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A Day On the Trampoline

By Maggie Schaffler

“I can’t! I’ll land on my face!” Peyton yelled at me. She was standing on the roof of the shed that was next to her trampoline.

“No you won’t! I did it.” I screamed back at her while sitting on the trampoline. It was a game. One person would jump off the roof into the trampoline when it was their turn, and the other would stay below and watch. The wind raced across our faces like we were finish lines at a championship race.

“Okay…” Peyton murmured unsurely. She jumped off the roof and into the trampoline. Her feet hit, and she flipped forward like a tumbleweed. She was coming down fast, and I knew she was right about what she said. Right onto her face.

I couldn’t resist. I laughed. So hard I thought I would throw up. She just laid there like she was dead. Arms and legs spread out like a starfish, and her head turned to the side. The rain was coming down faster than seconds tick on a clock, bouncing off her back.

When I stopped laughing, I could barely see from all the tears in my eyes. As I focused, I saw Peyton sitting down with her arms floppy and relaxed. She had the look on her face when you just wake up from a nap. She looked at me and I smirked. I was trying so hard to hold back my laughter.

She finally spoke after a few seconds. “Hmm, I TOLD YOU!!!” She howled at me.

“Well, maybe we should stop and do something else…” I suggested in an innocent voice.

“You think?!” she said as she smiled.

We started jumping around and flipping backwards and forwards. We are both gymnasts so flipping was a natural thing. We started to do halves and fulls, too. When it was my turn, I decided to do a full. So I did. And then on the next turn, and the next. When it was my turn again, I jumped, and jumped, until I flipped back and twisted around. Then, crash! I landed on my shoulder and my legs came down over my head like a pretzel.

“Ha! OUCH!! That would hurt!!” Peyton shrieked. She was slapping her thighs like it was the funniest thing she’d ever seen.

I tried to stand up. I felt dizzy. My eyes were spinning like a merry-go-round. I reached for the net to support myself as I struggled to stand, but the net wasn’t there. I started to fall. It felt like I was falling off of the empire state building!

I finally landed. Thump! Mud splashed all over me as I crashed onto my back. Ouch, I thought. My chest felt as it had a hole in it. My heart beat so loud it felt like the hiccups.

Peyton’s roar of laughter echoed into the forest. When I finally stood up I stared at Peyton, but she didn’t realize it. Her laughter mixed with just the right amount of seizurish movements made me giggle.

When she finally noticed that I was staring at her, she turned and looked at me. She had tears in her eyes, and her face was bright red. Her short, brown hair was sticking up from the static electricity from the trampoline.

“You looked like a hippo when you fell out of the trampoline!” Peyton said. She bursted out laughing again. “It was so funny! Your head fell out but your body just slithered out behind it like you had no bones!” she wheezed as she gasped for breath.

I climbed back in and sat next to her. I couldn’t feel my arms, and it was like Peyton had read my mind.

“My feet are numb.” she blurted out in our moment of silence.

“I can’t feel my arms.” I responded. I could tell she was cold. I looked at her as she smiled weakly. She was chattering her teeth as the wind blew. I was cold though, too. The wind traveled inside my body, down my spine, and the chills swam through my blood.

“We should go inside.” I said. The trees were rustling so loudly I could barely hear myself think.

“Yeah.” Peyton said as she crawled toward the hole in the net. I looked back at our footprints as we walked up the hill. I could see the faint color of my skin through the white material of my socks.

As we walked inside, we threw our socks onto the driveway. I ran downstairs to grab some blankets. I grabbed two and ran back up the stairs. Peyton was standing right in my walkway.

“I’m making hot cocoa!” she said exclaimed. I smiled. I tossed blankets onto the couch across the hall, and followed her into the kitchen. She was stirring the cocoa mix with water in a blue cup. The brown powder was all over the counter like it had snowed cocoa.

“It’s kind of a mess…” Peyton said as her eyes scanned the white countertop.

“Maybe I should make the hot chocolate.” I suggested as I grabbed a rag. Peyton agreed as she ran and jumped onto the couch.

I wiped up the chocolate powder and grabbed two new mugs. My mom had taught me a special way to make hot cocoa. I opened the fridge and got out the milk, whipped cream, and the chocolate syrup. I filled the mugs halfway with milk and put them in the microwave for a few minutes. When the milk was hot, I added chocolate syrup until it was a dark brown.

I grabbed a small bowl for the next step. I sprayed the whipped cream in a spiral motion until the bowl was full. I popped it into the microwave until it melted.

I took the creamy liquid out with towels on my hands. I poured it into the drink until it was a lighter color like coffee with creamer.

It smelled perfect. I took a mug over to Peyton.

“Here it is!” I yelled as if introducing royalty.

“Thank you ma’am.” Peyton said as she peeked into the mug. She started taking a sip when I heard a knock at the door. I walked over and turned the knob. It was my dad. A rush of disappointment shot through my body.

“Ready to go?” My dad asked.

“I guess so.” I said as I shrugged my shoulders. I went and grabbed my coat from downstairs.

“Hey! Where ya going?” Peyton shouted as I walked back up the steps. She saw my dad and her shoulders immediately sunk. “Oh.”

I walked out the door as she waved goodbye. I got in the car and smiled at her as she watched from her doorway. We slowly drove away, out of her neighborhood.

I have a great time with my best friend, but I had to admit it, my back hurt.

Lesson: Always be careful when playing on a trampoline.

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