On one fine in the evening, when the hues covered the sky. The birds were chirping. It was all set for the sun to go down and the moon to come up. The grass was very tall and lush. The valley all over was set up like a beautiful canvas. The wind was blowing. The trees were very tall and bear great numbers of a nest in which the birds would set it. All over the valley was alive.
But then suddenly a voice came from nowhere.
“Hey! There goes one-legged, Naflana,” one of the rowdy-looking boys shouted. He was very tall, huge.
His shout was followed by a thunder of laughter. Tears sprang to my eyes. I blinked them away and turned my wheel-chair in the direction of my home. My foster-home. I sighed heavily, ‘Why did I have to be the one to suffer?’
Those beastly boys. They have hearts of iron. Was it my fault, that I was a person who mobility was impaired? If only they were in the situation that I was in, would they realize how much hurt a person like me could feel when laughed and teased at? They are not aware that being able to move independently, is one of the greatest gifts from God. I was not born like this.
By now I had reached home. My foster- mother, Mrs. Smith helped me inside. I moved my chair to the window which showed a perfect view of the children playing gaily on the meadows. Their faces were bright as beetroots with health and happiness. They frisked energetically all over the meadows. Oh! How I long to play with them. Now that I’m sick nobody is interested in me. A lump formed in my throat. A tingling shiver ran back and forth on my spine. My stomach did flip-flops. The tragic incident in which my mobility was impaired, still remained fresh in my mind, I recalled the memories of the nearly fatal accident …
My parents and I were driving home late at night after celebrating my eleventh birthday. As we were in Singapore the next day, we were in hurry. We turned the corner that led into our lane when we encountered the most fearful sight. A truck which was overloaded with logs was zig-zagging crazily. The truck suddenly lost control and dashed right into our car. The silence of the dark night was disrupted by shrieks and cries as the logs fell heavily onto our car. The glass on the windscreen shattered into a million pieces and pierced our bodies, mostly into my parents as they were sitting in the front seat.
Then all went quiet. I sat up and peered at the front seat. My father was bent over the wheel. My mother’s head was on his shoulder face upwards. I can recall her horror-struck face. A piece of glass was stuck in her left bloodshot eye-which was wide open.
‘Is this a nightmare? ‘I asked me pinched my hand hard to make sure.
“Mummy ..? Daddy …” I called. I heard no response. I sat frozen in my seat. Somewhere an owl hooted. A ghostly silence was enveloping me. It felt weird. I quickly opened the door. As soon as the door opened the car fell sideways from the weight of the logs. Because at that moment was getting out, my left arm and both legs were trapped underneath the car. I tried to pull my feet out but it was too heavy and hurt a lot.
“Mummy? Daddy?” I wailed. “What’ll I do without you….?”
I paused, for I heard a rumbling noise. An instant a heavy log fell upon my head. Next thing I knew, everything went blank.
I woke up several hours later. Every inch my body ached. I was connected to a million machines A huge oxygen tank was beside me. A tube was connected to my nose and mouth. My left arm was put in a plaster Both my legs were hung by some kind of machine. My head was wound up in bandages. I looked like a mummy! My legs were enormous and heavy. I groaned.
“Hi! Are you right?” Somebody wearing spectacles asked me, pairs of anxious eyes looked at me, I jerked my head up and pulled out the tube connected to my nose and mouth.
“Where am I?” I demanded.
“You’re in the hospital,” said another person.
“But .. Why? How?” I started.
The nurses and doctors explained everything. And I began to recall the accident which had happened the previous night, one by one. I sobbed, I cried. The nurses calmed me down. I suffered from amnesia for a whole week. On the last day, I was dressed put in a wheelchair and taken to the waiting room where two people came to fetch me. They were my foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The Smiths took me to their home. They did not have any children so they took care of me. I looked upon them as my own parents and they looked upon me as their own daughter.
I woke up from my old memories when Mrs. Smith announced dinner. I headed towards the dining table, Mr. Smith looked up from the newspaper he was reading.
“Why so glum?” he asked.
“Oh I was just thinking about the olden days” I replied.
“Well! Here’s something to cheer you up. We have a surprise for you.” said Mrs. Smith. It says here, in today’s newspaper, that there is a special cure for invalids in Germany. It can even turn them back to normal. So we plan to take you to Germany next week and when we return … Whoa! You’ll be a normal person.
I just stood there opening and shutting my mouth like a goldfish. Finally, I was able to talk.
“Oh Will, that means that I could run, jump and play? Oh, this is too good to be true.” I was thrilled.
“You deserve it,” said Mrs. Smith. “You have handled the situation of an invalid with patience and resignation. They both hugged me. Tears rolled down my cheeks.
“Oh! well, “I thought, “all’s well that ends well”