I was sick last week, but my family couldn’t tell. To them I acted the way I always do: sleeping often, keeping odd hours, and never leaving the house. I wanted to protest, to show them that is not who I am anymore, but moving around made me dizzy and my whole body felt heavy and ached. Except my hands. My hands felt OK.

The walls of my room seemed to sag and look sick. My bookcase looked troubled. My clothes slouched and draped around the room, looking sickly, their folds protruding like wrinkles in the flaccid skin of a corpse. I wanted to throw everything out.

I woke up to a text from Mimi asking me if I would like to come over to her apartment for a sleepover. She said we’d have comfort food and watch the new episode of Downton Abbey. Did I want to come over? Duh.

By then I was feeling better, like I could pick up living the new me (ugh lol) where I left off. (The new me is the one who leaves the house frequently.) Mimi and I had soup and grilled cheese with wine and talked to my baby cousin over Mimi’s iPad. My cousin was eating dinner; she put berries on her fork, thrust it toward us, and waited to see if we’d accept her offer. She spends a lot of time eating an orange slice and laughing a lot. She says “I see you” and “Thank you, Mama.”

Outside, the weather was apocalyptic. The sky was red, cut through with wind and snow. Inside, it felt warm and glamorous. Mimi has a quality I have trouble describing, but it’s nice to be around. She thanked me for hanging out and told me she gets lonely, so she tries to stay distracted.

I’m staying home instead of going to school this month, so I’m trying to stay distracted too. It’s not bad. We have fancy cable now and my dad really wants to see movies with me and I really want to hang out with my dad. We like to punch each other’s shoulders a lot. I missed that. ♦