Nelson heard the words with a blank expression. But as he understood what they meant, he tried to control his urge to smile.
"Are you sure this time, doctor?" he asked, not letting his excitement leak out. If he did, there was no way he could bear coming back here in the case the doctor wasn't right. Again.
"Yes. This time I'm confident. I know you're trying to not let the joy go over your head, but from my point of view, you're cured. You can see the swelling completely is gone and the joint movement is back to what it was. The pain you said it's normal. You can't get back to what you did before right away," the doctor said with a gentle smile. "Today's the last day we'll see each other. Hopefully for a long time."
Without realizing, he was holding his breath. But with the physiotherapist's words, Nelson let out a sigh of relief. He didn't try to suppress his smile anymore. "Thank you so much, doctor."
The man laughed. "You have the MRI exam tomorrow, so I want you don't go rushing back in the pool right away," he said with a concerned expression, but then he added, "but I'm sure you'll be soon back on the water and win us many medals."
He thanked the man once more, shook his hands and left the room as another patient walked in. Nelson pulled his phone and smiled when he saw texts from his friend and family. But as he was about to write back, his fingers stopped. It's best if I wait... If I tell them I'm cured and find out I'm not... I can't see those faces... not again...
With a deep breath, he wrote to his parents first. I just got out of physiotherapy. I have an MRI exam tomorrow to check if I'm cured. He considered adding the doctor's opinion, but Nelson decided not. After writing the same thing to his friends, he put the phone back in his pocket.
When the phone vibrated, a warm smile appeared on his lips. But he didn't read the messages. Nelson walked out of the Prado Maranhão club's medical department, a huge four-story building, to the park. He sat on a bench and watched the club members relaxing or doing some out of water exercises. Nelson recognized most people and waved back when they realized him sitting there. To his luck, no one came to talk to him. He knew the subject of his injury would come up and he couldn't deal with their optimistic, even if they meant him well.
This time he pulled his phone when it vibrated again. Everything will be fine, son. Your father and I are praying for you, his mother wrote. You'll be okay, you'll see. I'll be seeing you with a medal this year, his father replied. Great. As I expected. Now we can finally compete again, his friend replied. And many other like those.
Feeling better, Nelson headed back to the dormitory complex. But he didn't go back right away. He took the long distance, walking by the many gyms and pools. Without realizing, he his feet took him to the pool he used the most before his accident.
With no one around, he walked around the pool, watching the still waters with an empty expression. I've been in the water since the accident, but now it won't be for hydrotherapy. It'll be the for real. For a training... for competition, he realized, the excitement filling him. After months, I can finally go back.
Though it was within the club, it took him almost fifteen minutes to get to the dormitories. He was tired when arrived. I didn't think I'd be this out of shape, he thought with a thin smile as he stood before the four buildings that housed over a thousand athletes ranging from many divisions from almost all water sports.
Even from the entrance, he could hear a faint music coming from the boy's side. They're just getting away 'cause almost everyone's in London right now, Nelson thought, pulling his access card. There's no way the higher-ups would let a party on a Thursday go by.
YOU ARE READING
The Swimmer and the ManagerRomance
The Prado Maranhão Aquatic Sport Club, a place where those who aim at the top of the water sports gather. Nelson, once called the future of Brazil's swim, is near the end of his recovery after a serious accident that almost costed his life. But with...