The answer

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You know how you feel like when you are on the verge of finding out an answer to a question that you've been asking yourself for months, even years?

And you know how it feels when the answer is not what you wanted it to be?

I do.

* * * * * 

June 25th, 2017

I sit uncomfortably in the plastic chair in front of the doctor's office, waiting for my name to be called. My parents made me leave my phone in the car, and I also didn't have service here in Milan so it wouldn't have been much help anyway.

I let out a high pitched sound.

Significantly fewer people look at me. Probably because it's not something new to them. I am surrounded by kids, teens, and adults who have come here for the same reason.

I let out a high pitched sound. I let out a high pitched sound.

It is also the day when the results of the exam are announced. The final results, meaning the school that I will be going to. I do not have high hopes, my grades were so much lower than I expected...

"Dad, can I look again? Pleease?" I whine.

"You just looked five minutes ago. Nothing has changed."

I give him the puppy eyes and after a few minutes of whining, he gives up and hands me the phone. I quickly type in the name of the site where the results will be published. I press the first option that comes up and...nothing.

I let out a high pitched sound. I lift my shoulders up and down.

True, it has been only five minutes, and it's only 12 pm. The only thing that has been announced is that they will be posted today. Why can't they give a precise hour, is it that hard?

I refresh the page one more time, watching hopelessly as the page slowly loads up again.

My heart stops.

"They are up, they are up". I whisper to dad, my voice shaking.

I let out a high pitched sound. I bite the insides of my mouth harder than ever.

I lift my shoulders up and down.

Hands trembling, I type in my name. This is it. I will find out where I will be going to school for the next four years.

I let out a high pitched sound. I let out a high pitched sound. I let out a high pitched sound

I press search.

My eyes go wide as the results load up.

"Oh my God!" I shriek, relief washing over me.

"Is it good?" dad asks.

"So good!" I reply, a huge grin on my face.

It's so much better than I expected. Not my dream high school, but I knew my grade, I knew I had no chance there. 

I look at the list of my classmates, to see if I know anyone. My name is right at the bottom. I was the last one to get in. Last one!

I let out a high pitched sound.

"Lyla Green?"

I look up and see an old man holding a clipboard, looking around the room.

"Here!" I say as I get up.

"You may come in," he says, a warm smile on his face.

I do as he says and I am greeted with a very normal-looking doctor's office. A bed, A scale, a few drawers, and a desk with three chairs.

"You can sit here." he says to my parents, gesturing to the chairs, "And you can sit there"

I go sit on the edge of the bed, where he told me.

"So. I am Dr. Mauro, and I assume you are Alexander and Roxanne Green?"

My parents nod.

"And what is your problem?"

They start explaining. About the tics. How I had them when I was younger but they went away for a while. How I can't control myself and don't even want to go into public anymore. How it all started so quickly and for no apparent reason.

When they are finished, I am examined in a very general way. My weight, my breathing, my height, even my walking.

"Very, very good," says Doctor Mauro. "Now, I going to ask you a question."

I nod, sitting back on the bed

"Do you like routines? Do you have any obsessions, like with a singer or a movie?"

I think of all the times I did a thing just because I did it before. How many times I fought with my parents because I wanted to watch the same movie over and over again.


"Can you give me some examples?"

"Mission Impossible. Harry Potter. I watch them over and over again. And Lindsey Stirling. It's all I listen to."

He nods and scribbles something on his clipboard. He then sits down and hands a piece of paper to my parents. This is it. I will find out what I have and everything will be so much better.

"It's called OCTD. Obsessive-Compulsive Tic Disorder. It's a branch of Tourette Syndrome, which is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. Lyla has one vocal tic and three motor tics. I recommend trying this medication, it will help. You have a prescription on the paper, half a pill every evening.  I also suggest wearing a special patch on your arm for a few days every week, just for a little while. I've written the name on the prescription. I'll schedule another appointment for you in three months to asses the situation again."

I let out a high pitched sound. 

It has a name. OCTD. Tourette.

Surprisingly, it doesn't make me feel much better.

* * *

What's in an answer?

Doesn't change anything

Yet I used to think

It would be everything

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