Standing on her veranda gripping at the bars which had encircled her, she told herself, her time has come. Her time to be free, to explore life, to find love and give love in returned has come. And even learning more about the silent lives of those whom she had seen passing by her cottage on a daily basis, has come.
Many of whom she had often times wondered about who they were?
What were their names?
Where they had come from?
How did they live and how far away from her they were living?
Her caged mind couldn’t tell much about them, but could only imagine how cultured and civilized they were by the behavior they exude as they passed by her dwelling place each day in a hurry; and sometimes walking by at snails’ space.
With her deformity and strict parenting throughout her life, she had never gotten to see much of anything from the world beyond her gates, or in her young life.
But now, she was physically maturing by the minute – coming of age and having feelings to touch and be touched, to love and be loved by those of the opposite sex or who had shown some of the same attraction towards her the same way she was appealing to them.
And the more she would see her peers scantily dressed as they walked passed her house was the more motivated she felt to leave from behind iron gates and high fencing of her home, and also from the protected arms of her nervous and worrying parents; and venture out on her own.
Having the feminine urges of a female overtaking her being, and eyes popping at the sight of young women passing by in their short-shouts, exposing voluptuous breasts and swaying wide hips left and the right. Annie Mitchells decided to remove the braces from her feet, stand in front of her gate and made her presences known to quite a few of the females in her community as they walked passed her house each day staring her down from top to bottom.
She was utterly shocked to have known that some of them knew her real name after trying to say hello to them. Since she was quite aware that many had addressed her as the crippled or the handy-cap girl; at other times.
As she waved her hand at them some would return greetings by saying;
“Hey Annie, how you doing?”
Oftentimes, not even waiting for her to respond to their greetings, they would continue on to comment on her condition.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen you outside the gate; and without your leg-braces at that!”
While cringing inside, she would smile, wave a hand and silently whisper to herself; “Please, you don’t have to remind me of my bionic legs!”
But, with the constant reminder of the mechanical apparatus that have aided and supported her movement for many years, Annie wondered, if she would ever be seen or felt like she belonged in anyone of those groups of girls she had often admired in the in-crowd; as they went passing by her house each day.
She desperately wanted to dress like them, look like them and walk like them, but most importantly, she wanted to have a male partner in her life who she could share her time and her feelings with.
She was now nineteen, soon to be twenty, and she was carving to have that special someone in her life to call her main squeeze, like she had so keenly observed with those persons romantically holding hands as the strolled passed her home. Especially, on a Sunday evening when most partners were at home and they came out to take a stroll or purchase ice-cream cones from the mobile truck luting out jingles to get their attention.
With some often throwing a kiss here and there, and holding hands to display their affection to each other.
It all looked romantic and fanciful to her; and she wanted to experience such joy and pleasure in her life since she was now coming of age and contemplating leaving her parents’ coop.
It was almost two hours since she had been standing at the gate and her feet began feeling tired from standing there for so long without any of her mechanical aid.
Therefore, slowly she dragged herself back inside the house, plopped herself into one of the cushiony chairs and continued to watched the passers-by from behind the curtains as they went about their business.
And soon as dust became eminent, she made her way to her bedroom, trying desperately to make it there before any of her parent came to aid into her room and eventually into bed.
With her clutches leaned up against her vanity, she stood before the mirror admiring herself while quietly commenting on her flaws and how she wanted her body to be perfect. So whenever mister right came along, she would look beautiful just for him.
Before she could get undress and get into bed, her mother came pounding on the door and shouting, “Annie, are you okay?”
Annie stood still, gazing into the mirror with a look of disappointment on her face as her mother shouted once more.
“Annie, would you like for me to come in and help you get into bed now?”
But like a stubborn mule, Annie stood there admiring herself in front of the mirror before answering any of her mother’s questions.
“I’m okay Mon! I can manage!”
She shouted back before carefully feeling for each piece of furniture that would guide her in finding the drawers to retrieve her nightgown from it and then reach into bed safely.
When she had finally made it into bed, she was utterly exhausted and spread out on her back for a few minutes before changing into her night gown.
During her moment of resting across the bed, she remembered her body image – what she had seen in the mirror; what about it had displeased her and what she wanted to be done about it. So instead of changing into her night gown and getting ready to sleep, Annie began exercising on the top of the bed. Trying to do as much sit-ups as she possible could since her heavy feet wouldn’t move and allow her to do some jumping jacks like she wanted to.
Minutes later, she began sweating, became very thirsty and shouted for her mother to bring her some ice-cold water from the refrigerator. Which her mother eventually did; after Annie had violently thrown her metal foot-braces onto the bedroom door only to get her or her father’s attention.
Quickly gaping down the water, Annie gave her mother a stern and gazing glance which told her; her presence wasn’t need in her bedroom any longer.
Recognizing such hateful glances coming from her own daughter’s eyes, Ms. Mitchell knew it was time for her to exit the room and let her daughter be in her own space undisturbed.
And within seconds, Annie had gotten undressed, wiped her skin down and had her night gown on.
Pulling at the light string that was situated exactly over her bed, she placed her head on the pillow and settle herself to fall asleep.
But, she couldn’t!
Her mind was consumed with nature and how she would act-out on it when she had found mister right who would make her feel that kind of specialness in her soul. Which she hoped would be very soon.
It was only the slow movement of her legs that were holding her back from launching out from behind her parents roof and finding her own ground and place in the world.
There on her bed, she laid hoping that the day would come when she would be healed, be free, and be out in the world pursuing her dreams of love, a career and having a place of her own.
For hours she laid there before falling asleep envisioning that moment when she would be fully healed, and out from under the cage – the domestic prison that had been her home for most of her life.
Her mind was overindulged with those thoughts of being independent, financially and physically, and she woke up the following morning with those same feelings of wanting to be free.
Sometimes after eight o’clock that morning, Annie’s mother was standing in front of her bedroom door knocking for her to open it so she could assist her with her daily hygiene and getting her dress for the breakfast table. But just like the night before, Annie rejected her help, and took care of all her hygienic needs; grooming and dressing by herself. Presuming that someday soon, she would be out of the cage and would have to maneuver all of these daily chores all by herself.
Or, until, she had found mister right who wouldn’t mind sharing those tasks with her.
She had done a pretty good job of getting herself washed and dressed for the day, and now, she only needed some help in getting those bionic legs securely strapped to hers, so she could move about without losing her balance.
Now she grabbed the lotion bottle lying on the bed beside her and threw it at the door to get her mother’s attention; so she would come to the bedroom and help her get her prosthetic legs on for the day.
Seconds later, her mother came pounding on the door and asking. “Annie, is everything alright in there?”
“No, Mom! Everything is not alright in here! I need your assistance with these damn braces right now!”
Annie shouted at her mother.
Carefully, Ms. Mitchell turned the doorknob and slowly entered the room while asking her daughter what was the matter.
“Mom, I need you to help me get these damn contraptions on!”
Annie blurted out frustratingly.
Observing that her daughter was already groomed and dressed for the day, Ms. Mitchell felt a gush of proudness travelling through her body and with such feelings, a pleasant smile came creeping from the corners of her mouth like the young budding of flowers being hit by the morning sun.
“Okay dear, if that’s what you need, I’ll do just that for you!”
Ms. Mitchell responded.
Seconds later, she was down on her knees in front of her daughter’s bed, carefully strapping the leg support around her daughter’s deformed legs.
Day and night she had prayed for a miracle to heal her daughter’s condition. But God wasn’t smiling down on her prayers, and neither were his hands ready to work a miracle and grant her the healing miracle they both desperately desired.
Couple minutes had passed and Ms. Mitchell was done strapping the prosthesis to the both of Annie’s legs, and together they left the bedroom and went to the breakfast table to have their morning meal. Where John Mitchell was waiting for them to join him.
John Mitchell wasn’t her biological father. He had adopted her from a tender age after he had met her mother at the clinic where he was working at the time, and where she usually brought Annie for her weekly check-ups because of her paralyzing condition.
He was working at the clinic as a physician at the time and had fallen in love with both mother and child; but back then, the child more so than the mother.
It was shortly after a year of her visiting the children’s clinic that he became interested in her and asked her out to have dinner with him. Which she had reservedly accepted since her background or education was nothing compared to his.
But like a preacher preventing souls from hells fire, he pleaded with her to have one single date with him and after that, she could make up her mind if she wanted to be with him or, the pretty-face man whose child she had bored and who was doing very little to assist her in caring for both of them.
Marjorie whose surname was Hamilton at the time, decided on taking a leap of fate and gave John Mitchell the okay to take her out of dinner. And after three months of courting her, he asked her to join him in matrimony.
Gladly, she said yes, and six months later, she found out that she was carrying his child – a boy who he had name after himself and also his father; John Zolanda Mitchell, Junior.
Hoping that the name would grant him the same good-luck like it had given him in many occasion and under many trying circumstances.
With a new wife and a child on the way, the doctor, John Mitchell scooped all the money he had and bought himself a home for his new and growing family. But throughout most of the marriage, John Mitchell’s focus was not geared towards his wife or his new son, but mainly on Annie and the challenges she was facing as an invalid child.
He had gone out of his way many times, and even bent over backwards, just so she could have – so she could be cared for properly, medically and otherwise.
Every new medicine that came around that he thought could help her, he would spent money to get it and spent countless hours researching; and trying to make suggestions about improvements to the inventors of such portions. Just to make sure that these medicine would help his now adopted daughter and having her walking without any aid or the contraptions which she hated so very much. And which he also hated seeing her in.
For many years he had spent numerous hours just thinking about how beautiful Annie was and why in heavens name she was the one crippled, unable to roam free and enjoy life the way she wanted to?
The sight of seeing such an angelic being cooped-up and isolated from the pleasures of life and the world; caused his heart to burn and set a burden of sadness to his soul.
He even thought about how her beauty would take her places like having her qualifying for any of the beauty pageants such as the Miss Universe pageant, the possibility of the modelling contracts she could receive, and how many industries would like to have her advertising their products.
Cars, make-up, jewelry, hotel buildings, clothing and much more! And the fortune she could have made from doing so; sending herself to college, buying her own house and placing her mark on the planet!
But instead, she was actually pining away with a deformity that was showing no signs of getting healed and no specific cure was being mentioned by the health and scientific researching communities for these health conditions.
At least, not in the immediate future.
However, Annie exited her bedroom with her mother by her side and joined the rest of the family at the table for breakfast where she spent very little time enjoying the meal prepared for her. But most of her time, on how she was going to survive outside of the enclosure she called home.
Sitting at the table staring into her father’s eyes, she asked herself; “How can an invalid run away from home without being trampled upon by the crafty souls of society?”
It was a question that had stuck a deep nerve within her; causing her to further think that she would be impounded in this house forever and motivating her to work harder at getting her legs functioning voluntarily.
Purposefully, stuffing an entire egg down her throw, angrily biting into her toast and then washing it all down with her glass of orange juice, Annie then excused herself from the dining table. She then walked towards the front gate of her yard where she tried parading herself as being normal to the unfamiliar passers-by as they went about their business.
It wouldn’t be long before she caught the eye of a stranger – a traveler who seemed not to be from any of these parts of Maplewood where she and her parents had been residing for almost twenty years now.
Foot on breaks, he stopped as soon as he had seen her!
A reaction he had never had before with any other woman!
Her elegant beauty was causing stars to dance in his soul, and he knew that he had to meet her at this very minute!
But he wasn’t quite sure how to approach her, or if, she was already taken and was sharing the resident at which she stood with her partner, husband or soon to be husband.
Feeling timid inside and partially scared out of his mind, the strange allowed himself to be brave, and reverse the car to where she was still standing, and began issuing out pleasant howdy-dos. Meanwhile, glancing at the entrance of the front door to see who might come up against him.
“Hello, pretty lady! Do you need a ride somewhere? That is if, your significant other, doesn’t mind you riding with a complete stranger.”
The stranger stated quizzically.
He was a very handsome chap! One whom she had immediately drawn some attraction to; but was wise enough to know that much more than pretty looks was needed to extend her heart or anything else to him.
With tears forming at the corner of her eyes, she humbly responded.
“Sorry Sir, I don’t need a ride today… just gathering some fresh air and enjoying the morning sun!”
“Okay, I see! That is good!”
The stranger commented anxiously.
“Are you visiting friends, relatives, or you live around here?
The stranger asked smilingly as burst of sweat became evident and began dripping from his forehead and onto his crisp blue shirt.
Annie could tell he was nervous and shamelessly wanted to start a conversation, but was fearful of something!
“No, I’m not visiting anyone! This is where I and my parents are living, and has been living for many years now!”
Annie replied with a pleasant tone exuding for her voice box.
“Is that so, and I’ve never seen your beautiful face around here before!”
The stranger replied laughingly.
“So, are you living around here?”
Annie enquired with questioning eyes and an air of uncertainty in her voice; because she had never seen him or the vehicle he was driving passing by her street before.
“Actually no… I don’t live around here; just visiting close friends and family which I often do, especially at this time of the year!”
The stranger informed her.
“Well, that is good to know!”
Now the stranger was asking her to let go from the gates and come closer to his car; because there was something private that he desperately wanted to ask her.
This was true testing for her and a cruel one also!
One which she wasn’t expecting and was quite afraid to act upon!
Because without the gates and her braces, she was completely useless in her mobility.
Cringing inside, she responded with an irritant tone in her voice.
“You can say whatever it is that you want to say to me from where you are now!”
Looking through his rear view mirrors and then again, in front of him, the stranger asked with an elevation in his voice tone.
“Are you taken as yet… are you seeing anyone?”
Annie think twice before answering his question.
She wanted to be completely honest with him about not seeing anyone; but at the same time, she was questioning herself about who would actually want a cripple like her?
“Right now, I’m not seeing anyone special and don’t really care to at this point in my life!”
Even though, she knew deep within her heart that she wanted to meet someone romantic who she could share her inner thoughts with, and together, built a future with. But, her invalid condition was severely holding her back.
Not wasting a moment, the stranger was very ready to make himself be available to her, and hope she would accept being his friend and the future main squeeze in his life. Because he thought she was drop-dead gorgeous and only a fool would reject her or past her by.
But little did he knew that she was hiding something from him… hiding what was under her fancy and expensive clothing!
Hiding those limbs that were damaged and actually dead and wouldn’t move without the aid of her clutch, her mechanical stick!
And it was only her hands that were actually guiding her to wherever she wanted to go!
Unless of course, her parent took it upon themselves to do so for her!
Hanging onto the fence for dear life, and smiling like a fashion model working in the Sahara Desert, Annie bid her suitor to get out of the car and come closer to her, if he wanted to say anything to her that wasn’t meant for the hearing of another.
Because she knew, if she tried making a normal step towards him, she would end up on the bricks paving the way for the entrance of the house.
Without hesitating, he got out of the car and made his way towards her with a pleasing smile on his face, and like her, he placed his back toward the massive iron gates while nervously smiling and gazing into her eyes.
“Sweet heart, you are very beautiful!”
Were the first words, to escape from his tongue!
Smiling, she thanked him for the compliment and returned the commendation.
“You too are a very handsome man!”
She said with a nervous grin.
“That’s very sweet to hear coming from a very lovely lady like yourself!”
“I thank you, very much for the compliment, madam!”
The stranger spoke sweetly as he softly touched her hand.
Engrossed in each other’s admiration, they almost forgot to get each other’s names, but Annie wouldn’t let him slip away without finding out what his name was and where he was from.
And just as he was about to say another word, Annie asked,
“So who do I have the pleasure of speaking with?”
“Oh my darling… seriously… I thought, I had already mentioned my name to you! Oh my goodness, I’m so very sorry about that! I guess, I’ve gotten too carried away talking with you that I’ve totally forgotten to properly introduce myself to you!”
“My name is, Timothy Joseph Blackburn and I’m doing my residency at the Barnabas Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. And I only have a year and a half to complete my hospital training there!”
The stranger informed her.
“A doctor in training; very impressive!”
“I am Annie Mitchell, and I recently graduated from high school; hoping to be a fashion designer or make-up artist someday with these hands!”
Knowing quite well, she wasn’t really interested in doing neither of the two; but had to tell him something impressive since he had just revealed to her nothing that she was expecting for him to be.
“Well, I’m very pleased to meet you, Annie!”
Tim stated while waiting for her to extend her hand to him for a handshake, but would soon learn that none would come from her hands; which were tightly griping at the iron bars that made up the gates.
She didn’t seem like the impolite type and neither was she indicating to him that she wanted to be left alone, but she would soon answer the thoughts that were puzzling his mind when she jokingly stated to him to do something that was completely unconventional to him when it came to greeting someone for the first time.
“So now that we have met, aren’t you going to greet the lady with a hug to show that you appreciate meeting her?”
“You want me to hug you?”
Tim asked surprisingly.
“Yes, I do want you to hug me!”
Annie stated sternly.
Releasing his back form the iron bars, he turned towards her and encircled her shoulders with both his hands while his cheeks rubbed against hers, and the sweet fragrant from her hair snuggled its way through his nostrils and down his lungs; causing him to quickly inhale the fragrance once more.
He did want to let her go! But would seem quite presumptuous and ill-manner of him to have held her in his arms any longer!
So he removed his hands from around her shoulders and stated to her that hugging her was quite beautiful, and how much she had made his day by inviting him to hug her.
Now he was ready to make her his, and returned to his car to get paper and pen to write down his phone digits and leaving them with her. Barely, he slip the paper with the numbers between her fingers and told her to buzz him anytime she wanted to; and also, suggesting to her that he would like to take her out for dinner sometime in the very near future.
Smiling, Annie told him that she would love that and promised him that she would indeed be using those numbers to reach out to him whenever she had the urge to.
Moments later there was a loud calling.
It was Annie’s mother calling her, because she had gone to her room and hadn’t seen her there; and became worried that she might have fallen and was unable to get herself out from under such situation.
But Annie shouted back.
“Mom, I’m at the front gate!”
Rushing towards the front gate, Ms. Mitchell pounced into the handsome stranger and her daughter having what appears to be joyous conversation; causing her to alt for a moment before stepping any further.
“I see, you are alright!”
Ms. Mitchell spoke with an air of surprise and concern in her voice.
“And why wouldn’t I be?”
Annie lashed out fiercely.
Even though, she had been standing on her feet for hours and it was causing her enough pain that made her want to crash to ground and scream.
Like her conversation, she was holding her ground, and had given her mother a look indicating to her that she didn’t want her interfering or interrupting the conversation she was having with the stranger.
But Tim eagerly asked.
“Aren’t you going to introduce me to your mother, Annie?”
Not waiting for her daughter to make the introduction, Ms. Mitchell stepped forward with a extending her right hand towards the stranger and excitingly stated,
“I am Marjorie Mitchell, Annie’s mother and the wife of Doctor John Mitchell who works by the local clinic in Maplewood!”
“I am Timothy Blackburn, and it’s my pleasure meeting you, Ms. Mitchell!”
The stranger responded.
Her husband being a doctor was something she had taken much pride in and always introduced herself as the doctor’s wife wherever she went and to whomever she met along the way. And somehow had developed the class and mannerism to qualify herself as a local aristocrat.
“I don’t mean to pry, but what are you into Mr. Blackburn?”
Ms. Mitchell questioned.
“Well, at the moment, I’m a doctor in training and doing my residency at the Saint Barnabas hospital in New Jersey. Why do you care to ask? You or your husband know of a vacancy where I could be offered a position, when I’m done with my residency; of course?”
Tim asked, trying to sound gallant and noble as her.
“No, not really Mr. Blackburn. I was just curious that’s all!”
Ms. Mitchell replied.
But, before she could open her mouth to ask her new acquaintance another question, Annie sternly but smilingly lashed out.
“Mom, I think I hear dad calling out for you!”
“Is that so… I don’t hear anything, dear!”
She spoke as she placed her hand to her ear trying to indicate if such calling was meant for her hearing.
“Annie!” She spoke. “I don’t hear any sound coming from your father, or inside the house!”
“Okay Mom, can you please leave us alone so we can finish our conversation?”
Annie lashed out with a flare of enthusiasm in her voice and bitter thoughts racing through her mind.
“Alright dear, I’ll leave you and Mr. Blackburn to finish off with your chattering while I go and attend to your father.”
Ms. Mitchell stated while retracing the same foot-steps that had brought her to the front of the house.
Left alone in peace with her company, Annie told Tim that it was very nice meeting him and how she hope they would meet up again someday soon to finish up on their conversation. But right now, she was feeling tired and needed to take care of something inside the house.
Once more, he gently embraced her and demanded that she called him anytime she wanted to before entering into his vehicle and driving away with a pleasant look covering his face.
But as soon as Tim car hit the corner of the street and was out of her sight, Annie fell to the ground and began screaming agonizingly.
“Please, come and help me!!!”
While rubbing at her knees and ankles to ease away the pain she was enduring.
Standing on her feet had gone on for far too long and now her joints were swollen and gushing out excruciating pain – pain she hope never to experience ever again!
Hearing her urgent screams, Ms. Mitchell rushed to the gate. She had gotten to her first and then her husband came running to help in the matter.
Thankfully, he was home at the time to assist his wife in getting her up from off the hard bricks and into the house onto something soft and comfortable.
At the count of three they had gotten her up from off the ground, swung her hands around their shoulders, the deadweight of her feet above their hands and hauled her inside the house where her father quickly administered to her pain pills to ease her suffering.
While she tightly clutch to the piece of paper Timothy had given her with his phone numbers written on it.
John Mitchell raced to her bedroom and came back with some heavy-duty pillows which he propped under her feet while he gentle kept on trying to massage the pain away.
It took a while before the pain pills began working! And they only worked after her mother had delivered to her a cheese sandwich with a glass of lemonade and had her devoured it, before the excruciating pain began subsiding from her legs.
Soon the pain in her legs were gone and another pain took over; the pain of realizing that she might be bound inside the house of her parent as a cripple forever!
The pain pills given to Annie Mitchell by her father John Maxwell had really caused the pain she was feeling to vanish from her feet and legs and now she was feeling much better. The swellings around her ankles hand also subsided and she began feeling like her old self again.
For many years the pain in her feet had come on severely causing her to stay in bed; but never like this one. Even though she had provoked it to happen.
However, Timothy was on her mind and she decided to give him a ring just like she had promised, and he had asked her to.
Not sure of what exactly to converse with him about, Annie thought about telling him the truth about her paralyzing condition, to see if his reaction of finding out would lead to him dumping her before they had even gotten started. Or, get his reaction, if he really wanted to stick around with her, or not.
Momentarily, she laid there hesitating about picking up the phone and dialing the number to reach Timothy Blackburn. After taking several deep breaths, she finally dialed the number and waited for him to respond.
Seconds later, Timothy responded and expressed much happiness to have heard her voice and her sincerity – her promise of calling his phone numbers.
“How is my sweetness doing?”
He blurted out.
“I’m doing fine!”
Annie responded with an element of shyness protruding from her voice.
“So how was dinner; or I should have asked, have you eaten as yet?”
Timothy questioned with a sense of care in his voice.
“I had a sandwich not too long ago, so I’m going to skip dinner for now.”
The points were growing – adding up on Timothy’s part, and the thoughts she was stirring up in her mind were that of a bitter-sweet medicine; because she was clueless if he would reject her after finding out that she was actually a paraplegic.
More so like a mermaid, beautiful at the top and possessed scales and fins at the bottom. At least, they were fully able to swim around below the ocean surface like it has been told for centuries. But unlike her who has been caged up for a very long time in this house without much free access to the outside world.
“I’m so glad to have met you today! And I hope there is nothing that will come our way that will cause us to disagree on our friendship or relationship!”
“I am going to agree to that my new best friend!”
Annie spoke laughingly.
Warmth tickled his heart just to hear her laugh and Timothy new in his soul that she was the one for him.
“So tell me some more about yourself; Timothy!”
“Where are you from? Any brothers, sisters, girlfriend, wife?”
Annie inquired inquisitively.
“Yes, I have a girlfriend and I’m speaking to her right now! I have two brothers and a sister; my sister is a lawyer and my brothers are in the business of saving lives just as I am! And I was born in a little place called the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. And yes, my Mom and Dad are still alive and kicking! Anything else, you would like to know about me my sweet muffin?”
Timothy asked teasingly.
“Sure, I want to know every details about you, Mr. Life-Savor!
Annie replied with a breath of enthusiasm.
“Where exactly in Maplewood are you staying right now?”
She asked Tim briefly.
“Right now, I’m around five block from where you living! You are on the right where most of the well-off people are living and I’m on the left side of Maplewood where the not so reach people are living! I’ll be here for around a next year or so when I’m done completing my residency at the Saint Barnabas Hospital.”
“And just in case, you want to know who I’m staying with! I’m staying with my cousins at a house my aunt has in the community. Which I’m very thankful that she had bought the place many years ago, and kept it; because now I’m reaping the benefits from it! So now, I can get to the hospital within twenty minutes; easily!”
“Very fortunate for you!”
“So whenever you are done with your residency are you planning on seeking a position in the hospital, out of the state or out of the country?”
Hoping that he would want to stay close by her after completing his training at the hospital; but quite afraid, he would change his mind about her once he knew about her crippling condition!
She thought about just being his friend and disregarding any hopes and dream of a happy life ever after with him; but just having him as a buddy who she could hang out with occasionally.