It was a dark and rainy Saturday morning. I was a little depressed so everything looked boring to me. The book I tried to read held my attention only for half an hour. Then, I decided to clean the garage and throw away all unnecessary things.
I live alone in a big house. After retiring, my parents moved to live in France. Not a bad decision at all.
The maintenance of the house was taking so much time and effort. It exceeded all my worst expectations. Repairing a leaking roof is not a woman's work after all. If I had married Dave, I would not be having such problems. At that thought, I laughed. He is such a fool.
I was reluctant to throw out my old bicycle. After looking more carefully, I decided that there was no use of it anymore. Then, I saw the crutches. Simple, wooden crutches. Memories flooded my mind.
Fifteen years ago, my mother broke her ankle. I was only nine years old then. She stepped in a hole in the courtyard and her ankle turned. Her screams were horrible. Until then, I had never heard my mother screaming. It frightened the shit out of me. Daddy was very confused too. She was on crutches for a month. Now, I was holding these crutches in my hands. I remembered the plaster. It covered her delicate foot, leaving her toes free, and ending just below her knee. I was much taken with that cast. I wanted to stare at it as much time as possible. That troubled my mother greatly.
'Don't worry for me Nadine! I am not in pain anymore. There is nothing to be afraid of, ' she used to say.
When I realized that I want to wear a cast, I was very ashamed. I thought that I was pervert or something like that. I started to keep away from my mother. Then, the cast was removed, and my life got back to normal.
The crutches were covered with dust. I took a rag and started cleaning them. I had almost done when the telephone rang, startling me. My daydreams evaporated at once. The phone was upstairs so I decided not to answer the call. Eventually, the ringing stopped. I turned my attention back to the crutches. Why am I cleaning them? There is no use of them. Despite this reasoning, I did the job diligently. Then, I placed the crutches under my armpits, and leaned on them. I did it as if to the manner born. It was exciting to feel their support. I lifted my left foot up and held it two inches above the cement floor of the garage. The first tentative step came naturally. Five minutes later, I was almost an expert. After that, I stopped, leaned the crutches against the wall, bent over and unlaced my left training shoe. Then, I took off my sock. I propped myself on the crutches again, and looked down at my small, bare foot. It was great to feel the cool air caressing it as I crutched some more.
I closed the front door and locked it. The rain had become a drizzle. I set off toward the nearby store, crutching slowly, enjoying every step. My bandaged left foot hung clear of the ground. I had wrapped a perfect ace bandage. It hugged my foot tightly. From time to time, I stopped to look at my bare toes and heel. They were rose-colored. Maybe the bandage is too tight. I wasn't sure what I was doing, and why, but it felt good.
At last, I got to the store. A young man held the door for me. I entered. As I was crutching slowly between the shelves, I felt that the people were staring at me. I tried to calm myself down, but I just couldn't. A man in his forties was leering at me. I smiled. He blushed, and turned his eyes swiftly away. All this attention had made me nervous. Possibly, I was making a big mistake. A shop-boy came to me, looked down at my bandaged foot and asked if I need any help. I refused. After taking only a loaf of bread, I went to the cashier. She helped me put it in my rucksack. I left. At the door, I nearly collided with my neighbor Sally. She is 32-year-old. Her smile faded as she saw the crutches. Her eyes widened.
'Good God! What happened to you?' she asked.
'I ... I turned my ankle.'
'Something broken?' she stared at my foot curiously.
'No. Just a sprain.'
'Did you consult a doctor?'
'Yes. I will be OK in a couple of days.'
'I hope so, ' she said and moved on her way.
By the time I got home, I was already tired. The telephone was ringing. The crutches clattered as I threw them on the tiled floor. I started to climb the stairs. There was an unexpected problem. My bandaged foot was numb, and I wasn't wearing a shoe. That was the reason why I was limping. I made slow progress up the stairs. The ringing persisted. I tried to move faster. Near the top of the stairs, I caught my bare toes against a step and fell. My left knee hit against the edge of the last step. I felt sharp pain, and grasped my knee, groaning. A minute latter, the pain subsided a little. The phone stopped ringing. I cursed, then carefully examined my knee. It looked normal. As I tried to bend it, the pain increased, but remained tolerable. I stood up supporting myself on the wall, and hobbled down the corridor. Since I didn't want to flex my injured knee, I straightened my leg, and continued limping that way. Every step was painful. Finally, I got to the room where the telephone was, and lowered myself cautiously on the couch. There were two messages. At first, I leant forward and unwound the bandage covering my foot. I moved my ankle around. It still felt a little numb. Then, I pressed the button to hear the messages. Meanwhile, I started to bandage my knee. In my opinion, this was necessary because a swelling had started to form just below my knee. I heard David's voice.
'Honey, I hope that you are OK. I know that it may sound stupid but I had a nightmare last night. You were sick. Your face looked very pale. You were coughing badly, but were eating ice cream despite that. I tried to dissuade you, but you would not listen to me. Please call me!'
The second message was from Dave too.
'I am worried, Nadine!'
I laughed and dialed Dave's number. He answered immediately.
'You behave so foolishly, Dave. How did you concoct this?'
'The nightmare was so real and I... '
'Stop it! I should know better then trusting you. So worried about me, uh? I broke up with you. Don't you understand this?'
'But I... '
'If you need sex go to see Sara. You are a nice couple.'
'Nadine, I... '
'Sorry, David.' I said and hung up.
I poured a glass of vodka, and made myself comfortable on the couch. My leg felt sore. Ten minutes later, I was still thinking about David. Why does he behave like this? Does he really care for me? I don't believe it. He just acts in an ingratiating manner. Was it possible that he have seen me on crutches? No. Moreover, he had called before I went out. Half an hour later, I felt my eyelids becoming very heavy.
.... There is more of this story ...