Victoria is an actress nearing the age of 40. She has been performing in live production for many years. But unfortunately age isn’t on her side. It has been tough getting work in the last few years, picking up the occasional supporting act here and there just enough to keep her going. On the side she works at an acting school teaching young women how to be better actresses and in a round about way teaching them to replace her.
One Tuesday afternoon she gets a call from her agent telling her that he has a job offer for her. They are looking for a lead role in a new drama production. He tells her that he will email her the info.
So that night she opens the email and has a look at the script. She reads through the role they offered her. So the basic storyline is a she is a late 30’s successful business woman who gets tangled up in a company conspiracy that goes sour. She catches an ex-employee accessing company documents late one night when she confronts him. Not knowing it’s a setup by the owner to bankrupt the company and get out of paying millions owed to creditors. Before starting a new venture and raising millions in a public offering. The main scene would revolve around her having a tussle with the so called thief before being injured and then fighting for her survival to escape from the building.
She contacts her agent the next day and says that she is interested and will apply for the role. Not overly excited about the story line but it’s a lead role and it’s paying very well. The next morning the call comes through saying that her application was successful and she got the role.
So several weeks later she meets the rest of the cast at a lunch time event along with the director. Information is passed on about when they will start rehearsal and when the show will commence.
The role requires her to be dressed in neat business attire, which consists of knee length shirt, blouse and 4” black stilettos. She is accustomed to wearing high heels and performing. The main scene sees her walking in on the thief, played by mike, who then turns on her. She gets in a tussle with him trying to remove his balaclava to reveal his identity before being thrown to the floor. In an attempt to cripple her efforts the thief grabs her foot twisting her ankle badly spraining her ankle. In retaliation she lunges at him with a pen stabbing him in the leg, sending him to the floor as well. Then it’s a race for her to get out of the building for help. With a badly sprained ankle, trying to walk, removing her shoe, hopping, going down stairs until finally reaching the lobby. All while the thief chases her grabbing her just as she opens the door dragging her back in.
During the first few rehearsals everything goes to plan as per the script. By week 2 the director isn’t convinced she is right for the role. He talks with Victoria after rehearsals telling her that she isn’t selling the injury and pain and suspense of the chase. He warns her that if she doesn’t pick up her game in tomorrows rehearsal that he will look for another actress and her contract will be void. Having never sprained her ankle before she tried finding some videos online to get a better idea of how to portray it and the pain and anguish. The next day at rehearsals she tries a little harder hopping that her efforts are enough, but halfway through the scene the director yells “CUT CUT CUT”.
“Absolute rubbish”, he yells at the stage.
He calls for his assistant, “ Jill get me the files on the other applicants for the main role, NOW”.
Victoria is gutted, how can this be. Possible her final chance at a lead role and she is being sacked. She leaves the stage and pleads to the director, “please please one more chance. Tomorrow’s rehearsal will be perfect, just give me one more chance.”
He ponders his thoughts for a moment, as Jill returns with the files on the other applicants for the main role and passes them to him.
He flicks through the files as Victoria pleads one more time.
“One more chance that’s all I ask.”
He slams the files on the floor next to him, “One more chance and your done.”
‘Thank you Thank you.”
That night Victoria thinks about how to make it more life like and real. The next day when they are prepping back stage she grabs Mike and takes him to the side away from everyone else.
“Mike I need you to twist my ankle today”
Mike has a giggle, “Yes I know I have to its part of my role.”
“No I mean like you need to really twist it, I need to feel it” Victoria says with a serious look on her face.
“Umm ok, that sounds a little crazy.”
Victoria pleads, “please I need this role, I need to finish my career on a high.”
Mike thinks for a moment, “Ok if that is what you want me to do, ill help.” And he smiles. Victoria smiles back, “Thank you”
“lets do this people, I don’t have all day.” They hear the director yelling from in front of the curtain.
They take their places and commence the rehearsal. They get to the scene where mike has to twist her ankle. This time instead of pretending to he actually twists her right ankle inwards, Victoria feels the pressure build in her lateral ankle ligaments as mike twists her ankle. She screams in pain as mike sprains her ankle. Only grade one but enough for her to feel the pain. The standing in pain, the walking in pain and hopping is very real now. Her expressions and the fear and suspense in the chase are much better.
The scene ends….
“Bravo bravo” the director applauds.
“Magnificent Victoria that’s exactly what I want. If you do that every time we will have no problems.”
Trying to hide the real pain she is feeling, she smiles back at the director.
They all exit the stage, Victoria trying her best not to limp on her right ankle as she exists the stage barefoot. She makes her way to a small dressing room after the show and takes a seat clutching at her right ankle. Now visibly swollen she sits there for a moment, as the pain shoots up her leg.
‘knock knock, Its mike can I come in?”
“Yes one moment”
Victoria gets up and unlocks the door, Mike walks in and she closes the door and locks it behind him. As she turns around her limp is very noticeable and Mike reaches around her body with his arm and helps her to walk to the chair. Once seated he grabs another chair for her to put her foot up on. He admires her perfectly shaped foot, her manicured toes and the golf ball sized egg that is protruding from the anterior of her ankle.
Concerned he asks her if she is ok.
“Yes ill be fine, thank you. Thank you for what you did today.”
Not really sure what to say, “That’s ok”
“At least let me give you a ride home”, Mike kindly offers.
Victoria accepts as it will give her a chance to tell him her plan from here on.
On the trip home Victoria tells Mike that the next few rehearsals will just need a little twist as her sprained ankle will already be sore so just enough force to aggravate it. He agrees with her plan and drops her off at her apartment.
The next few rehearsals go to plan, and the director gets everyone together. He tells them that the show is ready and they will do 2 shows the first one in a month and the second one a month after that. Depending on popularity possibly another two shows after that. There will be no more rehearsals and that they have to finalise all their costume fitting’s one week before the first show.
The next few weeks pass and all is prepared for the show. The first seating is a sell out crowd. The theatre they are performing in is the second largest in town and holds 5000 people. The writer and the production executives who financed the show will also attend this show.
Her ankle was well and truly back to normal by the night of the first show. So before the show she gets Mike in the dressing room and tells him that he will need to twist her ankle again and cause a real sprain. And once again he agrees and they finish preparing for the show.
The crowd watches as the show commences. All goes to plan and they reach the scene of the ankle twisting. Mike throws Victoria to the ground and grabs her ankle starting to twist it inwards, apply more and more pressure Victoria feels the pressure build in her lateral ligaments again. Her ankle weaker this time and ligaments still not completely heeled from the last time, as Mike twists her ankle she feels this immensely sharp pain shoot from her ankle. Not realising it at the time she has now partially torn her anterior ligament. She screams in pain and plays to her role, thrusting the (fake) pen at Mikes leg. As she continues the scene she pulls herself standing still in her heels and tries to take a step. Pain shoots right up her leg, worse than last time. Not letting it stop her she plays on the role perfectly. Every scream, every limp and every barefooted hop down the stairs accompanied by expressions of pain and fear.
The curtain drops at the end of the show.
The crowd erupts into applaud as the actors and actresses form a line on the stage. The curtain raises and they take in the applaud briefly until the curtain drops again. As the curtain hits the floor Victoria quickly turns to head for the dressing room. Her limp is now very noticeable so Mike helps her to mask it by wrapping his arm around her as if to be happily exiting the stage together. Once in the dressing room Mike closes and locks the door. Victoria drops her shoes on the floor and instantly takes the weight on her right ankle. Mike turns to look at Victoria and sees her holding her right foot up off the floor. He looks at her ankle and notices a tennis ball sized lump formed on the outer side of her ankle. He immediately moves to her side and puts his arm around her helping her to hop to the chair. She sits down and rests her foot on the floor.
“That looks bad Victoria”, Mike comments.
Victoria glances down at her right ankle now noticing the amount of swelling on the outer ankle.
“I think I felt something tear this time.”
Mike helps her to elevate her foot up onto another chair.
“Let me see if I can get you some ice”, Mike offers.
As he leaves the room, he makes his way back stage when he sees the director walking around shaking peoples hands introducing the writer to everyone. He over hears him ask one of the other actresses where Victoria is, to which they tell him that she is in the dressing room. Mike immediately turns around and heads straight back for the room as he knows that they will be there any minute. He barges through the door, and closes it behind him.
“Victoria they are coming, the director and the writer they are looking for you.”
“oh shit” she starts to panic.
“What am I going to do, I need to hide this ankle.”
Mike looks around the room trying to find something.
“My boots, my boots grab them quickly.”
Victoria points to the high heel wedged boots that she wore to the show. They are tight fitting and long enough that they reach just below her knees.
Mike grabs the boots and passes them to Victoria. She quickly slides her left foot in and does the zipper up. Mike helps her with the right boot. The swelling on her ankle makes it difficult and painful. She slides her foot halfway in before it starts to press on the swelling sending waves of pain up her leg. Victoria grabs the chair with one hand and covers her mouth with the other. She pushes her leg forward as Mike works the boot on her foot. Her moans muffled by her hand covering her mouth. Mike zips up the boot and she places her feet on the floor. Mike takes a seat in the other chair, just as there is a knock at the door.
“Come in”, Victoria replies as she tries to compose her self.
The director and the writer walk in and Mike stands to shake their hands trying to hide Victoria as she painfully stands up behind him.
Victoria takes a step forward, radiating pain shooting from her ankle. She keeps a smile on her face as they both shake her hand and congratulate her on her performance. They remain in the room for several minutes the whole time Victoria tries to place minimal weight on her right ankle. Eventually they exit the room, and mike closes the door behind them. As soon as the door closes Victoria grabs the chair with her left hand and her right hand grabs her leg lifting her foot up.
Mike gets to her side as fast as possible helping her to sit again.
“Oh get it off Mike, get my boot off.”
Mike unzips the boot slowly, and then starts to work it off. Victoria grasps at the arm rest of the chair as the boot painfully works off her swollen ankle. Mike cradles her foot in his hands as he places the boot down, and then gently guides her foot onto the other chair resting it down on the her heel. She takes a few minutes to compose her self.
Mike suggests that he gets her out of there asap and to her apartment where she can get some ice and elevate her ankle. They wait out until most of the cast is gone. Mike brings his car around to the back of the theatre to an emergency exit door that is just outside of the dressing room. He then goes inside and helps Victoria up. Wearing the boot on her left foot still she tries to put some pressure on her right ankle, which has now been engulfed by the swelling. As soon as her toes hit the floor she knows she can’t put any weight on it.
“Ill have to hop”, she comments to Mike.
She wraps her arm over his shoulders and he helps her hop to the door. He opens the door and pokes his head out to make sure its clear and then they make there way out the exit and to Mikes car.
On the drive to Victoria apartment, Mike is concerned and suggests a visit to the ER. But Victoria doesn’t want to risk being seen or noticed and wants to just go back to her apartment. They arrive and he helps her to hop to her apartment and then helps her get comfortable on the sofa with her ankle elevated and gets an ice pack for her ankle. He asks if she needs anything and she replies that she will be fine. She thanks him for his help, and Mike grabs his keys and says, “Ill swing by tomorrow and check on you ok.”
“Thanks”, Victoria comments..
The next morning Mike jumps in his car and heads for Victorias apartment. On the way he stops at the local drug store to pick up a bandage and some crutches, and the attendant also suggests an aircast. He arrives at Victoria’s apartment and knocks on the door. After a few moments her hears her call out.
After standing there for a couple minutes he hears the door unlock and start to open, Victoria is standing there on one foot with her right foot held up behind her. He enters the apartment and immediately offers her the crutches.
“Thankyou so much Mike, you didn’t have to do this.”
“Don’t be silly, its nothing just a few things to help”
Her first time using crutches, but immediately she has the hang of it. She makes her way to the sofa followed closely by Mike. She takes a seat and Mike sits next to her and opens the bandage he bought. He lifts her foot onto his knee so that he can apply the bandage. The large lump on her outer ankle had reduced but the swelling had spread and engulfed most of her outer ankle. Some bruising also starting to show just below the ankle as well. He gently wraps her ankle with the bandage and then gets the air cast out and secures it around her ankle.
“There you go, the girl at the drug store said you should stay off it for a week and then slowly start to weight bear again.”
“Ok, thanks again Mike.”
“No problem”, he replies.
Mike makes them a coffee and they enjoy some generally conversation getting to know each other a little. Both learning that they are both single, although Mike is about 8 years younger than Victoria.
A couple hours pass and Mike decides to head off, but tells Victoria that she can call him if she needs anything and we will check up on her through the week.
They spend a bit of time together over the next two weeks as Victorias ankle heals. She is Weight bearing after only 4 days which is a good sign and pretty much back to normal by week 3 which gives her a week before the second show to get comfortable walking in heels again.
The day comes of the second show and they prepare as normal in the dressing rooms. Mike walks in to see Victoria before the show, and is a little concerned with the twisting ankle scene. She assures him that it will be fine, and that it wont be any worse than the last one.
As before the show gets under way and they reach the ankle twisting scene. And once again Mike twists her ankle. Now noticeably weaker, once again she feels the pressure build up in her ankle and then like the previous time she feels that distinct sharp pain as the anterior ligament tears a little more. She holds her composure and carry out the performance as planned. Receiving applaud at the end. As the last time her ankle swelled up to the size of a tennis ball and they follow the same routine. They spend more time together as she heals her ankle. Two weeks after the second show they get a call from the director. They are going to do one last performance. It will be at a different venue, the largest in town. 15000 tickets will be sold and it will be in one month’s time.
Victoria a Mike spend more time together over the next few weeks, getting quite close. Going out to dinner and talking frequently even now visiting each other on a daily basis.
By the third show Victorias ankle had fully healed albeit weaker than before. Before the show they convene to the dressing room as previously done, but this time things are different. Before the show instead of the usual wish each other good luck, Victoria makes a move and gives Mike a hug and then kisses him passionately. Not sure what his reaction will be, Mike takes to it like he had wanted that to happen for a while.
Both excited about their new found passion they take the stage for one last show. As previously the show gets to the ankle twisting part. Mike takes Victoria’s right foot in his hands and starts to twist it. She feels the pressure build as he continues to twist it. But something different happens this time. As the pressure builds and Mike twists her ankle, all of a sudden he feels her ankle pop twice in his hands before releasing his grasp on her foot. Victoria lets out a scream like no other as the crowd watches. The pain is so intense she almost forgets her next move. As she swings her arm to stab Mike in the leg, her ankle radiates immense pain right up her leg. She grasps for ankle with both hands as a tear rolls down her cheek. She continues her role, the intense pain only adding to the show. As soon as she stands up she knows at that moment, that her ankle ligament had snapped. Even holding her ankle up was excruciating. But she bravely continues the show. Sliding her high heel off, sends more pain radiating up her leg. She can see her ankle had doubled in size already from the swelling. As she hops down the stairs, every jolt, every movement sends lighting bolts through her ankle.
Until the curtain comes down, she plays the role perfectly.
As soon as the curtain contacts the stage, Mike jumps to her side helping her to balance on her left foot as she gently places her right foot down in front of her. He can see how hugely swollen her ankle already is, and can see the pain in her eyes. The curtain raises and the crowd goes wild with applaud. That moment, the applaud Victoria new it would be her last. The curtain comes down one final time. Mike picks Victoria up in his arms and carry’s her off the stage and straight into the dressing room. He gently lowers her down onto her left leg.
“Oh Mike, my ankle. I think a ligament snapped Mike.”
Victoria breaks down into Mikes arms.
“I’m so sorry Victoria.”
Feeling guilty for the pain she is in.
“Its ok, It’s Ok Mike, its not your fault.”
He slowly helps her to take a seat in the chair.
“Grab my bag Mike, I have some socks in there. I need to cover this up before the director comes.”
He fetches her bag from the corner of the room and moves it closer to her. She opens it up and reaches in before retrieving a pair of long white socks. They are usually quite loose on her but her ankle has doubled in size already so getting the right one on will not be easy.
Victoria promptly slips on the left sock and then passes the right sock to Mike.
“I need your help with this one Mike.”
He repositions him self so that her right foot is gently resting on his knee. He scrunches the sock up and spreads it as wide as possible slipping it over her toes and halfway up her foot with out too much resistance.
Victoria braces by grabbing her right leg and lifting it up as mike starts to work the sock on over her swollen ankle. He gets to a point where he needs to force it past her heel and swollen ankle. He grabs the sock firmly, and with one fast action he stretches the sock past the heel and releases it so that its completely covering the ankle. Victoria moans as the movement send jolts of pain radiating from her ankle. Mike supports her ankle and foot in his hands and gently rests it up on the chair in front of her. With every passing minute Victoria can feel the sock getting tighter around her ankle and foot. The swelling continues to grow at a fast rate.
“knock Knock”, echos from the door. Victoria quickly lowers her right foot down before swivelling around in her chair. Mike helps her to stand quickly and positions her so that she can lean back on the chair and keep as much pressure of her ankle as possible. He promptly walks to the door and opens it.
The Director, the writer and I financiers all walk in and head straight for Victoria. They shake her hand and congratulate them on the performance. Victoria does her best to keep the weight of her ankle whilst looking like she is standing normally. The comment on how realistic she was it was like she had a real sprained ankle. All while she struggles to keep the pain in as the blood continues to rush to her ankle, gently resting on the floor. After several minutes of them talking and commenting, the director has some news.
“We want to do another show”, he says with a large smile on his face.
Mikes jaw drops open, thinking to him self “This isn’t good.”
Victoria plays along smiling as if happy about the news.
“When will it be”, she asks.
“Well we are planning for 2 weeks time”
“Oh really, she replies as if to imply she cant do that.”
“Is that a problem Victoria?”
She mumbles some words under her breath, “Ummm, well I was planning on the show to end tonight so I have kind of made other plans.” Knowing full well that she would be lucky if she can bare weight in two weeks, without even thinking about wearing high heels and performing.
The director and writers and financiers talk amongst themselves for a moment.
After a few seconds the Financier says to her, “ What about in 4 weeks we do one last show, and we will double your contract price.”
“Umm”, she ponders to her self for a moment.
“Ok 4 weeks time, one last show.”
“Fantastic” the financier exclaims, filled with excitement they all shake her hand again and then proceed to exit the dressing room. As the door closes Victoria lifts her right foot up to release any pressure on her ankle. Mike rushes to her side to offer her some support. She puts her arm over his shoulders.
“Help me to see if I can put any weight on this ankle. I need to be walking as soon as possible if I have any chance of pulling this off.”
Mike recommends for her to not try this, but she insists. She slides her right foot forward about a quarter of a step and rests it flat on the floor. Using Mike for support she transfers some weight to her right foot. As she transfers weight to her ankle the pain begins to multiply, adding to the feeling of severe instability in her ankle, she takes a step, followed by another and then a third step until the pain is unbearable. She grasps at her leg as she lifts her foot up.
“That’s enough for now Victoria, you need to rest that ankle.”
Victoria looks down at her swollen ankle covered by the long white sock, and nods her head in agreement. Mike helps her to take a painful hop to the chair where she sits down lifting her ankle up again and resting on the other chair nearby.
Mike scans the hallway waiting for the remaining cast to vacate the building. Once again her moves his car outside the emergency exit door nearest to the dressing room. He promptly makes his way back inside and scans the hallway one last time to ensure the coast is clear. He enters the dressing room and tells Victoria that he is ready. He collects her things in places them into her bag as she starts to lower her right foot onto the ground. Using the chair for support she stands herself up onto her left foot as her right foot hangs down just behind her. Mike can see the agony in her face and moves to help her. With one swift movement he picks her up in his arms and carries her out to the car.
They reach her apartment and Mike takes her straight to her bedroom. Gently lowering her onto her bed. He grabs two pillows and gently lifts her right foot up placing it down on top of the pillows. He scurries off to the kitchen and returns with an ice pack, the bandage and a pair of scissors. He runs the scissors along the sock, cutting it in half slowly, until it separates from her ankle and foot. Gently he slides the sock out from under her heel and drops it to the side. He looks at her ankle with a devastating expression on his face. Her outer and inner ankle, her heel and half her foot are completely engulfed in swelling to the point that her normal ankle shape and structure is completely unrecognisable. He promptly positions the ice pack be prepared gently onto her ankle cover as much as possible.
He lays on the bed next to her, and consoles her for a moment.
“I think we need to get it checked tomorrow”, he suggests.
Victoria ponders the thought for am moment.
“We will see how it looks in the morning, ok.”
After some a brief chat the ice begins to numb the pain, enough that Victoria drifts off to sleep. Mike stays by her side all night, waking himself every few hours to check on her and replenish the ice pack as required.
As the sunrises and shines through the window Mike awakens to find Victoria looking him in the eyes.
“Morning’, he exclaims.
“Thankyou Mike for everything, for being here with me lastnight.”
“Don’t be silly Victoria, I was never going to leave you here on your own with a badly sprained ankle.”
Victoria smiles at him.
“How does it feel this morning”, he asks.
“Its aching at the moment, and I haven’t tried to move it yet.”
He sits himself up and positions himself closer to her right foot, before reaching down and lifting what remains of the last ice pack he placed on her ankle.
Victoria pulls herself up as well so she can see how it looks. At first glance it doesn’t look good. The swelling had continued over night engulfing her whole foot and even her toes looked swollen. Light bruising has started to show on both inner and outer ankle areas, below the outer ankle and along the out sole of her foot and patches up the outer side of her leg aswell.
“Can you move your ankle at all?” he asks as he watches closely. He sees her toes wiggle but that’s it.
“Nope I can’t move my ankle at all Mike. Maybe I should see if I can put any pressure on it?”
Mike promptly disagrees, “No you wont Victoria, you need to rest it for now. I really think we need to get it checked out.”
She replies with a quick NO. “I can’t risk being seen.”
Mike ponders his thoughts for a moment and comes up with a plan.
What if I take you to the hospital in a different city, its only 3 hrs away and I will feel much better if we get it checked to make sure it’s not broken.”
Finally she agrees to his plan, and he starts to get her ready. They make their way to his car, Victoria crutching with her ankle tightly wrapped in the bandage and the aircast nestled around her ankle for added support.
After reaching the hospital they spend most of the day their as the doctors examine her ankle. X-rays show no breaks but the mange to get her an MRI on the same day to check the ligaments in her ankle.
After some further evaluation they finally get the verdict. Her anterior ligament is ruptured, there is an 80% tear of the Calcaneo ligament and the Posterior ligament is also partially torn. He explains that although her ATFL is ruptured, it has torn in the middle like a piece of cloth and the fibres are still close enough to each other that there should be some repair by the body. But it will be weaker and could take up to 8 weeks to fully heal. So they leave the hospital with some instructions on how to treat it and a prescription for some pain killers and anti inflammatory to help with the swelling. The car ride home is quiet, once home they make their way back into victorias apartment.
They devise a plan together that will see Victoria non weight bearing for a minimum of one week, Mike will use ice and massage to try and get the swelling down as fast as possible. Also they will start some exercises as soon as she feels up to it. Mike brings some stuff over so that he can stay at Victoia’s place for the next few weeks and help her as much as possible.
Week one is fairly uneventful, Victoria remains non-weight bearing and spends most of her time with her ankle elevated and iced. Mike carried out a massage on her ankle day and night trying to get the swelling down, but there is little change in the first 5 days. Day 7 offers some hope, as Victoria awakens to a much less swollen ankle. Almost visible is her outer ankle bone and the swelling around her foot and toes have dramatically reduced. Also with the reduction in swelling comes the ability to move her ankle a bit which cheers her up. She starts practicing the first ankle exercise the dog suggested which is commonly called the ankle or toe alphabet. Basically she sits down with her leg straight and foot hanging off the edge of the bed and using her toes and ankle she writes the alpha bet in the air. The first few attempts are painful and barely resemble any actual letters of the alpha bet but by day 9 she sees a dramatic improvement. Mike had suggested that she go a second week non-weight bearing and focus more on some exercises, so that’s what she is doing. Day 10 sees more reductions in swelling, her ankle now returning to its former defined shape, the bruising has gradually subsided. Mike ventures out to the drug store that morning and returns two resistance bands of different strengths and Victoria gets straight into the next level of exercises. This involves her sitting flat on the floor with her leg straight out infront of her. She loops the resistance band under the base of her toes, and then slowly points her foot forward and backwards and left and right. She carried this out several times a day and gradually sees some improvement. Mike now switches to a cold followed by hot pack application and some deeper tissue massage which further reduces her swelling. Day 13 sees Victoria’s first steps since the injury. She uses the crutches for support and manages several steps on her first attempt. They are both very happy with her progress as she is almost 80% weight bearing after only 13 days and her ankle mobility is improving dramatically now that she is weight bearing. Day 16 Victoria ditches the crutches and is walking on her own. She keeps the ankle wrapped to provide some extra stability but is relatively pain free and mobile by this stage. She moves onto to heel raising exercises, which sees her standing flat footed and raising her heel on her injured ankle. Then progressing to raising both heels and standing in a tippy toe position. Day 18 and Victoria is recovery very well only 7 days from the next performance she is walking and can even manage a short jog. Almost all the swelling has gone and the bruising is almost non-existant. She asks Mike to fetch her high heels that she has to wear in the performance to she if she can walk in them. They start cautiously with Mike by her side offering a little support as she takes her first steps. Surprisingly she can walk not to bad. A little weak and a little sore after a long period of standing in them but much better than they had both expected. The next few days she increases her exercises and walking in high heels until the day before the show.
Mike sits her down and tells Victoria that he doesn’t want to twist her ankle this time. He is afraid that it could re-tear the ligaments very easily. After some discussion, they come to a compromise where Mike will twist her ankle but just a little bit. It should be enough to give her just a little pain. They both take it easy for the day, and prepare themselves for the show the next evening.
The last Show….
Preparations go as planned and Victoria and Mike share a passionate kiss in the dressing room just before the show starts. As the curtain draws the crowd roars. Every seat is packed and the front row has the director, screen play writer and the financiers and their friends watching closely.
Unfortunately the show does not start particularly well for Victoria. In an early scene where she is pictured in her office, she accidentally rolls her right ankle slightly. It was barely noticeable from the crowd but as Mike watches from the side of the stage he knows it’s not a good start. Like the brilliant actress she is she brushes it off like it never happened. They reach the scene where she walks in on the thief (Mike) and the two break out into a scuffle. Just before Victoria is to be wrestled to the ground, she is caught off balance. As she steps back her weight shifts awkwardly over her right foot, and her ankle snaps outwards violently. So much so that her ankle bends at 90 degrees as her body weight forces the ankle outwards. As her ankle reaches its full extent, a series of “POPS” or “crackles” reverberate of the stage. Mike looks Victoria in the eyes as she falls over and the expression on her face says it all. She felt every single pop as she falls down to the floor. Mike almost ready to break the scene and help her, resists for one moment, as Victoria shrugs it off like its part of the act. She winks at him as if to say, “I’m ok don’t stop” and then goes on with her lines.
Mike continues to act as per the script and a minute later they reach the ankle twisting scene. Mike reaches down for her right foot, making it look forceful and purposeful, but actually does it very gently. As he cradles her foot and stands up he brushes his hand over the outside of her right ankle. He feels a lump and then looks down. What he sees is that her outer ankle is swollen like a tennis ball. Literally like there was a tennis ball under the skin on her outer ankle, the lump protrudes outwards almost 2 inches. He knows that he wont have to twist her ankle, just making it will make it hurt. He does his best to make the scene look realistic pretending to twist the ankle, the slightest of movement sends jolts of pain down Victoria’s leg. The scene goes off like nothing was wrong and the show continues. Every movement from here for Victoria is excruciating. No hope of being able to bear any weight, and even holding it up just a fraction of an inch sends intense pain radiating from her ankle. Amazingly she pushes on like it was all part of the script.
As the curtain lowers, she collapses into Mike’s arms. She composes herself and stands next to him with her right foot gently placed in front of her. As the curtain raise to a standing ovation, all the cast take one last bow. As the curtain lowers one last time, Victoria collapses into Mike’s arms again. Breaking down into tears, and the over whelming pain takes over her emotions. Mike wastes no time in picking her up in his arms. As they weave through the cast on the set, headed for the dressing room, the other members who thought it was tears of joy soon realise that her ankle is hugely swollen.
As he carries the sobbing Victoria to the dressing room, Mike yells out to one of the production assistants back stage, “Get me ice and NOW”.
The man scurries off to get some ice. Mike takes Victoria into the room and helps her to sit down. He drags another chair over and lifts her foot up and rests it gently down. As Mike consols her, her tears slowly dry up and her mumbles turn to words. Not wanting to ask the obvious question but rather gauge the severity of the injury, he asks “Are you ok Victoria?”
As she wipes any final tears from her cheeks, she looks down at her ankle.
What was earlier a tennis ball sized lump has grown to the size of a large orange, protruding outwards several inches.
“I felt it, I felt all of them snap.”
She moans whilst grasping the chair as the pain continues to radiate from her ankle.
“When I stood up my ankle felt like jelly, I couldn’t move it at all.”
There is a knock at the door.
Mike rushes to the door and opens it to find the production assistant standing there with an ice pack and a first aid kit. Mike takes it from him, while he over hears a conversation from down the hall. The director and his patsy are talking to another cast member.
“Is she ok? What happened? I don’t know, but her ankle is very swollen.”
Mike closes the door knowing that they will be at the dressing room in no time.
Mike places the ice pack onto Victorias right ankle and then moves to her side to hold her hand. Only a minutes later and there is a knock at the door. Victoria yells out, “Come in”. The door opens and the director and his patsy move briskly into the room.
Congratulations turns into concern, as they realise that she is indeed injured. The actress in Victoria kicks in again, tell them that she will be fine. They once again congratulate her, and one of the financiers passes her a check.
“Here you go Victoria, this is your doubled contract and a personal thanks from all of us” she takes the check and thanks them before she glances down at the amount on the check. Her eyes open wide as she reads the amount, $100,000.
“Thankyou so much”
“No thank you Victoria.”
And they all leave the room.
She passes the check to Mike to see.
“Wow that’s a lot Victoria but you deserve every cent of it.”
Another knock at the door echoes through the room. Mike answers the door and there is a reporter standing there. She asks if she can do an interview with Victoria, Mike checks with Victoria and then lets the reporter in.
Victoria answers the reporters questions and then the reporter gets a few pictures including a picture of her badly sprained ankle. Then she thanks them both and exits the room.
Back at the apartment, Victoria lays down in bed with her right ankle elevated and an ice pack resting on it. She takes a few pain killers to help numb the pain and hopefully get some sleep. Mike stays by her side through-out the night, changing the ice pack regularly.
In the morning Victoria awakes to a deep intense throbbing pain from her ankle, as Mike walks through the door. He hands her some more pain killers, and a glass of water and then helps her to sit up in bed with some pillows behind her back for support. He then returns with a coffee for her and the local newspaper.
She opens to the front page and there is a picture of her. The headline reads “Actress Retires after the best performance seen in decades.” She told the reporter that she would be retiring from acting and looking at opening up her own acting school. She reads through the Article, “ Best performance seen in years…. Critics review the show as 10 out of 10, Actress continues the show with a severely sprained ankle despite the pain.” The picture on the front page shows Victoria seated in the dressing room, with her right ankle up on the chair and the ice pack removed. The angle of the shot captures her whole body including her severely swollen and sprained ankle.
The weeks to come prove to be the best part of their lives for Victoria and Mike. She takes several months to recover from her injury and is left with a completely ruptured ATFL, partially healed CTFL and posterior ligament.
They both quit their jobs and Victoria uses her large check to open their very own acting school, both of which will work and run fulltime. Mike proposes to Victoria and they get married 6 months later. Shortly after the wedding Victoria falls pregnant. Mike continues to run the business full time as the pregnancy proves to be difficult on Victoria’s immensely weak ankle. Due to the body releasing a natural relaxin, which increases the laxity in the ligaments, Victoria suffers two grade 2 sprains to her right ankle, through out the 9 month term.
As the years go by what started as an acting role, blossomed into a happy and fulfilling life together. Victoria regularly found herself elevating and icing her bad ankle, and every couple years she would inadvertently sprain her ankle again.
Every time she sprained her ankle, she would sit with an ice pack on her ankle, while Mike would read that famous front page article from the last and greatest performance by Victoria.