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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Did She Do A Job On Him!


In this excerpt, Matt meets with his physical therapist. If you want to read the excerpts in order, go the first cupcake post and work your way back. A New Dream is available at http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662245&mode=product&product=2676585


Matt stared at the empty physical therapy room and took a
sip of the hospital brew the physical therapy assistant had given
him. It could use a little work, but it did have a much needed jolt of
caffeine in it. He sighed, blinking away sleep. Why’d they schedule
him so early in the morning? He could have slept a little longer. It
wasn’t like he had anything to do.

The door opened with a click, and a tall, well--built, young
man with dark hair entered the physical therapy office.
The man poured himself a cup of coffee. “Who’s the new
guy?”

The physical therapy assistant, Betty she’d said her name
was, shoved a folder at him. “Matt McCallum.”

“Oh, yeah. Man, that’s a shame.”

Betty scowled at him. “It’s always a shame when people are
hurt as bad as he was, Being a football player doesn’t make him
any different from anyone else.”

“I know and I didn’t mean anything bad. It’s just that he
played one year of pro ball, and it looked like he was going to be
one of the greats. Now, he’s here to get fitted for a prosthesis.”

“Well, I think he needs some counseling. He has that dull,
withdrawn, shell--shocked look on his face.”

“Most amputees feel that way in the beginning,” the man
answered. “We can schedule him with Dr. Whitney if we need
too.”

Matt’s fists clenched. Didn’t they know he could hear them?
Didn’t they know how it made him feel for them to talk about him
like he was an old, washed up nobody?

The man picked up a file and joined him in the waiting area.
“Hi, Matt. I’m Sam Dickson.”

He held out his hand, and Matt took it briefly.

Sam indicated the file in his hand. “It says here you got the
bandages off yesterday and that the stump is nicely healed. Is that
right?”

Matt shrugged. “I guess.”

“Your other leg is banged up pretty bad too, so we have to
work with that as well, but the sooner we get started, the better off
you’ll be.”

“That’s what they say.”

Sam nodded. “Okay, today I’ll show you how to take care of
yourself. After that we’ll fit you for a temporary prosthesis.”

Matt’s head spun; he swallowed hard and focused on a bar
mounted on the wall to steady himself. “All right.”

Matt was a quick study. He paid close attention when Sam
showed him how to clean and protect the stump. Then, Sam passed
him the sock that went over it. “You put it on,” he said.
Matt repressed the shudder that shook him as he pulled the
sock on and smoothed it.

“Very good,” Sam approved. “I hope
your motivation is this good once we get you up to walk.” He
laughed. “As a former athlete, a physical task might be more
appealing than what you just learned.”

Matt drew a deep, shaky breath. Of course he was
motivated! It humiliated him when anybody saw his legs or had to
help him get around. He was desperate to regain some control over
his own body.

A tall, striking brunette passed through the room and
waved to Sam who grinned and waved back at her. “Gorgeous isn’t
she?” he asked Matt, the look on his face reminding Matt of a
gamboling, goofy puppy. “Layla is her name. I’ve been trying to
get her to go out with me.”

Matt barely glanced at her. “Yeah, she’s pretty.”

Sam eyed Matt with a quizzical expression on his face.
“That was sure lukewarm, buddy. A woman that drop dead
gorgeous ought to get your heart pumping. Are you worried about
women now that you’ve lost your leg?”

Matt’s face colored, but he made no reply.

“Man, you need to think about how lucky you are. I know
you’ve lost a lot, but you can still be with a woman and father
children. Hurting your legs doesn’t mean the romantic side of life is
over for you.”

Matt raised his eyes to Sam’s for the first time. “You left out
one thing.”

“What’s that?”

“Not too many women are interested in having sex with a
cripple. Seeing a stump like mine is a good way to kill the
romance.”

Sam squatted down so he and Matt were on eye level with
each other. “Matt, the nurses said you’re engaged. Have you talked
to your fiancĂ©e about all this?”

“That won’t be necessary. Stacey was with me yesterday
when the bandages came off. She turned as white as a sheet and
said she had to go home. A messenger brought her engagement
ring to me this morning.”

Matt cringed when he saw the look of pity of Sam’s face.
His stark, unemotional rendering of the facts hadn’t fooled the
therapist.

Sam slapped his shoulder and said, “Not all women are like
that, buddy. Some of them will stand by a man through thick and
thin. Next time you’ll choose better, right?” He stood up and took
hold of the handles on Matt’s wheelchair. “Let’s see about fitting
that prosthesis so we can get you walking again

5 comments:

Donna B said...

Oh man, I'll bet this is a real heart jerker! Sounds great!

Kim Bowman Author said...

Congrats, Elaine! This book sounds awesome:)

Elaine Cantrell said...

thanks for coming by, ladies. Glad to have you.

marybelle said...

Loving the excerpt.

marypres@gmail.com

catslady said...

Thanks for another wonderful excerpt!