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"One more time," my physical therapist said to me. "Squeeze the ball and bend your elbow."

This hurt like hell. Every single thing she had me do hurt. I spent an hour three days a week in this torture chamber. By the end of it, my head was always throbbing and I was almost on the brink of tears.

"Tessa," I pleaded, "can't I take a break? Get some water?"

"Come on, Josie. The sooner you do this, the sooner you will be done."

So I did it. And I did two more reps of the same exercise.

Because I wanted to be done. So much.

My mom waited out in the car for me.

"How did it go?" she asked.

"It sucks."

"Do you feel any improvement?"

I nodded. "I could bend my elbow 10% further than last week."

My mom beamed at me. "That is great news! I think we should celebrate with some ice cream."

"I have a headache. Can we just go home so I can sleep?"

I knew this disappointed her. She was just trying to be nice. Plus she wanted me to eat. I'd lost almost ten pounds since my accident. They were pounds I needed to lose and I was hoping to lose at least fifteen more before graduation. My mom believed that food equaled love and kept trying to get me to eat like I used to. I wanted to be in good shape for college, though.

"You need to give me a grocery list for tomorrow," she reminded me. "Lots Of junk food!"

There she went again with pushing food.

Bridget was coming over to spend the night. She's visited me plenty while I was in the hospital and in the days when I first got home. I was pushing her away, though. It was hard to be friendly and chipper right now.

"What if I get a headache while she is over?" I asked.

"She'll understand. You need to do something fun, sweetie."

"But I am still not allowed any screen time because of this stupid concussion. What are we even supposed to do?" I whined.

My mom laughed. "Surely you and your best friend can do something that doesn't involve a screen. Listen to music? Make plans for your senior year? Talk about boys?"

A few months ago that would have sounded fun. Everything sucked now.

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