I Walk Out Acting As Nothing Had Changed
By: Stephanie Hadley
My name is Mia, I’m 14 years old and my whole life I hear these tragic stories people tell me about how their older brother dared them to put their hand on the burning grill top and had to go to the hospital or how their canoe flipped over and how they got severe frostbite and almost drowned. And I just stand there nodding my head and saying wow, until now. So here’s my story.
“Come on, let’s go!” I hear my little sister shout from the kitchen. I’m trying to study for my stupid test tomorrow. But I can’t concentrate. With Emma (my little sister) shouting and just everything that’s happening, all my notes and flashcards are just a blur.
Emma comes into the living room where I’m studying, with her pink skirt and two little pigtails. She comes up to me and shouts in my ear “We’re going snowboarding, we’re going snowboarding!” I throw down my flashcards, grab my mother’s computer and search “www.CrystalMountain.com” and just as my sister said, my mother, has booked us a hotel room at Crystal Mountain Resort. I look at the date. Our room is booked and it reads January 23 to January 25. It’s booked for tonight and tomorrow.
I hug my sister, run up to my room and start packing. And that’s when I feel the warm tears run down my cheeks. I realize that the last time I went snowboarding was with my dad. But now he’s gone. I lie in my bed remembering my last snowboarding trip with my father. Remembering going full speed down the hill, wind rushing through my hair, my dad yelling I’m gonna beat you as he does a 360° off a jump.
My mom opens the door and suddenly I’m back in my own head. I realize I was spacing out. My mom looks at the open computer lying on the ground and knows exactly what’s wrong.
The two of us just lie in my bed staring at the ceiling. We are both remembering the good times when dad was around.
We are all packed up now. Our car is so full of stuff, my mother can’t back out of the driveway because she can’t see out the back window. I’m past my mental break down and super excited to get there. I watch the clock, each minute ticking by. But the car ride still feels like it’s taking an eternity. We’re about halfway there and the clock reads five thirty. We have about two more hours to go. But with the screaming and the feeling of my back getting kicked, coming from my little sister, it’s gonna feel like another five hours.
Then my phone starts buzzing in my pocket. I don’t want to answer it and I don't want to talk. But I decide to look at who it is, It’s my ex, Zane. I’m definitely not in the mood to talk to my ex-boyfriend so I hit decline. My mom asks who it was and I just lie and say it's my friend Ally because I do not want to talk about the break-up and how he was so perfect for me with her right now.
Then all of a sudden, out of the blue I hear a puff of air, in then our car starts slowing down. Our mom starts pulling off to the side of the highway. Then the car just stops moving altogether. I sit just sit there staring out the front window. My little sister starts shouting “Why are we not going? Why are we not going.” I say in a slow calm voice “We’re out of gas, aren’t we mom?” She nods her head. I’m watching the clock again, watching each minute tick by.
I finally, after a half an hour of sitting staring at the clock, decide to call the nearest gas station. Then after another 20 minutes, they finally come with a can of gas, at least enough to get us to the gas station.
After our gas incident and the screaming of my little sister we finally made it. I start unloading our bags and snowboards onto a rack while our mother checks in. Suddenly I get a huge shiver and realize I only have a t-shirt on even though its 28°F and there’s a foot of snow on the ground.
After a long, boring, and cold hour of unloading our minivan full of crap, I’m finally done. I head up to our hotel room which is now filled with all the stuff that used to be in our hotel room.
After a long day and a long night, it’s finally time to put on our boots and walk down to where we get our lift tickets. We walk down the road in our huge boots and heavy snowboards.
After we check in and get our lift tickets Emma and mom decide to start at one of the easier hills while I go off by myself to do my own thing.
As I’m going down passing other snowboarders and skiers, I start remembering the times when instead of me going down the slope alone, alongside me was my father. It feels like he is actually here like he is right next to me racing me down the slope. That’s when all of a sudden I hear the loud ear-piercing sound of a scream, my own scream.
I wake up lying in a bed. My head is spinning, my arms trembling, I feel my heart beating faster and faster against my chest, and everything around me is just a blur. I hear a woman say in a calm voice outside my room say, “She’s awake now, you can go in.” I have no idea what’s going on or where I am. I look down and It’s just a blur but I do see one of my legs is wrapped in a cast.
I hear the woman’s voice again, but this time she says “She took a hard landing, she blacked out, has 3 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and she broke one of her legs.” I don’t know what to think, is she talking about me? Who is she talking to? Where am I? I look around once more and everything’s a little more clear. I realize I am in a hospital. And then I see my mother walk in and realize the woman outside my room was talking to my mother, about me.
I look over to see my little sister sitting next to me in a big red chair. She asks how I’m feeling, but my only response is “What happened?” Because I can’t seem to put everything together.
She answers in her soft sweet voice, “You went over a jump and didn’t land it, then you blacked out and now you’re here.”
I don’t know what to say to that or what to think. “I blacked out, I blacked out.” I keep on saying to myself to try to help it make sense, which is clearly not working.
“I know this must be scary for you.” I hear my mother say. “But we’re going to get through this, together.”
And we did it, we got through it, I got through it. I spent 3 days in this place. I made it through this incident and I’m done sleeping in this rock hard bed and waking up to the smell of bleach. I’m done, I want to get out of here.
I see my mom walking in with the nurse. My mom looks happier than I have seen her in days. She walks over to my bed and gives me a hug and says in a soft slow voice, “You get to come home now.” My face brightens up. I have the first smile I’ve had in the last three days. I’m so glad to get out of here. I sit on the edge of my bed as my mom hands me my crutches. She opens the door and I walk out acting as nothing had changed.