The sound of the ambulance sirens’ blare through the backroads of Waimanalo. My stepfather, Eric, starts performing CPR on Arlein while she lies unconscious on the cold wooden floor. After two grueling minutes, the paramedics pull up to the front door. They take control of Arlein and start to strap her in the stretcher and roll her into the ambulance vehicle. I shook uncontrollably still in shock about what just happened. Eric and I gather some belongings and head to Castle Medical Center. Once we arrived Eric checked in with the front desk and we headed up to Arlein’s room. My footsteps echoed throughout the long bare hallway of doors. We arrived at room 316. Eric heads in first and I follow after. Arlein is seen laying on the bed hooked up to an IV bag and many other tubes attached to her body. I stare at the heart monitor for a minute. 67… 68… 67… I sit down on the chair looking at Arlein and many thoughts run through my head. I look back to yesterday when Eric, Arlein, and I were at Sandy’s having the best day ever. We built sandcastles and cherished the time we were able to spend together.
Shortly after reminiscing, I fall asleep. When I was five months old, my biological father left my mother and I. My mom fell into deep depression and started to take drugs. When I was four, I remember my first encounter of abuse from my mom. She told me I was the reason she and my father broke up. I cried for days and did not speak a single word. When I started preschool I was a loner. I didn’t talk or interact with any of my classmates or teachers. All I knew to identify myself as was the reason my parent’s life fell apart. One night she went to buy groceries at Safeway, when she saw a 27-year old man named Eric looking at the frozen pizzas. She went up to the frozen pizzas too and started small talk with Eric. Eric’s muscular appearance hooked my mom on him. He grabbed the pepperoni thin crust pizza and placed it into his cart. Just as he's about to leave my mom asked for his number. He agreed and gave it to her. After that they started to talk more and eventually got together.
After about five months of talking, he moved in with my mom and me. I remember my first interaction with him, I was shy and scared to talk to him because of how buff he was. Since then, we have become closer as a family and my moms’ life is finally going back to normal. When we’re all back at home in the evening, we eat our dinner and watch many travel videos. My mom always dreamt of traveling to the Philippines to see her family. She would tell me endless stories about her experiences of living there. A couple days before this happened my mom had trouble communicating to Eric or me. She’d stutter a lot, “So wh- what did you do today?” I took it lightly and just responded to her question. I didn’t suspect anything was wrong but I should’ve, I should’ve been more cautious about her behavior. Three days later my mom suffered a stroke. My life started to finally come together, and this traumatic experience ruined my life forever. I woke up from my fever dream. I looked at the clock, 7:34. I quietly sat in the chair, scared for moms life. I glanced out the window and spotted a Filipino man with his child in his arms, followed by a Filipino woman running into the hospital. I turned my head back at mom and stared at her for a minute. Eric quietly entered the room with two bags full of pastries, snacks, and drinks. He sat the bag on the coffee table next to me, and I scavenged the bag for food. I grabbed the chocolate drizzled croissant. I opened my parched mouth and took a big bite, I let out a small moan. As I chewed, three abrupt knocks startled me.
A man with a white lab coat walked in the room, he had his head down looking at his clipboard. Eric scurried off the chair, knocking over my orange juice. “I’m sorry, but Arlein has suffered severe brain damage from the stroke.” “What do you mean?” “She might not wake up, and if she does she won’t be able to speak or move.” Eric stood still as a statue in complete shock of the news. He fell to the ground and cried, I comforted him not understanding what happened to mom exactly. I asked Eric what happened to mom. He cried. The doctor came closer to me and told me, “Your mom is going to take a long sleep. Just know she loves you, and you’ll be alright, bud.” I was still confused, but we headed back home two hours later. Eric cried nonstop in the car and I sat quietly. When we arrived back home, I took a shower. When I finished, I dried my body with the towel and went into my room to put on clothes. Eric called my name to come to the living room. He explained the situation to me, and what will happen. I instantly cried. I loved my mom and I started to enjoy her company. I laid on the couch thinking about my favorite memories with her. My eyes puffy from crying put me to sleep.
“Mom?” “Hi, son.” She was eating a chicken and palabok meal from Jollibee. I walked to her table and sat across from her. We talked to each other, and I mentioned to her about my struggles. She finished her meal, and we walked around the SM. We walked to Timezone, a huge arcade. I instantly had the biggest smile on my face that anyone had ever seen. We played many arcade games together and ate an ice cream cone. After a long day of fun activities, we headed back to her house. She opened the door, and the cold air blew my hair off my face. I sat on the couch and turned on the tv. TV Patrol was being aired on the tv. Mom went into the kitchen to make a glass of water for me. When she finished, she walked to the living and placed the waters on the table, she sat on the couch and asked me, “Isn’t it lovely here?” “I love it so much; I want to live here mom.” I laid on the couch looking up at the ceiling. My eyes started to feel drowsy. I could hear the cars outside of the house and the tv playing. I finally closed my eyes.