The Town Of Roses

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It was finally Friday it was the day of the Talent Show. I was looking forward to it, I had choreographed the most amazing routine for JoJo's “Baby its You”.

I sat backstage excitedly waiting for them to call my name. When they called my name my heart
jumped outta my chest, and I started getting really nervous. The audience got quiet when I didn't come out. My girlfriend Ali knew what was going on and got up from her seat and came backstage. She came over to me and asked why I hadn't came out. “I'm nervous”, I said. “Zach, you have are never nervous, you have performed on stage before, Nothing is different than it usually is”, Ali said. “ Your Right, Baby”, I replied. “ Now get out there and show them what you got”, She said. Ali walked out and went back to her seat.

I walked out onto the stage. The music started, and the feeling of nervousness evaporated. I started my routine. I started out shuffling and then went into some break-dancing.

The song was almost over so I thought it was time for the big finale. I went to get ready to flip off of the stage. I started running, I jumped and flipped landing in between two sections of seats.

Then it happened, my ankle buckled and I fell. When I tried to get back up I felt a sharp stabbing pain.
Ali ran over to me.”Whats wrong Zach”, she said worriedly. “I think my ankle is broken”, I replied.
The principal, Mr. Tucker, came up and said that the ambulance was on the way.

Several minutes later the EMT's walked in. One of them was a big burly man who looked more like a biker than an EMT. The other was a smaller woman who looked like the type of person everyone in the neighborhood would like.

The biker-looking EMT walked over to me. “What's your name son”, he said. “Zach”, I replied.
“I'm Mikey, may I see your ankle”, He asked. I let him see my ankle. “It looks like its broken in multiple places, go get a wheelchair”, he told the other EMT.

A few minutes later the female EMT returned with a wheelchair. Mikey helped me into it. Ali ran over and asked if I would be okay. Mikey said I should be fine and asked her if she wants to ride with me.

10 minutes later we pulled out of the school parking lot in the ambulance. Ali, who was sitting right next to me, looked as if she was about to fall into tears. “Ali, it's okay i'm gonna be fine”, I told her.
“I know, I just feel like its my fault”, She replied. “Baby, there was no way on earth you could've known that was gonna happen”, I said trying to comfort her. I leaned over and kissed her and I felt this small jolt, and by the look on her face she felt it too.

We pulled into the Archibold Memorial Hospital's parking lot. They pulled me out of the back of the ambulance and wheeled me down to x-rays with Ali right next to me the whole time.

Not long after I went in to get x-rays my parents showed up freaking out. The lady at the front desk told them where I was and to wait outside the door. They walked down the hall and saw Ali. “Ali, what are you doing here”, my dad asked her. “I was worried about Zach, so the EMT let me ride with”, she answered as they were rolling me out the x-ray room. My parents rushed me and started hugging me and asking me if I was okay. “Mom, Dad, I'm fine”, I told them. “We know we were just worried”, My mom replied. “Guess will have to cancel Paintball for your birthday next week, how about wheelchair races instead”, My dad said jokingly. To be honest I had forgotten my 18th birthday was coming up, I was so concentrated on finding something for Ali's 18th birthday which was 3 days after mine. I wanted to get her this this necklace with a heart-shaped ruby outlined in 14 karat gold. I had saved up for the past six months and luckily my last paycheck had been enough to pay for the rest of it.

A few hours later we were all back at my house. My parents were inside making dinner and offered to let Ali stay. Ali and I were sitting on the front porch on the swing. We were both quiet for what seemed hours. Finally I decided to say something. “Baby, are you okay”, I asked her. “Ill be fine”, she responded.
“Baby its not your fault I broke my ankle”, I told her. “ She looked at me with tears in her eyes. “Yes it is Zach if I hadn't told you to get out there and do your routine you wouldn't have broken your ankle”, She said in the midst of sobbing. I put my arm around her. “I love you baby”, I told Ali. At first she seemed shocked at what I had said. Then she looked over to me and then leaned over and kissed me. “I love you too Zach”, She responded.

The Monday after the accident I went back to school. Everybody kept coming up and asking if I was okay. Ali wouldn’t leave my side all day, which was kinda hard not to do cause we have the same schedule, because she worried I was gonna get hurt again.

Weeks of school passed without any major events occurring. Before I knew it Junior year was over and it was the summer. Ali told me earlier in the year she was going outta town for 3 weeks to visit some family.

I woke up on Sunday morning, the day Ali was to leave. I got up outta bed, hopped in the shower and got dressed, before heading over to Ali's down the street.

When I got to her house they were just about ready to leave. Ali walked up to me and grabbed my hand and kissed me and said that she cant wait until the 3 weeks have passed and she is back. I reached into my jean pocket. “I got you this”, I said, opening the case to reveal a ruby necklace. “ I wanted to get this for your birthday, but I hadn’t been able to get the money to get it until yesterday”, I told her. “Its beautiful Zach, I love it and I love you”, She said, giving me another kiss. “I love you too baby, and i'll see in 3 weeks when you get back”, I told her as she got in her car to leave.

While Ali was gone I decided to hang out at the library downtown by Blochs Piano.

After about a week people started recognizing me there. I met Ms. Alicia, Greg, and Jeanna who ran the front desk. I made friends with a very nice woman who worked back in the youth area named Ms. Pamela. She started telling me about all the workshops they did for poetry and various other things. So I started to come to them. I started to realize things about myself that I never really noticed before. I found a love for poetry and writing. Even after Ali came back I continued to come to the workshops most of the time bringing Ali with me. Over time my ankle healed and I went back to dancing again. Going to the workshops together made Ali and I closer than ever before.

About a year later, I took Ali out to Grassroots Coffee for lunch. When we got there we sat and just talked for awhile. Then I looked at her. “Ali, I have something to ask you”, I said. “What is it”, She asked Curiously. I got down on one knee and pulled a ring out of my pocket. “Ali, Will you marry me”, I asked her. She paused in shock. Then in a low voice she responded. “ Yes, I will marry you”.

Well It has been about 2 years since. We were married last summer and have our first child on the way.

Oh and I almost forgot I kept on dancing I am now an instructor for hip hop dance at the Dance Academy.





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