“Hey, Alyssa, come here!”
“Just sit down in the chair. We’re gonna do something cool.”
I sat down in a gray lawn chair in my new living room. We just moved to Berkeley Springs, I was 7. The only furniture we had in our house at the time was a set of plastic chairs, and the table that came with them. We were using them as our dining room and living room furniture at the time. My brother and sister set up a TV and Playstation on the table, and were taking turns playing video games. At the moment, it was my little brothers turn, and my big sister was bored.
My mom and dad were sitting around a bonfire with a few of their friends. It was the first time we were staying the night, so they were celebrating. Us kids were supposed to be in one room with our sleeping bags, sound asleep. However, we were excited and definitely not tired.
My sister, Savanna, found some duct tape in one of the several boxes laying around with my dads tools.
“Put your arms on the arms of the chair, and your legs on the legs of the chair,”
“Why? Are you taping me to the chair?” I was getting nervous as my sister got closer.
“Yeah, it’s a game me and my friends play. I’ll let you out after the game”
My sister took the duct tape and wrapped it around my limbs, and to the chair three times each.
“Okay, now try to walk”
I sat there very confused. I looked at my sister like she was stupid. I sat there and my face said on its own; are you dumb? I can’t walk, my legs are taped down. Idiot. She eventually sighed and explained that the chair legs could bend a little if I could rock myself forward and balance myself on my feet. So I did.
I rocked back and forth until I was able to lunge myself onto my feet. I swung my left leg and the chair bent with my movement. I repeated the movement with my right and I found myself in a rhythm to where I was waddling around my living room duct taped to a chair. My sister looked impressed.
Finally I stopped and let myself fall back so that I was just sitting again.
“That was easy, can you get me out of the tape now?”
“Wait, try to run first.”
I rolled my eyes and decided to do it. I was feeling pretty confident, and to be frank, I was feeling cocky. If my big sister’s friends were doing this and my sister was impressed by me, then they must’ve sucked at it. Clearly I was way more advanced and talented than these 11 year olds playing dumb lawn chair games.
I rocked forward and balanced myself out again. I started to run, and by run, I mean waddle faster than I was waddling previously. I blinked, and suddenly, I was on the ground. I remember smelling the fake hardwood floor, and I remember trying to look down at the floor only to see a red puddle grow under my face. Everything was quiet, but behind me was muffled laughing. I didn’t notice at the time, but my sister was laughing as hard as she could. The entire idea of me being duct taped in the chair was to see me fall. However, she forgot that this game was usually played outside in the grass, and not on a hard surface. As I realized what the red was, I screamed. My sister froze.
It felt like I had been stuck to the chair in my own blood for less than a second before my dad appeared out of nowhere. Pocket knife in hand, he cut me out of the chair. As he pulled me to my feet, I realized that the tinkerbell onesie I was wearing was covered and soaked through with my own blood. My chin felt like it had fallen off, I couldn’t feel it.
I went to touch my chin, just to know it was at least there, but my dad stopped me. He picked me up and handed me a towel.
“Hold this to your chin. Don’t take it off.”
By this time, I was in shock. I wasn’t crying, or screaming. I was sitting in my dad’s arms, quiet and looking off into a blurred space. My whole body was frozen. My dad, with me in his arms, ran to the truck and practically stuffed me in. if the cops ask, my dad was going the speed limit, but in reality I think we were going 90 on the backroads to a random hospital in a town I’d never been to.
Once we got there, I got out of the truck like nothing was wrong. Like the skin on my chin wasn’t hanging on by a thread, and like there wasn’t a bloody towel stuck to my face. I remember the walk to the hospital very vividly. I had no shoes on, so I felt every little pebble under my feet, and I remember that hurting more than the deep gash on my chin. When we finally got into the hospital, I got extremely tired very suddenly.
“Are you okay? You look pale. Do you need to sit down?”
“Dad, I need to go to bed…” I barely managed to whisper.
“What?” he said, panicked and frustrated.
I fell to the floor. When I woke up, I was in a hospital bed and my chin was stitched up. Everyone in my family, including my evil big sister, was either crying or really worried.
“Hey, what’d I miss?”
Everyone perked up and looked in my direction.
“Nothing at all.” said my dad with a crooked smile.