For Quinn, the summer moves on at conflicting rates of speed, at once too fast and too slow. Every day comes crashing over her in a wave of routines, rehabs, exercises, and yet, it doesn’t feel as though she’s moving toward anything of substance. Then come the setbacks: strained muscles from over-exertion, falls that lead to broken wrists and fingers, a respiratory infection that puts her back in the hospital for three days. And through it all runs a river of pain, sometimes dull, sometimes piercing, but always present in some form or another. Despite all this, though, everyone keeps telling her how well she’s doing. But Quinn knows there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, no magic moment when this will all be behind her.
The one goal her physical therapist keeps bringing up is driving, but the prospect doesn’t really interest Quinn. It’s not so much that she’s terrified of getting behind the wheel again (though she is), it’s more that she can’t really see the point in it. Even if she could drive, there are too many things that could go wrong, too many of her own systems that could fail on a moment’s notice; she doesn’t think she’ll ever be independent enough to really go anywhere on her own. And that’s the thing that really starts to drive her crazy.