She Can Run, Too

July 19, 2016
By EmoijahMelinaB. GOLD, Lauderhill, Florida
EmoijahMelinaB. GOLD, Lauderhill, Florida
12 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I sat down starting at the clouds. The sun beamed down angrily in my spot, seeming to be only upset with me as the other kids ran around in the grass not bothered by the heat. My fingers traced along the dirt, making little pictures. I didn’t know what I was making – maybe an imaginary friend to cover up for friends I never had.

Sadly, I watched as all the other kids had fun. I didn’t know what fun was though – not for a long time, anyway. But that must have been a good definition of fun.

“Maddie, get the ball!” Daniel yelled.

My eyes scrutinized every movement of Maddie’s swift legs as she sprinted to capture the ball. The others ran after her, struggling to catch up. I would be so glad to be Maddie. I would be the fastest girl on the planet, soaring like a free bird across the ground and feeling the wind rush into my face – or I would be more of a cheetah, actually. It would be so nice to run across the grass with the other kids or with anyone.

I turned away, feeling my eyes start to burn. I realized watching those kids I will never be like was an imprudent practice.
Stop wishing for something you know you’ll never have, I told myself.

I wheeled away from the sidewalk back to the small white building.

“Hey, Erica!” I heard someone yell. I recognized the familiar voice of Samuel. He was, in my opinion, one of the less kind people in the class.

“Did you want to compete with us in a race?”

I perked up and a rush of excitement filled me. Me? I thought. They were actually considering me to play with them!

I smiled slowly. “Yes,” I said quietly.

He stood in front of me grinning. I started to become suspicious. He always wore that grin – it was a mischievous sign.

“Oh, wait, oops,” he said. “I forgot – you can’t run or even walk! What was I thinking?” He looked at me and laughed. I heard laughter explode from the others in the back.

The little bit of excitement I once had just quickly diffused like a balloon dispersing out air. I clasped my hands together and the excitement was replaced with anger.

“Come on, Samuel,” Maddie said with sympathy. “Don’t be like that.”

“Fine, she can race us with that wheelchair of hers,” he replied sourly.

I wheeled to the tree – the starting line. “Ready…Set…Go, Erica!!” Daniel yelled.

I smiled a little as I moved my arms rapidly. Come on, faster, faster FASTER! I heard the others huffing and sprinting beside me. My arms ached as they repeated in circular motion over and over again. Then, I stared in dismay ahead of me…everyone was standing at the finish line.

Slowly, I wheeled forward. “Losers out!” someone yelled.

“Agreed,” Samuel smirked.

“That’s not fair,” my angry voice came out squeaky and pathetic.

“Don’t be a sore loser,” Samuel said. I could see the cruelty swimming in those green sea color eyes.

“Did you actually expect to win?” He looked at me and snickered. More giggles and senseless laughter followed.

But I was weak and I was vulnerable. So, I let them laugh at me and say painful things. I wheeled away as the school bell rang simultaneously.


At dismissal, I put all my papers in my backpack and let it sit on my lap. I let everyone pass me as they got in line. The person in the wheelchair always waits for everyone else -  realized it as a silent rule.

“Erica!” I recognized the familiar voice of my coach, Mr. Haden.

“Hi,” I gave him a small smile.

“Hey,” he patted me on the back. “Eric, turn that frown upside down!”

My frown deepened. Oh, I thought I was smiling?

“How was school?” he asked.

“Fine.”

“How are your friends?”

What friends? “Fine.”

“And you?”

“I’m doing phenomenal.” The sarcasm curled out of my mouth before I could stop it. Coach Haden frowned at me.

“Come on, Erica,” he said. “I know it’s more than that; I’ve been watching you and your peers.”

I bit my lip. “I have to go.”

“Do you want to run with me for a few months?”

I glared at him and found it hard to breathe as I became furious. Run? Was he trying to be funny?” I could find the lump in my throat and my eyes burning as it all came too soon.

“Clearly, you don’t understand,” Coach Haden chuckled. “Here, follow me – I’ll show you.”

My inner self told be ‘No!’ on first instinct, but I followed, anyway.

“Look,” he said as he rummaged through the pickup truck. “Look at what I’ve got.”

I frowned. What are these? Large black object that curved at the bottom…

“Know anything about the Paralympics, huh?”

“Oh, yeah!” I said, breathlessly. I could barely contain my enthusiasm. “Carbon running blades – no way!”

“Here, come try these on,” he replied. “They cost a lot of money; I don’t want them to go to waste.”

 

They fit me, surprisingly and awkwardly after he helped me out of my wheelchair. I wobbled on the ground as I gripped his arm.

“Steady…” It was like riding a bike for the first time, well – when I had legs, of course. After too long, it seemed like hours, I could walk in them.

“You’re like a baby taking it’s first steps!” Coach Haden laughed. Though, I laughed with - and even harder.


A month later, my Coach saw steady improvement. Every day after school, it was a pure bliss to get out of my confined wheelchair and sprang through the air – what I’ve always yearned for.

“Hey, Erica,” someone called out. The voice belonged to Daniel. “Want to race?”

“Sure, why not?” I said slowly.

“You – you’re going to race?” Samuel howled with laughter. I ignored him as I grabbed the carbon running blades out of my backpack.

As I took them out, I could feel the eyes staring at me and I did my best to take no notice while I clasped them on the stumps that used to be part of my legs.

“Uh,” Maddie said, uncomfortable. “We’ll give you a head start.”

“No, it’s ok – I don’t need it.”

“On your Mark…Get set…Go!”
I started out slowly, my head bent like Coach Haden told me too. All I could see was a blurry vision as I sprinted. As I ran and ran, I wasn’t a bird or a cheetah – I was something better. A creature with no boundaries, no limit, nothing. I was unstoppable as I sprinted with ultimate freedom.

“I won!” Maddie said and then she stared in shock at me.

I shrugged. “Guess it was a tie.”

“Losers out!” Someone yelled.

“Hey, that’s not fair!” Samuel shouted.

“Oh, come on,” I grinned pleasurably. “Don’t be a sore loser.”



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This article has 2 comments.


on Jul. 28 2016 at 10:02 am
socialkaysualty PLATINUM, Dover, Delaware
25 articles 0 photos 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.



So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?



And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.



And should I then presume?



And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? ...

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep ... tired ... or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet — and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it towards some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head



Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;



That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:



“That is not it at all,



That is not what I meant, at all.”

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

this is so cute xx

on Jul. 23 2016 at 7:47 am
anonymous06 PLATINUM, Northbridge, Massachusetts
32 articles 5 photos 32 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." -Thomas Edison
"A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." -Irina Dunn

Amazing! Really liked the ending. Keep writing!


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