“All right, so your homework today for Math is going to be pages seventy and seventy-one. Make sure you doublecheck your work, okay?” I need to get this assignment down… I’ve missed getting my assignments in my notebook for the past couple days because of those stupid blackouts, and if I want to even have decent grades so my parents don’t flip out on me, I gotta try to pass out less often.
If I can get every assignment turned in this quarter, maybe I can finally boost my grades up to twos and ones rather than threes and fours. Maybe, though, that’s not what I should be worried about right now. My progress report is supposed to arrive soon, and I’m dreading the moment when my parents will open the letter and see just how badly I’ve been doing. I’m not sure what the punishment will be this time, but I’ll probably get grounded for weeks. Stupid parents… They don’t understand that grounding me doesn’t really teach me any lessons. It just makes things worse because I have no way to spend my freetime.
Oh, well. Good luck getting my parents to realize that, and besides, I haven’t blacked out all day. Maybe this is a good sign. Maybe I’ll actually be able to improve.
I hear the school bell ring. Thank goodness it’s time to go. That signal couldn’t have come faster. “Class dismissed,” says my teacher in response to the bell. “Have a good day! See you all tomorrow!” Maybe I’ll have a good day. It all depends on how many blackouts I experience and if my progress report makes it to my parents.
I quickly pack up my things from today, making sure to grab the books I need for the homework and shoving them into my backpack before heading out of the classroom.
Okay… Well, that’s a very good sign. An entire school day without a single blackout. I’m hoping that’s a sign that this whole thing is finally starting to be over. These blackouts have been happening for as long as I can remember, and I’ve finally gone a whole eight hours without one. If that’s the case, everything should improve from there as long as I focus and keep on trying.
But even though going an entire day is impressive, maybe that doesn’t even say that this is over. Even though I hope it does, I can’t help but think of the worst. I mean, what does a little nine-year-old German Shepherd know about how his body and brain work? Maybe I’m due for another blackout in the next few minutes, no matter if I’m walking or doing something. It’ll just happen, and I’ll end up somewhere weird half the time if I’m able to go outside.
Ugh… Why do I keep thinking about it? It’s probably more likely to happen the more I think about it. Let’s just try to get it out of my mind for right now. Think happy thoughts. Like about how pretty the leaves are around now… even though the weather is starting to get too cold for my tastes. My big bro—or I guess I should really say my cousin—who’s half wolf, loves the cold, but me? Nuh-uh. No thanks. No cold for me. I’d just wanna stay cuddle up by a nice, warm fire.
I’m just glad my bro’s there for me. I mean, he’s the only one who ever seems to notice my blackouts. He even acknowledges when they happen, unlike everyone else. Everybody else just acts like nothing happened. Or worse, they act like I did something absolutely horrible, but I don’t know what I could possibly do. I mean, I’m probably just standing there, acting… braindead.
Anyway, again, no use in worrying about it. When I walk out of the school, I can feel the brisk fall air around me. At least it’s not too cold right now. I always have to walk home almost a mile every day, even after walking to school, too. Luckily, at least my bro walks home with me since his middle school isn’t too far from mine. He should be around here somewhere…
Oh, there he is! Sitting on the rocks near the flagpole, like always. I run up to the white-and-black-furred canine and stand in front of him for a moment while he looks at his phone, waiting for him to notice me. As usual, it doesn’t take him long to notice me there, at which point he smiles and says, “Hey, Jake. How was school today?”
I smile back and answer, “It was good! I actually didn’t black out today! Isn’t that awesome, Ly?” Ly is my little nickname for him. His name is Elyus, a weird spelling of Elias that his parents chose, but I always just call him Ly or Lyus.
The half wolf in front of me chuckles a bit and ruffles my headfur. “It is. Now let’s get home. I’m sure you of all people wouldn’t wanna stand out here all day.”
I nod, and the two of us begin walking home, but we aren’t even walking for a minute before I feel what I’ve been dreading this whole time… Great… Here comes a blackout…
Well, now I’m conscious again… It’s weird, but I don’t even feel tired or like I’ve been unconscious or anything after these. I just kinda snap back into reality. I must not have been out for long, because Lyus and I are only about halfway home, and it’s a twenty-five-minute walk. Yeah, like I said, I don’t just faint or something like that. Somehow, my body keeps on going, and I have no idea how. Lyus says he has no idea, either, but he at least notices when I pop back in.
“Well…” starts the “wolf shepherd”, my nickname for his mix of species, “looks like you didn’t quite go a whole day without blacking out.” The much larger thirteen-year-old canine, who towers over me at more than five and a half feet, more than a foot taller than I am, slowly pets my head. “Oh, well. It is what it is, and at least it didn’t happen during something important, right?” Even though the blackouts normally worry me a lot, they don’t worry me nearly as much when he’s around. Besides, when he’s around, I never end up in weird places, so that’s a good sign.
I nod in response to him. “Yeah.”
There go my hopes that this would stop. I shouldn’t have even thought it would stop in the first place. It was kind of stupid for me to think that. This is probably something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life, especially since it’s been happening for a few years already.
Lyus was telling me for a while that I should talk to a doctor about it, but I told him that there’s no point in that if he’s the only one who seems to be able to notice when I even pass out. If my parents can’t even notice it, what hope does anyone else have of noticing? I mean, when I told my parents about it, they looked at me as if I was absolutely crazy, even after Lyus backed me up.
As Lyus always says, though, “it is what it is”. Whining about my problems won’t help unless I try to take care of them myself. I just wish there were a way to do something about this. Even finding a way to pass out half as much would be extremely helpful. I already miss hours of each day from passing out, usually. There have been times where I’ve passed out for a whole day, and even once where I passed out for a week, and again, nobody noticed, and at the time, even Lyus didn’t notice. That was when it first started happening, though, so maybe he just didn’t realize what was happening just like everyone else.
“Okay, I know what silence means for you,” chimes in my bro. “What’s on your mind?”
You know, while I’m thinking about it, maybe I should ask him how he noticed my blackouts in the first place. “I… uh… I was wondering… How did you figure out when I was passed out when nobody else could?”
The wolf shepherd smiles softly and lets out a small chuckle. “I know this probably isn’t the answer you want, but I can’t really describe how I realized it. It’s just something I picked up on eventually. Maybe I’ll be able to describe it better later on, but for now, let’s just try to forget about it and enjoy the walk home.”
He’s right. Don’t focus on it. Just focus on other stuff. “Yeah, okay.”
The two of us spend the rest of the walk home talking about video games and TV shows like we normally try to do, and it’s really helping take my mind off things. I just wish that I would stop thinking about it all the way. I’m usually able to, but for some reason, it’s always been on the back of my mind for the past couple weeks.
Anyway, as the two of us arrive home, Lyus grabs the mail and goes through it, and luckily, there’s no sign of my progress report there. At least I won’t be in for a lecture tonight unless I’ve done something else seriously wrong that I don’t remember. Blackouts can be a real pain since I can apparently do stuff and have no memory of it. Figures that kind of stuff would happen to me, too.
“Okay, so how much homework do you have, Jake?” asks Lyus as he sets his backpack down on the rocking chair in the living room. “I don’t have any tonight, so I can help you if you want.”
I love it when he helps me with homework. “I’ve got math and English, and from what I saw in class, they’re both pretty short.”
The mutt smiles and responds, “Well, get those books out, and we’ll try to knock these out before your parents get back.” Despite having lived with us for about five years now, he doesn’t at all call my parents his parents. It’s probably because he’s older and grew up calling different people his mom and dad. I don’t know exactly why he’s living with us instead, but I heard from my mom at one point that my aunt and uncle aren’t very good people and weren’t good for Elyus to be around.
Anyway, the two of us sit down and tackle my homework, which is easy enough that I don’t really need Lyus’ help, but I still enjoy having him around. He really helps my thoughts wander less, and I feel extremely calm around him. I failed to mention this earlier, but I even black out less around him. Whatever is causing my blackouts seems to be averted by Lyus. That’s not to say they don’t happen, as you just saw earlier. They just happen less often.
When we’re doing homework, however, I come across this strange page in my English notes, the page right after a point where I blacked out. I would have expected it to be blank, but instead, there are doodles that I didn’t draw and words that aren’t in my handwriting. “What the…?” I mutter out, trying to figure out how in the world this got there. Did someone steal my notebook when I blacked out?
Lyus seems to realize I didn’t do any of it, either, as he’s looking at it with about the same expression I am, but… I may be reading his face wrong, but he seems to be looking at it as if he knows where it came from. Ehh… I’m probably just reading him wrong… I can’t say that I’m perfect at that since I’m only nine.
These drawings, though, are actually quite good. There are sketches of a few video game characters in here, as well as a sketch of my teacher pointing at the board with a label next to it that says, “Boring! >.<” Well, whoever was drawing in here seems to be no fan of school. I’m definitely thinking someone took my notebook when I was either blacked out or not looking. There’s no way this would be in there, otherwise.
“I think someone stole my notebook, Ly,” I eventually say, and he nods his head.
“Yeah, probably. It’s best not to worry about it, though. It’s not like they did any actual damage by stealing it.” My cousin rips the piece of paper with the drawings out and walks into the kitchen, where I can hear the trashcan opening, before he walks back in here and sits back down. “Now let’s get back to this, shall we?
The two of us go back to the assignment, but I have to wonder… why did he throw the drawings away?