Eva’s Hangout




“Eva…….Eva…….It’s time to welcome the day!”……….. Mother’s morning calls continue after the snooze button has given up on me. They seem like distant buzzing of bees.  I respond with a feeble ‘yeaaaaah’.  “Oh! I so hate mornings Mum….they are so peopley.” “Excuse me…….WHAT…?” Mum retorts “What is happening to your vocabulary? Care to explain this ingenious word you have introduced?” “Well, peopley, simply means too many people around!” my eyes roll in boredom. “Your gradual metamorphosis into an introvert is worrying Eva. Lame excuses to evade the Sunday church, shying away from play dates. It’s all quite noticeable.” Her brows knitted, she yanks the disheveled bedcover attempting a tidy tuck under the mattress. “You are visiting the tree house again, aren’t you?” It isn’t a question but a censure. I stand fixated, tiny beads of sweat lining the forehead and fingers twitching continuously. “Awww C’mon, Eva…how many times have we done this? Will you ever have a normal life?” She slumps into the lap of the cushy beanbag, sadness clouding the ashen face. “Mum, it isn’t that I’m not trying. But why is it so difficult for you and Dad to accept that I’m different.” I plead trying to snuggle into her lap. I am being badgered and it is taking a toll. I am tired, and wasted all the time.  Two years ago………. Having happily blown the ten candles on a doll cake I stood relishing the attention and love. But the joy was short lived.  A few days later the midterm examination results had shaken up the household as Mum and Dad had the honor of their first school visit. They sat tensed while I stood bewildered, wondering how examination outcomes were an indisputable measure of success.  The changes within me were baffling. I battled sleep engulfing me during school hours. As if school grammar wasn’t enough to badger me, heavy adjectives like disarranged, lethargic and negligent girl defined my personality! The barrage of adults and futile adjectives pushed me into a cocoon.  I felt physically alert and active during the night, enjoyed the peace and quiet. Thus, the tree house in the backyard transformed into my new world……. ‘Eva’s Hangout’….that’s what the neon painted board read.  Since the adults could not accept ‘Eva’s Hangout’ as a normal human allure …..I was marched off to the doctor. It didn’t end and multiple advises were sought as I went through numerous examinations.  When one of the doctors told me to lie down on the plush, inviting bed and just sleep, I slept the whole morning and woke up refreshed to take on my day…..ooopsssss I meant night. As I pranced around, happy and content for an undisturbed sleep, my parents were presented the report card of the week long tests. The diagnosis was ‘Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome’ a Circadian Rhythm Disorder. The complex descriptions perplexed me and left Mum and Dad aghast.  Today My struggle for inclusivity continues on multiple fronts – school, friends and parents who still refute the diagnosis.

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