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Let's go Sledding

I’ve never broken a bone, and there was only one time in my life as of yet that I have come close. I was in sixth grade at my friend Lauren’s house, an old neighbor and my oldest friend. The same friend who convinced me to pee on her rug with her when we were six, broke her wrist doing a round-off in the front yard one night, ran screaming down her driveway in one shoe and pure terror because the neighbors jack russell terrier decided to chase after her, and the most caring, cautious person I know.

Lauren’s personality persuaded me to do it, I’ve always known her to be a sensible person and so when she suggested the idea it didn’t seem unreasonable or even a little dangerous. If the idea had come from her sister Patrice, I would have hesitated more, probably even laughed at the suggestion and moved on to the next one. But, it was Lauren’s suggestion so we all agreed to it. I remember thinking, if Lauren suggested it, it can’t be a bad idea, this will be fun.

The idea sprung out of boredom. Lauren, Patrice and I sat on the couch trying to come up with something to do. Lauren first sarcastically suggested swinging on the chandelier above the stairs. The impossibility of this idea sparked her next one, to sled down the stairs. Thinking it would be fun, we went to the garage dragged up the pink plastic toboggan and climbed it to the top of the long carpeted stairs towing it behind us. Just as we were about to go, Lauren, the one who came up with the idea, decided against it and jumped out leaving me and Patrice to go down alone. I should have realized that it wasn’t such a good idea once Lauren changed her mind. But, this is where we’re different. Lauren came to her senses before she did something that she knew wasn’t smart, I on the other hand, already had the idea set in my head, and wasn’t about to change my mind, so I went through with the plan. I was in the front and Patrice behind me, we went down once, stopping just before the wall, then tried to convince Lauren to do it with us the second time. She wouldn’t do it this time either, but it still didn’t register with me that this might be dangerous, after all I had just done it once, and it was fun.
We weren’t so lucky this time. We were at the top of the stairs, Patrice pushed off behind me and then we were moving down towards the wall across from the bottom of the stairs. I knew it was coming before it came, I saw the hard, solid, wall and we weren’t slowing down the way we had last time. I saw Lauren’s face as we passed her, saw her eyes widen and her jaw drop, and then we stopped, the nose of the sled slammed into the wall. The next thing I remember is laughing and hearing Patrice’s infectious laugh behind me. She lifted herself out of the sled and I went to do the same. Pain shot through my foot into my leg, and I was forced to sit back down. All the other ideas we had and the other things we had the chance to do rushed into my head. Why did I think this was a good idea? Was it even fun the first time? Why did I get hurt, why not Patrice? I could hear Lauren’s voice and looked up at her, I wasn’t sure what she was saying, I was too busy thinking, Lauren was right, she was smart enough not to do this. The one thing I never thought was, “This was Lauren’s idea”. I never blamed her for it, how could she have known what was going to happen, it wasn’t her fault at all.
Before I was aware of what Lauren was saying, and before we figured out what to do next, much less contemplate what to tell our parents, Lauren’s dad pulled into the driveway. As this was obviously not something he would have been happy about, Lauren ran into the computer room, rolled out the swivel chair, helped me onto it and rolled me into the play room.

When her dad came into the house we decided we would keep the sledding a secret and tell him I fell down the stairs. He called my mom who came to pick me up and brought me over to Beverly Hospital for x-rays. When the nurse asked how I had hurt myself I didn’t think twice before telling her I had fallen down the stairs. It turned out that I hadn’t broken my foot, but I had bruised the bone and to me this was just as, if not more painful. I don’t know if the nurse believed I had fallen down the stairs, but our parents did for a while. When we finally told them almost a year later they said, “Well now you have a good story to tell your kids.”



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