Freya was forced to go on a family vacation. It was a family tradition, every 3 years the entire family meet at a holiday resort for the entire summer.
Now 19 years old, Freya has grown bored of the repetitive holiday. All she wanted to do was spend time with chilling her girlfriends. Relaxing on the beach, nights out on the town, going to summer festivals… that kind of thing. Instead, she was stuck, expected to spend her precious summer break with her seven to twelve year old cousins.
While her parents enthusiastically investigate the well-organised leaflets and pamphlets in the lobby, Freya escaped to explore the nearby town.
Freya found herself lost in the maze of identical cobbled streets. She stumbled upon an open gate which led into a garden brimming with colour. An endless array of flowers, plants, trees and vegetables.
Wandering through the garden Freya spotted a boy sheltered from the sun in a gazebo positioned central in the garden. She approached the gazebo, admiring the boy’s silver blonde hair glistening from the flecks of sunlight peeking through the side of the gazebo.
Freya began to back away after seeing him immersed in a book. She didn’t want to disturb him. But she had no choice. Freya gently tapped the boy’s shoulder and said; “Hello!”.
Luca (the boy) quickly raised his head, surprised by the sudden disturbance. He looked up to an unfamiliar face ‘Hello’ he replied, wondering who she was. She wasn’t a patient. Freya explained how she ended up in the garden. How she got lost after evading her parents. Looking closely at him, Freya realised Luca was about the same age as her.
After listening to her, Luca closed his book. Someone more interesting had just appeared. He explains how she must have come through the garden gate, stumbling into the Osteology Rehab Centre.
Of all the places she could have found herself…Freya never expected to hear that. Only then did she notice the boy wasn’t sitting on a bench or garden chair but a wheelchair. She felt like an idiot. She wondered why she didn’t notice before.
Seeing her puzzled expression Luca couldn’t help but laugh. He was really amused at how desperate she was to escape her parents only to end up lost.
Freya relaxed after seeing the boy laugh. She introduced herself ‘Hi! I’m Freya.’
The boy held out his hand and replied ‘Luca, nice to meet you’.
Instead of spending her summer being dragged from one place to another or babysitting her cousins, Freya visited Luca at the rehab clinic whenever she could get away.
The pair played games, watched movies, wandered through the clinic’s vast and lavish gardens or simply talked for hours.
Freya and Luca provided an escape for each other. Hanging out with Luca was a breath of fresh air for Freya.
For Luca, he finally had someone to talk to besides his parents and doctors. Someone who didn’t look at him sympathetically. He could act his age around Freya.
Freya was inspired by Luca. She never asked him how he ended up in the rehab clinic. She didn’t need to know and it wasn’t her place to ask. All that mattered was how much fun it was spending time with the cheeky and chatty Luca.
Freya never felt such a strong connection with another human being.
One day while waiting for Luca to finish a physiotherapy session, Freya met Luca’s parents. Luca mentioned Freya to his parents, happily telling them about the things they got up to.
After introducing herself, it was clear Luca’s mother wasn’t Freya’s biggest fan.
Luca’s mother explained how she didn’t want Freya to be Luca’s friend on a whim. He already had friends move on without him. Something which broke him more than his injury. Luca was still trying to accept his new reality. He didn’t need any false hope or friends that will leave him.
Freya understood what Luca’s mother was saying. Spending time with Luca was the highlight of Freya’s summer holidays. But summer would eventually end and then Freya would return home. Freya was glad she got lost that day. She got to meet Luca, a cheeky younger boy who she was really smitten with.
I really don’t want to end the story here but I also don’t want to drag it out and destroy it. Sorry!