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A Football Fiasco
“Keep going, keep going, keep go- stop!” That was the last thing I heard before the accident. But of course, I didn’t stop. Why would I stop? All I cared about was catching that football. My brother and teammates were counting on a win, and it was up to me to make it happen. Nothing would stand in the way of that touchdown.
Nothing except that wall…
How was I supposed to know there was a wall behind me? I swear, they moved it while my back was turned. It’s never been that close to the chalk-filled square we drew one day as a substitute 1st base. I don’t care what anyone says. They moved it. Someone played a trick on me.
If my life was a comic book, this panel would have been splattered red and black. There would be nothing but a giant ‘THUD’ filling up the page, followed by the inevitable ‘OWW’ and a monsoon of tears. Then people would run onto the page, rushing to my aid. Panel by panel, all nearby adults would offer suggestions on how to handle my delicate head. “Get some ice!” “We have to stop the bleeding.” “Band-aid, anybody, band-aid?” “A band-aid won’t do anything.” “Someone, call an ambulance!” Confusion and chaos would overtake the page, all the while I’d be lying on the ground. Turn the page. Another panel of black and red while my brother sat by my side, hopelessly trying to stop my blood from leaving my head. The final panel would be nothing but red and blue as the flash of the ambulance lights surrounds us all.
But my life is not a comic book.
My head hit. Blood stained the brick. My brother came running. And everything went black.
Simple as that.
I’ll probably never remember what happened between the collision and waking up in a hospital bed. The first thing I remember was waking up to a strange man dressed entirely in white looking over some charts while my mom sat by my side where she had apparently been for two hours. Once I realized where I was the first thing I thought of was how awful I must have looked in the starchy blue backless gown I was forced into at some point during the blur. Little did I know that my attire was the last thing anybody would be looking at. Each of my visitors became immediately fixated on the gauze that engulfed the back of my head.
I later learned that immediately after hitting my head, an ambulance was called to the scene. Three paramedics rushed out and wrapped up the back of my head as if they were trying to keep me fresh for later. I was wheeled over to where the ambulance sat, waiting for its next victim. Once inside the ambulance I was bombarded with tubes, masks and gauze. Then off we were, ripping through the streets, my brother following close behind in our neighbor’s mini-van.
We arrived at the hospital where I was charged through the halls towards the E.R. Then I was stuck with an I.V. and quickly fell asleep. During my slumber, I had some bits of brick removed from my head and eight stitches were put in their place.
I’d never had stitches before. The thought used to make me squeamish. A bunch of black string threaded through your body? No thanks, I’d rather not. But when it actually happened to me, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d imagined. Of course, I couldn’t look at them or touch them. But as long as I didn’t think about the string going through my scalp, I could get through the day without feeling nauseous.
My dad walked in shortly after the doctor left and sat by my mom. He was carrying a giant teddy bear and a balloon that I still find hilarious. Somehow he was able to find a football shaped balloon in the hospital gift shop. Who knew?
When I finally saw my brother later that day, I asked the inevitable. His responses made it all clear. Yes, I hit the wall hard, and yes, I paid for it greatly. But when I hit, I caught the ball. It never dropped. We won the game. No, I won the game.
Eight stitches. That was the price I paid for victory. Thinking back, I probably should’ve stopped.