| Chapter 1|
I sat in the solitude of my own home; it had been a long time coming. Ever since I arrived home from the hospital my family had been doting on me every single minute. As grateful as I was, all I craved was my own space, to myself. Since I was able to work from home; I have spent most of my waking hours in my pajamas working on an art project in serenity. I've always been an introvert. When I was a kid my mom would have her friends over for coffee. I was in my room, alone. Once my neighbor asked my mom if her daughter was over playing with me. She asked why. Because she could hear voices upstairs. "Oh no, that's just Sierra talking, to herself" she laughed.
Initially, the staff at the hospital always recommended supervision when I was discharged home, my family obeyed all the rules so I was not to be left alone. There was even someone with me in the bathroom, every single time. It was quite annoying. I've always enjoyed my time alone, especially doing that business.
I lived with my parents until I had graduated from Boston's renowned Mass Art School. I found my studio apartment after landing my first paid project with the local architect, Jonathan. He had been refurbishing a small Inn. He told me he saw my art at the first school-sanctioned gallery event and was impressed.
Growing up my parents instilled the clean home philosophy, which, I admit, made my recovery easier. I was able to maneuver aimlessly about my own home free from harm, mostly.
Once I returned home from the hospital after my car accident there had been a barrage of people through my house constantly. The house didn't feel like it was my home, I just lived there. My family thought they were being helpful when they were organizing but I couldn't find anything I wanted. As I grew more confident, I had a discussion with my mother about my needs. My need to be alone specifically. She wasn't thrilled about the idea of me living alone but I gave her no choice. I had just completed a full round of therapy at home, they were very satisfied with my independence. In fact, they recommended I begin therapy in another clinic, Excel PT. Mom was upset I wasn't going to need her, I assured her I always needed my mother, no matter the circumstance.
I stood in my kitchen facing out the east window early Saturday morning. I realized Spring was in full bloom, where did the time go? Suddenly the whiff of the fresh daisies had me standing in a field of them, wind blowing through my locks of long blonde hair, oh how I missed them. I was reminded to thank mom for the flowers.
"Alexa, send mom a text." Alexa responded and I replied, "I love you mom, thanks for the daisies."
I found my way to the couch to catch the news. I hated to hear the news sometimes, it made me sad to think about the awful things people do to each other.
The sound of the news broadcasting the follow-up to my accident caught my attention. I certainly made my first appearance on the news memorable.
The woman inside was released from the hospital in good health," The news reporter noted. "The police will decide if there will be any charges involved."
Good health? Really? My stomach lurched as I recalled the fear. Luckily, I felt a nudge at my calf. Bongo had made his appearance for the morning, waiting to be fed. I reached down to lift him onto my lap, so warm and soft, like a rabbit's fur. His purr rattled through his entire body, while his tail twitched in sync. Finally, the house was empty, and he could move about freely, without any extra feet scattering about.
Now what?" I asked Bongo. Feeling the warmth of him I was able to relax. I needed a distraction. "Alexa, play some music." The first song that played was "Happy", by Pharrell, how appropriate. I felt my shoulders and head bop to the beat then my arms took flight as I sang along, "Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof" What a perfect song.
I was startled as I felt the vibration coming through my bare feet, the phone was ringing. I picked it up from the side table, "Hello?"
" Hey Sierra, how are you? I heard you sent mom packing." Sara laughed.
"Ha, who told you that? My brother?" Sara married my brother, Brad, two years ago. I think I made out better in the deal than she did. "Let's just say we just have an understanding, I will call her when I need her assistance. Who knows when that will be though?" I laughed.
All jokes aside, do you need anything? I wanted to take you to lunch but mom said she had all your meals prepped for the rest of the week; God forbid I mess with her plan." Sara hinted, casually.
"I honestly would love to go out. I haven't been out of here in days, but I am awaiting a call. Would you like to come over for dinner? I think mom made a roast; I couldn't possibly eat it all. My stomach isn't what it used to be. If any good came out of this I've shed a few extra pounds, thank goodness."
"Who's calling you? You have no friends!" Sara exclaimed, with a hint of laughter.
"Very funny!" That comment cut my soul a little, she was right, but I wasn't going to tell her that. She never did know my early history. I was not a happy child growing up, I tended to stay indoors playing with my toys, alone. The neighbor kids ignored me while the school kids bullied me. I grew accustomed to being alone and learned to entertain myself.
"I have been talking to a young gentleman over the internet through a dating site. We had planned on our first phone date for this afternoon." An icy chill ran up my spine as I thought about my conversation with David. I had only limited contact with him, I didn't know much about him. After his first contact with me I checked out his contact page, he was a writer. Maybe we had something more in common than I thought. He asked to meet in person, but I was able to convince him the phone was a good start. I wasn't sure I wanted him to know about my accident or my injuries.
'I would love to come over, do you want me to pick up anything?" Sara asked.
"I would love a bottle of wine, as long as you don't tell my mother. Any type will do." My mom was very diligent about my medications, she knew how alcohol would interfere. Truth be told I was relieved that mom paid attention to some things. I was never going to pay much attention to side-effects or counter-reactions to medications. I love her for that but will not tell her that.
"I promise. You have my word." Sara pronounced. "What time is your mini date?" Sara's voice elevated.
"I think he is calling me at two. OMG, I don't know if I am ready for this. I'm so unprepared." I felt a thud against my chest. The memory of my last date came rushing in, it was a nightmare, he was brutal. Every comment he had was something I had already heard, from my own conscious. I was devastated hearing the words he said were true. Never would I have thought I would return to dating so soon. My therapist talked me into joining a dating site. I chose Balance, it offered more low-key conversation; time to contact prospective dates without pressure to meet. When I was contacted, by David, I was skeptical. I had doubts about his intentions. After a few conversations he seemed genuine, I took a chance. I hoped I wouldn't regret it.
"What do you have to be worried about? You are amazing, he will notice that within the first few minutes, honestly. What's his name?" Sara sounded thrilled.
"David. Honestly, I don't know what to say. Do I tell him about my accident? How do I manage that? I also don't want to do all the talking. Once I start talking, I don't stop. I tend to ramble on about nonsense. I will sound so stupid. See? I'm doing it now, help! How do I make it stop?"
"Hold on, relax. Ask him about his work or his family. That always makes for enjoyable conversation. Ask him what he does on vacation; you will get a little info about his social life."
"I will do my best." I didn't know how I would manage as I felt a pressure grow my skull. "We can talk when you get here. What time do you want to come by?"
"How about five? I have good feelings this date will be a success, just keep your head and humor. He will see your personality shine."
She certainly had a bright outlook for my date with David. I, on the other hand, had a small pit growing in my stomach as well as my head pounding. I wanted it to be more casual, just like friends talking. I didn't want to think about it too much, it will make me crazy.
After placing Bongo back down I stood to walk to the bathroom then nearly fell over my walker. I was inches from hitting the floor. Johanna, my physical therapist, would have been happy to see that I managed to remain standing. I guess therapy worked, after all, I just needed practice getting off the floor for that time when it does happen.
In many ways, I wished I could slow the clock. I didn't know what I was going to say to David, time was fast approaching. Conversely, I wanted to get to the other side of that conversation, to feel the pressure dissolved. Time was a very fickle factor. Wishing time to speed up made life feel a carnival ride, at any minute my head would spin-off. Nor did I want it to slow down, to become stagnant, either. Unfortunately, we couldn't have it both ways, even if it were possible.
I was enjoying the heat coming from the window in my living room as I drank my coffee when the phone rang an hour later. Darn it, I needed more time to contemplate the next few moments of my life. "Hello? David?"
"How did you know?" He laughed. "I wanted to surprise you."
"Didn't we set a time for you to call? I just assumed it was you." Typically, I was excellent at sarcastic banter. Apparently, I wasn't on my game.
"I was joking, don't worry." He reassured her. "How are you?"
"A simple question took me a moment to respond, "I'm glad you called," I replied without regard to his question.
"Why wouldn't I? I told you I would. I try to keep my word."
"He sounded sincere, at least. I hoped he was being truthful. "That's good to know." I tried to change my tone; I knew I sounded a bit abrupt. What was I thinking? I couldn't assume he was like every guy I ever met, a jerk.
"What have you been up to? Are you feeling better since you got home from the hospital?" He sounded genuinely concerned. "You never did explain what happened. Do you mind me asking?"
I was expecting the questioning, "I don't mind. I was in a car accident several weeks ago. Luckily I managed to survive." Wow, that came out much too harsh.
"Well, that's good. I don't want to be speaking to a ghost on the phone." He laughed. I was happy he was trying to make light of my comment, it was something I would have said if I weren't so nervous.
I laughed in return. What was wrong with me? Why was I acting so foolish? "I am so sorry. That comment came out all wrong. I wanted to make a joke, but it turned sour."
"Is everything okay? I hope you are comfortable talking to me about this. I was so delighted you wanted to talk to me on the phone in the first place. "
"Can we start over?" I didn't wait for the reply. "Hi, David. How are you?" My voice perked up.
"Hello. I am wonderful. So happy to be talking with you. How have you been? Seriously. I was worried."
"Don't worry about me. I will turn out just fine, just a small bump in the road of many. What do you do for work, David or Dave? Which do you prefer?"
"Dave is fine. I am a freelance writer. I make things up for a living." His laugh was rich and hardy. People laugh at my laugh, a deep and throaty sound, like a frog.
"Of course, I knew that. "Wow, that sounds like fun. I would love to read your work." I suddenly realized how difficult that would be. How can I tell him I was blind? I decided that it was a discussion for another time. "What do you like to write?"
"I will send you a copy of my first novel, "If First by Sea", about a lobster fisherman out on his boat with his son every day. It's more about their relationship with each other but also with the ocean. I know it sounds cheesy, but I am very happy with how it turned out."
"What inspired the novel? Are you the son?" The story intrigued me a bit. You don't typically read a book about a male relationship written by a male. "I look forward to reading it."
"I don't want to spoil it, I'll bring you a copy when we meet, face to face." I heard a smile in his voice.
"I look forward to that." I knew that I would eventually have to face him, I needed to delay the process a while longer though. The longer the delay the more I had a chance to prepare.
We talked for a while about his career and his relationship with his father. I couldn't remember ever having a relaxing discussion with a man, besides my father. "Dave, it was so nice talking to you. I hope you enjoyed it as well." Wow, I sounded cheesy, as I heard myself speak.
"It was so nice talking to you too. When can we meet in person now?" There was that laugh, once more.
There it was, he was going to get persistent. I should have expected it. "I don't know. Can we have some more phone dates first?"
"What for? You said you had an exciting time talking with me. Don't you want to meet me?" His voice was getting harsh. "I just had fun too, I need to meet you in person." He tried to change the tone in his voice, I could hear it.
"I just ask for some more time. Can you humor me a little longer?" I tried to sound sweet except his insistence got me rattled a bit.
"Of course. I'm sorry. I don't want you to feel uncomfortable." His voice sounded normal again. "Will you forgive me?"
"Nothing to forgive. I was being silly." I was relieved he was not pushing the issue. "When do you want to talk again?"
"How about the same time tomorrow?"
"That sounds like a good plan. I hope you have a wonderful evening. Do you have plans?" I was shocked I asked. I didn't even consider the fact he would be dating someone else.
" I have a date, with my couch." He chuckled, "I had planned to see my sister but she's feeling under the weather."
"Nothing serious I hope?"
"I don't think so. Thanks for asking. It was certainly a pleasure talking to you Sierra. I look forward to tomorrow's connection."
"Have a nice date, with your couch," I laughed. He had hung up already.
Sara came over shortly later; she helped prepare the roast and set the dinner table. As I meandered around the kitchen, I realized I had lost some functional skills than I wanted to admit. That reminded me, I had my first outpatient therapy appoint scheduled that next week, I set a reminder in my phone, "OK Google, set a reminder. PT June first at 1 PM. I should mention the issue with my PT, Johanna.
"How was your phone date? Was he normal?" Sara blurted out.
"I was so rude, I felt bad. I didn't know what got into me, I had a tough time connecting with him at first. He asked about my accident, so I told him I was" I put in air quotes, "lucky to have survived." As I recalled the conversation I shivered. Never had I been so disrespectful with someone I didn't know. I wanted to take it back, start over. I was relieved when he ignored it. "He was gracious enough to continue after that, thankfully."
"What did you talk about? Did you ask him about his career? His family?" Sara sounded intrigued. I thought for sure she would be disappointed with my behavior.
"He's a writer. He said he would bring his book over for me to read soon. I couldn't bring myself to tell him I couldn't read it. He wouldn't want to continue with our conversation. Then that would end the relationship."
"You may not be blind forever Sierra. The MS attack could resolve, you know that. Besides, if he were a true man, he would not let that bother him. Let him read it to you, it could be romantic you know," she laughed.
She was right, I knew. I was scared when I went blind for the first time. Once the doctor explained how optic neuritis occurred, I felt a little more relieved. I knew it was most likely temporary but that didn't mean it could happen again. It would be a lifelong fear, unfortunately. I would have to manage my symptoms as they came, nothing could change the fact that I had Multiple Sclerosis.
The evening of the car accident I was driving home from an art exhibit in Manchester, it was beginning to rain. I had been living a relatively normal existence, my sight had returned a few months prior, I needed a night out with friends. Since it was a new diagnosis, I wasn't prepared for how abruptly a symptom could occur. I had no idea of the possibilities. Since I had such a nice time with my friends, I forgot all about my real life. I left the restaurant around eleven, it was drizzling rain. I remember driving along a side road, close to home when I felt a twitch in my calf. Next thing I knew I was in an ambulance.
Sara, I worry about everyday things in my life, finding true love is low on my list right now." I blocked the tears that were forming. I gave pride to my resilience and strength, especially in the company of anyone, especially my family. I didn't want them to see the weakness because I could lose my independence.
"What else did you two talk about? Did you end off on a good note? I know how you are, you resolve issues before they fester." She was right, I hardly ever let an issue stew.
"I found out he has a sister. They are close, it seems. He was planning to see her later today, apparently, she's sick or something." It was nice to know he had a good relationship, at least with one member of his family.
"Good things happen with good family", mom always said.
"When do you plan to tell him about your history? Don't you think he should know what he's getting into? I think you should tell him sooner rather than later." She took my hand.
I felt the heat in my cheeks as I pulled away, "I don't need you telling me what I should do or say about my disease. I will tell him when I am damn well ready." I stood from the dinner table to maneuver around to the counter. The air thinned, I felt a heaviness in my chest. Ignore it, my head whispered.
"Sierra, are you alright? Do you need a chair?" Sara sounded worried. She stood and pulled a chair up close to me. I didn't think I had a choice, I sat down. The incident was certainly getting reported to my mother via my brother, I thought. There won't be much more time before she comes back to stay.
"I'm sorry Sara, I didn't mean to lash out on you." I knew I tended to do that, I couldn't help myself. "I really didn't want to get upset with you, of all people." Slowly, I took a breath, calming the thoughts inside. Slowly they disappeared and my heartbeat slowed.
She came to my side to give me a hug. It felt nice, I hadn't felt that contact in a few weeks, I forgot how much I needed it. "Thank you." I nodded.
"No need to thank me. I needed that hug more than you did." She laughed, breaking the darkness.
"My dilemma is that I want to tell Dave everything about my disease, I just don't want to either scare him off or for him to pity me. Either way, things would go badly. I just want him to know me first, just by talking to him on the phone."
"I see your point. That's something I never considered." She sighed. "Maybe you are right. I just don't want this to get too far, then suddenly he decides that he couldn't handle the situation. I don't want to see you get hurt."
"I don't mean to lead him on, just delay the inevitable. I plan to tell him; I just need more time." My head pounded. I walked to the table to find my walker then proceeded to the couch. "Let's sit over here and have some of that wine." I was feeling back to my silly self.
"I hope you know what you're doing. Have you had anything to drink since your accident?" She followed behind me with the wine and glasses.
I laughed, "Are you kidding? I had mom on my heels at every turn."
"Yea, sorry about that. Brad and I tried talking to her about that. He told her she was being too suffocating. I think it helped your case."
"Tell Brad I owe him one. Another thing, thanks for coming over. I know how I pleaded for my space but it's nice to have company that goes home when they are done." I laughed but it was sincere. I really appreciated her time.
A few hours had past when Sara called it a night, "Sierra, you are my sister. I will be here for you when you need, just call." She turned and gave me another big hug.
"I will try to remember that. You know me too well." I gave her a squeeze then walked with her to the door. "Tell Brad I love him and will talk to him soon."
After Sara left, I made my way back to my safe spot where I found Bongo, waiting for me. What a long day, tv time. I've hated watching the news, destruction, and cruelty all over the world has brought a sense of sadness in each of us. The newscaster reported there was a string of assaults occurring in the surrounding areas and the women attacked were disabled. That certainly got my attention. Maybe needing assistance with my community activities was a blessing, I would have someone to guard me. What a scary world.
Darkness was approaching and I needed to clear my head. I strolled through the sliding doors leading out onto my deck. I felt the swoosh of air as I slid the door open, I could smell the fresh daisies mom planted. I had forgotten she mentioned a surprise was waiting for me outside. It only took a few baby steps, but I found it, she had placed a small bistro setting just beyond the door. She knew how I felt about seeing the sunset, I appreciated the gesture.
I had an urge to speak with Dave once again. The phone was answered almost immediately. "-ello?"
"Good evening Dave, its Sierra. Am I disturbing you?" I don't know if it was just the cool breeze or the wine, but I felt feistier. "I just wanted to talk to you before the night was over. Would you consider this a continuation of our first date?" I laughed lightly.
There was a brief pause then a muffled laugh, "Absolutely. I am so glad you called. I just got home and poured myself a glass of wine."
"Isn't that funny, I just finished my glass of wine. My sister was over for dinner, she brought wine. I haven't had any alcohol since the accident, so...."
"Ah, you might be a little suggestive?" He replied with a grin in his voice.
"I wouldn't say that but something close. I just thought I should apologize for my earlier conversation with you. I was not feeling myself; I was nervous."
"I hope you have discovered I am someone you can talk to. I want you to feel comfortable around me." The voice shifted slightly, she noted.
"I hope you can understand my situation. I am now in a more vulnerable state; I must choose my friends wisely. I don't want you to get the impression I was being rude out of my pure nature. I can give you some names to confirm that I am a nice person." I was rambling again. "Stop talking." I muffled under my voice.
"I'm sorry, did you say something? You want me to stop talking?" He inquired.
"When I get nervous, I can't stop talking, I start to rattle out words that sound like nonsense. I'm sorry."
"Don't worry, I forgive you. I'm glad you weren't telling me to stop talking." He laughed again. It made her smile. His laugh was beginning to be very dear to her, soft and soothing.
"I wanted to share a great sunset with you tonight, so I decided to call you. Please, tell me what you see where you are. I want to imagine I am there with you." She could picture blues, pinks and purples swirled around the sky with the dim yellow cascading into the hills on its way to the other side.
"I wanted to imagine I was there, next to you." If nothing else I had an excellent imagination, I wanted to see everything he told me, feel it in my heart.
"The view from my place is scarce but if I were with you, I wouldn't be gazing up. If you were here with me, I would first wrap my arms around you so tight you would hear my heart pounding."
"That sounds nice." A long sighed escaped my mouth. Was it me or was he laying on a bit thick?
"Tell me what you see Sierra." He exclaimed.
Was I ready to tell him more of my story? "I wish I could tell you. I can't, at this moment anyhow."
"I don't understand. Are you blind?" He didn't ask harshly, it was inquisitive.
"Yes. I have what's called optic neuritis. It happens a lot with those that suffer from Multiple Sclerosis." I didn't want to say too much after that point. I wanted him to consider his options.
The deafening silence seemed to last forever until he spoke, "I'm sorry you have to endure that Sierra. I now see why you were a little defensive earlier. I'm glad you told me. Remember I told you my sister was not feeling well earlier? She too has MS. I am her legal guardian. I had to go help her with some things earlier."
I was relieved, he felt comfortable telling me, "Dave, don't take this the wrong way, I am so happy to hear your sister has MS too." It sounded weird but it wasn't easy for anyone to relate unless they were in the same shoes. "I want to meet her."
Telling Dave about my MS set my mind at ease. Online I had many conversations with other people with MS. I expected Dave to excuse himself out of the relationship when he realized I was damaged. Many in my MS circle have reported either their marriage had fallen apart, or they haven't been in a relationship since their diagnosis. Even before my diagnosis, I wasn't even keen on the idea of online dating websites because it seemed too hokey for me. Sara insisted I place my hat in the ring, she wanted me to find some happiness like she had with my brother. I was very resistant but gave in. The more I thought about it I realized I didn't want to stop living because I had MS. I was aware of the disappointments I had to face but those were expected in any person's life. Luckily, I met David on one of my first interactions.
The cool freshness of the pillow on my cheek that night was delicious. A perfect sensation for the night I had. I was excited to tell Sara and Brad about my conversation with David. I was exhausted but in such a great way, I hadn't experienced that joy in a very long time. David and I had planned another phone date, I asked him for one more before we meet. He was truly gracious.
I awoke thinking about my new day when my phone rang, I answered with a smile, "Hello, how are you?" It was Samantha, my sister.
"My prom is tonight. Are you coming over?" She sounded distraught. "Please, mom said she will pay for a taxi. I need you to come."
"What time is your date coming with the limo?" I was scheduled for my first outpatient PT session. I have always prided myself on the fact I never miss an appointment, not unless there was an emergency.
"I think he said Five O'clock. I will never be ready. Please, I really want you here." I could hear her breathing rapidly.
"No worries, I will call to see if my PT can change our time. I can't promise I will be there, but I will do my best. I wouldn't want to miss it for anything."
When mom brought Sam to see me in the hospital Sam had an emotional reaction that had stayed with her, even after I recovered and returned home. Every day I got a call at 4:00 pm when she was home and wanted help with her homework. I was grateful to have such a connection to my sister; I just didn't want her to feel the same dependency on someone as I had.
When I called her back to confirm I would be there she was thrilled. I could hear her spinning around the room, things falling to the floor. "I can't wait for you to see my dress. Mom didn't tell you, right? I wanted it to be a surprise."
"Let me guess, is it Green?" I joked.
The sound of her laughter made me smile more, "No silly, it's pink. You know it's my favorite color."
"Oh, of course. It will be beautiful no matter what. Do you know why? Because you are beautiful no matter what you wear."
We talked a few minutes until I had to catch my UDriver for the PT appointment. I was nervous, I had never taken UDriver by myself. Sara set up my first ride, she said it was simple. I guess I will be able to manage on my own if she said it was that simple. None the less, I was nervous. I would have to depend on someone I don't know to drive me to place I am unfamiliar with without having any sight. I could feel my clothes stick to my body a bit as my temperature rose slightly. In my head I kept repeating my mantra, You Got This. It hadn't let me down, ever.
I heard the horn beep twice, my cue to head to the car. My pulse was even more rapid than before. So many questions ran through my head. What am I supposed to do? Can I ask for help? The thoughts rattled around my head so fast it made me dizzy.
I heard a man speak, "Let me help Ma'am."
"I felt a presence beside me then swoop around to what I assumed was the back, passenger door. I could feel the breeze of air swoosh as it opened in front of me. "That's kind of you sir, thank you."
"Can I take your walker and put it in the trunk? You will be more comfortable." He suggested.
"That would be nice, thank you again. Can I have your name?" I asked as I felt my heart rate slow a bit. He seemed more nervous than I was, I could feel his heat as he grasped my walker. I reached out to find the car's door handle.
"I am Norman, Ma'am. Is there anything else I can do before we get started?" He reached over my hand and pulled the handle to open the door.
"You can stop calling me Ma'am. I am Sierra." I replied. "To answer your question, I would just like to know how long the trip will take?"
"Ma'am, I mean Sierra, I have it mapped out in my phone as twenty minutes. Do you have any other stops you need to make Sierra?"
Wow, I couldn't believe how polite the young man was. "Naw, I'm good, thanks."
"One last thing for now, do you prefer any type of music?"
"How considerate of you, Norman. I am not a fan of Rap but anything else would be fine."
We set off for the twenty-minute ride in comfort. I was pleased by the hospitality of it all, who would have thought ten years ago that this service would become a thing. I wish I had thought of it. Genius. "Do you mind if I open a window? I haven't been out in the world much."
"Certainly. I love the smell of the air in the spring especially." He commented.
He cracked the window a few inches before my finger could reach the button. He cracked it open enough that I could smell wildflowers. "Do you see any wildflowers around Norman? Tell me where."
There was a slight pause, he replied with, "Over to the left, about a hundred yards out there is a field of them. Can you tell what a hundred yards would be? How did you know there were wildflowers?"
His questions were sweet, he sounded genuinely inquisitive. "When you can't see you get to smell and taste things better. It's a condolence package I guess." I sighed.
The rest of the ride was filled with Stevie Ray Vaughn and Steve Miller. It was a nice change from what I was accustomed to listening to lately. I made a note to myself to try listening to more classic rock. I forgot how much I loved it growing up.
As a young girl, I had almost all the boys in my neighborhood. Those boys had older brothers that drove classic cars. I could always hear the rock music in their driveways as they worked on said cars. I became a fan the more I hung out with them. When I moved to college my friends were into pop music. I was not a fan but no alternative unless I was alone to listen in my dorm. My roommate always knew my mood.
"Noman, what do I do if I want you to be my driver every time? Can I ask your boss?" I really didn't want to have a different driver every time. Knowing that only one person will know everything, I won't need to repeat information each time.
"We don't have a boss per se. I log into the app when I am available. I think I can schedule a routine though. Would you like me to check it out?"
"In my current state, I would prefer to have someone consistent. If you can make that happen, I would be grateful."
"We have arrived at your destination. Let me get your walker from the back." He rushed around to the back then I heard my door open with a swoosh. "Anytime dear Sierra. While I wait for you, I will look into the scheduled appointments and let you know. Do you know how long your appoint here will be?"
"My best guess, an hour. Are you saying you will wait for me?"
"Yes, the person that booked these times scheduled me for the whole morning. She noted she was not sure of the time frames."
I nodded, "That would be my sister in law. She is amazing."
"Is there anything else?" Norman inquired.
"Oh, yes. Are you busy after this? I promised my other sister I would help her get ready. Tonight's her Junior Prom and she's nervous. Can you drive me home to change then another half-hour north?"
"I can do that. I only need an address to plug into my phone." His voice was soft and sweet.
"Norman? How old are you? You can't be more than twenty."
Ma'am, I am twenty-five. I have a young face." He paused, "I mean a young voice, I'm sorry."
No need to apologize, I am fine. Please don't feel you need to be too cautious with my disability. I have accepted it."
I will see you in an hour then Norman." I walked away into PT ready for my session.
Therapy was different. I wasn't expecting it to be as hard as it was, especially for the first day. Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to work with Joanna, like I thought. The therapist, Riley, explained that home care PT and outpatient PT had different therapists. She said she would be doing my evaluation and we would have to check the schedule for her availability. I understood but I was missing Joanna. I wanted to tell her about my new goal.
After I scheduled my appointments with Riley, who happened to have an opening, I walked out to find Norman. He was waiting at the door. "May I open the door for you, My Lady." He laughed, "Sorry I was watching a story about a Queen and I got carried away."
I laughed in return, "Do you normally watch shows about the Queen?" I inquired. You don't normally hear of twenty-something-year-olds watching a story about a queen.
"I was with my mom; she loves the show. I will watch anything she watches." He replied as he escorted me to the passenger side door. "How was therapy?"
"It was good. I have my work cut out for me if I want to ditch the walker though." I was feeling hopeful that I was on my way to being more independent. "Ah, the air feels so sweet and refreshing after that workout." I thought about the next time I would walk on my own. I want to walk in a field of daisies with the warmth of the sun on my face.
"I must have been on another planet; Norman was standing by the door waiting. "I'm sorry, I was dreaming of daisies."
"My favorite flower!" He exclaimed.
"That's great. We have something else in common." I strolled to the car by the sound of his voice. When I found the hood, I ran my fingers over the curves and the edges to find the handle. The paint felt glossy and smooth.
"What's the other thing?" He inquired.
"My mom loves the Queen too!" I laughed as I pulled my feet into the car.
"Well, here's to our mom's. I am holding a fake glass in my hand as a toast. Wanna join me?"
We laughed as we toasted to our moms. I haven't had this much fun in months. "I am so glad I met you Norman; you make me laugh."
Norman returned to behind the wheel and drove off. "I got some good news. I figured out how to manage my schedule on my UDriver App. It was a little tricky, but I think I managed it. I need to know your schedule so I can plug in the information on the app. Do you know your schedule right now?"
Just so happens I just made a month's worth of appointments." I replied.
Great, when we get to your house, I will work on it while you change your clothes."
"I have a question but please tell me honestly, do I tip you?"
"I can be tipped but I don't get it often. Typically, I drive for people that are disabled and can barely afford the ride itself. Please, don't feel you need to tip me. I truly don't expect it."
Norman and I chatted about music and art on the way to my house. I had started with the news about the disabled young women, but he asked to change the subject, he didn't like depressing news. I decided that was a good thing. Who wanted to talk about something so sad anyhow? I just wanted to talk to someone about anything. I get so bored by myself all the time. Bongo doesn't like to talk too much.
When he drove onto my street I could tell, I heard Mr. Mather shouting, "Mathew, get back here. You haven't finished yet."
It was probably the fact that Mathew never finished any chores. I could count on his father yelling at him almost every weekend. Mathew was not a bad child just a little overactive.
I gathered my belongings into my big hatchel. I was always known to bring the kitchen sink wherever I went. I hated to be left without all my necessities. What would I do when I didn't have my umbrella or the paperback book that I couldn't read?
Norman parked close to my side entrance with my door opened and the walker at my side before I could make a peep. He stayed up close as I walked to my door, "It looks like rain, I have an umbrella here, he stated.
I laughed, "I always carry an umbrella." I opened the door and he stepped away as I stepped inside.
"I will let you get changed, just open the door and I will come help." He re