A Change For The Better?
A/N: a HUGE thank you to my new beta abbydog26! :) I know that she will make this story even better, and that she will help me be an even better author, which, in the end, benefits you, the readers! :) Hope you enjoy chapter 23!
Previously On Paralyzed
I felt I had improved, and that's what I would keep telling myself. I promised to myself that I would not let my own negative thoughts bring me down, and that I would walk, one day, maybe not now, but soon I would walk on my own two feet again.
It has been a few months since I got the news that there was no change in my condition, even after all the minor improvements that I, my brother and friends, have noticed off and on recently. I couldn't get over the fact that, even after all of the hints of improvement I thought were happening, the test results showed no improvement whatsoever. To say that that wasn't the greatest news you could hear would be an understatement.
Since I was told the unfortunate news, I have not had any further improvement. I wasn't able to put any weight on my feet; I couldn't even raise my legs unintentionally. And while I wasn't anywhere near depressed and hopeless yet, but I was sure getting close.
It was nearing summertime and that meant bikinis, sunshine, and beaches. Unfortunately for Emmett, Jasper, and Edward, that meant daily practices and no time for fun in the sun. I stayed inside most days with a good book while Rosalie and Alice went outside and lay in the sun trying to get a tan. They wanted me to join them, but I opted to just stay inside. I was worried that they might get suspicious of my attitude and try to confront me about it, and I would most likely fold and tell them everything.
"Bella, are you sure you don't want to come outside with us? You're so pale you're practically translucent." Alice said playfully. She had a point, I do have a pale complexion, but that's because I don't tan, nope, I burn to a crisp then peel until I'm pale once again.
I shook my head no and explained that I wasn't up to going outside, and that I wanted to get caught up on my reading. It wasn't a complete lie, I really did want to finish a book I had been reading, but the fact that it was an excuse to get out of Alice's attempt at getting me outside was just an added bonus. The book was very good it's called "Switched".
I'm attracted to weird books and this one caught my eye when I saw the summary on the back of the book. I went ahead and bought the other two books in the trilogy to prepare myself to be able to read even more. Reading helped me keep my mind from going all over the place trying to cope with the possibility of my physical therapy and improvement.
Sometimes I was very tempted to call and cancel my physical therapy for good. What was the point! I mean, if I was never going to walk again, what was the use of wasting everyone's time. I hated the idea of being a Debby downer, but I was just being realistic.
"Bella, you may have gotten some bad news, but that doesn't mean you have the right to become a hermit and stay coped up inside for the rest of your life. Please, at least come out and sit with us. It's pretty nice out right now, considering that the rest of the week there's a chance of thunderstorms." Alice said as she started to pout her lower lip and give me puppy dog eyes. When Alice gave me those eyes I couldn't say no.
I decided to let her win and followed her outside to the backyard. She wasn't kidding, the weather was perfect. It was nice and sunny, and just enough clouds to prevent it getting too hot. I opted to stay out of the pool, which was in-ground, and just lounge in the beach chair. My muscles were a bit stiff when I tried to move myself over to the chair, so I asked for help. Thankfully Rosalie offered and I couldn't help but roll my eyes, she must've been paying attention to Rick during my therapy sessions, because she made sure to just help me up and make me move to the chair on my own as much as possible.
"I see Rick has rubbed off on you Rose, but thank you for the help." I say with a heavy sigh. It should annoy me that, even though I've given up all hope of ever walking again, my brother and friends have not. But in reality it is the exact opposite; the fact that they still believe that I will walk one day is encouraging, even if it's the slightest possibility.
"Yes, and Bella, I know the tests are wrong, and I know that every day you are getting closer and closer to walking and you can't give up now." Rosalie said with a genuine smile. I wish I could agree but it was easier said than done, especially from the outside; she didn't have to constantly force herself to move her legs when it was painfully obvious. She was incapable of fully understanding what it felt like to constantly need help, to constantly being treated differently for being in a chair. What was worse was the fact that people felt sorry for me. They might try to hide it, but I could tell that they felt sorry for me. Some people even go out of their way to make sure that they don't offend me in any way, and God forbid if they make any jokes about walking or leg-related around me. I just wanted to be treated like everyone else, not 'the girl in the chair'.
"So, since the boys are off at practice today, I say we invite Trevor and Zane over to hang out, they can bring over little Brendan even. He may have been a handful, but the little guy is so adorably cute." Alice gushed as she applied sunscreen onto her arms. I chewed my lower lip and thought about what it would be like if Zane and Trevor came over with Brendan. The last time I saw Zane was the night at the bar where we almost kissed, and I knew that if he hadn't gotten sick and threw up in my lap that we would've done just that. I just didn't want things to be awkward between us and I really hoped that everything would be ok between us.
"Yeah, that sounds great, want me to call, or do you want to?" I asked as I started to reach for my cell phone in my bag that was hanging on the back of my chair. Alice agreed and said that I should do it anyway since I had his number already in my phone. Rosalie agreed as well and started to gush about how cute little Brendan was and that she hoped that one day Emmett would want to have kids too.
I was a little shocked at the news. This was the first time I think I've heard Rosalie talk about wanting kids, especially with Emmett. It wasn't that I disapproved or anything, it was just a little unexpected piece of information to hear.
Scrolling through my phone I came across Zane's number and pressed call. Seconds ticked by but with no answer it went straight to his voicemail. I couldn't decide whether or not to leave a message, but decided to keep it short and sweet. I just said hello and let him know that he and the boys were invited over for the afternoon if they wanted to come over. I hung up and immediately felt a hint of humiliation, only because I sounded so awkward of the phone, granted that I am a very awkward person most of the time.
"So, what did he say? Are they coming over or what Bells?" Rosalie asked as she came up from under the water, wetting her hair.
"I got his voicemail, I left him a message, a very stupid one, but if he gets it he should call me back." And just then my cell rang. I couldn't help but laugh at the interesting coincidence. I peeked at the caller ID and it was, in fact, Zane calling.
"Bella? Hey, I got your message, sorry I'm on my shift right now, and it's a twelve-hour one sadly, but if you're still wanting 'the boys' to come over I'm sure Trevor won't mind bringing Brendan over for a few hours." Zane said.
It sounded like he wasn't paying full attention to talking to me, like his mind was elsewhere. But I reminded myself that he was on duty and probably in the process of doing something important.
"Yeah, Trevor can come over with Brendan. Guess I can talk to you later?" I mentally slapped myself; I couldn't sound cornier if I tried. Why was it so hard to have a normal conversation with the guy? Oh that's right I was attracted to him and when I went to kiss him he threw up on me. Thank you universe.
"Ok, good, I'll give Trevor a call and I'm sure he'll be there in about fifteen minutes. If something changes don't worry I'll give you a heads up. Oh, and Bella, I hope I didn't say or do anything completely stupid that night when we went out to drink that night."
God, so he didn't remember any of it? I should be doing cartwheels and leaping for joy at this turn of events, because I made a complete and utter fool of myself and ended up with vomit on my jeans.
"Oh, you don't remember that night?" I ask carefully, making sure not to give too much away.
"No, I remember you and me staying behind at the table while the others went off to the dance floor. The rest is a bit blurry, but I remember you being very quiet on the ride home." There's a loud buzzer sounding on his end. He rushes me off the phone and hangs up after that, promising to call me later. I sigh and plop my phone down.
Just be happy that he doesn't remember that horrible night, even if you do and you remember how mortifying it was.
"So I take it they can't come over?" Rosalie asks as she rests her head on her arms as she leans over the pool edge. I sigh and try to explain what the conversation was about, making sure to leave out the part where I tried to kiss Zane.
"Too bad, though I hope that Trevor will be able to come over. He has a pretty good eye for fashion, maybe he can help me with my wardrobe and then we can go out shopping while you two watch little Brendan." Alice chirps as she gently plops down in the beach chair next to me. I just shook my head and laughed. I've been here for a while now and I still couldn't get used to Alice's unhealthy addiction to shopping. Granted she didn't shop often, but when she did, let's just say that there are a few stores that should, and would, give her unlimited store credit if they could.
"I am all for shopping and trying on clothes, but Alice, you are obsessed with shopping! The first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem." Rosalie said with a playful smirk. Alice rolled her eyes and waved her off. I just sat there laughing at the both of them. I don't get the fixation they both have with shopping. Just give me a pair of jeans, a clean t shirt and a pair of tennis shoes and I'm golden.
"I resent that remark, not because you said I'm obsessed, but that you didn't think I already knew that." Alice teased with smile and finished applying the last layer of sunscreen.
We were all just relaxing outside when there was a knock at the door. Emmett and the boys wouldn't be back until late tonight because of practice, and Zane hadn't called to let us know whether or not Trevor and Brendan would be coming over. Rosalie called out she would answer it as she hopped out of the pool and dried herself off with a towel. She wrapped herself in a robe and Alice followed her. Rosalie had just got to the door as I was getting myself into my chair and wheeled myself through the sliding door when we were surprised by who we saw.
"Rick, what are you doing here? I don't have another therapy session until next week." I said as wheeled myself in closer. I noticed that Rick was out of breath; obviously whatever it was that he wanted to tell us was very important. In his hast he walked right by Rosalie and Alice and made a beeline straight towards me. As he got closer he was able to get his second wind and was grinning ear to ear.
"Tell me right now what you're smiling about before I smack you for giving me the creeps Rick." I said with as much sincerity as I could muster. I wasn't sure why he was here, but before I knew it he was hugging me so tight that I had to smack his shoulder to get him to let go of me.
"A friend of mine that works with your doctor told me the most amazing news Bella," he said ecstatically. "Your results were accidentally switched with another patient. Bella, do you understand what this means!? Your x-ray films, the real ones, showed improvement, so much so that they've decided to increase your number of physical therapy sessions a month." Rick said with the biggest grin on his face. I felt happy, but at the same time I didn't know what to think. I had finally grown to accept the fact that I would never walk again, and now that that image of me could change, I'm not sure what to think. I feel myself smile and I'm too speechless to say anything, but I hear Rick continue to explain what is going to happen over the next couple of days. I would go back to get more tests done so we could be 100% sure that my file was truly switched with someone else's and that I was really getting feeling and movement back in my legs.
This news created a spark of promise, but I was still at the point where I couldn't afford to get my hopes up. I don't think my heart could take any more disappointment.
A/N: So what did you think? Let me know in the reviews, and I received a guest review about how 'unreal' the facts were in chapter 2, and don't worry, when I finish this story, I plan to go back and take a second look and replace the first couple chapters with the revisions. So, until then please bear with me, and make sure to at least be constructive with your criticism.
Hope to hear from you all soon!