by: Rebecca Taylor
From this week’s writing prompt.
Sometimes I wonder why I’m here. What am I truly doing here, in this world all at once full of mystery and magic and malice? Why am I a part of it? Then I remember that I’m here because I have a gift. I have a gift that no one else does; one that will control my destiny and other’s. My gift is the inability to give up on others. Perhaps, that sounds cliché or just another word for determination, but with me it is different. This gift or curse, depending on where you stand, refuses to let me walk away from people who are in trouble or doing wrong. It means that I see tons of pain but also sometimes the reward when these people come out of the darkness and see that the world can be beautiful despite the trauma they have dealt with. Where does my gift find me? In a rehabilitation center where I can use what I’ve got to help others. I’m the one they call when a patient comes in and refuses to try to work with the staff to improve his or her life. My reputation has earned me some rather interesting and harsh nicknames along the way but that is just the way it is. Even if I thought that tomorrow I could walk away and start a new life on some bright and sunny island with no problems, I wouldn’t be able to leave until I had dealt with my last patient and by then I’d have more.
Besides, everywhere I go my so-called gift follows me. It’s been with me forever. My friends growing up were kids who needed help, and even though a lot of their family issues were messy I didn’t have a choice but to sit and listen to what they had to say and ask my parents what to do about it and nag them until they made sure that everything was going to be alright. At the time I think everyone just thought I was a good Samaritan kid or a show‑off but the truth is I was too young to understand some of these kids problems. However, I grew up and didn’t get to stay naïve forever. The worst night of my life was prom. Some of my classmates snuck out to the alley across the street with alcohol and as the night went on, some of them got very drunk and into a fight. Things turned ugly and I ended up out there, something made me go there. One minute I was dancing with my date and the next I was in the alley yelling at Tommy Unger and Bobby West to stop fighting. It was terrifying, they were using broken bottles as weapons and they each already had cuts on their arms and faces. They were too intoxicated to be reasonable and for some reason I stepped between them. I have a long jagged scar on my left arm to prove it, but somehow seeing the blood flowing from me, in my pretty blue prom dress stopped them in their tracks. I don’t give up, but that doesn’t always mean I am smart about my tactics, but I’m learning more with each passing day.
And who am I? Lizzie Yougetti, a trained physical therapist with a bad rap and a binder full of notes from previous patients. People might not like me but I don’t have any choice but to get the job done. But on today’s agenda, is a task I am going to cherish for a long time, showing a man’s family that he is walking again, and who will be with him? His infant daughter who is also learning how to take her first steps. Moments like this make me remember that there is a reason I have the “gift” that I do.