Su-Ma remembered her joke the day before, about building up her muscles with all the exercise she'd get, pushing her wheelchair. She wished she could go back in time and slap her day-younger self. Nobody thought to warn her how hard it was to push a wheelchair through gravel. Packed dirt was much easier, even if there were small rocks under the surface, making it uneven. She looked at the birch tree-lined path leading from the far side of the upper gardens to the tea houses looking over the lagoons. Just what kind of an optimistic idiot had she been, to think a tour of the grounds under arm power would be a good way to build up endurance?
Her phone rang, startling a squeak out of her. She laughed at herself for a few seconds while the ringtone toodled through Audio Adrenaline's "My Father's House," the ringtone for the Quarry Hall switchboard. Why would the switchboard be calling her?
"Hello?" She flinched when she realized she sounded somewhat breathless.
"I can see you," Connie sing-songed.
Su-Ma turned around as far as the chair would allow and looked up at the small window on the third floor, at the far end of the long communications room. She stuck her tongue out, then held her hand flat under her chin and waggled her fingers. Most of the girls had started using the "high sign" after a Little Rascals marathon one extremely rainy Saturday. No response meant Connie could see her, but no close-up details.
"Elizabeth is looking for you. They need you at the phone conference with Xander. She said something about it being your brain-child, so you should be involved."
"Uh oh." Su-Ma thought back to yesterday's call from Haley. At least she hadn't let the rude young woman know the name they used for her now: Miss God's-Gift-to-Arc.
"You're not in trouble," Connie said with a chuckle. "Do you need help getting in?"
"If they want to talk to me before lunchtime, yeah. Does anyone have any idea how hard it is to roll down the paths around here?"
"Go complain to the Americans with Disabilities committee." Then Connie hung up.