Figure 8

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Anya, who dreams of becoming a professional figure skater, has just been in a life altering car accident driving home from her little brother's soccer game. What will happen to her dreams? Will her family survive?

Submitted: November 19, 2011

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Submitted: November 19, 2011

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Figure 8

By: Liberty Thompson


We were on our way home from my brother’s soccer game.  It was around six o’clock and it was just starting to get dark.  We were just getting off at the freeway exit, and onto the road that led to our house.  A red pickup truck came speeding down the street at an unremarkable  pace.  The headlights blinded me as the truck crashed into the passenger’s side of the car, causing it to flip twice.
The clouds of billowing smoke could be seen from miles away just as the screeching sirens could be heard.  A heap of twisted metal was all that remained of our family’s Town and Country minivan.  We were all there, my mom, my ten year old brother, and I.  Police reports indicate that the car flipped twice, but it felt like an eternity.  We were all laying there, motionless on the Pennsylvania turnpike.  The flashing lights of the ambulance  illuminated the cold dark street, distorting my vision and everything around me.  The extreme pounding in my head became so excruciating that I almost blacked out and my vision blurred and became even worse.  An E.M.T. jumped out of the ambulance and sprinted over to us, with an emergency defibrillator in hand.  It took all my strength to turn my head slightly to the left. This simple action that usually requires no strength at all was harder to do than run a marathon.  I could see him.  His body, I mean.  His usually combed black hair was now laying across his forehead in strands of unruly curls.  His skin looked so pale it was almost white and his legs were laying on the black pavement in inhumanly positions.  I watched in horror, shock, and disbelief as the E.M.T. ran up to my brother and tried to shock him back to life.  I grew sick with worry and could not hold on any longer.  I reluctantly succumbed to unconsciousness, giving up the battle.
I woke up in a very sterile, bland white room.  The hospital smelled strongly of disinfectant. The steady beat of the heart monitor next to me was all I could hear.  I was staring at the checkered floor of the hospital thinking about what life must be like for my family right now and what they must be going through.  I started thinking about my dreams of one day becoming a professional figure skater.  On the chair nest to my lumpy, uncomfortable hospital bed, sat my favorite skating hoodie with the logo of the local skating rink on it.  It was in the lap of my mother.  It took my breath away knowing she was OK.  My thoughts drifted back to my younger brother Jacob.  He was the sweetest boy in the world.  He didn’t deserve this. None of us did.  My mom, suddenly realizing I was awake, stiffened in her chair.  
“You’re awake.  I missed you so much.  I’m so glad you’re feeling better.  Is there anything I can get you?” she asked nervously but lovingly. A wave of nausea passed over me, but I did my best to ignore it.  
“W-a-t-e-r.”  I croaked.  I was surprised at how dry my throat was.  
“Sure, Honey.  I’ll be right back,”  She said as she got up and walked slowly to the big oak door.  I was able to move my eyes, so I looked around the room and noticed all the flowers left by people, all for me.  I felt so overwhelmed by it all that I had to fight to hold back the tears.  I the feeling of love was incredible. I also looked down at the thin blanket covering my body.  Everything was there.  Everything except my left leg from the knee down.  My hand shot up to cover my mouth in disbelief, knocking an IV out in the process.  My eyes welled up with tears and they overflowed and ran down my face, matting my blond hair.  
I thought back to the night of the accident and how all this happened. My mom walked back into the room with a cold glass of ice water.  She handed it to me and and tenderly took my hand.  I could see the stress all this had put on her.  He brown hair was knotted and snarly and she had deep purple bags under her eyes as if she hadn’t slept in days.  
“Mom,”  I asked in a worried tone, “What happened to my leg?”
She paused for a moment, thinking of how to go on. “ The doctors couldn’t save it Anya.  I’m so sorry.”  She began to sob as I tried to comfort her.  “Your brother, Jacob, is not doing so well.” she sobbed, “they think he may be paralyzed from the waist down,  but we’ll get through this.  I promise.”  We sat there for what seemed like hours, just holding each others hands and crying.  
Jacob and I were permitted to leave the hospital two weeks later and were sent to rehab.  After long weeks of hard mental and physical labor of trying to learn how to use my body, and learning to walk again, we were able to leave to our Family home in Pittsburgh, PA.  
We were sitting on the brown suede couch in our country style living room, with Jacob in his wheel chair, watching the news. It pained me to look at him.  I always thought of the happy child he used to be. This was another very important moment in our lives.  I was going to try and skate again.  The accident that happened on September 1 was now behind me.  This was December  and we had a pond in our backyard that by now was frozen over with a layer of cold hard ice.  Which, in many ways was my best friend.  It made me happy before the accident, and now it was going to help me get over it.  I got up from the couch and used my crutches to go put on my skates,  which I buried in the back of my closet.  I didn’t want to see what I had lost and how my dreams had been crushed every time I looked at them.  I walked out the door and into the cold December breeze,  the cold air stinging my cheeks.  I walked over to the pond that was frozen in the winter weather to see if I could, once again, skate a figure 8.


© Copyright 2017 Liberty Thompson. All rights reserved.

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