The Pretenders - A Story

Tara, a pretty young paraplegic, moves through her house to her beautiful sunny bedroom. She logs on to her Facebook account. She scans her computer briefly and then enters a post about her frustrating day.

Immediately, the chat window pops up. Next to the profile picture of a smiling attractive woman is the soothing statement “It will get better. I know. I’ve been there”. It’s Camille. Camille contacted Tara a few weeks ago through Facebook. She introduced herself and openly wrote about the car accident which broke her back two years ago.

Tara was hesitant at first. But with Camille’s gentle encouragement, Tara was soon telling Camille details about her injury, her health issues, and her hopes and dreams. After all, unlike all her other friends, Camille had been through it too.

Tara gushes about her difficult day. Camille listens patiently and offers supporting words.

The conversation turns to Tara’s Facebook profile. Why are there so few “wheelchair pictures”? Where are the fun and sexy photographs? At Camille’s prompting, Tara searches her computer. She finds photos from her last trip to the beach. With Camille egging her on, Tara uploads her best one.

Clyde sits by his computer in a dark basement apartment. Clyde downloads then prints a picture of a girl wearing a bikini, sitting in a wheelchair on the beach. It’s Tara. Clyde takes the photograph and pins it to a large map on the wall. The map is filled with pictures of women in wheelchairs. Most of the pictures are labeled with names and home addresses.

Clyde types on his computer “What’s your address? I have something I want to send you.”

Tara’s chat window pops up. It’s Camille “What’s your address? I have something I want to send you.”