Legs and confidence
Loads worse off than me, I know, Maria keeps telling me. She’s my oldest friend… not quite back as far as school but not far off.
With just the TV for company, there’s nothing to do but sit and stare at it… and eat.
“Chins up,” she tells me then laughs as if that would make me feel better.
It’s alright for her; she’s got a job, a man in her life. She said I could go out with them but who wants to be a gooseberry? She suggested it again today, said they’re going to the cinema but back row for three? No, thank you. Besides, I think Andy’s a little jealous of our friendship.
Maria buys me the local paper every week… for the jobs section, I’m sure, or maybe the dating column, or both.
She says she’s done with it but I know she’s not read it. She’s not careful enough with stuff to leave it that tidy-looking.
She brings me teabags too, knows I get through them too quickly, even at two cups a bag.
Almost at the end of the milk, so better ration it. She takes a lot in her drinks so that doesn’t help but I don’t mind, she’s good to me… said that already, didn’t I?
Some people love being at home all the time but I hate it. I want to work, really I do, but Maria doesn’t understand why I’m hesitant. I suppose she just likes to remember the old me, the sporty me, the pre-Afghanistan me. The ‘me’ with legs and confidence.
“You’ll get new ones soon,” she says, and I’ve seen the Paralympics, I can see what’s possible but it’s years of work, isn’t it.
Maria says I won’t look forward but what is there to look forward to? I lost her when Andy came on the scene. OK, that’s not fair. I pushed her away, but she didn’t leave completely, won’t leave for good, like I told her to… shouted at her to.
I should be grateful… I am, really I am, but…
“Write it down,” she said. “Like an autobiography. It’ll be therapy.”
I shook my head but she put the paper and pen in front of me anyway, kissed me on the cheek and left for her date with Angus Andy.
So here I am. TV switched off, remote at the other end of the room (thanks, Maria) and I have to write. Something, anything…
‘Legs and Confidence by Tom Butler’.
** NEW!! You can now subscribe to the mixed blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!
or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008E88JN0 for outside the UK **
You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my Books (including my debut novel!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers.
Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.