I remember the game.
We were playing Bowling Green, I was coming down the left side.
I tried to stand back up, but my left ankle buckled unnaturally inward.
My friend Tom carried me from the field. My foot just dangled there. I cried the whole way to the hospital.
I don’t remember much.
But, there was a bonfire at my friend Jordan’s, and John Bond was going to be there, and I was pretty sure he liked me.
Plus, he bowled a 300 and there was a big picture of him in the local paper holding a bowling ball.
It was a big deal. I also had no idea what that meant, but it sounded incredibly impressive, despite the fact that I don’t bowl because I don’t like to stick my fingers in small holes.
I was at the hospital for a while. Lots of X-rays and specialists and drugs.
So many drugs.
I don’t even think they normally inject a teenager with as many pain meds as I was given that day, but I think everyone was a bit unnerved. The pain and adrenaline just kept making me crazier.
Why is my ankle backwards?
My foot is supposed to be pointing North, right? I feel like I learned that somewhere and it’s pointing South East, I think.
Why is this happening to me?
Did someone arrest her?
She wasn’t even a girl, I bet she had testicles hanging out of her Umbros, did anybody check for that before the game?
Can the doctors check for that maybe?
Like an X-ray of our vaginas before we kick off?
Why does fate hate me, mommmmm…
And then, I just sobbed and hiccuped in and out of consciousness.
I left the hospital with an aircast, crutches and wearing hospital scrub pants.
To this day, I have no recollection of why I had scrub pants on, but my mom says it was because I was all, Oh My God, someone help me take my shorts and underwear off so they don’t cut them off me, and the doctor was all, that’s not necessary, it’s an ankle injury, and I was like, no way man, these are my favorites, and I don’t need you cutting them off me if I code, and the doctor was like, seriously you can keep them on, and I was all, turn around everyone, they’re coming down, mom can you try and maneuver them off my sideways ankle but keep your eyes covered?
This all sounds just, um, so unlike me, but whatever.
My mom woke me up at dark to give me my next dose of percocet.
And, I was like, mom, I need you to help me put my Guess jeans on, and the purple Express tank top in the dryer, and also, don’t be mad, but I need you to to look in my closet, behind my First Communion dress, for the lacey padded push up bra I stole from Target but don’t look at anything else back there because we are in a hurry and we need to stay focused.
And, I swear to god, she barely even put up a fight.
I think it was partly due to the fact she was exhausted and knew I would sneak out anyways, and probably break the window with my crutches, and also because this was during the era where they all just assumed I’d be learning from my mistakes.
So, she dropped me off at Jordan’s and I crutched my way over to the bonfire right about the time my percocet was kicking in.
Within twenty minutes, I was making out in the woods with John Bond, sans crutches, because OMG WHO NEEDS CRUTCHES MY ANKLE DOESN’T EVEN HURT LOOK I’M TOTALLY WALKING ON IT Y’ALL!
We danced, got into a mud fight, and ended up in the pond.
By the time my mom picked me up, I smelled like Busch and algea.
She didn’t talk to me the whole ride home, and I fell asleep in my wet clothes the moment I got into my room.
By dawn the pain was indescribable. My ankle was huge and purple and just really, really gross.
At the morning appointment with the specialist, he informed me the only fix was replacing the destroyed tendons with the tendons from a corpse.
Dead people tendons.
In my ankle.
He showed us a booklet on the procedure, and my mom had so many questions, and I was just sitting there, hungover, in this super bright office that smelled like a liver, looking at a picture book about them cutting ankle parts out of a dead body to put into mine.
I looked up at the doctor and asked, but what if the tendons are still loyal to their original owner, like the movie Body Parts, and my ankle makes me kill people?
They both just looked at me.
And then, I threw up Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Poptart. All over the paper covered exam chair.
We left without scheduling the surgery.
Later that day, Jessica Demond, the shoe girl at the bowling alley, called me to tell me she was dating John Bond, they were totally in love, and I was a boyfriend stealer and probably a bad kisser.
I’m totally probably not a bad kisser.
I learned so many life lessons that day.