A Change of Heart: Part 1 | Ian Harrison

Diary entries span decades in the search for new heart.


A Change Of Heart 

Part 1

Ian Harrison

For the Wolves I Award


 

Saturday, May 3, 1986.

George Michael is just sooo cool, diary. Why didn’t he answer my letter inviting him to come to my house to sing me ‘happy birthday’, instead of Mum and Dad, Rachel and Sarah. Therese and Dianne?

At least Mum and Dad let me have a slumber party.

Sleep? Ha! We called it a sleep-over, but we’ll sleep tomorrow. Last night we drank Fanta and ate lollies all night and told scary stories about were-wolves under the doonas with torches shining up our faces from under our chins. I’m glad I had my little plush wolf to keep me safe.
The scariest story is that all the girls like Dad. As in like like. Ugh! How embarrassment! Dianne thinks his ice-blue eyes are dreamy, and they all agreed. Including Sarah!!!!

Sarah Gilmore, grrrrrrrrrr!?

Excuse me while I get a bucket to vomit into!

~

Tuesday, May 12, 1987.

OMG. Where to start, diary?

Double-science today and we start learning about genetics. Dominant and recessive genes, smooth and wrinkly peas. And then that bitch Sarah Gilmore has to stick her hand up, asking how eye colour works, when she knows perfectly well that my embarrassing friends (including Sarah herself) go gaga over Dad. Mum’s eyes are moo-cow brown.

As you know, mine sparkle emerald green.
Stupid Mr Francis goes straight on to talk about fruit flies. Fruit flies! Ignoring me completely as I sprint out of class to throw up.

Too upset to write any more.

~

Friday, May 15, 1987.

Who am I?

Where do I come from?

I asked this question years ago, and got a kid-friendly explanation from Mum (or Aunt Jenny or whoever she is now). But here’s the kicker.

Mum was adopted too! What?!

They sat me down last night with scrapbooks full of newspaper clippings and stuff they’ve hidden from me my entire life. My real parents were in a car accident. A drunk truck driver ran a red light on a wet slippery road in atrocious conditions, cutting their car in half. Killed them both instantly. I’m safe in my baby capsule, not a scratch on me.

Aunt Jenny (my real Mum’s adopted sister) and Uncle Pete took me in as I had no other family.
My head’s spinning. I feel like running away. But where to? Who would take me in? I could crash at Rachel’s for a while, I guess.

~

Thursday, May 21, 1987.

Want to swap places, diary? Can I rip May out completely and hide amongst April’s pages? Even if it means I have to be twelve again for another whole year, and have to wear my hideous, boy-repellent plate for six more months. My primal zodiac says I’m a wolf and warm-hearted… but…

Get this – I’ve been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy!

I don’t know properly what it is, either. I’ve copied the word off the printout I snuck out of Mum’s handbag. I get puffed out quickly when I exercise, but I put that down to liking desserts more than running. You know how unco I am at any sports.

Since I found out about the you-know-what, life’s been hectic as. Mum and Dad (let’s just keep calling them that for now – it’s easiest) took me to the doctor’s yesterday. She listens to my chest, frowns and says “hmmm” a lot.

I’m supposed to be there for something to “help me sleep”. I’ve been a zombie for a week. They want a referral for a child psychologist (the school nurse is soooo lame).

Last question from the doctor : do you want an ambulance or can you get yourselves to hospital?

OMG! And they think teenagers are the drama queens!

~

Friday, May 22, 1987.

Wow. We just got home.

Next thing you know, I’m doing all these tests. In hospital! Stranded by myself in a big white room that says “Remove all jewellery and electronic devices before entering” outside the door. All the staff scatter like cockroaches – I hear them running.

“It’s for an X-ray,” they tell me.

So why wear a hospital gown if it can see straight through it? It doesn’t even close properly in the back, so you don’t even need a machine to see through it.

Then I’m jogging on a treadmill, breathing mask on, even though getting my heart racing is supposed to be the very worst thing. I’ve always seen exercise as the very worst thing, but there you go.

Hooked up via a dozen wires around my chest to one of those heart monitors, I watch the wriggling line on the monitor, looking exactly like off the TV. I mean exactly.

They say it isn’t right. Uhh, derr! I don’t need to jog to get my heart rate up. A picture of Michael Hutchence on the wall will do quite nicely.

Awooooooo!

We finally get home this morning and they’ve already crashed out. All I know is, my heart’s too big and needs to be transplanted. Grrrrrrrrrr!

~

Saturday, January 1, 2000.

Happy New Millennium, diary. 21st Century.

We made it.

Now, I love pashing-on as much as the next girl, but when doctor’s orders are “keep your heart rate down”, it limits your thrill-seeking activities. I thought Donald and I would be married by now, me with my fresh heart, twins, and a nice two-bedroom flat, close to the city. But I’m still a lone wolf, and Donald always fancied he got my pulse racing more than he actually did. He hates the smell of hospitals and stopped coming after about the fifth time.

It’s barely twenty minutes into the new year as I write this, Awooooooo!

New knowledge acquired in 1999 : my two given names are related. “Enfield” was a fantastical creature, part fox, eagle, greyhound, lion and wolf. Featured on the family crest of the Ó Ceillagh clan, Anglicised to “O’Kelly”.
That’s why I now sign my name “Kelly Enfield.” I’m a she-wolf; Kipling would call me Akela. All

I need are cubs.

This years’ resolution : It’s a boring one, diary.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. But it’s the same as the last thirteen. I’ve never had a change of heart. Please, someone. Match me.