>This is an unfinished story. However, I run the risk of ruining what I have if I push it into a better story format. Right now it will be codenamed “Exchange” while I let it simmer on the back burner. Enjoy what I have.
Adam’s dad has been paralyzed by a car accident. Adam has a little brother who is comfortable with their dad’s disability (because he doesn’t remember him any other way). Adam has an older sister who has come to terms with the disability. Adam use to play soccer with his dad, which he can’t do anymore. Adam’s dad tried therapy for a while but soon quit (he has one of those conditions that therapy most likely won’t help). Adam really dreads the fact that his dad will never walk again. He wants to play soccer with his dad. He begins to think his dad doesn’t like him anymore.
Adam prays that his dad will be cured of his paralysis. He tells God that he would give anything to have his dad walk again.
Adam cuts grass for this older man, who is a professional writer, and literature/writing professor at a local college. Adam will talk with him after cutting the grass, sometimes to the point where it gets too dark for Adam to walk (or ride his bike) back home. Every now and then, Adam will just walk over there. This man is very smart and is like a grandfather figure to Adam.
One day, Adam goes to the old man’s house, on a skateboard (he is running away). It looks like a storm is coming. Adam passes some teens who are “racing” their cars and peeling out and such. He gets to the old mans house and they talk. Adam’s parents call and the man acts like it was a colleague calling to make sure that a paper got to him, because he needs to return it. So the man convinces Adam to go home. The storm has rolled in and it is raining quite hard. Adam warns the man about the teens and he in turn realizes that Adam is not buckled in. He tells Adam to get buckled. Adam says he’s fine when they get blindsided by the teenagers, knocked off the road, and roll down a hill. Adam was thrown out of the car.
At the same time, Adams dad is regaining the use of his legs, and he doesn’t know it.
Adam wakes up in the hospital. A nurse is there to check him out. He has been out for nearly 2 days. Adam asks about his legs; why are they so stiff and cold… Adam realizes that he can’t move his legs! He begins to freak out. The nurse calls a doctor in and he begins to look for something, but then Adam begins to wiggle his toes and the feeling begins to return.
Adams parents are told that this could be an issue in the future.
So Adam is released. He’s ok, but has doctor visits he has to keep up on.
One day while the family is in the van going to a movie, a catchy song with a good beat comes on the radio. Adam’s little brother points out that their dad is tapping his foot. Mom stops the car (in the middle of an intersection). They begin to watch as he continues to move his foot, and not sparatically. They take him to the therapist. Tests are done. The doctors are astounded, as Adam’s dad continues to push himself and regain his mobility.
Adam, on the other hand, is having some problems… he “tripped” over nothing at school. One of his legs gave out while playing indoor soccer. He thinks he knows what’s happening but doesn’t want it to be real, so he pretends the condition doesn’t exist. One day, his mom is taking him to school an he has the same cold, stiffness come over his legs. When they get to the school his mom tells him to get out and go to school. He has this look on his face, almost of terror. His mom asks him what’s wrong. He looks at her with tears in his eyes and with a horrified shriek in his voice he says, “I can’t walk.”
Adam is taken to the emergency room. They run some tests, do some x-rays, and find nothing wrong. They explain that the spine and spinal cord are very fragile and the slightest misalignment of the spine can cause killer migraines. So being thrown out of a car could, and most likely should, do a lot more damage. They bring up the options, such as therapy. Adam is not so optimistic. He knows why he is paralyzed.
Adam has no doubt in his mind that the reason he is paralyzed is because his dad is not. The “miracle” that is his dad’s recovery was given in exchange for “anything” that Adam had to give. God apparently chose his own “anything” instead of checking with Adam, first. So there is no need to go to therapy. There is no need to work on anything. Adam is a paraplegic and there is nothing anyone on earth can do about this.
Adam becomes horribly introverted. He becomes angry. He turns away from the world.
He is upset that his only wish, to have a dad he can play soccer with, has been doused by irony.
However, Adam’s dad remembers what Adam said to him. “Why do you hate me?” Adam was upset that his dad stopped going to therapy because (he believed) he didn’t want to play soccer with him. But he’s not about to let Adam think that any of this was ever true.
Adam’s dad begins forcing him to go to therapy. More over, he begins to help Adam with his therapy, since he knows it all. Adam sees this, at first, as a poor attempt to rekindle their relationship, so as not to be labeled as a bad father. However, after a visit from the old man, Adam begins to realize that it wasn’t an exchange of legs that brought his dad’s legs bag, it was an overpowering feeling of love. Adam begins to think once again of all the times he played soccer with his dad. He uses this feeling as his inspiration to push through therapy.
One evening, Adam and his dad are driving home from therapy when they get in an accident. Adam has to army-crawl to his dad’s cell phone. However, the phone is up a small drop-off. So, he pushes himself and his legs seem to come alive to help lift him up the drop-off. He grabs the phone, falls back down the drop, and calls 9-1-1.
Adam is certain this can’t be good. So, when they go to pick up his dad from the hospital, Adam stays outside. He looks as his dad is wheeling his way down the hall, coming towards the doors. His stomach sinks and he begins to feel empty inside, as if everything he has done was in vain from the very beginning. But as his dad crosses the doorway, he stands up and gives the chair back to the nurse (wheelchair is hospital policy). Adam gets out of the car and hobbles over to his dad in his crutches. Adam is well on his way to getting full mobility back, and his dad still has his mobility. They can once again play soccer, and be father and sun.