Waltz with Death [edit 12/23]

Published on 22 May 2023 at 12:06


Age: Between 4-21

Written in the form of a book because, why not?



Chapter 1: The Wall


I remember the first time I saw my own pool of blood. Before that I was sitting on the living room surrounded by my dolls and watching Sabado Gigante (Hispanic tv) which is why I can say with certainty it was a Saturday. Yep I was a weird kid, I loved watching that talk show. 

My dad was in his bedroom watching WWE. I knew this because right after we would watch the Mets baseball game. My mom usually didn't work on weekends but that day she had to go to the office. Imfor some reason I remember this day clearly. I actually remember it better than things I have done recently.

It was a sunny day and I was going to see my aunt P the next day. I remember the phone started ringing and I started running towards the kitchen but at the last moment I decided to go to my parents bedroom to answers the one there instead. I miscalculated in the corner and hit my forehead while I was turning at the same time. I remember feeling extremely hot on my forehead and wet. I fell backwards and saw the blood going down the wall and in front of me and all over me. I got soaked so fast that I got scared and screamed.

I heard the heavy foot steps of my father as he ran to me. I tried to look up but my eyes just got wet with the blood coming down my forehead. I heard his voice almost shaking and screaming at the same thing asking what happened. I started crying and he grabbed a rag and put it against my forehead but the blood didn't stop a bit. He grabbed me and took me to the bathroom and sat me at the sink. He used every single towel we had to try and stop the bleeding. I started to get pale and I remember feeling very dizzy and tired. By then I had stopped crying. My dad asked me to hold a towel against my forehead while he went and did something, came back and took me to the hospital. 

After that I remember being moved in a gurney to a small room. I had like four of five people around me. The doctor told my dad how surprised he was that I was not crying at all. I was just curious to know what they were going to do to me. After they cleaned my face somewhat they put a blue drape over my face with a hole that went over the right side of my forehead. Just as they were about to inject me with numbing medication my mom burst through the doors. She immediately came over but the nurses stopped her before she could get to me. The doctor took advantage and injected around the wound. I keep wanting to see them while they did the stitches. All 14 of them. I also received a blood transfusion. 

Years later my mom shared her point of view. She arrived home to part of it filled with heavy blood. A note with blood saying: took Jey to XX hospital.



Chapter 2: Seeing White


    I love the beach. But she is like my frenemy. I have lived near the sea most of my life. I have had a lot of fun in the sea. But one time as a kid the ocean decided to see how long I could hold my breath. I was with my parents and some family friends in the beach in NY. The waves were high but at this age I knew nothing of the sea. Well that was going to change fast. 

My dad told me to not leave the shore. Shame on him, he knew how curious I was. Of course the moment he got distracted I decided to literally test the waters. And forth I went. I did not see it coming. You see the thing with waves is not that they cover you. No the problem is that they pull you. Is like it suckes you into an abyss and all you see is white. The movement and pressure is that is almost impossible to resist. I was able to catch my breath once before the waves just kept me rolling with it. I was underwater for a few minutes. The last time I remember before passing out was my dad's arm reaching for me. 



Chapter 3: 60 Seconds 


When you are a kid and get on a plane as often as I did, it starts to feel like going to an amusement park. We had the trip to the airport, I got to see tons of people, I could eat stuff I was not supposed to, the ladies that worked at the plane were very nice and gave me a picture and crayons, and the best thing, clouds. I love clouds with their magnetic presence over us. Taking the forms they pleased. So of course I always got the window seat. 

My parents loved to travel. They travel around the states and they would take me with them. I have been to many places, some I remember and some I don't. On one of those travels I was only with my father because my mother had traveled before so we were on the way to meet her.

I was looking out the window the first time the plane started shaking. It dropped altitude for a moment. I already knew about turbulence but it started getting more continuous. My dad had his hand over mine and I remember it hurting. It got to the point that the pilot made the announcements that there was some type of problem. I don't remember everything but I remember that because that's when the breathing devices came out from on top of us, I remember a lot of screaming. I looked over my dad and it was the only time I saw him scared. 

I remember things moving around the plane. My dad carried me to the plane door and they put life jackets on us and we went down the slide. The last I remember was being able to touch the water. 

Is hard for me to fly but I love seeing and exploring new places too much to let it stop me.


Chapter 4: The Fall 


People assume I don't run because they don't see me run. I have short legs but I can run very fast for a short distance. I get short of breath because of my eternal congestion but other than that I simply can't really risk it. 

Once upon a time we lived in a house that was on a second floor with an outdoors staircase. I got the brilliant idea to go up the outside of the stairs to reach the second floor. When I was on the top my neighbor came up the stairs and removed my hands from the rail. I fell backwards and my body crushed my legs. I broke and fractured bones. I was in so much pain and I started calling for my mom.

Thing about lies is that when you are telling the truth no one will believe you. I used to lie a lot for like six months and my mom would tell me that when something happened to me it was the day she would not believe me. That's exactly how it was. I was lucky that my uncle's passed by and saw me on the floor in a very weird position.

I was on a cast for ten months, then on crutches for another three. I learned two things: as good as I am at lying, I prefer to be honest even if it kills me. I also learned that I can be vengeful. I was on eleventh grade and that girl was on ninth. She was with her rollerblades inside the school. My foot happen to move at the precise moment she passed by me. After this I worked on forgiving and letting go of things. 


Chapter 5: Duck or Run? 


I grew up in Puerto Rico in the 90’s. Hearing shots being fired was part of daily living. You become an expert at distinguishing bullets being shots vs fireworks. You can her shots in between a thunder storm and know the difference. You could sometimes tell the type of weapon and even if it had an impact or not. You learn to know the distance off the shot and if it was necessary to duck or run. 

I was on a highway the first time shots were fired on my direction. I was with my two best friends each of us in their own car. Someone else was in my car with me. We had stopped at the shoulder to figure out were to go.

I was talking to someone when I felt what I can describe as a track of air with a light sound. It reminded me of small objects pass by the window at velocity during a hurricane. When it happened once more I turned to my friend with a very normal voice and said, “ E I think someone is shorting at us” As I finished  bullet passed in between us and hit the divider.

He open his eyes and almost screamed how could I be so calm and to get in my car and leave. No one was hurt.

The second time I was yet again in the highway but by myself. This was like two years after the previous one. I had visited a friend and was half way home when I noticed a car that had been behind me for most of the way and at this point it was suspicious. I decided to take a different highway that would just turn me back to where I came if I took the right connection which I did.

That’s when I was sure I was not been paranoid. At that point in my life I worked for security so I was more alert of my surroundings. I made it too obvious because all of the sudden I heard shots and saw a bullet hit the metal bar that was at my right. I considered my options fast and accelerated but not a lot just enough to pretend I was running away.

I let the other person get on my left which I had been preventing. I let him catch up part of my car enough for him to not be able to follow. I lowered the shifts of my car to make it heavy and took the exit to my right. It was Adios Amigo!

On both of these occasion I used my connections to find out what the hell was going on. The first one was because of someone that was on our group. Huge mistake is all I will say. The second time someone had confused my car with someone else. I got a few gifts for that one.



Chapter 6: Round and Round


   If there is one thing I love in this live besides the naughty stuff is driving. I love it with a passion. I love the feel of the vibration of the car, the shifts of the engine and even the smell of gasoline. I feel very relaxed when I drive and my problems turn into a ball inside the trunk. I would be someone's personal driver for one day for free. People seemed to think I am a good driver and I like to think so also.

  I was having problems witht car that I couldn't afford to fix that same week. My mom had a very important appointment and a friend offered me to borrow his car. I was never one to do so but this was important. I was in a rush and I made the mistake to not check my basics: oil, water, tired, pulleys, etc. While I was with my mom my oldest friend called me to tell me her grandma had died. She mentioned her mom had picked her up and it was raining. I offered to pick her up and drop her off on my way home. 

It was night time and it has been raining all day like it usually does on a tropical island. I was going to exit the highway and the tire rolled over a stone. Usually this would not be a problem but it was raining and the tires where on the last of it. For a moment it was like I was on the fair on a spinning cup. Thankfully I have always been good while under pressure and I was able to gain control of the car and it was slowing down and losing the momentum when I car hit me on the back corner.

With the impact I slammed my face on the side mirror time seemed to slow down, I could feel the blood going down my face and it getting swollen. When I looked forward I saw the cement barrier getting close with great speed. I remember analyzing the speed, angle, and the object in front of me. I figure if I didn't do something either my friend or myself or both where going to fly out that window. I pulled her upper body to the middle of the seats and threw myself over her.

I am greatful that no one was seriously injured. My accident was on the news and the owner of the car was happy because he couldn't afford to keep paying his car. 

Consequences: at times back problems, a friend that never lets me forget. 


Chapter 7: Break! 


This will be short and straight to the point. I lost my breaks while I was driving twice. The first time i was with my aunts and uncle in my uncles car. I was going down the hill and his breaks got too hot and stop working. I asked my uncle what to do in a calm voice. One of my aunts started screaming. Anyhow I was able to stop the car with this guidance. I was not even 16 at the time. I felt like I almost killed my family. 


Second time it was close to home. I went to do an errand and the breaks just broke. I heard the cable that supplied the break oil snap. I was not at a high speed but still not to slow either. I was going straight for a tree. I used the emergency break and used the lame shifts of the car. (it was my mom's automatic car). The car stopped an inch or so away from the tree. My dad was going home and saw the whole thing. 



Chapter 8: Slow Motion


I was crossing the street in front of my house and I saw a car coming. The car was far enough for me to cross so I did. The moment I stepped on the road the car accelerated and was directly on my path. I started running but not fast enough. The car hit me on the leg. The sound it made when it took a piece of my skin is one I will never forget. I felt the area get hot and wet. I heard my neighbors coming out screaming at the driver to stop. I just looked at my leg and hopped I didn't need stitches. The car drove off in slow motion like nothing happened. 


Chapter 9: Tiny & Mighty


When I was nine a dengue mosquito munched on me. I developed a high fever, weakness, body pain, joint pain, and my skin started getting red but it was not a rash. Mom took me to the pediatrician and the nurse left us waiting from 7:30am to around 1pm. I'm never going to forget that feeling and the shakes and I was telling mom that I was feeling worse when all of a sudden I saw my doctor in front of us that was going to have lunch. My mom was surprised but the doctor was even more surprised because no one has told her I was there. The doctor bent to my level and touched my skin, pulled my eyes more open and checked my pulse. Her facial expressions grew hard in a second. For a moment I thought I had done something wrong. 


She got up and asked mom how long we were there waiting. After she got her answer that lady started screaming for her nurse. When she came she asked why she left me waiting and didn't even tell her I was there. After some exchanges the doctor sent her to do something. The doctor then started speaking with mom in hush voices that I could hear. She had a suspicion that I was starting to bleed in the inside because of it. Her office was beside the ER and in less than 5 minutes since the nurse had left, a gurney and two new nurses came in a rush to get me and they transferred me to the ER. I started losing my mind a bit because of the fever so the next thing I remember I was in a hospital room connected to monitors and with 3 bags connected to an IV to my arm.


I was in the hospital for three weeks. The thing I will never forget was how worried my mom was that first week. She barely slept, she lost weight and only left my side after maybe the 5th day that between Dad and I we convinced her to go home for a few hours and rest. she went home but never did get any rest. My mom was the best parent I could have had.


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