Marie hadn’t been a quadriplegic her entire life; the water-skiing accident had created her new existence for her, momentarily flipping her body and her world upside down and putting her in harm’s way as she headed toward the boat and a new existence at an insane velocity; destiny approaching, hurtling towards her at life-changing speed.

Now some months later she was beginning to see the possibility of a life ahead of her, something that might just have value after all, although being honest she was having difficulty seeing that future as she sat frustratedly on the floor trying to dress herself.

“Get a grip, Marie!” she said to herself as she pulled the zipper up with her teeth and used what remained of her torn and battered ligaments to wiggle herself into her outfit, the same outfit she’d been wearing for almost a week now – why couldn’t she just buy more of them and be done with it instead of pretending that she’d just wash it when she got a chance?

It wasn’t that Marie didn’t like shopping – far from it, it was having to deal with all of the strange, uncomfortable looks from passers by, the nervous disposition of the shop assistants – not sure whether they should ask her if she needed help or leave her to her independent self.

The bottom line, rationalized Marie, was that people found her awkward, and that made them feel awkward; she resolved to form the opinion that in fact it was they that had the problem and not her, and with that thought she headed out into the brand new day – it was time for some retail therapy.



Lillie McFerrin

30 thoughts on “Awkward

  1. Sarah says:

    A thought provoking piece of writing especially after the recent paralympics which showed just what people can achieve despite their limitations.
    And that awkwardness that I can even feel taking hold of me how as I become aware of my own prejudices.
    Lovely piece of writing.

  2. Your first sentence drew me right in with the horror of what happened to her, it made me wonder how I’d cope…probably not well. Very well written Andrew.

  3. Sisyphus47 says:

    A well written post on a delicate situation, your choice of words around Marie’s predicament is just on cue – becoming disabled is far worse – I guess – than being so from start? A sensitive piece 🙂

    • Andrew says:

      Being disabled from birth affords a “normality” to the situation that is not afforded by injurious disability. The latter is a tough mountain to climb, and sometimes that peak can never be reached. There but for the grace of God…. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Good for her! A few years ago my cousin was in a terrible accident that resulted in her leg being amputated above the knee. I moved in with her for a year while she learned how to liver her life. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis three years ago and now I’ve also been learning how to live a new life. It’s tough, but it’s the kind of no nonsense attitude that Marie has that will get you though!! We are all so much strong than we think 🙂 God has definitely been showing me that!

    Really great writing!!!

    • Andrew says:

      More power to you Lillie! I’ve seen amazing things from people with disabilities. Incredible things. You can’t let it rule your life, you have to LIVE your life!

  5. Anna says:

    What an incredibly thought-provoking prose. When told this way, it strikes you so differently. I like Marie’s attitude. She didn’t let her condition get in the way or trample her positivity and self-worth. I enjoyed reading this. (More so, the take away after reading this.)

    • Andrew says:

      Thank you Anna. The key to adversity is a positive attitude. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment.

  6. Sarah Mac says:

    A really interesting take on the prompt. Your character has such strength. It never fails to amaze me how people overcome adversity, it’s very humbling.

    • Andrew says:

      I’ve seen amazing strength from people with disabilities Sarah. It can be awe inspiring. Thanks for your comment.

  7. TheOthers1 says:

    Go on, Marie! Get your shop on. I liked your interpretation of awkward and your description of her accident. ” destiny approaching, hurtling towards her at life-changing speed.” Love that line. Nicely done.

  8. Can’t really add anything to what the others have said except to echo – wonderful writing.

  9. McGuffyAnn says:

    Very thought provoking! I’m new here…

  10. I really loved this story, Andrew. You showed great care to portray not only the struggles and frustration of physical limiations, but also the determination that is essential to continuing with life… and all in five sentences! I think your character is wise in her assessment that the things which make us feel awkward are often not so much about us at all… a healthy perspective!

  11. Sandra says:

    A strong piece that hits home. It is the awkwardness of others that represents one of the biggest frustrations for disabled people. Well done.

  12. Mayumi-H says:

    Nice job confronting the boundaries of what most of us call “normalcy,” especially when related to something simple like dressing. I like that Marie’s got such a strong sense of self so recently after her accident. And I love that she still revels in activities like shopping!

  13. I love how this story invites us to examine our own reactions and biases, but that it does so without judgement or blame. Really nicely done.

  14. Kate says:

    A double whammy of awkwardness! I really liked this.
    It would be interesting to read this from the shop assistants viewpoint too.

  15. JazzBumpa says:

    Life is what you make it – unless you let other people define it for you.


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