"Here's the truth, guys," I said, looking away from Doctor White and her tweezers. "The accident I was in was worse than I led on. Through some fancy surgery work, Doctor Everett was able to save my life. But, the thing is, I'm not really the same anymore. I'm different now. I'm mostly made of metal and I'm a cyborg, for all intents and purposes. My body isn’t my own and the only thing that is still made of me in my body is my brain…but even that’s mostly a computer now, too, so it’s pretty much moot. I’m a lot stronger than I used to be, which is how I crushed that glass, and I also heal a lot faster now.”
“And painlessly,” said Doctor Everett, flipping through my chart. “Did we forget to mention that? It’s why Doctor White isn’t using any anesthesia.”
“Yeah,” I said, blinking back the tears that were starting to make my vision blurry. “Anyway, I was going to tell you earlier, but my mother wasn’t listening and I didn’t want to have to say it twice.”
“Hey, it’s okay,” said Nova from where she was sitting at the end of my bed. With Doctor Everett and Doctor White surrounding me, they couldn’t get to me, but both Nova and Simon smiled reassuringly. “We don’t judge. I’m been in the hospital more times than the number of bones I have in my body. Simon’s a gym nut and you know is eating standards when he’s working on a piece.”
“It’s true,” said Simon quickly. “Remember the painting I had to do for my portfolio last year? One granola bar the entire week.” I laughed quickly, wiping the tears away from my face. They were telling me they accepted me, even if I wasn’t really me anymore. They weren’t going to throw me out or treat me any differently. To them, I’d always just be Mina, the girl who showed up in third grade looking for a friend.
“Thanks guys. You’re awesome.”
After that, summer went by pretty quickly. The physical therapist said that I was doing well for someone at my stage, although he wanted me to come in once a month so he could monitor my progress. Doctor Everett wanted to keep me under observation for a few months, but I managed to barter with him so that I was only there for two weeks. Moving became a lot easier once I figured out that everything was in reaction to my level of urgency and by the middle of August, I was released from the hospital.
Things wouldn’t be the same, though; now, it was time for me to start college.