‘Over time, and with plenty of practice, you’ll manage,’ said Marty. He was putting me to bed for the night, arranging my legs under a makeshift tent blanket. The moon boot was bulky, and the sheet caught on the Velcro straps.
‘I’ll check on you later,’ he said. He winked and mouthed Love you as he pulled the door to.
My leg throbbed. Boom. Boom. Boom. I reached for the painkillers beside my bed, given to me before I left the hospital. Tablets with an unpronounceable name, with codeine in it. Take with food, they said. Don’t wait to feel pain, they said. Too late, I mused.
I swallowed two tablets with a glass of water; ate a biscuit that Marty left on a tray with a teapot and cup. Wriggling around in search of a comfortable position, I winced when I felt a pull and a pinch deep inside my leg.
‘Shit!’ I arched my back in pain.
I lay my head on the pillow, self-piteous thoughts swirled like soft-serve ice-cream. One stupid hike, one bump in the trail, and now I have to wear this stupid thingamajig. For eight weeks.
‘Aarrgh!’ I yowled in frustration.
I threw my pillow against the wall; it knocked over the trinkets on the dresser. I sat up to survey the damage: one glass jewellery box, my grandmother’s, smashed into pieces. A shard caught the moon light coming in through the french doors, making a rainbow fractal. Pretty.
I heard Marty calling my name. His steps coming this way.
‘I’m alright babe,’ I called out.
He opened the door. ‘You right?’
‘Just annoyed at myself. A broken leg from a hike. Who does that happen to?’
‘I think you might be surprised, babe,’ he said, sitting on his side of the bed. ‘Probably happens more than you think.’
His eyes flicked across to the mess on the floor. Then back to me.
‘I know. It’s Gran’s…irreplaceable.’ Tears welled in my eyes.
‘Mostly large pieces. You want me to see if I can glue it back together?’
I shook my head. The room spun. ‘Nah. Thanxsshough.’ My words were slurring. I yawned.
He stroked my forehead. ‘You look tired. Rest now. I’ll sleep in the guest room tonight, but call out if you need anything. OK?’
‘Yeaashhure,’ I responded as my heavy lids closed, blacking out the pity and pain.