Thinking back to when people first started calling me ‘Nic,’ it was because there were too many Nicole’s in my pre school class. After elementary school, it had just caught on by coincidence or accident. A nickname isn’t exactly what I would call a life changing accident, but definitely one of big proportions. When there’s reason to be reassured that everything is alright, there is probably a reason things weren’t alright in the first place. That’s like when I was in my big accident. For me and my family, it was life changing or life altering for that matter. Coming with severe injuries and stunning discoveries, the accident half saved our lives, and half hurt them.
I was born with scoliosis. Scoliosis is something that can be particularly hard to diagnose. Most doctors call it a ‘silent disease’ because they believe there is no pain that accompanies the uncomfortable curve. It can cause so much havoc within your body. Hormone imbalances, growth difficulties, severe headaches, the given back pain, and pretty much anything else you can think of. In my case, it affected my breathing due to the fact that my lungs were being compressed by my ribcage. Its possible that one day it’ll affect my ability to have children and I will slowly degenerate until I cannot stand straight upright anymore. I have difficulty focusing in school because of the increasingly piercing headaches, my body so cheerily accepts. I get blurry vision and can sometime lose the ability to balance even while standing on two feet. This car accident that haunted my family, saved my life. Without it, I would never have been diagnosed where all of my questions were answered. The mystery pain that was hanging over me like a dark grey cloud right before the storm, was now obliterated as I sat in that doctors office. This was back in seventh grade which means I have been living with the knowledge of my scoliosis for about six years now, dealing with the pain my whole life. My mom always used to comfort me and say, ‘Don’t worry baby. This moment will just be another story someday.’ No matter what was going on in my life, she always had the right words to say.
Remember all the way back to the beginning, when I was unseen and was practically friendless? Because of that, no one knew about my condition. When I became seen, it became known that I was unusual. I wasn’t weird if that’s what you would like to call it, but I was definitely different. No one knew why I was the way I was, I never told anyone. It wasn’t until high school that I popped. Literally. You know when people tell pregnant women the look like they are about to pop because their belly is so big? My ribcage, actually popped out. It would be what we know today as a hunchback. As soon as I noticed it, I came up with clever ways to cover it up. I got really good at it too that is until the day Keegan asked me to go swimming. I of course was a beautiful swimmer and was ranked number one in the state for my age group. I had gotten smart with the towel placement, and the race suits, and my posture. My mom liked to marvel over my speed even though I hadn’t had full range of motion. I had thought about bikinis and in the past had still been able to hide it under cover ups or big hats, when I was alone. Keegan wanted, just the two of us to go swimming, in all reality just lay by the pool, all day long. I thought maybe I could still pull it off no big deal so I decided to go. Partially just because I got him shirtless every chance I could get.
We were lounging by the pool and I had wrapped myself in a towel with big sunglasses on. He was all to aware of this. I want to be modest but I have to admit, I was a decent looking girl. I had a generous chest, and a toned body from all the crazy swimming workouts.
Why do you have your towel on silly little goose? He had the best puppy dog eyes that made me melt every time he used them on me. I tried so hard to not look at him, in order to not let myself fall into a trance from his eyes.
I can’t let you see me like this, are you crazy? I shot back at him maybe just a little to rambunctiously.
Look at me Nic. You know you want to. You know you want to take the towel off. I really was dreading what was coming next.
Nope. Wouldn’t do it for a million bucks. I sounded very confident that I wasn’t going to back down.
I guess I’ll have to take it off myself. Before I could dodge his reach, he jumped on top of me and went straight for all the most ticklish spots on my body. This was the one thing that would get me to do anything just so he would stop.
FINE! I stripped off the towel and stood there in front of him waiting for the ridicule about to hit me.
Damn girl. This kinda woke me up and shook me a little since it wasn’t at all what I expected.
What? Do you not see this? I whipped my body around pushing my ribs out as far as I could.
Oh my gosh Nicole. Are you okay?
It’s alright. Go ahead and make fun of the girl with the disease. I hated that word and I actually felt bad when it came out of my mouth. It was almost bitter and disgusting like rotten milk. I hadn’t given him the chance to say anything, just assuming he was going to make fun of me. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it that way. I am just not used to people seeing it. That’s why I was in the towel.
Nic, you’re beautiful no matter what. I don’t care if you’re blind or deaf or have cancer. You are gorgeous and nothing can change that.
He is amazing and that’s all I can say after something like that.