You & I #20
Oh, You. I mean, I know who you are now. I'm sorry about your condition, I figure that sucks. Em… yeah, everything kind of make sense now. I suppose I am a little agitated that you lied, but I can see why you might have wanted to hide your condition. In a way, I am sorry for having kept talking about being able to run all over the place, and teaching you how to play sports or I don’t know, like… being lazy. You said you swim, except how do you do that if you are in a wheelchair. Plus, being in a wheelchair all the time, does that mean you can’t feel anything south of your hips. Em… does that mean everything below is… not working. Sorry for asking, I’m just… I feel weird grasping what I know now.
It's awkward you know, realizing how I have been talking smack all this time about being energetic and well, being able to walk just about anywhere I want. You kept dropping hints all along, about having something taken away that I wouldn't be able to understand, until it's gone, and I presume I'll never perceive what it is like to lose my independence.
Em, Isaac, it might be wrong for me to say this. Though I'm pretty sure it won't work: us being friends. You live a different life, a complicated one, and well, I live another. I don’t care about your disability per se. What I really mean is… I don't think I can be friends with you because I have special feelings, regardless of what way you present yourself. Can I be in love with someone and not care about how they look. I'm serious, this is odd and weird. All I know is that I have a strong ripely sensation in my stomach and it makes me feel ashamed to acknowledge who you are and still like you. I mean, what if I desired to do wild things with you, like rock climbing, how do we do that? Actually, how do you swim, do you need someone to help you all the time or can you do that yourself.
I reckon you are right about your previous statement; that neither of us would have talked to each other if it were not for these letters. I'll be honest, okay, not that I have anything against you or people in your position. Just, I don't think I can deal with something this heavy. I have enough things on my mind, and I don't want to worry extra about you when you can't keep up with my friends or me if I was to invite you out. I… I em… I… You know, it kind of sucks you know... that you are in a wheelchair if I am honest. Somehow, I always imagined if we got together we'd be able to do wild shit, and well I don't know what I was thinking making a preconceived notion that you could just walk based on my own knowledge. Except, now that I know I just feel guilty for being nice to you now that I know about you. I am thankful I never made fun of you, and that I never ridiculed somebody in your position. Only, it seems like such a shitty thing to do to such a nice person. Whenever I saw you in the corridor at school, I always assumed or asked myself at least, "what did that guy do to piss off god."
Though now that I know you are a phenomenal person beneath the appearance it makes me hate myself for not reaching out sooner or at least trying when I knew for a fact that you seemed lonely and lost in your everyday life when I’d see you. I think I have been to caught up in my own life to genuinely care about anyone else, and since I met you, you have opened me up to the plausibility of being open to people.
Is it wrong for me to wish the accident happened to me, rather than a grateful person like you? What I really want to say is that I can’t be just a friend, and now that I know it's you, it makes me want to be helpful, yet, honestly, these uncharted waters petrify me.
Can I ask what really happened? How did it really happen? And I'm really sorry about your mom. Mom's are so much better than dads, even though I love my dad… mom always understands. I’m super sorry about what occurred, four years ago. Did you see the other side? I mean, heaven. Your superhuman Isaac… you know that. All this time, I've been passing by a superhero on my way to class for the last couple of years. After what you have gone through I can appreciate why you savor the little things now that don't seem significant when you have them to dispose of.
Plus, please don't call yourself a cripple, nobody calls you that. I didn't even know your name… I always referred to you as the kid in the wheelchair. Yes, you are the only person in the entire school that I have noticed who has a wheelchair. I understand that it is not the best to refer to someone, on just what I see, though you are totally worth the time and effort, in getting to know.
Lastly, it will never be goodbye with me. You have made it into my inner circle of besties. I’m dealing with stuff, so sorry if I am slow on the uptake, but I just need some time to think that’s all. I’ll let you know… you know when things are clear. I just, I wasn’t expecting my best friend to be in a wheelchair. Though you are still alright in my books…
Until next time,
I get it, it's uncanny, you didn't expect me to be sitting in a wheelchair, and I know it is a crappy thing to have done to you. I don't like lying, it isn't me as a person. It makes me extremely guilty when I stop to ponder how it must be to be when you have been forthcoming and overwhelmingly positive since the get-go. I should have just been transparent with the topic, as you have been with me. Furthermore, it is okay about the physical activity aspect, I never took any heed to it, and well… you could have never known anyway, so, what is the point of getting angry about that. To your questions, I swim using my arms, I cannot explain the process, though since you kind of float in water it makes it easier for me to do that as a past time. I played soccer before in the wheelchair with a support group I was a part of for a while, they used to get somebody to push the wheelchair, and I'd hold the ball on my lap as they pushed my chair. My only regret is that I never got to try football. In a way, working as a team is rather exciting and also rewarding to do. Though no, I don't feel anything below my hips, well except… em, you know my junk… sometimes. It works, just when it wants to. Peeing is okay, but everything is messed up… ish.
I assume I did drop a lot of hints about not doing stuff since we first started writing and I understand why you probably don't want to talk to me anymore. I hope it is only temporarily, and we can go back to being friends, that is if you still crave to be. I had a feeling that if I did tell you, that we’d stop being friends. It's not easy for someone to watch after me all the time, or to have the constant thought in your mind every minute. I reckon it takes the joy out of the time, knowing you have to be responsible for a person who is semi-dependent. Only, I promise you, I can do a lot more than you think. I can do most things you can do, other than walk obviously. Just smaller things like climbing stairs take longer; for instance, I'd have to scooch my way gradually to the top of a staircase. Things take time, but I'm not entirely broken.
Oh… em, I was just replying to what you were saying before I took the time to read your letter, and now that I have come to a particular paragraph I'm not sure what I should say about something you have written. First off, I wish to say thank you for accepting me, or I'm not sure since I took the time out to read your entire letter now, and it says at the end of the message that you want to take time out. If I am missing something, please tell me, but I don't want to lose you as a friend. If I could fix what happened to me, I would, but I can't. It occurred, and I ain't got the power to do those sorts of miracles.
Em, love is a strong word to say to someone you have never met. I like you to, but not that way of course. Though this is hard, I know, but I'm not gay. I think things have changed between us and there may be an adjustment period, or perhaps we just were never meant to be. For now, all I can say is, cool… although it's a little odd, I don't mind it. I just don't want to lose what we have built up. Therefore, Max, I am incredibly touched. So, I guess I'll try and start again. Is it even worth beginning all over, or is it past that point? If not, hi, I'm Isaac, I'm 15-years old, I’m in 10th Grade, and not only am I in a wheelchair, but I am a science geek, and I kickass at swimming. Well 9th Grade, would you like to start again?
You know, sometimes I ask the same question as I lay awake at night, searching for answers in the busy avenues of my brain. What did I do to him upstairs, to have to live like this? The answer is nothing; just a silence distills. God never responds. God is not there. He is a phony. As to how it happened, we were on the freeway, coming home on Monday afternoon from spending some time up at the lake house our family owns. Dad left earlier as he took a week off from work, and had to be back in the city. Dad drove home on Sunday evening, and mom and I followed on the next day as it was summer. We drove a good two hours, and we got pretty close to the city. Just, a few cars ahead, someone must have recently changed a flat tire, and never put the wheel back on correctly. Before mom could react driving the vehicle, this projectile bounced off the windshield. Instantly, the glass cracked, the screen turned a milky white, and I couldn’t see the road in front of us. Somehow mom got scared, she swerved to avoid the tire bobbing along. Only, it still hit us and well the car barrel rolled, three times to be exact. We ended on the other side of the highway.
The backpack I had between my legs with snacks and drinks in it, came from the floor well. I was sitting in the front seat, I remember the bag hitting my face as the car tumbled. It’s like everything hurt for a moment, and I couldn’t take control of anything. Plus, something happened with the daylight. It like stuttered, or flaked out. You know like those old super 8 cameras; the way the light flickers inside. Then everything stopped, and it was calm for a moment. Lastly, I recall hearing a loud crash, and then I don’t remember anything after that.
For that split second when everything calmed down, I've never been as scared in all my life. I wish people never felt that way when it happens to them, thought the sad fact is it does occur. I woke two days later in the hospital, everyone thought it was a miracle I was alive. They told me I died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Though I felt different; I thought for a second, I was living outside my body and then tried moving my arms, even though it was sore. I then attempted to move my legs and realized they didn't work. I knew then I'd never walk again; the seatbelt impression left on my chest suggested it saved me. Though I later learned another car plowed into us from the front of the vehicle and yet, my mom died. Dad takes care of me now, and he is overprotective.
The footwell squished and did its damage on my legs. I was supposedly bleeding really bad, and that’s all they told me. They skipped the fact my mom died, even though I was asking about her all the time. They never told me where she was as soon as I came around. Then when dad told me, I went psycho, so much, so they had to sedate me. So there… no more secrets. I’m Isaac Miller; once an adventure kid, yet, still with a joyful heart.
Please just don't leave me hanging, okay. Even if you don't want to talk to me, just tell me. Besides, I'll turn up to watch you play this weekend. I won't miss that.