Sitting down to dinner with his disabled girlfriend of three years, Brent Hawthorne, 27, decided it was time to ask the question that had been on his mind for a while. Taking a deep breath, he gestured to Monica Kimmel, 29, and asked, “So, what happened to you?’
The question hung in the air for a second, as Hawthorne worried that he had overstepped his bounds. He quickly took a sip of water.
Throughout the relationship, Hawthorne had occasionally wondered why his girlfriend was in a wheelchair, but he thought he should spend a few years getting to know her personality before asking about her disability.
Kimmel had just taken a rather large bite of mashed potatoes and took her time chewing. Hawthorne considered retracting the question, but it was too late. He set his glass down and wished he had waited another year or so.
Kimmel swallowed and put her fork down. “Muscular dystrophy,” she said. “Can you please pass the salt?”
As Kimmel salted her potatoes, Hawthorne sighed in relief. He took his phone out under the table and discreetly texted “She said muscular dystrophy!” to his curious friends. He would have to break the news to his parents in person.