A chapel, built of stone, in an area of broken down ruins, perhaps. That’s the photoprompt from KL Caley at New2Writing.com for #writephoto this week. I enjoyed developing this idea. It’s amazing what you can see in a photograph. Just under 500 words this time.
It wasn’t an easy entrance to the little chapel, but with the hard ground beneath the grass causing no difficulty on the approach, she would just about make the turn to get inside.
Getting around a place like this in a wheelchair was no easy thing.
It had been quite a fight to be allowed in. Not from the staff, or ‘welcome team’ as they termed themselves. No, Chris and her mother had pooh-poohed the whole idea. When the accident happened, they’d been supportive. They’d visited her twice and three times a week when she’d been in the Spinal Rehabilitation Unit at Stoke Mandeville. They’d listened to the specialists, and kept long faces when her mentor said there was nothing she should think was beyond her scope. Somewhere, someone with injuries like hers would be doing things that others thought were impossible. Call him whenever she felt limited, or had doubts. Any time.
She had called him again last night. It wasn’t the first time she’d needed to keep her head focused on her goal, when Chris and Mother cajoled her to rest, to give up, that these things were not possible any more.
“Accept your limitations, dear, you’ll feel happier in yourself.”
No, she would not. She would feel stifled. And whatever her mother said about not being able to give a man a meaningful marriage, she knew that on this occasion, her mother was wrong.
Sitting in the chair at the top of the slope, the words returned to her. Had her mother given her father a meaningful marriage? Was that where the problem lay? As a child, she’d asked several times about a brother or sister, but been told it was rude to ask. Eventually she’d stopped. Then she overheard some talk at her mum’s coffee morning. Maybe Mother hadn’t wanted another child for many reasons. She certainly poured all her love into looking after her only daughter. And father disappeared off to foreign parts on his business trips until one day he didn’t return. Lost in the jungle, or so she’d understood. While she was in hospital, she’d come up with a much more plausible reason. Time spent flat on her back in hospital had given her a chance to review many things.
And now, she had a very important mission to accomplish.
Wheel herself down the slope and into the chapel.
Her mentor would be there, waiting for her. And beside him, the para-athlete who’d encouraged her to reach out beyond her dreams and become a champion, despite her mother and step-mother.
Good thing her mentor was a licensed celebrant, and the chapel still registered for the sacrament of marriage.
She started the controlled roll down the grassy slope, accurately navigated the start of the ramp, and turned neatly into the chapel. And inside, someone’s iPad sent out the strains of the Mendelssohn wedding march.
© J M Pett 2022