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Slice of Sam
It was a fine summer Sunday. There were a couple white, puffy, marshmallow clouds floating lazily through the clear blue sky. The temperature was perfect 79 degrees, and I was sitting in my room with a glowing screen spilling its secrets at me. The light that was supposed to be spilling into my room was instead muffled by the closed beige shutters. Doing nothing is what my parents called it, yet I knew in my logical little world, that doing nothing is impossible, because I was sitting and breathing, and playing video games. All three of those actions are doing something.
“Sam, Matt, we’re going on a bike ride!” My mom yelled
“NO!” My reply was almost instantaneous, like I had been practicing for weeks.
“If you don’t, I’ll turn off the Internet!”
That was a conversation that often happened over summer break. My parents always try to get me and my little brother off the computer and doing something active and refreshing, or so they say. I told them that the air outside is no less “refreshing” than the air inside, considering that outside air is often filled with pollutants, but they never listened before, and the wouldn’t listen then.
So I trudged downstairs to find something other than pajamas to wear, since I was dressed to stay at home all day, and found a pair of shorts that I thought would be appropriate, considering the weather forecasts for the day where highly favorable toward sunny skies and not so blistering heat. I uncovered a solid gray t-shirt that I was saving for P.E. class in school. I hadn’t been to a shoe store in a couple months and, go figure, I had no pairs of sneakers that would fit. I had to wear my fabulous Keens instead. The Keens I had were a type of sandal that had a navy blue sole that was built for hiking around creeks and rivers. They were slip on sandals but wrapped around above my foot so they couldn’t fall off without a significant amount of force applied to them.
I shuffled gloomily outside after my Keens had been slipped on, only to be greeted with an image of my brother attempting to pump up his deflated tire by spasmodically trying to jump up and down on top of the pump. It obviously didn’t work.
“You do realize that that isn’t working, right?” I asked my brother tentatively.
“It might work if I keep on trying.”
My brother is so optimistic that he thinks everything can be done any way, and he thinks that his way is always the best road to take to complete an objective. I obviously thought differently.
“Well I guess I’ll leave you to your retardedness,” I replied as I glowered down at my brother.
Since both my brother and my mom where busy at the time, and I didn’t need to repair my mountain bike, I decided it would be a brilliant idea to ride up the hill of our street, then see how long it takes for me to get back down. I rode up to the top and stared down the gently sloping hill of Ellis Street. I had done this a million times, so there was no thought of fear that could have flashed across me at the time. I got up on my bike and pushed off the ground to begin pedalling. I did it flawlessly. In a few seconds I was racing down the hill at 15, 16, 17, finally resting at a near constant 20 miles per hour in just a few seconds.
I thought I saw a bright flash from the corner of my eye, and I turn my head a fraction of a degree away from the street. Everything to the left of my was on my blind-side. In a fraction of a second, I felt something wrenching the handlebars from me. The bike immediately tried to my blinded left-side, and toppled downward, taking my body with it. Sometime during the minuscule amount of time I was falling helplessly toward the cold, grey cement, my foot must have slipped off the sharp-spiked pedals. When I thudded against the unforgiving pavement, it felt as if an angry elephant had stampeded across my brain. And while I was recovering from the fall, I dragged my leg out from under my bike.
I happened to send a glance toward my leg as I got my wits about me. The bright crimson of blood flashed across my vision. I swore. My inside ankle had a gigantic crimson red blotch where I thought skin should be. The taught skin of my ankle had been cut cleanly through, and the skin had split open to reveal blood covered skin and bone. My first thought was that I was glad I didn’t wear socks, the pedal would just have cut through that too. I laughed a little inside when I thought that.
“Do you need help?” The lady across the street called in a motherly voice.
“Yeah, maybe,” I called back across the street.
My brother materialized down the street in front of my house.
“Get Mom!” I called down to him.
He disappeared back into the house.
The neighbor had crossed the street by then, and she was carrying a small plastic container with a red cross on the front. She swore as well.
“Sam, what happened?” My mother called accusingly from down the street, running up to reach me.
When she got there, she swore for the third time at my flesh wound.
“I have some padding and gauze so we can stop the blood flow,” the neighbor said in a clinical manner.
I didn’t see how we could stop the flowing blood, a small puddle had formed beneath my foot, and it was continuing to spread farther on the surrounding concrete. A thought crossed my mind that I had just lost the rest of my weekend. I laughed inside about that too.
My mom must have thought I was smiling because she asked why I look so happy about this incident.
“I was just thinking that I had lost my weekend just now,” I replied innocently.
All the while, my neighbor had closed up the wound in a white and brown cocoon.
“There, that should work until you get to a doctor,” my neighbor got up and brushed her hands together.
“We need to go now, Matt, Sam, get in the car,” my mom ordered my brother and I into the car, helping me down the street.
My brother got in behind me and my mom started to drive down the street toward the doctor, going five over the speed limit all the way.