Alyssa and I walk to the park, with cherry flavored snow cones in our hands. The sun is shining, and there’s barely any clouds in the sky. A perfect day. We sit down on the nearest bench. I just met Alyssa about an hour ago. She’s really cool. She reminds me of a sister I will never have.
“So, do you have siblings”? She asks sweetly.
“Um, well sort of”. I pause. “Last fall my brother got kidnapped”. Her expression changes quickly and she looks like she’s about to cry.
“Oh... .I’m so sorry, if I would have known... .I” Before she could finish her statement I interrupt. “It’s ok”. I smile,to show her she didn’t hurt my feelings. She looks away, licking at her cone.
She kind of shifts on the bench seat, waiting for something to happen.
“Do you remember him... .If you don’t mind me asking”. She says softly.
“I remember Jamie. His sweet chocolatey brown skin, his almond colored eyes, his skinny body shape, and perfect personality.” I smile at Alyssa. She gives me a hug as I remember what happened to my brother.
I step onto the cracked concrete stairs, zip up my jacket and lead myself down the stairs. It’s slightly windy and it’s going to get cold soon. A perfect day, what could go wrong today. Cold air doesn’t bother me. The air is thick and clammy. I smell the fresh scent of smoke and know my irresponsible neighbor has been smoking with his friends. When he does this the whole neighborhood smells of fresh smoke and fire. Most people would go back inside, but I stay it’s perfect for me. I’m used to that familiar smell. My dad smokes alot. Mom wants him to stop but he simply refuses.
As I start to walk down the sidewalk. I start to think about my brother. What would it be like if he didn’t have a disability. I find myself thinking about this constantly. What would his personality be like. To me he is perfect, but my mom stresses about him 24-7, which is weird because she’s so busy, like, I’m surprised she even remembers she has kids.
I’ve been walking for a while and the houses are getting bigger. Brighter porch lights, nicer walkways, bigger exterior in general.
I’m starting to sweat, and this big ole sweatshirt I put on is not helping. As I walk down the cracked sidewalk, kicking rocks at my feet, I think about what life would be like if my brother wasn’t there. My cheeks start to get hot and my sweatpants and heavy sweatshirt are starting to suffocate me. I begin to attempt to take off my sweatshirt. I lift the bottom struggling to get it over my head.
My feet still moving, I try to maneuver my arm into my neck hole. I was trying to get the sweater off of my large head, but I tripped over something and dropped to the ground.
Finally I pull the heavy sweatshirt over my head, and see a bright neon ball a couple feet away. I also look for a rock or something. I look up at the house . I quickly realize who’s yard I’m in. Jessica Wilson. She bullied me third through sixth grade. She teased me about my skin color and special needs brother. She doesn’t tease me anymore, but now and then if I see her in the hall, she will give me a look, or knock my books over, or call me a nasty name.
I get up leaving my sweatshirt on a patch of well mannered grass, and I grab the pretty ball. “Jamie would love this”. I say aloud.
“Well he can have it”. Jessica loudly giggles from behind me.
I turn on my heels to see three unfamiliar girls beside her . The girl on the left caught my eyes first. Her clothes don’t match, and she looks really uncomfortable. Her skin is darker than mine and she looks like someone punched her in her gut. The two other girls are nothing to my interest.
“Why are you here you stupid... “ I don’t let her finish.
I already knew what she was going to say. I throw the ball at her pale face. She mutters something but quickly tells the girls to come on. The dark girl looks at me and smiles slightly, but is interrupt by Jessica calling her a slug, and telling me I’ll pay for that. I pick up my sweatshirt, grab the ball and run down the street back to my house.
I get back and introduce my new ball to my brother Jamie. “Hey Jamie come here I found a new soccer ball”.
I hear his little footsteps across the hardwood floor as he comes running. I gently toss the ball at him and he misses and it hits the wall. I see a slight frown form on his face as he picks the ball up.
“Come on let’s go” I say and start to head for the back door, not even letting Jamie put on his jacket.
As soon as Jamie opens the backdoor, The brisk air hits my face once more, making Jamie and I shiver as soon as we come in contact. His small boots hit the dark wood of the back porch with a small pang. I carefully step down and we both walk down the stairs leading to the bright green grass. Jamie immediately lets go and runs all around. I kick the ball to him but he misses and he looks like someone just called him an ignorant word. He kicks the ball back , we kick it between each other for awhile.
” This is boring Macce”. Jamie whines. and takes a seat in the grass. “ Ok, I’ll be right back”
I say as I walk away. I quickly make a sharp turn and look back at him. “Don’t GO anywhere”. I state
“OK’. He nods and starts to rip out the grass. I quickly run into the house and return with a big cardboard box.
Macy commands me. I silently follow like ALWAYS.
“Where do you want me to put it.”
Macy softly taps on the box indicating she wants me to answer fast.
I point to the corner, my favorite spot in the whole yard. She sets the box down right where I want it.
Macy does some type of trick, and it makes my head spin. Macy is amazing , the best out of anyone I know. Now it’s my turn. I do what I think Macy does. I back up and move my feet in a weird way. I end up falling on my face.
“I HATE SOCCER” I scream. “It’s stupid.”
“It’s ok Jamie.” she states, hands up by her chest.
Macy thinks that I don’t understand things. But I understand a lot. I can’t remember what to do. Macy starts to crack her knuckles. The sound echoes through my head. Crick crack.
Crick crack. Crick crack. Crick crack.
I drop to the ground and cover my ears.
“Crick, crack.. . mutter.. Crick, crack.” I whimper softly.
“Jamie, are you ok?”
“Yes I’m fine.” I answer reluctantly
Macy picks me up wipes my tears and places the ball in front of me. “Then try again.”
I try again.
One after another I fail.
“ let’s do something else.” I command.
“Ok”. She calmly replys.
She picks up the box and carries it to the small rocks surrounding the porch and throws it. She walks the bright pink ball to the somewhat middle of the yard and backs up.
“Wanna see something cool.” Macy smiles.
I crank my head up to the side and reply blankly with,
I watch silently because I want to see what she’s about to do. She flares her arms around in a circle, wagging them around and around. She looks concentrated, so before she does what she was about to do, I interrupt.
“Did you know honey bee’s manufacture a dance, for communicating, so by wagging your arms around are you trying to say something?” I love honeybee’s.
“No Jamie I am just warming up.” She exclaims.
“Explain”. I say hollowly.
“... Oh nevermind Jamie”. She dismisses me.
Macy backs up. More. More. And more. Until her backs against the fence. Then everything goes in slow motion.
She starts to run. Like a honeybee first taking flight. Then she makes eye contact with the ball. Like a honey bee making eye contact with a sweet smelling flower. I look at the ball, and see the ball. So bright pink it hurts my eyes. Ball. Ball. What a word taken for granted. Ball. Ball. Ball. A loud scream comes from Macy and she starts to cry. Is she hurt? I sit here in this uncomfortable shade of green for grass and watch.
“STOP SITTING THERE AND GO GET MOM”! S he half yells half growls at me. I immediately get up and run toward the porch.
“Mom, Mom, Mom!”
I yell at the house. I run up the stairs and head to Mom’s room. “Mommy....”Huff...it’s Macy she’s hurt”. I yell as I burst into her room.
“Honey I’m busy go talk to daddy right now.” M y mom ignores me.
Did this woman not just hear what I just said?
“I said GO TALK TO DADDY”. She half yells half growls at me. What’s up with people and growling today.
I huff out of the room and run to Daddy’s office.
“Daddy.. It’s Macy, she’s hurt, her, ankle burst open... blood...bone.” that's all I could manage.
He immediately gets up from his chair grabs a blanket from the linen closet and tells me to stay in the house. At least someone listens to me, but i’m not listening to him, Macy’s my sister.
I follow him outside to see Macy screaming and crying. I cover my ears because it’s too much noise. It hurts my ears.
I close my eyes and I start to feel warm but salty tears fall down my cold cheeks. I start to yell a little, a lot. then I notice I’m scaring Jamie, so I stop, or at least try. The pain is shooting up my leg and for a moment I think I’m dying, but I know that’s dramatic. Jamie runs up the wooden stairs making a small pounding sound as he travels up each one to get Dad or Mom. It seems like hours I’m laying in the grass which now seems to be getting colder and colder the longer I lay here, is that possible, I think.
Finally my Dad comes rushing toward my lifting me from the cold grass wrapping a blanket around my leg.
I love my Dad I think as he carries me to the car gently placing me into the backseat. I think I hear him say something to Jamie but everything seems to be turning. Dad gets into the driver's seat, puts the key in the ignition and wheels off our driveway.
I cry and whine the whole time. We finally pull up to a dreadful looking hospital.
“Lets go fix your broken ankle girly”. He says softly.
How come he just assumes that my ankle is broken and not just fractured. I look down at my foot, I’m bleeding and you can slightly see my bone. Disgusting. When my dad lifts me out the backseat, the brisk, slightly cold air hits my face with a pang making the beads in my hair make a terrible noise. The pain is excruciating, as my father takes a step. My foot slash ankle is stinging, it feels like someone stabbed me in my leg and the pain just shoots straight down to my toes. My leg is numb as this nurse rolls me down the hallway in a raggedy old wheelchair that rattles and shakes making the pain worse. My dad is following behind with my bloody blanket. We get to a nasty smelling room and the nurse calls for a doctor.
“How unprofessional”. I mumble soft enough so she won’t hear.
I hate hospitals, they smell, and their full of sick people, but at least they have good food.
What feels like an hour, which was actually thirty minutes according to my dad, passes by and finally they take me in for xrays. I have fractured many small bones in my ankle but lucky for me I will still be able to walk and they can easily stitch up my ripped skin.
My sarcastic doctor made a joke about how if I would have slid even farther I would have a dirty bone. Everyone laughed but me. I didn’t even smile. What’s so funny about having a dirty bone?
The doctor stitched me up and cleaned my skin then wrapped my ankle, and put a boot on it. It hurt terribly. He had my dad sign some papers and he told me everything I needed to do. When I take shower, take the boot off and unwrap the wrap and then get in the shower, and other obvious stuff like that.
The next day, Mom woke me up earlier than usual.
“Come on honey wake up”. She says softly but firmly. “Why”. I huff.
“You have twenty minutes”. She replies, walking out the room. I sometimes think my mom doesn’t love me.
“What a perfect day”. I mumble as I gently lift my boot, and the pain from earlier in the night sinks in. I set it back down and the pain is worse. I woke up at about, 2:00 last night. The pain was horrible. I kept adding and removing pillows for perfect elevation. I try again, this time actually getting my boot off the bed.
I pull on a soccer jersey, number six, Jamie’s number. I pull on some black shorts to match, grab my crutches, and wobble out of my door. I wobble down the stairs and head into the kitchen where Jamie has the matching jersey and long black shorts. Twins, I scoff in the head.
“Morning honey how are you feeling”?My dad asks. “Fine, are you coming to the game?” I ask.
“Sadly no, I have no time. There is an emergency at my job and I have to go in about right now,” he looks at his watch.
“Oh”, I mumble softly as I wobble to the chair.
My dad works at the police station and he has emergencies regularly. What’s so important in this town that he has to go at least twice a week? My dad gets up to put on his shoes. He kisses my Mom goodbye, waves at me and Jamie and heads out the door. My mom motions for us to come on and she helps me get up and wraps her arm around my waist and helps me to the car.
We arrive at the field and the parents are all conversing and talking and their kids are running around crazily. Mom sets up our chairs while Jamie plays with the ball I gave him. I sit down with a heap as Jamie’s coach calls all the players to come out. Jamie hands me his ball and starts to slowly run toward the coach.
For the most part Jamie is doing good. He’s following directions and he’s running in the right direction. Then he gets the ball. I yell “GO JAMIE” and then he looks at me stops and the other team gets the ball. He loses it and stomps and hollers. Poor Jamie. The parents stare at him most of the time and say rude things. Once some kid called him the N-word. It was terrible.
Jamie continues to cry, scream, stomp, fall, and throw tantrums. The coach at this point should know what to do.
During this I happen to notice an unfamiliar man pull up in his big dark red truck, and watch the game. It’s normal for the grandparents to come, but he doesn’t look like no grandparent to me. He’s wearing black skinny jeans, a leather jean jacket and he has jet black hair and bright piercing green eyes.
I see him watching Jamie. He’s just like the others always staring at Jamie. He’s probably wondering what’s wrong with him. I look away for a second and the man is gone. “Weird”
During break instead of Jamie walking back like all the other kids he stays in the middle of the field. He’s looking at the flowers. He looks like he’s thinking. The coach doesn’t even seem to notice him, he just walks away. That unfamiliar man shows up again. Then slowly walks toward him. I motion my mom but she’s busy on her phone. So I take acton. I struggle to get up , but I do and as fast as I can manage I wobble toward Jamie too. I probably look stupid. My mom’s on her phone so she doesn’t even seem to notice my movement.
He seems to be talking to him. Jamie looks confused. I get halfway to Jamie when the man notices me and grabs Jamies by his underarms and runs across the field to his big dark red truck. I scream.
“Somebody get that man he got Jamie”!
The prejudice white people look at me like I’m stupid and look at the man, then go back to what they were doing. My mom immediately jumps up and runs after the man.
I run back leaving my crunches in their place, and try to swiftly grab the chairs but I'm in a rush hands shaky arms spaghetti and my ankle burning. I leave them there and wobble towards the car. I look back and see the man pulling out and my Mom sticking halfway out of the front seat.
“Oh my lord.” I whisper. The car makes a sharp hault knocking my mom to the ground, then pulls off.
My mom swings the car door open and throws herself in. She frantically turns on the ignition, and I start to bawl. My mom pulls off as hard as the man did, and speeds down the road faster than the man did, so soon enough we see his big truck. I try my hardest to memorize the license plate. 62W5H87. My mom starts to cry when I say the license plate aloud so I stop. We make a sharp left, then a sharp right. Left. My mom's eyes are soft, but lips are in a hard line. She’s chewing on the inside of her cheek I can tell she’s trying not to breakdown. She chewing on the inside of her cheek. We’re about thirty over the speed limit. My ankle is taking some of the pain away from my sad state.
My heart is aching and if we lose Jamie I’ll just die. I’ll break down. I try to think about it in my mom’s perspective. Her child... someone she nurses and cares for and loves dearly, and someone who made her life brighter is being taken away by a stranger. That makes me cry harder. The car is going over so many bumps and curbs my ankle can barely take it.
“Mom,we can’t lose him”! I sob.
“We’re not”! She yells back.
The truck goes through alleyways, knocking down mailboxes, garbage cans, and fences. My mom stays heavily on his tail. Jamie sticks his small little head out the window and reaches his arm towards our car, and I just melt right there in the seat. A big ole chocolatey mess. I roll down the window and the wind from how fast we are going drys my tears. I screamed,
“Jamie!” As the man pulls Jamie by his neck, making Jamie fall back into the truck.
Soon enough the cops show up and my heart drops. There’s about four police cars behind us. My Mom goes even faster, so we are side to side with the truck. The direction we are heading is toward the Hatchwood Drive. Where most of the prejudice white people live, lake houses, and big yards.
The green eyed man sticks his middle finger up as a lake comes into view. The police sirens are so loud, altogether my head starts to spin. I know what happens to people of color in this town when they come into contact with the police. The thought is terrifying. The man speeds up even more, and the lake is about fifty feet away.
“Mom the lake”. I yelp.
My mom realizes what’s going to happen. She sobs and hollers, and speeds the car up. Our car bumps against the truck but it’s no use.
The truck goes faster bumping us off course as if we were nothing but a crumb off his cornbread. We drift across the road. I look out the window to see the truck roll onto a dock and plow into the water. My heart drops straight down into my stomach. My face gets hot, my palms get sweaty, and my nose is full of snot. I cry the hardest I ever thought I could.
My mom explodes. She jumps out of the car and runs to the dock. As the cop cars come to a halt they too get out. My mom was about to jump into the water, but a tall and skinny policeman stopped her by grabbing her by her slim waist. She kicked and tried to pull away but he wouldn’t budge. My mom gave up and fell to the ground sobbing. I open my car door, and watch the big red truck drown, along with the green eyed man and my one and only brother.
“Macy”? Alyssa shakes my arm. “Um.. .earth to Macy”. She waves her hand in my face making me come out of my frozen state.
“Oh, sorry , just thinking”. I say
“Ok, wanna get another snow cone?” She smiles.
I look down at what’s left of my snow cone and see a melted mix of pink and red.
“OK”. I answer back with a smile.
Alyssa and I walk back to the Icecream truck, and this time she buys the snow cones. Instead of going back to the park we walk back down by my house.
Today was a perfect day.