The Summer of My First Seizure Made Me Lose My Best Friend

5 min readFeb 28, 2022

Lucia decided never to be vulnerable again so no one could reject her

Black child in the pool holding flowers
Photo by Paulo Carvalho from Pexels, Pexels Rafael Freire

The day at the waterpark with María Claudia promised to be one of the best days of summer. I often wish that I could erase what happened in the end, that it winded down like any other playdate, with pizza on the car ride home, and a flurry of smiles and waves followed by “Let’s do this again soon!” I blocked out the drop-off, and what we said to each other because Mom jolted out of the house and swooped me into her arms. Without remembering exactly what happened, I can certainly guess that I was sobbing.

In the changing room at the waterpark, I peered at my reflection, my eyes darting across my mini-mouse red and white polka-dot two-piece making sure my parts didn’t show, a far cry from my mirror routine where I vow to add one hundred butt-enhancing crunches to my workout and to stop eating so many french fries. Eight-year-old spindly legs that harvested thin sprouts of hair, feet turned in, I didn’t know how young I truly was, but I knew the fun was just beginning and I had a best friend and we had a precious day planned just for us.

Maria Claudia grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the pool making sharp slaps across the walkway. “No running!” The lifeguard said, looking bored out of the corner of his eye.

The hollow plump splashes pillowed up, causing miniature tidal waves to glide across the pool after each cannonball. Maria Claudia and I braved the chill that swept over our sun-baked skin, and water-trudged past clumps of bobbing heads, and squeals, determined to claim a block of tile and a splash-free surface of our own, a hard task on a hot Saturday afternoon.

The smell of maracuyá drove the sunny day to a fever pitch, nudging me on the shoulder, reminding me how delicious life could be. Looking back I get a knot in my throat because magic was at our fingertips, not the snap-your-fingers-and-you-disappear type, but the thrill of tailing Maria Claudia’s rapid, light footsteps, and our smiles webbing us together in a perfect, endless haze of happy calm. That’s the magic I struggle to conjure up, because it feels so far away from my day-to-day, revising logo designs hunched over my computer, alone in a room with my thoughts.


M.Laufer is a writer and therapist