The story encapsulates the narrative of a crippled girl, who was deemed an unfortunate fate because of a serious accident that spared her life but had her bedridden for the rest of her life. Derek, her younger brother, is also affected by her misfortune; he has to juggle between school, work and taking care of his elder sister.
This further intensifies her grief about what life has dealt her, and she seems to despair about the entire matter internally. She also finds it hard to believe that someone would love her truly, after seeing the permanently damaged state she was in; making life all the more difficult for her to bear. A volunteer in the hospital she was admitted in one day arrived at her bedside and a procedure, he tried to converse with her.
In some weirdly unimaginable way, they clicked. Aaron and Ella started drifting in love. The story ends happily with Ella getting prosthetics that can help her move physically and live her life and she also finds a person she could safely say never judged her by her appearance and still fell in love with her.
Chapter 1: Routine
“Don’t you worry, Ella, we’ll get you walking soon enough,” the doctor promised, walking into my room.
I sighed & turned my head the other way. That’s what he had said last week, & the one before that. Truth be told, they could find no donor but could only hope for one to ‘appear’. That’s because they ‘wanted the best’ for me & decided that a 21-year-old girl should have actual limbs to maintain herself as eye contact, rather than steel ones to get her butt off the wretched hospital bed.
“Hello, elder sister!” my brother greeted, skipping towards my bedside, trying to keep a cheerful aroma wrapped around us.
He flopped on to the couch behind him, dropping off his schoolbag at the side.
“Tired?” I smirked.
“You have no idea,” he chuckled.
“It’s your last month in high school. You should have expected at least this much,” I shrugged.
“True. Did you take your meds?” he questioned, inspecting the small bottle on the side table.
Here we go…
“Yes,” I sighed.
He had become this sort of machine ever since I had the car accident- he had to balance school, a part-time job & me, all at the same time. I wanted him to worry about himself, his education, girls, even! I wanted him to live like an 18-year-old should: freely. But he had to be the elder sibling & take care of me like I was his baby. & I just hated that.
“Nothing. Can you please turn the TV on?”
“El, what?” he tried again.
“I just wish you’d calm down. I’m fine. It’s a hospital. The worst that could happen is…” Death? “Yeah, I mean, just calm down!”
“What’s the worst that could happen?”
How does he catch onto the words I want him to ignore?! Think, think… “You can slip. Have you seen those tiles?!” Great thinking, Einstein. “Considering that I don’t have any legs, we don’t have to worry about that, do we?”
Okay, I have to admit, that comment hurt. But I was ready to say it, as long as he would stop worrying. At that rate, he could have gone bald & gotten wrinkles in about a week, no joke!
“Ella…” he sighed, sadness & concern evident on his ‘pretty boy’ face.
“Come on, now, Derek! I don’t wanna miss the movie!” I urged &, without another word, he turned the device on.
The separating of the curtains allowed some sunlight in, disturbing the weak slumber I had slept. That, I suspected, could only have been one person. Nurse Patricia.
“Morning, Sunshine!” she sang.
I just groaned in return, trying to rub the drowsiness off my eyes. I stretched a bit, only to feel the numbness of the end of the stump. It used hurt horrifically bad at first, gradually fading away, though not completely vanishing. The pang of depression in my heart was felt, along with the new wetness in my eyes. However, I suppressed it as best I had learnt how, over time, & stretched my lips as much as possible, turning towards my two beloved attendants- charming Nurse Patricia who became an older sibling to the both of us& Derek, who seemed to have just woken up, by her, no doubt.
“Morning,” I replied.
“Did you remember to drink water before sleeping? You get parched whenever you don’t,” she reminded.
“Yes, Granma,” I answered, rolling my eyes.
“Alright, relax,” she said, raising her hands in the surrendering gesture.
Both of us let out a chuckle & she shook her head. We glanced at Derek, who had fallen back asleep, so Nurse Patriciadid what she would have done.
“Get up, doll!” she yelled in his ear, in the worst southern accent she could pull.
Of course, he jumped out of the couch, screaming.
“What time is it?” Derek questioned.
“School time,” Nurse Patricia answered, asserting her ‘I’m the authority!’ look.
He looked at me for help but all I could do was a shrug.
“School is school, Derek. You have to go.”
“Fine,” he groaned & dragged himself off of the attendant’s bed, knowing it was inevitable that he would lose when both of us would side against him.