch a nasty cold - I feel disconnected from everything around me, like I'm an intruder possessing a broken body. And it just leads to me thinking instead. Daydreaming too, maybe. I have an awful habit of doing that at school.

    Lunch is alright - a soft pasta so as to not hurt my throat too much. I decide now that I'm going to attempt some drawing. I haven't tried in a while, since all my creativity has been drained by the stresses of student life, but I feel like I should try and do something to make this day useful. I select a video game character I'm particularly fond of, and begin to mark out the lines.

    As the pencil skips along the paper, forming shapes that start to resemble a notably unrealistic picture of a young teen with blonde hair and a green jacket, I think about the effort I'm putting into this. My motivation has been feeling constantly absent recently, whether it's school or my anaemia I can't tell. Either way, I have no way of remaining dedicated to school projects, writing works or art. But if I try to explain it to teachers, I'm just told that I should "get more sleep" and "eat more Quorn", without actually getting breathing space to stop feeling tired for fear that I'll start using it as an excuse. I can see the sentiment, but it doesn't help me get better.

    But, as I wrap myself up warm and venture out to my mother's car, I stop. I stop thinking about how my school life is unbearable, how the magic of town is just at my fingertips but not quite there, how I can barely remain dedicated to a single chapter of a novel without giving up. I stop, right there.

    My life may not be in a steady position right now - the illness is only minor, but everything else is a little too much anyway. But there are good moments to outweigh the bad.

    I plug myself into my phone on the trip to the school, absorbed in the soundtrack of my favourite game as I pass frost-coated countryside. Town eventually shows up on the horizon, and my mother finds her way to the school car park. There I step out of the car, before making my way to the school's reception, and wait. There, my sister and our two friends burst out of the door, laughing to themselves with smiles on their faces. They spot me and we have a little reunion, before we are picked up by my grandfather to be taken to the cinema, where he will drop us off and pick us up but not stay for the movie.

    When we are there we find our way to our seats, clutching popcorn, juice and in my case, tissues as the movie starts. It's really as great as the critics claim, and by the end of it I'm bawling my eyes out and the tissue packet is almost empty. Despite my loud sobs (which probably disturbed the entire cinema), me, my sister and our friends all share grins as we non-stop chat about the movie and make it back to where my grandfather's car is parked. Or rather, I croak out my thoughts as best I can while the rest chat non-stop, but does it really matter? That night, that wonderful night that I shared with people I cared for, where we laughed, cried and had an overall wonderful time, was just one of many.

    Sure, my life isn't perfect. In fact, it's far away from being anything close to great. But as long as I have special moments - like making an inside joke with my friend in school, like catching the snowflakes in town, like finding the motivation to write that chapter after a month of Writer's Block - I feel like I can take it on, until I find the day where my existence finally sets itself straight.
     
  2. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Oh, I have a title?

    Woah... This is a really emotional piece. It's strange for us to get an insight into your life, and find out the negatives and positives of it. The way you've approached this shows a kind of sarcastic tone underneath the text, and a constant breaking of the fourth-wall. The constant internal dialogue, representing exactly how you feel is amazing powerful. I kid you not, a tear formed in my eye; it's such a bittersweet story with a satisfying ending. Well done Nerdy, well done. *claps loudly*
     
  3. Mia Blaze

    Mia Blaze I'mma gonna Deku in the face, Kacchan

    Wow... your brain is rather... insightful.

    Interesting look into your thoughts on being ill, something I am right now actually, and your emotions state because of it. All in all, amazing work.
     
  4. Aww, thank you! I didn't know that this could be really emotional and powerful for someone, and it flatters me a little!

    Thanks so much! I've never really thought of myself as a really insightful person, so it's interesting to see that you look at this in that way.
     
  5. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    Hey, glad to see you again! I’ve missed seeing all the fics you used to post, but I understand that fighting a lack of motivation can be a real pain in the ***. >< Since this is more of a personal vent piece, I wasn’t really in the critical mindset while reading it, so I’m just gonna focus on what stood out to me.

    I actually really liked a lot of your descriptions in this--especially when painting a picture of the town. It wasn’t so much what the town looked like as what it felt like, and the sentences flowed quite nicely too. I’d love to see you write a fic in this style (not that the protagonist necessarily would have to be as melancholy as here, mind you—just something with this kind of meandering, reflective prose.) And the emotions come through pretty strongly as well, primarily during the introspective moments and the descriptions (less so during the daily routine paragraphs.)

    I hope things start to pick up for you again!

    ~Chibi~;249;;448;
     
  6. Hellooo! I'm also kind of glad to see you reviewing my stuff again, I'm a huge fan of your reviews XD

    I'm really happy you like the piece! When I'm feeling more "angsty" for lack of a better word, I tend to write things with more emotional focus, and whether they end up as disasters or actually emotional is usually hit-and-miss. I do agree that our little protagonist in basically myself was a little melancholy, and I will say that it's a fact that I'm almost always a lot more emo when I'm feeling ill XD

    As for writing a whole fic in this style, I could certainly try at one point once I'm in the mindset and have the time for it, but for now I think I'm gonna stick to a more typical prose kinda style. Also, I'm super-happy you enjoyed my description of the town - if you wanna feel envious, I'll say that my local town actually is like that. The description is 100% how I feel when I go out there in Winter/Spring time, and it's so nice that I had to capture it here.

    Thanks! I finally started a new Pokemon fic after all this time so I'm hoping that things will pick up from there.
     
  7. Sike Saner

    Sike Saner Peace to the Mountain

    Heya!

    Having just read this, I think one of the main things I'd call it is atmospheric. I feel like I got a really good picture of what that particular day in the life was like, and even what life in that place is like in general, at least for the narrator. The style of it sort of gave me the vibe of a journal entry, and I enjoyed that. Made the narration feel all the more human, somehow.

    The other main thing I'd call it is... hopeful, in an odd way. The ending in particular. The sentiment that while things aren't perfect, there's still those nice spots here and there, and maybe, just maybe, things are gonna get better.

    This was a good little read. Thanks for posting it!
     
  8. Hey there! I haven’t really been in the fanfic section for months now, so I was quite surprised to see a recent review on an old piece of mine. I’d just like to drop a reply in to say that I’m incredibly glad you liked this piece. It was a pretty important piece for me when I wrote it because I was struggling through a pretty difficult time (which, thankfully, ended a good long while ago), and it’s still rather important to me nowadays too because I so rarely write non-fanfic unprompted, and the fact that another person enjoyed this rambling I once wrote down will never fail to cheer me up. I don’t really have that much to say, since there isn’t really all that much that needs to be said, so I’ll just say thanks again!
     

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