The Helping Hand
A/N: Thank you again for all those who read, those who review, and those who do both. Also, please know that guest reviewers, I can't reply to your questions, so please if you want me to reply PLEASE create an account so I can answer your questions you may have.
Ok, here is the newest chapter of Paralyzed!
Previously On Paralyzed
I've learned from past experiences to not get my hopes up too quick before we know anything else, and until my next scheduled MRI.
But I knew this much, I finally have a reason to be hopeful, and I'm pretty sure nothing could take this smile off of my face.
Ok, so it's been almost two months since I found out that my last test result had been mistakenly switched with someone else's, and on top of that I've been having small little hints of the possibility that I was regaining feeling in my legs. The first time being when I had missed my wheelchair getting out bed, and ended up on the floor. It has happened before, but according to Rosalie I had put more weight on my feet rather than my upper body against the bed like I usually do. Then there was the time I decided to relax on the couch and I jerked my legs when Edward accidentally tickled my foot and I FELT it. It is still weird for me to comprehend, 'cause since that time I haven't really felt anything other than a lot of pressure in my legs. A good example of the possibility of me regaining feeling in my legs was just yesterday, when little Brendan stood on my lap and about climbed over my shoulder to get to Zane.
It wasn't your average pressure feeling, you know how when your legs go to sleep and as they 'wake up' you get a pins and needle kind of feeling? Well, that's what it felt like when Brendan was all excited to get to Zane from my lap.
Today was another good 'ol physical therapy session with my therapist, Rick, who I sometimes referred to as 'the General'. He means well and all, but there are sometimes I just want to punch him in the nose. Today, Rick wanted to get all creative with our session, and he decided that he would add five-pound weights to my legs. He wanted me to get strength back in my legs. Since it's been nearly a year that the accident occurred, and I haven't had the 'normal' use of my legs, he wanted to do everything he could think of to help me improve to the point that I might not need the chair full time. If his exercises worked I could begin to start using canes that had arm support.
"Come on Bella, just two more times back and forth then you can lose the weights strapped to your legs." Rick was pretty good at his job, meaning yes, I wanted to strangle him sometimes, or shove his whistle he wore around neck down his throat, but he did manage to motivate me to keep going even when I wanted to stop.
When I finally finished I waited for Rick to walk over and unstrap the weights from my calves, but he stood still in the same spot and wouldn't come over.
"If you want those weights off you r legs Bella, you're going to have to take them off yourself. I'll be right here if you need extra balance though, ok?"
I groaned and shot daggers at him.
How dare he make me work even harder during a physical therapy session?
I let out a long sigh and slowly bent over at the waist to try and unstrap the weight from my left leg. I leaned as best I could as I managed to partially take off the velcro strap. I kept going, and growling the whole time with growing frustration. Rick apparently thought this was funny, because he started to laugh at me.
"I'm glad I'm a good form of entertainment for you Rick, now can you please help me the rest of the way?!" I was starting to get really annoyed with him, and also the darn velcro strap.
While trying his hardest to not start laughing at me he walked over and unstrapped both of the weights for me, and almost instantly my legs felt lighter. Who would've thought that five pound weights would feel like I was carrying a ton of bricks with my legs?
"I wanted to see if you could do it, even though you didn't get them off completely I am proud that you managed to even get part of the strap off of you. Now I want to also try something. I want you to walk to the end of the bars again, but while only hanging on with one arm. I know this is a big step for you, but I want to see if you are truly getting feeling back in your legs and not just phantom pains." Rick said as he helped me turn around to face the opposite way. It just so happens that the other end of the bars I was facing looks straight into the lobby of the physical therapy building, and you would never believe who was standing in the doorway staring right at me.
Yup, Edward was standing right there watching me attempt to walk along the parallel bars. I felt my face start to redden a bit. I wasn't sure why, but I couldn't help but feel my stomach fill with butterflies when I saw him give that darn crooked smile at me when he saw I had spotted him.
"Ok, Bella, are you ready? You can start whenever you're ready." Rick said as he stood to the side of the bars for moral support.
I took a deep breath, and after I finally convinced myself that I could do this I started to slowly shuffle my feet while trying to stay as upright as possible with only one arm for balance. I got about halfway and I was starting to get tired, and I could feel my legs start to buckle as I kept trying to walk.
"Come on Bella, you can do it, I know you have it in you." Both Rick and I looked over to the door at Edward. I'm not sure how, but those words helped me continue on to the end of the bars and after a brief stop to catch my breath I carefully got myself back into my chair and sighed with relief.
Rick then asked Edward to wait out in the lobby, and that his physical therapy sessions weren't open for visitors today. I think that was the first time I ever saw Edward genuinely blush as he quickly apologized and ducked back out to the lobby.
"So, is that your boyfriend Bella? Seems whenever he's around your mood improves exponentially. " Rick said as he helped me stretch out my muscles after the session so my muscles would cramp up on me later that night.
I hadn't really thought about it much until now, but I guess Rick had a point. That exercise with walking the bars one handed was very rough for me, but when I heard Edward's words of encouragement I immediately felt a surge of adrenaline flow through me and I found the strength to keep going.
"Um, he's not exactly my boyfriend, at least not anymore for the time being…" I winced a bit as Rick gently extended my right leg after having it bent while he worked with my left leg for a short time.
"You mean that you dated Edward Cullen, Edward Cullen, the quarterback for the Steelers? You are one lucky girl I'd say." A girl, who looked to be about twelve or thirteen years old said. She also had dark chestnut colored hair, but her eyes weren't brown like mine, she had bright ice blue.
"Hi, I'm Bethany Swanson," The girl said as she held out her hand for me to shake, and just as I was about to she jerked her hand away and sat back in her chair as she had some sort of epiphany.", and you must be the girl the doctors switched my results with…"
Cue the awkward silence.
I wasn't quite sure what to say to her. I mean, what do you say to the person with whom your test results were switched with?
Yeah, hi, sorry about the mix up and the fact that you got a false sense of hope, while I am the one who actually is showing signs of improvement.
Yeah, that's not the best way to start off a conversation with someone who might possibly hate you or resent you for taking away their sense of hope.
"Bethany, that's enough, go wait by the warm up tables for me I'm about done here ok." Rick said as he emphasized his statement by pointing angrily at the tables at the other end of the room. It wasn't my fault that they switched up the test results, but I still couldn't help the growing feeling that this girl blamed me for it.
Once Rick gave me the green light that I was done I quickly wheeled myself over to where Bethany was waiting to start her session. I wasn't sure how I wanted to say it, but I just knew that I would have to confront her tactfully about her anger towards me.
"Ok, look…Bethany, it's not my fault that they accidentally switched my test results with yours, I'm sorry you got your hopes up for nothing. But you have to admit that it was an innocent misunderstanding. I mean, 'Swan' and 'Swanson' can easily get confused I suppose, but don't take it out on me." I could tell that once I had finished my little speech that I was basically preaching to the choir.
"Whatever, you get to walk again someday, and I'm stuck in this chair for the rest of my life, congratulations for you." I just sighed and shrugged it off and wheeled myself out to the lobby, but just before I got there I was stopped by Rick.
"Look, um, I'm going to talk to Bethany's parents later about an idea I have, but I wanted to see what you thought about it first."
"Why do you want to see if it's ok with me first?" I was confused. What strange idea has Rick come up with now? First it's the weights on my legs, then it's walking the bars with one hand, what would he have me do next?
"I want you to spend time with Bethany, like maybe once a week. Take her out somewhere, she's been angry ever since she got put in the chair, and her parents are spinning their wheels trying their best to keep her spirits up. Maybe if she spent time with you some of your positive outlook on the situation. I know you've had your down days, but Bethany basically has given up all hope, and is near the point that she wants to give up on therapy. You and I both know that this is the worst thing that she could do. So, please Bella tell me you will do this, so I can go to her parents already having you on board with this.
I wasn't completely sure I wanted to do this, I mean; the girl practically hates me, and wants nothing to do with me. How could I possibly help this girl, who plainly said that she wanted nothing from any one? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I couldn't just walk away. She needed someone who knows what she's feeling, knows what she's going through. I guess I had no other choice.
"Yeah, I'll spend time with her. You have my number send me a text when you talk to her parents."
Rick was all smiles and gave me a hug then hurried off to start his session with Bethany.
I sighed and hurried off to meet up with Edward in the lobby.
"Hey there, you looked pretty good walking along the bar Bella, won't be too long 'til you're walking all normal again." Edward said with a soft smile. I just shrugged it off and told him that it was still too soon to tell for sure.
"Naw, I'm pretty sure that soon you're gonna walk on your own two feet sooner than you think Bella." Edward said with a wink. I just rolled my eyes and laughed it off. I know he was trying to keep me upbeat, but I really wasn't in the mood.
"I was going to offer to take you out to eat, but I'm kind of afraid you'll end up getting me thrown back in jail." Edward said with a smirk and I could do was just laugh at him.
Once we got in his car and started driving off I couldn't help but get the feeling we were being followed. How did I know this? Well, out of passenger side mirror I saw the same old junker car following every turn we made.
"Edward, um, I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure we're being followed…" Just then as we came to a stop light the junker car came up next to us and started flashing pictures at our car. That's when I realized that it was only some dumb photographer trying to get a picture of Edward and me together. I started feeling a mixture of relief and annoyance all at the same time.
Thankfully the light quickly turned green and we sped away from the barrage of flash bulbs blinding us. The photographer must've gotten the photo's he wanted because he no longer followed us. Edward and I both sighed with relief as we continued on our journey home.
As we kept going, out of nowhere a man walked out to the middle of the road to block our way.
What does he think he's doing? Does he have a death wish?
Just as Edward was about to try and go around him, the strange man pulled out a gun and pointed it at the car.
Both Edward and I were frozen in fear, unsure what to do, unsure whether to speak a word. Edward mustered up the courage to roll down the window and yell for the guy to move, that we had no money for him to take.
A gunshot was fired and scraped across Edward's driver side mirror, causing him to jerk back into the car and duck his head and I did the exact same.
And to make matters worse the man stormed over to the driver side door, and while pointing the gun at Edward, ordering him to get out of the car. Edward, being the brave stupid idiot he is, he stayed inside the car.
"Get out of the car man, or I'll put the next bullet right between your eyes. Better yet, I might just put one in your gorgeous lady friend over there." The guy said with a devilish smirk that made my skin crawl.
The man had strawberry blonde hair, pulled back into a low pony tail, and had his head covered with a black beanie cap. To go along with his tough guy look, he had a black leather jacket, torn and faded blue jeans, and biker boots to match.
"I'm not gonna tell you again dude, get out of the car!" The man shouted as he jammed the gun closer to the glass. Against his better judgment Edward got out of the car slowly while holding his hands up. I took a big gulp, and silently cursed my numb legs. I couldn't move on my own, and was afraid of what might happen if I stayed in the car when the armed man got in the car. So, when Edward took his first step out of the car, I carefully unlocked the car, and slowly opened it so not to draw attention to myself. The further Edward got away from the car, the more pressing the matter would become. Would I stay in the car and possibly be hurt or killed, or would I risk the possibility that I would never walk again by falling out of the car and getting to safety?
As the man took his eyes off of me, I took this as my chance to get out and move away as fast as I could. I turned my body to face out the car and carefully moved my legs, so that they would hang out of the car, all the while Edward is trying to keep the guy distracted as I slowly tried to make my escape.
I was good at putting weight on my feet while trying to get in and out of the car, so when I finally got the position I wanted I slowly pulled myself up to stand up while leaning against the side of the car.
Something must've set the guy off because another gunshot went off and the car raced off almost immediately. The sudden movement caught me off guard and I fell backwards onto my bottom. I groaned at the hard impact, but was glad that the pain wasn't any worse. After I opened my eyes I saw that Edward's car was nowhere in sight and there lied Edward on the ground and not moving.
I screamed his name, hoping that he was still alive, and not dead. I about cried when I heard Edward softly moan as he lay there barely moving.
I had to make sure he was ok. I wasn't about to let him just lay there.
It was probably the adrenaline from the situation, but I managed to crawl over to Edward's side faster than I thought possible. I was too worried about Edward to even begin to realize that I had crawled over to Edward with no help, and I actually MOVED my legs. I just wanted to make sure that Edward was all right.
"Ugh, Bella, you ok? The guy is a lousy shot; he just missed my arm, hurts like a B though. Wait, how did you get over here so fast?"
"It doesn't matter, I'm just glad you're ok Edward."
Before I had time to second guess myself I leaned down and kissed him, and this lead to him and me in the most passionate kiss I had ever had. The kiss had a lot of pent up passion and lust behind it from both of us it seemed.
When we finally parted our lips all we could do was just sit there in amazement. No words needed to be spoken, the kiss said it all. We were stupid to 'take a break' and that we would pick up right where we left off.
"You sure make things interesting Bella. Time with you is never boring." Edward said with a smirk as he slowly sat up. He and I exchanged looks again, and as he brushed a few stray hairs out of my face I felt that same jolt of electricity, that he and I have had from the very beginning. We just sat in silence, staring into one another's eyes, and before we knew it we were in each other's arms exchanging another heated and passionate kiss.
You know those kinds of kisses where there could be an earthquake or bomb go off, and you would have no idea what was going on? Well, this was one of those most earth shattering kisses.
I now know what love felt like, and I was absolutely sure that Edward felt the exact same way.
A/N: So what did you think? Edward and Bella are back together, and Bella is showing significant improvement. Also, what are your thoughts on Bethany? How should Bella go about getting through to her? Should she take her out somewhere? Should she have her hang out with her brother and friends? Let me know what you think in your reviews.
BTW who do you think the shooter was? Hopefully I managed to give you enough clues, if not, think of the movie Twilight ;) lol
I look forward to hearing from you in your reviews! :)