Chapter 10: Major Setback in Their Plans

"So," Nurse Taylor smiled as Bryce wheeled into the physical therapy room. "Think you're ready to try the crutches today?"

"I've been looking forward to it ever since you suggested it," Bryce admitted.

"I have to warn you, Bryce," the nurse said, her tone not unkind, "this will be very difficult and extremely uncomfortable."

"At least I'll be out of this chair," Bryce observed. "That's worth any discomfort in my opinion."

"Okay, then," Nurse Taylor told him. "Now, first I want to see you with the bars again."

Bryce grabbed the two bars and carefully pulled himself up out of the chair. He'd stumbled the first few times, but now he found he could lift himself without overbalancing.

"Well done," Nurse Taylor praised. "You've come a long way these past four weeks.

Bryce felt a moment of dizziness. He supposed he had just stood up too fast in his eagerness to get out of the chair.

"Let's first see how you do getting from one end of the bars to the other," Nurse Taylor suggested.

Setting his jaw in determination, Bryce made his way slowly and carefully to the other end of the exercise bars.

"Well done!" Nurse Taylor smiled. "Okay, now. I'm going to give you these crutches one at a time. Use the bars to balance yourself, and only take each crutch when you feel certain you are ready."

Bryce took the first crutch. With one hand on the bar, he placed the crutch under his arm, wincing as it lifted him up to his toes.

"Looks a little high," Nurse Taylor told him, taking it back and adjusting it. "Try it now."

"Much better," Bryce said as the crutch fit nicely under his arm.

"Are you ready for the other one?" Nurse Taylor asked.

"Just a moment, I feel a little dizzy," Bryce told him.

"Do you want to sit back down?" the nurse asked.

"No," Bryce replied. "I j-..."

He was on the floor, unconscious, a moment later.

Nurse Taylor tried to revive him, but Bryce was unresponsive. She pressed the emergency button on the wall.

"What's going on?" Jenny asked from the checkers table as the siren sound drew near. She got up and went to the elevator, hoping she'd get to the first floor before whichever of her friends was in need of a doctor was gone.

Reaching the first floor, she saw the paramedics lifting Bryce onto the stretcher.

"Bryce!" she cried out, rushing to them.

"Stay back, miss," the paramedics told her.

"Please, he's my friend!"

"Miss, just stay back. We have to get him to the hospital as quickly as possible."

"Bryce…" Jenny tried to rushed forward again.

"Miss Wilcox," Dr. Benson said, "I'm sorry. He's in a coma."


"I'm sure the doctors at the hospital will keep us up to date."

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