The nurse, seeing my pale expression, immediately stands up. “Did I hurt you?” she asks.
“No, it’s just-!”I stop. Why bother explaining to someone who has no idea about it? “I’ll be fine, Mrs. Powell. I just have one thing to ask, if it’s okay with you,” I say.
“Ask away, Lizzie,” she says cheerfully. “I’m all ears.”
“Is it okay if I borrow a wheelchair or a pair of crutches? It’s hard for me to walk because my legs are so sore.”
Mrs. Powell grimaces. “Lizzie, I don’t usually allow students to borrow wheelchairs for fear that they will use them for the wrong reasons. However, if I loaned you a pair of crutches, you would have to walk on one leg, and I know you don’t want to do that. Just this one time – I’ll let you borrow a wheelchair- but don’t let it happen again!” She walks over to the wheelchair I had been asking about and pushes it to the chair I’m sitting in.
“I won’t, Mrs. Powell. Thanks again!” I gingerly settle myself in the seat and wheel out of the office, heading down to the locker room before class.
In the locker room, while everyone’s changing for gym, I wheel in. Jennifer Mayfield, my best friend, and Nicole Williams, one of my other friends, are standing next to the door, chatting. When they see me, it’s as if a chain reaction occurs. Jennifer screams, and Nicole follows suit. Then questions start coming at me from both of them.
“OMG, Lizzie! What happened to your legs? Are you okay? OMG! Did you fall?” Jennifer and Nicole’s screams have now triggered the attention of the other girls, who are crowded around me. Like I said before – being the leader of the A-Clique and the most popular girl isn’t easy. However, my injury seems to have gotten me some extra attention.
Everyone crowds around me, asking me questions, telling me they’ll call today. Finally, I’ve had enough. I wheel out of the locker room into the gym, telling everyone I’ll text them all about it tonight. They all shriek with excitement, because none of them knew what happened. Except me. But I don’t feel like telling them, either.
The rest of the day passes in a blur. After school, I head back to the Biology room to pick up my assignments. I go to my locker, take all the books I need for homework, and then I wheel out to the parking lot. I pull my car keys from my purse, and I travel towards my Mini Cooper convertible. I stop in front of the car only to realize I couldn’t drive in my condition. I unlock the car, put my backpack on the passenger seat, and lock the doors. I decide to text Jennifer to see if she could give me a ride. She willingly accepts, and, ten minutes later, she arrives to take me home.
I lay on my bed, sighing. Jennifer dropped me off two hours ago, but I still don’t have any homework done. I couldn’t focus. I tried listening to my iPod, but it didn’t do a single thing. I watched TV, but it didn’t work. I texted all of my friends twenty times each, but it just made my fingers sore. When my thirteen year old brother came home from soccer practice at 5: 15, I didn’t even bother going down to meet him. I just let him do whatever.
“Lizzie? Are you up there? Lizzie?” he called. I listened to him take off his shoes, throw his backpack on the floor, and run up the stairs. To discourage him from coming into my room, I slam my door. The door rattles on its hinges, sending a gust of cold wind into my freezing room.
“Elizabeth! Don’t slam the door on me. You know I hate it when you do that,” he says calmly.
“Don’t call me that!” I snap. I had already had a long day, and I didn’t need his aggravating serenity at this moment.
“Look. Just tell me what’s wrong.” His voice, out of nowhere, appeared in front of my closed door. I started, and jumped about three inches off my bed. “How did you get in here?”
“Never mind,” he said, grinning. His face suddenly turned solemn. “Look, Lizzie. I know what you’re thinking about. Just forget the past. I know it’s hard to forget, but you can’t live in it forever.”
My anger at him suddenly vanishes. “Alec, I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to be such a jerk.”
“It’s okay, Lizzie. I’ve got to go now. I can’t miss football practice. Coach would be absolutely furious.”
After a homework-dinner (which is sort of like a TV dinner except that I do homework), I lay in bed, ready for another long day. While I had pushed the thought of the Fireglasses out of my mind, my brain wasn’t ready to give up yet. That night, it sent me a vivid dream of the incident. Every. Single. Detail.