Q is for Quiet
It was there in black and white— due to a lack of funding, the patient is to be released.
Three nights later, Prince and I found a quiet corner and tried to console each other. “This can’t be happening,” he said, “I love you Lani, and I know that once you leave here I’ll never see you again.”
“You don’t know what the future holds…” I whispered, but in my heart I knew he was right. With the ugliness and violence of segregation gnashing its bloodthirsty teeth, I couldn’t even invite him to come to Daytona for a visit. That night was the last time I ever saw Prince, but as he sadly walked away I caught a glimmer of the silver medallion that remained around his neck.
The next day I would return to Daytona Beach, under-rehabilitated and unsure of what the future held. I was certain of only one thing. My days would be spent in a spiffy little silver wheelchair with spokes on the wheels.
Vocational Rehabilitation had purchased the chair for me, but now I was on my own. I had to find a career that would enable me to support myself and a caregiver. And, I needed a college education to do it. Back to School? I had always hated school and dropped out of high school when I was still fifteen , so how, I wondered, would I cope with the challenges of college? Maybe this time would be different… this time had to be different! Here I was, not fully rehabilitated and carrying a lifelong hatred of school— yet, I knew with absolute certainty that I was going to need an education if I was ever to have the independence I craved. As much as I would have preferred other alternatives, I had to accept the fact that a good education was key to the freedom I wanted— the freedom I needed— the freedom I’d strived for my entire life . Like it or not, I had to return to school.