David falls again. Skinned knees and bruised hands evidence of his struggle to hold himself up. The memories of doing this the first time around inaccessible to ease his anxiety about how long all of this was taking and how hard all of it was. He lays down no the tile floor, tears puddling and oozing around his cheek. His mother’s voice echoed across his mind.
Get up. Do it again. We don’t sit there. We try again. Get. Up. David.
He stays there. Easier to follow directions outside of his own head. The accident tried to steal his steps but had robbed him completely of her. Just her echo left.
You won’t get any better just laying there in self-pity, son. That’s the coward’s way. If you are going to have a pity party, at least do it while you work.
He pushes himself up, sting in his hands. The stink of sweat clung to his body. He mentally apologized to the nurse who would come to check on him in twenty minutes or so.
The bathroom is right there. He can just scoot himself the few remaining feet.
No, David. No shortcuts.
The cool metal bar soothes the bruise the split second before he presses down to pull himself up. Gripping through his abs, blood seeping out of the stitches there, he drags his left foot underneath him and tests its stability. Then the right, easier a little. He twists around and falls to put his hands on the counter. Left leg, right leg under him again.
Using the wall to steady himself, he shuffles inch by inch around to the bathroom. He rounds the corner to the door, and his right slipper loses its grip on the floor and he’s crashing down again, slamming his ass down, unable to catch himself this time. Some part of himself thankful his head stayed up while the rest of him cried out, animal sounds releasing his pain.
The nurses are coming, but the wall is too smooth for him to grip enough to get back up. The hospital gown pushed up and open and falling off him in the struggle. David decides to crawl into the bathroom when the door opens.
Strong, gentle hands on him stopping his retreat, then under his armpits, pulling him up. David’s left hand grips the bathroom door handle for more support. The nurse, John, holds up his left side.
“Do you need to go to the bathroom, Dave?”
He answers with tears and nod. John shuffles him to the toilet and sits him down. He steps out and closes the door.
“Just let me know when you’re done.”
David drops his head onto his hands, elbows digging into his knees.
Try again, David. We don’t give up.
This post is part of the Craft Challenge from DIY MFA.