By Carmella Dileonardi
To say Grace was late was an understatement. Her alarm didn’t go off and she had a sneaking suspicion it was her loathsome older brother who caused it. She was curious as to why she still called him that, considering the way he regarded her.
Pushing away her irritation, she rounded the school hallway corner hastily. She kept her eyes on the floor, not really wanting to deal with awkward stare-downs as she passed people in the hall—it happened more often than not.
Hitting what she only could assume to be a chest, she nearly let out a strangled cough. It felt more like a brick wall in her opinion, another obstacle the universe had to put in front of her this morning. Today was clearly not her day to be on time, and once she looked up, she realized it wasn’t her day to have a good one either.
“Tremors keep you from starting that hunk of metal you call a car, June?” asked Trevor. Tremors, a common effect of Parkinson’s. Yes, more than 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease, and Grace is one of them.
She regarded Trevor with hatred that even the pounding thunder outside couldn’t match. Furrowing her brow, she contemplated on how her response could go, and then realized talking to him would be a whole minute she could never get back.
She shoved past him, making sure he saw her heated glare. “June? My name is Grace, you idiot,” she mumbled under her breath, looking up as she felt eyes piercing the side of her head.
Glancing to her right, she saw a brown haired boy staring at her. Rolling her eyes, she let out a breath, turning back to where she was walking to.
Parkinson’s is a gradually progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It causes tremors, stiffness, and slowing of movement. The one Grace is the most concerned about is speech impediment. If she can’t defend herself verbally, she’ll feel helpless, and Trevor and every other uneducated mole would love it.
Staring down at her hand, she noticed discoloration that came with the medication she was taking. It made her feel more sick than she actually was. She was only in stage one, but it had been that way for two years and her doctor couldn’t figure out why it hadn’t progressed. Her mom was more than ecstatic that she wasn’t getting any worse, but Grace dreaded for the other shoe to drop.
Looking up, she glanced around the semi-full court yard. She couldn’t stand the cafeteria mainly because of the people in it. Most of all, Trevor; his personality seemed identical to a foul cockroach and she prayed for the day to come where she could stomp him out with a spiked boot.
Sighing, she looked back down at her book. The Fault In Our Stars, how ironic. But before she could continue, the pages seemed to be ripped from beneath her. “Hey there girly.” Looking up, she saw Heath–oh brother. Leaning to the side, she glanced behind him seeing Trevor and his comrades, snickering like children.
“You know, I’m quite jealous of all the people that haven’t met you,” she smiled sweetly before grabbing for her book. Heath was too nimble; grabbing her wrist, he leaned against the bench on the other side of the table, pulling up her arm so he could get a better look.
Grace tried pulling back, letting out an angered breath as his grip tightened in response. “Sod off Heath,” she spat, her eyebrows furrowing in frustration. “What are you, a zombie?” he asked, looking at the different assortment of colors that went from her knuckles to her wrist.
She couldn’t stop the tears from gathering in her green eyes. Finally yanking her hand from his grip, she snatched her book and scowled at him. “Get a life,” she told Heath, grabbing her bag and walking past him and a laughing Trevor.