Memories of October

May 13, 2010
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Autumn days were warm in 1999. Everything seemed to move faster. I watched fragile leaves turn from green to red and fall to the moist ground. Yesterday, the weatherman promised sunny and cloudless skies. I was excited because I wanted to play “adventurer” in the woods behind my house. But that night, when the thunderstorm came, I learned that the weatherman could lie. I had always revered something about the people on television. I thought they lived such magical lives that they were above lying and mistakes; but I was wrong.
Today, I felt deceived as I stared out my window and into the black puddles on the street. I put my rain-boots on, a raincoat, and science goggles. I colored my face in warrior paint with the watercolor set. I decided to hold a fair fight with the elements themselves. I marched downstairs, past my mother, who stared at me, and past my sister, who stared at my mother. That is when they took the picture, forever to be a memory caught in time. Right then I knew that ten years later, when I was 16, I would recover this photo and retell its story. But I couldn’t waste time with making memories to put in scrapbooks as an old girl, thanks to the weatherman my plans had been cancelled and now I was a secret agent, saving fun for all the kids in what seemed like the world.
I swung the door open, launched myself down the stairs and marched across the warm green grass of October. The air was thick and smelled like the rain, like the enemy. It was warm so I peeled off my raincoat. I placed it on the neighbor’s car and made my way into the streets of the cul-de-sac.
There it was, the biggest puddle I had ever encounter lay just left of my home. I walked right up to it and, with the meanest game face I could muster, stared right into its colossal mass. I only saw my reflection, but I knew somewhere within the deep dark depths of the water there were hundreds maybe even thousands of tiny little rainmen pointing and laughing at my defeat. Although I wasn’t man enough to jump in the puddle and risk wetting my favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirt, I was satisfied with my alternative tool of destruction. I ran into the house and up the stairs, past my mother and past my sister, and into my room. One I had it, I back-tracked my path down the stairs, now taking two at a time, and out into the cloudy October day.
I unfolded my red razor scooter and stared at the puddle with sinister delight. I pushed my way to the top of the hill on my street. When I reached the top I mounted the scooter and fixed my foot against the curb. With one push, I launched myself into the street and down the hill. As closed my eyes and squatted down low I could feel the wind beating against my face and the sound of the wheels rolling on the pavement. I envisioned my success; a warrior within reach of her victory. I imagined the smells of the feast my mother would prepare: mac ‘n cheese, pizza, jelly beans, and cookies. I dreamt of the fame that would come; people would love me for saving them from boredom and giving them the chance to play outside. I opened my eyes and by this time I was flying down the hill, although only seconds had pasted. I stood up as I approached the puddle and I started to pull on my brake. Somehow, I would not slow down. I started to panic as chills ran up by spine. Then that was it. I lost control, reached the edge of the puddle and fell to the ground. I felt myself falling asleep. It was a quiet, calm, deep sleep where I felt nothing and heard nothing. All I can remember of that day is seeing a sideways image of my mom bust out of the door and run toward me.

I woke up in the hospital. I heard the annoying beep of the monitor and felt the cold hands of my sister. I opened my eyes to my mom talking to a doctor in the doorway. The hospital was cold, not like outside. The bed sheets were itchy and uncomfortable. I sat up and my sister rushed to stop me. I looked and her, then at my mom who held the crutches I would soon inherit. Great. The doctor came over and told me that I had a twisted ankle. He smelled like peppermint and herbal tea.
Ultimately, I made way home. I mom told me that the puddle I had planned to run over was actually a pothole in the middle of the street. The entire ride I had the window down and watched the red-orange leaves pass me by. I knew the rainmen were laughing hysterically by now. The weatherman was probably laughing too. I was carried up to my room where I watched the sun-kissed leaves fall to the ground and I wondered if there had been any rain at all.

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