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The sound of snow crunching softly underneath my skis has always been my favorite sound. It's relaxing even if you are skiing at twenty miles per hour. The crystalline snow passes underneath me and trees flow in my direction. Evergreens that look soft and fluffy rush towards me, their pine needles covered in frost. I am in Colorado, my home. I was born and raised here, and skiing is just as familiar to me as walking is.
I lazily drift out of the way of an upcoming rock, with only the tip of it above the snow. Ahead, I can see, is rocky area, a place to be careful even if you're the most advanced skier in the world. I swoop and curve and dodge and drift to weave through the rocks (and keep my skis on the snow). Halfway into the rock patch, a sound bursts me out of my concentration. A horrible screeching sound, with loud beeps at intervals.
BEEP beep BEEP beep BEEP beep!
Where was this infernal squawking coming from? I had a watch strapped onto my wrist, but I didn't have set on any alarm. Maybe I should check it to make sure. I raised the clock up to my ear and received only a steady tick. But no matter where I went, even if I swerved sharply though the rocks, the sound followed me everywhere. I tried to lose the sound through the patch, a horrid idea on my part. Rocks were still coming into my vision. Even if it were a small bump of about an inch, there's a chance that it could cause me to lose my balance and everything goes downhill, literally. But the horrible beeping, the screeching was insulting my ears. I had to get away! Skiing is my 'happy place', so to speak, and this sound was simply stressful.
My stupid stunt worked against me. I failed to keep my eyes on the snow, and I failed to see a black blur racing towards me. When I was launched an inch or two into the air, then I knew that I was in trouble. My skis hit the ground, and I automatically tried to right myself. I only turned myself turn sideways. Evergreens were closing in on me now. Although their needles looked fluffy with the powdery snow on them, I knew that the trunk of the tree was unforgiving to skiers moving at 20 miles per hour. I was engulfed by the evergreen's pine needles, which were prickly and scratched at my uncovered face. I knew that in a couple of seconds I was going to slam into the trunk.
I grabbed a gulp of icy air, but instead I took in... Thick humid air? I was lying down, I knew that at least. Was I still on the snow, did I survive the crash? But why did the air change? The beeping continued to squawk into my ear. Should I even open my eyes? I took three deep breaths of the thick air to try and calm myself. I only realized that I missed Colorado’s thin and crisp air more with each breath.
I opened my eyes and found myself to be staring at an alarm clock, its green numbers flashing at 7:32. The beeping was coming from there- at least that meant I could turn it off. I reached for the big 'OFF' button but I was only rewarded with an aching feeling. I tried once more, and this time I was able to shut the darn thing off. I looked at my surroundings- my bed was fairly comfortable, if not somewhat engulfing. (I had all of my sheets and covers wrapped around me like a cocoon). My walls were painted a relaxing caramel color, instead of the blue of my home's walls, and my wardrobe and dresser was made of dark wood, as opposed to my painted white wardrobe and dresser. Sunlight lazily streamed through the half-closed blinds. A mirror hung right of the dresser, and the bedroom door was located on a wall about six feet away. The room I was in was plain, fairly nice- but not my home.
”Keep calm, Jeremy. Maybe you wiped out and someone took you into their care," I said aloud to myself.
Of course, this did not help when I realized that my voice sounded, it sounded old. I tried to fling the covers off me and I was rewarded with only a feeble throw. My elbow ached. I slid from under the covers until my feet were touching the floor. (This was a rather odd plastic like wood, not real wood like the ones in my house). I slowly, agonizingly, sat up. When I did, I saw myself in the mirror and I finally saw myself.
Liver spots, balding, thin white hair. I had practically had no muscle definition, though I wasn't a skeleton. My hands and face were wrinkled. My sleeping shirt was draped over me like it was made for a giant. That was the only part of myself that I recognized were my eyes. Cold blue, but not unfriendly.
The doorknob started to turn and I looked at it slowly. Was it the person who saved me, who took care of me after the crash? Or was the person my captor? Did they know why I was aged so much?
I was not expecting the three people who came in.
“Grandpa!” cried tiny voices, their little arms raised up for a hug. They looked exceptionally bright eyed and bushy-tailed, and they were dressed up in tutus that bounced with every step. The third person was a dashing man, middle age. He had the same blue eyes as me.
“Hey, Pops,” he said, smiling warmly.
He picked up one of the little girls and made her fly around the room like an airplane, landing her on my bed giggling like a maniac. I didn’t remember these people, their names- but they felt familiar. I knew them, even if I didn’t know their names. The man was my son, and my two grandchildren were on my bed, chanting ‘Tell us a story, tell us a story!’
Even though I couldn’t formulate the words, even though my tongue refused to work, I knew that I was with my family, and I was in a place where I was loved.