‘Anthony can you hear me?’
What kind of question was that? He thought, of course he could hear them. Every single one of them and they were annoyingly talking over each other like a fan gushing over their favourite band member. All statements and very little substance, seasoned with spontaneous vague questioning.
No that was harsh he thought and just maybe a tiny part of him, the place where his feelings were thought to pulsate felt their concern was slightly endearing. A smudge of truth wouldn’t ruin his zone, yes he could give them that especially since they were being so excessively emotional in the moment. Anthony was also certain that every civilian within a five kilometre radius could also hear them, okay well maybe just indistinct voices but Anthony was sure they would be able to distinguish their human voices from the calls of the seagulls that skulked the beach. The real question was why they persisted to shout at him from the shore instead of sucking it up and joining him, the weather was nice. He wondered whether he was the last of a dying breed, courageous.
They wouldn’t have believed him if he told them all those years ago that he would be here again reunited with his passion. What were the odds? He wasn’t sure of the statistics but he did know that they would have considered it highly unlikely and there was great peace with how exhilarating it felt. It was like he had never left the shore; the warm embrace of light and the tiny ripples of blue and white as he kicked his legs and dipped his toes beneath the surface. Just like riding a bike, who knew it would be this easy to reconnect with the natural rhythm of his talents despite so much time away. He could sense it wouldn’t be long before he would need to hold onto his board, the tingle of anticipation was felt in his toes as he discreetly added to the tones of below.
He laid on his back and looked up wanting to absorb as much of his surroundings as he could, the off white and greys about told him that the quiet would eventually be do series but oh how he longed to own a huge wave again. Feel the extra lubrication of his eyes, the cool droplets on his skin or taste the saltiness of his zealous abandonment he silently welcomed what was to come.
Their grimacing faces filled him with glee, maybe they knew as well as he did what would soon transpire. He was happy to share such a wondrous moment with others. It would have been greatly improved had they ventured in with him but he respected their decisions to watch him at work. As more of his adoring supporters gathered in the distance the first ripples grew and soon became bigger. Anthony figured his this wave would be a grower, his intuition was on high alert as his inner voice was clearly audible on the water roll over Anthony, impeccable timing it was meant to be. It had to be, it felt too glorious not to be. If only he could have performed this well in the last competition, he wouldn’t have waited so long to return to the water. He clambered onto his board noting the tremble of his form man I’m rusty, he really needed to get a handle on his nerves again this wasn’t his usual surfing form at all. The coolness of the board was surprising on his heels and then he oddly recognised the same chilling temperature on the back of his calves. How is this possible? He wondered.
The voices started to build again as he caught the wave, everyone was cheering for him as he rode the mighty wave for as long as he could. Anthony wasn’t sure how long he had managed to glide on the water but he knew it had to be at least a few minutes long. As he finally rolled off his board and into the calmness of the blue and white tones, the air was fresh again and the initial warmth returned.
A quiet hum filled the silence followed by flashing lights and beeping sounds. Anthony began to panic not again had it happened so quickly that he missed the collision, was he now in so much pain his entire system had shut off all sensations in exchange for a state of numbness. The faces got closer and clearer and their voices were louder and distinguishable.
‘Ant dear, can you hear me honey?’ He knew that voice; it belonged to his sweetheart Joanna. Her languid speech was cut off by a more forceful tone,
‘Mr Samuels can you hear me? You’re at the Hospital. My name is Nadia and I’m your nurse squeeze my hand if you can hear me. Your wife is here Mr Samuels.’
Anthony was gutted it had all felt so real he couldn’t believe it could be anything else. He blinked repeatedly to remove the haze of what was going on and hopefully force himself into the current circumstance. There she was his sweetheart curvier than he remembered but he loved her she would always be stunning to him. The light in his chest was no longer on dim it’s hue reverberated fantastically and illuminated her gentle face. He was in awe as he stared only at Joanna so mesmerised he almost forgot to squeeze the nurses hand whatever her name was.
Joanna kissed his forehead as he pulled himself up read to get out of the bed and out of the building would be more accurate. Anthony threw back the blue blanket followed by the white sheet and paused in shock…’Oh Ant darling, don’t worry you’re still my hero.’ Anthony sat quietly as he looked over the space where his legs should be, where they had been. How can this be? He had felt the water between his toes and he paddled his legs not long ago. When did this happen? He asked. The nurse spoke,
‘Mr Samuels you had a collision at the beach and when you got to us we were unable to save your legs. After the surgery you slipped into a coma you’ve been on life support for eleven months. Your wife knew you’d make a full recovery.’
Anthony looked down but didn’t utter a word, the silence spoke for him and Joanna held his face between her hands and reassured him, ‘I love you, I’m not going anywhere we will get through this together. You believe me don’t you?’ Anthony looked at the group of nurses nearby then back to Joanna before responding ‘Tell me the truth Joanna, are we still married?’ Joanna kissed her husband on the lips, half forgetting the nurses were there and the other measure elated he was finally awake.
‘Yes we’re still married Ant and no I’m not going to go easy on you because you’ve lost some of your legs Mr. I’ve already spoken to the prosthetic centre and your first physio session is next week. Now let’s get going.’
Joanna walked off leaving Ant wondering how he would follow her out but she shortly returned with a wheelchair. Anthony smiled it was her best prank ever. Joanna laughed knowingly, ‘See, we’ll still have fun together. I’ll make sure of it.’ Anthony felt slightly guilty he had always been the one with the surprises ‘Why?’ He queried feeling the onset of guilt. Joanna ran her hands through his hair
‘Don’t be silly, I love you and we’re staying married Ant. I love everything about you…you’re my best friend.’
Anthony’s eyes glistened with Joanna’s last words. ‘Also have you noticed that you’re at the perfect height to gaze at my bottom now so it’s a win, win.’ Anthony laughed ‘Yes I have.’ His wink was of great comfort to Joanna she needed Anthony to be the fighter he had always been not just for her but himself and well their daughter. She decided it would probably be easier to get him out of the building first so he would have no choice but to deal with all the changes.
Copyright Teherah Wheeler (©) 2016
I’m quite obsessed with nature despite living in a busy city. I like water in all its beauty, I also quite enjoy sarcasm (but not overkill) so I combined the two. I let it mingle with the social perspective of people with disabilities and produced this short love story.
I’m currently challenging myself to write a romantic novel so I thought I’d wet my feet…well fingers on my blog.
All the best.