Some people are meant to have eyes on them, and five year old me was one of them. Attention was always mine, so much though that I manipulated someone else’s day to be my own. I was that girl who walked into the first day of kindergarten with a purple cast covering my left arm. The world was mine, yeah that is what I said, the world revolved around a blonde and bratty five year old. This was my moment and little me had no idea July 17th 2010 was now my day. All mine.
My closest friend since childhood, Riley, had just turned seven. We were linked arm-in-arm throughout our entire youth, yet we rarely speak now. Perhaps this is the reason why. It was her birthday party, the ‘venue’ was encircled by the woodlands, and a few poorly decorated picnic tables were the only unnatural things around us. It is important to note that I was an outlier among the girls, as I was two or so years younger and I did not attend their first grade class. I mean, I was not even in school yet! I desperately wanted to blend into the pool of older girls, so I followed their lead as we marched into the woods. We had no parents to administer us, we were just silly little girls with a burning desire to be grown.
Riley, her clique, and I marched through the forest with our heads held high. At this point, the sun had set, and the only illumination we had were from the cheap-quality flashlights we were holding. The moonlight did not help much, so artificial light was our only ally. Somehow, Riley and the other girls could not bear the cold of the summer night, yet looking back at it, it was probably no lower than sixty degrees. We decided it would be a genius idea to return to the adults, grab blankets, and then continue our trek through the wilderness. To no one’s shock, that is what we did. Each of us received our own blanket to secure around us so our little bodies would not be frigid. Little did everyone know, my pink sparkly blanket would be the downfall of the evening. The small group of us felt like the world was in our fingers. We walked through the darkened woods that were laced with trees that appeared to be glaring down at us. We were full of screams and obnoxious giggles that we finally got to release into the world. We hopped around and pushed one another, though most importantly we were acting like superheroes, using our neon-toned blankets as capes. In that moment, we were immortal beings. That immortality faded the moment we stepped on the bridge to cross the river.
Realistically, it was not a river. We were crossing a stream but you can imagine how this was just as daunting for a group of children. The bridge was unstable and wonky.. We did not walk single-file. We all walked sloppily together in a cluster of dumb girls. Our blankets engulfed us, holding them desperately against our bodies for warmth like they were our capes. The blankets were significantly longer than our short bodies, and that length is what ruined it all. My right foot caught underneath the slickly soft blanket, and within moments, I lost balance, slipping on the fabric.With my balance gone, I fell off of the shaky bridge. It felt like years as my body descended from the bridge. My body rotated in mid-air, and when I fell into the icy cold stream, I landed straight on my left arm. I hollered in a fit of agony when I felt an immense pain in my elbow as the bone snapped. I just broke my arm, on someone else’s birthday, at someone else’s party.
The only thing that could be heard were my constant wails of pain. I could not focus on anything other than my arm. The pain was indescribable and way more than a five year old could take. I looked up at the other girls with a pathetic and desperate glint in my eyes. Within moments, every girl but my friend Riley darted off in order to go find our parents. The look in Riley’s eyes was not one that could be described with words. I could not tell if she was in despair, or if her body was filled with so much rage. Did she have any empathy for me, or does she solely despise me for stealing the spotlight on her special day? I couldn’t blame her for how she felt. I’d be heartbroken if my day got snatched like that.
Not a word was spoken as I laid in the river, the cold water being the only thing keeping my panicking self conscious. I took deep breaths to attempt and control the sobs, but it didn’t work. I was stuck being a whiny girl. My mother and a group of other parents rushed over to be astonished by the sight- a five year old with a broken arm in the stream. The water had the briefest tint of red as blood poured from the break in my body. “Call the ambulance!” I heard some panicking mom yell as another person rushed over to dial 911, hoping they would come in a realistic amount of time to help me. One of the girl’s fathers walked over to me before hoisting me out of the stream, my body felt numb from all the cold water that had contacted my body. My arm ached, my emotions were not something I could control as the other girls scowled at me.
The party circled around me while my pathetic and childish self repeatedly whined and screamed. Every eye was on me, this was my day and Riley was now left in the background on her own birthday. I heard her whispers. To this day I do not know what she was saying though I presume it was nothing other than cruelty. She had to have been enraged; no way she was okay with me taking over the day.
Sirens rung through our ears as the flashing ambulance drove to us down the dirt backroads. The ambulance finally parked by the bridge, and I watched through a distorted view that my tears caused me. Suited up men and women bursted to the ambulance door, rushing to my side. I was under the impression that I was dying. “You’re going to be okay sweetie.” was the first thing I heard. Of course they repeated sentences of affirmation the entire time they were transporting me to the stretcher. I did not believe a word they were saying, it all sounded like a lie to make sure I was comfortable during my last few moments on this Earth. It was all a blur until I was buckled into a bed at the back of the ambulance, looking pathetically at the mess I made of the party. The doors shut and all I was stuck with was a broken arm, teary eyes, and a visit to the hospital. As the ambulance began driving, I decided to make light of the situation and wave to my dear friend Riley, who’s party had to have been ruined. All I got in return was a glare; a glare of cruel envy.