Taken for Granted

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We have all gotten injuries before. Whether it was an eighth of an inch long paper cut or a broken leg, injuries are inevitable, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. Like it or not, we are human, and humans are not perfect. We can be as careful and meticulous about our actions as possible, yet still get hurt if we slip up for one millisecond. I wish I had been more careful that morning I injured my left thumb.

The chilly spring wind flew into my room through the open window, brushed me lightly on the cheek, and I awoke with a yawn. It took a few seconds for my grogginess to disappear, then all of a sudden a mental alarm jolted through me. The first thing that popped into my mind was that I would be taking the mid-term science test that accounted for 20% of our final trimester grade. While regretting that I had not studied more, a terrifying call came from downstairs.

“SHANNON! GET UP ALREADY! YOU’RE LATE!” my mom shrieked.

I glanced at my alarm clock. I could not believe my eyes. 8:06 AM! School starts at 8:15! I slipped on jeans while brushing my teeth, then bursted down the stairs three at a time with my hair unbrushed, speedy as a rocket ship.

On the way to school, it seemed that traffic was even worse than usual. Every intersection had a blaring red stoplight. I groaned. With each passing second, I grew more and more anxious. Science class was the first period of the day, and Ms. Mellentine would make a late student stand in front of the class and recite the reasons for the delay. How embarrassing! I thought. But the traffic was as lethargic as a somnolent sloth, and the clock kept ticking. 8:12... 8:13...

At last, my mom pulled into the drop-off zone.

“Bye, Mom!” I called out, grabbing my backpack and starting towards school.

A couple seconds after, I shivered, wearing short sleeves in 60 degree weather. Suddenly, I remembered that I left my purple hoodie in the car. Feeling frustrated and angry for making myself even more late to school, I jogged back to the car. I snatched the jacket and shut the car door. Ouch! I felt a sting in my left thumb as sharp as a staccato note played on a piano. However, the sting was not that painful, and I could handle it, so I continued on to class without a second thought.

Soon after, the stinging intensified into a numb and throbbing sensation that I could not ignore. I snuck a peek at my thumb, feeling timid about what I would see, and my eyes widened at the next sight. There was a puddle of glistening, bold, deep scarlet blood on my thumb.

I had always been scared of the sight of blood, ever since I was young. It is a substance that no one can live without, yet I can live my whole life happily without ever seeing blood. The sight of it instantly makes my head spin nauseously.

What happened next seemed to take place very quickly. My friends saw me with my bloody thumb, came sprinting, rushed me to the bathroom, rinsed my thumb in the sink, hurried me to the office, and escorted me safely to class. A river of tears rolled unyieldingly down my face the entire time, which made it difficult to see anything. Meanwhile, horrifying pictures of me with a crippled, crooked, and paralyzed thumb filled my half-conscious mind, and I did not think logically.

With this accident, I was, by far, late to class. About half the period had already gone by, and when I stepped inside the classroom, all the students were in the middle of taking the dreaded science test. Fortunately, Ms. Mellentine excused me from it. After seeing my thumb bundled in layers and layers of fluffy white gauze and medical tape, to protect myself from the gory image I would have seen, Ms. Mellentine did not even order me to give a speech on why I was late.

Having a broken thumb was highly inconvenient. I could not do many of the things I did usually, things I took for granted. For instance, it was difficult to do things such as play piano, hold a cup, peel a banana, type on the computer, ride a bike, cook, open a can, pour milk, and that is just to name a few. Although a thumb is a small part of me physically, it is needed for a great portion of activities in my daily lifestyle. Yes, injuries happen, and will continue to happen to everyone, but at least we can all try to prevent them the best we can.





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