A Day of Thanksgiving
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2014 Short Story 9-10 1st Place
The long sandy beach seemed to go on forever, and there wasn’t another person in sight. Angela, a teenage girl, decided that it was a perfect morning to go and relax on the sand. She felt the gentle breeze caressing her face and shoulders as she closed her green eyes. Angela sat back in her chair and felt the comforting warmth from the sun drift over her arms to her fingertips. She heard the waves roll onto the shore and could almost imagine the clear water glide over the soft, flattened sand. Angela carefully lowered her arm and picked up a handful of sand and rolled the small grains along her fingertips. She suddenly heard new sounds in the distance, sounds of laughter.
“Tom, you’re burying me! I’ll never get out of this sand!” A girl joked.
As Angela delicately opened her eyes, she made out two figures in the sand; one was a boy with sleek blond hair about her age with milky skin, and the other figure was a girl with dark brown eyes, and long, silky black hair that glistened with grains of sand folded among the various layers.
As Angela watched, the two children got up and ran into the water. She was then reminded of her confinement to the chair beneath her as she glanced down at her lifeless legs, limp underneath the hawaiian beach towel on her lap.
Angela remembered the times when she too could wriggle her toes deep into the cool, moist sand as the tiny waves would playfully rise to embrace her ankles on the shoreline. She would always dive into the waves headfirst and pretend she was a mermaid as she kicked her legs that propelled her to the surface. Angela compared herself with the mobile children running in the surf and began to feel pangs of resentment and sadness as she imagined the chain which trapped her in the wheelchair. Angela asked herself the recurring question, “Why me?”
Angela remembered how her life was before the car accident on that terrible night while driving home from soccer practice. The roads were gloomy and the street lights were dim as Angela watched the houses whiz by from the car window.
“Way to go today, honey. You made three goals!” Angela’s mother had said enthusiastically.
Practice had been exhilarating; Angela had run as fast as she could, her breathing ragged, and blue cleats a blur as they gripped the loose soil. Angela would never forget the feel of the smooth, round ball as she swung her leg back to kick it into the net.
When the traffic light turned green, her flashback ended abruptly as a car raced across the intersection and collided with the passenger side of the car where Angela sat. She woke up to bright lights in the hospital and realized she would never make a soccer goal again.
Seeing the girl and boy run in the surf in front of her made her recall the days where she too could splash around and jump for joy in the water. The conflict within her caused a tear droplet to trickle down her cheek. Then, however, as she often had done over the past years, Angela began to think of the advice her counselor had given her. She brushed the tear away, and counted her blessings. The accident may have taken things from her, but Angela knew she was still fortunate. She once again concentrated on the feel of the warm sun on her arms and cool breeze on her face as she said a short prayer of thanksgiving.