I hope the last part of Olympics, Snowboarding, and Sprained Wrists: Part Two amuses you. *sophisticatedly tips her sophisticated top hat in a sophisticated way*
Pain pulsed beneath my skin. Ouch.
I blinked. The snow froze my back. It was hard, like a concrete floor. Bright blue sky burned my eyes.
I’m not dead.
My wrist and shoulder throbbed. My board had ripped away from my boots and was probably halfway down the hill.
At least I get to walk down. I lifted my head, then dropped it back down. Just five more minutes…
A rush of snow pattered the ground behind me. “Are you ok?”
A voice. A girl’s voice.
The girl from the top of the hill. Miss Confident.
I sat up, head bursting with pain. “Yeah, yeah.” I stumbled to my feet. The world spun, and I leaned on the ski lift pillar. “I was just…” I motioned toward the heavens. “The sky is really pretty today.” I held my aching wrist close to my jacket.
The girl unbuckled her boots and took off her goggles. Either I’d grown a few feet or she was really short because she had to look up to catch my eyes.
“Are you sure? That was a rough fall.” She stepped toward me, and I had the sudden urge to run. “You are hurt. You have to get someone to look at that wrist.” She picked up her snowboard. “My dad’s a paramedic here. Come on.” She motioned for me to follow.
I hesitated. Girls were scarier than a broken wrist. Much scarier.
But I shouldn’t pass this up. A girl actually wanted to be seen with me in public. Besides, the way she kept wiping her hair out of her eyes was kinda cute.
Before I could say anything, Miss Confident grabbed my uninjured arm and pulled me forward.
I took a deep breath and held it.
I am a strong, manly, 17-year-old with a phone, a license, and a nice smile (according to my mother). The Hot Cocoa incident had happened two months ago, the Paint Can thing ten months ago, and the iPhone incident over a year ago.
I wasn’t doing too shabby at life. I could handle this.
So, I let her pull me along.
We were about a third of the way down the slope when I froze. Timber wouldn’t know where I was! I didn’t have my phone on me. I glanced back, searching the slopes.
Timber, Jade, and Matt were on the ski lift a little ways up, waving wildly.
“I’m going back to the lodge!” I hollered, still following Miss Confident.
Timber cuffed his hands around his mouth. “What?” was what I’m pretty sure he said.
“I said I’m going back to the–”
I tripped. Hard.
Miss Confident tried to hold me up, but nothing but can stop me when I fall. I’m like a freaking force of nature.
We both face planted.
I spit out chemical snow. If I can’t get a girl to fall for me, at least I got one to fall with me. On accident.
Miss Confident slowly pulled herself up to her knees. She whipped hair out of her face, smearing melted snow across her forehead.
Then she laughed.
“Sorry,” I said.
“You’re a walking disaster, aren’t you?” she asked.
“They call me Glitter Kid, but it’s the same thing.”
She sat back on her heels. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be laughing. I was awkward in high school, too.”
Her? Awkward in high school? “Really?”
She nodded. “A little. I was homeschooled, so I fit in with the whole stereotype and. . . .Wait, why do they call you Glitter Kid?” She offered a hand and pulled me to my feet.
“Do you really want to know?” I asked.
A funny thing happened. I started telling her the story. I warmed up. I acted out the different voices and explained the details. I was so engrossed that the butterflies in my stomach flew away. I didn’t notice how cute she was or how badly my wrist throbbed. I didn’t worry about tripping and face planting again.
It was just me and my story.
Miss Confident nodded, laughed, and asked questions every once and a while, goading me on. By the time we reached the ski lodge and stumbled inside, I’d regaled her with the entire episode.
Before I knew it, she’d lead me to the infirmary, put me on one of those doctor tables, and had gone to find her dad.
The throbbing came back, but I was grinning. I felt like I’d just swallowed a barrel of liquid light.
Then the grin melted into a sad puddle like a fried snowman. You guys remember the last time I visited the doctor, right?
You know, when I tripped over a kitten and ran into a brick wall?
Those stitches were not ok. A white scar still split the side of my forehead.
Olympic athlete featuring posters cautioned against riding through the trees, skiing backward, and dying in general. A sink sat in the corner, just like a normal doctor’s office.
A man that I assume was Miss Confident’s dad stepped into the room. Unlike his daughter, he was tall, like Timber tall, and had curly brown hair. He slid a pair of round glasses up his nose.
“Now, what do we have here? Hallie said you had a fight with one of the ski lift poles.”
“It wasn’t a fair one,” I said. The man didn’t quite have the I’m-going-to-take-on-the-world attitude that his daughter did, but he moved in a slow, kind way, like how one would approach a wounded fawn.
A fawn who only had three legs and was terrible at snowboarding.
He asked me to take off my coat, then rolled up my sleeve. He squeezed my wrist here and there and bent it this way and that, asking where it hurt.
I honestly thought it hurt everywhere, but I gave the best answers I could.
“It looks like it isn’t too bad. You’ll need to ice it a bit.” The man broke an instant ice pack and gave it to me, then started rummaging through the cabinets, looking for a wrap.
I held the pack to my wrist.
Miss Confident––or Hallie––came back. She’d taken her hat off, and her hair frizzed in a disheveled, adorable mess. She handed me a cup of hot cocoa.
I hadn’t told her about the hot cocoa encounter yet, so she didn’t know her fatal error.
“Thanks.” I stared into the brown liquid. I could see it now. I’d try to drink it, it would burn me, and I’d spit it out all over Hallie or her dad.
“You don’t like hot cocoa? I can get you coffee,” Hallie said.
“No, I like it, I just…I don’t want to spill it.” I set it on the table.
Hallie tilted her head. “Okay.”
Hallie’s dad rummaged around a cabinet. An excited tourist skied past the window.
I started reading the poster. My old friend, Mr. Awkward Silence, just about materialized and tapped me on the shoulder.
Some things never changed. I almost jumped when Hallie started speaking again.
“Well, once your wrist gets taped up, I can show you a few hills you can take next. Some easy ones.”
“But, my wrist….”
“The most important thing is to get back in the saddle. Or on the hill.”
I shook my head. “I’m not going out there again. I’m not very good. And it’s a little….” I gulped. “Intimidating.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll show you the easy hills.” Hallie sat beside me on the table. “Besides, the first few tries are the worst.”
“I’ve been snowboarding before.”
“Never on that hill, I bet.” She nodded knowingly. “Everyone falls at one point or another. I did worse than you my first time.”
“Of course.” She motioned to one of the Olympic posters. “How many times do you think the Olympic athletes fall?”
“I don’t know.”
“A lot. They fall a lot.”
“I don’t want to be an Olympian.”
“But you want to have fun, don’t you?” Hallie asked.
I sighed. Curling up in a warm lodge was a bit more appealing than defying death on a ten-inch piece of wood.
Hallie took a sip of her hot chocolate, peering over the edge to maintain eye contact.
“You promise to take me on an easy hill?” I asked.
She nodded firmly. “Promise.”
I bit the inside of my cheek.
“Your fall isn’t the worst accident I’ve seen.” Hallie smiled encouragingly. “Everyone thinks they can do amazing things after the Olympics when they don’t have any practice.”
“Olymphoria,” I said.
“Alright.” Hallie’s dad finally found a roll of tape and wrapped the ice around my wrist. “Give that ten more minutes and you’ll be good to––”
Timber, Matt, and Jade burst through the door and everyone jumped. As predicted, I jerked and knocked over my hot cocoa.
“Sam! You’re ok!” Timber’s face lit up like a Christmas tree.
Timber glared at Hallie and her father. “Who are these people? We have to go.” He held out a hand.
“What are you doing?”
“Jade said there was this girl watching you; then, we saw her knock you down and kidnap you!”
Silence as dead as a frozen mammoth took over. Hallie started laughing.
Timber took himself too seriously. I shook my head. “She didn’t kidnap me.
Timber scowled. “No, we saw––”
“I’m 17. I’m not that weak for crying out….” I trailed off. Hallie’s dad raised an eyebrow. “I mean….” I glanced at Hallie. “I can see how your concerns were legit. Not that…. I’m not saying Hallie is evil; I mean that she’s….”
“Stop while you’re ahead.” Hallie hopped off the table and started explaining what had occurred to an unconvinced Timber.
It wasn’t fair. Girls were waaaay better at explaining things.
I helped Hallie’s dad clean up. It took so long for Hallie to convince Timber she hadn’t kidnapped me that Hallie’s dad had time to remove the icepack and wrapped my wrist.
Boy, I wish I was as unaffected by a pretty face as Timber.
“If you say so.” Timber finally conceded.
Hallie turned back and saw my wrist. “Ready to hit the slopes again, Sam?”
I bit my lip. If I swallowed the ski ticket attached to my coat now, they couldn’t force me back out.
Last chance to be a comfortable wimp.
I hopped off the bench. “Sure.”
“Great! We’re trying something a little different, alright?” Hallie had my arm again and was dragging me out of the room.
I didn’t sign up for this.
They put me on skis.
Hallie herself switched with me and said they were easier to use than a snowboard.
I wasn’t so sure. One piece of wood strapped to my feet seemed easier manage than two. But lo and behold, after a half an hour on the bunny hill without falling once, I started agreeing with her.
We then rode the lift up to the triple black diamond which she claimed was indeed a green hill.
Timber, Jade, and Matt peered down the hill, then back at me.
I took a deep breath.
“Now remember, the easiest trail is on the right side, a few yards away from those trees.” She pointed a ski pole. “Go back and forth, never straight down.”
I nodded and readied my poles. Hallie grinned at me.
Here goes nothing.
“And I only fell once. You should have seen how surprised they were that I made it down in one piece.” I adjusted my grip on the phone to hide my blush from Timber. “Except for Hallie. She said she knew I could do it.”
“Hm, looks like Brittney has some competition.” Samantha’s voice crackled over the phone.
Timber raised an eyebrow.
“Though I wouldn’t mind going skiing again.”
“Mhmm,” Samantha said.
“Only to test my bravery. On the slopes,” I said.
“That’s all.” We hit another pothole, and I glared at Timber.
“Did you get her number?” Samantha asked.
Timber leaned over. “Sam was too chicken. I tried to get him to–”
“She’s in college. I’m in high school.” I slid away.
“Nothing can stop truuue loooove,” Samantha said it all gushy like, and I gagged.
“I’m going to hang up on you.”
“Maybe once you graduate…”
I pulled the phone away from my red ears and hit the hang-up button. Samantha’s voice faded.
Timber scratched his chin. “So…”
“I don’t want to talk about it.” I stared out the window. I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned that last part about Hallie. Samantha would never let me live it down.
“I’m off in a few weeks. We can hit the slopes again then,” Timber said.
I didn’t reply.
“I’ll order you a ticket ahead of time,” he continued.
I rested my head against the window. “Shut up.”
I sighed. Despite my protests, a traitorous smile dragged itself across my face.
I was going skiing again.
Sam has survived yet another encounter with a girl. I’m proud of my child. *pats Sam on the head* What was your favorite part or line?
See you next week with my Somethings!
-Gabrielle R. Pollack