Here’s a short story based a little off of this photo:
She sat on her bed, alone, with only her iPod to keep her company. It had been three months of the same thing; sitting on her bed, not moving, not living. Her legs stretched out before her; long graceful legs of a dancer. Well former dancer now. Her legs were now useless; two ten pound stumps that hung there pathetically. I’m pathetic she thought and threw the blanket over her legs in anger. She didn’t want to see them. Every time she looked at her legs she was reminded of the future that crumbled in a second.
She glared at the wheelchair next to her, a motorized one, just in case she didn’t want to push herself around. It was just oh-so-convenient. It almost made up for the fact that she didn’t have legs anymore. Not. Nothing could make up for it, nothing. She was stuck in her own personal hell now with no relief. Her legs wouldn’t come back to her, no matter how much she prayed.
Closing her eyes, she threw her head back onto the pillow as two tears trickles out the far corners of her eyes, dripping down her cheek bones and getting lost in her hair. She didn’t bother to wipe them away. She wanted to punch something; she wanted to throw something, scream, fight. It wasn’t fair. And it was all her fault.
If only she didn’t get into that car that night. If only she took the keys from her boyfriend and drove them home. But every time she tried, he got angry and would start a fight; she couldn’t deal with it. He wanted to drive, drunk, and nothing was going to stop him. But why did I get in the car? she wondered. Why didn’t I get a ride with someone else? Or call my mother? There were so many different options and yet she chose to go with him. For what? To make sure he didn’t die? To try to coax him into letting her drive one last time? It didn’t matter now, nothing mattered. As soon as his car hit the pole, she lost her legs, her future, and her boyfriend.
He visited her once while she was in the hospital. No apologies, no presents. He visited her for one simple reason; he wanted to break up. He didn’t think he was capable of dealing with a disabled girlfriend. According to him it was too much responsibility. If only he thought about that before they left the party that night. If only he thought of her for half a second. But that was the problem; he never thought of her. He pretended to but it never happened. It was about him all the time. Every time.
“Asshole,” she whispered into the darkness. He took everything from her and then left, just like that. In a rage, she threw her iPod across the room. It bounced off a pillow and landed on the floor with a thud. Crossing her arms, she eyed her wheelchair one more time. With a sigh, she sat herself up, maneuvering her legs over the edge of the bed. Leaning forward, she grabbed the arms of the wheelchair and, with a breath, lifted herself into the wheelchair. Once she was situated, she wheeled over to the mirror. She didn’t look any different, except that there was a wheelchair underneath her.
She stretched her arms up over her head, she focused on the stretches she knew by heart. Excitement drummed in her nerves as she watched her reflection stretch and move, getting back into her groove. There’s no point she reminded herself. It’s never going to happen. There are no handicapped dancers. Still she couldn’t stop moving, imagining herself on the stage, with hundreds of people watching her. She didn’t realize she was smiling until she saw her reflection in the mirror. Then again…anything is possible…
She dropped her hands and wheeled out of her room, down the hall. It was finally time to make a plan.