As the removal van carrying all of the Johnson family’s possessions drove off, fifteen-year-old Sarah looked back in great perturb. She desperately longed to go on living there. They had only moved in two years ago, and for the first eighteen months she had cherished every minute of it. That was before the accident. Now, they were having to move into a larger house, which would be more suitable for her. Sarah used to be a very active and glowing, effervescent girl, who loved spending time with her friends.
She had blushing cheeks and a warm and welcoming smile that never left her exultant face. The lustrous jet-black hair that flowed down her back and glistened in the light, along with her striking personality, secured her place at the top of the popularity list. Her life was complete. Not only that, but her exclusive sporting talents were equally well known throughout the entire school. Nevertheless, six months ago when Sarah was walking the proverbial route home from school with her scores of friends, her life took a swingeing turn for the worse. She was run over by a hit and run drink driver.
As Sarah stepped out and began to cross the memorable road, one that she would often cross at least twice a day, the car came tearing round the corner and straight into her. The sound of Sarah’s head trouncing against the ground and the wheels of the car rolling over her legs like a packet of crisps being crushed, reverberated for miles around. It was a sound that would be permanently engraved into her friends’ minds, for the remainder of their lives. Sarah was raced into hospital, and even spent a week in Intensive care, desperately skirmishing for her life.
Both of her legs ere like a piece of glass that had been crushed into tiny fragments. They were so severely damaged, that all aspirations of Sarah ever walking again were swiftly wiped out. She had precarious head injuries, which le to three major life-threatening operations. One imperative instance, they even had concerns that she may be permanently brain damaged. Propitiously, she proved them all wrong. After spending four extensive months in hospital, and a further month returning for daily check ups and physiotherapy, Sarah made a phenomenal recovery.
Although she had defeated any traces of brain damage, she had lost the two things that she yearned for most, her legs. The bones in her legs had been crushed so much that they had to be amputated, leaving Sarah to face the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Not only she did lose the use of her legs, but her spinal chord was also damaged and she had a nasty scar on her forehead. Still, it was a diminutive price to pay in comparison to losing you life. When Sarah eventually returned home from her extensive stay in hospital, all her hopes and desires of returning to normal were soon excluded. She was unable to do the least task alone.
Even when she wanted to go the toilet, someone had to go with her as she had not yet learnt how to lift herself out of the wheelchair and there was a huge jeopardy of her falling and hurting herself. Absconding to her bedroom for a bit of amity was also out the window, as she couldn’t get up the stairs and was too heavy for her parents to carry. A camp bed was set up in the back room and small pieces of furniture were brought down for her. Be that as it may, it was nothing reminiscent of her bedroom and never would be. It was always going to be the back room with a bed in it for unfortunate Sarah.
Under duress, due to both of her parents being unable to afford to give up their jobs, a carer had to be brought to be of assistance in looking after their daughter. Each morning, as she painfully watched her parents leave for work, the carer would arrive to help get Sarah out of bed and ready. Due to the fact that Sarah could no longer attend school, she had to do her lessons at home with a private tutor. No matter how hard she tried, concentration would not come her way, and her mind off drifted back to philosophising about how much she longed to be back in her old, well-known school with all her friends.
When Sarah was first discharged form hospital, she was inundated with hoards of visitors. Her friends would stop by to have a chat each and every night after school, and if they didn’t come round then they would undoubtedly phone. After a couple of weeks had gone by, the daily visits ended, and any visit at all was few and far between. Ultimately, it reduced down to the infrequent phone call or a casual wave as they passed by the window, jubilant and joking amongst themselves. It wasn’t their fault. Their lives had carried on but Sarah felt as though hers had come to a stand.
She wasn’t at school with them anymore and she never would be. The school did not endow with the apposite amenities that Sarah needed with her wheelchair, causing it to be virtually unattainable for her to have got around. Deep down, Sarah knew that it was not just going to be her school and home that would have to change, but also her entire way of life. Sarah and her family had to abscond from their home in Liverpool, and move into a new home, five and a half hours away in Chichester. They didn’t want to go this far, but there was no alternative.
It was the only the closest area they could find, which had a mainstream school that was particularly adapted for people with minor disabilities or in wheelchairs. As the removal van turned out of their road, Sarah took one ultimate, yearning look at her house, friends and school. Their new house, has an extra room on the ground floor which they had converted into a bedroom for Sarah before they moved in. there was also a second bathroom downstairs which they made into Sarah’s bathroom with the adaptations that it needed. All in all, the new house was a great deal enhanced for her.
She no longer needed the carer, as she would soon be commencing her new school, and the house had been specially adapted so that she could move around without any slight difficulty. They moved into the new house on a Friday, two weeks prior to Sarah starting her new school. Due to both of her parents having to give up the jobs that they had back in Liverpool, they were currently both unemployed and in desperate need of work. Sarah took her two weeks away from any school, as exploring time and a way of getting to know their new area.
They only lived in a small village, so in a matter of days, she had covered the whole area well, everywhere that her wheelchair would enable her to go which wasn’t too far off from being the whole area. The remainder of her free time was spent developing her new bedroom and buying accessories to put in it and make it more like her old one. As she proceeded round the shops in her wheelchair, she would sense people looking at her intently and whispering amongst themselves. She knew quite well that they would be whispering about her, and this assisted in making her feel even more dissimilar.
The way in which they would try to make up what may have happened, instead of actually coming to ask Sarah herself, made her even more infuriated. She wanted to explicate to them that she hadn’t been ill and that she used to be completely normal like them. If it hadn’t been for that imperceptive driver, then she wouldn’t even be there. She wished that she had a friend or someone to talk to, but until she started school, the only conversation that she would be having with people other than her family would be when paying for something in a shop.
She felt like an outsider and an alien on an outlandish planet. On the Sunday night prior to the morning of her first day of school, Sarah got everything ready. Providentially, the school endorsed pupils to wear trousers, which elated her to the highest degree. Ever since the accident, she had never worn a skirt and had no intentions of ever wearing one again. She had even bought a new bag and pencil case when she had been out shopping, in order to enable her with a completely fresh start. The crisp, fresh, white blouse hung from behind the also new, unbending blazer and woollen jumper.
Sarah fell asleep with an irregular, nervous feeling in the pit of her stomach. She had never felt like this before, and deep down she knew why. Sarah was timorous about going into school in a wheelchair, and what people would say to her, presuming that they would speak to her at all. Sarah woke up bright and early on the Monday morning. Unhurriedly and with awareness, she got primed and dressed. She was overjoyed to have most of her independence back, as it ensured that she could get everything just as she liked it and with that extra bit of perfection.
Her hair was brushed with not a single strand out of place, and everything looked neat as a new pin. Not a crease or crinkle in the blazer, not a piece of fluff in sight. If it hadn’t been for the wheelchair, Sarah would have been in no doubt and as confident as ever. As Sarah’s mum pulled up outside the school, Sarah’s face plummeted. She had formerly visited the school but now it looked entirely different. The colossal grey building towered over them like a monster, its vast mouth ingesting people up as they walked in. her mum went in with her, as they had a meeting with the headmistress.
As they moved up the path, people stopped what they were doing and turned to look at them intently. Sarah felt like a goldfish in a bowl with everyone gawping at her. How was she ever going to make friends with any of these people? Sarah endeavoured to give a friendly smile as they passed by a couple of people she liked the look of, but not one was returned her way. All she wanted to do was go home and sob. The meeting with the head teacher was over far too fast for Sarah, and before she knew it her mum had gone and left her alone in the corridor. The school was enormous and despondent.
The tiles squeaked as Sarah’s wheelchair rolled along them, and the sound echoed in the barrenness encasing her. The corridor in front was like a never-ending tunnel. She looked down at her timetable. Great, she thought. Double maths. Her most awful subject. Talk about an appalling start to a day that she knew was going to turn out to be a catastrophe. After ten minutes searching, she ultimately found the correct room. It was upstairs, which meant that she had to use one of the lifts principally for Sarah and the other ten students whom she had been told were also in wheelchairs.
As she grasped hold of the handle to open the door, her hand trembled and she felt nauseous with nerves. She knocked on the door and could hear the concave sound resonating down the desolate corridor. “Come in. ” a friendly voice called from inside the room. She forced herself through the door, and as she entered the room, everyone looked up from their work and ogled at her. The sea of faces made her want to be sick and she would have given anything to have left there and then and never go back to the school or area for the surplus of her life. “I’m Mrs.
Jones,” the teacher explained, “and I’ll be taking you for maths. ” He then turned and addressed the class. “This is Sarah, everyone, and she’ll be joining our class so please make her feel welcome. There’s a spare desk at the back next to Vicky. ” She sat behind the desk, and removed her things from the new bag. She glimpsed across at Vicky and tried to give a convivial smile. It didn’t work. Vicky turned to face the other way, and rested her chin on her hand so as to completely block out Sarah. This was when Sarah first came across someone else with a disability.
Vicky had a prosthetic arm. As the day progressed, Sarah became increasingly more despondent. She was late for lessons as she would get lost, and she saw a greater extent of people but no one spoke to her. A couple of people were in wheelchairs; some had an arm or leg missing; some wore callipers on their legs and there was even a deaf boy in her science class. Nevertheless, there were still the people that she used to be like, with nothing wrong with them. She gave out the occasional forthcoming smile or hello, but she was never given one back.
She sat alone at break, ate alone at lunch and went to each lesson alone. When she got in the car at the end of the day, she was so disconcerted that she burst into tears. She despised it here and more than anything, she wanted to go back home. The next couple of days came and went. Sarah was still forlorn and had no friends. She repudiated to join in with any P. E lessons, as she was not prepared to play if she was unable to use her legs. Her athletics teacher even proposed that she joined the school’s Paraplegics’ Team, but no. All that Sarah was concerned with, was sitting in the corner and watching.
As she observed people running around the oh so familiar race track that she had once used to love running on, she grew to a greater extent more upset. It wasn’t fair. Not only had she lost the use of her legs but also she had lost her friends and hobbies and was never going to make any new ones. Everyone had their own little group or gang, and no one wanted to invite the new kid into their gang. Subsequent to her being in the school for a few months, Sarah still had no friends and was dissatisfied by being on her own all the time. She had started to join in with the P. E. essons as her teacher had repudiated to let her miss any more.
After a short time, Sarah began to comprehend that athletics in a wheelchair wasn’t all that bad. She could still do all the throws the same, but for the races she just had to use her arms as a substitute to her legs. In the end, she gave in and decided to join the Paraplegics’ Team, as she thought that maybe she could make friends with them and then they could introduce her to other people. There were another seven girls already on the team and with Sarah it brought them to a total of eight so there was no excuse for her not to have a partner to train with.
After a month or so of training, the girls still refused to talk to her and Sarah was still depressed. Only now she didn’t spend all her time crying, but training. Her first athletics match was due in a week and she would be racing the 1500 metres. She was anxious to make a good impression on the girls, so put all her efforts into training for the competition. On the morning of the race, Sarah felt the same uneasy feeling that she had on her first day of the new school. Her bag was packed and she wore the blue t-shirt under the matching blue tracksuit of the school’s athletics uniform.
It was all new, and her mum had ironed it for her the night before. They packed the car, and Sarah, along with her mum and dad, set off for the school. Not only was Sarah tense about the race, she was also apprehensive about the way in which the other girls would treat her if she never won and they lost because of her. Sarah’s event wasn’t until one of the last races, which gave her even longer to become progressively nervous. Their school hadn’t won a single event, which put more and more demands onto Sarah.
At long last it was her event, and for the first time since she had been at the school, someone said something pleasant to her. It was only two small words, but they meant the world to Sarah and made her feel 200% better. As her name was called out for the event and she left the team, one of the girls shouted ‘Good Luck’ to her. Sarah was so satisfied and overwhelmed, that she felt like kissing her. All her nerves were quickly removed, and she knew that she could win the race. As she waited for the race to start, she went over everything that she had learnt in training. On your marks, get set, Bang! ” The gun had gone off, and the race had started. Sarah pushed with all her might and by the end of the third lap she was way out in front. Only 300 metres to go and she would win. Just as they were approaching the finishing line, someone caught up with her and was directly beside her. Sarah was getting tires, but she wouldn’t be beaten now. She depended on this race to win her some friends, so she had to do it. With one last push, Sarah hurled forwards and crossed the finishing line first. She’d done it!
She’d won and could hardly believe it. Everyone came rushing over to her, saying well done and congratulating her on such a great achievement. The other girls all hugged and patted her on the back. She had done it! Not only had she won the race, but also she had made friends. It had worked. She looked over at her mum and dad, and an enormous smile spread across her face. A smile that had been missing for so long. As the gold medal was placed around her neck, Sarah beamed with happiness. Maybe being in a wheelchair wasn’t as bad as she had thought.