If I close my eyes, I can drift myself back to the summer. I can pretend that I'm still able to wake up every day and move, swim, run, play.
But I wake up as I feel the medicine wearing off. My eyes open against command, and all I see is the ugly black wheelchair sitting at the side of my bed.
My chest hurts with every breath, a sharp pain is stinging at both my sides.
"Drink this." My mom is at my bedside, and I'm not sure how. She's tipping a cup into my mouth, and the liquid in there is not water. The taste on my tongue is sour, bitter, even. My dry throat reacts with a gag, sending medicine dribbling down my shirt and onto my bedsheets.
"Maria, honestly!" My mom says, throwing her free hand up in exasperation. "I don't know what's gotten into you today, just drink the medicine!" She tips the cup back into my mouth, and it takes all of my energy not to hurl.
My mom pushes over my wheelchair. The wheelchair is obviously used, and I feel the seat cracking as I attempt to somehow settle into it.
"I thought the doctor said the SPS wasn't supposed to paralysis my legs," I grunt. "But I can't move my legs at all."
"You can still feel your legs, can't you?" Mom says briskly. "That's a plus."
"I wouldn't call it that." I grumble as I wheel myself out the door.
My wheelchair is just over the front door when I start to panic. "I can't!" I scream, earning strange looks from early-morning joggers. "Please, one more day of rest. Tomorrow, I'll do it. I can't do it today." Tears start to from in my eyes as I hurriedly wheel myself backwards, crashing into my mother.
"Okay, okay!" She says, throwing up her hands. "We'll try tomorrow."