“Jamie, Jamie, can you hear me?” I heard a soft voice in the distance. I somehow knew that voice, I just couldn’t figure out who it belong to. “Jamie, sweetheart, open your eyes.”
The pain was all I felt, and I didn’t want to do what the voice commanded. I just wanted the pain in my head to go away. I tried to tell the voice ‘no’ but it never came out.
“Shh, don’t try to talk, there’s a tube in your throat.”
Well that explains the talking, but what about the pounding in my head?
“I know, baby.” I heard the voice. I must have moaned or something, because I felt someone soothing my head. “It’s going to be okay.”
The woman started to sob, and I felt horrible. Why was she so sad? Did I look that bad? I mean, it’s not like I’m into women – I prefer the male companion to be honest, but shit I didn’t want her to cry over me.
“Riddler, let him rest.” I heard a male voice, another that I knew I was familiar with. “Here son,” I heard him say and heard a click. Not moments later I was feeling better and on my way back to sleep.
“Just open your eyes a little more,” I heard from that woman’s voice. I was trying, but I was so tired and exhausted. “Jamie, you have to wake up.”
I groaned, I was in so much pain! Why couldn’t she see that?
“I know it hurts, but please wake up.”
My eyes fluttered involuntarily as I woke. I saw a big blur in front of me. I kept batting my eyes, trying to clear it out. “That’s better. Let me see those big green eyes of yours.”
I saw a blonde woman standing next to a darker man. I knew these people, I smiled. The woman was my mother and the man I had heard was my father. Behind them I could see my grandpa. I knew I started to cry, being so thankful that my parents were there with me.
“Dad, get the doctor,” my father spoke.
Moments later another man – a doctor walked into my vision. “Well, well, look at you. Finally ready to face the living, huh?.” He chuckled and walked over, “Name’s Dr. Copper.”
“Uh, hi?” I croaked. My mouth was really dry.
He chuckled again and walked over and started to look over my eyes, nose and throat, asking me questions. I answered what I could. He finished checking me over and stood, looking at me. “Well, your looking better.”
“Can I have some water?” I asked. I was really thirsty.
“How bout some ice chips, and we’ll work our way up to water and soft foods. How does that sound?” I nodded.
Mom kissed my forehead, “I’ll go get you some ice chips baby.”
After she left, I looked around the room. I didn’t remember anything. The last thing I remembered was dancing with Sara and practicing for my upcoming number in Mary Poppins. Something had happened to have me in a hospital, I just wish I knew what. “What happened?”
“You were in a car accident, son,” dad informed me. “Someone ran you off the road.”
Fucking Carter! I was going to kill that tool! I knew I had seen him around town, I didn’t even know he was back for sure. He was supposed to be at the Fort Mill Military Academy in Twinbrook.
“You okay?” I heard grandpa ask me after a bit. Dad had left with the doctor. I didn’t even realize they left until grandpa spoke up, but I could hear them out in the hall.
“Yeah, where’s grandma?”
“I sent her home. She’s been sleeping here with your mom, well, we all have. She just needed to get some decent rest.” I nodded. I could understand that. I couldn’t believe they were all sleeping here though.
Grandpa went to sit on the bed next to me. Huh, that’s funny why didn’t I feel him touch leg? Maybe it was just the heavy blanket on me. He started talking, I didn’t pay attention. I tried lifting my legs up. I’m sure they were asleep or something with my laying in this position for god knows how long. That’s when I felt like someone just ripped out my gut and heart out. “Grandpa?” I started to cry looking down and under the covers at my feet. “Grandpa I . . . I . . . I can’t move my legs.”
He looked at me hard and swallowed, “I know.”
“What? But, I. . .” Oh my god. “Nooo!” I screamed and started to cry. This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. THIS ISN’T HAPPENING!
“Kaliq!” Grandpa went to get my dad. I threw off my blankets, thinking that would do it. That would get them to move. MOVE!
Dad came running in the room.
I kept staring at my legs, begging them to move in my head. I needed them to move, NOW! Move, dammit! MOVE! “Please move,” I heard myself say.
Dad sat next to me. I just wanted my legs to move! “Jamie, they’re not going to move.”
“They have to.”
“Jamie, your paralyzed.”
I shook my head, not wanting to believe it. “No, I can’t be.”
Dad tried to take me into a hug, but I pushed him. I turned my hips and grabbed both my legs – which I couldn’t feel my hands on – and pushed them over the side of the bed. I tried to stand. I didn’t want to be around him, or anyone. I was going to show them all by walking out of the room.
I fell. My sore head came inches within the linoleum floor. I felt two hands wrapped around my chest. “Careful,” dad whispered. He lifted me up like I was a rag doll and I watched as he arranged my useless limbs. I couldn’t feel them at all. My legs were gone, and in that moment I started to cry.
“This can’t be happening to me, it just can’t!” I started to cry. “Why did this have to happen to me!”
No one answered me. Dad pulled me into his shoulders and let me cry it out. “I’m a dancer, I’ve always been a dancer.”
“I know,” dad’s whisper was hoarse, and I could tell he was crying to. “I am so sorry, Jamie.”
“This isn’t fair. I’m supposed to dance, that’s who I am.” I cried for so long. I couldn’t stop and eventually I fell asleep in my dad’s arms.
It was almost a month since I woke. I kept busy by staring and watching useless TV. My parents bought me all kinds of musicals and a DVD player for me, but I told them I didn’t want to watch them. I stuck with sitcoms and daytime drama. I hated this. I was so fucking pissed off at the world, that I just couldn’t do anything but sit and watch daytime soaps!
I screamed a loud scream and threw my soda dad had brought me earlier across the room. It splattered against the wall, and dad jumped from his slumber. He looked over and saw the soda. “Well, that’s just a waste, Jamie.”
I had been getting more pissed off as the days went on. I took my anger out on anything or anyone that was near me. Dad kept his anger down with me, but I could tell I was rubbing him the wrong way.
“Did you really have to throw the soda?” he asked as he started to clean it up with the napkins that came with his lunch. “Seriously, you couldn’t just do what you did an hour ago and gave the TV the middle finger?”
I tossed him the finger.
Dad laughed, “Much better.”
A knock at the door, and Dr. Umber came in with. . . ah hell. “FUCK NO! I am NOT getting into that thing.”
“Jamie, you’re going to have to get use to it,” dad said to me. I flipped him off again.
“I am not doing it. Fuck that shit! I’ll walk, I’m telling you all, I’m going to fucking walk. My body just needs to fucking heal, okay?”
Dr. Umber, my physical therapist shook his head, “Jamie, I’ve been over this with you the last three days. We need to get your body conditioned to climb in and out of the wheelchair. Now, I told you yesterday and the day before that if you don’t let me help you, the longer you’ll have to stay in the hospital.”
“I AM NOT DOING IT!” I screamed and this time threw the remote control. “FUCK YOU! AND FUCK THAT WHEELCHAIR! I am staying right here!”
“Jamie Duncan Moss-Rain,” dad gritted out, “if you don’t voluntarily let Dr. Umber help you into that chair, so help me, I will put you into it myself.”
“Screw you! I am not riding in that thing.”
Dad walked up and lifted me off the bed and over his shoulder. I didn’t even think he was that strong, but he was. I screamed and punched him, wishing I could just knee him in the chest. “PUT ME DOWN!”
He did, and right into the fucking chair. “YOU BASTARD!”
“That I am.”
“GET ME OUT OF THIS THING!”
“Nope, not going to happen. You’re going to go with Dr. Umber while a nurse comes in here and changes these smelly ass sheets.”
“Besides,” Dr. Umber said, from behind, “You and I have a date with a shower.”
“See, that should brighten your mood,” dad smiled.
It should probably have, I did stink and I hated the smell I was producing. I also had a huge crush on Dr. Umber, and dad knew it. Dr. Umber knew it too. Yet that cocky smile on dad’s face made me want to punch something. “I hate you both,” I mumbled.
The shower was nice, I do have to admit that. Dr. Umber maneuvered the wheelchair under the water and he joined in just wearing his scrub bottoms. I have to say that was the best part of the entire shower. Staring at his hard chest. Not going to lie, for the first time since I woke I smiled. He gave me a smile when he noticed I was enjoying the shower and I soured my face. I was not going to enjoy any of this! Whatever he wanted to do today, I wasn’t going to like. I don’t care how hot the guy is!
After, he toweled us both off. He grabbed some clothes from a bag and handed them to me, “I think you’d be more comfortable in these don’t you agree?” I agreed. I hated the damn gown they had me in. I took one look at the clothes and realized that they were mine.
Dr. Umber helped me into my clothes, showing me how to get dress myself. The shirt was easy, the sweats, not so much. “Don’t worry, it’ll take practice,” he said when I almost fell out of my chair. He ended up holding me up by my armpits and I was able to pull the pants up past my thighs.
I watched him grab a pair of scrubs and walked past me and into a toilet stall. He was out in no time with a new pair of scrubs on. I groaned, I wanted that chest!
He laughed, “Come on, lets get you to my training room.”
“Do I have to? Seriously? Can’t I just not, and say I did?”
“Sorry kid, but you need to learn how to take care of yourself.” He maneuvered me through the hospital, telling me on ways that I needed to get into shape so I can get in and out of the wheelchair. “We’ll work your upper body strength and get you to learn how to lift yourself in and out of the chair. Soon, you’ll be able to transfer in and out of the chair.”
For hours that’s what we did. Dr. Umber held me and helped me as I did pull ups on a bar. He’d lift me on them and kept his hands on my waist as I started to pull myself up. I noticed how out of shape I was pretty fast. All the muscles I once had vanished since the accident. I just couldn’t believe it.
By the time Dr. Umber was ready to call the session over, I had been able to lift myself into the chair successfully one time. I didn’t feel proud of myself, even if Dr. Umber thought I should be. I didn’t want to be proud, no I wanted to be out of this chair and walking. I wanted to dance. I wanted to sail across the stage and lift the leading woman of the play into my arms and dance with her. Do everything that only less than a month ago I was doing.
He wheeled me back – fuck I can’t believe I am saying that. It makes me so pissed off! I don’t want to be wheeled around, I want to walk! He maneuvered us back through the hospital. I ignored all the stares that were thrown my way, they can all go to hell.
Dad was watching TV, fixing the remote when he saw Dr. Umber and I. “Hey, how’d it go?”
“Better, actually. I didn’t realize how strong this boy is. He shouldn’t have to be here long. Maybe a few more weeks.”
“Really?” Dad sported a grin a mile wide. Fucker. I hated this and he was happy I was cooperating.
“Once he can show me he can safely move from chair to bed and back, I think we’ll discuss getting him out of here.”
It took another two weeks for that to happen. The therapy was beginning to be the best part of my day. Dr. Umber made me work, and it reminded me about how much I loved working out in my dance class.
During the time I spent in the hospital my family was always visiting. I love the time my entire family was with me. It made it all seem so normal, but not. Pear, Penny and I sit on the bed and play board games while mom and dad watched TV or watched us. My grandparents visited just as much, and grandpa always brought me something from our favorite eat-out.
Life sucks though. Even with my family always around, I was more and more angrier by the day. Cursing out Pear for cheating at Monopoly. I mean who does that? Or telling Penny off for grabbing the wheelchair for me when I needed to use the restroom. She was only just helping. Dad and I tossed words back and forth, he was getting tired of my attitude. Mom didn’t stand for my bitchiness, and told me I wasn’t too old for her to put a bar of soap in my mouth after saying the F-bomb three times in a sentence to her.
Thank god for Grandpa though, he at least understood my anger. Both him and grandma. I love grandma, she kept me calm and would tell me about the things grandpa had said to her after he lost his eye. He scowl at her, and saying, “Did not!”
“Did too! Jamie, your grandpa may look like a hard-ass but you should see him when I had to draw blood, He screamed like a little girl.” I love my grandma.
“Yeah well, I wouldn’t have screamed half the time if you were gentle with me, woman.”
Grandma turned to me and whispered, “I was gentle.”
My sister, Cait visited me a few times. She had come found me in the halls just as I was coming back from therapy. “Well, look at you. Aren’t you handsome in that chair.”
She had to have known how much I loathed the damn thing, “It brings out my eyes,” I exaggerated by fluttering out my eyes.
Cait laughed. “You feeling okay?”
I shrugged, “I’m just mad right now. I hate this, Cait. I really do. If only I could just go back and not ask dad for the car keys. . .”
Cait lowered herself and held me, “I wish that too, Jamie, but you and I both know we can’t change the past.”
“It’s just not fair. I’m a dancer, I just want to dance, and I’d give anything to dance.”
“I know. We all know this.” Cait started to ponder, and I could tell she was coming up with some kind of scheme. “I think I’m going to switch specialties. I’ll start studying spinal injuries, and work on a way to get you back to walking.”
“You’d do that? Even though you love studying cardio?”
“I am going to do it. Your type of injury will be my new pet project in the lab. I’ll switch out specialties and study hard. I’m not saying we’ll have something tomorrow, Jamie, but maybe in a few years. . . “ she shrugged.
“Just get me to walk,” I whispered. “You get me to walk, and I’ll do anything you want.”
Now, I was getting ready to leave the hospital. The doctor told me I could leave in the morning and that I would only have to suffer through one more therapy session. I was doing pull ups when we heard someone knock and walk in. I had my back to the door and didn’t see who it was.
I slipped from the bar, and before Dr. Umber could catch me I landed on the floor. I had two sets of hands on me helping me up. “I’m so sorry. But you’re dad -”
“GET YOUR FUCKING HANDS OFF OF ME!” I screamed and both sets of hands left me. I grabbed the wheelchair and climbed onto it. I stared at Carter Styx. What the fuck.
“DON’T!” I shouted. “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be in this goddam mess!”
“Me?” he asked with a little hurt. “Jamie, I-”
“SHUT IT ASSHOLE!” I shouted. “I know it was you. I saw you in town and I know it was you that ran me off the fucking road! So, what? You come to fucking gloat that the fag is now a fucking dancing reject?”
“I didn’t.” Carter mumbled. “Why doesn’t anyone want to listen to me?”
“Stop your fucking lying and get the fuck out of my sight!”
“I’m sorry,” Carter whispered and walked towards the door, stopping momentarily. He turned and looked at me, “Jamie, I just -”
“GO CARTER!” With that he left, and my anger was boiling over. How dare he come back here!
“I take it, that guy isn’t an old flame?”
“No.” I cringed, “That’s the fucker that bullied me, and attacked me because of my sexual orientation a couple of years back. He’s also the reason I am in this god forsaken mess!”
“If he’s the one that put you in this chair, why hasn’t he been arrested?”
That was a good question. I was going to go find out from dad.
Dad was sitting reading a book in the room when Dr. Umber rolled me in. “Hey, how was the last day in rehab?”
“Why isn’t Carter Styx in jail?” I asked. I couldn’t hide my anger.
“Yeah, the asshole responsible for putting me in this fucking chair!”
“Jamie, Carter didn’t run you off the road,” dad face was pained. “In fact, he saved your life.”
“Yeah and I can magically walk.” Dad laughed a little. I didn’t think my sarcasm was funny, but I guess he did – that or he was just under a lot of stress. I didn’t care. “That wasn’t meant to be funny. Now, why isn’t he locked up?”
“Jamie, as much as I would love to tell you that the kid who bullied you for years is the one responsible, it isn’t. Believe me. When I walked into the hospital and saw Carter sitting in the waiting room, all bloodied I wanted to kill him. Casey stopped me. Carter didn’t say anything, but he was pretty shaken up.
“I asked Casey why Carter was in the waiting room, and how he got to the hospital before me. Carter had called him right after the paramedics arrived. Jamie, Carter pulled you out of the burning car. He saved your life.”
“How did he even know it was me?” I still didn’t believe this shit.
“He saw the car that ran you off the road. Jamie, it was some of the other football players. Carter saw the incident, said that he was about to go chase after them when he saw our SUV. He knew you were in there. Jamie, I hate to break it to you, but Carter really did save your life. And he’s also told the cops everything. They arrested three of the players for attempted murder.”
I just sat there stunned.
“Why the hell did he save me?” I said in a low whisper.
“Don’t know. He hasn’t told much to Casey or myself. He just said it was the right thing to do.” Dad got low to my face and put his hand on my shoulder, “Look, I know you hate the kid, and I really don’t blame you, but give him a second chance.”
No way in hell, I thought. Carter and I had a very bad relationship. It didn’t start out like that. No, my whole childhood I was best friends with Carter Styx. We loved hanging out, swimming, playing games. It didn’t matter, we were bros. I thought that we’d be like dad and Uncle Casey.
That was until I was fourteen years old and made the dumbest mistake of my life. I wasn’t too sure about my feelings for anyone at that time. I thought it was natural to like anyone, I didn’t know that guys weren’t supposed to feel that way towards other guys, or that it wasn’t normal.
Carter and I were hanging out, playing video games at his house. It was great. We had beaten a level in the latest Halo game on campaign mode, and it was the hardest level we’d face so far. He whooped and hollered, smacking me on the back shouting “We did it!”
I agreed, and then I tried to kiss him in celebration. I didn’t know what had come over me. The next thing I know, I was on my ass and Carter was spitting. “What the fuck!?!” he screamed. “What the hell is wrong with you, Jamie?”
“Sorry, I just thought . . .”
“That I was a fag? Hell no! And I didn’t think you were either.”
“I’m not,” I tried to defend.
“Get the hell out of here,” Carter yelled and kicked me in the kidney. “Get your queer ass out of my house.”
I’ll never forget the shame I felt that day. My best friend turned against me all because I mistaken something that wasn’t there. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was the moment I had lost my best friend.
The next day at school, I tried to get Carter’s attention – to talk and apologize. He ignored me. At lunch I was getting ready to search him out, when I was grabbed by two guys and suddenly felt the worst pain ever as Carter punched me in gut. The two boys held me up as I kept getting punched by Carter. All the boys started chanting to Carter, “Hit that fag.” “Show him what we do to queers.” It was the worst thing in the world.
For the rest of the school year I was an outcast, and the jocks found every chance they could to knock me down. It wasn’t until the end of my Freshman year that I met my only friend, Sara. Sara had transferred from a private academy, and she was in dance and drama with me. She was quiet, really shy, but a hell of a dancer.
One day when I was pushed down by Carter and his goons, Sara ran up to me and helped me up, “You okay?”
“Peachy,” I said holding my sides. “It’s nothing I can’t handle.”
“You should tell someone,” she said.
“Nah, the head honcho is kind of like my cousin. If I told, my dad and his dad . . . well lets just say, I don’t want this to affect their friendship.”
“Even if it means you being bullied?”
I nodded, “Even if I am bullied. Thanks for helping me up, though.”
“No one else seemed to offer. I’m Sara, by the way.”
“Jamie, and that’s because no one cares. Don’t we have dance together?” I asked when recognition hit me. “And drama? You’re the new girl, right?”
“That’s me, the one and only new girl.” She giggled, and I couldn’t help but giggle with her. “I just came back from a French boarding school. My ‘rents were rich, that was until daddy lost his money in the stocks.”
“Ouch. My rents are well off.” And much more. No one in school (besides Carter) knew that my mom was the famous Riddle Moss. I only went by Jamie Rain. “My mom’s an actress, dad’s a writer. They do pretty well, considering.”
“You’re mom is an actress!” Sara said in a low whisper. “Who?”
I didn’t know why, but for the first time I wanted to tell Sara everything about me. I wanted her to be my friend – my only friend. So, I told her everything that lunch. After school and at dance practice we talked more. I ended up going out to dinner with her over at the local arcade. We talked all day, and when I got home, I chatted it up with her online.
I told her pretty quickly that I wasn’t quite sure if I was gay or bi, I knew I wasn’t straight. Sara didn’t care, she said that she wasn’t into anything more than friendship. We spent the rest of the school year together, laughing. We shared notes in class. Talked in class. Got into trouble – in class. People thought we were dating, which helped my reputation enough that I wasn’t picked on by the entire school – just the jocks from the football team.
That summer we became best friends and did pretty much everything together. We ogled the boys at the arcade. We went to chick flick at the theater. We went to the karaoke bar and sang show tunes. She told me that I should be a Broadway dancer, and I told her that was my dream.
Sophomore year came, and I thought everything would be fine now that Sara was my best friend. It turned out to be far from the truth. As soon as Carter made Varsity and became the Big Guy on campus, I was the target for everyone. Carter never relented his quest to bully me. He pushed me, kicked me. He even dragged me into the toilets and gave me a swirly.
I was beaten. I was degraded at school, and everyone but Sara called me names. Dance, choir, and drama were my scape goats, and even then the kids had some choice words for me. To top it off, Sara was picked on as well and called a fag-hag by everyone. But she remained by my side.
I don’t know why I didn’t tell my dad or anyone at home about the teasing. I thought I could handle it. I thought I was. It turned out that I wasn’t just a target at school, I was targeted everywhere – including my own home. When Carter came over for a dinner mom threw, he beat me in my own room. When he left, he just gave me this look that put fear in my eyes. I didn’t know why, but I just wanted to run into hiding for the rest of my life. At the time I swore, because of Carter, I would never truly come out of the closet.
It wasn’t until I came home with the word FAG on my forehead, I knew I had a way out. The next day at school, I grabbed Carter by his jersey. “Yo! Just so you know, my grandfather is ready to put protective security on me, so stop messing with me.”
Carter sneered, “Aww does the baby need a daddy to look after him.”
“Fuck you, Carter. You know who the head of security is for my family.” Carter stilled. “Yeah, so fuck off and leave me the fuck alone, or I will ask for protection detail, and you and I both know who that person is going to be.”
Carter pushed me against the locker, “If you even dare try to pull that kind of stunt, I will cut off your balls and feed them to you. Got it?” For good measure he kicked me in the groin before stalking off.
So, there went my out. Carter scared the hell out of me. It took another week and more ruthless bullying from Carter that finally it ended. When dad tossed Carter off me like a rag doll, I knew it was over. Two days later I heard Uncle Casey tell dad that Cater was off to a military academy.
Now, as dad packed my stuff and prepared for my discharge from the hospital, I was left thinking what if dad was right? Could Carter even show that amount of compassion. I really didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t even want to think it. I hated that kid more than anything.
Dad wheeled me out of the hospital in my very own wheelchair that the hospital gave me. He helped me into the front seat of grandpa’s Austin Martin. “How on Earth did you get the keys to this car?”
“My car was totaled, and we had to turn in the rental a few weeks ago.”
A few weeks? “Wait, what day is it?”
Dad shook his head again, like he was annoyed, “July tenth.”
“WHAT! But that means. . . “ No, no, no! I couldn’t have missed the play! I couldn’t have missed my junior prom! I couldn’t have missed that much school. “Wait, how is that even possible!?! It was only March when I went to rehearsal.”
“You were in a coma for two months, Jamie. I’ve told you this multiple times. I know you keep forgetting, but it’s true.”
“But. . . IT ISNT FUCKING FAIR!” I started to hit the dashboard with my fists.
“Hey, don’t break the dash. Grandpa will kill me if I even scratch this thing.” I did the only childish thing I could think of, I blew on the window and drew a dick on it. I was more than pissed off, I was furious at the world. How was it that I didn’t know I had been in a coma for two months? While I slept, the world continued and someone else got my part! I was to be Burt, dammit!
“JAMIE!” dad yelled when he noticed the window. “Dammit, grandpa’s going to kill me if he sees that. Quick in the dash there’s some Windex wipes, clean off those fingerprints.”
I rolled my eyes and just sat there, pouting, “It’s just a car.”
“Just a car? Are you mental? This is James Bond’s car!” I did what dad asked, he was in a panicky mood. I didn’t want him to go completely crazy and crash this car. That’d just be the kicker, me in another fucking car crash.
Dad pulled up and got the chair out of the trunk and helped me back in it. He rolled me to the front door. There was no huge “Welcome Home, Jamie!” banner, and the house was fairly quiet. I was glad, I didn’t want any special thing. I just wanted to be home and live on with my miserable self. Home, god, that just seems so bizarre to say. I’m home.
“Where’s mom?” I asked. I was hoping she and dad would have brought me home.
“Work. The idiot director called an emergency reading. Guess they lost a cast member, I dunno.” Bummer. Mom loathed readings, so I was sure she was not having fun.
Dad wheeled me all the way to the kitchen and dinning area, where I saw a bed. Usually my dad’s favorite couch is there, but nope – now there’s a fucking hospital bed. “NO WAY!!! No! ABSOLUTELY NOT! NO WAY, NO HOW!”
“It’s just temporary,” dad assured me. “Just until grandpa and I figure out how we’re going to get an elevator in.”
“Fuck that,” I rolled back and away. I stopped at the stairs, and tossed my useless body at them. “I’m going to my room.”
“Jamie,” dad sighed and tried to help me up.
“DON’T TOUCH ME!” I screamed.
“Well, at least let me carry you up there.”
“HELL NO!” I smacked his arm. “I am doing this by myself, and I don’t need you to fucking carry me. You’ll end up straining your heart or something!”
“Then let me get Casey.” I glared at him. Nope, not going to happen. “Grandpa at least?”
I didn’t answer, instead I forced myself to crawl up the stairs one step at a time. Dad grabbed the chair and followed me. At the top he put the chair in front of me and I climbed on the way I learned how. Dad pushed me into my room and I plopped onto my bed. I was out of breath, miserable, and tired. Life sucked, and I just wanted my legs back.
I sighed and looked at my dad, who was just staring at me. He didn’t hold pity, just a worry expression. I sighed again, and decided that I needed to at least deal with the situation, even if I was more than a little pissed off with the cards I was dealt. “We’re going to need a pull up bar, dad.”
“Already taken care of. I just didn’t know where you wanted it.”
“Above my bed. It’ll be easier to transfer from the bed to wheelchair, and I can work out without the fear of falling. Also, we should get a handicap toilet, like the ones in the hospital. Makes it easier.”
“Got that covered too. We even put a door in the bathroom that’s wide enough for the chair.”
“What about a tub?”
“It’s on its way. In the meantime, dad or I can help you in the shower.” Dad sat next to me on the bed, he patted my leg even if I couldn’t feel it, I watched. He looked at his hand and pulled it off of me. “Sorry.”
“It’s not like it hurts, dad.”
“I know, but I should at least be considerate.”
“Just put it back, dad. Please. I just want to be treated normal.”
Dad smiled and put his hand back on my leg, “I love you Jamie and am very proud that you’re at least trying to deal with this. We’ll figure this out, you know. I’ll be here for you, your mom, everyone.”
“I know. But I’m still angry. I’ll be angry for a while. Nothing will change that. However, there are just some things that will just make life a bit easier, and if I can have that then maybe I’ll want to live beyond today.”
Dad didn’t say anything, he didn’t have to. We both knew the truth to that statement. My life as I knew it was over. Now, I just had to get through it day by day – no matter how fucked up that day is.