She sat in the car with her arms crossed, wondering why no one would listen to her? She said she didn’t want to go to the doctors, that she didn’t want to put on some ugly plastic leg. She told everyone that she didn’t care if she sat in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. All she wanted was to be left the hell alone, but no one even listened to her on that. She had called her father to come and pick her up from her and Owen’s house so she could go and stay with him… but her own father wouldn’t listen to her!
He told her that she needed to stay at her own home and work things out with her husband. The anger that was inside of her just kept growing and growing every day until she felt like she was going to explode. She didn’t get to say goodbye to her mom, and Owen’s slut of an ex-girlfriend tried her best to kill her and instead killed the dancing career she had worked and sacrificed her whole life for.
The world passed by as she glared out the window and could have screamed. There was nothing to be done, this was her life now, and at this point, there were no words she could say to Owen. What could he do?
The music was playing on his cassette deck, but neither of them spoke to one another, but she could see him glancing at her. This morning she had told him that she didn’t want to go to therapy. In fact, she was still in her pj’s, so he knew she didn’t want to go. But when he came home from his record store, he literally stripped her of her nightclothes and started dressing her! After him picking out miss-matching sweatpants and sweater, she got herself dressed, got her crutch, and made her way to the car… without Owen’s help.
They pulled into the parking lot, and they both sat there, not saying anything to one another. How was it possible to be so in love with someone and be so angry at them at the same time? He turned off the car and sat back in the seat and looked over at her. “Do you want help getting out of the car?” Owen asked, opening his door.
“No, I can do it myself.” She snapped, going to open the door, but before she had turned herself to move, he came over to her side, despite what she said, and helped her get up on her feet… or foot. “I can do things on my own, you know.” She murmured.
“Yeah, I know you can.” He shrugged as he followed right next to her.
She didn’t say anything to that because what she wanted to say was mean and very harsh to hurt his feelings, and in the state she was in, she probably could have. Instead, she hobbled along with her crutch, slowly making her way to the building while Owen slowed his stride to walk right next to her. All she wanted was to get this therapy appointment over with and go back home. She could care less about this leg, and she hated having to see the nub below her knee. It made her stomach turn, but she knew that she was going to have to look at it today, and most likely more then she wanted to.
“Hey, why don’t we go to the movies after your appointment? It might be fun to see an action flick, or maybe a comedy.” Owen suggested, but she didn’t answer.
He opened the door, so she could walk in, and then walked in behind her into the doctor’s office. She went and sat down, making Owen frown and go to the receptionist. After he checked in for her, he came and sat down next to her in the crowded lobby and pulled out his cell.
It was funny how even with so many people sitting around her, how alone she felt. About ten minutes later, a nurse called her name, and she managed to get up … and Owen followed right behind. She was going to tell him to wait there until she was done but could see the look on his face that he wasn’t going to do that. They followed the nurse to a long room with bars and a chair in front of them. The nurse showed her over to the seat. “The doctor will be in in a minute.” The lady said, going over and getting the bulky plastic and metal leg and some silicone looking wraps from a package.
The doctor walked in with a smile. “Good morning Josephine. Are you excited about getting this new leg of yours going?” Doctor Ryan asked.
“Not especially.” She answered.
Doctor Ryan didn’t say anything to her comment but gave her a smile instead, then sat down in front of her. The nurse walked over, handing him some strange looking sort of leg. “Did you bring a pair of tennis shoes?” He asked. Jojo didn’t say anything, because she hadn’t even thought of it. But Owen reached into her big bag and took out the matching shoe she had on with its sock and handed it to the doctor. After a minute of him putting on the tennis shoe, he put the leg aside and then took the gray foamy rubber thing and lifted up her sweat pants to reveal her thigh to her knee, and the ugly stump. “Alright, let’s show you how you’re going to be putting your new leg on every day.”
She glanced up at Owen, hating for him to see her leg, and when he looked up from her leg, they’re eyes met, and she looked back down. The doctor took the silicone wrap, and it went halfway up her thigh, and then he took the leg and started to put it on. “Now, I want you to push towards me. Not to the point where you hurt yourself, but we want to try and get any air out.” He advised her. “Okay, now let’s have you stand up and see how that feels.”
Her hands took the metal bars and pulled herself up. When she got up on both feet, in a matter of speaking, it was the oddest feeling. “It feels strange, like my mind doesn’t understand how I’m standing.” She murmured.
“That’s completely normal. But first, I need you to tell me how it feels. Is it too tall, or do you feel like it’s to short?” The doctor asked.
“No, it seems alright with the height. But it feels like I’m standing on air.” She said.
The doctor nodded as she sat back down. “That’s fine,” He said, taking off the leg and grabbing another silicone thing, but this time putting it on the leg itself. “This will help keep the leg in place.” He offered putting the leg back on and rolling the new piece in place. “And don’t worry about all of this; it will get much easier for you in time. Right now, we just need you to learn how this works, and how to walk with it.” He grinned and then sat back after the leg was placed on. “There, why don’t you get up and give that a try.”
She closed her eyes, knowing that she couldn’t say no, and stood despite how she felt. The leg didn’t feel right. It was heavy, stiff, and she wasn’t sure how to make it move. “I’m not sure how to make this work.”
“Move your hip when you try to take a step.” The doctor offered.
She did, but it felt like a weight dragging her down, but managed to get herself down to the end of the bars. When she turned around, Owen started clapping, but that didn’t make her happy. Instead, it made her so angry to where she didn’t want to do this anymore. If she could’ve sat down in protest, she would have right then. “That’s very good, but don’t hesitate when you’re walking. You need to have an even flow, so you don’t hurt yourself.” The doctor Ryan told her. She tried to do what the doctor said, but found that it was difficult. She made herself walk back to the chair and then sat back down, frustrated.
“You did great, princess,” Owen said, taking her hand, but she shook it off.
“Now, Jojo, I want you to try walking again. But this time, I want you to think about taking your leg and pretend like your trying to kick your butt.” Doctor Ryan said, showing her as he walked.
She got back up and then sat back down. “I don’t know if I can.”
The doctor glanced up over her head, and then she heard Owen speak. “Can you give my wife and me a minute?”
“Sure, we’ll be outside.” The doctor nodded, and the nurse followed him. Owen walked to the opposite side of the bars and just stood there.
“Do you hate me now?” He asked.
“Why would you ask me that?” She snapped.
“I’m asking because of how you’re acting. So, do you?”
“I never said that did I?”
“You didn’t have to say it with words… and it was my ex that caused this,” He stated like he wanted to pick a fight.
If he wanted a fight, he was going to get one. “Why didn’t you tell me that you had a crazy woman following you around and making passes at you? Did you like her attention or something?”
“Maria never meant anything to me, that’s a fact.”
“Never?” She said with a raised brow.
He was silent and then shook his head. “Maybe at one time, she meant something more, but it was short-lived.”
She was so pissed she wanted to throw something at his head. “Why didn’t you tell me that she had been talking to you then?”
“I didn’t think there was anything to tell you about… if anything, I thought she was going to come after me.”
“And that was okay with you?” She hissed.
“Do you want to leave me, princess?” He asked.
“I didn’t say that!” She yelled.
“Than what do you want?”
And then she blurted out what she really thought before she thought better of it. “I want to hurt you like your ex-slut hurt me!”
His eyes went wide, and she instantly regretted what she had said, but he nodded. “If you want to hurt me, princess, you better get up off your ass and get down here and do it. I’m not going to make it easy for you.” He said, standing in-between the bars.
Jojo picked herself up out of the seat and forced herself to walk over to where Owen was. It was hard, so hard, but she did just what the doctor had told her to do. She struggled to walk down to were Owen was. Soon she was face to face with him, she could feel her breath coming in and out staring up into eyes, but all the anger drained out of her and sighed. “I’m ready to going home.”
“I’ll get the doctor so you can finish up your appointment.” He said with a frown.
When Owen walked away, she could feel her heartbreaking because she knew she was the one who was making this so hard, but damn it, she didn’t know how to get rid of all the pain and anger. When the doctor came in, she did as she was told and finished up the appointment. She even wore the leg to the car.
The drive home was long and quiet, and she didn’t stop Owen from going to The Stone that night and playing with her brother in the band. She found herself once again in the bedroom, staring out the window when there was a knock on the door. “Yes?”
“Hey, there, sweetheart. How was your appointment today?” Her dad asked, coming into the room.
She pointed down at the new appendage and shrugged. “I have a leg to stand on once again.”
“Ha, ha, ha, that’s a good one.” He smiled, coming to sit next to her. “I got a call from Owen today.”
“Why did Owen call you?”
“I think you know why.” And she did. “Do you want to leave him, baby, I mean, do you really want to leave him?”
She put her hands to her face trying to hide her feelings. “I’m so angry dad, I’m angry at everything… and even at Owen.”
“Do you love him?”
Her hands fell, and she looked at her father. “Yes, I love him.”
He put an arm around her and pulled her in a bear hug, the kind that only a dad can give. “If you love him, sweetheart, then you will have to make peace with what’s happened. You’re going to have to forgive the woman that did this to you,”
“You heard me, and you’re going to have to forgive yourself for how you’ve been acting.”
Her dad kissed the top of her head and then squeezed her. “That man loves you so much, baby. Do you think I would ever let my Jojo marry someone who didn’t put her on a pedestal?” He chuckled. “But you have been blaming Owen for something he didn’t have any control of.”
“I know he didn’t.” She finally admitted.
“Is that fair to him?”
“No, I know it isn’t. But I don’t know how to make myself stop.” She sighed.
He let her go and turned her face towards his. “I know, baby, but if you love him and want to make this marriage work, you need to make this stop. I know that’s easier said than done.” He said with a small grin. “But that’s what you need to do. Only you can heal yourself, and if you don’t do this, Jo, I’m afraid you will end up destroying yourself with all this anger.”
She heard her dad’s words and knew what he said was true. “I know, and you’re right.”
“Well, I knew I was right, but it’s good to finally hear one of the women in my life say so.” He winked, getting up. “Now, I brought over some hamburgers and fries, and then you can show me how this new leg works.”
“Sure, dad.” She smiled.
A couple hours later, Jojo stood in the shower thinking about what her dad had said and knew she had to do something about it. She looked at the shower that now had a chair in it for her to sit, and a metal bar on the wall so she could stand and get up. Owen had done that all for her. She sighed, leaning against the wall to get the shampoo and started to wash her hair. “If you love him so much, then don’t hurt him anymore, Josephine.” She murmured, then there was a knock on the door. “Yes.”
“I wanted to let you know that I was home, princess,” Owen said.
“Okay…” Was all she said.
“Yeah, okay.” He was all he answered, and then shut the door.
“Darn it!” She hissed at herself and then got out of the shower, dried herself off, put on her nightgown, and braided her hair before taking hold of her crutch and the doorknob. “If you’re going to do this, then do it!” She growled and then walked out.
Buddy was in his crate for the night and was fast asleep, and Owen was sitting on the bed in his boxers, staring at the floor. “Owen, I have something to say.” She started, but he didn’t answer, he didn’t even look up, just nodded. She swallowed, wondering if she was already too late and had messed up her marriage beyond repair. “I just wanted to let you know that what happened to me wasn’t your fault.”
His head shot up and he stared at her for a minute before he answered. “What?”
“Well, I just wanted to say that I’m sorry that I’ve been so mean to you. I guess I was taking all my anger and frustration out on you, and I know that wasn’t fair because what happened to me wasn’t your fault.” She rambled.
Owen got up off the bed and stood in front of her. “Do you mean that, princess?”
“Yes, I do.”
He took her face in his hands and looked her over. “I’m so sorry. I can’t even tell you how sorry I am. It kills me that this happened to you.”
“You have nothing to be sorry about. Let’s just forget about who did this to me, and just focus on us. And do you know what I want you to do right now?”
“I would really like you to take me to bed and make love to me.” She whispered.
“You got it, princess.” He growled and then kissed her.