Open Plains

Chapter 8

It took about thirty minutes before my parents and Darren's mother arrived. When they got there they asked us what was going on. We told them everything that happened from my problems getting in the door to the elevator lady and science teacher but also how nice Mrs. Whiner and Mr. Jakes had been.

The principle came out and they all introduced themselves then went into his office. About twenty minutes later they came back out. The principle just looked at us for a minute. Then he turned to Mrs. Harper.

"I would like to apologize for my actions and the way I treated the both of you." She began. "I didn't realize that Billy went through so much. I also didn't realize how smart he is. I am used to when people getting hurt they think that they should have special treatment. I guess I need to look at everyone on in individual bases for now on." She finished.

I looked at Darren and he nodded.

"That's Ok Mrs. Harper we understand, I just hope that you realize that just because someone is different that that doesn't mean that they should have special treatment. I understand that there are going to be kids who do need it, but trust me I may get to class a minute or so late but short of that I don't think I need anything special." I said.

"I accept your apology as well." Darren said. She thanked us then left to head to her classroom.

"Well boys I think you need to be heading to your next class." The principle said.

"Yes sir" we replied. We told our parents bye and that we loved them then headed off to our next class. For me that was history and for Darren it was English since we both just missed our first class.

We separated and met back up for lunch. My history class was cool but as always I hated math so that wasn't that good. But hey I'm back in school and that is all that matters. Darren said that his classes were going good as always except for a pop quiz in history.

I told him we had it to but since I was new it wouldn't count against me. We had lunch together then headed for our next classes. By 6th period I was tired and my arms were sore. Darren and I meet up in the gym class and ran right into the gym teacher. I looked up and up. He must have been like 7 feet tall. Man he was the biggest guy I have ever seen.

"6'8" he said smiling down at me. I gulped and nodded my head. Darren was laughing so hard he was leaning against the wall. I turned and looked at him.

"He he, sorry Billy but the look on your face," He said laughing again.

"Oh like you didn't look at me the same way when you first got here." The gym teacher said, then laughed, I too joined in. "You must be Billy Matthews; I'm your gym teacher Mr. Smith. I know you can't do a lot but after you got signed up I called your physical therapist and she told me what you were doing, and how I could help you build up the muscles in your arms." He said, at that I winced. And he looked concerned. "You ok?" he asked.

I nodded, "Yes sir my arms are just very tired from all of the wheeling I've been doing." I said.

Darren looked at me and I could tell that he wanted to hold me but we knew he couldn't.

"Hmm, ok. Mrs. Blain said that that might happen. Go ahead and get changed and I'll see you all out here. Darren since you're his friend help him." He said. Darren nodded his head and wheeled me into the locker room.

When we went in the guys kinda of stopped and stared. Darren kept going till he got to his locker. There was an empty one next to his and I took it. I got out of my chair and started on my pants.

"You need some help?" Darren asked me.

"Naw I got this, just wheel my chair if you don't mind." I said.

He nodded his head. I finally finished changing and got back in my chair. Darren had finished long ago and waited on me.

Once in my chair Darren wheeled me out to the gym.

The guy's all stared are me as Darren wheeled me to the bleachers. The Coach called the class to order then did roll call. Afterwards he had them start on a game of basketball.

Coach Daniels took me over to some weights and gave me ten pound bar bells. He had me start on those.

"Mrs. Blain says that this is the amount you use in PT. As you know this will help you to strengthen up your arms. I want five reps of fifteen each." He said then walked away to help with the basketball game going on.

After I did my five reps the coach took me to the parallel bars and had me to pull myself up and then lower myself back into my chair. I did as many of those as I could. When I was finished he let me go and take a shower.

I was embarrassed going into the locker room and showering with other boys. I know we all have the same thing but it is still embarrassing.

I got out of my cloths and was about to wheel myself into the shower area when the coach came in. I covered myself up and he just smiled.

"Don't worry I have seen them all before. Here's your towel you get them from over there and when you're finished you put them in that basket. Also since you're in a wheelchair and you don't want to get it wet you can go and use that shower there. There is a chair in there that is especially made for that shower so you won't get our chair wet." He said.

"Ok thanks" I replied. He walked out and I went into the stall. I got in the chair pushed my wheelchair out and shut the curtain. I showered then dried off. I got back in my chair wheeled myself over to my locker and changed.

As I was going out into the gym to wait on Darren the other boys came in and started stripping to take their showers. Darren smiled at me.

"I'll be out in a few." He said. I nodded my head and went into the gym. The coach was putting up the basketballs when he noticed me sitting there. He came over and talked with me.

"So what do you think so far?" he asked.

"I like it. I'm glad I'm able to take gym." I said he smiled at that.

"I'm glad that you are too. There will be a few things that you will be able to do with the class but a lot of things you aren't going to be able to do. On those days you will do the bells and the bars to help your strength." With that he turned and walked away.

A few minutes later Darren walked out and came up to me.

"Hey so what did you think?" he asked. I smiled at him.

"I loved it." The bell rang about then.

"Well I guess that is our cue I'll walk you to your bus." He said.

"Thanks" we started walking and a few of the guys from gym class joined us.

"Hey Billy I'm Jarred and this is Ben, and Tony. Nice to meet you, we heard all about you from Darren here. So how was your first day?" he asked. He seemed real nice and didn't mind me being in a wheelchair at all.

"Cool thanks for asking. A few people seem to want to avoid me but hey that's there problem not mine." I said smiling back. He nodded his head.

"Yeah there are a few jerks here but don't worry about them they won't bother you. See you tomorrow" with that he left.

I got to the bus and Darren left me to get to his and he told me he will call me later, I reminded him I have PT today so he said he would wait till tonight. I agreed.

Mrs. Lewis helped me onto the bus.

"So how was your first day dear?" she asked.

"Pretty good, thanks." She just smiled and closed the door. We left and about twenty minutes later Mrs. Lewis let me out of the bus in front of my house.

I wheeled myself up to the ramp and looked up it. I knew I could wheel myself up it and all but still I was too tired to deal with it. I grabbed the wheels and was about to start up the ramp when I felt hands on the chair. I turned and saw Ben there.

"Hey can I help?" he asked smiling down at me. I smiled back.

"Yes please my arms are so tired." I said, he just laughed and wheeled me up the ramp. We got up the ramp with no problems and I unlocked the door. We went in and went to the kitchen for a snack.

"So how was school?" he asked handing me some cookies and a glass of milk.

"It was fun. Darren's there and he helped me when he could, had a problem with the science teacher but other then that and a few of the kids looking at me funny not much else happened. What about you, how is your preppy school doing?" I asked smiling at him. He chuckled.

"Fine gimp." he responded, we both laughed as I shot him the bird. We sat down and started our homework. We were finished by 3:30, and my sister and Mom came home by then as well.

Ben helped me into the car and put my wheelchair in the back for me. We said our goodbyes and Mom took me to my therapy lesson.

At therapy Mrs. Blain had me use more weights to help build up the muscles in my arms and to help me stay in shape. She also had me lie down and use a triangle pulley that I could lift myself up with so I could stay in shape as well.

One of the final things she had me do before the massage was the parallel bar again. I had to pull myself up and with my arms move across the bars. When I got to the end Mrs. Blain was there with my wheelchair and let me sit down for a few minutes, and then I was up again and was back across the bars. When I got across this I sat down and was finished for the day.

Mrs. Blain did the massage on my legs and reminded me to use either a hot pack or a whirlpool if I could to help the muscle relax and to help circulation. I told her I would and she let me go. I reminded Mom about that whirlpool and she asked me if I really looked at my bathtub.

I told her no and she told me to have a better look.

When we got home I went to my room and look at the bathtub and noticed a switch to help circulate the waters just like in a whirlpool. Cool. I took off my cloths filled up the tub and got in when it was filled up about half way. I turned on the whirlpool buttons and watched it come to life with a silent hum.

After soaking for about 30 minutes I got out and dried off and put on my shorts with no shirt. I wheeled my self into the living room where my sister and Mom were there.

"Hey whatcha doing?" I asked as I wheeled myself next to the couch.

"Just watching some TV. What about you? Did you soak?" she asked me. I looked and rolled my eyes.

"Yes Mom. I did. I'm going to go and call Darren now ok." I said. She nodded her head and I wheeled myself back to my room. I went and got on my bed and called Darren. He picked up a few rings later.

"Hey Darren how are you?" I asked smiling. He laughed.

"Fine Billy, how was therapy?"

"It was ok, wore me out but other wise I'm fine. I love you Darren." I said.

"I love you too and I'm glad that it was good." We stayed on the phone for about hour then said our good byes.

When my Dad came home we all sat down and ate our dinner. We talked about our day and what we have all been doing.

I went to bed by 9:30 and was asleep by 10.

The whole week was pretty good and nothing really happened. Mrs. Harper was true to her word and as I told her on Friday a lot better science teacher. I did notice a group of boys looking at me and laughing. I paid them no mind and just stayed talking with Darren.

Darren and his Mom came over for Thanksgiving and we all spent the day together and Darren stayed the night with me. We had a great time holding, kissing and cuddling each other.

Darren and my relationship was really growing. When he came over one day we stayed in the bed kissing and hugging the entire time. He almost got in trouble when his Mom came to get him and he didn't want to get up. I giggled and he finally relented after panting a HUGE kiss on me in front of his Mom and telling me how much he loved me.

When he did that I blushed and just stared into his eyes. I got lost all over again, and I fell in love with him all over again. We stared at each other and he slowly bent down and kissed me again. Finally my Dad had to practically pry us apart much to our disagreement. He just laughed and told us to be nice. I stuck my tongue out at him and Dad just laughed.

Darren slipped from my Dad's hand and rushed over and gave me a quick kiss smiling at me then everyone else. We all laughed and Darren left. I went to sleep and slept a very deep sleep.

A few weeks later at school I noticed that the boys who were laughing at me a few weeks before were still watching me and whispering. I told Darren about it and he noticed it but like me didn't say anything about it because they weren't doing anything wrong.

One day after I got off the bus and the bus pulled away I was at the bottom of the ramp and was about to roll up when I felt hands on my wheelchair. I turned around expecting to see Darren there but when I looked up my smile fell. Standing there were the boys who were laughing at me and staring.

"Well well boys looky here, we have our self's a little crip," said the biggest boy. I tried to wheel myself up the ramp but his hand on the back of my chair stopped me. "Where do you think your going?" he asked me. "We just want to talk." He said.

"About what?" I asked feeling scared and not trying to show it.

"Well we have seen you and that mix-blood boy of yours around the school. If you know what is good for you not only will you stop hanging out with him but you'll leave our school. Boys like you in a chair don't belong and won't last. Your weak and we don't like weak people here." He said. The boys behind him started laughing.

"Whatever, Darren is my friend and I don't care what you think. As for me being in a wheelchair that isn't my choice and I won't leave the school because I'm in a chair and you don't like it. Just because I am in a wheelchair doesn't mean I'm weak. I have an idea if you don't like me then why don't you and your friends leave." I said pushing his hand away from my chair and wheeling myself up the ramp.

As I was going up the ramp the leader of the boys grabbed my chair and pulled me back down. As I hit the bottom of the ramp he pushed my chair over and I fell on the ground. He stood over me and picked me up by the shirt.

"Listen you little shit you're going to go and leave school with your little boyfriend. Just so you know I mean business." With that he punched me in my left eye. He hit me so hard I had tears in my eyes and it was hurting. "Don't even think about telling anyone about us. You do and you won't make it." With that he hit me again. I don't know what happened after that because he hit me so hard my head flew back and made contact with the ground.

I woke up a few minutes later with my head in Jared's lap. My face, ribs, arms, legs, and pretty much my entire body hurt. I don't know how much damage was done but I know it was a lot because of the amount of pain I was in.

"Oh My God Billy what happened?" he asked me.

I looked at him and was only able to say. "Tell Darren I love him." I said in between gasps. With that I passed out into blackness.