A lot of little girls have been told that there is an angel watching over them. My mother told me the same thing, but I stopped believing her when I lost my ability to walk.
I was never a dancer or ran track, but even so, there is something indescribable about suddenly being forced to stale in a chair all day. In the beginning people were pitying me to the skies, and helping me around the school. The baker would give me an extra piece of pastry and the neighbor would come over for tea and ask me how I was doing. I lived in a very small town, so everyone knew about me and my accident. I was kind of close to being a zoo animal, or an exhibit in a museum.
The problem about all this is that I am not a very patient person. I have never taken a liking to people looking down on me. I often ended up joking it away. One of my friends had once asked me if I was immune to emotions, and I didn’t quite know how to respond. Maybe I just choose to put them aside.
“Hello Mina, how are you feeling today?”
“Still handicapped, Ms.”
The face of my english teacher was probably one of disappointment, but I didn’t stop to check as I wheeled up the metal walkway they had laid out, just for me.
“Hello Mina, how are you feeling today?”
“Just like yesterday, no walking.”
My hairdresser let out a sigh as she passed me in the street.
“Hello Mina, how are-“
“I am feeling like I can not walk.”
I responded when the librarian asked me once again, while I tried to read my book. I ended up at the library a lot lately.
You might be getting a pretty good idea about what kind of person I am by now. It is not like I like to be alone. I am a human, not a machine. It’s just that I bring myself down in my head enough, I don’t need more people to add to it. I am in a wheelchair, and I am very aware that I am. No need to constantly remind me.
My accident is kind of blurry to me. I was out walking by myself, and my hearing was blocked out by the latest album of my favorite band. The sky was turning grey so I wanted to get home as fast as possible, before it could rain. Apparently the driver in the blue Honda was thinking the same thing, because he took a very sharp turn down my street.
While I was crossing I suddenly saw someone on the other side of the street. A tall figure, and although there was no fog he looked faint to me, but I could tell that his expression was… shocked. Then I turned my head, just in time to be blinded by headlight. You might think I then experienced incredible pain from colliding with the car, but actually I don’t remember hitting the car.
I remember waking up on the ground, my mouth blocked by something that made it harder to breathe, and I spat and coughed to get it out. It had started raining, and drops were falling and running down my face. I blinked every time a drop hit too close to my eyes. My body feeling heavy and not responding, and my vision blindly trying to track anything to hold on to. Little stabs of pain did run through my body, but mostly I was just numb and trying to cling to life. This is when something strange occurred to me. I was going to die.
I let out little whimpers and tried to twitch my fingers to get some movement done. To make someone help me. Then someone kneeled beside me. I stopped whimpering and tried to set my eyes on him, although they kept flickering a bit.
“Shh..” he whispered, although it sounded a bit strained, almost like he was panicking. I tried to make my brain figure out who he was, but the thing about dying is that you don’t really care about anything other than survival. I just wanted him to save me. Then I felt my eyes slowly closing, and the last thing I felt was a light touch, before I drifted off.
Later I did wake up. In the hospital, with my legs no longer working.
I let out a sigh, and blinked the memory away, returning to the library. Thinking back on it, I had tried to place the guy’s face, but I just couldn’t recall it properly. He could have been the driver, or the guy on the other side of the street. But both of these people had bailed the scene before any medics had shown up. One of them had called the hospital and left, and the other had just left. My case had been a mystery with no closure… just consequences.
I closed my book, and wheeled by chair away from the table. The librarian still seemed flustered from my uncaring response, but she still smiled as she scanned my book and handed it to me.
“Thanks,” I mumbled and then made my way toward the door. I made a face as I started hearing the tapping of rain outside though. I had liked rain once, but after my accident I absolutely hated it.
I put my book safely in my bag and put the bag on my lab so I could shield it from the rain. Then I grabbed the edges of my wheels and “Fast & the Furious” -ed through that rain. The problem was that this was not just rain… it was RAIN!
Not the cute little sprays of water. No, the huge fat drops that splatter all over and soak you in a matter of seconds. My books would definitely suffer if I continued through this.
So, I didn’t make it far, before I had to find cover under a tree that was leaning over the side-walk. A few drops slipped through the leaves, but it was covering mostly. I sighed and closed my eyes, moving some of my bangs behind my ear. This sucked.
“Need some help?”
I jumped a bit in my chair. A person had appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and was holding a giant blue umbrella over my head to stop the few small drops slipping through the leaves above. He was super tall. I mean, everyone is tall now that I am in my chair, but this guy was even taller. He had completely white hair and blue eyes. He looked like one of those boys in magazines. Before I ended up in my chair I might have thought ‘why would he help me’, but now I knew that people liked to feel better about themselves and help the poor girl in the wheelchair.
“It’s okay, I will just wait the rain out.”
“I’ll wait with you,” he said.
“Um. You don’t have to,” I told him in a clear ‘just go’ voice, and shrugged my shoulders. He send me an amused smile, as if I had said something very funny, and without answering he simply stayed where he was. I furrowed my eyebrows uncomfortably. What was he doing? He was definitely strange.
I guess it was nice of him, but I didn’t really want some strangers help. He was only doing it for himself anyway, to appear nice.
There was a long stretch of silence, and to me that was torture, but I kept it up. Unfortunately, he seemed just fine with the situation. It was kind of annoying.
“Um, I actually think I will go anyway,” I said and started making my way out of there. Just as I did he started walking beside me, holding the umbrella over our heads. I made a face again. “Are you going this way?”
How far was this guy going for a good deed? I was obviously not the type of girl who was grateful for this kind of stuff. Yet, he followed me... all the way home, in silence. There was no way he by coincidence lived just where I did, but when I asked him he told me that it was indeed the case.
When we came to my house, I looked up at him. “Okay, I live here. Thank you.” I told him briefly, and made my way to the door.
“You’re welcome,” he told me with a smile. I looked back at him for a moment. Mostly because he was one of the first people who didn’t seem fazed by my attitude at all.
“Hey!” I called. I was in shelter by my door, and he looked back at me from his umbrella. There was a wall of rain between up, but I could still see his curious face when he turned back toward me.
“Thanks, I guess.”
“You already said that,” he said with a smirk. I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms.
“What’s your name?” I just asked.
He seemed to hesitate, then he smiled a bit though. “Call me Ace,” he responded.
“Ah, okay… I’m Mina,” I said back.
He nodded his head slowly. “Nice to meet you,” he said. I let out a huff.
“Yeah.” and then I turned to get back into my house. When I had unlocked the door, I looked back one more time, but Ace was already gone. I bit my lip, but then I just made it back inside.