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26th April
posted by amber

Jonah’s Dream

I’m at a birthday party. I’m dancing, left foot, right foot, hips swinging one way then another, round and round. A circle of girls rotates the other way and I’m making my steps shorter so that when the music stops I’ll be right in front of her. The new girl in school with the pretty red hair.

She blushes easily. When Mrs. Powers said that Dirk had to pretend to be her husband in the wedding game, Dirk said he wouldn’t marry her and Jessika’s face turned as red as her hair. I liked it. My favourite aunt turns red like that. But all the other kids laughed at her.

I said I would marry her. Mrs. Powers gave me a plastic flower to pin on my shirt and she put a piece of curtain or something on Jessika’s head. All the kids threw little bits of coloured paper at us and now we’re doing this dance.

This is fun. I can’t wait to tell my friends, Matt and Luc, about it.

But maybe I shouldn’t. They think girls are silly and I bet they think dancing is silly too.

I know I can’t talk to Jessika at school. Boys and girls can’t be friends at school. But when I’m old enough to have a girlfriend, I want Jessika to be my girlfriend.

But I’m not going to be able to stop in front of her when the music stops. We’re too far from each other and my wheelchair won’t go fast enough.

Now she’s walking away from me quickly, carrying a picnic basket. I realize I’m not a grade 3 anymore. In grade 3, I could walk.

I’m an adult, and I just took Jessie out on our first date. And she’s mad at me because I thought it was a joke when she asked me out in high school. I’m mad at me too. When did I change my mind about wanting her to be my girlfriend? The kids still laugh at her because she is so shy and blushes so easily, but I should know better than that. Why don’t I?

No, I do, now. I was cruel to her in high school, but I’m older now. Losing the use of my legs has made me grow up, fast. I want to make a future for myself, and I want her in it.

The minute I think this thought, a darkness descends. I’m trapped, I’m cold, I’m feeling very far away from Jessie.

No! It’s been too great of a struggle – her feelings for me all those years when I’d forgotten about our early connection, my pursuit of her after meeting her again after my accident. I have to overcome this darkness. I have to find my way back to Jessie.

My legs won’t work. My eyes won’t work. But I can twitch my hands a little. Yes, they’re moving. Tied down with something. Okay, got that loose. And my eyes – they do work, there’s a cloth over them.

Push the cloth away. Try to talk.

Something in my throat. Pull it out, even if it makes me gag.

Still can’t see. No, wait, I can, a bit. The room is dark. I don’t recognize the room, but the smell’s familiar. I’m in a hospital, and I think it’s night time.

Someone in a chair next to my bed. Snoring gently.

It’s Jessie.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

By popular demand, here’s the final story of the Jessie and Jonah series.

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