May 21, 2008
By Alexandra Ciuciu, Huntingdon Valley, PA

I know that it is visible, you don’t have to make it seem like I’m out of this world. I can’t walk, so what? I have had this disability since I was 4 years old, I’m pretty used to it by now, why can’t everyone else be?

Sorry, let me start over. My name is Bridgette Gorton. My whole life I have had strange looks from everyone that I pass, even my parents. I used to be their red haired angel, but ever since that big fall when I was younger, life has never been the same. It is like I’m my family’s big project. I never hear, “How is Bridgette doing in school?” or “Have you seen Bridgette’s latest book?’ No, instead I hear, “Are Bridgette’s legs better? Are you giving her treatment?” I am tired of it! Why can’t my life be normal? I deserve it just like everyone else!

I wish that fall had never happened. My cousin never told me that the slide I went on was old. You see, I was playing with my 9 year old cousin in her backyard. She had this amazing slide that I had always wanted to go on. It was banana yellow and perfect from the cement floor to the metal bars of the ladder. Her dad had told us it was broken, but of course, I did not believe him. After all, I was on a mission. Being 4 and as gullible as a clueless tourist, my cousin had told me she had just gotten her slide and that it was amazing. It actually was 17 years old and rusted through its bolts. As you can guess, nothing had stopped me from climbing the stiff metal bars and zooming down so fast, it seemed like a blur. Around my third slide, something went terribly wrong.

“Bridgette, get down!” My cousin hollered to me, but I was too excited to listen. I got up the ladder and embarked on the downward journey. Suddenly everything was alive, shaking in fear, warning me of my future danger. I screeched in joy and BOOM! I dropped down landing right on my feet, a safe landing, I think not! I screamed in pain as my cousin darted to get my parents.

When my parents finally reached my side, it was too late. I went to the hospital and found out I would never be able to walk again.
It wasn’t the best thing in life to never walk, but it has advantages. If I got tired, I was already sitting, maybe I could have even tried some extra sports if I could stop crying every night. My friends all betrayed me, left me in the dust with these… these… weirdoes. They never leave me alone. They’re even worse than the ‘sympathy group’ who are always kissing up to me and saying how sorry they are. I mean, what did they do? I did this to myself and I didn’t need innocent people reminding me.

Well, as I was saying about the extra sports, I have had a little secret ever since I was old enough to walk; I want to be a professional swimmer. I know that it’s a big thing to dream with my situation, but it’s always been and never will leave my mind. My mom still hopes that one day I’ll just stand up and walk, but I lost that hope when I first saw the doctor’s look that terrible day. Unless I find a way to swim with these ‘mess-ups’ for legs, I’m stuck dreaming.

I have the best news! My gym teacher found this swim club for disabled students called Shallow Waters. It allowed me to learn how to swim and have a big chance of being in the Swimming Olympics. I just had to convince my mother to invest the $70 a month. I cannot wait until I can get into that light blue water. It will finally stop people from being so shallow about my disability and realize the rising sun underneath the demolished body!

My first meet was great! I met so many new people. Some could not walk like me, others were much worse. I felt sorry for them, but I finally learned how far people can go in life with so many things gone wrong. I can live life and not care what people think of me or the types of looks I get. Swimming would never be just a dream anymore. Shallow Waters had teachers who had lived life with the same challenges and have gone far beyond expectations, some have become professional swimmers. I was on my way to living my dream, but somehow I felt that I was missing something. Perhaps telling my cousin that it was not her fault I fell. She had been scarred, she had been hurt, but overall, she was un-forgiven. I must look deep in my heart and release the happiness I have found with my life. I must create a better life in her as she did with me.

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This article has 10 comments.

A.M.C. 12 said...
on Oct. 13 2008 at 10:26 pm
Thank you everyone!!!

mom said...
on Aug. 11 2008 at 8:21 pm

horia said...
on Aug. 11 2008 at 8:07 am
You've got talent, I am very proud of you !

cc said...
on Aug. 8 2008 at 6:11 am
great job, keep writing

mj said...
on Aug. 8 2008 at 2:33 am
greate story for this young lady. wish you good luck

dieselro said...
on Aug. 7 2008 at 4:46 am
Remarkable talent !!!

Valy said...
on Aug. 7 2008 at 2:33 am
Very nice: God bless you all!

Gabby said...
on Aug. 6 2008 at 3:42 pm
Alexandra, your talent is very transparent. Continue to pursue your dream, and you will become a great writer!

clau said...
on Aug. 6 2008 at 12:13 pm
very good for a teenager.

Mihaela777 said...
on Aug. 6 2008 at 11:53 am


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