personal narratives Mar 23, 2021

By Sam Luo

I suddenly feel an urgent need to throw up. 

It all started when I got notified by my parents that we were going to move to America at the age of seven. I was told that we were first going to take the plane to someplace that I’d never been to called Chicago, and then transfer to a plane that would take us to our final destination, New York.

We board the plane, and to my excitement there are mini televisions on the chairs as promised. I already knoew it is going to be a great trip. But before we can even take off, my happiness is put to an end.

I am not the type of person to get upset at everything, but my mood is blown to pieces as soon as I find out there is nothing that I recognize in the digital library. I force myself to sleep through my boredom despite my mother telling me that I won’t be able to sleep later if I do now. 

I realize that I had actually fallen asleep when my parents wake me up for lunch. Without much thought, I tell them “Just order whatever.” I slowly drift back to sleep but am awoken by the filthy smell of the airplane food. My non-existent appetite is now ruined and a painful headache has started to form. Closing my eyes makes the headache worse and the bright screens in front of me don’t make it any better.

It isn’t even halfway through the flight when we start to experience turbulence. My body rocks rapidly from left to right and not only am I scared, but I also feel my headache getting worse. My eyes spin, looking at people all around the plane. I already know that something bad is going to happen to me, but not exactly when. 

I suddenly feel an uproar in my stomach, as if it is rejecting all the food that I ate before the flight. 

I have no idea what to do and I am losing time every second. My head turns back without me realizing, only to see a small line behind the bathroom. I want to call for my parents but I don’t want to wake all the passengers up since I am panicking. I can already imagine what is about to happen: I am going to barf all over the tray in front of me. 

 My body is as still as a rock, hoping the feeling will go away. But mentally, I am spinning all over the place, and my brain can not keep up. One moment I want to get up to use the restroom, and the next second I change my mind. I go back and forth about whether I should ask to cut the line or not. Time is running out.

I finally decide to get up but my dad stops me before I can get any further. 

“Where are you going?” he asks me as I sit right back down. 

I respond with “I feel like throwing up.” 

My dad points at the sickness bag right in front of me. My body fills with relief after seeing it and my brain is able to calm down. I was so panicked that I hadn’t even noticed the bag. 

Fortunately, I end up not even needing to use it. 

After the turbulence gradually comes to an end, everyone on the plane settles down. It is night time and the only good news I have is that my headache has ended. However, a new challenge has come up , and it is trying to fall asleep.

I feel my body twist and turn as I try to just relax. 


I am torn between the urge to give and the urge to keep trying. I feellt like I am in an endless loop that I can’t get out of. My brain is constantly thinking of random things as if I am between daydreaming and actually dreaming.

I know that I will fall asleep at some point, but I don’t know when.

I open my eyes to an entirely new scene in front of me. It is the same plane, but it feels a lot different. My stomach rumbles loudly, desperate for food. 

I begin to reflect on the past hours to myself. I definitely knew that if I didn’t eat, I was going to be hungry no doubt about that. But I begin to wonder: why didn’t I think more about the consequences? Why had I been so stubborn all this time? I want to go back in time to when I still had the chance to eat, when I still had the chance to listen to my parents. That is when I realize how badly I messed up, and how easily I could haveavoided it. 

From that moment, I truly understood what my parents meant by how I should never neglect even the smallest problems.



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