"I've seen enough now to know that beautiful things don't always stay that way."
Nick McCullers took a deep breath as he stood outside the Physical Therapy department of Rosewood Community Hospital. He knew this was going to be difficult, but he had no choice. After his wife's death, he had not been the greatest father. There were a lot of things he wished he could take back or change. But the past was the past and he couldn't do anything about it. Right now his daughter was suffering and he had to make sure Paige received the best care.
He closed his eyes as memories haunted him of the night he and had gotten that phone call.
Paige had went away to Michigan State for college and been practicing late one night when the diving board had somehow happened to come loose. Paige shattered her hip and tore her ACL and MCL when she collided with the side of the pool. As a result she had no feeling in her left leg. Paige had undergone three surgeries and still she had no control over her useless limb. Nick fought back his anger as he thought of how much his daughter had lost due to this. Paige was becoming almost as embittered as himself. She had given up and spent all of her time in her room.
Nick knew that part of it was still the pain from her breakup with Emily after graduation. Emily had then promptly left town and attended University of Southern California, surprising everyone with her choice of a career.
Paige had been so bitter and devastated that she too surprised everyone and turned down a full scholarship to Penn State and went to swim for Michigan State instead. Paige had jumped at the chance to get away from the memories of Emily and all hell they had went through there.
Things had gone so well until four weeks ago. In any case, the incident had left her in a wheelchair. The break had torn muscles and destroyed nerves. The doctors had performed painstaking surgery after surgery and finally had repaired Paige's leg to the best of their ability. The last surgeon had told Paige that she would need daily physical therapy or she would never regain the use of her leg again. It killed him to have to watch his once so athletic and active child become wheelchair bound. She had, had so much going for her. Such a bright future.
Paige had complied with the doctor's orders for all of a week and then in a fit of rage, she had hurled her walker across the room and terrified the staff at the Michigan hospital. She had been removed by security guards and told to never enter the premises again.
Later that same night, she had called home and asked her father to come and get her. Nick had begrudgingly agreed and Paige had come back home. Nick had hoped that being home with him pushing and working with her would urge her to work hard at getting better, but it had actually seemed to make matters worse.
Paige was irritable and angry. She lashed out at anyone who suggested physical therapy. She blew up at the smallest things. One night during one of her many fights with her father, she said something terrible about her mother. Nick, whose temper was just as short as his daughter's told her that if she ever said anything like that about her mother again she would be removed from the house for good.
That fight hit Paige hard. She had loved her mother very much and hated herself for speaking ill of her deceased parent. For a few days, she had seemed to be trying to do better, and then the subject of therapy had come up again. Nick winced as he remembered the raging tirade that had escaped Paige's mouth at the suggestion. Paige felt that it was a waste of her time. She had a mindset that she was being punished for what she had done and that she wasn't going to get better so there was no sense in doing it. And nothing that Nick said or did could change how she felt.
That tirade had been the thing that led Nick here to this door in hopes of helping his only child. His hand trembled as he reached for the door knob and turned the cold metal.
This had to work. It was his last chance to help his daughter.
As Nick entered the room, his attention was caught by the beautiful dark-haired woman working with the older woman in the corner of the room. He stood for countless minutes watching as she moved the frail limbs of the woman with gentleness and caring. Her hands seemed to float over the gnarled hands and feet of the old woman. Nick watched as she whispered encouraging words to the woman until she could bend her leg at the angle she needed.
As much as it still bothered him, Nick knew he had come to the right place. Those gentle hands would heal his daughter, he was sure of it. If anybody could reach his Paige, it was the brunette with the healing hands.
He knew it would be almost impossible to convince her to help Paige, but somehow, some way, he had to do it.
For his daughter's sake.