Julie opened her eyes.
Looking around herself with misty eyes, she found herself in a ward. No one else was in the ward at that moment. The spacious ward was enveloped in quietness.
Julie felt her head heavy with dizziness, as if all the strength had drained out of her body. Questions stacked in her brain: Why am I here? Why am I here? Yet her intense headache prevented her from thinking hard. Despite her listless condition, she attempted to sit up in bed, but immediately felt an excruciating pain in her left leg. Subconsciously, Julie groped for her leg. She felt the rigid plaster, and jerked her hands back instantly with a start.
That was when the terrible memories of the tragic night flashed through her mind.
She was on her way home the day before. Just as she was walking past a parking lot, a red Honda started to reverse and exit from the parking lot. She stepped aside, but the car suddenly went out of control and whizzed in her direction. Panic stricken, she dashed frantically away to avoid the oncoming car, but it was too late. With a sudden crash, she lost her consciousness.
A sense of loss surged throughout her weak body as she recalled yesterday’s accident. Pain started to raid her relentlessly. Staring blankly at her motionless leg, she let out a cry of disbelief and desperation.
Her parents entered, consoling her and telling her that she would be in hospital for three months. She was lucky, they told her, that she narrowly missed the fate of being an amputee. But Julie could clearly see their tear-stained and weary faces as they told her not to worry in trembling voices. She could not stand it anymore.
“Get out!” she shouted. “Get out at once!”
Knowing the utter grief that Julie was going through, her parents quietly made their way out of the ward, with great efforts to contain themselves. No sooner had they closed the door behind them, than Julie rebuked herself for being so rude to her parents. Burying her head in the pillow, she wept uncontrollably.
Julie was a fifteen-year-old girl. She not only looked beautiful, but was also famous in her school for being an athletic star in various sports events. Aspiring to be a gymnast when she grew up, Julie joined the gymnasium team in her school and had been elected the team captain for her excellent performance. Now her dream was shattered by the unexpected car accident. She could not believe the misfortune that had befallen her, although the physical and mental pain felt so menacingly real.
In the following days, Julie shut herself in her own resentment, refusing to see anyone who came to the hospital to visit her. She resented being the only victim of the mad car; she resented being unable to lead a normal life; she resented being called “the handicapped” instead of the usual “sports star”; she resented the wheelchair, the medicine, the confinement of the ward with indifferent white walls.
Most of all, she...