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Annie was realising just quite how little fun there was to be had in a chalet on a ski resort, when one couldn’t go skiing, couldn’t understand the programmes on television, and had read almost everything that was worth reading in the chalet. Her flight back home seemed an age away still, and even once back home, she still didn’t think she’d be having much fun. Her badly broken toes would take weeks to heal at least, and her arm even longer. She’d never been in plaster before, but certainly hadn’t imagined it to be as boring, nor actually having a broken bone to be as painful as she now discovered it was.

She had only really known one two other people who had been in plaster before this disastrous holiday; her sister, and her first boyfriend. She was only thirteen or so when her older sister had ended up in hospital after falling off her skateboard while trying to jump down a flight of stone steps on it. A stay of a few weeks in hospital were followed by a few more confined to her own bed, but her sister Charlotte had remained quite cheerful throughout, despite long casts on her arm and her leg, both on her right side. Once she was able to move about, Charlotte had been fitted with a rubber heel on the sole of her leg cast, Annie recalled, so she could limp about, without even the need for crutches.

Charlotte seemed to relish being in plaster, and quickly amassed a vast collection of signatures on her arm and leg - all obliterated on a single drunken night, when her friends decided to paint her leg cast bright pink, and her arm cast neon green. Charlotte spent most of the summer in casts of various sizes, but, Annie remembered, always seemed to think of them as only a minor inconvenience, and was never afraid to appear in shorts and a t-shirt, with only a sandal or flip-flop on her good foot, showing her casts off to the world. Annie knew Charlotte kept the casts once they were removed, and still had them somewhere, though Annie couldn’t for the life of her imagine why.

Her first boyfriend, Darren, had broken his ankle as a result of a particularly vicious tackle during a football game. Although it had clearly hurt him at the time, once he was in plaster he didn’t seem to bothered about the whole affair, and only seemed sorry the injury was preventing him from playing in the rest of the football season. He never had a walking heel fitted to his cast like Charlotte did, but then Annie supposed he didn’t need to, as he had two healthy arms, which Charlotte, during her time in plaster, did not. He was on crutches for the duration of his time in his cast, which only went as high as his knee, as it wasn’t a severe break. Aside from stopping him taking part in his precious football, he, like Charlotte, hadn’t let the cast hinder any other activities, Annie reminisced, including love-making…

Now she was in plaster, and finding it hard to be as uncaring about the situation as they had been. Her cute toes were a mess, and her left arm was in plaster from her fingers to her shoulder. She hoped her studies wouldn’t suffer, as she was left handed. She supposed she could still type with one good arm.

She put down the paperback she had nearly finished, and realised she was thirsty. She’d hoped that while in plaster she would have Bobbi to wait on her, but with Bobbi herself now in plaster too, that didn’t seem fair! Anyhow, Bobbi wasn’t here, and Annie knew she should really practice walking on her casted foot more. She still had her single forearm crutch to aid her balance, although now of course she had to hold it in her other hand. The tan coloured cast shoe she now kept permanently attached to her cast, as she couldn’t put it on one-handed. She had to ask for Bobbi’s help to be able to take it off at night and put it on again in the morning. She hoped that Bobbi would be back tonight, and not end up with the young barman. No, she thought, surely Bobbi wouldn’t; not with her broken leg…?

Annie swung her casted foot off the bed, lowering it gingerly to the ground, before standing up, taking most of her weight on her crutch and bare right foot. She sighed, then stepped forward with her left foot. Her shattered toes throbbed slightly as she took the her weight on her plaster-clad leg, limping forward with the unusual gait on one who cannot bend their ankle. She was about to take another step with her good foot, when she heard the front door open.
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October 4, 2009
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