Freedom - Jennifer Baljko

For the first time in a long while, absolute quiet surrounded her. Only the hum of the refrigerator reminded Luisa that she was still awake, and still waiting. These brief moments away from everyone, while mostly appreciated, also burdened Luisa. Trapped between despair and resolve, Fred’s absence made Luisa feel even more helpless, and acutely aware of her limitations.

Luisa had a room with an ocean view, but she sat with her back to the window. She liked watching the late day sun throw distorted shadows on the dark wood floors. The shadows danced gracefully, effortlessly. Luisa had moved like that, too. Before. Before the accident made her a permanent fixture in a wheelchair and stole her freedom.