[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.“Good luck with your fund-raiser, Jenny.I hope it’s wildly successful.”Then, as the meeting was about to begin, I pushed myself away from her, over to the other end of the room, so I could find out exactly what I’d need to do to win Homecoming and roll over Jenny Roy on my way there.CHAPTER 18“If I’m wincing in pain, you need to turn off the camera, okay? No ugly face on video.” I settled into my chair in the parking lot as Amanda slammed her trunk closed and locked up her car.The hospital had referred me to a new physical therapy center that focused specifically on spinal cord injuries, and Amanda was tagging along on this visit to get some footage for her video.Amanda accompanying me to physical therapy was like worlds colliding, but she said it would make her project better to show me being active in multiple ways.Better video project, better Homecoming campaign, better chance of beating Jenny Roy, better chance of making more money for our project.“Deal,” she said.“Now, let’s do this.You hold the camera pointed at yourself and I’ll push you up to PT while I interview you, okay?”I told her how to get to the physical therapy room at the medical center, and I positioned the camera so it was facing me, selfie-style.“So, Kara,” Amanda said in her best investigative-journalist voice.“What do you want to get out of physical therapy? Do you have a specific goal, or is it for general recovery and well-being?”“I want to walk again.” I didn’t think about my answer for a second; it just leapt from my mouth like it had a life of its own.It’s not like I’d been spending time thinking specifically about walking.Between my parents, Jack, Homecoming, and all the drama at school, I’d had enough on my mind as it was.Especially because it wasn’t something I’d thought was possible.Dr.Nguyen told me I would never walk again.The end.But deep in my heart, in the place I kept my wildest hopes and craziest secrets, it was what I wanted.I wanted to be able to walk.And, even more, I wanted to dance.“Do you think that will happen?” Amanda asked.I let out a long sigh.“Well, nothing will happen if I just sit in my chair, right? If I accept the fact that my legs are never going to work again, then they aren’t, for sure.But if I work hard at PT and do everything in my power, then maybe there’s a chance.It might take twenty years or forty years, but I need to start now, and work for it every day.”Amanda pushed me through the automatic doors, and we followed the hallway down to the PT room.“I want my life to be full of possibilities, not regret, you know?”“That’s a sound bite if I’ve ever heard one.” Amanda leaned over my shoulder so her face was in the lens of the camera, smooshed up right next to mine.“Note to self: Self, put that in, for sure.”I made a face at the camera, and I handed it back to her.Pushing my shoulders back, I wheeled myself into the PT room, Amanda followed with her camera, and the first person I saw was Ana, saying good-bye to the techs and gathering her things.“Kara!” She wore her usual smile, like physical therapy on her paralyzed legs was the most fun she could imagine having today.“You’re coming here now?” I asked.“How was your PT session?”She rolled her eyes.“Yeah.Sometimes I think they’re trying to kill me.But in a good way, I guess.”I introduced Amanda to Ana and explained the video project.Ana, who was still in middle school, hung on every word, like high school Homecoming was everything the movies and TV shows told her it would be.I guess my story did have a lot of drama.“Kara’s going to be Homecoming Queen,” Amanda said, smiling.Ana clapped excitedly.“Oh my God, really? I want to see pictures! Will you show me pictures?”Amanda chimed in with a singsong voice, “And Kara has a boooy-friend, so—”“You have a boyfriend?” Ana squealed.“Tell me! Do you have a picture?”Heat rushed to my cheeks.Jack made sure to tell me before he left my house after we’d kissed that he wanted to be my boyfriend again, and I had agreed.And, of course, the second he was out the door, I’d called Amanda and filled her in on the details.She’d been relieved to hear that Jack finally made his move; apparently, he’d been asking her for advice on how to go for it since my first day back at school.She’d even faked that stupid popcorn sickness after our mall date to give us some alone time so he’d do something about it.I’d been worried that our new couple status might upset the Kara–Amanda–Jack balance, but we’d done this threesome before with no issues, and it was like falling back into a familiar pattern.It was comforting to know that some things could go back to how they used to be.I was about to try to explain our situation to Ana, but a tall man with a mustache poked his head in the room before I could even begin.“Ana,” he said.“Time to go, mija.”Ana smiled.“That’s my dad.I have to go.But you’ll tell me about your boyfriend the next time we run into each other, okay, Kara?”“Or just give me your number,” I said.“I’ll text you.” Somewhere in the middle of all this, even though she was so much younger than me, Ana had become an actual friend.Going through all these wheelchair adventures together could really bond you to someone, I guess, and it was pretty awesome to have someone who could really understand it, even if she was still in middle school.She was like the real-life version of all the people on the disability message boards I’d come to count on every night before I went to sleep.She understood the sometimes-conflicting, always-confusing feelings I had about life in a wheelchair, and she got me in ways Jack and Amanda and my parents never would, no matter how hard they tried.As Ana rolled herself out the door, she turned her head back to face me [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]