This was written for the January meeting of Nomadic Ink.
“I didn’t see the ice until it was too late …”
I didn’t see the ice until it was too late and the next think I knew, I was laying flat on my back in the middle of the road. Crap! That hurt. As I lay and waited for the throbbing in my backside to ease, I made the decision not to tell my mother. After all, I was hurting bad enough – I didn’t need her telling me I told you so.
I had begged for my own roller skates for over three months. I hated renting skates at the local roller rink. For one thing, they were an ugly brown and everyone knew you were a renter, not an owner. But the main reason was they weren’t comfortable and the laces were always breaking.
With Christmas fast approaching, I was on my best behavior. I helped mom wash and dry the dishes after supper, I ran the vacuum cleaner in the living room, and I even scrubbed the toilets. I had been leaving pictures all over the house of the pretty white skates I wanted and I complained about renting skates ever Friday night when mom dropped me off at the rink.
Finally, Christmas morning arrived and I was rewarded for my good behavior and pleading with a gorgeous pair of crisp white roller skates. The wheels were even bright red, not the dull brown of rentals. And look, I even had a pair of blue pompoms to attach to my laces. I had never been so happy!
As soon as Christmas breakfast was over, I convinced my parents to let me start skating up and down the sidewalk. Of course, mom threw a fit.
“It’s too cold outside. You’ll fall and break an ankle. Can’t you wait until Friday night?”
Friday night – but that was two days away! I’d die before then. But lo and behold, my dad was on my side and he convinced mom it would be okay to skate up and down the sidewalk. “Just stay out of the street – and watch for cracks in the sidewalk. That’s all you need – breaking a bone.”
I was so happy. I slowly laced up my lovely skates and carefully attached the fluffy blue pompoms. I tip toed over to the coat rack for my coat, scarf and mittens and out the door I went.
Up and down the sidewalk I went, first forwards, then backwards. The new skates felt stiff on my feet, but I knew the more I skated the quicker I’d break them in. Several of my friends rode by on shiny new bicycles and admired my skates. I was so proud.
And then I got cocky. Thinking the road would be a better place to skate, I eased off the curb onto the side of the road. I hadn’t noticed that the birdbath in mom’s front flowerbed was frozen over, or that icicles hung from our garage roof. It had rained over night, so the road only looked wet.
It wasn’t until I hit the black ice three houses down from my own, I realized I’d made a mistake. I thought I was so graceful, lifting one leg after the other, just like professional skaters, then – wham! The wind was knocked out of me.
So there I was, afraid to move, flat on my back in the middle of the road. I probably would have lain there forever, but nosy Mrs. Gulch from next door saw me fall and called my parents. Next thing I knew daddy was carrying me up the street. As I wiped the sniffles from my nose, I pleaded with daddy, “Please don’t tell mommy – she’ll never let me go skating again.”