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“We are very sorry to tell you this, Mrs. Cale, but your daughter will be unable to stand for the next eight weeks at least, possibly twelve.”
Hello! I’m right here! I’m the one with the broken legs idiot, not my mother. I silently screamed at the doctor.
“But she will be able to come home?” My mother asked for what must have been the fifth or sixth time; she was a lawyer after all. She always had to make sure every aspect of a trip every detail in an agreement was perfectly, 100% understood by both parties. Sometimes all her questioning got pretty aggravating.
I turned my head away from my mother, attempting to tune out the tense conversation. Unfortunately, facing the other direction wasn’t much better. The room I had been stuck in for the past three days was small, maybe 8 feet by 10 feet? It had white walls with one strip of Thomas the Tank Engine Wallpaper at approximately eye level. The lights were over bright in only the way hospital lights can be; honestly they are migraine inducing, shouldn’t doctors know that? The worst part about the room, the part that makes it absolutely unbearable, is the complete lack of windows. You wouldn’t think that windows would make or break a room but they do. Without them this tiny room is claustrophobic and stress inducing. There is no where to look that reminds you that life is still continuing outside this center for sickness. Without a window it feels as though time has stopped for me, as though God has pressed the pause button of the universe so that I, one small thirteen year old girl from suburban Boston, can be healed. I know intuitively that this is not true, but over the past 72 hours my sense of reality has slowly slipped away. It is it true? I ask myself again and again. Has the world really stopped just so I, Paloma Cale, can be X-rayed until I’m sure to get cancer, checked out by dozens of doctors, put in at least three different casts, hydrated through an IV, forced to swallow god knows how many pills, and now told that I, a once league all star athlete, will not stand for maybe twelve weeks?!
The world must have stopped. I decide as I turn my head back toward my mother and Dr. Camryn.
“Is that all clear now?” Dr. Camryn was asking my mother with a note of exasperation in his voice.
“Yes, thank you very much.” Replied my mother curtly, I can tell I won’t be seeing this doctor again. When my mother doesn’t like something she lets it know. This guy has no idea what’s about to hit him. I thought wryly as a small smile spread across my face.
The doctor left the room and my mother turned to face me where I lay on the white hospital bed.
“He’s just going to fill out a couple of forms and send your prescriptions to the pharmacy so I will be able to pick them up on the way home.”
I just looked at her, feeling too tired to respond and knowing that my reply wouldn’t change anything she had already decided. I was under my mother’s jurisdiction whether I liked it or not. There was one thing, however, that I wanted; one small request that I desperately wanted my mother to accept.
“What is it baby?” My mother asked, concern creeping into her eyes as she looked down at my wan face, sensing that I needed something.
“Momma,” I croaked, was it my first word since the terrible accident?
“Can I have a window?”
“A window?” She repeated, confused.
“Yes, I need to see outside, to know the world hasn’t stopped. I need to be by the window.”