Anything is Possible

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Submitted: June 12, 2019

Reads: 60

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 12, 2019

A A A

A A A

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

Chapter 1

The wedding had been lovely, just a simple backyard affair under the live oaks and pecan trees, on a perfect late spring afternoon, which continued until long after the stars had come out.  Her son was married!  Charlotte Chandler was thrilled that her son Avery, at 34, had finally found the right woman and was even now dancing with her under the pergola in front of fifty or so friends and family members.  They’d only known each other about four months when he proposed, but when you know, you know, right?  Charlotte had known her daughter-in-law was the real deal in the first few minutes after they had met.  This woman knew what she wanted, and had her life together, a brilliant career, a home which she had bought and paid for, and was generous and kind, an astute judge of character and had a wicked sense of humor to boot!  And, it was obvious that she and Avery were very much in love.  We are so lucky, she thought.  As were they.

It had been nearly the same for her and Bud.  They had known each other over a brief summer before she left Texas for good, for New York City.  No big deal. But eighteen months later he came North for a visit and less than two months after that they were married.  Bud had asked her every half hour, for three days until she finally said yes.  How young they had been!  And how long ago that seemed, how removed from the life they now led in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire suburbs.  Charlotte looked around her, and soaked up the warm Texas twilight, the lingering smells of barbequed pork in the air, Van Morrison’s “Moon Dance” wafting out from the sound system, enjoying the fact she was somewhere there was no snow on the ground.  Maybe it was time to think about moving back.

~

Why were there no longer any non-stop flights to anywhere?  It seemed like these days you had to change planes at least once to get a decent fare.  They had changed planes in Dallas, and the airport gate was now just ahead.  As usual, Bud was in his own world, his eyes glued to his smartphone, about 10 strides ahead.  Charlotte scurried to catch up; she wanted to remind him to send a text to the driver of the car service picking them up before they boarded. 

The next thing she knew, she hit hard, the unyielding white marble floor cold beneath her left cheek.  Dazed, she spied her purse and laptop scattered a few feet in front of her, and wondered what they were doing there instead of hugging her shoulder?  She had no memory of losing her balance, let alone falling. 

Then there was shouting from above, “Ma’am, ma’am, are you okay?”  Several people swarmed around her, including Bud, who, hearing the commotion, had come streaking back to kneel at her side. 

Again, someone shouted at her, “Are you okay?  Can you stand?” 

“I’m not sure, just give me a minute,” Charlotte huffed, wishing they would all shut up and give her some air as she tried to make sense of what had just happened.

 She’d banged her knee, which hurt some, but she was feeling more embarrassment than pain.  She struggled to her feet, pushing up first from her right side, then from the other, only to have the left leg buckle completely when she tried to put any weight on it.  The EMT caught her under her arms so she didn’t fall again; “I think you might have broken your leg,” he said gravely.

~

“It’ll be fine,” Charlotte said to Bud. 

Bud said, “Charlotte, we need to get you to a hospital and have that looked at.” 

“I just want to go home; we can stop off at the ER once we get to New Hampshire.  I’ll just keep icing it, and drink some vodka on the plane.  It’s probably just a torn ligament or something.” 

Bud didn’t look convinced, but he knew it was pointless to argue with Charlotte once she had her mind made up. 

By the time they transferred Charlotte onto the plane from a wheelchair, and propped her leg up across a row of bulkhead seats, her eyes were glassy with pain, but she didn’t regret her decision to forge ahead.  She focused her attention on one main thought:  “Thank God it happened after the wedding and not before”.

~

Two weeks later:

The hospital in Portsmouth had confirmed the Dallas EMT’s probable diagnosis; her lower leg was indeed broken, a non-displaced fracture of the tibial plateau.  Charlotte thought this was ridiculous!  She had made it through 55 years of her life without breaking anything, and now this?  It was impossible!  What was even more impossible was managing to do the most basic things in her 1890’s farmhouse on four levels, all stairs and narrow doorways, not ADA-friendly at all!

On a practical level, it made sense for her to stay on the top floor, where the master bedroom, bath, and home office (from where she commuted virtually to her various writing jobs) were located.  She was the prisoner-princess-in-the- tower!  Bud had been an angel, ferrying up her meals, and even setting up a card-table so they could have dinner together.But she felt like she was going crazy.

Today was her first outing, to go to physical therapy.  Bud had helped her shower, wash & dry her hair, get her downstairs and into the wheelchair, and down the ramp over the front walk and into the car.  Charlotte was exhausted already; all she wanted was to somehow teleport back up to her bedroom and fall sleep.  By the time they got to the suite of therapy rooms at the rehab center, she had sunk into a deep depression.  This was far too difficult, and walking again under her own steam seemed like an impossible task that was never going to happen.

She looked up dully from the pallet where they had transferred her, as a young man about Avery’s age waltzed in with a spring in his step (“Hah! Easy for you,” she thought) and a computer on a mobile stand.  He was very tall, with black curly hair which stopped just above his shoulders, and a lock that hung down low over one eyebrow.  He met Charlotte’s gaze with the most intense pair of midnight blue eyes she had ever seen, broke into a huge grin and said, “Hi, I’m Andrew Manley. Now, what do we have here?”


© Copyright 2019 Valerie Austyn. All rights reserved.

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