One Long Note | TeenInk

One Long Note

December 28, 2008
By Alex Kimball, Hamilton, OH

At that moment the heart monitor’s steady beep picked up in speed drastically. The doctor called for help and started to usher us out of the room as fast as possible. Time stopped and all I could hear was the beep getting quicker and quicker. Finally the doctor got us all out of the room and right before the door closed I heard a sound that would change my life.

“Bye mom!” I yelled as we got on our bikes ready to go to the park.

“Be careful” she replied. As usual my reply was “we always are” with a grin and a short wave as we set off on our adventure.

While we road along we talked about the things we always talked about; music, video games, girls, and movies. We took a short break at the drive through for some drinks. Daniel got a full throttle, Scott got an Orange Crush, and I got a NOS. After getting our drinks we hopped back on our bikes and finished the short ride the rest of the way to the park.

When we arrived at the park we raced to the swings and swung slowly and talked while sipping our drinks. About ten minutes later I saw a cat out of the corner of my eye prancing over the top of a nearby hill.

“Kitty!” I yelled as I jumped onto my bike and pedaled over in the direction of the cat. As I wheeled closer it fled into some nearby brush on the top of the hill. Setting my bike down, I climbed up the hill and on the other side I saw a bike path. I stood there waiting for Daniel and Scott as they caught up to me. When they stopped in front of me I walked down the other side of the hill into the small stretch of woods.

When I got to the other side of the woods I slipped on a steep ledge that let to a 30 foot drop. Without thinking I quickly grabbed at the closest sapling pulling with all of my strength and recovered. After pulling myself back up I saw Daniel and Scott laughing.

“You should have seen your face” Scott said, trying to hold back tears as he laughed.

“Yeah, you were like…” said Daniel attempting to imitate the look on my face with his own. Then, I started laughing and I couldn’t stop. Finally after about five minutes the laughing subsided and I asked “So, are we gonna go down there or what?”

“Sure if you want” replied Daniel “but how are we going to get down there? There is no way I’m jumping!”

“We could climb down.” said Scott gesturing toward a fallen tree.

“Alright let’s do it.”


We all climbed down the tree, still giggling from earlier, careful not to lose our balance. Daniel jumped down off of the bottom of the tree before Scott and I and looked out over the rapids of the river spread out before us. It looked like an avalanche.

Finally after we all climbed down the tree I looked around and saw a few rocks and started to throw them to see if they would skip across the rushing water. They didn’t but I threw them anyway. Then Daniel picked up and threw a huge rock into the water and it hit with an enormous splash. Then Scott tried a bigger rock to see if his splash would be bigger than Daniel’s.

“Check this out.” He said as he heaved it into the river using both hands. It made a bigger splash but also brought Scott down with it after he tripped over another rock in front of him that he hadn’t seen before.

Almost in unison Daniel and I reached for the closest branches we could find and chased after Scott as the river dragged him further on. I darted ahead of him and held out my branch as far as I could. Scott thrashed around in the water trying to grab hold of the branch but couldn’t. The next thing I saw was Daniel leaping into the water after Scott and both of them sinking into the rapids.

I started sprinting as fast as I could but could not see them anywhere so I slowed to a quick jog to make sure I did not miss them. About a quarter of a mile down the river I saw their two bodies washed up on the other side of the river. Neither of them moved so I did the first thing that came to mind. As I dialed 9-1-1 I saw Daniel sit up, look around, and then start to perform CPR on Scott. I explained everything to the operator and they said that an ambulance was on it’s way.

Daniel and I met up back at the bikes after he told the police about everything that had happened. We didn’t know what to do with Scott’s bike so we put it behind some bushes and headed off to the hospital to see him there. We road the whole way in silence both deep in thought. I kept thinking that if only I didn’t see that cat or if I wasn’t trying to be funny and chase after it, maybe none of this would have happened.

When we arrived at the hospital after a 10 minute bike ride, we told the lady at the front desk our story and she said that we would have to wait for Scott’s parents to arrive before we would be aloud to see him. I was to anxious to sit. So I stood next to Daniel in the waiting room for another five minutes before Scott’s parents got there and said it was alright for us to see him.

When I poked my head into the room the first thing I heard was the steady beep of the heart monitor. Scott lay motionless on the hospital bed, his chest slowly rising and falling. We all walked over to him and stood next to his bed. No one made a noise until Daniel asked if he would be alright.

“His condition is critical and even if he does live he will suffer permanent brain damage and most likely be paralyzed.”

That was when the whole impact of the situation hit me. The reality of what actually happened came at me like a freight train, I had to hold on to a nearby chair to keep from falling over. At that moment the heart monitor’s steady beep picked up in speed drastically. The doctor called for help and started to usher us out of the room as fast as possible. Time stopped and all I could hear was the beep getting quicker and quicker. Finally the doctor got us all out of the room and right before the door closed I heard a sound that would change my life. One long note, and I knew that nothing would ever be the same.

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This article has 12 comments.

on Aug. 4 2009 at 11:00 pm
kookoodood PLATINUM, McGregor, Texas
20 articles 0 photos 43 comments
This was very well-written. I enjoyed reading it, even though it's dark. Darkness is kind of my specialty as well, though I prefer the unreality. I'm going to follow others' lead on this comment board and post a link to my piece.

ian_s. said...
on Apr. 17 2009 at 2:18 pm
I love your ending too! I hope to see this in Teen Ink magazine!

Ian_S. said...
on Apr. 17 2009 at 2:16 pm
Great story! And message. I liked your first person narration. My only criticism is, it would be nice to see more description! Again, I love your message. Keep up the good work...

Look forward to reading more


miranda(: said...
on Feb. 22 2009 at 11:43 pm
wow alex

way to trick me there -.O

i thought this was true grrr...

anyways this is really really good :D

i love yew and keep writin bby!!!

Ren said...
on Jan. 22 2009 at 3:02 am
WOW! That is one of the greatest things I've ever read. Like in general, I mean this is better than some books I've read! :)

Keep writing.

If you wanna read my stuff...

First name: Ren

Last initial: P

City (and this is important, or you won't get my stuff): Tulsa

Let me reiterate, great story!

PK4evr said...
on Jan. 19 2009 at 9:57 pm
i was directed to this page from the comment posted on "route 18."

very good, it's very nice. i'm going to do the same thing you did and ask anyone there to take a look at my writing:

first name: natalie

last name: k

allen, tx.

thank you :)

melinda13 said...
on Jan. 18 2009 at 12:42 am

I feel so bad. what exactly happened to Scott? is he paralyzed? great job on the writing.


on Jan. 17 2009 at 4:54 pm
I loved this story, oh my god i wanted to cry. I have a story on here too, but its not even remotly as good as yours is. But if you want to read it its called Insomia tic.

dule_91 said...
on Jan. 16 2009 at 3:36 pm
thanks for the comment!

also, the story couldn't be more described or longer because if you realized, it was all a dream and dreams are unclear and fuzzy...and the center of it is a restless soul and anything else is irrelevant...

dule_91 said...
on Jan. 13 2009 at 6:08 pm
Wow, is this based on true story or what? Your story is an example that you never know what you can expect, even one little, silly thing can make your life drastically changed... i like the way you described it, great job!!!

I also have a story on this site it's called "restless soul", i'd like you to check it out :

cldplayrocks said...
on Jan. 5 2009 at 12:54 am
This was a great story! The lead pulled me in and I really liked how you went back and explained what happened. I also liked how you showed that one little thing could lead to much bigger events and change your life. Well done! It was very well written!

Daniel said...
on Jan. 2 2009 at 11:03 pm
You know whats cool about this story, I'm the Daniel in it. RIP Scott Singleton.