Bad Decisions Make the Best Stories | Teen Ink

Bad Decisions Make the Best Stories

April 3, 2015
By Abby McCarthy BRONZE, Wayland, Massachusetts
Abby McCarthy BRONZE, Wayland, Massachusetts
4 articles 16 photos 2 comments

“Whatever you do, don’t go down the big hill.”  Five times my brother had bossed me around with this phrase. It rang in my ears as I pointed my weathered skateboard down the big hill. My not-so white keds, tattered from months of beatific summer wandering, perched on the gritty board. I smirked defiantly at Josh’s head of wild curls at the bottom of the hill. He must have been rolling his dark eyes and releasing a low grunting of disapproval, but he was too far away to stop me.


Eyes wide with excitement, I pushed off, knees bent. The board and I were leisurely sailing tranquil seas, stirring up a cool breeze in the sticky June air. I was gliding like a fiery red porsche. We accelerated effortlessly. The grinding of broad plastic wheels against solid pavement harmonized the frantic action of my adrenal glands. The slope steepened until I was tottering for balance with arms extended like an overenthusiastic flying squirrel. I began to regret my hasty decision to conquer the hill.


I noticed a menacing grey pebble on the road, waiting to kill. I generally like life, enjoy living, and don’t want to die. So I arched my spine and shifted my weight back to avoid the pebble, and felt my legs quiver as I swerved violently. Suddenly the board was launched from beneath me, and I was thrown forward into an ethereal fall. As I plummeted to my death, I’d like to say I saw poignant flashbacks of emotional childhood, the dear faces of loved ones, or all my callow, unfulfilled dreams flash before my eyes. But I didn’t. As jarring, mottled ground approached my unprotected forehead, all I could think was, S***. I’m falling. 


The dense pavement hit my bare palms first. I was caught red handed, my most delicate layers of skin deserted on the road. My body must have slid less than twelve inches, but it felt like I left behind an organic trail of crimson organs and once living cells. To some extent this was true, minus the organs part. My left leg had scraped a sticky crimson trail, as my grazed shoulder decided to join the fun and ooze sweet blood too. I lay shaking on the ground, mangled and moist with my own juices, my ribcage jerking rhythmically while my lips tightened and widened to release the sound of a giggling, primal moose.


My gashes were spurting enough for the streams to develop into tributaries, staining my faded tanktop strap and newly torn jean shorts my favorite color: dark red. The wounds had already yellowed on the edges from gelatinous pus that reminded me of a particularly nasty yellow Jello I had packed for lunch one day in third grade. Nothing makes a wound dirty like the caress of coarse dirt. The ardent specimens of grainy debris only further aggravated my tender, excoriated flesh. I wanted to grab my lacerated leg and rock back and forth in the fetal position screaming like the worst of heavy metal, but my swollen hands seared and I was benumbed. My chortling continued like a rusty seesaw. That was when Josh reached me on his long legs, indeed only halfway down the slope.


“You’re an idiot.” He chided, nonchalantly shifting his lanky figure away to apparently walk home without me. He turned his freckled face back as though terribly bored by my incapacitation, “Can you get up?” He said it like I was a vivacious four year old tumbling through a jumbo mud puddle. I let out one final hoarse moan,
“I’ve been slayed.” Josh waited, with slim sneaker tapping, through the full minute I took to prop myself up on inflamed limbs. His lanky figure casually strolled by my side as I limped, throbbing and aching sore, to haul myself home. Then I had to deal with my high-strung mother. That could be a whole ‘nother story.


I’m not about to cannonade myself down a big hill anytime in the near future. I’ll even admit skateboarding may not be for me. However, I have no regrets. After all, bad decisions make the best stories.


The author's comments:

Nothing but the truth


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This article has 1 comment.


on Apr. 19 2015 at 4:19 am
DarkCherryFlavor, Brodhead, Kentucky
0 articles 2 photos 5 comments
You make it sound so dramatic.


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