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Over the Edge
Bad day today. Woke up late, burned my toast, forgot my math homework, slipped on the ice outside school. Couldn’t sit down comfortably because of the bruise, got in trouble for talking in class, dissected frogs in bio (eew!), got rude comments on my new skirt, and missed the bus on the way home. Make that a really bad day.
But, I just slung my backpack higher on my shoulder and walked the mile and a half back home.
“Dishes are not optional.” My mother’s usual friendliness greeted me at the door. I could have explained about my day, but what’s the point?
I got to work, unloading the dishes. I set an ancient champagne glasses on the microwave. Even though my mother only has one every week or so, we had eleven others that we never used. I finished loading the dirty breakfast dishes into the dishwasher and began to put away the clean ones.
I took some plates in my hand, and without thinking, I opened the cupboard above the microwave. Wham! The champagne glass flew across the room and smashed on the floor.
After everything that has happened today, after all the pain and humiliation I’ve been through, something just snaps. Even as my mother came in, telling me not to worry, there are plenty others, I ran to the door and threw it open.
And I didn’t care about the snow. I didn’t care that I didn’t have any shoes. I just wanted to run and run and never look back. Down the sidewalk, left, right, across the road. My socks were soaked with muddy water. But I just kept running.
Unconsciously, I had chosen the park as my destination. I collapsed onto a bench, my sobs making puffs of white in the gathering darkness.
Then someone came around the corner, panting as they rode their bike.
I hid my face in my hands and willed myself to be quiet, just until they passed. But then they stop. I peeped out and saw a boy.
He looked me up and down, taking in my wet socks, tear-stained face, and overall disheveled appearance.
“Is that you, Karina?” he asked. And suddenly I recognized him as Sam, the boy who sat in front of me in math. “You had a tough day, huh?”
I could only nod. Now he would laugh, and then tell everyone. Tomorrow, I would be the laughing stock of the school. I dropped my face into my dirty hands. But then I felt clean, strong ones pull them away.
“Come on,” Sam said with a smile, pulling me up onto his bicycle. “It’s okay. Let’s go home.”
Sometimes, even when you have a tough time, you live through it, and then go to bed. You may reach the edge, but you keep your balance. Then the next day you can start all over again. But sometimes, it’s harder. Push upon push until you’re right there - right on the edge. And then it doesn’t matter what it is, it might be a punch in the face, or a breath of air – you can’t take it. You fall.
And sometime no rope or parachute will work. Only a strong hand, lifting you back up. So don’t worry. Someone will help you back up over the edge. :)