Laurie is stuck in the hospital and desperately wants to go home.
No time like the present,Laurie thought to himself. There wasn’t anyone here to stop him.
He hauled himself up using the right-hand bed-rail and swung his legs over the left-hand side of the bed. There. He was sitting upright. On his own.
He drew in a deep breath and let it out. His feet were flat on the tiled floor, reassuringly solid and cold beneath them. He wiggled his toes and watched all ten of them respond with detached interest. Well they seemed to be working all right. That was a relief. It was all coming back gradually, like they said it would.
It had been three weeks now. He was sick of being hovered over. He was done with it. He was going to prove to them that he could manage on his own and then he was going to get Sally to take him home.
He reached for the stick that the nurse had left beside the bed. A walking frame was no good, because his hand wasn’t working well enough yet. Carefully, he put his weight on his legs and leaning on the stick in his right hand, he pushed himself to his feet.
Jesus, that was an effort.
He balanced himself on his good leg and the stick, tentatively lifting his left leg. It went up all right, but it was a struggle. He concentrated really hard, dragging the foot forward. One step. One step at a time, that’s all he needed to think about.
“What do you mean, I can’t go home?” Laurie was almost crying with frustration. “I can go home if I like!”
Sally glared at him. “And how are you going to get up and down the stairs? Or even down the hall to the bathroom?” she said. “And wash when you get there? And turn over properly in bed? And what happens if you actually fall out of bed in the night and can’t get up? And come to that, who’s going to take you home, you idiot? You can’t drive!”
He glared back. “I thought that you might!”
“No! Not me!” her glaring was so much better than his.
He pushed against the pillows, but because he was unable to brace properly with his weak leg, he couldn’t make himself sit up any further. She stood up and hauled him forward with competent strength, shoving more pillows behind him to support his bad arm and shoulder. Damn her.
When she sat back down, he lowered his gaze to his lap. His hand lay across his legs, curled and useless. He imagined moving his fingers and he felt it happening in his head. But in his lap, they lay dead and still, obvious betrayers of his helplessness.
“Laurie…,” her voice was kind. “You need to stay in here for a bit and let them help you. They say at least some of the use of the your arm and your leg should come back quite quickly, specially if you work at it. And then we can get you back home.”