CaMaye W., Edgewood High School
“Sebastian, WAKE UP!!” I awoke with a start in my hospital bed. The nurse looked frantic, as my Uncle shouted at me.
“ Jeez boy, you’ve been sleeping for days! I thought you would never wake up! Did I not teach you how to drive?! You were speeding on ice…and…” His voice dropped much lower now, “…and you crashed into that big oak on Holmes Street…” He looked relieved that I was now awake, but somber as though there was something else on his mind.
“Wait…No…Stop! Where is she?” I tried to sit up but was unable to, there was a strap around my stomach that held me to the bed, and then I looked down at my aching arms. There were large white bandages wrapped perfectly around my left arm, and leg…well what seemed to be left of a left leg at least…Why? I wanted her now, so confused, she always helped me think better.
She, was my youngest cousin, daughter of my Uncle Bertram, who raised me. Maila lived with my wife and I as my Uncle has become a 40 year old man with a serious substance abuse problem. She was like a daughter to us, very young and very playful. Oh how she loved to play pretend…
“KKKSSSHHH…Seba I am your father!”
“Hey! Err, May, geroff..” I mumbled. My CPAP
muffling my voice and making me sound quite a bit like Darth Vader. She pulled “The Mask” as she referred to it, off of my face, kissed my cheek, giggled then booked it out of the room. Crap I thought, the alarm clock on the chestnut table to the right of my bed blinked 12:00 in a brilliant red. I flopped out of bed, tangled in the “Tentacle” again, as she referred to it. In reality it was a long clear tube that resembled the extension to a vacuum cleaner. I raced to the bathroom, called to Maila to get dressed and began to hastily wash my face. The deep “Old man crinkles” beginning at the bridge of my nose and circling down to just above my chin were left by the suction of The Mask. The only con of my new machine is that I often over sleep these days, now that I can sleep. I suffer from severe Sleep Apnea, and I finally have a CPAP machine that forces air into my nostrils and lungs allowing me to breathe as I sleep. It’s an issue that many overweight men struggle with.
“Seba, what does The Mask
do again?” She asked once we were packed, and strapped in the car enroute to day care and the office.
“It forces magical air into my nose so that I breathe while I sleep hun. Remember? Silly Sleepy Seba forgets to breathe while he sleeps.” How else does one explain the purpose of a funny looking machine that goes on your face to a four year old?
“Gotcha! Did you dream good things?” She asks, and looks into the rearview mirror large brown eyes, and a mess of short bouncy curls tumble into her face. She brushes them away with a tiny pink mittened hand.
“Of course I did Dream Girl! There were gumdrops, candy canes, the whole shebang.” She giggled and went back to gazing out the window at the icy sidewalks, and snow blanketed ground. My mind drifted to to work, and I realized that I was speeding, the wheels began to slip and…
“She?” Uncle Bertram said with a touch of shock in his voice. “You must have been dreaming kid. There is no girl here.”
There was no way that was a dream. She was real. She needed to be okay!
“Silly Sleepy Seba…WAKE UP!!” Maila whispered loudly into my ear.
“Sebastian, honey, wake up.” My wife called from the kitchen two floors below.
I woke up. I was dreaming! With the machine I sleep so deeply, and my dreams are so vivid and feel so very real! There was no accident, and my darling Dream Girl was sitting right in front of me, making faces to match my distorted expression of excitement, confusion, and relief.