Droplets of rain bounce off the windscreen like they're part of some insane squash game with too many balls. The 1.8 litre Toyota engine idles, and the sole occupant of the vehicle becomes unaware of the AM static trying its best to disrupt the end of a Spandau Ballet song. Chin resting atop folded hands on a leather steering wheel, she stares through the rain at a pair of billboards.
The QANTAS Socceroos stare back, eleven faces the world had come to know as faces of Australia. In the woman's mind, a twelfth person joins the celebrities, an eighteen year old university student in a wheelchair. An otherwise perfectly healthy man in a wheelchair because his knees collapsed so he could never walk again. She was there the night it happened, come to pick him up from tennis training. Month after month became year after year as she watched him train and play and progress. Award after award, he rose closer and closer towards the top of his sport. Further and further he pushed himself, his coaches pushed him, his fans pushed him, the winnings pushed him, the hunger to win pushed him. His body couldn't take it any more, but he didn't stop. That night, he'd collapsed on the court, groaning in pain. Now what did he have to show for it? A wheelchair. And who remembered him? No one.
Tears stream down the woman's cheeks, bouncing off her dashboard like the rain on her windscreen as she recounts her son's final moments in the hospital. He'd been rolling across the street in the rain just after dark nearly a year ago, and the truck driver didn't see him in time. If he had been able to walk across that road, the driver would have seen him, and he would have been able to get out of the way fast enough even if he didn't. She still couldn't understand how she'd let it happen. Why? She asks herself yet again, why did she help him pursue a dream that killed him? Was it really worth it? Did he die for something? She blows her nose, and her eyes re-focus.
Chokito says no
Inspired by a crippled former-athlete, and Quincy, M.E. S6E5 "The Hope Of Elkwood"