Apples Rodriguez

United States

Fever

December 13, 2017

“I think I have a fever,” I mumbled numbly. My core was freezing but my skin was burning. I thought maybe I was made of snow and I was so so cold, yet everyone around me could see that I was melting.

“You’re sweating,” my second eldest brother pointed out as he pressed the back of his hand to my forehead.

I kept thinking I was a small snowball. Melting melting melting… But I still felt cold against their hands.

My mother touched my forehead too, and she nodded. “She has a fever. We need to buy her some medicine.”

“She needs to get some fresh air too. It's stuffy in here,” my oldest brother suggested.

He peeled me off my bed and carried me downstairs. I was limp in his arms. I didn't have the energy to make it easy on him. My mother and second brother followed a few moments later, after locking up the small, dirty apartment.

“It's not like anyone would want to steal from us,” I muttered. My brother ignored me as he continued his trek to the convenience store.

It was hot outside, even though it was December. Nevada always confused me. It would rain water one day, fire the next. Heat waves would scatter your brain waves and make you frustrated with everyone and everything. Ice winds would shake you and make you humble in layers of attempts to keep warm: sweaters and jackets, scarves and mittens. There was rarely ever an in-between weather day. Only too hot or too cold. Nevada had a fever.

“Like me,” I said to my brother suddenly. He looked at me in confusion.

“What's like you?” he asked, finally responding to one of my feverish comments.

“Nevada.”

He stopped talking to me.

December wasn't special in our city. Every day was just as susceptible to changes in the climate as any other day of any other month. Of course, snow and rain were rare, more so snow than rain. I only remembered a few times it had rained in my lifetime. I couldn't remember snow at all.

“Here,” my brother set me on the counter of the convenience store. I didn't even recall arriving. I had been so caught up in my thoughts.

I looked out the window at the blaring sun. It was blurred by the stains on the gray glass. Or my vision was just hazy.

“Want some candy?” my mom asked.

I looked away from the heated window and focused on my shoes dangling over the counter. I shook my head.

My oldest brother paid for the medicine just as my second brother arrived.

“Where were you?” my mom asked him.

“Outside,” he replied bluntly, “I think it's going to snow.”

My mom looked dubious, but she only turned away from him. I was intrigued though. I wanted to know more about his prediction.

“Snow?” I mumbled, almost incoherently.

He managed to understand me, and he said, “I saw dark clouds a street away. But they don't look heavy, so I don't think it's rain. It has to be snow.”

I had never seen snow, so I was hopeful. Sweat leaked into my eyes and I forgot about his prediction. I squeezed my eyelids shut and rubbed at them to get the saltiness out.

My oldest brother picked me up and we started our way back home. He was staring at the sky a street away. I followed his line of sight and saw dark clouds. They didn't look heavy.

“It's gonna rain,” he decided.

“But they're not heavy,” I told him. I knew December had no reason to be special, but I wanted him to believe it would snow, because then I wouldn't feel stupid believing it myself.

We arrived home and I took my medicine. I had to take it four hours later, then again four hours after that. I was dazed for a while, until I heard wind outside. It wasn't harsh, like wind usually was around here. It was calm, telling me it meant no harm.

“It's snowing,” my mom whispered. She sounded confused, but there was awe in her voice. I twisted around on the couch and saw her peering out the living room window. The look on her face made me realize she was seeing snow for the first time in a long time.

I hobbled toward her and peeked over the window sill. Snow was gently falling and the sun was gone. December had no reason to be special. But it was snowing that day.

I smiled up at my mom. “Snow.”

She nodded and went over to the door. She unlocked it and walked out to experience it first-hand. I walked out with her, and my brothers joined us. We looked at the little white flakes that cascaded across our vision.

I stepped back and turned my neck up to see my family befuddled by the weather. December had no reason to be special.

“Snow,” I murmured to myself.

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